Friday, May 23, 2014

IS YOUR PENIS STUCK IN A PVC PIPE? here's what you need to know


Some weekend news:


BI - beware the market melt-up this summer. But of course BAML says the "market melt-up" will be followed by a horrible crash. Because they're fucking pussies and idiots who haven't yet clued in that we're in a secular bull market.

Calculated Risk - new home sales increase in April. The charts show that, by home sales reckoning anyway, the US still hasn't really even moved into expansion yet. I.e., we're still not at a point where you get crashes; rather, we're actually still at a point where the economy improves from here.

Economist - why stock volatility is low. It's because GDP volatility is low and inflation volatility is low, according to them. I'd say it might also be because billions of dollars are short volatility via synthetic ETFs - so don't trust these market signals, because something might be different this time.

Mining.com - uranium still sucks. Self-evident.

Discover Magazine - penis stuck in a PVC pipe? We have a solution! Which starts off with this hilarious intro:
For all of you unfortunate souls out there who have ever gotten your penis stuck in a PVC pipe, this is one paper you don’t want to miss! These crafty doctors came up with a simple solution to this everyday problem.
Everyday problem?

Seriously, if you keep getting your dick stuck in a PVC pipe every day, you might want to switch to a larger diameter.

Robert Fripp's diary


I'm having fun reading Robert Fripp's online diary, mainly to learn about his long and tortuous battle to get paid for back royalties owed by the various scum and villainy of the music industry.

Also because it's strange to see my guitar hero, in photographs, now looking like boring old landed gentry.

Though at least he doesn't look like Steve Tyler

Anyway, this one passage was enlightening to read - you suddenly realize the answer Fripp gives is so obvious, why haven't we all thought of that already?

In 2007 Guy Hands’ Terra Firma bought EMI, allegedly for a lot more than he should have paid (with subsequent legal action from Mr. Hands, and which failed). Mr. Hands cut costs… ridiculing the “fruit and flowers” that had been lavished on stars in headier days. And in these few worlds two good journalists, Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson and Alex Barker, gambol as innocents into the messy field of the music industry.

The assumption is that fruit and flowers, a euphemism for drugs and hookers, falling within the larger category of artist entertainment and socializing opportunities with record company characters, were provided to meet an explicit demand from artists. My own experience suggests something else: that artists were used as the excuse for music industry characters to fund fruit and flowers from the artists’ promotion budget – for their own use. I have never been a drug user, nor a recipient of the higher end of industry “entertainment provision”, nor have I paid for professional sex. But, as a generalization, and from what I saw, stars didn’t need record company types to provide them with sexual opportunities; and anyone who was interested in getting drugs didn’t need the record company to get those either.

So, why would/did certain record company individuals access the promotional budget to do so?

Personal use was one factor; the manipulation of artists another. One manager of my close acquaintance told me of taking managed-artists to a brothel in Amsterdam, using the management company’s Amex card to pay the tab. This information, if used, would perhaps have embarrassed the managed-artists if discussed with their partners; and a good negotiating card if the artist got uppity: like, wondering where their royalties went.

Expensive meals, nominally provided for the artist from their promotion budget, was an everyday abuse. The Spice Girls, at Virgin Records, provided lunches for people they never heard of, nor met, and who were not even employed by Virgin. The Polydor after-show party in Soho, for UK’s NYC gig in 1978, cost $8,000. My Polydor tour support, for two months of Frippertronics travelling throughout North America, was $10,000. Exposure outsold UK. How often have KC/RF record company lunches/dinners been an excuse for perhaps a dozen record company employees to eat at their favourite-and-expensive restaurant at our/my expense via the promotional budget? Or fed the promo-guy’s friends?

Stories can be told forever. Could I mention names? Probably. Has the situation changed in recent years? Oh yes! I’m sure it has!

Quite obvious, really. When has any rock star had to pay for sex or drugs?

Also, apparently Robert Fripp has a pet bunny:



Transports and S&P 500, and a rant about anal-retentive pennyflipping


So the $SPX has been "going sideways", which means it's been consolidating:


And the only people whining about "sideways action" are the hedge funds, and only because they constantly position themselves the wrong way based on the garbage they read in right-wing rags like the WSJ.

Meanwhile the Dow Transports have done this:


That's a breakout to new highs. It's been going on for weeks now, so when are the bears just going to accept that they've been disastrously wrong yet again? Or would that threaten their vicious right-wing worldview?

