Saturday, February 14, 2015
What a fantastic Valentine's Day present: Canada's community access cable version of Fox News has gone out of business.
CBC - Sun "News" shuts down.
Toronto Star - Sun "News" wasn't even a news channel.
iPolitics - the strange life and shabby death of SunTV.
And now Brian Lilley is going to have to find another job, with only a two-year diploma from Mohawk College. Hey Lilley! You're a fucking loser!
And now Ezra Levant has zero money behind him, so the next time he shoots his mouth off and stupidly libels someone on his pissant blog, he's going to have to pay out of his own pocket. Hey Ezra! You're a fucking loser!
And the great bit is?
I saw it coming. When the price of oil dropped below $50, I said that was it for the Canadian loony conservative brigade. This is only the first step: next is the Conservative party's collapse.
I can imagine Lilley this fall, in the basement with his wife and kids gone, on election night, railing on some stupid blog about the new Mulcair/Trudeau coalition government.
Er mah gerd! Sercialersm!
Friday, February 13, 2015
Speaking of which, did anyone ever notice that Samantha Fox has very tiny legs?
Anyway, this meeting of Samantha Fox and Hawkwind didn't happen just once. Here's (a bad recording of) them playing "Master of the Universe" in 2000, even with Lemmy on bass:
This is hilarious (and totally safe for work):
I watch the silver chart for clues about upcoming gold moves because Whitey lost interest in silver as a trading vehicle years ago, so it tends to ignore the honky cracker repositioning that's always going on in gold.
And silver is telling us something today:
Just a couple things this Friday:
New Deal Demoncrat - it's not just a low-wage recovery. Here, how's about you look at actual data instead of the talking points of the permadoomer brigade?
Bespoke - utilities going back down. Good, because utilities are not the sector the market is supposed to be buying in an expansion.
Robert Reich - labour going back to the nineteenth century. Quote:
But now we seem to be heading back to nineteenth century.Yeah, that's nice Bob. So, considering you were Secretary of Labor under Clinton, exactly what the fuck did you do about it when you had the chance 20 years ago? It's easy to utter empty platitudes after the fact; I guess you felt it was a lot harder to actually stick your damn neck out and do something.
Corporations are shifting full-time work onto temps, free-lancers, and contract workers who fall outside the labor protections established decades ago.
The nation’s biggest corporations and Wall Street banks are larger and more potent than ever.
And labor union membership has shrunk to fewer than 7 percent of private-sector workers.
So it’s not surprising we’re once again hearing that workers are worth no more than what they can get in the market.
But as we should have learned a century ago, markets don’t exist in nature. They’re created by human beings. The real question is how they’re organized and for whose benefit.
In the late nineteenth century they were organized for the benefit of a few at the top.
But by the middle of the twentieth century they were organized for the vast majority.
During the thirty years after the end of World War II, as the economy doubled in size, so did the wages of most Americans — along with improved hours and working conditions.
You were in power, so you perpetuated the anti-worker power structure. Own up and shut up.
IKN said (of Katy Perry) that kitsch is the essence of fascism.
I replied that the demand that all private interest subjugate itself to the command of the State is the essence of fascism. Kitsch is actually the essence of antiquing.
Anyway, for Valentine's Day, here's a fun Katy Perry video:
I especially like the addition of the wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man, an obvious reference to this:
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Mining.com - Cordoba drills Colombia’s next copper-gold porphyry belt. Tommy Humphreys says Cordoba is awesome! I mean just check this out!:
[Cordoba] shares are bumping along at 52-week lows, barely above cash levels.
The company, meanwhile, has tapped into top geological talent to assemble and lock up what looks like an emerging copper-gold porphyry belt in an underexplored part of northern Colombia.
Awesome! Trading at cash, copper-gold porphyry? Awesome! Tell me more, Tommy!
It's early, but all indications show evidence of multiple copper-gold porphyrys on the 26,000 hectare San Matias property.
Awesome! Not just one, but multiple! It gets significantly more awesome as the telling progresses! Tell me yet more, Tommy!
