30 May 2016

The Culture of Criminality: Wall Street and The Banks

"Seven years have passed now since the last recession officially ended, and yet the country’s fury has scarcely cooled. To this day we remain angry at Wall Street; we rage against career politicians; and we are incandescent that the economic system seems to have been permanently rigged against working people. Median household income has still not recovered the levels of 2007. Wages are going nowhere. Elite bankers are probably never going to be held accountable for what they did. America is burning.

Listening to the leading figures of the Democratic party establishment, however, you’d never know it. Cool contentment is the governing emotion in these circles. What they have in mind for 2016 is what we might call a campaign of militant complacency. They are dissociated from the mood of the nation, and they do not care...

That they seem to want to do all these things anyway tells us everything we need to know about who they really are: a party of the high-achieving professional class that is always looking for a way to dismiss the economic concerns of ordinary people."

Thomas Frank

“The new America, instead, is fast becoming a vast ghetto in which all of us, conservatives and progressives, are being bled dry by a relatively tiny oligarchy of extremely clever financial criminals and their castrato henchmen in government, whose job is to be good actors on TV and put on a good show...

Wall Street has turned the economy into a giant asset-stripping scheme, one whose purpose is to suck the last bits of meat from the carcass of the middle class."

Matt Taibbi

29 May 2016

Memorial Day 2016

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker.   But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood." 

John Adams, 1765

"But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.

The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Abraham Lincoln, 19 November 1863

27 May 2016

Charts at 12:30

“There is a rot at the heart of our democracy, rooted in a nagging mystery that has yet to be unraveled. It gnaws at people, occupies their thoughts, leaves them searching for answers in the chill of the night. Americans want to know why no high-ranking Wall Street executive has gone to jail for the conduct that precipitated the financial crisis.

The oddest thing about the predominance of the question is that everyone already assumes they know the answer. They believe that too many politicians, regulators, and law enforcement officials, bought off with campaign contributions or the promise of a future job, simply allowed banker miscreants to annihilate the law in pursuit of profit.”

David Dayen

There will be a long holiday weekend in the US for Memorial Day, a day in which we remember all those who have served, and especially those who have given that 'last full measure of devotion.'

Stocks are reaching for a high note, once again.

Gold has been smacked down for the June contract option expiration and the management of perception, and little else.

Silver had declined as well but seems to be holding the 16 handle.

The Fed is engaged in some fairly self-serving actions as always, in this case to raise rates so they can lower them again when their latest bubble collapses.   There has been no sustainable recovery.

How fitting that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump epitomize the age.

I am very busy with doctors and all the things associated with a return home of a patient under care. We had our first look at the MRIs yesterday, from before and after.  The size of the tumour was astonishing, somewhat between a golf ball and a tennis ball in the bottom center of the brain.  It is no wonder they would not even let her leave the hospital when they found it.  They said that most neurosurgical teams would not have even attempted its removal because of the risks.  We were lucky in this, moreso than we had known.  Well, it is gone now.

The news is very good and the recovery proceeds at an amazing pace. I just called the company to come and retrieve the wheelchair rental as we clearly will not be needing it any longer.  We are reducing the medications she takes daily from ten to seven, and some of those remain are on a course to be reduced and removed. There is targeted radiation ahead, and as always, the tests and surveillance which will be widened now. This could have been much, much worse.

The darkest night serves to make us more aware of the bright lights of God's tender mercies which are many, but easily overlooked in our fears and the pursuit of fruitless passions and illusions.

And at the darkest hour, when things appeared to be most dire, in the extremity of my fears, this is the prayer I finally had said, and which I had promised to acknowledge publicly if her recovery was granted.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help, or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy, hear and answer me.  Amen.

Make of this what you will, but this is what I had done, and what I had promised to do.

In a time like this one is struck by the number of good and dedicated people simply trying to live their lives and raise their children in the best way possible, within a system that has once again become corrupt.  They are a tonic, an antidote to the cynicism with which this disordered society may poison us.  It is too bad that a selfish few can create such perilous situations, and unnecessarily so except for their greed, their lust for power, and a pathological need to feel more than human and above the law.

And yet, even their wickedness may serve.

Have a pleasant weekend.

26 May 2016

No Updates Tonight

Today is seeing doctors and removing stitches and other housekeeping things day.

See you tomorrow.

As a reminder this will be a three day holiday weekend in the States.

P.S.  Staples and stitches are all out, the prognosis is excellent, and her recovery has been rapid.   I had my first look at the MRIs before and after. The tumor was much larger than I had thought, somewhat less than a tennis ball in size but more than a golf ball. Yikes!

25 May 2016

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Option Expiration Completed

Just as Hillary Clinton represents what has gone wrong with our political system and its inability to reform itself, as least to me, so the Comex represents what has been bent and twisted out of shape in the trading markets.

If you trade precious metals on the Comex, you may as well mail your wallet to them with a note inviting them to take out whatever they wish, and mail you back the empty, if they would be so kind.

Silver has been a big 'tell' this week.   Silver is bit tight, mostly because there are no central bank stores available for ready manipulation, except of course the silver hoard at JPM perhaps as a proxy.

But the gold bullion supply in London and parts East is 'troubled.'  And that is a big difference.

Option expiration is complete.

Let's see how things go from here.

Have a pleasant evening.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Overreaching

A little more on the technical trade, and maybe something for the end of month.  But this current move in equities is just about exhausted, and should see a decent correction sometime in June.

Why?  Because they can.  

That is the way of the will to power.

Have a pleasant evening.