Saturday, May 16, 2015

Bill Moyers interviews Paul Krugman


Post 4900: a bit of Saturday news

Ooh! Post #4900! The time just flies away, as do my readers the more I swear at and insult them!

I wonder what post #5000 will be! The long-awaited Mila Kunis interview? The long-awaited Daniela Cambone's husband interview? Or just some animated gifs of hilarious kittens?

Stay tuned!

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators, and they all suck. He's blaming the sucking of the indicators on the strong dollar, which is sorta a pantywaist excuse, isn't it? But it should all get better now that the dollar has found its new equilibrium. Now let's just see if the S&P breaks out to a new record high on the back of this dismal data, NDD!

WSJ RTE - fading optimism on rebound. Well, if there's not going to be any growth or inflation, I guess you can bet on the first rate hike not coming til 2016, right? Now, again, let's just see if the S&P breaks out to a new record high on the back of this dismal outlook! Boy won't you all be so fucking embarrassed at this crap you pass off as market commentary!

Bespoke - the rarest outcome of all is a mid-single-digit year. They don't happen. Yet again it's up to Bespoke to inject some realism into the childish market debate. - Jojo asks, are precious metals breaking out? He thinks the charts are still crappy, but I get the feeling he's no longer expecting more crap to come. Hey Jojo! Going double-long the GDX seems like a good long-term trade right now, no?

Krugman: Broken windows and broken necks

Krugginator - broken windows and American oligarchy. An interesting idea, quote:

Some years ago I gave a talk to a group of businesspeople — I don’t remember the occasion — and afterward, during the drink and mingle part of the event, had a conversation about executive pay. Quite a few of the businesspeople themselves thought that pay had grown excessive, but what has remained with me was the explanation one guy offered, more or less seriously: it’s all the fault of Monday Night Football.

His story went like this: when games started being televised, the financial rewards to winning teams shot up, and star players began being offered big salaries. And CEOs, who watch a lot of football, noticed — and started saying to themselves, “Why not me?”

So, Kruggers, does that mean you take back all that mocking you aimed at Mankiw for his "defense of the 1%" article, where he scolded America for hating Robert Downey Jr.?

Now, this sounds ridiculous — surely huge historical changes must have deeper roots. But I found myself thinking about this conversation when reading this interesting post by Vera te Velde on tests of the “broken windows” theory, which says that people are more likely to break social norms if they see other people violating norms, even if there’s no direct connection — you grab handbags if you see graffiti, you litter if you hear people ignoring noise ordinances, etc.. As she notes, there is now overwhelming experimental evidence for that theory. So it’s not crazy to think that CEOs might start violating pay norms because they see quarterbacks getting big checks.

Sure but in the real world, where us moral actors live, we don't begrudge people working in high steel their massive paycheques, because they're doing something we don't have the guts to do. And so we don't ask for the same pay they get, because we're not working 50 stories up in the skeleton of a building with no net. We don't say "why does a Mohawk highschool dropout make three times what I get with my college degree"? We have enough perspective to know that that sort of talk is asinine.

Only an arrogant narcissistic sociopath can think that he deserves the same level of pay as a professional football player, who faces the real and significantly nonzero chance of ending his career with a blown knee, a broken neck, a broken leg, or (most often) a lifelong problem with post-concussion syndrome and prescription drug addiction. How many CEOs put their life on the line every week? None. Absolutely none. Believing they can be equated with football players is delusional.

The players in the NFL, also, are the only reason anyone buys tickets. Nobody is going to go to the game to watch the owner sit at a desk. They're the front line in the value chain - unlike CEOs, who nearly to a man (not sure about Steve Jobs) are producing utterly nothing of quantifiable value in their company, and often are simply parasites out to rob the shareholders of as much cash as possible.

This doesn't disprove broken windows theory: sure, you're probably right, Kruggers. Stunningly beautiful actresses and superhuman elite athletes are nowadays getting rich because of rare talent and superhuman genes; CEOs think they have rare talent and superhuman genes too, because they're narcissistic sociopaths, so they demand to be paid as much as Angelina Jolie or Alex Rodriguez. I can see that.

But that theory lets the CEOs off the hook for their mistaken belief that they're part of the value chain or being paid for risk. Or even their delusion that they're somehow superior to other people.