So $TRAN has been rising and the $SPX hasn't followed. That means $TRAN has gotten ahead of $SPX, which means the ratio (in weeklies) is doing this:


And if you feel that $TRAN:$SPX should stay roughly horizontal (both ultimately being the same measure of the economic strength in the US, one based on profitable transport of goods and the other on profitable sale of goods) then you must think that the S&P is about to make a strong move up so it can catch up with transports.

What's the long-term S&P chart look like, by the way?


Frankly, the Feb-to-May horizontal portion of this chart is still at about the same slope as the spring-summer 2013 churn, or the Feb-Dec 2012 churn.

I.e. it's not disconcerting at all when you simply zoom out and fade the intraweek bullshit.

There really is no need for anal-retentive day-to-day analysis of these charts. There really is no need to draw support and resistance lines and make-believe trendlines and triangles and pennants. There really is no need to post ignorant opinions every day, vacillating from bullish to bearish and back again, inserting uninformed and incoherent blather about the evils of fractional-reserve banking and fiat currency and how it'll all end in tears because only gold is money (it isn't).

All you need to do is follow New Deal Demoncrat's weekly indicators, Bill McBride's US economic data, and maybe a few smarty-pantses like Liz Ann Sonders and Michael Shaoul. They'll let you know when things are starting to change.

And realize that as long as the weekly EMA(20) isn't violated, the market is still in an uptrend, and the chances are it'll stay in an uptrend for years.

Yes, buying an S&P500 passive index ETF and walking away for ten years is boring. But the only reason to try to be a pennyflipping jackass is if you've already proven you can beat the SPY return with active investing. If you haven't been beating SPY consistently for the past 2-3 years, then you're an idiot: put a leash on your massive ego, give up, buy SPY and go away for ten years.


For want of an ocelot, the copper mine was lost


IKN - to compensate for an ocelot, Rosemont may now costalot! Aha! Aha, I say! Aha!

I don't really care, except it gives me an opportunity to run a cute kitty picture:

This is Wikipedia's conception of what an ocelot might look like

Of course, it might be added that Wikipedia notes the ocelot is classified as a species of least concern; and Arizona is not known to be part of its range, though a few sightings have been made in the past. In fact, the multiple subspecies are spread throughout all of Latin America.

Here is an ocelot in Bolivia:

An ocelot? I don't Bolivia!

Apparently, the people of pre-Columbian Peru used to kill ocelots and turn them into stylish purses:



So it's not like Peruvians have any right to suddenly discover environmentalism and complain.

Thus endeth yet another kitty pictures post.


Morning news delivery


Here are some newsbits:


Bespoke - bullish sentiment declines. This as the S&P is still within a rounding error of all-time highs.

Calculated Risk - best year since 2000 for hotels. So therefore the US economy is about to collapse, right? Is that how it works? I dunno, I'm a moron who reads goldbug newsletters.

Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - CAPE, forward returns, and you. Here's something for the economics-disabled goldbug newsletter writers:
CAPE is a valuable tool for assessing the long-run valuation of this market era relative to history but a tool is all it is – not an answer. Like all other measures and metrics, it should not be used in the absence of other tools, common sense included.
To me, that means "don't blather on about CAPE when a hundred other metrics show the US is continuing to expand and there are literally zero danger signs on the horizon". Also, it means "use some fucking common sense".

Ritholtz - value emerges in... wait, Japan? I've still got my long-term hold in CIE.TO which holds a large chunk in Japan, so I don't need to do anything if this is right.

Macrobusiness - Goldman on the Chinese property bust. It's not actually a particularly frightening scenario, according to them.

FT beyond brics - when will Mongolia default? No, really? Another "frontier country" turns uninvestable. That sounds to me like the end of the EM secular bull market.

New Yorker - how the FBI cracked a Chinese spy ring. Rollicking-fun read.

Friday videos - Bleach again, with "Wipe It Away"


Here's Bleach again, not an actual video of theirs but I love this song.




Thursday, May 22, 2014

INTERVIEW WITH PIERRE LASSONDE: three ways he's smarter than you


The Gold Report - interview with Pierre Lassonde. Read it all, because he invented the Lassonde Curve and you didn't. Here's some choice cuts:
I have been in the vaults of HSBC in London and seen the $60B in gold there. As far as the SPDR Gold Shares ETF is concerned, these claims of "paper gold" are complete fantasy. SPDR Gold Shares is physical gold.
Then again, maybe Lassonde is part of the conspiracy!

Next:
TGR: When gold topped $1,900/oz in September 2011, many goldbugs believed that, based on macroeconomic considerations, the price would top $3,000/oz and beyond. Was that view wrong, overstated or ahead of its time?

