Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekend Open Thread...




Don't forget to 'fall behind' by turning your clocks back one hour tonight!


Friday, November 5, 2010

Shattered Dreams - A Reader’s Anecdotal Story…

On the day the Fed announced they were spending $110 Billion per month, a $1.32 Trillion annual pace, “DJ” read my writing about sleepless nights and $4 a gallon gasoline then decided to share his story with me. This is the REAL DEAL in the economy, there are many like “DJ” out there who thought they were doing what was right in order to live the American dream, only to see their dream turn into a nightmare.

Should the “Fed” continue to pour fuel onto the fire, this nightmare is going to get worse.

Here’s “DJ’s” story:
Nathan,

I've never written to a blogger; period. I tripped across your 'Nathan's Economic Edge' blog, looking for confirmation to what I suspected was going on with the equities markets. Mainly, why they kept going higher, and [yet] the economy was getting worse.

I've been following your blog for about a month now, and I anxiously await each day’s update. The other interesting aspect of the allure was that you are a pilot. I was too, and I enjoyed flying so much, but I can't do it because of the destruction of my business starting 2007.

I had 7 employees / friends, and a very successful home improvement company, that has been destroyed. I started letting them go one by one in 2007, based on seniority, and now it's just me. We did additions, high end custom woodwork, etc. Nothing changed [in the way he conducted his business], no bad jobs, no shoddy additions, just a business built over 12 years based on word of mouth, driven by excellent craftsmanship.

...The reason for my correspondence is simply; "What to do with my remaining few dollars?" My financial situation is simple. Married, 3 kids, 2 in college, 1 out working. I built my house in 1999. $300k savings into it, $225K mortgage. I always paid on time, but my first missed payment occurred in May 2009, after eating up a large portion of savings, hoping the economy would get better; but it never happened.

Foreclosure began, but since I had a bunch of equity, the bank would not work with me at all. It got to the point they didn't even return phone calls. Luckily, I got a buyer, and was able to walk away with the $300K I put in. Ten years of payments, and I was lucky to get back my original investment. I played no refinance games, borrowed no equity, and that was the end of that game.

It's water under the bridge now, but my main focus, and I'll live in a cardboard box if I have to, but I will get my 2 kids in college; graduated. I had $240K set aside for them, but that's just about gone. The limited work I get, in most months doesn't cover the rent, food, and insurances. So, we gnaw away at the remaining proceeds from the house sale. I'm fifty, and in my worst nightmare, would have not believed I, and this country would end up like this. I've worked since I was 11, sometimes 7 days a week. I had nothing given to me, and earned every penny. And, to just have it stolen like this, to say the least; first you experience tremendous depression, then lethargy, now an intense anger; all over a 2+ year period.

I write with curiosity, based on what I've outlined, with the limited resources I have remaining, and the remnants of a destroyed business; what would you consider as the first logical step to rebuilding? If that is even possible.

Your post of the last 2 days are so much on point, with regard to the crashing DXY, and the booming equities. It is really starting to impact the daily expenses - food, gas, heating oil. The necessities that are required to subsist. The economy is getting worse, for the construction industry, and yet, costs are accelerating like they did in the boom. Complete disconnect.

Keep up the excellent analysis. I think you are right on the mark!

Kind Regards,

“DJ”

I asked “DJ” if I could share his story with you because I think it’s good to hear what’s really happening directly from the horses’ mouth.

First, let’s note a few things. “DJ” is 50 years old. That means he was born in 1960ish, very close to the end of the Baby Boom generation, but also very close to the very peak number of births. He worked hard, saved and largely stayed out of what most would consider bad debt. He owned a business, a business that benefited from the housing bubble, and collapsed as the bubble collapsed. Note that his small business was actually laying people off at a time the BLS’s “Birth/ Death model” was adding jobs to the Employment Situation Report.

Home gone, business destroyed, savings destroyed, yet two kids to put through college. And here he is at age 50 needing to start over.

It’s enough to make you weep, especially for the non-narcissistic among us who can empathize with DJ’s plight. Shattered dreams.

Could he have seen it coming? Absolutely, but not many did.

While he didn’t have the foresight to see and be proactive in front of the economic bubble, that bubble was not a product of his making, nor was it under his control. Who made it? The central banks made it. They are the financial “experts” who people WRONGLY assume are acting in the people’s best interest to direct the economy. In fact they are NOT! They are acting in their OWN INTEREST. They lie, cheat, commit fraud, and steal, all while telling other people in their society that there’s never been a better time to buy and that interest rates will never be lower.

But the truth is that because of the timeframe that “DJ” was born, by the time he had significant wages and savings to afford housing, it was already well into bubble prices. The 12 years during the time he owned his business was during the parabolic bubble growth phase. Those born before him had already created the roots of the credit bubble and had run up the assets that he would buy after them. Having a family to support he wasn’t ready to just sell his assets and thus rode the bubble down, finally being forced to sell well after the peak. This demographic position is extremely negative – something that people born a decade or two earlier benefited from as their assets were pushed higher by the wave and credit bubble that came AFTER they had bought their major life assets.

