Monday, December 26, 2016

Twelve days of Christmas video two

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me:

(I think you see where this is going....)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Making fun of foreigners news

I just remembered that my intro Stats exam tomorrow allows a cheat sheet. And since my trade exam tomorrow will be fairly simple (basically just the effects of various quotas and tariffs on competitive and monopolistic markets), and only worth 40% anyway, I'm less worried about my final grades.

So, in lieu of news, let's make fun of foreigners:

BBC - 58 dead in Russian bath lotion disaster. Oh, those zany Russkies:

The number of people in Russia who have died as a result of drinking bath oil has risen from 49 to at least 58, local media has reported.

Most of the 37 other people who became ill are still being treated, with some in a serious condition.

The highly toxic hawthorn-scented liquid was consumed as if it were safe alcohol, according to Russia's Investigative Committee.

But it contained poisonous methanol, which can also cause blindness.

The Siberian Times said the mass poisoning in Irkutsk "is now the worst such case in modern Russian history".

Yup, just another day in Russia. I guess this is what Pooty-poot means when he refers to Russian "real men". Forget sidewalk-stall kvass, let's drink industrial-grade chemicals.

Meanwhile, elsewhere:

BBC - East Icelanders complain over weather map. Quote:

People living in the east of Iceland are complaining that they can't see where they live on the national broadcaster's weather forecasts.

According to the Iceland Monitor news website, residents are annoyed that they never see the forecast on the RUV channel for their part of the island because the forecaster is invariably standing in the way.

Well, at least they're writing strongly-worded letters instead of declaring a blood feud.

To be fair, I don't think they're missing much, considering it's east frickin' Iceland. Guys, your weather is going to suck every day of the year: you're in the middle of the north Atlantic living on a giant fucking ice-covered volcano. Your weather outlook is either going to be "miserable and cloudy with giant fucking ice-covered volcano exploding" or "miserable and cloudy with giant fucking ice-covered volcano not exploding yet".

Unless you're standing on a glacier, in which case your weather outlook is either going to be "standing on a giant fucking ice-covered volcano exploding" or "standing on a giant fucking ice-covered volcano not exploding yet".

I don't think it's going to make much difference whether you're in Rejkyavik or Fáskrúðsfjarðarhreppur, it's going to be a bad day to set off to discover Labrador while pulling a jumbo jet with your teeth no matter where you are.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


They're right.

My brain just started to get a visual migraine. Now I'm blind for the next 5 minutes.

Stupid me, I looked at Business Insider again today

And because of that, I now miss another half hour of critical studying time.

BI - Harry Dent blah blah. Oh what a fucking twat. But we can learn something from this:

Harry Dent is bullish.

Dent, an economist

He's not an economist. He's an MBA. He doesn't know the slightest thing about economics. To get an MBA, he took at most intro & intermediate micro & macro, where let me tell you nobody learns a damn thing about economics beyond Victorian-era theory.

and one of the biggest doubters of the stock market's rise since the end of the recession, said he no longer believes a crash is imminent for the market after persistently calling for a massive drop over the past seven years.

What changed the mind of the man who said that the market would be "cut in half" in 2011, called for a "year and a half" long crash in 2013, and said the Dow could fall 17,000 points as recently as December 10?

Donald Trump getting elected.

Seriously. All the doom & gloomers who were telling you through the S&P's 200% rise to buy gold, stock up on guns and get yerself a nice decommissioned nuclear bunker have all changed their tune. And it's only because there'll no longer be a Negro Democrat in the White House. That's all it is.

"All of my research pointed to signs that the end was near," wrote Dent in a blog post last week. "The Dow was set to shed thousands of points in short order. How much has changed since November 8…"

When Trump got elected.

This doesn't mean that Dent has gotten any less bearish on the long-term outlook for the US economy. He wrote that the aging demographics in the US will keep economic growth stagnant going forward.

"There will be near-zero workforce growth after several years of mildly negative growth" wrote Dent.

That's funny cos Bill McBride, who holds a real MBA, says that the prime working age group in the US is growing again, has done for the past 2 years now, and this will be an economic tailwind for the US.

Did Harry Dent only stumble across this Bill McBride's blog in the past month? Or is he simply a fucking clown with a newsletter who tells old Republican cranks whatever they want to hear?

"No matter how irrational this market is, I admit I’ve gotten the timing wrong," said Dent.

Yes, Harry. It's all the market's fault, the market is irrational. It's not as if it's the job of an "economist" and "forecaster" to forecast the irrationality of the markets.

Fucking idiot.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Some Sunday news

Some Sunday evening news:

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Too much noise in the numbers. It's Santy Claus season, anyway.

Calculated Risk - comments on November housing starts. He sees several years of continued housing growth. I guess that only works as long as the economy doesn't collapse, right?

Calculated Risk - oh and Larry Kudlow is usually wrong. Even worse, Jared Bernstein points out the fucktard is a goldbug who is in favour of a gold-backed currency. Because he never got an education at anything beyond maybe the von Mises institute.

As with everything else, all we can do is hope that they don't do too much damage.

Friday, December 16, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Trudeau calls for temporary ban on American politicians entering Canada

Holtspot - Trudeau calls for temporary ban on American politicians entering Canada. Quote:

Justin Trudeau today moved a step closer to doing what no Canadian Prime Minister has done before, by admitting he is “considering” banning American politicians from the country.

In a ground-breaking speech broadcast live across the entire nation, the Prime Minister outlined his “concerns” about certain U.S. lawmakers entering Canada.

“When America elects its politicians, they’re not electing their best,” Trudeau began, in front of a silent House of Commons.

“They’re electing politicians that have lots of problems, and they’re going to bring those problems here. They’ll bring lies. They’ll bring fear. They’re racists… And some I assume are good people,” he continued, stressing the importance of Canadian values being upheld and not influenced by recent events south of the border.

The ban, which Trudeau explained would begin initially on a trial period of approximately 4 years, would apply to all high-ranking bureaucrats of the United States. “In 2020 we can reassess and see how it’s working,” he added.

Watch that conehead queer Ezra Levant and his cuck army take this news release seriously.

Friday videos: Xmas festive cheer avec des Pogues

You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot, happy Christmas yer arse I thank god it's our last:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Remember that "GDX support at $22" nonsense?

Remember when all the amateur TAs out there were calling for GDX support at $22? Or $21?

I guess now they all have to retcon their opinion to admit that $18 is possible, or $16.50, or even the 2015 low at $13.

(checks websites of amateur goldbug bloggers)

Yup, that's what they're doing.

You heard it all here first, my bitches.

LCBO gift giving guide: booze edition

Well, it's Xmas, and though I should be reviewing Green's Theorem right now really I can't be arsed. A few days ago I splurged some of my Trump victory winnings on some booze, and here's some reviews for your gift-drinking pleasure:

Cabot Trail maple cream: it's not Sortilege, but I'd have to travel all the way out to the fucking bourgeois suburbs to buy that apparently, so I was happy when I found this other Canadian maple cream liqueur at my local proletarian steelworker neighbourhood LCBO.

It's a nice sweet cream liqueur, like Irish cream except with the taste of maple syrup instead of chocolate. It's a pleasant drink that your grandma will love.

However, while I haven't experimented sufficiently with Cabot Trail, I can tell you that Sortilege will give you a bloody vicious multiday hangover that'll make you feel like a transport truck broke itself open on your skull and you now have a half dozen people from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs stomping all over your brain euthanizing injured cattle.

So I'd recommend Cabot Trail maple cream as an Xmas gift for that granny of yours who you don't really like.

Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey: I find it really nice. It's a whiskey that doesn't taste like one: that taste is covered up by the guilty pleasure of that cinnamon candy flavour you remember from childhood when cinnamon sticks were all posh and once-in-a-lifetime and you didn't grow up with fucking petit-bourgeois suburban helicopter parents who made you eat fucking kale and ricecakes and shit for dessert and act like you actually enjoyed it. No, your dad was a crane driver, potato was your fucking vegetable, and your mum baked cookies because she wasn't a useless bitch like the girls of today who are so shit at cooking that they have to buy fucking $6 prepared salads at fucking Sobeys, because we were real men back then, not like today where the only real men left are at the gay pride parade.

Fireball's apparently got a reputation as a drink for teenage girls who are already too old for Vodka Mudslides, but not yet old enough for meth and prostitution. So I'd recommend Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey as an Xmas gift for that slutty niece of yours whose morals are constantly in question.

Brennevin aqvavit: This was an expensive thing, something like $35 for a small bottle. It's from Iceland, so I thought it'd be a good booze for hand-to-hand combat atop a giant volcano: instead it's really little more than a vodka with caraway flavour. Meh. I guess I'll leave the rest of it for Þorrablót.

CÎROC - an even greater waste of time. They call it "distilled grape spirit", and really all it is (again) is a fucking vodka except this time made from grapes instead of potatoes because ooh look at me aren't I posh I can make vodka from fucking grapes. It's apparently marketed to the "urban crowd" in the US, because I guess Cristal and Courvoisier are so 1998. I should have figured it out from the blurple bottle.

I'd recommend Ciroc as a Kwanzaa present for that black guy at the office who you're not really friends with but you tell everyone he's your black friend but really you're tired of talking to him about Tiger Woods and shit and would like to give him a present that'll just drive him away thinking you're just another dumb cracker without it getting you in trouble with fucking HR.

Captain Morgan spiced black rum: over 40% alcohol, that's nice of them, they're saving me time. And a pirate's on the label, which inspires me to go to the rich part of town with a sword and start robbing & stabbing people. Which is a good thing to do to me when I'm drunk and there are swords nearby.

It's got that "lots of goop thrown in on top of alcohol" flavour that you get from other crud like Jagermeister, like licorice root and all that shit, which I guess also makes it healthy for you, except obviously the pirate connection makes it cooler than that goff Jager nonsense.

Speaking of which, if all you goldbug libertarians are all "ooh, anarchy" and "we love gold and silver" and "fuck the globalist kleptocracy", then why aren't you being pirates right now? I mean, aren't pirates the goldbug libertarian ideal? Hm? What's a matter, are all you goldbugs too pussy to get some guns together and start robbing the rich?

Oh wait... you don't even have guns, do you?

Well, if you have guns and you like gold and silver, why aren't you being a pirate? Oh, you're too scared of the Amerikkkan police state's judicial apparatus? That's rather spineless, isn't it?

Or actually, you might have maybe become a pirate before, when that Barrack HUSSEIN Taxbongo was around with his evil gay muslim socialism. But now? Now, Trump's in power with a Republican house and senate, and all of a sudden you're little miss fucking conformist again, right?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Weekend news

Well, that's one exam done. The remaining three are going to be easy.

Meanwhile, here's some Sunday market news:

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. He's worried about US$ and interest rates. As far as interest rates go, I would like to remind NDD that Donald Trump hasn't single-handedly solved the global savings glut, nor will he ever, so you don't have to worry about interest rates for a while; at best, you could say the curve may be simply normalizing, though again what we're seeing is a hasty reaction to an unpriced event.

Bespoke - consumer spending and inflation expectations. The evil socialist homo Muslim Kenyan usurper is gone! Let's spend money!

Bespoke - individual investors still not on the bus. But they will be because Trump!

And, an aside: what reason do goldbugs have to buy gold now that Trump is in power?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday video: that's what happens when you believe in Father Christmas

Greg Lake's dead at 69, so that bums this out a bit:

Then again, he's bumming everyone out with the lyrics anyway.

I just wanna know why the opening shot doesn't show him playing a 12-string, since he's obviously playing a 12-string in the opening.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

NDD: it's beginning to look a lot like inflation

New Deal Demoncrat - it's beginning to look a lot like inflation. Which actually isn't good, as he notes at the end:

Typically over the last 60 years, the Fed has chased inflation at this stage, and causes a yield curve inversion, as "real" wages stall and decline, heralding a recession.

Which then throws everyone out of work. And then you're left with a Republican government which responds by cutting spending, sending the US deeper into recession.

Unless, of course, they're only against deficit spending when Democrats are in charge. We'll have to see.

And by the way: can anyone with smarts explain if the CPI Shelter component is just a function of the mortgage rate? Because the big stink in the 70s (that manufactured a pile of inflation that wasn't there) was that owner-equivalent rent started to be calculated based on present value of a mortgage with interest.

I suspect CPI Shelter is a useless piece of data.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tim Duy on trade-induced structural change

I'm studying "math for economists" for a Saturday night exam. Yes, an exam on Saturday night.


Tim Duy the Economics Guy - desperately searching for a new strategy. Quote:

Politicians, aided by economists, have long ignored the negative impacts of trade-induced structural change. Indeed, they have even cheered it on. After all, the process “releases resources” for use in other, more productive parts of the economy. Those workers are just “low-skilled” workers. The US needs more “high-skilled” workers anyway.

Fact: Workers hate being referred to as “low-skilled.”

How we respond to Trump is important. If we simply fall back on our standard numbers, we lose. If we confidently predict that TPP is a big win because it will add 0.5% to GDP by 2030, we lose. If we just use this as an opportunity to reiterate the importance of a college degree, we lose. We have been doing this for decades, and it helped deliver Trump to office.


The speed of regional labor market adjustment to shocks is agonizingly slow in any area that lacks a critical mass of population. Rural and semi-rural areas remain impacted by negative shocks for at least a decade, but often longer. Relative to life spans, in many cases the shocks might as well be permanent.

And note that this is not just about negative trade shocks. Trade is an easy punching bag for Trump, but his message carries wider because we are really talking about structural shocks in general.


Trump is speaking to all of these workers, not just the trade-impacted workers. And you can complain that they don’t matter, they aren’t high-skilled workers, that the economy is shifting away to urban areas, that they should just move. In the rural Oregon case, you can add in that the big (and labor-intensive) trees were almost gone anyway, that technology was taking over at the logging site and at the mill, that falling transportation costs meant you didn’t need to mill locally.

None of that works because all you are doing is telling people they have no value relative to the lives they knew.

We don’t have answers for these communities. Rural and semi-rural economic development is hard. Those regions have received only negative shocks for decades; the positive shocks have accrued to the urban regions. Of course, Trump doesn’t have any answers either. But he at least pretends to care.

Just pretending to care is important. At a minimum, the electoral map makes it important.

He even gets in a few kicks at Krugman, who to be truthful has been a bit of a leftie bitch since Trump won the election. I mean, he calls the Carrier deal a "descent into banana republic governance", and "government as protection racket", without understanding that the US voted precisely for a government that would destroy anyone who attacked the livelihoods of the working class.

Opinion on the Carrier deal

Well, you have to admit it, Trump is actually going out and doing things.

WaPo - opinion on the Carrier deal. And this is the bit that's interesting:

Now comes Donald Trump — in the public mind, a successful businessman — who as the new president, suddenly declares that the new norm is no longer acceptable, and he intends to do whatever he can to shame and punish companies that abandon their workers. It’s one thing for a company to sustain a few days of bad headlines in the local newspaper when it decides to close a facility. It’s quite another when the president of the United States is not only willing, but from a political point eager, to make a federal case out of it. Suddenly, maximizing shareholder value no longer provides the political and social inoculation that it used to.


He knows that he and his new commerce secretary will have to engage in a few more bouts of well-publicized arm twisting before the message finally sinks in in the C-Suite. He may even have to make an example of a runaway company by sending in the tax auditors or the OSHA inspectors or cancelling a big government contract. It won’t matter that, two years later, these highly publicized retaliations are thrown out by a federal judge somewhere. Most companies won’t want to risk such threats to their “brands.” They will find a way to conform to the new norm, somewhat comforted by the fact that their American competitors have been forced to do the same.