PL: It was clearly wrong when we look at what happened. That view was based on the idea that the Federal Reserve was issuing so much paper that significant inflation would appear shortly, and that, in turn, would boost the gold price up and up and up. Three years later, we still don't see any inflation. What these people forgot is that the velocity of money fell tremendously in 2008 and has never really recovered. The money being created by the Fed is being sat on by the banks.
I'd go one step farther and say that any goldbug newsletter writer who was calling for an explosion in inflation back in (say) 2010 should be forever ignored. He's demonstrated that he's a fucking ignorant windbag who has never even taken an economics course, and therefore he has absolutely no clue how the world works, and therefore everything he says is nothing more than baseless opinion, which is not a valuable input to anyone's investing strategy.

Another choice cut:
The last 10 years has seen a huge gold transfer from the West to the East. People in the West look at Western statistics and argue that the price of gold must collapse. They forget we are no longer the No. 1 market in gold in the world. Chindia is: China and India. Those are the No. 1 and No. 2 gold markets in the world.
Hey! Who was it who was saying, two years ago, "the US doesn't buy any gold" and "gold has nothing to do with the US" and "gold is all about EM wealth"? Do you remember? Who was that guy? That smart guy?

Was it... me?

Anyway, Pierre Lassonde is smart, and he even gets in a little dig at The Sandstorm Kid. Go read him.


Several short book reviews


I was disabled for much of yesterday - I had three migraine auras back to back, which I'd think is not supposed to happen. So maybe I've got a brain tumour or something, which I guess means I have to cut back on my blogging and increase my drinking and fucking.

Seriously, yeah, I'll go to the doctor maybe next week, though he'll just call me a sissy and tell me to fuck off.

Anyway, I didn't look for any news at all last night, because I'm having fun reading Appetite for Self-Destruction - a fun book about all the stupid things the record industry has done in the past 30 years.

On another note, I finished Matthew Hart's Gold a couple weeks ago, and I heartily recommend it to everyone. Rollicking good read, though very disjointed - it jumps from history of gold to specific gold exploration stories to gold's economic use, back and forth and back and forth. But it interviews some of the big stars of gold mining, and that alone is worth the price. In fact, I already told Brent Cook to quit being a penny-pincher and just buy the damn book.

Oh, also, a month ago I read Tracey Thorn's autobiography Bedsit Disco Queen. I never was a fan of EBTG, but the book is a completely pleasant history of British alternative music told from the POV of someone who started in a garden shed playing girl-punk and ended up a dance music diva. She's a great storyteller and it's a book that you literally never want to put down because you're always rooting for her. Five stars for sure.

Contrast that with Simon Pegg's Nerd Do Well, which frankly is boring the shit out of me right now. I think his films are fantastic, but I guess it's a really horrible idea to let a British stand-up comedian write an autobiography: it just lies there flat, and frankly it's not doing anything to make me care what happens next.

Also contrast Tracey Thorn with Sara Marcus' Girls to the Front, a history of the US riot girl movement. It does go into tremendous detail, so you'll come out knowing everything you ever wanted to know about e.g. Bratmobile; but fuuck, reading this book before Tracey Thorn's sure will give you a very interesting contrast between the girl-punk of the 1970s and the girl-punk of the 1990s. The rank viciousness of some of the people in the riot girl movement is pretty unbelievable if you weren't there at that time.

Tracey Thorn was also political, and Tracey Thorn was also a feminist; but her own life story isn't filled with character assassination, backstabbing, or bullshit political purges of neighbourhood friends. Then again, maybe the difference is that young people in the 1970s were more grown-up and responsible towards their peers, while the 1990s generation was a bunch of entitled fucking brats? Anyway, Girls to the Front is a good historical read, but its story keeps echoing the barbarism of Lord of the Flies.

Anyway, that's what I've been doing recently - reading.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

HILARIOUS CAT GIFS: you won't believe Janet Yellen's reaction!


It's been boring, so I'll try to make it up for you with hilarious cat gifs.

















Hey, whatever happened to the Nasdaq?


So I'm sure you know the SPY has been doing this:


That is, consolidating before a move higher.

Oh but it can't be, you say! Because look what's happened to the R2K!


Oh my god! It's "drawing a head-and-shoulders top", which means the SPY is about to collapse as "leadership narrows"! "I mean, look at the H&S in the Nasdaq!:"


Wait, what? H&S in the Nasqaq? Where?

Seems all you're seeing is a sector rebalancing after all. Because the Nasdaq is simply failing to collapse.

Thereupon, the key is the constant new highs in the $TRAN and $INDU, which means everything is still going fine.

Tune out every single clown who's been selling you the H&S top story. Tune them out forever.


RIO and SUE plan to merge, sayeth the news


This is entirely my own opinion and nobody else's.

