Monday, July 2, 2018

As an aside

By the way, the No Fucking Sense Whatsoever award goes to WSBK in Boston, who this weekend decided to shit all over a comedy movie (Spinal Tap) with a bunch of commercials about kids dying of cancer.

Heh heh heh, FART

Reuters - Trump orders drafting of the FART act. When you elect stupid, you get newsworthy events such as this:
U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the drafting of legislation that would mean abandoning key disciplines agreed at the World Trade Organization, Axios news website reported late on Sunday, to a skeptical response from trade experts.
Wait for it....
Axios reported on Friday that Trump wanted to leave the WTO, a story dismissed by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin as “wrong” and “an exaggeration”.
Wait for it...
The website followed up on Sunday by publishing what it said was a draft bill, the “United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act”, immediately drawing ridicule for legislation that would be known by its acronym, the FART Act.
THERE you go.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friday videos: Bill Drummond being a nutter

No music this week... instead, Tony Wilson interviews Bill Drummond and his silly moustache on the release on the KLF's "The Manual":

And Bill proves that Alan McGee wasn't even remotely the biggest nutter from Glasgow in the 90s.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Paul Hickey from Bespoke and his opinion on the market

CNBC - interview with Paul Hickey. Bespoke is the smartest market analysis organization out there, and I'm always tempted to renew my subscription so that I can get their opinions day-to-day. Here, Paul Hickey says that their analytics suggest a lot of the past few days' moves are just end of quarter rotation.

I disagree based on my view of the charts in the previous post, but hearing that Bespoke is on the other side always makes me doubt myself.


My old "rule of threes" had me out of the market this week. Good thing:

The third peak happened in mid-June, and my totally silly-sounding "rule of threes" said that after the third peak, you're not going to get a third simple breakdown to the lower Bollinger, but rather a longer fall. Because the market never does the same thing three times.

So now, SPY wants to break its SMA(50).


QQQ had previously sailed up to a new all-time high. Now, however, it's negated the positivity of that move. At best we get a long protracted retest of the all-time breakout. The hold of the SMA(50) makes me feel positive right now.


$VIX was popping for the past few days, but that could simply have been due to end-of-month fund repositioning. And in any case, today's $VIX doesn't make the same noises as last year's $VIX because of the destruction of the XIV ETF. So you have to look at the index charts to see whether the $VIX move really means something.

And emerging markets look positively terrible right now. The acceleration of the decline after the fail at the weekly SMA(50), to below -2 SD, makes a further 20-30% drop look suspiciously likely right now.

You could interpret all this as just the markets accepting the reality of a new American mercantilist trade policy.

What's scarier is if you instead interpret all this as the final rolling-over of US equities before a crash, recession, and eventual cyclical (at least) bear market.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The stupidity of Canadian marijuana legalization

CBC - Canadian government is looking to price legal marijuana at... wait, what?

$10 a gram?

I thought the whole point of legalizing pot was to put the illegal drug dealers out of business.

But, as it turns out, the Canadian government wants to price legal marijuana at a price above the illegal street price.


Macleans - Ontario's pot strategy includes shutting existing dispensaries. They have hundreds of existing businesses who could sell legal pot in the province, but instead they're trying to drive them all underground.

This, along with the stupid rule that nobody can grow more than four plants, means that

1) the illegal drug trade will continue to make huge profits, and

2) people growing pot on their own will continue to be targets of violent home invasions.

It's hard to figure out what the idiot government is actually intending to do here.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Evangelicals get funnier all the time

This story says everything you need to know about American evangelical Christians:

Reuters - evangelicals back pimp for Nevada legislature. No, seriously, he runs brothels in Nevada, and the evangelical Christians love him and want to help elect him.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Deal Demoncrat sounding the horn of fear, this time empirically

New Deal Demoncrat - poor housing permits points to looming slowdown in GDP. The housing cycle really is the US economic cycle, so this is important:

The preponderance of evidence, based on this morning's report on housing permits and starts, is that increased interest rates and continuing increased prices are beginning to take a bite out of the market.


Should single family permits fail to make a new high for at least one more month, and should the decline be over 5% from peak, I will switch their rating from positive to neutral. And, while the evidence is by no means conclusive, I would say the preponderance of the evidence is that housing is slowing down, and that will have an effect on the economy over the next 6 - 12 months.

Monday, June 18, 2018

The charts say nothing

Haven't posted charts in a while.

The charts are actually confusing as hell right now:

Emerging markets are tanking.

Gold is tanking.

But gold ex-USD is still doing fine, with no violation of the SMA-50 support. Silver is still rangebound, though the big puke downward last week looks like a warning of a future drop.

And yet, tech stocks are doing fantastic. This is a breakout to a new alltime high.

I guess you could interpret this as a play on American hegemony: the USA rules tech completely, and tech is a field with extreme market power, so any move by the US to impose an oppressive new world order is going to be reflected in a big pop in QQQ and a big drop in, say, EMs.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The invasion begins

At 9AM, let's watch the Vikings beat Argentina the way they beat England:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Feel good soccer story

Feel good story for you:

Al Jazeera - Iceland in the World Cup. The descendants of Viking warriors and Irish slavegirls, who were chased out of their homeland for murdering too many people and sailed off to live on the world's largest active volcano in the middle of the North Atlantic, and who now while away their days pulling jetliners with their teeth and occasionally winning wars against England, are on their way to World Cup history.

I'm rooting for them all the way. Be especially great if they kicked the snot out of the Russians.

Friday videos: Rush's 2112, played by... wait, what?

Rush's "2112", played by... wait, what?

Monday, June 11, 2018

You're not allowed to like DeNiro anymore

Well, all those Republicans are going to have to quit watching mobster movies, as well as Brazil, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver:

Recession coming in 2019, or not

It's recession watch time!

Jason Smith - JOLTS data and the 2019 recession. His model suggests that a recession is coming in 2019. Of course, you don't have to believe him, he's an econophysicist.

New Deal Demoncrat - I take issue with the JOLTS data indicating a 2019 recession. YoY hires haven't turned down yet, so no recession.

Jason Smith, Later That Same Day - Oh yeah? Well, so's your mom. Actually, more of a discussion on possible problems with his model.

Far as I'm concerned, the death of the neoliberal world order due to Trumpian stupidity should be able to trigger a recession all on its own, and then there's that whole Italian banking crisis in the making thing.

As for Trumpism, by the way:

New Deal Demoncrat - about the last time a narcissistic moron emperor destroyed the world. Important to note is that Kaiser Wilhelm single-handedly managed to destroy 30 years of empire-building under Otto von Bismarck. Then there was the whole two world wars and extermination of the Jews thing.

Speaking of which, some of Trump's (and Putin's) biggest supporters also seem to hate Jews quite a bit.

I think it's because Jews are great comedians, and right-wing fruitcakes hate comedy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Jim Chanos on Bitcoin

INET - Chanos says bitcoin is a security speculation game. Great quotes from him. The introductory quote says it all:

I’ve found in my research and my teaching that what I would call the “fraud cycle” — instances of large-scale financial fraud over multiple platforms and companies in the financial markets in the modern era (the last 500 years) — follows the financial cycle with a lag. That means that as business and particularly financial markets improve, peoples’ sense of disbelief and caution that they’ve often earned from the previous downturn begins to erode. Schemes that before might have seemed too good to be true begin to be embraced.