It also ignores the fact that other people are watching sports too: but the front-line workers have no ability to demand higher pay, saying "I'm easily as valuable to this company as Frazer McLaren and he makes $700k, so where's my raise?" In fact, the front-line workers have had all negotiating power stripped from them.

But the CEOs can just take what they please. They have the keys to the safe.

As well, Kruggers, note that you fix a "broken windows" situation by repairing all the broken windows. Are you saying, then, that we should pass a law limiting the pay of actresses and athletes? Why? Who should get the profit from the films and the games, if not them?

Thursday, May 14, 2015


Facebook - Jeff Berwick, Libertarian Party of Canada candidate for Vancouver Centre. Wait, what?

Um, Jeff, newsflash: you've been living in Acapulco for the past few years. You're not even really a Canadian. You don't pay Canadian taxes.

Seriously, Jeff, I thought that to run as a candidate you have to own property in the riding. (BTW - you can buy something like a severed alleyway or a daylighting triangle for $2000 and that counts.)

Here's a 25 minute interview with Jeff about his amazing announcement!

I was especially shocked at hearing the Communists won in Alberta. I thought it was the NDP.

But anyway Jeff, in all seriousness: good luck and give it all you got. There are some real odious, hateful cunts in the Libertarian Party up here (I've dealt with one personally), and a nice guy like you would provide a great counter-example.

Plus you're just so damn crazy, we need more people like you in the races to provide a good solid cockpunch to the established parties.

Now, the Libertarians got a whole 6017 votes in the last federal election. That's 6017, nationwide. But, I'm really not joking here, if Jeff came up and really committed to spreading the message, went door-to-door, talked to people on the streets, got on TV? He could get double that vote count just on his own. This is the job he was made for.

In fact, he's even a step up from the Libertarians' damp cloth of a leader, Tim Moen:

This guy can't even finish a sentence, Jeff! It's about time you came back to your homeland and established a Libertarian party that would make the earth tremble. And I'm not just saying that because you'd take votes away from Harper. But that's a good thing too.

Don't hate the government, Jeff! Become the government!

And some aw-hell-no robotic tentacle news

BBC News - scientists invent coffee-powered robotic tentacle that wants to crawl up your ass.

These scientists. Either they never watched hentai, or they've watched too much.

Still no cure for cancer btw.

Some evening news and personal news

Well, so my ex-employers phoned me, they want me to come back for the summer on a limited contract.

I have a brother who's a retired engineer of some repute (past head of an association, testified several times at Queens Park committees) and he says a serious offer from them would be $50-$70/hr.

Which you might think is nuts, but then again their other option is to farm the work out to a subconsultant who will charge them well more than $70/hr. So their choice, really, is how much of the fee they want to keep in the company, right?

So we'll see what the offer is. It'll interfere a bit with school, but I'll see what I can do.

Anyway, here's more news:

Calculated Risk - weekly initial claims 4-week average lowest in FIFTEEN YEARS. And yet Wall Street Whitey piddles his panties at a "topping pattern". Case in point:

Bespoke - bullish sentiment drops to lowest in more than two years. God dammit whitey you sure are a fucking sissy. I mean look at this:

That is precisely what happens when fathers fail to sufficiently beat their children: they turn into goddamn sissies.

BI - Wall Street's newest worry: what if everything turns out okay? Oh god Linette, please fucking quit that job before they fry your brain permanently. Phone up Mamta and see if she can get you something better. I mean, fuck:
All of Wall Street has been waiting for what happens when the Federal Reserve raises rates and the bond market becomes attractive again.

For years it has been thought of as the next cataclysmic event in investing.

But what if it isn't? What if everything is going to be fine?
Gee! Good point! What if the fucking Federal Reserve doesn't purposefully destroy the American economy? What if they know exactly what they're doing, unlike the thousands of uneducated idiot Republican clowns who criticize their every move? What if the Fed wants to make the American economy strong, unlike the Republicans who want to purposefully destroy America?

Goddammit Linette, do you know that every time the vomit wells up in the back of your throat, it's destroying your tooth enamel? Is BI at least covering your dental?

HuffPo - defend the workers before voting fast track. Jeffrey Sachs has a point:
The president portrays TPP and TTIP as part of an overall program of "middle-class economics" in which "everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does his fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules." That means "making sure that everybody has got a good education," "women are getting paid the same as men for doing the same work," "making sure that folks have to have sick leave and family leave," and "increasing the minimum wage across the country." It means pushing for investments in infrastructure and faster Internet.