Just as much as changes in the law, this is how norms of business behavior are changed.

Economists study changes at the margin, and if Trump can save the marginal job, then that should work out well for employment.

And with employment already at the supposed "full employment rate", that'll mean wage increases for the working class, and if that starts passing through into inflation, then Yellen can raise interest rates.

Which will then throw those same people out of work, but whatever.

Of course he's bribing companies to keep jobs in the US, but the US government has been giving free money to corporations for decades anyways. May as well make part of the kick tied to jobs, right?

ISM services top expectations

Bespoke - ISM services top expectations. And thus, keep buying the market til all the Trumptards are in.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Seattle minimum wage update

Invictus - Seattle minimum wage update. Long story short, raising the minimum wage doesn't cause unemployment, because

1. there are feedback effects that mean the higher-paid plebs can now spend more, and

2. employers pay their employees far, far less than their marginal product of labour.

Greg Mankiw would admit this stuff if he was an economist, instead of a rentawhore grifter for the Republican party.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Uber's entire business model is a sham

FT Alphaville - Uber's entire business model is a sham.

Basically, they're subsidizing their business with capital from share sales.

Basically, they're a junior gold exploreco.

Cats kicking themselves in the face, and you can too!

There's nothing so much like a goldbug as a cat kicking himself in the face:

Sunday, December 4, 2016



According to Zerohedge, Renzi just lost his referendum, which will mean heightened uncertainty in Italy and imminent Italian banking sector contagion. Because obviously when Renzi lost the referendum, everyone in the country decided to leave their jobs and go home.

As Business Insider adds, ermagerd the Euro has collapsed in thin overnight trade.

Oh also gold went up $10 for a sec but then went back down.

Sorry, Zerohedge, but I think this is going to be faded by morning, and all your stupid typing was for naught. Your fifteen minutes of dooooom will just make you look stupid, yet again, in the long run.

You should maybe concentrate more on your Russian-funded disinformation campaign about western NGOs secretly conspiring to help refugees enter Europe.

essays on geology

OK, exam time is upon me, so I really should quit the bullshit and start studying.

I was doing really badly around October, but it turns out I was just suffering from life-threatening encephalopathy, no big. I've since pulled my marks up and have a chance for 3 A+es, and I have a lot of study time because my last 2 exams are on the 22nd, so I may as well try to do my best, right?

So, in case you miss reading a lot of stuff, why not bookmark some essays on the history of geology, metallurgy, and precious metals from a professor at UC Davis:

Essays on Geology and History

The section on the high middle ages is good.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Daniela! and Rick Rule too

Lot of searches hitting my blog again for Daniela Cambone, so she must have been doing something....

OK, she's interviewed a bunch of weevils at some goldbug summit or other.

Here she is with Rick Rule:

And FFS Daniela, quit doing your hair with a center part. This right here is how your hair should look.

Bit of reading


Calculated Risk - ADP employment up in November. I guess that all the petit-bourgeois small business owners have no reason to hold back on hiring, now that The Trump is president, right? So expect a big gush of positive economic expectations news for the next few months.

Bespoke - yuuuuuge increase in consumer confidence. The 5 u's suggest that Bespoke reads my blog. Again, the news itself points to a massive surge of happiness now that the ebil sociamalist gay Muslim Barack HUSSEIN Taxbongo is no longer in charge.

Bonddad - the US is a service economy and has been for a long time. Only ideologues can deny empirical fact.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

You know who they are, really?

"You know who they are; they are the ones who denied and denied the ginned up bull market in US stocks that nearly tripled under the socialist regime, circa 2009-2016.  They are the ones who clung to gold well past the caution point last summer."

You mean like the blogger with a newsletter who made a 0% profit all through 2012 and 2013 while the US stock market was taking off, because he was still fixated on gold stocks, which were collapsing, and he thought that dooooom was just around the corner?

Some news

Isn't it amazeballs how one can completely forget about a dental appointment?

Here's some news:

NDD - weekly indicators. Everything's grand, except interest rates, which either was an overdone hasty spike by cokeheads who trade instantaneously based on long-run stories, or alternately was a sign that Republicans who've kept their money in savings all these years are about to take their money out of bonds and spend it. Either way, it doesn't arse me as much as it arses NDD.

Francisco Saraceno - some animals are more equal than others. A reminder that Germany has been in complete violation of the EU's Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure, which shows that all they care about is beggaring the rest of Europe for their own benefit.

Mickey Fulp - the fallacy of belief (pdf). Mickey's actually a philosopher, believe it or not. Good piece, read.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Palmer Report - before the official recount even begins, Wisconsin revises vote totals.

Ha ha! They checked their numbers and said "whoops! Yeah, it seems we reported 5,000 extra votes for Trump that never were cast. Meh, no bad."

NDD has a point

New Deal Demoncrat - will Republican voters start spending more?

GOP voter economic confidence spiked after the election, because Jesus and the wall and we no longer need to fear mooslims and Crooked Killary. Or something.

Yeah no seriously, all you have to do is go look on some shitty psycho goldbug blog to see how much Republicans thought the US economy sucked under the Negro. Now, instead of a Negro, they have Trump, and all sorts of other right-wing loons working with him.

Should be fantastic for economic confidence, no?

Same reason the stock market should soon spike to a 30 PE.

Before crashing, of course.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Daily news: all Trump, all the time

Hey Kitco, I'll still write for you, if you want. The news is interesting nowadays.

The news:

Raw Story - Bush lawyer says Trump in violation of the Constitution. Quote:
Painter said he suggested Wednesday morning to Kellyanne Conway that Trump should address potential conflicts with the U.S. Constitution’s emolument clause by turning over to the U.S. government for audit any payments made to his businesses by foreign governments or their entities after his inauguration.

The obscure constitutional clause bars anyone “holding any office of profit or trust” from accepting compensation from “any king, prince or foreign state” without congressional approval.

“So far, they are showing no willingness (to address potential conflicts of interest), and saying the message to me that they aren’t even interested in my advice because I didn’t support Donald Trump for president,” Painter said.

“Well, now he is the president for all of us, all the American people, he’s going to be, and he needs to comply with the Constitution at a bare minimum,” Painter continued. “They need to recognize the problem and address it.”
Meh, who needs stinking rules, right?

The Hill - Trump's Argentina project makes headway after phone call to president. Quote:
According to Quartz, three days after Trump spoke with President Mauricio Macri, one of his real estate projects in Buenos Aires made headway after years of delays. That report was based on a story out of the Argentina-based La Nacion.

The report noted that there is no substantive indication that Trump’s conversation with Macri had anything to do with the project getting a green light, but is just the latest in a series of questions about possible conflicts posed by Trump’s efforts to serve as president while maintaining a global business portfolio.

Construction on that $100 million building is set to begin in June 2017, but still has to be permitted by the government.
Hey, that's just called doing business, right?

The Independent - Trump's security chief took money from Putin and Erdogan. Quote:
John Schindler said Michael Flynn, who Mr Trump has nominated for the senior post, had taken money from the governments of Vladimir Putin and Recep Erdogan. Mr Schindler claimed on Twitter that Mr Trump would be a “hypocrite” if he stood by his nomination of the former general given his promise to “drain the swamp” of Washington.

“Flynn took money from Putin & Erdoğan AND he broke important INFOSEC laws+regs,” he said. “If Trump stands by him now, he is a monstrous hypocrite.”
To be fair, Dani Rodrik points out that there really was a massive conspiracy in Turkey to overthrow the government, and Rodrik should know cos he knows Turkey. Doesn't mean Erdogan's not a cunt, just that you need to take anti-Turkey news with a grain of salt.