And as for the utility of bitcoin:

Bitcoin is still the area for people who are trying to avoid taxation or other examinations of their transactions. That’s one thing where I think it probably still has utility, but the governments have figured that out.

Last year, just as the mania was really going, an early convert who had gotten in early and had made a lot of money wrote this humorous blog about trying to cash in his winnings, if you will. He chronicled telling the exchange that he wanted to convert his bitcoins into U.S. dollars and have them wired into his U.S. bank. It took something like eight or ten days and numerous follow-ups and phone calls. The funniest part was his having to fax his passport to Lithuania. [...]

Using a fax machine to Eastern Europe struck me as kind of the antithesis of what you’re trying to do here. So this is simply a security speculation game masquerading as a technological breakthrough in monetary policy. Someone at Grant’s interest rate conference recently said that it was as if we had intentionally created a “monetary Somalia.”

And an interesting aside comparing the Bushes to the Clintons, which the Democrats should fucking pay attention to when discussing why the working class has abandoned them:

I always joke that the two presidents who have put more executives in jail than all the rest combined were both named Bush. W’s father was instrumental in prosecuting the S&L [Saving and Loan] crooks back in the early ‘90s and put about 3,000 of them in jail. I think they realized that the public was losing money in the stock markets, not just because of the frauds, but because the long dot-com bull market had ended. People were upset. Then when you had the revelations of WorldCom and Enron on top of it, there was a sense that every corporation was crooked and this was going to have exogenous impacts on the economy and the market as a whole. I think they correctly realized that we’ve got to basically show that we’re the cops on the beat. And they did.

Whereas after 2008 under the Democrats:

People in New York and San Francisco and Boston might be fine with everything, but in the South and Midwest, where you’re from and where I’m from, there’s still this general sense that “the bastards got away with it and I’m still suffering.” So there is an exogenous cost to this where people don’t feel that there was justice. They feel that they were taken advantage of by those sharpies on the coasts.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday extra: catnip

As you know if you've been here a while, I grow catnip outside for my cat.

Now, catnip grows pairs of leaves along a stem; those pairs then eventually become branching points for arms, which then again grow leaves along them in pairs again. They then branch as well, and so on a few times. And each subsidiary branch, as far as I can tell, then builds its own separate pipe down the main branch to the root bundle below. But everything works in pair symmetry in a typical catnip plant.

Anyway, a few times I've had a mutant catnip, which grows leaves in triplets instead of pairs. The first time, it essentially had no root system, so the structural gene that got transposed to produce triplets must have overwritten the root structure gene.

The second three-leaf catnip plant lived a bit longer, but never grew tall.

But this year:

The plant in the centre is a three-leaf catnip, and it's about the same size as the non-mutant catnip plants around it.

I'll be interested in seeing if it flowers, and if so I might collect all the seeds. Though all my plants this year have just sprouted in the ground without my help from the previous year's seed scatter, thanks to the sunny and wet spring we've had.

But it's neat to see how unstable the structural part of a plant's genetic library is.

As an aside, far to the right of this picture there's what seems to be a mutant mint plant: it's a lighter shade of green, and the leaves are rounder, and it smells of lemon instead of mint. I doubt it's hybridized: it's probably just a devolved mutant mint, because the seed packet I grew it from was crap.

Friday, June 1, 2018

On the crypto crisis of faith

FT - the crypto crisis of faith. Apparently there's this crypto investor clown who's selling his Manhattan townhouse for $30m in bitcoin.

Except he isn't. In reality, he's selling his house for $30m in cash, but $45m if you want to pay in bitcoin instead.

Which means that he feels bitcoin is only worth 2/3 of its cash quoted price. Either because it's so illiquid (unlike currency), or because as his lawyer states it's so volatile (unlike, y'know, currency).

Either that, or he's simply charging a 50% money-laundering fee, which seems to me like one heck of a high risk premium to charge on a mob deal, but then again I don't regularly interact with the mob so what do I know.

But it is a sign that the top has come and gone when the bigshots in the bitcoin pump scam all start converting their bitcoins into real hard assets.

Oh, and McAfee is starting to wonder if he might have to eat his own dick on TV. Forget Otto Rock and his "Daniel Ameduri promised to shut down his company!!1!" story, because an even more fun (and actually relevant outside the world of goldbug pump and dump bullshit) story is how McAfee will wriggle his way out of his promised autophallophagy without cratering bitcoin.

Friday videos: Let Forever Be

And how does it feel like, to watch in 360p?

As an added extra, here's Noel talking about recording "Let Forever Be" and "Setting Sun" with the ChemBros, and you know it'll be fun to watch just cos it's Noel:

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Ontario election: ok that's it, I've decided

I just got a YouTube ad where Mike Ford promised me 12% off on my hydro bills.

12%? Wow! Fuck education, environment, and the apparent complete and utter incompetence of a fat clown whose daddy was rich, whose brother was a cokehead, and who can't even string together an intelligent sounding sentence!

A 12% special on Hydro, and the beer in the corner store thing, is all I needed to see in the Conservative platform, I'm hooked.



ADDENDUM: he's also going to use his mystical power to control the international commodity markets to cut the price of gas by 10c per litre! Or, of course, just bankrupt the province by cutting the provincial tax on gas.


Monday, May 28, 2018

What is this I don't even

FT Alphaville - a crypto stunt gone tragically wrong. It starts out with a bunch of crypto clowns climbing Mount Everest (wait, what?) to bury a hard drive full of their cryptocurrency (wait, why?).

Being as they're on Mount Everest, you should expect that it all goes downhill from there.

Oh, and they're Ukrainian, which means it's even more surprising that something bad happened or that they're morons who let their Sherpas die.

I remain utterly unamazed that people still invest in this.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

More funnies: James Acaster makes girls pee

Watch the girl with black hair beside him. She just couldn't stand it.

NDD: weekly indicators starting to suck edition

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators.

I hadn't been following this for a few months, so I had no idea M1 and M2 were sucking so very badly.

Tax withholding also stinks.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Saturday funnies: James Acaster

You think it's funny, but then at about 3:00 he takes you to a vast new universe of hilarity:

What makes it even funnier is Melvin Odoom constantly butting in about the relative merits of bushes and benches.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Some news

Hey, so Bitcoin's only $7500 now, eh?

BBC - Trump lawyer paid by Ukraine to arrange White House talks. God, Republicans must like doing the bidding of Russia for this clown to stay in office.

New Deal Democrat - RIP bond market. I doubt it. You need for people to suddenly not have any money to invest, or for worldwide debt to suddenly explode higher at a faster rate than worldwide savings. Interest rates are a demographic phenomenon.

CCN - US government opens probe into Bitcoin price manipulation. And just like that, it's the end.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Teachers leaving for other fields

Tim Taylor - on US teachers quitting for other fields. This shows you how desperate they are to leave an utterly fucking dismal field:

"Teachers are leaving their jobs for other careers at a rate that has grown steadily every year in the past three years. ... The majority of educators leaving Educational Services (NAICS Sector 61) are starting careers in the Healthcare and Social Assistance sector. ... For starters, some jobs in Healthcare and Social Assistance, which includes nurses, child care and family assistance services, often require some of the same skills. “Administrative Services,” which includes office workers, is another category that attracts many educators leaving the workforce."

