Friday, November 6, 2015

Some Friday commentary

So I guess there must have been some sort of exciting news to make gold dump this morning at precisely 8:30 AM, eh? Not just bots cancelling long positions? Not just a whack of short interest hitting an illiquid market all at once to attempt to cave gold below $1100?

Oh well. As I keep saying, Goldman Sachs and international Jewry can keep paying Frik Els dozens of dollars to run negative articles on gold for all I care.

Anyway, here's some news, with more bitchy commentary than usual because I'm putting off studying:

Bespoke - Ford F-150 sales continue to rise. I guess nobody has a problem with aluminium trucks after all. But hey, you go ahead and keep selling the S&P 500, because reasons.

der Spargel - Merkel under fire as refugee crisis worsens. Gee, really? Germans are really so disorganized and incompetent that they're screwing up their refugee response? That's one hell of a blow to the German stereotype, eh?

Frik Els - hedge funds ready to dump 430 tons. My god! And Venezuela's going to dump 400 tons as they go bankrupt, and the Indians are going to stop buying 1000 tons a year supposedly! This is a perfect setup for gold to go to $900, Frik! You should tell Jeffrey Currie at Goldman Sachs, who has not in any way been paying you for these hit-pieces on gold!

Reuters India - Modi launches gold monetization scheme, response seen muted. Ask actual Indians and they'll tell you that a 2% return doesn't even pay for the substantial counterparty risk associated with Indian bank accounts, much less the currency risk, the tax risk, the cost of melting, or the loss of the jewelry premium. Not when a normal cash deposit pays 8%. But hey! Don't listen to me, listen to Frik Els.

Vox EU - welcome to the worldwide liquidity trap. Y'know, given the entirely plausible idea of a high upside limit to the reasonable total value of public infrastructure, and given this physical capital can be built at negative rates right now, maybe the ZLB is entirely the product of paleoconservative political ideology? I mean, if every country in the advanced world simply spent the trillions required to bring their infrastructure back up to a passing grade, wouldn't that be enough to push us off the ZLB, given that physical infrastructure is also a significant contributor to a nation's total factor productivity?

I mean, an alternative would be to improve labour's terms of trade; it would force firms to stop substituting cheap labour for capital and begin spending money on private capital to maintain productivity, while also improving private consumption as workers' wages increased. But I guess that's too socialist for most people, so why not just spend money on infrastructure? I mean, do paleoconservatives really hate roads so much? Are roads homosexual, or something?

Friday videos: Dido singing about gold miners

Here's Dido singing about how the gold miners totally suck now, but she still can't stop herself from thinking about buying them:

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

GDX outperforming gold


Well, it is reassuring and all that GDX has found a bounce right at the SMA(50).

Then again, when you look at the volume bars you realize it's from lack of any continued selling, not so much from any buying.

Then again then again, that's reassuring because maybe it means the gold miner bears aren't confident that GDX can break back below its SMA(50). And maybe all the people who would have sold in disgust already have sold in disgust.

Despite Venezuela imminently dumping 300 tons into the market and Indian peasant farmers not buying any gold this year and a gold monetization scheme about to be rolled out and whatever other anti-gold propaganda is being promulgated by Frik Els at the behest of his puppetmasters at Goldman Sachs.

Whatever. I still prefer only buying gold miners when they've popped above their short-term EMA, and right now this action just looks like an attempt to define an upper trendline for a downward move.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Does Christianity admit of private property? Depends

Someone's been spreading this Communist propaganda around recently:

Econospeak - does Christianity admit of private property? Quote:

The following catechism on selfishness appeared in an article titled "Serious Questions of the Hour" in the November 1874 Shaker and Shakeress Monthly. A large portion of it was quoted in Richard T. Ely's The Labor Movement in America (1886). I have reformatted the text, breaking questions and answers into separate paragraphs.


Does Christianity admit of private property?

It does not; never did.

Do Christian churches permit distinctions of dress, diet, or other comforts, among the members?


Are there any rich or poor Christians?

None whatever.

Why are there so many rich, and particularly why are there so many poor, in the so-called Christian churches of to-day?