Continental, run by Ari Sussman, is developing the high-grade Buritica gold project to the south – one of Colombia's most exciting gold projects – and owns about 5.7% of Cordoba's shares. Sussman is also Cordoba's chairman.
Uhh... okay, so I googled Ari Sussman and came up with
IKN - Ari Sussman and Vic Wall playing it fast and loose again
which reminds me that they were the ones who built what ultimately amounted to an expensive underground river system for Colossus Minerals.
Well, maybe that was all the geo's fault and he's not involv-
The geologist is porphyry expert Vic Wall, co-winner of the 2001 Goldcorp Challenge, in his corner. Wall, who has 30-plus years of geological experience, is a special advisor to Cordoba and a technical sounding board for Grainger.
IKN - The main problem with Continental Gold's (CNL.to) new resource count at Buritica...
So this new Cordoba Minerals isn't such a great deal after all, Tommy?
Then again I guess even if it's just an empty pump job you can still make money off of i-
Wow. That's about 2 million shares traded and the needle still hasn't budged. Where's the excitement?
I just had to remind myself:
That SPY can indeed advance while TLT is going up. It did that all last year, after February. So don't get freaked out by strength in TLT.
Oh also, those two last bottoms (Oct 2014 and Jan 2015) in the SPY:TLT black line were <-2SD on the weekly chart (and thus were crazily pessimistic). And the October bottom was a great time to buy S&P (though of course the S&P bottom was all due to fears of an imminent Ebola epidemic in the USA).
You've done a great job of puking the S&P 500 into a relatively-oversold condition, Whitey!
Here's some reading:
Calculated Risk - JOLTS survey. Job openings are up 28% yoy, at over 5 million: where's that imminent economic collapse?
Bespoke - energy sector short interest is a pair o' bollocks. Sure, I won't argue, when something's going to go down, you're supposed to short it. But 9.88% of the sector float? Really?
Bespoke - trading above 50SMA. As of Wednesday afternoon, 61% of the S&P 500 was trading above its 50-day. I didn't see this reflected in Brett Steenbarger's commentary.
Granta - the fixer. A really good long article on real life in the Indian countryside, which you should read before you start fantasizing about investing in the Nifty. I really loved this bit:
Next, he rubbed her fingertips on a wet towel and pressed them against the clear, gleaming top of the fingerprint scanner. The equipment failed to register any reading. Dirt had settled too deep into the cracked skin of her hands. Weary of the process already, Suko Devi asked Prasad if it wasn’t natural for someone who worked with cow dung every day to have such textured skin. Just a few weeks into the launch of the Unique Identification scheme, the Indian government had realized that the majority of people it aimed to cover had labour-roughened hands, but it was too late –That just shows you how miserably out of touch the Indian political elite is. And the entire article will show you what sort of structural headwinds exist for Indian economic growth. This ain't China, people.
Mining.com - blah blah gold price forecast blah blah. Well, for what it's worth:
Swiss-based MKS is one of the world's largest refiners and Panizzuti said this year's rise in the gold prize has been largely Exchange Traded Funds investing in the precious metal rather than physical demand that has driven the market:I guess he didn't vote in the poll over there at the right. Anyway, let's see if the Asian buying results in any anomalous (i.e. upward) activity in the gold price over the next few months.
"India and China are not buying right now, our books are not full. But we expect to see some buying from March and April onwards."
Panizzuti was the winner in 2014 of the London Bullion Market Association's gold forecasting contest with his estimate of $1,262 per ounce for the year with the actual average over the 12 months of $1,267.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
BI - OMG says Wolf Richter, sell everything! When a call like this is made, I feel very bullish the S&P 500, because Wolf Richter is a fucking nobody. In this case, he's saying "inventories are at Lehman levels", which means he's ignored the other 20 economic indicators that say everything is fine.
