Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday video: Alvvays

From among the svrfeit of nevv indie bands vvith svperflvovs vees in their names, here's Canadian band Alvvays vvith a fvn corker that I'm svre Alan McGee vvould love:

Vnfortvnately they're not noisy like this all the time.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

And on the topic of Bitcoin....

I find it funny that I post one single snark on Bitcoin, and all of a sudden I get a massive influx of traffic from Russia.

I wonder how much money the Russian central bank has invested in Bitcoin?

If WWIII wasn't bad enough....

Hey, here's another thing you can worry about as you sell all your stocks!

Calculated Risk - Goldman on the debt limit.

The Krugginator - how bad will it be if we hit the debt ceiling?

Personally, I don't think the Republicans are stupid enough tohahahaaa I just realized what I wrote there wtf is wrong with me.

VIX bulletin

As of noon today, $VIX futures are still contangoed.

So this right now is just bullshit selling by people who want to puke into empty bids because they think other people are going to puke into empty bids later.

By the way, on the topic of Republicans:

The "Trump Bump" was the result of Republicans, who avoided getting into the market thru 8 years of Obama because sociamalism, suddenly deciding to go long US equities because they were going to get Obamacare repeal and tax breaks.

Now, they see that Obamacare repeal is never going to happen, thus tax breaks are also less likely, they're scared of losing the House in 2018, and instead of delivering unicorns and lollipops they think Trump is going to start World War 3 with Norht Korea instead.

Thus the shine has gone off the Trump administration among Republican investors.

If that's so, $SPX should go back down to 2000-2200 or so.

Which is a 10 percent drop and nothing to piddle your frilly pink girl-panties about.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bitcoin math

So there's apparently about 16 million bitcoins.

Each one is supposedly valued at about $3280.

Thus there's approximately $53 billion theoretically supposedly worth of bitcoins.

That's a lot of laundered Chinese money and crypto ransoms!

I wonder when the total theoretical value will exceed the total possible demand? I mean, Bitcoin is only worth what people will pay for it. And everything's demand always has an upper limit.

McAfee promised to eat his own dick on TV if Bitcoin didn't hit $500,000 in 3 years. That'd require somewhere around $10 trillion stored in bitcoins worldwide.

So I guess we get to watch John McAfee eat his own dick on live TV in 3 years.

A small economics lesson

So when it comes to buying university textbooks on Amazon, you have to buy them out of season. The minute that university bookstores' book lists come out, every single Amazon seller jacks his price up so that there's almost no reason to buy from them.

But that's how "perfectly competitive" markets really work - the market leaders collude to set a high price, and then all the smaller sellers decide to follow their lead to maximize profit. I know, really that's an oligopoly, but in undergraduate economics they say you can't have oligopoly with a hundred sellers.

Anyway, so I had to buy my Metrics 2 textbook, and I know the book the prof wants to use, so I went online to find it before bookstore season.

Hey, someone's selling it for $70 CDN including delivery! That's cheap!

So I bought it.

#1, it's weird that it got to me in like 3 business days even though I only paid for standard shipping.

#2. stranger, it came from Malaysia.

#3, as it turns out, they sent me the "Global Edition". That's the edition released outside the US and Canada for students in third-world countries who would never pay $300 for a textbook because ffs you can buy a year's worth of rice for your family for that kind of money.

So should I return it?

Well, as an economics student, I know that a rational consumer should maximize his utility by profiting from price differentials across segmented markets. And the $200 I saved is worth a lot, utility-wise. So, according to undergraduate economics, I did the right thing and if they want me to send it back they can refund me 2 years of tuition for pumping me full of libertarian fantasy lies.

And the textbook can't be that much different, since it only costs $20 to print anyway, and the company wouldn't be keeping its third-world customers if they short-change them on educational content.

So fuck it! I don't owe the publishers anything at all, since they've fucked me over by charging 10x the production price for textbooks since forever. And since the government allows publishers to fuck me over by legalizing predatory pricing, I don't owe them any import/export law obedience either.

After all, it WAS a Metallica concert....

I just don't get these sissy people of today....

Consequence of Sound - New Mexico man arrested for urinating on family at Metallica concert. Sigh:

Rather than missing a song or two to visit the restroom, 44-year-old Daniel Daddio allegedly urinated on a family of three seated in front of him.

According to Arizona’s ABC15, a man, his wife, and their 10-year-old daughter “felt warm liquid washing over their backs and legs” while taking in the concert. When the husband turned around to confront Daddio about the act, he merely shrugged.