Because such churches are not Christian.

Can these be brethren and sisters of Christ while faring so unequally?


Why are there no rich nor poor in Christ's church?

The formerly rich "lay down" their plenty; the formerly poor do likewise with their poverty, and hence share equally.

Who, then, are the rich and poor?

The children of unresurrection, who will give up neither their riches nor poverty for the Gospel's sake.

Who amass fortunes and live in palatial residences?

Unfeeling men and women, erroneously termed Christians, who are careless of how many are made correspondingly poor.

Who are the mountains and valleys of scripture?

The rich and poor.

What is the mission of Christianity to such?

To bring down the mountains; raise up the valleys — Inaugurate an equality — none possessed aught he could call his own.

What wonderful phenomena accompany conversions to Christianity?

Mine becomes Ours! Riches and Poverty, with their miseries, disappear.

Which is all fine and good, except Sandwichman forgets that the Shakers weren't exactly Christian.

And even the shiny new Franciscan Pope doesn't believe in any of the above.

Tuesday news


New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Real estate loans, money supply and gas usage are all up, and tax withholding is positively stellar. The weakness in transports is still maybe just an inventory and natural resources thing.

Calculated Risk - hotel occupancy on track for best year evarr. A minor economic indicator that still looks good.

NY Times - the mystery of the vanishing pay raise. There's no mystery: once you destroy labour's terms of trade, pay raises no longer happen. Just another proof that secular stagnation is the product of paleoconservative ideology.

FRB SF Economic Letter - are wages a useful predictor of inflation? They say no. I say that's maybe because of the triumph of paleoconservative ideology and the collapse of labour's terms of trade.

Reuters - Japan final October manufacturing PMI hits 1 year high. If you've been following Shaoul, he's also noted that credit formation has continued to progress in response to Abenomics.

Balding's World - so you want a bearish view on China? Firms' liabilities are growing by 10% a year while profits are stagnant, he says. Well, that's quite bearish a thing to say. I wonder if he averaged profits across all Chinese industries, including all the steel mills that are going to be shut down.

Bloomberg - India's railways are also fucked. How is India supposed to deliver decades of 10%/y growth when their railways are always operating beyond capacity? You see, this is why it was smart for China to build 10 years' worth of infrastructure expansions in advance. - Alan Garcia makes mining a key pillar of his presidential campaign. I'll give you the link because it seems the only Peru news you get out of Otto Rock nowadays is the latest soap operas from Minera IRL.

Here's why TA sucks, Sean.

Chronicles of Brodrick - odds favour gold retesting its uptrend. And how's that uptrend doing just two days later, Sean?

Oops! It's borkened!

Let's blame it on Frik Els and his constant anti-gold propaganda.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

JAR JAR BINKS WAS ACTUALLY A SITH LORD: here's what you need to know

Tickld - Jar Jar Binks was actually a Sith Lord, and here's the proof!

My. God.

What's scary is that it is indeed perfectly logical when you think about it.

Now y'all strap on yo' helmets, cos I don't wanna make a mess when I blow your minds:

Here I will seek to establish that Jar Jar Binks, far from being simply the bumbling idiot he portrays himself as, is in fact a highly skilled force user in terms of martial ability and mind control.

Furthermore, I assert that he was not, as many people assume, just an unwitting political tool manipulated by Palpatine-- rather, he and Palpatine were likely in collaboration from the very beginning, and it's entirely possible that Palpatine was a subordinate underling to Binks throughout both trilogies.

No, please, read it. It really does make complete sense. Here's more:

So first, let's establish Jar Jar as a skilled warrior. While this does not in itself necessitate a connection with the Physical Force, it's highly suggestive in the Star Wars universe-- very rarely do we see "normal" characters exhibiting extraordinary stuntwork or physical feats unless they are Jedi, Sith, or at least force sensitives.

So here's Jar Jar nonchalantly executing a standing 20 foot twisting somersault:

Now, taken out of context, if you were watching a Star Wars movie and saw a character casually execute this maneuver, you'd probably assume it was a Jedi. In the context of Jar Jar, though, we don't... because elsewhere he so thoroughly convinces us that he's nothing more than a harmless dunce with his inane dialogue and cowardly-lion act.