WaPo - Russians helped spread fake news during election. Quote:
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Yeah, I saw the clowns posting "OMG Hillary is going to declare war against Russia!" too. Those clowns just make me laugh.

NPR - we tracked down a fake news creator. Quote:
During the run-up to the presidential election, fake news really took off. "It was just anybody with a blog can get on there and find a big, huge Facebook group of kind of rabid Trump supporters just waiting to eat up this red meat that they're about to get served," Coler says. "It caused an explosion in the number of sites. I mean, my gosh, the number of just fake accounts on Facebook exploded during the Trump election."

Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait.

Coler's company, Disinfomedia, owns many faux news sites — he won't say how many. But he says his is one of the biggest fake-news businesses out there, which makes him a sort of godfather of the industry.

At any given time, Coler says, he has between 20 and 25 writers. And it was one of them who wrote the story in the Denver Guardian that an FBI agent who leaked Clinton emails was killed. Coler says that over 10 days the site got 1.6 million views. He says stories like this work because they fit into existing right-wing conspiracy theories.

"The people wanted to hear this," he says. "So all it took was to write that story. Everything about it was fictional: the town, the people, the sheriff, the FBI guy. And then ... our social media guys kind of go out and do a little dropping it throughout Trump groups and Trump forums and boy it spread like wildfire."

Which suggests right-wingers are just more gullible than anyone else, no?

Friday video: yet another sad one

This song's pretty too:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Jojo does gold dooooom

Jordan Roy-Byrne - say goodbye to the gold bull market. Quote:

Unless gold and gold stocks hold current levels and form an important low then the 2016 bull market has gone off course. At present, the evidence favors the bearish scenario which has the sector trading lower in the months ahead. We could chalk this up to a fundamental change (which I consider to be temporary) coupled with the potential for a spike in the US Dollar. Investors are advised to de-risk their portfolios during the coming rebound and prepare for a better buying opportunity at the end of winter.

Can't really argue against the chart. Question is whether you want to short gold stocks, or just do the standard thing this time of year and go long NASDAQ into Xmas.

I'd add, btw, that gold and the miners don't even have to go up after an upcoming low.

Monday, November 21, 2016


Gothamist - did Russia hack the election for Trump? Answer: yes. Well, them and the Republican party through decades of minority voter suppression.

Inquisitr - new movement seeks data on suspicious vote counts. Don't let Trump delete the emails!

And for my American readers, let me just remind you that with three well-timed and purely accidental deaths, you could end up with President Orrin Hatch. He's also a dickhead, but a more moderate one.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Weekend news

Gotta study for a stats test this weekend, but I really can't be arsed. So here's some news instead:

Calculated Risk - October housing starts assplode! That should let the US economy coast for another year. At which point:

WaPo - Trump's "big infrastructure plan" is actually a massive giveaway. Well, there goes any hope for actual growth:
It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn’t directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton’s 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump’s plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There’s no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects.
Well, American economists should be fully in favour of it then, since they've been advocating tax breaks and subsidies to the kleptocracy for thirty years now.

The Krugginator - Trump's big infrastructure plan isn't. Pointed question:
Third, how much of the investment thus financed would actually be investment that wouldn’t have taken place anyway? That is, how much “additionality” is there? Suppose that there’s a planned tunnel, which is clearly going to be built; but now it’s renamed the Trump Tunnel, the building and financing are carried out by private firms, and the future tolls and/or rent paid by the government go to those private interests. In that case we haven’t promoted investment at all, we’ve just in effect privatized a public asset — and given the buyers 82 percent of the purchase price in the form of a tax credit.

Again, all of these questions could be avoided by doing things the straightforward way: if you think we should build more infrastructure, then build more infrastructure, and never mind the complicated private equity/tax credits stuff. You could try to come up with some justification for the complexity of the scheme, but one simple answer would be that it’s not about investment, it’s about ripping off taxpayers. Is that implausible, given who we’re talking about?
I'd also add that private toll roads don't provide the economic benefit that public roads do, since all toll road companies know how to capture all of the consumer surplus (i.e. the externality) that a toll road generated. Economists, however, have no fucking clue about this.

FRBNY - the panic of 1907 and the birth of the Fed. There's something in this story explaining yet another reason why having a gold-backed currency is so fucking moronic:
The tight monetary conditions were compounded by the usual autumn surge in demand for currency and credit by farmers harvesting and shipping their crops east. Absent a central bank to accommodate this seasonal surge in demand, interest rates would spike instead. This “perverse” elasticity of the money supply (Miron 1986) had sometimes triggered banking panics and was central in the “great debate” (Wicker) over the need for a central bank.
Yup, money demand is seasonal. And when money demand is high, interest rates naturally spike. Great idea, guys! Let's spike interest rates every year!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday videos: Mogwai

Here's the guys who generously gave Godspeed You! Black Emperor a career as a second-rate Mogwai ripoff band:

At approximately 8:25 you learn the definition of "oof".

Thursday, November 17, 2016

And gold goes plonk.

So it doesn't matter that gold still has support in $CAD and $XEU, it's nevertheless plonking now.

So I guess it's true after all that gold had no support at $22, just like I said.

Thankfully, this morning I saw that I had some of the same positions as Gary Wordsalad, and suddenly felt that imminent sense of foreboding that means I was with the stupid money. So I sold my miners and silver in favour of more SPY and QQQ.


And now 'Murrica begins to find out the trick that was played on them:

Mother Jones - NSA chief says Russia hacked the election. Oh, but you don't believe this article because they're lefties, right?

Inquisitr - exit polls show massive discrepancy between exit polls and election results. Like, over 5% in a few swing states. Almost as if the voting results were changed.

IBTimes - FBI probing Russian hacks. You think they stopped at hacking phones?

Fox News Twitter - Director of National Intelligence certain Russia hacked the election. Even Fox News is following this story FFS.

London Economic - Trump was right, the election was rigged. Greg Palast is all over this. - petition the DoJ to obtain an injunction against the Electoral College. Yeah, you could sign a petition. Or you could do what the founding fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment for, and start defending your country from foreign invasion and enslavement.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FRB Atlanta says wage growth accelerating

FRB Atlanta - wage growth accelerating. Quote:

The Atlanta Fed's Wage Growth Tracker is a three-month average of median growth in the hourly earnings of a sample of wage and salary workers taken from the Current Population Survey. Last month in a macroblog post, I noted that the Wage Growth Tracker reading for September, at 3.6 percent, was close to where it had been hovering since April. However, I also noted that the non-averaged median wage growth for September was at a cyclical high of 4.2 percent, and so it would be interesting to see what the October data revealed. Well, the October data are in, and they do confirm a sizeable uptick in wage growth over the last couple of months. The median wage growth for October was 4.0 percent, which brings the Wage Growth Tracker up to 3.9 percent — a percentage point higher than a year ago, and now the highest level since November 2008.

In addition, nominal wage rigidity, as measured by the fraction of workers reporting no change in their hourly rate of pay from 12 months earlier, declined to 13 percent—the lowest since April 2008.

I've got an idea! Let's give Trump all the credit!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Since I haven't posted news in a while....

Now that The Great Discontinuity is past, we can start reading news again.

To wit:

Calculated Risk - hotel occupancy data still positive. So quit being a pussy, your favourite politician just got elected president.

Tim Duy - December still a go. So quit being a pussy, all you right-wing trolls have been demanding higher rates for years and now you'll get your chance.

Macro Man - thoughts and stuff. Trying to identify what the next market moving event will be... how about a Renzi referendum loss and Marine le Pen elected president of France? I guess those would be good for gold.

Reuters - Theresa May is a bit of a dumb bitch. Apparently she not only has no Brexit plan, her every idea originates from a desire to stay alive til teatime.

Fiscal Times - there is no skills gap. The problem is that companies are offering too low a salary to hire anyone but the drug addicted ex-meth whore down the street. I guess small-town 'Merica could respond by unionizing and demanding fair wages... but that's sociamalism, isn't it? Better to ban abortion and kick out the Mooslims, that'll make the bosses pay us more!

