Saturday, October 31, 2015

The schmucks still love Bill Clinton-free trade

Bill Clinton pushed and pushed and pushed the concept of comparative advantage between countries an global regions.  But the US didn't end up competing against foreign countries, it ended up competing against US multi-nation corporations that could replace US workers for foreign workers.

And the schmucks loved him.  And still love him.  Note that this link is to a 2004 editorial.

Former friends of mine used to rail against off-shoring but loved Bill Clinton.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Peak Civilization - Scandinavia

Peak Civilization meets The Deep State

EEOC wins discrimination case for Muslims fired for not delivering beer.

EEOC General Counsel David Lopez announced Thursday. "This is fundamental to the American principles of religious freedom and tolerance."

Of course not if you are a Christian Baker who refuses to make a homosexual themed wedding cake.  Then you get fined out of business.

Read and weep.  It only gets worse from here.  The American schmucks will see to it.

Economics: better chance of a Fed Funds rate increase

Employment cost index released for the 3rd quarter:  Wages & salaries up 2.1% from last year.  Benefits up 1.8% from last year.

GDP 3rd quarter domestic: up 2.8% from last year / GDP 3rd quarter including exporters: up 2.2% from last year.

Core PCE released for September: up 1.3%

Nice growth in wages and benefits.  Nice growth in GDP.  Opposing that inflation is low relative to the Fed's 2% target.

I think the wage inflation out weights the "low" inflation in the minds of the Fed.  I think this makes the Fed lean towards a rate increase.

Why does everyone keep saying the economy isn't good.  The reason is that the improvement in the economy isn't spread around equally.  Some regions and doing really well as are some sectors.  Others not so well.  Personally, in impoverished Northern Nevada, I am seeing an improvement.  It just isn't great like in California.

Just a note here on the 1.3% core PCE inflation.  This is the Fed's preferred indicator.  All other inflation measures are higher.  If you averaged them all out the Fed's target is virtually meet.

I again will state my thought that low inflation is good and low stable inflation is better.  I think 2% is way too high.  It is great for asset prices but bad for economic growth.  If wages and salaries are up 2.1% and inflation is 2.0% there is no benefit for the masses.  They all just tread water.  Unless of course they have real estate and stocks.  Which they don't.  And they won't unless they earn enough to save.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

1.5% GDP growth in the 3rd quarter is BULLSHIT

Does this look like 1.5% growth?

Does this look like 1.5% growth?

Does this look like 1.5% growth?  And this is the Real GDP growth data that was printed all over the media today.

Economic growth is over 2% not matter what.  And the most important is the domestic economy which is showing 2.8% growth.

I said it so many times that the Fed should not rock the boat and let the economy grow at its own pace.  It is up to the American fools whether they will allow the election of congress and president to enact pro growth policies.  Janet Yellen is a liberal.  Don't expect her to lobby the fools to do something other than vote for more free stuff.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

72 percent of students said they support disciplinary action against “any student or faculty member on campus who uses language that is considered racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive.”

You can't saying anything negative about homosexuals.  You can't say anything against the state paying for transsexual operations.  You can't saying anything negative about blacks especially against Black Lives Matter.  But you can say anything you want against white people.  And you can say anything you want against Christianity.

There has been over-lending

Sometimes an understatement or a statement without adjectives to make emphasis is better at getting the point across.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Galactic Representative

Everyone is waiting on the Fed. Again. If space aliens visited earth they would surely think the FRB was earth's representative to the Galactic Central Bank.

So you think higher wages will help the economy?

Not if the increase is used to pay down debt incurred just to be able to get by when things were tough just a little while ago.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Common sense inflation

There is a lot of print on general prices actually declining.  There are vehement arguments that the higher quality of things offsets the higher price for things.

To me, even if something is better quality I still have inflation if my cash out flow increases. 

There is the argument that lower oil prices have held inflation down.  I think that rent, healthcare and food price increases have completely offset the lower gasoline prices.