He also manages to convince us that he's a bumbling oaf in the midst of pitched battle... even though he's always incredibly, amazingly successful. Whether single-handedly taking down a battledroid tank, or unleashing a barrage of boombas on their front lines, or precisely targeting multiple enemies with a blaster tangled around his ankle (!!!), we simply roll our eyes and attribute it to dumb "luck."

This is one of the main reasons we as an audience hate Jar Jar so thoroughly: he breaks the fourth wall, he shatters our suspension of disbelief, because we know that no one is really that lucky. We dismiss it as a lame, cliched trope-- the silly pathetic oaf who always seems to inadvertently save the day.

I posit that, instead, this is a deliberate facade on the part of Jar Jar as a character, and on the part of the writers and animators. As we know, the Jedi themselves are inspired by Shaolin Monks, and there's a particular kung fu discipline that Jar Jar's physicality is purposefully modeled upon which allows him to appear goofy and uncoordinated even as he lays waste to his enemies; namely, Zui Quan, or "Drunken Fist wushu".

This discipline seeks to imitate the "sloshing," seemingly random foibles of a drunkard, but in reality the staggering and stumbling is the use of bodily momentum, deception, and unpredictability intended to lure and confuse opponents.

I'll leave out the discussion about kung fu.

But then there's this:

In addition to this kind of highly suspicious physical "luck," I also believe that we're given enough clues to justifiably suspect that Jar Jar is also a master of Jedi Mind Control.

Consider: We hate the way Jar Jar influences major plot points for the same reason we hate his physicality- it messes with our sense of realism. Two experienced Jedi on a serious mission would never actually bring someone that stupid along with them. No character that idiotic would ever really be made a general. They certainly wouldn't be made a senator. How could anyone like Jar Jar really convince the entire galaxy to abandon democracy? That's ridiculous.

Seriously. First, the Gungan king takes a guy who was supposedly banished from the gungan tribe for being a fuckup, and then somehow decides to make him a general right before a decisive battle.

Then later he gets made a Senator.

Then later he convinces the entire Senate to transfer its powers to Palpatine and make him emperor.

Seriously. That is some major-level Jedi mind control right there.

But wait! There's more!

Actually, if you watch the prequels with the idea that Jar Jar might be a manipulative, dark character, you begin to notice just how insidious and subtle his manipulation is, and how effective, in almost every sequence he's involved in, and also just how hyper-aware of the overarching plot he really is.

Examples: Jar Jar tricking the Jedi into traveling through the planet core (so that they need him). Jar Jar carefully causing a scene so that they run into Anakin. Jar Jar constantly mocking Qui-Gon behind his back while Anakin is watching (so that Anakin learns disrespect for Jedi authority early on). Jar Jar telling an 8 year old child that the queen is "pretty hot," fanning the flames of the child's infatuation that is exploited later on. I could go on.

Now if you lend even the slightest credence to my above points, and acknowledge the possibility that Jar Jar might not be an idiot, you're almost forced to conclude that Jar Jar Binks and Palpatine were co-conspirators. If Jar Jar is putting forth an elaborate act to deceive people, it means he's not a fool... and if he's not a fool, it means his actions in Episode II that facilitate Palpatine's plans are not those of an unwitting tool - they are those of a partner.

And here is the money shot:

Remember - Palpatine and Jar Jar are from the same planet

My god. Oh my god. I had completely forgotten. And:

even after Palpatine is elected as Chancellor, years after Jar Jar has been "tricked" into helping elect him, Palpatine still hangs out with Jar Jar in Return of the Sith:

Why? Wouldn't he be a constant source of public embarrassment? This is the same character who can't walk five yards without stepping in poodoo or squealing like a rabid donkey, right? What use does he have now? Why is he still at the right hand of the most powerful person in the galaxy? Could it be that in fact Jar Jar is the most powerful person in the galaxy?

You have to admit this is a stunning theory.

Too bad Lucas is too stupid to have ever executed such a cunning plotline.