22 May 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Complexities and Simplicities and Misdirections

“Many people think of our times as being the last before the end of the world. The evidence of horror all around us makes this seem possible.  But isn't that a consideration of only small importance?   Doesn't every human being, no matter which era he lives in, always have to reckon with being accountable to God at any moment?  Can I know whether I'll be alive tomorrow morning?"

Sophie Scholl

"He has shown you what is good. The Lord requires you to act justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."

Micah 6:8

Fraud is wrapped in complexities, of the most artificial kinds, which aid one to deceive and be deceived.

Goodness walks with simplicity in the light.

We know what we are to do. But we make it complicated on purpose, and raise issues and false considerations.  Our darker selves resist the simplicity of the Lord, and the plainness of His tender mercies.

Grandeur and complications are the trappings of weakness and insecurity.  If someone cannot explain plainly what it is that they do or propose in response to a honestly informed question, without cloaking it in jargon and tenuous rationales, then one might well suspect its soundness.

And if simple questions are answered with ad hominem attacks, then you can be almost sure it is poorly constructed, at best and fraudulently misdirected at worst.

Stocks were attempting to rally today, but fell off towards the close of trade as the tweets of Trumpolini raised doubts about the meeting with North Korea.

The precious metals are in stasis, in observance of the upcoming options expiration on the Comex this Thursday.

It was a bit thrilling to watch the launch of the Iridium LEO satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket this afternoon. I remember when the LEO concept was first floated out as a commercial possibility, way back when. Our team was doing custom satellite work under contract for the government, and some VSAT work for commercial enterprises.

It is nice and refreshing to see the brainpower and energy of the US being used for something other than fictionalization and fraud.

Have a pleasant evening.

21 May 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - The Philosopher's Stone - Recession Warning

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee...

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine:
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and the action fine.

This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold;
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for less be told.

George Herbert, The Elixir

Today was one of those days in the market when a great deal seems to happen, but then by the close, there is little to show for it.

Stocks rallied early on fabulously on hopes that the China-US Trade discussions were going well. And then all that optimism collapsed under its own weight, and sent stocks to the lows of the day.

But by the close most everything was back again to nearly unchanged.

There will be a Comex precious metals option expiration on Thursday, that will likely be more significant for gold.

Perhaps this is why gold took such a gut shot to test the will of the longs this morning.

Earlier today I posted an indicator that suggests that the US may be falling into another economic recession. To see it click here.

It is *possible* that the tax cuts and other stimulus may do something to defer this risk.   But given the strong bias in the cuts, and lack of a financial policy change to go with them, there may not be a significant impact on the real weekly income at the median level. 

The money seems to continue to be directed to the top.  And their spending does not provide sufficient stimulus to aggregate demand, especially when it is directed at more stock buybacks and increased predatory monopolies.

Have a pleasant evening.

Decline to Negative In Personal Median Income Growth Precedes Economic Recessions - Recession Warning Now?

The data seems to indicate that a sharp decline in Real Median Personal Income to a negative growth year over year seems to precede an economic recession.

As for the causes of this correlation, one might well wonder.   But given that the US economy tends to be consumption driven, a sharp decline in real median personal income would seem to be something worth considering.

And one might well ask, are we headed for that same experience today, with a broad slowing in aggregate demand because of a decline in growth of median income?

I am not happy that this is based on annual data.  I would have been monthly, or at least quarterly. 

Below this I also include a chart that shows the growth of average hourly wages of non-supervisory workers.  I looked this up because of a minor debate going on between two popular media economists, Baker and Krugman, about the start of wage stagnation, whether it has been since 1980, or the last recession.

As always it seems, I was not able to find my exact desired data, which would have been median real wage growth in non-supervisory, non-salaried workers.   But the case for 1980 as the start of stagnation seems rather good.

But I did stumble upon this phenomenon of declining personal income preceding recessions, which seems much more important, if true.  So it was not a complete waste of time to pursue this quibble over whether we are at full employment now, and why wage growth is not yet appearing.

18 May 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Seth the Arbiter of Chaos

"Friday, April 20, was Hitler's fifty-sixth birthday. The radio announced that Hitler had come out of his safe bomb-proof bunker to talk with the fourteen to sixteen year old boys who had 'volunteered' for the 'honor' to be accepted into the SS and to die for their Fuhrer in the defense of Berlin.

What a cruel lie! These boys did not volunteer, but had no choice, because boys who were found hiding were hanged as traitors by the SS as a warning that, 'he who was not brave enough to fight had to die.' When trees were not available, people were strung up on lamp posts. They were hanging everywhere, military and civilian, men and women, ordinary citizens who had been executed."

Dorothea von Schwanenfluegel, The Battle For Berlin

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.  By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

That really is the problem isn't it, as captured in those two seemingly disparate quotes by Bonhoeffer.  How does one speak out without judging, or rather falling into the fault of being judgmental?  And yet not to fall into that more terrible complicity of silence?

What complicates the matter is that the people tend to enjoy when someone is speaking out against those things which they do not like. But they tend to react with almost violent indignation when anything with which they have emotionally identified themselves is brought up for judgement. Not intellectually, but emotionally identified.

The more a thing may disappoint them, the more it may be proven false, the more readily it is debunked and shown to be a falsehood, or even evil, the more strongly some will embrace it, as if by sacrificing their own integrity, and perhaps even their souls, for something so unworthy will silence the criticisms and redeem it.

As noted in the first quote, I was always puzzled by the mass hangings of those who were not showing sufficient enthusiasm for the Fuhrer during the Battle of Berlin, even as the Russians were rolling into town and the war was obviously lost.  Why weren't these brave SS fanatics fighting for their city, rather than going around and hanging boys and old men?

But it makes perfect sense, if one thinks of it in terms of the credibility trap.

For to admit that the Reich was a lie, and a mistake,  that they were fanatical fools, and Hitler an incompetent creature of evil would be to admit that one was wrong, a failure, and worse, had become an accomplice to an unimaginable evil.

To accept that guilt, to admit one's complicity in such a horrendous assault on justice, to humble oneself and ask for forgiveness,  would have taken a heroic act of self-awareness, humility and repentance.  And worse, for these fanatics, it would diminish their pride, which was at the foundation of the most fervent supporters of such flamboyant excess.

That, and a desire to become beasts, to lose themselves in their mindless fanaticism, and escape the pain of being men.  And so they struck out, and killed everything that held up a mirror to their darkened souls, and showed them their pride was based on a lie.

So odd, that after having lost a long and costly war that was based on hatred and lies for the economic benefits of a few, that men would dress up in their costumes, which in any other context would be ridiculous, and rampage around, lynching the innocent.

Pride is the mother of all sin. This is the descent into hell.  This is the unwillingness to let go of the lie, for the sake of pride and its power, and cling to evil as it draws one into the abyss.

This is why some thinkers say that the door to hell is indeed locked—  from the inside.

And not all violence in the service of evil has to be physical.   In modern times the weapon of choice is often economic and financial. 

Stocks ended the week quietly, having struck their level for the stock option expiration today.

There will be a precious metals option expiration on the Comex next Thursday the 24th. I have included those calendars below.

Have a pleasant weekend.