Do you think David Stockman dislikes the 2% inflation meme?

bogus 2% inflation target

2% inflation is a purely religious proposition

central banker view of consumer inflation is just brain dead ritual incantation

Indeed, the 2% inflation meme is so threadbare that it needs to be called out for what it is. It’s a convenient cover for the radical usurpation of power undertaken by the world’s central bankers during the last two decades. And it survives only because it serves the interest of Wall Street gamblers and the world’s politicians and fiscal authorities alike.

The latter get to run up endless public debt because the central bankers buy it up under QE and drive the carry cost virtually to the zero bound. Likewise, the top 1% of financial gamblers cannot get enough of the 2% inflation hoax because it means free carry trade money as far as the eye can see.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Nominal and real interest rate AND inflation and deflation

If your economy is having inflation, real interest rates are lower than nominal rates.  Say the interest rate is 1% and you have 2% inflation then you have -1% real rates.  Lower rates are considered easy monetary policy and stimulative to the economy.

If your economy is having deflation, real interest rates are higher than nominal rates.  Say the interest rate is 1% and you have 2% deflation then you have +3% real rates.  Higher rates are considered tight monetary policy and contractional to the economy.

This is a main reason for the extreme fear of deflation.  It is considered tightened monetary policy as real rates are higher.

The economic doctrine is the lower rates are stimulative as people want to save less and spend more and to borrow and spend more.

Higher rates cause people to save rather than spend and to borrow less.

Doctrine or not, low rates are not working as well as expected.  That means something else is going on that isn't known.  Or known by many.

If the sin of low interest rates is low velocity of money, that would explain a lot of this poor performance expectations.

Insane – negative rates to lower the value of the currency so import prices are higher as a means to combat deflation

From the Economist magazine:

“The best hope for success, (for preventing deflation), lies in foreign-exchange markets. Negative rates might send investors in search of better returns abroad, leading to depreciation of the currency. That would raise the price of imports, helping to combat deflation and giving a growth-enhancing boost to exporters. 

Me:  So taking money out of the hands of consumers and businesses who purchase resource inputs from abroad is a good idea because it is inflationary?  It doesn't do a thing for GDP growth if imports and exports are equal.  In the US imports far exceed exports so such a policy would contract GDP and US consumers and importers contract more than US exporters expand.

It is no coincidence that the Danish central bank has pursued negative interest rates so zealously—its sole objective is a fixed exchange rate with the plunging euro. If currencies fall by enough, then negative rates might just pay offprovided that sinking prices elsewhere don't lead ever more of the global economy to take the plunge into sub-zero waters.

Me:  Emphasis on the last statement above is the magazines.  Yes, this is currency war.  A race tot he bottom at the expense of other countries.  It doesn't end well.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Deep State - Diane Feinstein

The bill, proposed by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would allow internet giants and other companies to share people's personal information with the US government so it can be analyzed for signs of lawbreaking – be it computer related or not.
In return, the companies would get legal immunity from angry customers, although legal action is unlikely because the businesses and the government don't have to reveal what they have shared, even with a freedom of information request.

Obama's foreign policy - let me get this straight

So let me get this straight.  Iranian backed Shite militias are ok in Iraq but not in Syria.  And this is because in Iraq they are against Sunni extremists called ISIS and in Syria they are against Sunni extremists called ISIS.

My Themes

My themes:

There is stability and the Fed should leave well enough alone.

QE3 failed because it reduced the velocity of money, but the problem may have been low interest rates.

Bank credit creation and government deficit spending doesn’t increase demand when the economy is operating with little slack.

Bank credit creation and government deficit spending can be deflationary when interest rates are low.

With private debt levels high we cannot expect much growth in private debt.

Demand Side worked and now cannot do anything more to promote growth.  It is time to go Supply Side.

Lift off - no more need for triangles

Lift off.  Escape velocity.  No more need for triangles.  You're on your own.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Western Civilization will fall

Western Civilization will fall.

Remember when Geo. W. Bush said Islam is a religion of peace. What he meant was Islam is THE religion of peace.  And you expect me to vote Republican?

I talk with Millennials.  So many will not fight.  It is a Stockholm Syndrome writ large.  They accept the propaganda that those not liberal or progressive are bad.  They are exploited and willingly so.  