Here's the news:

Montreal Gazette - Rio Alto and Sulliden plan to merge.

And here is this morning's action. First Rio Alto:




Next, Sulliden:


That's fifteen minutes behind, but I just checked it live and this second SUE's still at $1.00 with 2.8M shares traded.

Screw fundies, there's your verdict from the markets.


IS SILICON VALLEY FULL OF ODIOUS SOCIOPATHS?: here's what you need to know


Two bits of news this morning:


Reuters - India officials ready plan to ease gold import curbs. It'd be nice if it happens, though as far as I'm concerned it will have no effect on consumption - India was buying all the gold it wanted despite the curbs, the smuggling was covering the demand and I feel even WGC's huge smuggling estimates are low.

As well, we've been hearing this bullshit news for months now; I'd rather see the proof in the pudding before swallowing this line all the way to Capistrano.


The Baffler - mouthbreathing Machiavellis dream of a silicon Reich. Some guy named "Mencius Moldbug" (ha ha, rhymes with "goldbug", therefore loser) has a blog where he's advocating for a corporate dictatorship. So Baffler makes fun of him:
In short, Moldbug reads like an overconfident autodidact’s imitation of a Lewis Lapham essay—if Lewis Lapham were a fascist teenage Dungeon Master.
I personally find it interesting that whenever some clown gets lucky in the dotcom bubble, he assumes it's because he's smart, not lucky. And so he starts representing himself as some sort of autodidact genius with the cure for all humanity's ills, instead of what he really is - some clown who got lucky and sold to the last fool, and can now afford to blog all fucking day instead of working for a living.

As for Moldbug's blog?
Moldbuggism, for now, remains mostly an Internet phenomenon. Which is not to say it is “merely” an Internet phenomenon. This is, after all, a technological age. Last November, Yarvin claimed that his blog had received 500,000 views.
OMG LOL LMFAO! I have more views than him! Seriously, I do!

Hey Baffler! When are you going to write an article about me?


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

ZEROHEDGE LOSES ALL CREDIBILITY: wait, what?


Per the article on Jalopnik about ZeroHedge reposting utter silliness and not retracting it, here are some choice bits from the comments section:

Zerohedgers, still gullible and dumb. Those photos are 4 and 5 years old. One is from a Nissan factory that turns out 500,000 cars a year. They have to be stored while waiting for transport.

If manufacturers have a glut, they slow production and lay people off. They can't keep producing cars if no one is buying, there is no capital to do so without sales.

Business, how does it work?

Idiots.

You don't say? And:

Come on ZH, most of these pics date from 2009 and the information here is just plain untrue. Please do a little fact checking before you print this stuff, you're losing cred lately at a rapid rate.

You don't say? And:

I just wanted to thank you for posting this article. I registered just to post this comment. You people are idiots. Tyler Durden? How original. No accountability for the garbage you post or the potential impact of those lies. Fortunately, every other journalist (actual professionals) has called BS on this BS. Those few moments of exposure for your site have proven to be informative. Now people (with the exception of your uneducated followers) will know to avoid anything concerning your site like the plague. Good thing you have company at the bottom of the barrel.

And even the true believers are throwing up:

I re-posted this drivel over at IHateTheMedia.com without verifiying because I had enough respect for Zero Hedge to do that. Obviously that was a mistake. I had to retract and apologize, and Zero Hedge has lost my respect because here it is, days later, and still no retraction or apology here. I guess for some people getting hits is all that matters.

Well, what do you expect from a site run by a Bulgarian immigrant who was banned from the markets for insider trading?

Wise up, internet: it's always been nothing but a Russian propaganda site. That's why they're always calling for the imminent collapse of America, why they're always in agreement with Russia Today, and why Max Keiser loves pumping the same stories.


Your more frivolous daily news


Nothing serious is happening in the markets, so let's have fun today. The evil sort of fun, of course.


Jalopnik - that Zerohedge article on unsold cars is bullshit. Reposting, because Ritholtz is too much of a pussy to link to proper swearing, and because this author is much better at mocking Zerohedge's credulous repost of a fw:fw:fw: from the John Birchers:
I just keep re-reading this and wondering how any sane, intelligent person could believe it. There are so many weird assumptions here, like the idea that families used to buy a new car every year and now they don't and that's why this is happening.

[...]

Bottom line: This is paranoid nonsense that has the tiniest bits of reality inside of it, like a giant turd sprinkled with truffles.
But Zerohedge will never retract the story because it's their duty to spread anti-Western propaganda at the behest of their Russian paymasters.


