25 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Dear Mr. Fantasy - Precious Metals Option Expiration

Another 'risk on' day after the French have seemingly chosen a neo-liberal businessman for their front runner, and our own version of this, with less panache, has signaled as intention to cut the US corporate tax rate to 15%.

If that 15% became like an Alternative Minimum Tax for corporations it might be a good idea, since so many of the big ones game the system and pay little to nothing in taxes.

Rumor has it that the wealthy will also be enjoying a personal tax cut.

VIX, a measure of volatility and 'risk' is back down towards the lows of the year.

The US Dollar DX Index moved lower again, as part of the risk reversals trades. They are a bit extended now perhaps.

The metals were weak again today, in observance of the May contract option expiry on the Comex.

I like the way the chart formations are shaping up. But we will still need to wait for them to go 'active.'

Have a pleasant evening.

NAV Premiums of Certain Precious Metals Trusts and Funds

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

24 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Risk On! - One Hundred Days - La Grande Trompe-l'œil

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”

Augustine of Hippo

As you most probably have heard the French elections settled on the 'base case' candidates, Le Pen and Marchon.

None of the old line, established parties made the cut.

Le Pen is the hard nationalist right and anti-EU. Macron appears to be a political noveau, and a kind of Obama like centrist figure with a very friendly disposition to the status quo.

And so there was celebration on Wall St, since Macron is expected to roundly defeat the radical right's Le Pen. And thereby the European Union will be preserved from the contagion of Brexit.

Gold and silver were smashed overnight. Interestingly enough silver gained all of its losses back to finish largely unchanged, with a toe in the gains column.   There is a silver option expiry on the Comex tomorrow.

Gold gave up about 8 bucks.

Speaking of the buck, the DX index took a dive as happy speculators were piling back into the Euro on the apparent impending victory of the status quo over any kind of change.

Trump's first 100 days are at an end.  And so it is a good time to make some general observations—   he is almost incredibly ill-suited to be the President.   That is not to say that he could change and surprise us by doing the right things for the broad swath of the public, and the people who voted him into office that are not of the plutocrat class.  But that seems increasingly unlikely.

If you step back and listen with some objectivity, what the guy says is almost astonishing.  Especially if you are not from the NYC area, and are not familiar with and accustomed to the finely honed craftmanship of the fast-talking bullshit artist, and one who traffics in real estate deals to boot.

And so it is understandable that people desperate for change could be taken in by his unrelenting flood of grandiose nonsense.  And the Democrats, in their aloof arrogance, served up probably the only candidate that could have lost to him.  Hillary was so caught up in her own soft entanglements with big money and corrupt politics that she could only go after him on softer issues and identity politics.

Once again the establishment politicians missed the message;  it's the economy stupid.  And for the average American is it not good.

But I suspect that those who voted for the guy will continue to defend him and pledge their support, even as he burns them to the ground.  And I do believe, barring an impeachment or early resignation from office, that he will.  The guy is a walking talking collection of conflicts of interest that rivals the Clinton foundation in everything except a cynical contempt and elegance.

But that is partisan politics; it makes people go mad in herds.  After all, establishment Democrats have done no less for Hillary.  And she is about as inappropriate a candidate for the times, despite or perhaps because of her long seasoning in the corrupted halls of power.  Unless of course you just blame everything that went wrong for the DNC on the FBI, misogyny, and Russia.  

Have a pleasant evening.

Wages, Productivity, and Inequality

"Inequality is a euphemism, a kind of shorthand, for all of the things that have gone to make the lives of the rich so much more delicious, year on year, for the last three decades. And also for the things that have made the lives of working people so wretched and so precarious in that same time.

This word inequality. It's visible in the ever rising costs of healthcare and college, in the coronation of Wall Street, and the slow blighting of wherever it is that you happen to live. And you catch a glimpse of inequality every time you hear about someone that had to declare bankruptcy because a child got sick, or you read about the lobbying industry that drives Washington DC, or the new political requirement, the new constitutional requirement that every presidential candidate has to be a billionaire's favorite, or a billionaire themselves.

Inequality is about the way in which speculators, and even criminals, get a helping hand from Uncle Sam, while the Vietnam Vet down the street from you loses his house. Inequality is the reason that some people find such incredible significance in the ceiling height of an entrance foyer, or the hop content of a beer, while other people will never believe in anything again."

Thomas Frank

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.  Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason.  But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right.  The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich."