BBC - the charm of small-town America. Where the mayor enjoys calling Michelle Obama an "ape in heels". Because that's what makes America great again.

An important caveat about the gold chart right now

This is so important that I'm going to try to post images again:

Ah, success. Google loves me again.

Make no mistake, gold in USD is in fucking trouble here. A break in the gold price below $1210 negates the entire reason for owning gold miners that the market has had since early spring. This right here is a "hold or die" line. Your miners go to $0 if this dies.


Gold in Canadian dollars looks very constructive. The mid-October pivot, and the break through $1620-$1640 in May & June, act as strong support.


Gold in (hundreds of) Euros actually looks fine too. In fact, if I was a greasy European I'd be loading up the truck at this point, with gold at -2SD at a higher low, a positive divergence on MACD, and the SMA(50) resistance just 2-3% away.

It's up to you to figure out which of these narratives you believe will win out in the end.

Far as I'm concerned, I'm still stuck at the point where I'm trying to fade the hammerblow torque of the Trump win so I can see the underlying trend without all the graph discontinuities.

market comment

So OK fine, I've put a small double long on silver (HZU), and a small double long on gold miners (HGU).

The silliness across the broad market (XLF, UUP, JJC, QQQ) looks about done, no -3SD condition can stay that way for long, SLV and GDX are already around 15% below their SMA(50)s which is usually as far as you can push them before they fight back (as long as they still have any fight in them), and the volume candles in SLV for the past 2 days suggest the selling was heavy enough to clear sentiment at least for a couple days.

Copper didn't affect miners on its way up so I'm not sure it'll affect miners on its way back down.

Close stops on both positions because, like I said, I'm in school a lot of the time.

It might have been dumb to place these trades based on the moves at the open, but then again the moves at the open might convince bigger money that the time to sell is past.

Any longer-term hopefulness, though, depends on GDX and SLV gaining, and then exceeding, their SMA(50)s. Any less than that and you're just living in fantasy-land.

Oh, and about banking

  • XLF has printed 6 white candles in a row.
  • It's up almost 15% in that time.
  • It's been 3SD up for 4 days.
  • It's now 3SD up on the weekly chart.
  • And on triple or quadruple normal volume too.
  • But the large US financials are worthless shit companies. I mean, you laugh at Deutsche, but do you really think Citi and BoA are any less incompetently managed? You really think repealing Dodd-Frank will improve their long-run performance?

I have no short banking play unless I buy US ETFs, which as a rule I don't do because of the currency exposure.

But I look at the above and think "Well, at some point the big Trump inrush to financials ends, and maybe the outrush from big tech doesn't, and we get a downward move in S&P 500 as the market starts equilibrating all these changes in pressure".

And in any case, the big upmove in financials certainly makes it look like the global kleptocratic elite is happy to have Donald Trump in power, eh?

Morning market comment

So it looks like $19-$20 was the support level for GDX after all.

I mean, sure it bounced on Monday afternoon, and that was enough to shake me out of my low-commitment double shorts (why not book the profit and go back to neutral with all this market craziness going on?). But it can still drift slowly from here, back down to $19-$20.

I actually might have felt it was time to book my profits Monday morning, and earn an extra few thou, if I wasn't writing a "math for economists" test. That's the problem with being in school: there's a lot of trades I can't make, because I don't have the opportunity to follow them as close as I need to.

Which is actually good. Being in school has forced me to trade much less: to only go for the slower, less speculative moves, to sit and wait on positions, and to spend a lot more time getting a handle on the underlying facts.

It would make for a boring investment newsletter, though, wouldn't it?:

This week I sat on my S&P index ETF while binge-watching Mr. Robot. Oh and I bought a Unabomber t-shirt online. Maybe if the GDX looks like it's bottomed I can put on a double long, but that's probably a few weeks away. Now let me rant about the global neoliberal elite kleptocracy for 20 pages....

I'd have to give that away for free.

Friday, November 11, 2016

my opinion on US banking

XLF is +4SD right now on massive buying volume post-election.

Apparently people think the banks will make a shit-ton of money if Trump repeals Dodd-Frank.

Unfortunately for them, it'll take a lot of time to repeal Dodd-Frank, even with full Republican control.

And if it's repealed, all that'll mean is another massive banking crisis down the line, because bankers are coke-headed fools.

Seriously, in the 2002-2006 period, it was pointless to own any US banking stock. You wanted to own transports (UNP, CP, CN), fast food (MCD, YUM, SBUX), internet (APPL, GOOG, AMZN, PCLN), tech (CHKP, CTSH, BRCM, WDC), pharma (AGN, BIIB, CELG, GILD), oil & gas (CBT, CHK), base mining for a bit (FCX, VALE, POT) and a bit of retail (COST, HD, MA, V).

The only time anything bankish was a screaming buy pre-Obama was when the banking system started to collapse under their own massive fraud, and then what you bought was any ETF you could find that shorted them into nothingness.

So as far as I'm concerned, a one-week 10% move in the financials is a screaming fucking short.

Someday. Maybe not right now.

Downside support for GDX is not $22. Here's why.

I strongly suspect that support for GDX is not $22. Here's why.

When GDX pivoted back up from $22 back in late May, it was actually only testing the support of the SMA(50). It had no interest in the price level, it was looking at trend. Since August, GDX has failed to retake the SMA(50) three times, and that bodes ill for its future.

And your actual price-volume cluster happened through March around $19-$20. That was when the gold miner comeback story started to gain traction.

The gold miners have been overbought relative to gold (look at the upward-trending GLD:GDX) since the August gold peak. They need to work off more than 5%.

And all the "blah blah inflation" yabber in the market now, after years of "blah blah deflation", means an awful lot of money has still to rotate into something new, and a lot of the money is still able to take profits on gold miners, and so it will.

And copper needs to get beaten down from its silly position, and that'll drag silver down, and that'll drag gold miners down because reasons.

That's how real technical analysis is done, my bitches.

Friday video: apropos of nothing

Apropos of absolutely nothing at all:


What's our most important question about the Trump presidency?

What are we all wondering about?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Market comment

Took off the rest of my leverage this morning. Thank you, Donald Trump, for paying this year's tuition, my dental expenses, and my vet bills. And some booze money, which I'll need.

Yesterday the S&P surged, but I suspect a lot of it was driven by hasty "oh shit" sector reallocation into a somewhat too-thin book, so now that the big money is going to want to also rotate out of Hillary stocks, it might be a while before S&P has the setup in its underlying to break out of its range. After all, $TRAN is +3SD with an RSI(10) of 80 and SPY is +2SD, and they might have gotten there too fast.

I'm a bit bummed that Horizons killed off a few of its leveraged ETFs in the past couple years. Copper, for example, has flown much too far and with no confirmation from silver or oil: I'd like to short the fuck out of it, but is gone (if it ever existed - I think it did).

Why short copper?

Well, if your long thesis is that Donald is going to build infrastructure despite an anti-spending congress, why do you think the infrastructure is going to be wiring? And just how much of a copper shortage does the world face, anyway? And isn't it Chinese demand that drives copper?

And if your thesis is that with Trump in the White House we're closer to the end of the expansion, which means higher inflation, then why don't you perhaps wait a bit til he's actually inaugurated and we can get a feel for what policy he's really going to pursue?

It's still just a crackhead-driven market.

$UST10Y and copper have moved too frickin' far to fast, and I'd love the opportunity to lean against either move. But as it is, all I can do for the time being is hold my S&P single longs, hold some cash and wait for opportunity, and begin an experimental short of the gold miners.

GDX is close to a fat load of pivots, and anyway it should also tank if either the S&P has finished its upmove or the "inflation wooh!" trade finishes. Also, the positions taken during the pre-election surge should start getting unwound by now, I think.