Seriously, healthcare and social assistance? Nursing and child care? Those are fucking horrible jobs that everyone with a choice will avoid. For teachers to go into those fields means their own jobs are dismal. They'd rather compete with Mexican illegal immigrants to change diapers or babysit toddlers for $12/hr jobs than continue teaching.

You've wrecked the teaching profession.

And now, some fuckstick in Texas is saying he wants teachers to carry guns, so that when the next nutcase with an automatic starts shooting up a school, they can heroically protect the lives of our children.

Problem 1: teachers are paid less than police. Police get paid extra cos they can get shot at. Right now, teachers are leaving the profession because they're not even getting paid enough to teach. Do you want to pay teachers more?

Problem 2: Police have the legal power to shoot to kill. Teachers don't. Are you going to rewrite the law to give teachers the right to kill?

Problem 3: Police are blanket indemnified against tortious claims for anything they do while lawfully performing their job. Are you going to indemnify teachers in law?

Problem 4: Police are trained in firearm use. Fuck, movie prop guys are trained in firearm use. Are you going to pay teachers for firearm training and certification?

Problem 5: Police have health coverage so that when they get shot, the health care and rehabilitation cost doesn't bankrupt their family. Do you want to extend that health coverage to evil, socialist, gay-agenda-promoting teachers?

Problem 6: Some American teachers, probably most, have been selected on the basis of teaching ability, not on the basis of the ability to make an instant life-or-death decision in a firefight. What are you going to do? Fire them all and replace them with ex-Marines? Ex-Marines cost more.

New Deal Demoncrat finally identifies the two things to watch for

New Deal Demoncrat - interest rate and gas price watch.

NDD identifies interest rates and gas prices as the two things that will be early indicators for the next economic slowdown.

Bell rung, watchlist identified, his first watch call since the 2009 crisis ended.

Which is better than some clown bloggers out there, who make up a new cutesy slogan and watchlist and looming apocalypse every six months for their goddamn incomprehensible investment newsletter where they describe the decisions that make them significantly less money than if they'd just bought a passive S&P 500 index ETF.

The opioid crisis

WSJ RTE - prescription rates driving the opioid crisis, not unemployment.

Textbook statistical study here.

If joblessness was a cause of drug abuse, then the differential impacts of the 2008 crisis on different states would show a differential effect on drug abuse.

But the data don't show that.

Thus, it's really just a case of Republican states (where addiction is more common) being full of doctors who love prescribing drugs. And Republican voters loving taking drugs, instead of trusting in Christ to lead them through times of difficulty.

As an aside, Jordan Peterson (yeah, I've been watching him, wanted to see what the fuss was about) makes the point that "people who are depressed feel physical pain more, it's statistically proven. And people who feel pain more get prescribed more opioids." Thus, Republican states must be more psychologically depressing states.

If that's the case, then the above study must show that Republican depression has nothing to do with economic hardship.

Maybe Peterson can explain whether more hateful people feel depression more.

Or maybe whether the cognitive dissonance required to profess love of Christ and patriotism, while simultaneously hating the 50% of Americans who don't vote for your party, correlates with increased depression and physical pain.

New Deal Demoncrat is getting full of himself

New Deal Demoncrat - dear professor Krugman....


You never admit that you read my blog. Why would you expect that K-dog will admit to reading your blog?

Seriously, though, the Krugginator tends to stay away from social media because it's full of dickless fucksticks constantly trying to make their mark by taking on Teh Ebil Krugman Sociamalist, kinda like an army of WWF fans demanding a title shot with the heavyweight champion without ever having contested a match. He even ignores taunts from the St. Louis Fed's resident clown Stephen Williamson, leaving it to DeLong to respond to Williamson's idiotic jawboning.

Put succinctly, K-dog always has a choice of how to apportion scarce resources. He can

1) chat with a large pool of distinguished economist friends like Mo Obstfeld, Larry Summers or Barry Eichengreen on economics topics that extend his knowledge and understanding, or

2) read a blog by some guy.

If K-dog is a rational maximizer of utility facing a time constraint, he will always choose 1 over 2.

Just accept that we all can't be the blog that Obama relied on to provide him with critical national security insights in the midst of an international crisis.

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Deal Demoncrat, retail sales

New Deal Demoncrat - April retail sales.

By the way, look at the retail sales chart:

It spiked along with the S&P 500. So was the S&P 500 spike of earlier this year really unearned, or was it entirely reasonable?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bespoke on S&P 500 trailing PE

Bespoke - S&P 500 trailing 12-month PE. Wherein they give you pictures like this:

And if you look real close you'll see that while yes, it would have been bad to buy at the 30 peak in 2000, it was a fucking amazing time for a long-termer to buy in early 1992.

Now you have a reason to ignore forever any fuckstick who whines about the S&P trailing 12-month PE.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

On the underdevelopment of the Balkans

Branko Milanovic - a geographical hypothesis for why the Balkans are underdeveloped. He brings up 20th century communism and earlier Turk exploitation as explanations, then includes high mountains (as barriers to land travel) and contiguity with the Ukrainian steppe (as enabling constant invasions) as new explanations.

Unfortunately, Branko forgets that trade never happened over land in this era. It was always by sea, where transportation costs are a tiny fraction of the land transportation costs.

There are a few counterexamples, like the land silk route thru Asia (which required a single massive empire to enable it) and the later land gold route through Africa (ditto). But boring trade of boring average commodities happened by sea and river.

And the interior of the Balkans was inaccessible from the sea due to the Iron Gates. There was no way to get from the Black Sea to Hungary and beyond, except by trails. There was I guess a road from Venice through Carinthia to the Austrian interior, but there again you have the problem of roads being too expensive for travel. Thus there could be no external trade connections with the Balkans, thus no wealth.

So there's an alternate theory for you.

You could counter that the massive Hungarian silver and gold deposits exploited starting in the 13th century became a good replacement for wealth by trade... but then you'd have to do the work to figure out if the Balkan-Western wealth gap narrowed during that time. It may have: they built a fuckton of new castles and saw massive immigration from Germany.

As for invasions, why not look at the economy of Hungary before and after their slaughter at the hands of the Mongols in 1241-2? Hungary in fact bounced back rather quickly from a very thorough genocide: ten years later they were healthy enough to go back to constant war with Bohemia, with a few hundred new stone castles having been built in their territory. I think the effect of invasions and slaughters is a lot different in the middle ages, where no economies were operating anywhere near capacity in the first place.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Nouriel Roubini again, on... yup you guessed it

Nouriel Roubini - cryptocurrency scams. Crypto is beginning to sound even stupider and stupider:

Initial coin offerings have become the most common way to finance cryptocurrency ventures, of which there are now nearly 1,600 and rising. In exchange for your dollars, pounds, euros, or other currency, an ICO issues digital “tokens,” or “coins,” that may or may not be used to purchase some specified good or service in the future.

Huh... that kinda sounds like massive hyperinflation through money printing, doesn't it?

Thus it is little wonder that, according to the ICO advisory firm Satis Group, 81% of ICOs are scams created by con artists, charlatans, and swindlers looking to take your money and run. It is also little wonder that only 8% of cryptocurrencies end up being traded on an exchange, meaning that 92% of them fail.