The problem, however, is that the president has not succeeded in getting any of those middle-class policies in place. We live in an economy in which the middle class is actually shrinking; good education is for the affluent, not the poor; there is no guaranteed sick leave or family leave; the Highway Trust Fund is bankrupt; and the minimum wage is stuck below a living wage. That is the actual economy into which the president now wants to introduce TPP and TTIP.
Damn right. For the past 35 years, the US government has wages war on the workers, so why should anyone be surprised that all the benefits of new deals flow only to corporations, who then stash the money in offshore tax havens? Tell us again why anyone should support anything this government does?

That's the problem with "democracy": once in a while the people who you've been fucking in the ass get a chance to vote against more of the same.

holy geez check this out if you like gold

So I was trying to find a google maps view of Yunnan but couldn't find anything, but when I zoomed out I saw there was a lot of mapping done of Thailand, so I dropped the little cursor guy onto just any old random spot in the north, and found this:

That's right, an entire temple made out of gold. Gold, the barbarous relic.

So go ahead, whitey, tell me how stocks and flows applies to this temple. At what gold price are the Thais just going to peel off all the gold leaf from this temple, melt it down and sell it for scrap? Hm? At what price do they decide to destroy their stunningly beautiful shining gold temple, which awes visitors from all over the world, standing in its glittering beauty as an eternal transcendent testament to something or other?

And there's a lot more golden temples in Thailand where that came from. Via google, behold!:

Wat Pho. Covered in gold.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Lotta gold.
The "golden toilets" at White Temple, Chiang Rai

Wat Phra Dhammakaya. Those things you see in front are 300 thousand gold-covered statues of Buddha. Because reasons.

So yeah, whitey. Those 183,000 tons of gold out there aren't just waiting to be melted down once gold passes $2000.

They're too busy being god.

Y'all can please rethink the whole "stocks and flows" argument about gold.

Will Dalradian pop next?


It sure spent a long time consolidating on chickenshit volume. But now it looks like it wants to pop through the SMA(50) and blow through the upper Bollinger.

I've been following the L2 for months, and it seems you can't buy into this stock if you're not prepared to pay significantly higher than $1.

Certainly I'm not going to give up my... dunno, 25000 shares or so.

There's a cup and handle on the weekly candles:

Which, on a breakout, should target anywhere from $1.40 to $2, depending whether you want to ignore the November collapse below $0.60, or ignore the February pop through $1, and whatever the top and bottom of this formation are.

I guess you really have to ask yourself if we've seen sub-$1200 gold for the last time.

Some morning newsbits

Here's stuff to read:

FT Alphaville - banks in glass houses. Seems the Europeans have gotten into this new fad of banks carrying financial products that are so complex that it's impossible to explain them to their shareholders to meet disclosure requirements. And they blame it on the regulators because communism.

WSJ RTE - first quarter casts shadow over spring. I sincerely doubt we're going to see a recession, but if it's in WSJ that means white-ass honkies are thinking it, and you should position accordingly, I guess. I personally find it funny that people have suddenly discovered the Atlanta Fed's GDPNow report but haven't yet figured out that it's only a coincident reading.

Barkley Rosser - never enough, Greek style. Mister Abusing puts the boots to the neocons' call for more Greek austerity:
So, what are these demands that the mass media reporters pass on from the European VSPs as so important that Greece must kowtow and do them Or Else? Details are not given, but they apparently involve pension cuts and labor market "reforms." On the former, without doubt, cutting pensions reduces budgetary layouts, thus reducing fiscal pressures in the short run (although by leading to reduced spending by pensioneers down the road, this contributes to an economy-depressing austerity down the road that may make it harder to lower that debt/GDP ratio). The details of the labor market reforms are not reported on, but let me say here that these do not have a direct effect on the budgetary pressure, and only may have some longer run effect, although, frankly, the scholarly studies on this topic are not nearly as clearcut as those demanding these changes think they are.

Something completely not mentioned in any of these stories that I have seen is that Greece has already engaged in exactly these kinds of policies, notably in 2012 in the wake of the crisis set off by the Greek government admitting that it had been misrepresenting the size of its budget deficit for many years. The pension cuts exceeded $4 billion, and there were changes in labor market policies. These were followed by substantial declines in Greek GDP, leading to this round of further demands of More of the Same, Never Enough.
Far as I'm concerned, it's been easily a year since Schauble and the other clowns lost their credibility on Greece reform - they're not even trying to hide the fact that they're simply following a neocon agenda anymore. What did I say about Germans being bull-headed and completely unable to admit when they're wrong?