Oh look, QQQ's already breaking down.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

post-Trump opinion

So Trump won, that's funny.

There was actually someone knowledgeable on CNBC this morning, who I guess was their election coverage head statistician or something, who noted that Trump won by taking the Bernie primary states: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan I guess and New Hampshire sort of.

So I guess that makes sense: I'm the one who's been saying that the working class has been fucked over since Reagan, and in a way maybe it's nice for them to finally vote angry and fuck stuff up.  Hope it works out for them, but I don't think it will.

This election won't get the attention of the worldwide kleptocracy, because Brexit didn't get their attention either.

My big question right now is, what's Trump actually going to do? Sure, if he's Mister Consummate Dealmaker, and if he's really a party-unaffiliated outsider unconstrained by beltway loyalties, and given he won without owing anyone in the Republican party anything, then yeah, he could push through a whole shit-ton of real reforms to benefit the working class who voted for him, and actually make 'Merica yooooge again.

He could throw his weight around like a loose cannon, telling the WTO to go fuck themselves and re-negotiating the US trade position to remake the US as the global economic superpower that tells everyone else what to do. The EU, Mexico, Japan and everyone else would just have to eat what he serves 'em if they want any access to the US market at all. (This isn't radical: it's pretty standard & old-fashioned hegemonic trade policy, and normal to pursue if you are an unopposable superpower that cares more about its economy than its transnational corporations.)

And he could do all this by telling Republicans and Democrats that they're both his bitch, after all he won, and if Ryan & Paul don't work with him then he damn well has what it takes to pick off 30 Republican congressmen and 5 Republican senators and add them to a cross-aisle deal with the Democrats for whatever he wants. You gotta admit he proved during the campaign that he only deals with people who tell him what he wants to hear.

So he can make deals with both sides, and he can do it his way: sure, I'll nominate your nutcase Supreme Court Justice, but in return you lift the debt ceiling forever and let me pass a trillion dollar infrastructure program. I've been in the same room watching a deal-making real estate mogul in action, and that's how deals get done. Maybe he ends up doing that.


Then again, maybe he's a dumb-ass who's in over his head, and the Republicans will use him to gut financial regulation, repeal all taxes, and pretty much flush the country down the toilet like they want to do.

In any case, it was disconcerting to see US futures puke limit-down overnight, given how leveraged-long I was, ha ha.

But as it turns out, now everything's up nicely: SPX is up 1%, $VIX has really frickin' cratered and I wish Google would let me post a chart for you because it's awe-inspiring, $VIX futures near months are unbackwardated but at ~15 and 16 which means there's still a lot of money possibly to make on XIV, and there are even some nice deals out there (does anyone at all really believe Magna is threatened by a Trump presidency?)

And even the goldbugs got handed their ass, buying gold & the miners at the open. I'm sorry, Cletus, but that big red candle that's printing on the chart right now, which constitutes a dismal failure at the SMA(50), does not look good for you.

So, we'll see. In any case, next time you hear Democrats whining about how the Supreme Court is going to be 6-3 conservative in 4 years' time, 'splain to them that the working class was a gimme but they decided to serve Wall Street for 16 years instead.

Anyway, with some of my market winnings I'm going to go buy that special post-election deal at Bespoke Investment Group, then go back to studying for midterms.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

quick note about today's US election

Women make up 51% of the vote in the US. And today they have a choice between the first woman president, or an orange sleazeball with 3 pet wives that would make them vomit if ever he was in the same room with them.

That's all you need to know.

Shorted $VIX and went double-long S&P and Q on Friday morning, btw. I'm sure the December Fed meeting will be the next panty-piddle, but that's a month from now: today we party.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Comey: you remember that Hillary email thing? Yeah, about that....

The Guardian - Comey announces FBI's findings on Clinton emails. What, already?:

The FBI has determined that a new batch of emails apparently related to Hillary Clinton’s private email server “have not changed our conclusion” that she committed no criminal wrongdoing, FBI director James Comey told congressional leaders in a letter on Sunday.

Big fat nothingburger, just like everyone thought.


Obama burns Trump for having his Twitter taken away from him:

This illustrates how much of a moron you have to be to vote for Trump.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Trump is such a fucking retard

Its one hell of a high bar for Trump news worth posting round here, since there's no need to repost the inanity that he's accomplished so far, but this one takes the cake:

WaPo - Trump refuses to pay his pollster. WTF?:

Donald Trump's hiring of pollster Tony Fabrizio in May was viewed as a sign that the real estate mogul was finally bringing seasoned operatives into his insurgent operation.

But the Republican presidential nominee appears to have taken issue with some of the services provided by the veteran GOP strategist, who has advised candidates from 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The Trump campaign's latest Federal Election Commission report shows that it is disputing nearly $767,000 that Fabrizio's firm says it is still owed for polling.

No wonder he's campaigning in Minnesota instead of trying to shore up Ohio and Michigan: Trump is fucking over the one guy who he needs to provide him with the data necessary to run a campaign. I wonder if he's even getting any data anymore, or if Fabrizio is hanging him out to dry for non-payment?

Even though he was hired in May, the campaign did not make any payments to Fabrizio until September, when his firm received nearly $624,000, federal filings show. Trump's finance reports show that the campaign owes the firm an additional $55,300 on top of the $766,756.67 in debt that it is contesting.

This is so half-assed that the only person who could possibly support Trump at this point is a fucking idiot with no clue how to do business who has never had any job where he was required to do a decent day's work.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

What the heck to do with this market, eh?

Well, Google all of a sudden has taken away my ability to post charts again, because they can't code a blog platform worth shit.

So I'll just say that SPY has been -2SD for a couple days now, and is at RSI=31. $VIX has printed 8 consecutive white candles, and is RSI 74.

On the weekly chart, $VIX is already at +2SD, and the only times it gets higher than that are during periods of extensive panty-piddling.

But yet $TRAN looks fine and XLF looks fine.

So what to do? Go double long on Friday? Shorting $VIX might be a bit of a widowmaker, since the futures are now backwardated.

Anyway, there's a load of opportunity staring me in the face here. Maybe I'll just buy on Tuesday before the close.

Trump's not going to win unless the FBI can manufacture something new about Hillary, and they'll put that out this Friday afternoon if they do at all. But I doubt that'll happen.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Haha, more fun pictures

I got all day today, I'm waiting for an appointment.


The Independent - presidential candidate has destroyed thousands of emails in contravention of court orders!

Oh my god! This is bigger than Watergate! This person should be locked up before they can continue their criminal enterprise in the White House!

Trump used borderline illegal tax loophole

CBC - Trump used dubious tax loophole to avoid casino-related taxes. Quote:

Donald Trump avoided paying potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes in a way even his own lawyers considered questionable, The New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said the manoeuvre also may explain how Trump posted a one-year loss of more than $900 million US a few years later, enabling him to avoid paying federal income taxes for perhaps 18 years.

At issue is how Trump was able to cancel hundreds of millions of dollars of debt as his casino empire in Atlantic City went broke in the early 1990s. Cancelled debt generally is treated as taxable income, meaning Trump would have owed the Internal Revenue Service significant money on debt that his creditors forgave.

The Times said it obtained documents from a quarter-century ago showing Trump essentially traded the debt relief for nearly worthless "partnership equity" to avoid any tax liability. In practice, the strategy was almost identical to a tax manoeuvre that was already outlawed, but differed in minor details. Trump's own lawyers advised him the IRS would likely find it improper if he were audited, the paper said, and Congress explicitly outlawed the manoeuvre in 2004.

Hillary Clinton, then a New York senator, was among the lawmakers who voted to close the loophole.

But then again she once had an email server, therefore she's Ernst Blofeld meets Idi Amin, right?