Wow. Well, thankfully, from my own experience here at university, most of these scams are only fleecing corrupt Chinese communist party officials.

If you invest in a conventional (non-crypto) business, you are afforded a variety of legal rights – to dividends if you are a shareholder, to interest if you are a lender, and to a share of the enterprise’s assets should it default or become insolvent. Such rights are enforceable because securities and their issuers must be registered with the state.

Moreover, in legitimate investment transactions, issuers are required to disclose accurate financial information, business plans, and potential risks. There are restrictions limiting the sale of certain kinds of high-risk securities to qualified investors only. And there are anti-money-laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations to prevent tax evasion, concealment of ill-gotten gains, and other criminal activities such as the financing of terrorism.

In the Wild West of ICOs, most cryptocurrencies are issued in breach of these laws and regulations, under the pretense that they are not securities at all. Hence, most ICOs deny investors any legal rights whatsoever. They are generally accompanied by vaporous “white papers” instead of concrete business plans. Their issuers are often anonymous and untraceable. And they skirt all AML and KYC regulations, leaving the door open to any criminal investor.

Wow. Again, I guess, easy come easy go.

In fact, the only reason to restrict a purchase to token-holders is to create an illegal cartel of service providers who are safe from price competition and in a position to gouge their customers. Consider Dentacoin, a ridiculous cryptocurrency that can be spent only on dental services (and which almost no dentist actually accepts). It would be hard to come up with a better illustration of why business cartels are illegal in all civilized countries.

Of course, the crypto-cartels would counter that customers who incur the cost of buying a token will benefit if that token appreciates in value. But this makes no sense. If the price of the token rises above the market value of the good or service being provided, then no one would buy the token. The only plausible reason for forcing the use of a token, then, is to hike prices or bilk investors.

Wow^2. Seems like the people buying this garbage don't even know basic economics... which I guess is understandable if their only education has been the Mises Institute or some Ron Paul videos.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Good ol' Charlie Munger

CCN - Charlie Munger says trading bitcoin nearly as bad as trading in harvested baby brains. This guy's great:

The 94-year-old Munger then proceeded to compare cryptocurrency trading to dealing in “freshly harvested baby brains,” arguing that both would be immoral even if profitable.

“Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it?” he asked. “To me bitcoin is almost as bad.”

Munger then took aim at bitcoin proponents, alleging that it is disgraceful to promote cryptoassets and chastising them that it is “beneath you.”

“I regard the whole thing as a combination of dementia and immorality. I think the people pushing it are a disgrace,” he concluded. “There ought to be some things that are beneath you, that you just don’t do, and this is one.”

To be fair, harvested baby brains won't make McAfee eat his own dick on national TV.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Caste hatred in India

BBC - caste hatred in India, what it looks like.

As an aside, here at university, among the most rabid anti-white critique you'll ever hear will be from bourgeois pseudo-leftist Indians with upper caste family names.

And the entitled brats don't even see how ironic it is that a brat from a million dollar home in Mississauga, whose family bars Dalits from even entering their temple, can pretend to be leftist.

OMGWEALLGONNA... be stinking rich forever?

Yes, let's all puke stocks!

Calculated Risk - best April ever for intermodal. And intermodal is trade, and trade is up when the economy is up. Let's all puke stocks then!

Calculated Risk - Q2 forecast: 3-4% growth. Yes, let's also puke stocks when the economy has finally bust out from 3%!!

Sure, the market went way too far way too fast in winter, and that's why we're down 10%. Not because of some idiot president.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Market comment

If you remember, the market went down a few weeks ago on Korea tensions, as it seemed Trump was willing to start a nuclear war with Small Korea.

And so today, not to be outdone the market goes down on futher Korea tensions, as Moon and Kim meet for a historic summit that ended in hugs and giggles. Possibly also a pillowfight in bras and panties.

Speaking of which....

BBC - Moon Jae-In says Trump should get a Nobel Peace Prize. BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Oh and also, the Russians are hacking Google again

Oh and also, Google is slow today, so I guess the Russians are trying to hack them again.

Well there's two great contrary indicators for you

BI - American investors just went pessimistic on the market. And you know what this has always meant in the past? Great time to buy stocks.

Also, Business Insider has an article on Albert Edwards being pessimistic, which isn't as perfect a bottom-tick indicator as worthless idiot Raoul Pal but it's close.

Strangely, though, BI expects people to want to pay for Albert Edwards' worthless fucking nonsense. I guess they aren't making money on advertising anymore so they have to go the paywall route and hope for enough stupidity to keep them in business.

All is not lost for John McAfee

If you don't remember, anal-application-of-synthetic-stimulants pioneer John McAfee offered to eat his own dick on national TV if Bitcoin doesn't go to $500,000 by July 2020.

Given that bullshit "alternative currencies" are proliferating like bunnies, there is literally no way that this can happen.*

But all is not lost, John McAfee!:

BBC News - US soldier gets first penis and scrotum transplant.

* - well, it can happen if these people are somehow able to use their existing crypto holdings as security on loans to buy more crypto. And actually, I'd love to see that happen, just to see how much they bleat when they lose more than 100%.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Back online

Had to study for exams, and was otherwise bummed at having fucking ice and snow in April, but now that everything has more or less worked out I'm back online!

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Rail is still fantastic, tax withholding is down due to the Trump tax cuts, and Baltic Dry seems to be spiking with resources.

Speaking of which, a late-cycle thing to look out for is a spike in commodities. Seems we're getting there now. That might be nice for miner stocks....

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bespoke news

BIG is always a fantastic dose of reality:

Bespoke Investment Group - jobless claims streak of 162 straight weeks.

Bespoke Investment Group - AAII bullish sentiment collapses.

Add that to the $VIX finally collapsing below its EMA(20) and you've got a fantastic reason to buy, not sell.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Flurry of Daniela activity

Was checking my blog stats in the first time in forever, and saw a flurry of hits yesterday on my "Is Daniela Cambone married?" post from years back.

That always means Daniela's just put up a video on YouTube where she's interviewed someone. Usually it's someone utterly reprehensible like Peter Schiff or Doug Casey who drives the hits to this blog.

But today, it's the only mildly reprehensible, but also in this case funny and loveable, Mark Cuban:

Daniela doesn't manage to get Mark to show her where on the doll the bad goldbug touched him.

At least he can get uproarious laughs out of her, which means he has ten times the charm of her typical guest.

And you can tell he thinks she's hot.

Where goes the Republican party now?

Reuters - older educated voters shift away from Trump. Quote:
The 12-point swing is one of the largest shifts in support toward Democrats that the Reuters/Ipsos poll has measured over the past two years. If that trend continues, Republicans will struggle to keep control of the House of Representatives, and possibly the Senate, in the November elections, potentially dooming President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda.

“The real core for the Republicans is white, older white, and if they’re losing ground there, they’re going to have a tsunami,” said Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist who closely tracks political races. “If that continues to November, they’re toast.”
A year ago I would have called bullshit on this, given it's mainly House incumbent Dems who are up for reelection in November. Then again, if Alabama can swing Democrat, that's possibly indicative of a major shift to the world of American politics, no?

Though obviously I know a lot of this commentary comes with a hidden undercurrent of Democrat wishful thinking.

Where goes the market now?