My point about the sin of low interest rates

Low rates low velocity of money.

Repeat after me:  Low rates low velocity

Fuck you Obama

Stability - who ever disturbs the current stability should be shot

Please see my post on stability here:

and here:

The sin of low interest rates

Fed funds rate up / velocity down.  Fed funds rate down / velocity up.
{click for clarity}

And then there is this little problem

The Fed wants to normalize rates in the worst way.  But what has been normal since the great expansion (1982)?  What they call normal is the average that the Fed funds rate was over the 30 years before zero interest rates.  Yes, they are morons.  That is no definition at all. There has been a ever declining Fed funds rate. There is no normal.

The fear is that at zero interest rates the Fed might only have to raise rates a tiny bit to instigate a recession.

Syria-Just so you Know – Why it was decided Assad had to go

In 2011 Assad said he was willing to make peace with Israel.  US diplomats negotiated long and hard and his claim was vetted to be true.  There was really high expectations in the Obama Administration as this would be a setback for Iran.  Then there was an Arab Spring* protest against Assad and he brutally attacked the protesters.  This event killed any hope of this deal going through.  It was over and done with in that instance.  The Obama people were severely let down.  Now you know why the Obama Administration keeps saying he is a brutal dictator who kills his own people.  And he must go.

I am sure the US was behind the peaceful Arab Spring* protest.  I is obvious the Obama Administration was taken by complete surprise at Assad’s response.

*Arab Winter


Shorted this time

There goes my momentum system again with a cue to go short.  I didn't honor it last time, Oct 13, because it was a very very weak reading.  This time is different with a preliminary cue and today a forceful reading.  So it is SDS time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Canada's election

At first I thought the results were a pro-Hillary Clinton result.  Now I think it is an anti-Obama effect.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hope it holds 2pm ET 11am PT

Peak Civilization - equal force

I am not a particular friend of Israel, nor of Jewish people.  But when the Obama Administration calls Israeli’s terrorists for defending themselves when being attacked by knives is another example of peak civilization.  And such statements were reiterated and defended by the administration.

Why is it an example of peak civilization?  Because it is false that defending ones self or family or even strangers on the street is terrorism and Obama has a 40+% approval rating.

After England confiscated all guns, violent attacks, especially home invasion, exploded.  When residents being attacked by thugs with clubs started fighting back, England came up with the policy of equal force.  It became law.

So when the 78 year old man stabbed a violent intruder with a kitchen knife the 78 year old man was arrested for excessive force.  The kitchen knife was considered more force than the intruders club.  The intruders young age relative to the 78 year old never was even considered.

The Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws in the U.S. are hated by liberals. They need to get rid of these before they can implement equal force laws.

Update from comment:  It is called disparity of force.


Possibly lots of hedging going on

I stopped tracking the options market many months ago because it took up too much time.  So I am just able to read reports of what is going on today that it seems like a lot of hedging is taking place.

As it is options expiration day reading the options tea leaves is more difficult.

Yesterday, Thursday, the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 100 closed above the Thursday August 20 close.  The Dow 30 did also and for the second time.  The 100 often lead, but the rest must follow.

These need to hold.  If they hold then those who wanted to bail out when they got back to the August 20 close will have been overruled by those that think the market is going to go back to it previous highs.

Peak Civilization

h/t Glenn Reynolds

I am sure the student who delayed consent was also female.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Running numbers

When I was a kid growing up in a big eastern city, only the mafia ran ran numbers.  They paid off the chief of police among many other elected and non elected officials.

Now government runs numbers and calls it lottery.

Why I didn't short

This is why I didn't short.

Big Four Big Six

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Inflation, rates, Fed conclusion as of 10/14/15

Based on the last two posts I conclude:

Inflation is virtually at the Fed’s 2% target.

Inflation is stable.

Employment is not causing inflation.  Employment can improve and still not cause inflation with a cost push.


The Fed should do nothing and let the economy improve on its own.  NO.  The Fed should be lobbying the electorate that the Fed cannot do anything more.  That it is up to electorate to elect a president & congress that will eliminate anti-growth policies and enact pro-growth policies.