FT - Warren Buffett says know when to hold 'em. Most important is this quote from Jack Bogle:
Just buy the damn index fund.Jack Bogle is a much more significant person than Wolf Richter, so I'm gonna go with Bogle on this one.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
See how they run:
Calculated Risk - prime working age population growing again. This chart:
is demographics, which is a major input to economics. Read it and weep, if you know how to understand a chart.
New Deal Demoncrat - five charts to watch in 2015. Mortgage refinancing is coming back to life, low gas prices are putting more money in people's pockets, labour force data is mixed, and he thinks nominal wage growth finally comes back in H2 2015.
Mickey Fulp - the real cost of mining gold (pdf). A great article on the accounting cock-up that explains why gold miners haven't made shareholders any money. This is an all-new Mickey we're seeing, read it.
Monday, February 9, 2015
Left news alone for the weekend, it was mostly bull and there was snow to shovel.
But here's what was worth reading:
IKN - Bobby Genovese wants to friend me on facebook! Aaaand that's why I'm not on facebook.
New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Again, quit piddling yourselves, everyone! I personally am amazed that Wall Street Whitey doesn't understand that a strong US dollar is fantastic for the domestic consumer side of the US economy, low rates are fantastic for housing, and low oil prices are good for everyone generally. You're going to feel awfully stupid when the S&P closes out this year at 2300!
Bespoke - labour market positives. Consumers are feeling more optimistic.
ICIJ - exposing HSBC's files on secret Swiss accounts. Here's the mother article that the news wires are stripping down. Oh, and remember Sarah McLachlan's best buddy Frank Giustra? Even he gets a mention:
The records show Giustra is the only person listed in an HSBC account holding more than $10 million in 2006/2007, although his role in the account is not specifiedHey Sarah, this is what you get when you abandon the sad puppies and lesbian separatists and start hanging out with junior mining people. Ah, well... I guess you're too old to give a shit about kleptocratic neocolonialism. Besides, Kazakhs hate puppies and lesbians.
The New York Times reported in 2008 that Giustra donated to the Clinton Foundation shortly after Bill Clinton accompanied Giustra on a trip to Kazakhstan in 2005. When they landed, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, who has served for decades as Kazakhstan’s president, met his two visitors over a sumptuous midnight banquet.
The Times reported that Clinton made a public declaration of support for Nazarbayev that was at odds with the stance of the U.S. government and of Clinton’s wife, then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had criticized Kazakhstan’s record on human rights. Two days later, corporate records showed, Giustra’s company won the right to buy into three state-owned uranium projects in Kazakhstan.
Coppola Comment - what is the ECB up to? This gained a lot of traction this weekend in the part of the blogosphere that has brain cells: the ECB's Greek waiver move was actually a warning to the Germans, not to the Greeks. Quote:
Varoufakis is gambling that the Eurozone, and more particularly Germany, will not dare to push him off the cliff because of the consequences for international political relations. If Germany was seen to force Greece out of the Euro by refusing to negotiate, it would become an international pariah. There are already voices reminding Germany of its own debt forgiveness in 1953, and anti-austerity movements in many other Eurozone countries would only be encouraged by Germany and/or the ECB looking like bullies. Forcing Greece out of the Euro could result in the disorderly unravelling of the whole thing.Read the entire article, you'll get an idea of what Eurozone analysis looks like when done by someone who knows what they're talking about instead of someone who simply rattles off racial stereotypes and discredited supply-side economic theory.
I may be completely wrong, but this looks far more plausible to me than a simple explanation that fails to take account of the signals given by both Varoufakis and Draghi. In which case, Schäuble should beware. His position is nowhere near as strong as he thinks. He is dangerously close to the cliff edge himself.