WSJ - leverage will determine if China or the US comes out on top. The problem China faces in a "trade war" is that a country with the large trade surplus and low exports doesn't have much room for retaliatory tariffs. If the US imposes $150B in tariffs on China, that's a greater amount than China's entire US imports: so what are they going to do in retaliation?

China’s $506 billion worth of exports to the U.S. last year equaled 4% of its gross domestic product, while the U.S.’s $130 billion worth of exports to China equaled just 0.7% of GDP. This makes Chinese growth more at risk in a trade war. It also means that if both countries carry through on their threats to apply tariffs to $50 billion of the other’s exports, the U.S. has way more targets left to hit afterward than China.

Tariffs on Chinese imports raise costs for Americans but they would be easily manageable given the size of the U.S. economy. Indeed, perhaps the biggest risk to China from a trade war is that global manufacturers no longer regard it as a reliable base from which to supply the U.S. and shift operations elsewhere. If China retaliates by punishing U.S. companies’ operations in China, for example with health or safety violations, it aggravates that risk. Foreign investment has been key to China’s acquisition of technological and industrial know-how.

China could attempt to roil U.S. markets by selling, or buying fewer, U.S. Treasury bonds. But global trading in those bonds is so heavy the consequences may not be great; and it would push China’s currency higher, further endangering exports.

U.S. exports to China are not easily replaced. Several bloggers have observed that China imports so much of the world’s soybean supply that it has few alternatives to the U.S. Brazil, the only other major supplier, is already reaching its capacity. That means China would have to keep importing American soybeans while its tariff rippled through to the price of tofu, bean curd, animal feed and thus chicken and pork. “Chinese tariffs would no doubt hurt US farmers, but likely hurt Chinese consumers more,” Brad Setser of the Council on Foreign Relations said on Twitter.

So I think all this "OMG China trade warz!!!!" nonsense is going to melt away, and the market will suddenly remember Trump's tax breaks to corporations as earnings season progresses.

Friday, April 6, 2018



Bitcoin's trading at $6584 now?

Y'know, with price action like that, I'd be dumping what I have and buying something else.

Friday videos: The Go Gos, but not as you know them

Fun fact: Terry Hall from Fun Boy Three actually co-wrote this song, so it's not even a cover.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Bitcoin keeps on sucking

Now bitcoin is at $6747.

I suggest DaYvan Cowboy buy more. Lots lots more.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Wakanda and economics

Tim Taylor - Wakanda and economics. How exactly do you get to be the world's most technologically advanced economy on nothing but vibranium?

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Hey, remember Bitcoin?

Hey, so why is bitcoin down to $6910?

Zerohedge says "it would be unfair to be totally dismissive of what the Blockchain technology has brought about", but how is it unfair to note that Visa can process a million times as many transactions per second as crypto, yet crypto is supposed to be taken seriously as a payment method? Or is it not really a currency? Cuz, y'know, currencies are payment methods.

Then Zerohedge says "One must remember that the aftermath of the dotcom bubble also affirmed that truly innovative organizations and technologies could weather the storm", which is true if "innovative" means blathering libertopian nonsense. I mean, we all know that'll always weather the storm.

Then Zerohedge says "Whether or not crypto ventures will share a similar fate to dotcoms remains to be seen", which kinda sounds like their Russian paymasters are throwing in the towel and want to move on to their next scam.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Friday videos: Bananarama, but not as you know them

Bananarama and Fun Boy Three, and you understand this if you know that Bananarama were roomies of Steve Jones and almost got managed by Malcolm McLaren:

Monday, March 26, 2018

And by the way....

Bush Jr. and Obama both brought in tens of billions of tariffs on things, and nobody freaked out about them.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Calm words from Liz Ann Sonders

My favourite market commentator has some calm words to get you through the "OMG can an idiot president really cause a collapse in world trade" fears:

Liz Ann Sonders - quit piddling your frilly little pink girl-panties.

Unfortunately Jeffrey Kleintop is still around, shitting all over her reports with his fucking unqualified idiot free-trade nonsense that he got from his BA in business admin and his MBA - neither of which are an economics degree, or even a political economy degree.

But you can just ignore his crap, which is easy to find in her write-ups because it's always hyperbolic emotional nonsense, and focus on Liz's sensible commentary:

With the recent myopic focus on tariffs and trade over the past several weeks, investors might have forgotten that the underlying foundation of the U.S. economy remains solid, although the softer retail sales report caused the Atlanta Fed GDPNow model to dip under 2% for the first quarter, which now has only a couple of weeks left. In spite of these weaker first quarter growth projections, business sentiment remains very optimistic. The NFIB small business optimism index is at its highest level since 1983, with a record-high reading for its “good time to expand” component. In addition, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Index (covering about 88% of the U.S. economy) dipped only slightly to 59.5, while the forward-looking new order component rose to a quite robust 64.8. The accompanying ISM Manufacturing Index (covering the other 12% of the U.S. economy) rose to a robust 60.8, while orders remained strong. And actions are increasingly backing up these positive surveys, with The Wall Street Journal reporting that according to FTR Transportation Intelligence, heavy truck orders were up 76% in February relative to the year ago period.

Additionally, the labor market remains strong, with forward-looking jobless claims recently hitting their lowest level since 1969 and the latest monthly jobs report showing a surprisingly strong 313,000 jobs were added in February. The unemployment rate remained at a low 4.1%; with its flat reading reflecting a jump in the labor force participation rate from 62.7% to 63.0%. Perhaps most calming to the markets was that average hourly earnings were up only 2.6% year-over-year; down from the downwardly revised 2.8% in January, and calming some fears about more aggressive Federal Reserve policy after the prior month’s hotter wage reading.

Read her every week, it's free and Liz is a genius.

Uber is just a scammy gold exploreco, here's why

Getting into annoying discussions about Uber at school in a transport policy class, so I'm going to unload here.


Uber really just gains traction by being another genocide-of-the-proletariat story: hey, wouldn't it be great if we just got rid of 4% of the US workforce that make a living driving? It's a totally bourgeois story.


Hey, remember when Uber was a taxi company? Yeah, that worked until the London cabbies put an end to it.

Fact is, Uber was only "revolutionizing" taxi service by inventing a poorly-thought-out workaround for labour laws, where they asserted their drivers were private contractors. Once they had to treat drivers like everyone else treats drivers, they had to get out of the taxi business.

I think there might have also been a problem in Uber not owning plates. See, taxi services get regulated with a plate system, which is an enforced restriction of supply. That is needed for their industry to stay profitable: in an unregulated libertarian free market, driving becomes a zero-entry-cost perfect competition environment, and by definition nobody can make money in one of those. I'd like to know if there was ever a suit against Uber for operating in a market without plates.

And in any case, Uber shows how fucking stupid they were by trying to operate in a perfect competition market: that is not where you start a new business, ever, and hopefully they're fucking teaching this in first-year business school.

So, now they pivot out of the taxi industry to become a "self-driving car" company.

No, self-driving cars will not be allowed onto the road until tort law catches up. That's what makes this Arizona case so important: it will establish who has liability for tortious injury caused by a self-driving car.

And I'm sorry, but no trucking company is going to dump their driver Sanjeet for a robot, because Sanjeet is the guy who can take the blame for a fatal collision. With Sanjeet replaced by a robot, either the trucking company will have to assume total liability as owner, or they'll be renting from Uber who will then have to assume liability as owner.