I mean, I guess he figured, you're at a Metallica concert, right? This is the band that sued you for using Audiogalaxy 20 years ago, and you're at their concert. You must enjoy getting pissed on, right?

Wonder how long it'll take for Zerohedge to blame this on Zionists liberals....

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

where I plug Jim Wright's blog, and warn of another 9/11

Stonekettle Station - blah blah Trump blah blah.

I love reading him, though unfortunately he only posts a couple times a month now. But he always comes up with gems like these:

As the so-called Sage of Baltimore, American satirist and pundit Henry Louis Mencken, once said, “democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Huh. My dad said that was Truman.


I’m not the first to note that Trump is what stupid people think a smart person sounds like

Well... he does sound like Zerohedge, or the comments section for a political Youtube video.


There has never been any depth to anything Trump has ever said. Not once. His responses to every question – every single question – are nothing but rambling non sequiturs. Trump is not capable of critical thought at any level.

Yeah, actually, we knew that already. But what I'd like to note is this:

Remember the last time you guys had a brainless idiot president, who was an utter complete joke, who couldn't even string together a coherent sentence, who was a laughing stock throughout the world?

Then a bunch of terrorists attacked and suddenly everyone thought he was the nation's hero. He even got a second term.

I await this fall's terrorist attack on US soil.

Zerohedge isn't even funny anymore

I was checking Zerohedge today to look for a hyperbolic, world's-about-to-end reason for today's 0.2% plunge in the markets, and I realized that the lunatic libertarian-kleptocrat fringe isn't even funny anymore.

Here's two stories, and no I'm not giving you the real links because the point of this is for me to kill my own brain cells so you can protect yours:

Zerohedge - "I have a right to express my concerns": fired Google engineer will pursue legal action: Assange offers job.

This is funny in so many ways. #1, some dick writes a memo complaining about the "left bias" at his employer (whose employ he was free to leave at any time), adding that women are inferior, and then complains that his employer fired him for being a dick.

Even more funny, this whiny girl-boy then supposedly gets offered a job by a guy hiding in the Ecuadoran embassy who now works as a disinformation agent for Vladimir Putin.

Right-wingers are such gutless whiny fucking pussies. I mean, at least my daddy's right-wingers were... well, no, actually I just looked up Joe McCarthy and William F. Buckley, and both of them were also gutless whiny fucking pussies who never even did real wartime service because they were scared of being shot at for their country.

Zerohedge - agricultural work visas soar as farmers struggle with labour shortages amid immigration crackdown.

Is it a story about the stupidity of Republican racist immigration policy? Is it a story of how the American immigration system is set up to unfairly subsidize monopolistic agricultural producers by allowing them to hire cheap labour? Is it even a story about how American right-wing states are full of fat-assed whiny gutless Republican-voting sissies who can't handle picking fruit in the sun for 12 hours a day?

Meanwhile, the cost of that progressivism is an economy that has ~95 million people who have voluntarily taken themselves out of the labor force, many because they simply don't possess the right skills or are unwilling to take jobs that they've been convinced are 'demeaning.'
Yup, it's the ebils of progressivism! Those damn progressives are the reason that 95 million over-65s and under-16s don't do manual labour anymore!

And by the way, if you really cared about free-market economics, you'd understand that people have a reservation wage for labour. It's probably at least $10-$12/hr for manual farmwork, because if you offered them any less then they would turn you down in favour of a job at a less-physical, air-conditioned environment indoors - like a Piggly Wiggly.

And if farmers don't offer the market-clearing reservation wage, then the market doesn't clear and you get a "labour shortage". This is free-market, libertarian, undergraduate economics, people!

So obviously Zerohedge hates free-market capitalism, and would prefer a fascist socialist totalitarian government marching people into the fields at gunpoint.

As long as it's only black people being marched into the fields, I guess, right?

Fucking Zerohedge is such a fucking joke, they can't even get their politics right anymore.

No surprise, the IMF is back to covering up corruption

WSJ RTE - IMF doesn't want to uncover state corruption.

The problem is that the IMF is the beast of its member countries, and its member countries are corrupt, and its member countries don't want to be called corrupt.

Thus endeth your ten second political economy lesson.

Krugman calling a thing bullshit, Tuesday edition

The Krugginator - turns out "structural unemployment" was bullshit. Quote:

It seems like ancient history now, but five years ago there was a remarkable Beltway consensus that high unemployment was structural, the result of a mismatch between the skills workers had and the skills the economy needed. What made this consensus remarkable was that all the evidence pointed the other way: none of the telltale signs of a skill mismatch, like rising wages for some groups despite high unemployment, were in sight. Meanwhile, lots of other evidence – like the fact that unemployment was falling fastest in the same places and occupations where it rose most – pointed to a cyclical story, that is, that the economy was simply suffering from inadequate demand.