Garry Kasparov knows what a rigged election is

NY Times - no, America, your election is not rigged. Garry Kasparov knows what a real rigged election looks like, because he knows Pooty-poot's Russia. Let him explain reality to you Trumptard fools:

In power for 16 years now, Mr. Putin and his global propaganda machine aggressively promote the idea that democracy is a chaotic mess that only the hero Putin can save Russia from falling into. Social media is flooded by Kremlin-funded trolls ranting about the illegitimacy of the American election process and warning of the potential for violence. To have a major party nominee in America repeating this propaganda is beyond Mr. Putin’s wildest dreams. Mr. Trump even echoes Mr. Putin’s authoritarian rationales, presenting himself as the only one who can rescue America.

I know a few things about rigged elections. I know what it’s like to have the overwhelming power of the state used against me to make a mockery of the democratic process. I know what it means to have my opinion censored while every major media outlet is dedicated to vilifying me and my colleagues. I know what happens when a conspiracy of public and private interests forms to intimidate, harass, prosecute and even kill in order to preserve a monopoly on power.

I know these things well because I learned them the hard way during my years as a political opposition leader in Mr. Putin’s Russia. None of these things are happening to Donald Trump.

After I retired from professional chess in 2005, I helped form an opposition coalition, known as Other Russia, to protest Mr. Putin’s increasingly dictatorial regime. According to the Russian Constitution, Mr. Putin was unable to stand for a second re-election as president in 2008, and it wasn’t clear what would happen to a power structure that had become completely centered on one man. If Mr. Putin ignored the Constitution completely and simply stayed on openly as a dictator, he risked alienating the Group of 8 world leaders who had agreed to pretend he was a fellow democrat.

The Other Russia opposition coalition had live debates, policy papers, platforms — all the things that were absent from the official elections, where the only thing that mattered was who had the Kremlin’s blessing. Rather to my surprise, in 2007 I was the winner of the national primary to choose the coalition’s presidential candidate.

Once I had been selected in a real election that wasn’t official, it was time for me to participate in an official election that was completely fake.

In order to do this, I had to jump through the official and unofficial hoops that had been put in place to prevent unapproved candidates from making it onto a ballot. Two million signatures were needed from all over the country in just one month, a task made even more herculean by the sheer size of Russia. A nominating congress had to be held, an apparently simple chore that became impossible when no hotel would rent a suitable space to us. Even American-owned hotel chains mysteriously canceled our reservations.

While I traveled across the country to campaign, we would find venues suddenly closed for repairs, our flights canceled, our meetings shut down by the police. Nor did I quite manage to stay out of jail, spending five days in a Moscow cell for participating in an “unauthorized rally.”

Rigging an election isn’t only a matter of stuffing ballot boxes. It is not even that “the people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do,” as the apocryphal quote attributed to Joseph Stalin has it. By the time the voting begins, the game is already over. Anyone who opposes the regime — from peaceful street protesters to the wealthiest man in the country — is targeted. The Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky spent a decade in prison for daring to support political groups outside of Mr. Putin’s control.

The fraud that does occur on Election Day is more about showing loyalty and getting the numbers just right to keep up appearances. Busloads of official voters go from polling station to polling station in a tradition we even have a name for: a “carousel.” Sheaves of ballots are dumped into urns while polling officials stand in the way to block the view. Sometimes, the excessive zeal of apparatchiks produces returns of more than 100 percent, as happens regularly in Russian regions like Chechnya.

Must be nice to daydream about how horribly oppressed your white Trumptard ass is, while you sit on your couch collecting Social Security, polishing your guns, posting ignorant nonsense on the internet, and watching reality TV.

In reality, the only oppression that white-ass Trumptards face is the fact they have to share the equal vote with blacks, muslims, latinos, women and gays.

Trump Pooty-puppet position proven!

Mojo - a veteran spy says yes, Trump is Pooty-poot's peener puppet. And the FBI knows all about it:

Reid's missive set off a burst of speculation on Twitter and elsewhere. What was he referring to regarding the Republican presidential nominee? At the end of August, Reid had written to Comey and demanded an investigation of the "connections between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign," and in that letter he indirectly referred to Carter Page, an American businessman cited by Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers, who had financial ties to Russia and had recently visited Moscow. Last month, Yahoo News reported that US intelligence officials were probing the links between Page and senior Russian officials. (Page has called accusations against him "garbage.") On Monday, NBC News reported that the FBI has mounted a preliminary inquiry into the foreign business ties of Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chief. But Reid's recent note hinted at more than the Page or Manafort affairs. And a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump—and that the FBI requested more information from him.

But no, you go ahead and keep saying that the real threat to democracy is some chick who ran an email server and who was already exonerated by the FBI despite their director having a thirty-year-old hard-on for prosecuting Clintons.


More pictures for those of you too ignorant to read:


I love this stuff:


Shocking email server news! You absolutely have to read this!

The Guardian - shocking news about a secret email server run by a US presidential candidate!

My god! This person needs to be locked up immediately! This is the greatest criminal enterprise ever! It's far worse than Watergate!

Slate - a group of hackers set out to get to the bottom of the Russia story, found out far more than they thought possible. My god! This presidential candidate has been operating this criminal organization for years! This is the motherlode!

Quick summary below the break:

Market comment

Market has been a little piddle-pantsy recently.

$VIX has been stuck in a long crawl upward all week. I'd short with, except the futures curve is still contangoed, and that makes me think there is still the possibility of a massive upward spike in $VIX in the next few days.

I guess I'm just more used to shorting $VIX when it falls out from backwardation. It's not doing what it's supposed to right now, and that confuses me. The 6 moderate white candles in a row looks weird all on its own.

Then again, I'm sure every market hobbyist with a bookmark feels the same way.

And why all the piddle-pantsing?

IWM has broken down off its plateau, and SPY is threatening to do the same:

A breakdown in SPY would maybe only mean a 5% drop, but for weenies who only look at the default 6 month chart, that'll be terrifying enough.

So I'm staying single-long right now, but am itching to switch to a more aggressive position if the market tanks.

Note btw that Transports still looks perfectly healthy. Is that a tell?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Only a few days in, so let's pack in more Trump

Oh my...

Esquire - over a third of Trump supporters follow Nazis on Twitter.

Makes sense. Zerohedge loves him, and they've always been so full of anti-Semites that they even went so far as to post a strongly-worded letter.

Oh, and here's a graphic:

I wonder what the clown at Cracked, who wrote a bullshit story excusing the hicks in the countryside for supporting Trump, has to say about this?

Harry Reid stomps on James Comey's candy ass

CBS News - Harry Reid slams Comey, no fucks left to give. In full:

In his last few months in the Senate, Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, isn’t pulling any punches -- especially after the recent revelations by FBI Director James Comey that more emails were found that could be related to the Clinton email probe.

The pugilistic Reid, who plans to retire after finishing out this term in Congress, penned a blistering letter to Comey Sunday, accusing the FBI chief of holding back “explosive” information about Donald Trump’s close Russian ties while possibly violating the Hatch Act by reviving the Clinton email investigation.

“Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for the treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another,” Reid wrote, adding that through Comey’s “partisan actions, you may have broken the law.”

The Nevada Democrat went on to insinuate Comey’s violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits “activity directed towards the success or failure” of a candidate by executive branch employees.

“[Y]our highly selective approach to publicizing information, along with your timing, was intended for the success or failure of a partisan candidate or political group,” Reid wrote.

One example Reid posited of the “selective approach”: Comey’s methods in investigating Donald Trump and his campaign’s possible ties to the Russian government.

As an aside, that's the reason most Dems have been fuming at Comey's bullshit all weekend: apparently it's an open secret that Trump and his crew have been under investigation by the FBI, and yet the Dems have kept silent about it... since, after all, nobody is supposed to comment on an ongoing investigation, especially when it will interfere in an election.

Um, except Comey.

So now Reid is the Dems' designated suicide bomber. He's out of politics after this election, so he can murder Comey's entire extended family on Dancing With The Stars for all anyone cares.