And no, you don't make money by creating a business that just buries you in liabilities. And no, existing companies absolutely never change their mode of business to increase their liability. Ever.

So Uber can't make money in self-driving logistics.

So now Uber falls back on the idea of taxis... just that now they'll be self-driving ones.

Which is stupid. Gwynne Dyer (who is generally fiercely intelligent in the field of political economy, but is way out of his fucking wheelhouse here) repeats the vacuous crap that

The long-term impact of autonomous vehicles on private car ownership will be just as great. A recent KPMG survey of car industry executives found that 59 per cent of chief executives believe more than half of today's car owners will no longer want to own a car by 2025 — just summon a cheap self-driving taxi whenever you want to go somewhere.

It's Uber on stilts. Self-driving taxis will be everywhere, and respond to the summons in just a minute or two. No parking problems ever again, and far less congestion on the roads because a taxi fleet one-quarter as big as the current total of private cars would suffice to meet even maximum rush-hour demand.

which ignores the fact that we fucking have that now. Right now you can hail a car that takes you anywhere you want to go. It's called a taxi. And nobody takes them. I know for a fact that during the day, my urban neighbourhood only has 3 cars in my dispatch area from one of the three taxi companies. Those taxis ain't replacing more than 0.01% of my neighbourhood's car fleet, and it's not going to change.

Again, the only way Uber could increase usage is by reducing cost to patrons, which can't be done profitably otherwise taxi companies wouldn't need licensing systems to constrain supply.

And Uber has never been profitable - even when they were running their cab service all over the western world in violation of labour laws, they still needed a constant influx of cash from printing shares just to stay in business. If you can't make money in that paradigm, you're not going to make money in a new paradigm that just copies it.

Uber is nothing but a bullshit gold exploreco, spinning bullshit stories to people who don't know anything, so they can print more shares and sell them to suckers. Their real business is eating share capital.

And the fact they just handwave their way through liability issues and labour law issues and the fucking iron rule of perfect competition markets shows they have no fucking clue what the real world is.

Friday videos: there was still good music after Nirvana

Fun fact: after the whole grunge scene exploded, and suddenly you had shit acts like Helmet and Cell getting million-dollar advances to put out nothing but fucking garbage, there was nevertheless still a small piece of the original US noisecore movement that was still alive.

Like Superchunk:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pooty-Poot's election was a sham, you say?

No kidding? An election in Russia turns out to be a sham?

Reuters - Pooty's so nice, they voted for him twice! It was swell of him to provide free bus rides for all his voters.

And then provide free bus service for them to vote all over again down the street.

And so on.

Monday, March 19, 2018


The hayseeds dumping SPY and QQQ today don't realize they're reacting to a fucking ex-div.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Ha ha, reality intrudes yet again on the Bitcoin wankfest

Ha ha!:

Daily Express - Bitcoin crashing again, as reality intrudes on the libertopian fantasy. Quote:

The drop comes after it was revealed cryptocurrency investors could face hefty tax bills as the IRS closes in.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, anything purchased using a digital currency is liable to be taxed as a capital gain.

So anyone who has cashed out or paid for anything using cryptocurrency may have capital gains to report to the IRS.

One Reddit contributor earlier this week claimed they had discovered they owe the IRS $50k because they traded in cryptos.

Fucking libertopian buffoons. "Oh, reality doesn't matter to us! We're the future! Fiat currency is dead! Long live the new flesh!"

New computer - thoughts

Had to buy a new computer this semester - the old one was still running Vista, and was 32-bit, and since I'm taking a load of GIS classes, I needed something new and powerful to run ArcGIS Pro. So I dropped $1200 on a high-end gaming tower.

Two thoughts:

1) I dunno why people are so down on Windows 10. It works fine. It boots up in fricking 5 seconds, man. That is fast. Yes, it looks a bit chintzy with all its "hey, let's install paid apps like you're a dumbass Chromebook user!" schtick, but with that in mind it's still better than Vista. It's almost as good as Win98.

2) I dunno why people are so down on Edge. I'm in the middle of a browser file upload right now and Edge is taking up like 0.6% of CPU to do it: the same work in Firefox would take three entire fucking chips and 2GB of RAM. I certainly would prefer being able to install loads of ad and script blockers, but I'm not going to install Firefox's worthless bloatware to do it, and I had a bad experience with Chrome.

Friday, March 16, 2018

How screwed the US is

Two articles on how screwed the US is right now:

Calculated Risk - Larry Kudlow is usually wrong. The guy completely screwed the pooch on the US housing bubble. Read how.

Bonddad - Real M1 and M2 growth lowest since 2010. Hello imminent recession! Especially with another Trump clown in charge of the Fed.

Friday videos: yup so I'm back to pushing limits here

In honour of the UK's National Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness Day, here's Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me":

And what's funny is, this isn't even remotely the most inappropriate thing I've ever posted on my blog.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lesson about explorecos

I guess the lesson is that even if a company's got a really great deposit, it can still fuck over all the shareholders and be worth zero fuck all.

On this day....

On this day in 1781, songwriter William Herschel discovered your anus while in his bath.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The blockchain pipedream

Nouriel Roubini - the blockchain pipedream. Wherein he tells everyone that bitcoin and blockchain are just bullshit. Not that anyone's going to listen to him if they're invested, of course.

You're telling me...?

Wait, isn't the Nasdaq at an all-time high again?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday videos: a song about the Chromatics covering Joy Division or something

And you don't see anyone cool in the entire world covering songs by fucking Kiss, do you? But Joy Division, everyone covers them:

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


In the US, Congress has the power to regulate trade, including tariffs.

Not Trump.

Monday, March 5, 2018

NDD triple-shot of dooooomery

Three from NDD:

New Deal Demoncrat - is the secular trend changing? I'd point out that the last time bond yields and stock prices both went up together, the US market was a completely different animal, with much more manufacturing, much less services, and a completely different demographics.

New Deal Demoncrat - significant deterioration in M1 & M2. Bears watching, because money supply is a no-bullshit indicator. Then again, so much American money is used overseas that it might actually signify something else, depending on whether or not the Fed follows domestic M1 & M2 or worldwide M1 & M2.

New Deal Demoncrat - the march of demographics and the 2018 midterms. Really interesting take on US voter demographics, with some interesting ideas like how people actually don't generally change their political stripe as they age.

The Trumpening entrumpens

BI - Mueller's leaked hit list shows he's targeting Trump like a criminal enterprise.

Ha ha, bye Trump.

Remember the PDAC curse!

Remember, PDAC is almost over.

Every year, all mining stocks collapse right after (or sometimes during, as in you're going down the Convention Centre escalator Friday morning and you check your stocks and go "holy shit, why am I here?") PDAC.

You have been warned.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Josh Brown on trade war

The Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - trade war.

Follow the links for more detailed commentary.

But this bit:
Needless to say, markets hate this idea, because it’s dumb, and the Dow Jones immediately vomited up 500 points as the impromptu declaration was made in front of an audience of steel CEOs.
is probably the part that the press should have been telling you, but which they haven't.

Thus, fear bullshit.