Yet so strong was the groupthink that news analyses often presented the structural story as if it were the known truth, without even acknowledging the contrary case.

So here we are, with no obvious up-skilling of the work force, but with unemployment now below pre-crisis levels, with prime-age employment not too far below where it was, and still no wage pressure. People got mad when I called the structural story humbug, but humbug it was.

Why does this matter now? Well, the people who were sure that it was structural are still out there, opining on economic policy. And while we all make mistakes, is there any sign that any of these people have so much as admitted getting this wrong, let along learned from the experience?

BTW, unless you live under a rock you know that right wing economists hate and despise Krugman even more than they hate the Satanist bisexual pervert Keynes. After all, you can just not talk about Keynes (aside from saying "oh, he believes in money printing! he causes inflation" - which is funny because they need to use a Keynesian model to "prove" it), not teach him in undergraduate (despite him having invented macroeconomics and monetary policy), and jump through hoops to cut all of his theory out of macro to replace it with idiotic 19th-century mathematical fantasy that rivals a D&D simulation of orcs vs trolls.

But you can't simply ignore the Kruggatolah because he is read by more people than all other economists combined. And that makes right-wing fruitcakes angry.

But now, even leftist economics professors (I met one! - well, at least he seemed a bit leftist on a few things) are beginning to hate Krugman for his hardcore partisanship.

Me? Far as I'm concerned, most of these other folks are gutless wimps, and at least K-dog is using the bully pulpit at NYT to lob grenades. Let's see these other fucking sissies grow a pair, get a real job in the press, and start fighting back against the 50-year wave of right wing kleptocratic mythology that their field has perpetuated.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Yeah, about that colony collapse disorder thing....

Tim Taylor - colony collapse disorder news: bees learn how to reproduce. Fuck, even I know how to do that:

Despite the increased mortality rates, there has been no downward trend in the total number of honeybee colonies in the United States over the past 10 years. Indeed, there are more honeybee colonies in the country today than when colony collapse disorder began.

They seem to be doing this thing called "reproducing".

As far as the rest of the article, though, I don't see how "capitalism is staving off colony collapse disorder." Unless, of course, the queen bees are being paid to reproduce.

Beekeeping is actually slavery, btw, not capitalism.

The Phillips curve is flat

Jared Bernstein - more job growth, but still no inflation. And he includes this helpful pic:

I.e., the Phillips curve is now horizontal.

What I don't get it why this is a fucking surprise. Governments can easily flatten the Phillips curve through policy, can't they? Or don't macro models incorporate policy in them?

NDD's weekly indicators

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators.

Yup, still nothing to worry about, but go read it anyway so you can be familiar with what counts as an "economic indicator", instead of (say) relying on the blog of some idiot with a cheap newsletter.

If you want to play a miners ETF, watch out

So, normally, I'd go long miners with on the TSX. It's double-long, and it used to follow the GDX in the US.

But now, with the change in the composition of GDX, I've noticed that's correlation to it has been greatly damaged. Some days, GDX and HGU move in opposite directions.

This makes trading via HGU far more difficult, and something I'll avoid from now on as I don't need the extra work of quanting everything out.

By illustration of what a double-long ETF is supposed to do, just look at HSU vs SPY:

That black line along the bottom is kinda like what correlation is supposed to look line (though the past week's wobble away from 1 looks a bit concerning). Correlation between HSU and SPY should be nearly exactly 1.

Here's HQU vs QQQ:

Even better. Correlation is almost always 1.

But here's HGU vs GDX:

The big wobble in correlation at the start of June, and the bigger wobble throughout all of July, mean HGU is no longer a vehicle for trading GDX. I mean, a correlation dropping to 0.35 or so? I may as well trade Magna or Royal Bank to get exposure to gold miners.

I know this is because of the radical repurposing of GDX that happened in the US. And maybe that actually means you should use a non-repurposed Canadian gold miners ETF to do TA on gold miners from now on, and avoid looking at the GDX chart altogether.

It just surprises me, because I thought gets its double-GDX correlation-one movement through trading of GDX forward options. I guess not. And I thought the purpose of HGU was to yield double the performance of GDX. Again, I guess not.

I could look up the details of how HGU works by looking at its info circular, but frankly until gold miners go on a tear, why bother opening the hood of another ETF? I won't have time to day-trade in September anyway.

But here's the warning for you Canadian readers. If you were wondering why your Canadian goldbug ETFs were all screwy, this is a clue as to why.