FT Alphaville - Michael Pettis explains the Eurozone crisis. Again another piece of stellar analysis from someone who doesn't have their head up their ass. Quote:
It was not the German people who lent money to the Spanish people. The policies implemented by Berlin that resulted in the huge swing in Germany’s current account from deficit in the 1990s to surplus in the 2000s were imposed at a cost to German workers, and have been at least partly responsible for Germany’s extremely low productivity growth — most of Germany’s growth before the crisis can be explained by the change in its current account — rather than by rising productivity.Also,
Moreover because German capital flows to Spain ensured that Spanish inflation exceeded German inflation, lending rates that may have been “reasonable” in Germany were extremely low in Spain, perhaps even negative in real terms. With German, Spanish, and other banks offering nearly unlimited amounts of extremely cheap credit to all takers in Spain, the fact that some of these borrowers were terribly irresponsible was not a Spanish “choice.”
I am hesitant to introduce what may seem like class warfare, but if you separate those who benefitted the most from European policies before the crisis from those who befitted the least, and are now expected to pay the bulk of the adjustment costs, rather than posit a conflict between Germans and Spaniards, it might be far more accurate to posit a conflict between the business and financial elite on one side (along with EU officials) and workers and middle class savers on the other.
It would be an astonishing coincidence that so many countries decided to embark on consumption sprees at exactly the same time. It would be even more remarkable, had they done so, that they could have all sucked money out of a reluctant Germany while driving interest rates down. It is very hard to believe, in other words, that the enormous shift in the internal European balance of payments was driven by anything other than a domestic shift in the German economy that suddenly saw total savings soar relative to total investment.Another gem of an article that you owe yourself to read several times until you understand it. The problem I have with finding a hopeful solution to this, by the way, is that Schauble and Merkel have already proven themselves pig-ignorant about economic theory, the rest of Europe's leadership have proven themselves to be willing and passionate collaborators in the German Fourth Reich, and the financial elite identified above is going to win because they already own the EU.
der Spargel - what Tsipras has been doing this past week. Again: instead of listening to racist commentary from American talking heads who know nothing about Europe, how's about you read the actual news? For example:
Minister of Administrative Reform Georgios Katrougalos sits cheerfully in his new office and rejoices about his little revolution. He has just announced that soon the first 3,500 public-sector employees can return to work, including the famous cleaning ladies who led the protest against job cuts. With their rubber-glove-clad clenched fists, they embodied a feeling shared by many Greeks -- that they had been mistreated by Europe. Now the cleaning ladies were becoming the symbol of the new beginning.Really? An "austerity program" that exterminates the working class, gives more money to big business, and ends up costing more? How many times have we heard of that before? But Tsipras is a "wacky socialist", right? I mean The Economist knows what they're talking about, right?
According to the administrative reform minister, these aren't new hires -- they are the reversal of unfair layoffs. "The cleaning ladies were the weakest, and the troika needed numbers." He claims this is primarily a redress for the absurdity of the austerity measures. After they were let go, the financial authority's 595 cleaning ladies -- who had to be fired in September 2013 in order to fulfill the requirements of the savings plan -- continued to receive 75 percent of their earnings. Their work was then done by private cleaning companies -- in the end, the whole thing was more expensive than it had been before. It was these kinds of decisions by the previous government that had made the Greeks furious -- and led them to vote for Syriza.
On the day of his election, he had already picked his cabinet -- pared down to just 10 ministers and 30 deputy ministers, including a few dozen independents or members of other parties. Tsipras focused on expertise in assembling his cabinet --largely relegating leftist ideologues to insignificant positions.So even The Economist is nothing but an ideological rag, ignorantly dispensing the kleptocratic elite's disinformation and propaganda? Gee, how many times have we seen that before?
Gavyn Davies - EZ and Japan are already recovering. Whoops! That's what happens when you listen to white-ass honkies instead of people who know what they're talking about: you don't hear about the good economic data coming out of the EZ and Japan til it's too late.
Oh and by the way: the EZ is trading at a 15x forward P/E, is it? And the S&P is at 17? So therefore the EZ is a better deal?
No, not really. I've been reading Piketty, and just got to the point (around page 150) where he notes that Europe (even Germany, especially Germany) is a stakeholder economy and not a shareholder economy. So European firms always deserve a much lower P/E, just as a matter of basic valuation theory. So I'm not buying Europe right now, or even after the Greek problem is solved.