Aw, good ol' Trump, creating massive market volatility

Aw, good ol' Trump:

BI - Trump: "trade wars are good!!!!1"

For the record:

a) 25% on steel and aluminium are no big deal.

b) Sure, there is far more American manufacturing using steel and aluminium as inputs, and thus the tariffs are a net negative for the US economy.

c) Maybe Trump knows this, but really primary metals tariffs are just an indication that the primary industries are bribing Trump more than secondary manufacturers are.

d) Doesn't matter anyway, because manufacturing is a piddling small part of the US economy.

e) And US-listed manufacturers whose plants are in other countries won't see the tariff.

f) But yeah, it indicates Trump is willing to do other stupid things in the future.

g) I'm still waiting for someone in the press to point out whether or not Trump has the power to pass this without Congress. I doubt you can get a majority in the House or Senate to go along with this.

h) Though it'll be interesting to see which side the Democrats from steel districts are on. Trade wars are always popular in the Rust Belt.

i) In any case, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out at the international level. The US doesn't technically have the power to impose these tariffs under WTO, though of course the US does have the power to say "fuck you bozos".

j) Off to do more homework now. Wondering if we see $SPX 2600 again.

Friday videos: a song about Twin Peaks or something

Good to see the Chromatics have finally pulled their thumbs out their asses and released another song:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

And by the way, on TA

By the way:

I'm taking spatial stats, and we're doing things like kernel estimates and Moran's I and so on.

Basically, with spatial data, you can generate these sorts of things to create maps that easily illustrate spatial variation in data.

One of my teachers was saying that he's been able to publish all sorts of stuff with a positive response just by doing a kernel analysis of a point pattern. It's a trivial exercise from a spatial stats perspective, but people in academia feel they get an awful lot of information from a picture.

I was thinking about this. Humans' brains are high-level visual computers: you can see how much so by looking at how fucking hard it is to train a computer to recognize a face, which we can do instantly.

And so, if you can present data in a visual pattern, you'll see what's subjectively a vast amount of info in that picture, that you'd never see in a list of numbers.

TA, then, is just applying simple heuristics to visual data, in order to access extra information visually.

And that's exactly why it looks like Tarot card reading, even when done properly.

market comment with 2 charts


The is the best of US market ETFs, and it looks like it doesn't want to break thru to a new high.

So what you should want to know right now is, will we stall here, or have another waterfall 10% collapse?

Well, since absolutely everything got correlated in the last spike and subsequent collapse, let's look for a clue in the reach for yield space:

And in this case, China failed at the Bollinger mean and has now dropped below its SMA(50) and gone Bollinger negative.

So either China diverges from the US in the next bit, or the failure in China yesterday means an upcoming failure in the US equities.

Sorry, having too much fun at school

Sorry, been having far too much fun learning spatial analysis at school, so haven't been posting.

New Deal Demoncrat is on the job, still keeping an eye out for a turn in the economy:

New Deal Demoncrat - a change in economic seasons? Part 2 will be coming soon, I hope.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Well duh

Market is selling off late this afternoon (Tuesday) simply because people are scared of the result of the Fed minutes released Wednesday.

And because the selloff began after 3PM, you know it's the instos that are doing the selling, not retail.

Which just goes to show that instos are fucking pathetic moronic lemmings with no intelligence.

Which you would have learned already, simply by seeing the quality of ignorant fucktards taking business and economics degrees at universities.

Really, these people are just taking rubber-stamp degrees to signal to the kleptocracy that they have the breeding required to associate with the other entitled ignorant fuckwits in banking.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Some Friday noos

Here's some fun reading for Friday:

New Deal Demoncrat - why I'm piddling my frilly pink panties. Real nonsupervisory wages are rolling over, and when you combine that with the constant increase in consumer credit, that means a credit-constrained consumer is right around the corner, and that means a recession eventually. Thankfully it only means an old-fashioned one.

Calculated Risk - LA port traffic increases yoy in January. Which is good, it means consumption is still happening.

Polemic's Pains - the diary of a messed up market day. It's nice that someone who knows what he's talking about is being caught flat-footed by the market. Oh, and he bought gold miners.

BBC News - Navalny's name shifts snow. Why isn't Zerohedge all over this story of how people are fighting back against a corrupt government by using censorship to force public workers to do their jobs? Maybe it's because Daniel Ivandjiiski is a paid stooge of Vladimir Putin?

Friday videos: a chart-topping song about meth

This song is apparently about meth. It also went top-10 for 14 weeks.

Also, do you remember Hanson's "Mmm Bop"?

Cos that was a big hit right before this came out. And though it's structurally a lot more simple than this one, it does darn well kinda hit the exact same musical themes. I mean, you could do a mashup of the two.

Just one of them weird things.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Zerohedge didn't carry this story....

I wonder why Zerohedge isn't all over this story about the infringement of people's free speech rights, the banning of websites for critical content, and yadda yadda wharrgarbl?

BBC News - Russia bans YouTube and Instagram. Quote:

YouTube and Instagram face being blocked by Russian internet service providers as a result of a standoff between one of the country's richest businessmen and an opposition leader.

Russia's internet censor blacklisted material on both services after a court ruled that it violated billionaire Oleg Deripaska's privacy rights.

My god! What kind of horrible things were people posting about this fine upstanding Nazi?

Mr Navalny's Anti-corruption Foundation posted a video to YouTube last Thursday in which he presented footage that allegedly showed Mr Deripaska meeting Russia's deputy prime minister Sergei Prikhodko aboard a yacht.

The material was said to have been sourced from a woman's Instagram account, where it had been posted in 2016.

Mr Navalny also uploaded a photo of the "secret meeting" alongside a post detailing corruption claims, to his own Instagram account.

The next day, Mr Deripaska obtained a court order demanding the removal of 14 Instagram posts and seven YouTube clips.

And on Saturday, the government's internet watchdog Roskomnadzor issued the two tech platforms a take-down notice giving them three business days to comply.

Google subsequently wrote to Mr Navalny's team saying it might be forced to block the videos.

But to date, neither it nor Facebook has censored the material.

And given Zerohedge is a paid part of the Russian anti-west disinfo campaign, you'd damn well expect they'd never write an article on this. Right?

Quick point

If you're going to read some blogger's opinion on this morning's CPI reading, better make sure it's a blogger who's not fucking illiterate.

technical analysis

It's amazing how perfectly $VIX intraday is governed by the EMA(10) during a fear spike, like from January 16th to today, and how perfectly it breaks thru the EMA(10) the minute fear subsides.

Too bad there's no ETF to trade this sort of behaviour:

I mean okay there was an ETF, but now some fuckstick trader has wiped it out.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

And a quick market comment

Polemic's Pains said he's bought into the market, with a close trailing stop.

Therefore, I assume everyone has done this.

And, I assume anyone with half a brain knows everyone has done this.

Therefore, I assume someone is going to run the stops, probably today.

Therefore, I'm not going to get worried when this market pukes 5% with an empty book.

There are benefits to sex

This is just freaky:

NYT - this mutant crayfish clones itself without sex. Star Trek fans suddenly all click through.

Monday, February 12, 2018

All the doomy news that's fit to doom

OMG! Sell everything! here's why!:

Calculated Risk - record port traffic at Long Beach in Jan 2018. The consumer is desperate to buy! Therefore sell everything, stocks are worthless!

Calculated Risk - best January ever for intermodal. OMG! Sell sell sell!

Bonddad - interest rates haven't done anything. OMG! There are interest rates! Sell sell sell!