Vox EU - determinants of slowing growth in emerging markets. Kinda above my head, but still sorta supports the idea of a secular bear market in EMs.

Perth Mint - dark gold. Your "stocks and flows" framework for the gold price? Doesn't work because most of the world's gold is off-market. - Eric Coffin's opinions. He notes among other things that there is an insanely high flow into inflation-protected bonds, which means the white-ass Manhattan honkies have found a new fad.

Premarket newsflash

Well, there goes $1200 gold.

Off to the races again.

Can't wait to see what the lamestream media blames this price pop on.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Meanwhile railways are collapsing

Meanwhile, CN Rail is collapsing because nobody is going to buy Canada's wheat or potash or oil anymore and nobody wants to earn a 2% dividend.

And people are dumping Union Pacific because blah blah reasons. And nobody wants their 2% dividend either.

But in reality it's just that they're thinly traded defensives and a couple white-ass honkies from Manhattan with more OPM than brains have decided to dump them into thin bids. Because, again, blah blah reasons.

Our Daniela makes her mom some jewelry out of barbarous relics

Here's Our Daniela making her mom some gold jewelry last week:

Now, why would anyone make jewelry for their mom out of some barbarous relic, anyway? Gold's worthless, right? Why are we still making things out of it?

I mean, we might as well make our moms some flint tools, right? Or a poncho made out of giant sloth hide. Or maybe get her a few funkily-arranged shrunken heads.

I mean, just look at how this guy works. Remove the blowtorch and the overhead fluorescent lighting and he's basically working as barbarously as the ancient barbarous people who made the first barbarous gold jewelry 6000 barbarous years ago. Barbarously. With barbarity.

Gold's just a barbarous relic, right? Then why do we buy it? Why would anyone give gold to their mom when they can give her something nice and modern like an i-watch or some bitcoins?

Or maybe US Treasury bills?

How long do you think it's going to take before the Chinese realize how barbarous gold is?

Morning PM miner charts - breakout

Turns out the pop in MUX was a harbinger of better things to come....

BTG pops out of its bottoming range. Still no volume backing it up though. And RSI of 66 already would make the viewer think this is only going to be a short pop of a few days.

MUX is still going, and yesterday's volume ended up being significant enough. The volume candle was the largest we had since 9 April, and yet the price was higher than anything in that same period, which is good. Means people are starting to pay up.

The pop outside the +2SD Bollinger band for MUX and BTG means very little btw since the stocks were both so darn range-bound before. All it means is that the old range has now been broken, and that's also good because it means there's new buying strength.

SLV is threatening to print a new spring high. Come on $16.60!

And GDX is also threatening to print a new spring high. 

Now, I'm sure you'll see a whole bunch of blogosphere clowns blather on about how this pop is all because of Greece/deflation/bond collapse/China stimulus/aliens. But the real reason is there's now more buyers than sellers.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MUX chart

MUX US ticker:

I just finished telling someone that the pop to $1.03 didn't particularly excite me.

But now that it's popped to $1.07 it excites me slightly more, since if it can maintain this price to the close that'll be the first time since its February puke that it's managed to claw its way back above the SMA(50).

I would still be more impressed if some volume came into this stock, because as you can see above volume has pretty much dwindled steadily since Feb.

Then again, go back to your 2002 tech charts and you'll see that volume does indeed dwindle at an ultimate bottom.

So I dunno. It looks hopeful, at least, and if you already bought at 95 cents you may as well hold and see if you can make some coin on this. If not, if you're stuck buying today than I hope you're happy with using a 10% stop loss: 95-98 cents looks like the point at which this breakout would be proven a failure.

Far as I'm concerned gold isn't dropping below $1180 again and Indian buying season is coming.

And btw it's trivially easy to make gold miner chart calls when the bottom is in and everything is going back up. Remember that whenever you see a chart-based buy call from now on.

UPDATE: oh look $1.09. OK, that's even more interesting.

Morning news

Gold popped $10 at 6AM on zero news. So I guess the White-ass honkies are piddling their frilly pink panties again, running around looking to reposition themselves hither and yon.