Inflation Measures

Percent from a year ago

1.8% (Aug)      Core CPI
1.3% (Q2’15)   Core PCE – the Fed’s favorite
1.7% (Sep)       Trimmed Mean PCE
2.1% (Aug)       Median CPI
.34% (Aug)       New house prices
.57% (Aug)       New car prices
1.9% (Sep)        Hourly wage production & non-supervisory-private
2.1% (Sep)        Producer Price index

1 – wages have improved better than any of these inflation measures except Median CPI
2 – I like mean & median as statistical methods
3 – except for the Fed fave, the Fed’s goal is virtually met

But is inflation stable?








Natural Rate of interest - what you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask

Really. This is relevant.  And interesting because it says monetary policy is tight and Janet Yellen says it is accommodative.

I am not endorsing this.  Estimating, and that is their word, is inexact and they use a wide band of interest rate then decide on the middle of it as the figure.

Real means inflation adjusted.  Just to be clear.
Core personal consumption expenditures price index (Core PCE).  This is the favored inflation gauge of the Fed.

Fed Funds rate.  This is the focus of it all.  It is the one rate the Fed can affect and it drives all other interest rates.

The natural rate of interest is the real fed funds rate that we should be at to have the economy operating at full employment with stable prices.  Right now, the economy is operating at very close to full employment and very close to stable prices.  “Full employment” definitely is anemic when looking various other data besides the unemployment rate so there can be improvement there.

Right now the experts think that the natural rate of interest is at -2.1%.  And the problem is that real fed funds rate is at -1.17% (Fed Funds rate .13% minus core PCE inflation 1.3%).

The theory is that if real fed funds rate is above the natural rate of interest it is contractional.  If the fed funds rate is below the natural rate of interest it is stimulative.  Therefore right now, monetary policy is actually tight, given the circumstances of the economy.

How do they determine the -2.1% natural rate of interest?  They start with what they believe, based on the structure of the economy and history, what potential GDP is.  Then they see what GDP actually is.  Using a scale derived from economic history, they determine what the natural rate of interest is at any given level of actual GDP relative to potential GDP.

The natural rate of interest historically has been +3.0%.  Again, the natural rate of interest is the real fed funds rate at which the economy is operating at full employment and stable prices.

If the Fed were to reduce the real fed funds rate to -2.1%, it is felt that actual full employment would be reached all the while prices remain stable.

Now you just figured out that is a problem because nobody is happy with the economy and it is operating below potential.  The fed wants 2% stable inflation, not 1.3%.  Everyone wants labor to make more money but not enough to destabilize inflation in an upward manner.

Nothing in this concept does anything for getting GDP back to its potential.  In fact, the experts themselves say that the natural rate of interest is unobservable.

The Natural Rate of Interest can go up and it can go down.  But it is changes in supply and demand that make the economy go up and down relative to its potential and the natural rate of interest will rise and fall with it.

You know, this sounds so good I might come round to thinking we should try it.  Try -2.1% real fed funds rates and get the economy operating at its potential given the current status of supply and demand.

Negative interest rates.  What could go wrong?  It sure would make the stock market rocket.

Maybe someday someone will think of some things to increase supply and demand.  But that is then, and this is now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

All I can say

All I can say is that I am mechanical.  Momentum just barely reached a climatic level yesterday on the upside.  And today it barely went down enough.  But just enough.

It is possible that the lower line of the triangle gets tested.

And remember your pledge.  You know I don't know what I am talking about.

It is 5 minutes to closing as I post and I bailed out

I did not short.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cancel Halloween parade in Milford, Connecticut

Milford resident Rebecca Lilley, who started the petition, calls the cancellation of the parade in honor of the Oct. 31 holiday beloved by kids nothing less than an assault on tradition.

Me: attacking our traditions is the key method the left is using to destroy America.  And it has and is succeeding because we let them.

Too far too fast

{ckick to clarify}

By my measures of historical momentum the market, since the recent low has gone up too far too fast. I am not saying the market can't keep going up after a pause here.  I will stay with it until I am cued for a short play.