“In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government - a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” he said. “I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to be released to the public...and yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.”

Reid contrasted that with Comey’s approach to his public handling of emails from a computer used by top Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner, which could be related to the Clinton email probe.

“Your rushed to take this step eleven days before a presidential election, despite the fact that for all you know, the information you possess could be entirely duplicative of the information you already examined which exonerated Secretary Clinton,” he said.

For the agency’s part, the FBI believed that because of the increased scrutiny over the Clinton probe, Comey’s options were limited in alerting Congress. Comey had previously pledged to inform the legislative body of any further developments in the case, even after the investigation was completed.

The FBI director has taken heat from his own department because of his unprecedented comments about an ongoing investigation, with his superior, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, recommending against his actions to notify Congress.

Reid closed his letter with a reminder that he had once “been a supporter” of Comey’s, even back when Republicans filibustered his nomination as FBI chief.

“I led the fight to get you confirmed because I believed you to be a principled public servant,” Reid concluded. “With the deepest regret, I now see that I was wrong.”

As an aside, there apparently was so much "leaking" and "unofficial sources" from the FBI this weekend that it's effectively destroyed their discipline.

So you can expect a few dozen angry 8:00 AM meetings, followed by a few hundred people suffering temporary deafness being asked to clean out their desks of personal items before the exit interview and anal search.

I dunno who the Director of the FBI reports to (Director of National Intelligence James Clapper? Attorney General Loretta Lynch?), but Comey's certainly going to get his own 8AM screamtastic meeting for initiating a massive discipline breakdown.

That's the problem with listening to mouthbreathers from the countryside: everyone else starts to think they can act like idiots too.


Regarding the big fat nothingburger that is a bunch of emails on someone's laptop, but which has inspired the loony right-wingers to spend a whole weekend providing soundbits on "wharrgarbl corruption! wharrgarbl Watergate!", now there's this:

Harry Reid - y'all just violated the Hatch act, bitch. (pdf)

Wherein Senator Reid beats James Comey like a mixed-race stepchild, then stomps a mudhole in Comey's ass and walks it dry.

PS the FBI is investigating Trump's connections to the Soviets.

One more thing you can do with a Ph.D. in Economics

I was starting to think that a Ph.D. in economics would be a waste of time.

Then I read this:

NY Times - once a Bucknell economics professor, now the commander of an Ethiopian rebel army. Here's the intro:

Berhanu Nega was once one of Bucknell University’s most popular professors. An Ethiopian exile with a Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, he taught one of the economics department’s most sought-after electives, African Economic Development. When he wasn’t leading seminars or puttering around his comfortable home in a wooded neighborhood five minutes from the Bucknell campus in rural Lewisburg, Pa., Nega traveled abroad for academic conferences and lectured on human rights at the European Parliament in Brussels. “He was very much concerned with the relationship between democracy and development,” says John Rickard, an English professor who became one of his close friends. “He argued that you cannot have viable economic development without democratization, and vice versa.” A gregarious and active figure on campus, he rooted for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cleveland Cavaliers, campaigned door-to-door for Barack Obama in 2008 and was known as one of the best squash players on the Bucknell faculty. He and his wife, an Ethiopian-born optometrist, raised two sons and sent them to top-ranked colleges, the University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon. On weekends he sometimes hosted dinners for other Bucknell professors and their families, regaling them with stories about Abyssinian culture and history over Ethiopian food he would prepare himself; he imported the spices from Addis Ababa and made the injera, a spongy sourdough bread made of teff flour, by hand.

Nega remained vague about his past. But students curious enough to Google him would discover that the man who stood before them, outlining development policies in sub-Saharan Africa, was in fact intimately involved in the long-running hostility between Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea, a conflict that has dragged on for half a century. By the start of the millennium, its newest incarnation, a border war over a patch of seemingly worthless ground just 250 square miles in size, devolved into a tense standoff, with the two nations each massing along the border thousands of troops from both official and unofficial armies. One proxy army fighting on the Eritrean side, a group of disaffected Ethiopians called Ginbot 7, was a force that Nega helped create, founding the movement in 2008 with another Ethiopian exile, Andargachew Tsege, in Washington. The Ethiopian government, which had previously detained Nega as a political prisoner for two years in Addis Ababa, now sentenced him to death in absentia. Bucknell students who did learn about their teacher’s past were thrilled. “It made his classes exciting,” Rickard says.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Trump: #1 among omnicidal AIs

CNBC - an AI predicts Trump will win the election. Quote:

An artificial intelligence system that correctly predicted the last three U.S. presidential elections puts Republican nominee Donald Trump ahead of Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.

MogIA was developed by Sanjiv Rai, founder of Indian start-up It takes in 20 million data points from public platforms including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the U.S. and then analyzes the information to create predictions.

The AI system was created in 2004, so it has been getting smarter all the time. It had already correctly predicted the results of the Democratic and Republican Primaries.

Data such as engagement with tweets or Facebook Live videos have been taken into account. The result is that Trump has overtaken the engagement numbers of Barack Obama's peak in 2008 — the year he was elected president — by 25 percent.

There you go. An AI predicts that Trump will win the election. Despite, y'know, being behind in every single poll.

Cuz you've already seen the movie, so you can be sure that if Trump doesn't win, the AI will hack into NORAD and send the launch codes to start WWIII.

Friday video: Keep on Lovin' You

The quiet version:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


NY Mag - the night that Obama and Hillary founded ISIS. Hilarious:

It was late one night in the White House when Obama first came up with the idea for ISIS. He hadn’t been sleeping well. Michelle told him to take some deep breaths, have some hot milk, and rewatch Princess Bride, but he’d made it all the way to the Billy Crystal scene, and he was out of milk, and Michelle had started snoring. The snoring was loud and nasty and kind of wet-sounding, like a broken boat was giving birth to another boat. He had to get out of there.

First, he headed down to the Oval Office and tried to sleep on the couch, but it wasn’t long enough for his legs, and it smelled like generals’ butts. For a long time, he just wandered around the West Wing alone. He was sad and tired and had the nervous feeling that he was doing something he shouldn’t. He peeked into people’s desk drawers and found pictures of cats and dogs and babies. He was thinking about stealing a Kind bar off one of his interns’ desks, when suddenly a word appeared to him: ISIS. He grabbed a Post-It note and wrote it down. What was it? What did it mean?

It wasn’t until months later, at Coachella, that the idea started to take shape. Obama loved electronic music — the beats, the lights, the DJs, the wonderful fans — and every year, for just one day, the Secret Service allowed him to go to the music festival. They would hang back, and he would wear sunglasses, a flower crown, a neon tank top, and a tight European-style bathing suit and just dance. The people who did recognize him were too drunk and high to convince anyone of what they’d seen. (“Hey, bro, it’s the president!” “Yeah, bro!”) The president would block it all out and surrender to the thumping, sick beat. He had done a tiny bit of molly with a French Canadian woman named Bonjour when the word “ISIS” came back to him. Ever since he was a little boy, he had wanted to start an international terrorist organization of his own. He’d just never had the right idea. People had been starting terrorist groups for years, and he knew that if he wanted to break into the market, he needed some big new shtick. Wait. Of course. He went into his wallet and dug out the crumpled Post-It note. Yes. He would be the first American president to start an international terrorist organization, and it would be called ISIS. Bonjour was naked now, trying to bend a glow stick around one of her breasts. He gave her his flower crown, got in an Uber, and drove straight back to Washington. By the time he got home, he had a plan.

Coachella? What the fuck do they think Obama is, a frat bro? "Hey, wow, man, let's do some Molly and listen to Matthew Dear and Ellie Goulding in the middle of a desert!" Where exactly does one find a"thumping sick beat" at Coachella, anyway?

Other than that, of course, this story is entirely accurate. Read it and weep, Libulardos!