BBC - Ukrainian billionaire ends the Russian rebellion. Sorry to sound like Zerohedge, but this really sounds like a US operation: identify the richest and most powerful people in a country and get them on your side, and thus the war is won. In this case, no drunken AIDS-riddled Russian weekend-warrior is going to pick a fight with Akhmetov's steelworkers: the Ukraine crisis is now over.


NY Times - France sells two warships to Russia. Yup, I didn't make that up.


IKN - the Sinchao play in infinite acts. It's hilarious and it's Kafkaesque, so long as you don't own any shares of Regulus. If you do own shares of Regulus, you should suggest to them to go visit the Antakori site ASAP, maybe telephoning the neighbours in advance to let them know when and where to meet up. And bring cake.


Lowering the Bar - man sues Au Bon Pain for two octillion gigadollars. Because a dog bit him on the finger, he's routinely overcharged for coffee at La Guardia, and some Chinese people took pictures of him.


IS THIS THE REAL LIFE? IS THIS JUST FANTASY? - here's what you need to know


So I was catching up on recent Dilberts and came across this:


And so I immediately felt the angst of meaninglessness and decided to look up on Google how to tell if we're all just living in a computer simulation.

Because someone must have figured out how to determine this, right?

So, with the caveat that Google might be part of the conspiracy to keep us unaware of the true nature of existence, here are some articles on the topic:

Aeon - can we tell if reality is a computer simulation?

Discovery News - are we living inside a computer simulation?

How Stuff Works - are we living in a computer simulation?

Telegraph - do we live in the Matrix?

So you see, your crappy investments in junior miners mean nothing in the grand scheme of things because we're only a pop-up ad in the online Yahoo game of the universe.


Monday, May 19, 2014

IKN DOESN'T LIKE CARDERO GROUP COMPANIES: here's what you need to know


Oh, the silly silly antics of junior mining newsletter writers!

Here's some news:


Bespoke - the rest of the world is overbought. Really? The rest of the world has better economic prospects than the USA? Really? Or is the market just being stupid?

Kotok - on the UST10Y at 2.5%. I'm wondering when people will finally cotton on that you can't have inflation when the working class never sees a pay raise.

Ritholtz - the truth about auto sales. Apparently there's a chain email going around using a photo from 2009 as proof the auto market has seized up. And hilariously, Ritholtz notes that the "media" outlets taken in by this bullshit include ZeroHedge, the Daily Paul, and Silver Bear. Which kinda sums up who still mocks the economic recovery: Russian propagandists, racist John Bircher objectivists who hate partially black presidents, and hard money fruitcakes who are too poor to own gold.

Economic Times - Jim O'Neill on the Modi win. Well, he has an opinion, and he didn't get to where he is today by being a pretty boy from Crouch End. And hey, if he's right then gold can only go up from here - and strongly. Because gold is not money: it is Indian.

Bonddad - the $SSEC weekly chart is not encouraging. No shit, Sherlock!


Speaking of which, here's Farm Film Report, with Big Jim McBob and Billy-Saul Hurok.


Nobody understood the pic in that last post unless they're Canadian.

So here's Farm Film Report, with Big Jim McBob and Billy-Saul Hurok:





Victoria Day news


Apparently the Americans don't celebrate the royal birthday of HRM Queen Elizabeth II, because the markets seem to be open down there today.

Meanwhile we in Canada spend this whole weekend getting drunk and blowing shit up. Real good. Like these guys:


You tell me which is the smarter country.

Anyway, here's the news:


New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. He says there's a tax withholding anomaly. Other than that, the US economic indicators are still fine, so quit being a pussy and buy the damn S&P.

Bonddad - congrats to Bill McBride. I had my money on Calculated Risk, cos Bonddad seems to have a bit of a fixation on coming dooooom. Turns out there was no housing slowdown. So quit being a pussy and buy the damn S&P.

Liz Ann Sonders - again explaining why the tech correction doesn't mean a market top. The explanation is simple: in a low growth environment, growth stocks demanded a premium. If the market thinks the US is transitioning to faster growth, that growth-stock premium disappears, and thus TSLA and DDD take a swandive. If you come across a commentator who is still beating the dead horse of the "small caps/tech warning flag", then either explain it to them or just delete them from your RSS forever. And quit being a pussy and buy the damn S&P.

Mining.com - gold and silver production to hit new records this year. But after that, Metal Focus says gold production will peak and then begin a long decline, per Brent Cook. Which maybe means we get to see that magical $5000 gold someday... as long as gold demand doesn't manage to decline as well.

Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - SNL is stealing my material, no really, here's proof. Josh, them stealing your material is just proof that the writing staff at SNL sucks even more than it has throughout history.