Today's close is 9 tenths of one percent from the point at which many wished they had exited the market.  Are things good enough for the market to go back to the all time high and above?  Are things bad enough for the market to go back to the all time high and above?

To get back to the all time high of about 2130 the S&P has to rise 5.6%.  I guess that is just too much money to leave on the table to get out now.

Dysfunctional left

ME: I selected and highlighted from the article.  Just read the yellow highlights and get my sarcasm when you read the solution at the bottom.

Capital flight and bank fragility are profound dysfunctions in the way the global economy is now organised that will surface as real-world economic dislocation.

The IMF is profoundly concerned, warning at last week’s annual meeting in Peru of $3tn (£1.95tn) of excess credit globally and weakening global economic growth.

The heart of the economic disorder is a world financial system that has gone rogue. Global banks now make profits to a extraordinary degree from doing business with each other. As a result, banking’s power to create money out of nothing has been taken to a whole new level.

The false boom that follows seems to justify the lending. Property prices rise. Companies and households grow overconfident about their prospects and borrow freely. Economies surge well above their trend growth rates and all seems well until something – a collapse in property or commodity prices – unravels the whole process. The money floods out as quickly as it flooded in, leaving bust banks and governments desperately picking up the pieces.

 Act one was in 2007-08 in Britain and the US. Buoyed for the previous decade by absurdly high inflows of globally generated credit that created false booms, they suddenly found their overconfident banks had wildly lent too much. Collateral behind newfangled derivatives was worthless. Money flooded out, leaving Britain’s banking system bust, to be bailed out by more than £1tn of liquidity and special injections of public capital.

Act two was in Europe in 2011-12, when it became obvious that the lending had been made on the incorrect assumption that all eurozone countries were equal. 

Now act three is beginning, but in countries much less able to devise measures to stop financial contagion and whose banks are more precarious. For global finance next flooded the so-called emerging market economies (EMEs), countries such as Turkey, Brazil, Malaysia, China, all riding high on sky-high commodity prices as the China boom, itself fuelled by wild lending, seemed never-ending. Chinamanufactured more cement from 2010-13 than the US had produced over the entire 20th century. It could not last and so it is proving.

China’s banks are, in effect, bust: few of the vast loans they have made can ever be repaid, so they cannot now lend at the rate needed to sustain China’s once super-high but illusory growth rates. China’s real growth is now below that of the Mao years: the economic crisis will spawn a crisis of legitimacy for the deeply corrupt communist party. Commodity prices have crashed.


The world needs inventive responses. 

It needs western governments to launch massive economic stimuli, centred on infrastructure spending. It needs new smart monetary policies that allow negative interest rates.

Debt, so you can afford it all

Government created or supported big industries all want to be 25% of middle class income.


And of course the government wants 25% of middle class income.

So that is seven industries or 175% of your income.  That is what debt is for.  So you can afford it all.

Friday, October 9, 2015

I can't get excited about the economy

We grew up in a magical period.  The population sweet spot.  That is over as total population growth has slowed down.  The population of working age people has flatlined.  This is a world wide phenomenon.

Add ever declining interest rates to the boomer population sweet spot.  This allowed for borrowing more and keeping the payments the same.  What happens when interest rates are no longer declining?  Decreased borrowing.

Economic progress = population growth + productivity growth + credit expansion.  I seriously doubt productivity growth can make up for the reduction in population growth and credit expansion.

Corruption and morals in Iraq and saving civilian lives

Iraq knows that Russia doesn’t care about corruption.  Iraq knows Russia doesn’t care about civilian shields.  So Iraq would like Russia to go after ISIS there.

The US is a major pain in the ass to the Iraqi government with its unrelenting effort to reduce corruption.   It is a disastrous fact that corruption in the Iraqi government and military have prevented the Iraqi army from being up for retaking Anbar province.  Ground troops are necessary when you are unwilling to bomb when civilian shields are used.  It is Iraq for Mohammed’s sake so Iraq needs to step up to the plate with ground troops.