BI especially is flooded with bullshit doomer stories this morning: Greece doom, bond armageddon, China deflation, commodity bubble, consumer spending collapse, yada yada yada the same old whiny bullshit will you people never bloody well learn.

So I guess we'll see some more idiocy from the markets before a summer liftoff.

Meanwhile, here's the real news:

Bespoke - tight range market. It's because the hedgie panty-piddlers keep oscillating between wanting to vomit stocks into a bidless book, and wanting to buy that 10%-per-year yield growth that they keep sticking their noses up at. Well, like any inward-spiralling chaotic system, eventually this oscillation will vanish down to quantum level and a new cognitive framework will explode into being. So buy SPY, you panty-piddlers.

Pragmatic Capitalism - this recovery can't get any respect. Hey, it takes lots of years (or lots of Ecstasy) to get over a bad case of post-traumatic stress disorder. Quote:
If I wanted to be the most popular kid in the financial blogosphere I’d write dramatic articles every day about how the world is ending and what the next crisis is going to be. That’s 10X more exciting (and useless) than a post like this. But I made a promise to myself long ago that I would never succumb to that sort of emotional writing. I promised myself I’d write about what I actually see and try to provide the reader with a pragmatic and objective perspective of reality.
Amazing that BI reprinted this, Cullen, considering you just bitch-slapped them for being a bunch of ignorant doomer-whores. Then again, just like real whores, I guess BI doesn't care what anyone says about them.

Chicago Fed - Fed finally realizes that NAIRU is under 5%, and will drop even further over time. Quote from the paper's intro:
This article discusses why changes in the composition of the labor force may have lowered the natural (or trend) rate of unemployment—the unemployment rate that would prevail in an economy making full use of its productive resources—to 5% or less. A lower natural rate may help explain why wage inflation and price inflation remain low despite actual unemployment recently reaching 5.5%—a figure only slightly above prominent estimates of the natural rate, such as that of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Demographic and other changes should continue to lower the natural rate for at least the remainder of the decade.
Finally someone with some sense is reading my blog.

Monday, May 11, 2015

This man earns almost £700 a month writing hardcore porn about the Apple Watch and Tetris

Oh god.

Daily Mirror - This man earns almost £700 a month writing hardcore porn about the Apple Watch and Tetris. And you thought dinosaur porn was original....

But seriously, it's good to know that I don't have to work in engineering anymore, I can just do this crazy shit.

And as for IKN

Judging by the U2 poll, IKN has an awful lot of readers who have no musical taste.

Twenty of his readers actually believe U2 has never sucked.

Get over there and vote, you cretins. You can vote once for every browser installed on each device you own, so vote again! I voted three times already and will do another two at class tonight.

A few more news bits

Three evening newsbits:

Bespoke - weakest year 3 since 1947. And yet? Bespoke does 30 seconds of number-crunching to show that the years that start off weakest end up strengthening. Basically, things return to the mean. So quit piddling your frilly pink panties, Whitey, and buy the fucking SPY.

Calculated Risk - demographics, unemployment and inflation. I think this is proof that Bill McBride reads my blog.

BI - hedge funds are miles ahead of individual investors when it comes to one crucial piece of market data. Again with the unfree market giving an information advantage to some classes over others, thus resulting in more extraction of rents by the kleptocracy. And yet? With access to this "one crucial piece of market data", why are 90% of hedge funds underperforming SPY? Maybe we can just ignore short interest from now on, since it's obviously not a way to make money?

GDX versus SPY since the Ebola epidemic began to kill millions of Americans

Hey, remember when Ebola hit US shores back in October, and the US market crashed as fears were stoked that the USA would be annihilated by a horrible plague that makes you poop out your own liquefied intestines?

Well, here's something funny:

Since the end of October 2014 and the recovery from that silly little mini-crash, the S&P has returned a little over 4%.

GDX has returned 20%.

Gold miners. The best sector you could possibly have invested in over the past 6 months. Believe it or not.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Citi and Deutsche and all you other lizard people.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Most important US market chart you will ever see

Here is the most important US stock market chart you will ever see in your life:

A few Sunday evening reads

Here's a couple more reads for Sunday:

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Blah blah interest rates have EXPLODED!!!1!

Vox EU - labour power sets the neutral real rate. No shit, Sherlock.