Bonddad - quit being pussies, you fucking pussies. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Polemics Pains - every fucking stupid reason for the dump. OMG there are reasons! Sell sell sell!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Trying to gain more perspective on what broke

So, after the panic has apparently subsided, or at least gone into a short-term lull (hard to tell with volumes the way they are), let's try and puzzle out what broke.

Obviously the $VIX system broke. XIV is dead, and that means that a major market mover of the front 2 months in the $VIX futures option market has died.

$VIX futures are a signal for bots. I mean hell, I'd program a bot with a $VIX futures input. But the signal today means something completely different than what it meant a week ago, because XIV is no longer trading the front 2 months. That is a really big change; of course, eventually the big boys can switch to implementing in-house front-month CBOE $VIX futures strategies to replace the XIV mechanism they had been outsourcing to Suisse.

So the US equity market mechanism won't fully recover until all the bots are reprogrammed to take into account the change in $VIX futures participation.

Bitcoin? Yes, that broke too, but who fucking cares? I cannot see why any serious market participant would buy or sell based on the goings on in an OTC Ponzi scheme, which is what bitcoin is. That won't move pensions, and it won't move Goldman's prop desk unless they're morons.

US economy? Nothing wrong with it right now. The Fed even under Powell won't raise rates so high that they kill investment, and investment ultimately is what drives the economic cycle.

Do stocks need to come down to a lower P/E for prices to be sustainable? Maybe, but if so, why aren't Republicans still puking stocks today? I don't think that asset inflation has suddenly stopped; in fact, giving more income to the working class through minimum wage raises will actually provide a hell of a lot of support to consumption at the bottom end of the Keynesian cross. Earnings growth may actually come, though unfortunately the timing of that is different than it's ever been before because the bourgeois rentier sector has already had their own recovery.

Yabut, if interest rates keep rising, won't that hurt anyone? Well, rising US interest rates should kill emerging markets, if the past is any indication. They haven't been murdered yet, despite the US having gone into a bull market. Maybe a year or two of higher rates will bring about some major crisis in EMs, which this time around will kill the world economy much worse than it ever did before. But for now, all is swell.

It's hard to tell what to make of the lull that's seized the market by noon today, except perhaps that everyone is done doing whatever they wanted to do and are now busy retooling the bot army.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Just heard on CBC: the bottom in the market is in

Just heard on CBC:

"Stock markets around the world are in free-fall. Are we headed for a correction? Tonight on The National!"

Because the story has now made it to CBC, which used to be a decent news service but now has become a laughingstock in Canadian news, with a stated policy of ensuring every radio news broadcast has at least one story on fucking native people that nobody cares about, I hereby call the bottom in the S&P.

SPY comment

$267.50 is the SPY -2SD Bollinger.

In crashes below -2SD, I've seen a recovery to -2SD then a return to crashing before.

Might happen again. Who knows. Around $267 is a critical number.

By the way, do you guys holding gold stocks still feel all smug? Y'know, with them being hit in the broad equity selloff?

Ha ha

This is only Zerohedge-level news, but apparently XIV's drop extended to beyond 80% after the bell, which means the short volatility ETF is going to liquidate.

I knew this sort of thing could happen, because I bothered to read their prospectus.

But if people were in XIV just to make 5x the return on SPY, and if people had piled into XIV in the past month as the stock market assploded upwards, then there will be true carnage today if XIV really is being liquidated. Lotta people going to $0.

That'll mess up the $VIX futures market for a bit.

Which also would suck because, had XIV survived, it'd be a fantastic buying opportunity right now.

By the way, $VIX intraday premarket right now is around 50.

UPDATE: I just checked my trading account, and apparently, the Canadian version of XIV, still exists. Which is funny cos that means the US XIV collapse is just because of a panic selling run. As of 9:33 though, I can see no trades having gone through, and Bid=Ask, so it looks funny.

No, I wouldn't buy right now, cos I have no idea (haven't checked) if it's tethered in any way to XIV.

UPDATE 2: XIV is officially terminated. So long to a great beta machine! You were warned in the prospectus, people.

UPDATE 3: is not terminated yet, just halted (as of 9:52 AM). They're going to have to figger out whether they're still alive, I guess. This proves the XIV collapse was just bots selling into nonexistent bids. Which, again, we all knew could happen in all sorts of things.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Some berserkazoid news

And some evening reading:

FT Alphaville - someone on the internet was wrong. Apparently the idiots talking about US debt were wrong! This has never happened before!

Jared Bernstein - guess who's getting the raises? Yeah. The rich. Who don't consume as much as they buy assets. Factor that into your "inflation" estimates, Jerome Powell!

WaPo - bitcoin is my retirement plan! Yup... fork, done. By the way, this bit:
Three years earlier, Melin had been attending Indiana University Southeast, commuting from his mother’s house. He could not shake the feeling that he was paying for something that was not worthwhile. He was learning more from economics podcasts than he was from his classes.
is entirely reasonable, because I've realized that all undergrad economics is nothing but a rubber-stamp degree for the idiot entitled children of the bourgeoisie who are too stupid to graduate in accounting. No undergrad economics is worthwhile, and you really can learn more just by reading a few blogs.

So he dropped out and pulled the remaining $22,000 from an education fund his mother had set up for him. He invested in cryptocurrency.
That's where this guy's cunning plan starts to go wrong. Oh well... the little right-wing cuntbro will learn a lot about libertarian economic theory over the next 60 years as he works as a fry cook in Kentucky for $7.25/hr. because he blew all mommy's dough. Hey, maybe one day he can graduate to coal mining?

Undark - OMG POLE REVERSAL! The Earth's magnetic poles are about to reverse! Buy bitcoi-
Solar energetic particles can rip through the sensitive miniature electronics of the growing number of satellites circling the Earth, badly damaging them. The satellite timing systems that govern electric grids would be likely to fail. The grid’s transformers could be torched en masse. Because grids are so tightly coupled with each other, failure would race across the globe, causing a domino run of blackouts that could last for decades.
...okay, don't buy bitcoin then. Buy... um... gold?

Vanity Fair - the Mooch recalls his ten days in the swamp. Yes, Trump's White House really is that fucked.


End-of-day charts, then I'm off to do schoolwork:

$VIX is +4SD up. It's dumb to think it can go higher: an 80 intraday is the most I've seen in the past few years. So there may be another day of carnage, but eventually this has to exhaust itself.

SPY is -3SD, and this is half a week's volume in just one day. All those bozos who flooded into US equity ETFs in the past month now have to flood back out, so I dunno if this is actually done yet.

And the $VIX term structure is fucked all to shit now. There is no not-backwardated month. If this was like the past ten years, you could make a lot of money shorting $VIX futures from a starting point of 23 on the March. Wait til the front two months move back to even, wait for a last dry-retch, then short $VIX and profit.


The S&P is still trading at a high multiple and a low yield, and starting today that means something. No, not because of bonds.

Money market apparently makes you 1.5% now. That's an asset class that's been dead for ten years, and it's an asset class that should easily be the size of bonds or more.

I'm wondering if we're starting to see the market realize this.

So I want to sit and wait, cos I'm not sure I want to buy until everyone out there knows whether or not this is what's going on. Cos a major rotation into money market would take a hell of a long time to digest. Hell, just the port allocation strategy changes would be a bitch.