ISIS knows Russia doesn’t care about civilian shields.  After attacking and killing civilians and letting it be known through the underground that this will continue, it actually saves civilian lives because ISIS will stop using civilian shields as doing so does require resources.  The problem for the US is the world has a double standard.  The world would come down on the US with anvils if the US ignored civilian shields and ISIS knows this and would continue to use them until the US relented.  Same with Israel.  But any other country can do it with impunity.

The burden of being exceptional can be high.  And the American public can't handle the reality of war.

Read and weep - SYRIA

{hot link}

Read every paragraph.

What a moron.  Al Qaeda became the moderates.  Who was supposed to replace Assad?  Again, no end game.  No I am wrong.  They actually think that they could install democracy and that would solve the problems.

If Bush is a war criminal then Clinton/Obama are ten times war criminal.

An Arab looking girl waited on me when renting a car at Enterprise.  Her business card on the counter said she spoke Arabic.  I asked her where she was from.  She said Syria.  I asked if she had family there.  She broke out crying.

But Clinton and Obama get a pass.  Amazing, America.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Nothing like dovish FOMC minutes

Mutual Funds let you out at the end of the day.  Are you thinking about it?  You said you really wished you had gotten out on Thursday 8/20.  On the other hand, it does seem so easy.  Just hold on and you get back to where you were when you check your 401K online.  Maybe tomorrow you will be glad you didn't get out.  After all, the Fed minutes show there is little interest in raising interest rates this year.  And, like I said, with exceptions for bear market years, October is followed by a rising market.  I think I would go with that but only as long as my momentum system says stay in long.  But you?  How do you decide?

S&P 500

{click to clarify}





Feel sorry for Republicans

I feel sorry for the Republican candidates for the nomination for president.  They are the only ones being asked directly what would you do about Syria.  They are going to have to get very specific very soon.

Obama and his war council are never asked, though they tell us their story about degrading and defeating.

Hillary, Sanders, O'Malley, Biden,  - not one question.

Assad goes / Assad stays

One of Russia’s goals is to make Iran a regional power.  Do you remember Obama saying that Iran could be a regional "power" for the betterment of the Middle East?  You surely remember that. That is when I responded with, "Obama thinks Arabs are niggers and the Persians should be their master".

Good goin’ Obama.  Now Russia will complete your policy.

Battle Lines are belatedly being drawn by NATO (US).  Assad goes/Assad stays.  Simple.  But they made it complicated and Russian has greatly increased the complication.

Prepare yourself.  It will hurt the stock market at first if there is "kinetic action" between the NATO (US) and Russia.


An interesting aside.  I think all those people in foreign policy institutions in Washington are not sleeping well.  They should have pushed for the impeachment of Obama rather than try to get him to conform to their beliefs.

They know they have lost Iraq to Iran.  It won't be long.  There will be a Persian controlled Iraq that has thousands of US personnel in the Green Zone and bases.  Weird.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Turkey backs Russia

From what I have heard, Maldive still supports US policy in Syria.

Remember how bad you wanted to sell

Remember how burning it was.  You wish you could have know.  You wanted out really really bad on Thursday August 20 but missed the chance. {click for clarity}

S&P 500






Russia knows how to run a war.  Opposition to Assad, the US supported “moderate Muslims”, are in disarray.  ISIS in Syria has been hurt badly and is disintegrating.  All this is about 5 days.  Like I said Russia knows how to run a war.

Russian ships have launched missiles from the Caspian Sea which mean they must fly over Iran and Iraq whose permission was surely secured.  Iraq, which has what 5,000 US troops stationed there, cooperated with Russian on finding targets.  Now Iraq is asking Russia to go after ISIS in Iraq.

Iranian ground troops, along with Hezbollah ground forces, will clean up and will they ever.  Their rules of engagement are different from US rules of engagement.

Russian has a plan.  Iran has a plan.  The US doesn’t have a plan.  The US forces in Iraq are there protecting the Iraq government securing the Iraqi oil flow to China after the US spent 2 trillion dollars on Iraq alone total over time.

I don’t do proxy wars.  I don’t do wars of attrition.  I remember Vietnam.  Obama has lied to us for how long?  That he was fighting ISIS.  To degrade them.  Then he changed it to degrade and defeat them.  Obama is evil.

Oh Yuck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015