John Kenneth Galbraith

"Capitalism is at risk of failing today not because we are running out of innovations, or because markets are failing to inspire private actions, but because we’ve lost sight of the operational failings of unfettered gluttony.

We are neglecting a torrent of market failures in infrastructure, finance, and the environment. We are turning our backs on a grotesque worsening of income inequality and willfully continuing to slash social benefits. We are destroying the Earth as if we are indeed the last generation."

Jeffrey Sachs

"Over the last thirty years, the United States has been taken over by an amoral financial oligarchy, and the American dream of opportunity, education, and upward mobility is now largely confined to the top few percent of the population. Federal policy is increasingly dictated by the wealthy, by the financial sector, and by powerful (though sometimes badly mismanaged) industries such as telecommunications, health care, automobiles, and energy. These policies are implemented and praised by these groups’ willing servants, namely the increasingly bought-and-paid-for leadership of America’s political parties, academia, and lobbying industry.

If allowed to continue, this process will turn the United States into a declining, unfair society with an impoverished, angry, uneducated population under the control of a small, ultra-wealthy elite. Such a society would be not only immoral but also eventually unstable, dangerously ripe for religious and political extremism."

Charles Ferguson

“There are two visions of America a half century from now. One is of a society more divided between the haves and the have-nots, a country in which the rich live in gated communities, send their children to expensive schools, and have access to first-rate medical care. Meanwhile, the rest live in a world marked by insecurity, at best mediocre education, and in effect rationed health care―they hope and pray they don't get seriously sick.

At the bottom are millions of young people alienated and without hope. I have seen that picture in many developing countries; economists have given it a name, a dual economy, two societies living side by side, but hardly knowing each other, hardly imagining what life is like for the other.

Whether we will fall to the depths of some countries, where the gates grow higher and the societies split farther and farther apart, I do not know. It is, however, the nightmare towards which we are slowly marching.”

Joseph E. Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality

"Psychopaths have a grandiose self-structure which demands a scornful and detached devaluation of others, in order to ward off their envy toward the good perceived in other people."

Robert D. Hare, Without Conscience

"The worldly treasures you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.  Listen! Hear the miseries of the workers whom you have cheated through fraud from fair payment."

James 5:4

"Two-thirds of the directors at the New York Fed are hand-picked by the same bankers that the Fed is in charge of regulating.

Today, the United States is No. 1 in corporate profits, No. 1 in CEO salaries, No. 1 in childhood poverty, and No. 1 in income and wealth inequality in the industrialized world.

Today, the top one-tenth of 1% owns nearly as much wealth as the bottom 90%. The economic game is rigged, and this level of inequality is unsustainable.

We need an economy that works for all, not just the powerful.

I think what the American people are saying is enough is enough. This country, this great country, belongs to all of us. It cannot continue to be controlled by a handful of billionaires who apparently want it all."

Bernie Sanders

21 April 2017

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - French Elections and Silver Options Expiration

"They devoted themselves to the teachings and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need.

Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.  And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved."

Acts 2:42-47

"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 13:35

"We are not remote elites or ascetic philosophers, who dwell alone and exile themselves from ordinary human life. We do not forget the debt of gratitude that we owe to God, our Lord and Creator; we reject no creature of His hands, though certainly we exercise restraint upon ourselves, lest we make an immoderate or sinful use of His gifts. And so we travel for now with you in the world."


“What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Today was a minor options expiration for stocks.  The trading was quiet.

Next Tuesday is a Comex precious metals option expiration that is more significant for silver than for gold, given the activities of the metals in this month's contracts.

The markets are keenly observing the French elections this weekend.

See you on Monday.

Please remember God's creatures, especially those entrusted to your care.  Remember your brothers and sisters, especially the poor both in material wealth and in spirit.

Even an animal will love their offspring because it is their own, and a wicked man loves his possessions because they are his.   True love is to love what is His because it is His, formed of Him, and not because it is ours to possess and do with as we please.

We gain much from fellowship in the world, and this is not a vain thing.   It is one of His greatest gifts to us.  We were made for friendship, formed and born from His very breath in caring and for love.

God is love. Evil then is the absence of caring, the deficiency of love.  As Dostoevsky observed, hell is the inability to love and to be loved in return.  It is to be isolated and cut off from the life that sustains us.

For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, but to lose his soul. To choose love over selfishness and pride and possessions is the only trade worth making, because nothing else will endure.

Be a champion for love, if only in the little things of your daily life.  And that being done for His sake is enough.

Have a pleasant weekend.