Many people of the earlier generation BLAME those junior to them for creating their own problems – they are mistaken, in fact the roots of their misfortune were sown long before and it was in fact multiple generations that FAILED TO ACT TO PREVENT A COMPLETELY KNOWABLE AND FORESEEABLE CRISIS.

Of course his observations about the current situation are correct, and his questions pertinent. I wish I had better answers for him, but the truth is that with what the central banks are doing there are very few truly safe places for your money. It’s just the reality of economic winter. Planting seeds into the winter’s frozen ground will not produce good results, the same is true for planting seed money during an economic winter. It is the spring for which we all await, yet cruelly the seasons of the economy turn through many decades.

My advice for DJ’s situation is limited, but goes something like this… Keep your chin up and your sense of dignity with you at all times. Your situation is not unique, and while circumstances of the macro economy are out of your control, you need to continue to pay attention to that big picture but focus in on the things that are under your control.

First of all, protect the savings you have by diversifying into conservative assets. This should include owning things that will protect you against BOTH inflation and deflation. Do not place all your eggs in one basket as no one can tell the future to you for certain, and there may be aspects of each in our futures. And in regards to protecting your savings, while this may not be applicable to you, in general you should NOT be cashing out 401k and IRA plans for the purpose of making DEBT PAYMENTS on a house or on consumer debt, particularly if there’s a chance of losing the home or of filing bankruptcy! This is because one of the very few protections citizens have anymore is that those retirement plans are protected during the bankruptcy process! So why give your life’s savings to the banks, when you can instead discharge your debt legally by either returning the collateral or discharging your debt via the bankruptcy laws? Collateralized debt is collateralized for a reason, it was their mistake to blow the bubble, it is their mistake to accept an over valued property as collateral. When you borrowed the money, it did NOT EXIST prior to its creation, the bankruptcy laws are a part of the natural restoration of a collapsed credit bubble. So don’t shoot your retirement savings before you take legal action, take that action BEFORE cashing out retirement plans.

The only other advice I can give is to remain out of debt so that you can live your life in the most free manner possible. Actively remain conscious about WHO you work for and what it is that your work is promoting. Pay attention to the world around you and help to create a system that doesn’t do the same thing to future generations. With price stability, there is no reason that one’s timing of birth should matter to their success or failure within the economy. You have been robbed, a crime was committed against you. The same crime will happen to your children unless we uphold the rule of law and take back the power of money creation.

Morning Update/ Market Thread 11/5

Good Morning,

Equity prices shot higher still on the Employment Situation Report for October. The dollar is up significantly, bonds are significantly weaker, oil has shot past the economy destroying level of $87 a barrel, and gold is down after setting a new all-time record high yesterday just below $1,400 per ounce. $1,400 per ounce? Gee, that doesn’t make the gold bugs who were calling several years ago for gold at $1,500 an ounce look so nutty, does it? Will I be saying the same thing about gold $5,000 an ounce in a couple of years? Hope not, but I think there is little doubt left that unless the characters are changed, we’re going there.

The Employment Report did come in better than expected for October, the headline percentage stayed the same at 9.6%, but they claim that Nonfarm Payroll increased by 151,000, larger than the 60,000 consensus. This holding steady of the rate was LARGELY DUE TO THIS: “Both the civilian labor force participation rate, at 64.5 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 58.3 percent, edged down over the month.”

What this is saying is that despite a growing population size, the number of people considered to be participating in employment is falling. This has the effect of shrinking the size of the workforce which makes the numbers look good. If the economy were truly making jobs and expanding, the employment-population ratio would be expanding.

Marginally Attached and Discouraged workers are up significantly - 611,000 more than in October of last year! How’s that for job creation? Jobs were added in the category of healthcare, business services, and retail trade. Losses occurred in leisure/ hospitality, government, and manufacturing (gee, I thought the ISM was touting growth in manufacturing?).

Below is the entire report:

Employment Situation October

Looking at U-6, the measure most closely resembling how unemployment used to be reported, we see that on a month to month basis it fell from 16.2% to 15.9%, however, on a seasonally adjusted basis it was still 17.0%:



The Birth/ Death model added a supposed 61,000 jobs in October, up from 11,000 in September. This 50k increase is the same amount of increase for the month as occurred in 2009. If you look at what was reported for November last December, you will see that next month is likely going to be a negative correction month for this model which will make next month’s report appear weaker:



Here’s Econoday’s spin on the report:
Highlights
Payroll jobs finally returned to positive territory as the impact of layoffs of temporary Census workers has dwindled and the private sector is strengthening. Payroll employment in October rebounded 151,000, following a revised 41,000 decline in September and a 1,000 decrease in August. The October gain came in higher than analysts' projection for a 60,000 increase. The August and September revisions were net up 110,000.

The October jobs report saw the last notable drop in temporary Census workers. But the government sector was not as negative as feared. Government employment fell 8,000 after decreasing 148,000 in September. Private nonfarm employment posted another gain, advancing 159,000 in October, following a revised boost of 107,000 in September. The consensus called for an 85,000 boost for private payrolls.

In the private sector, service-providing jobs advanced 154,000 after a 111,000 increase in September. Within services for October, temp help gained 35,000; health care added 24,000 jobs; and retail trade jumped 28,000. Goods-producing industries edged up 5,000 after a 4,000 dip in September. In the latest month, manufacturing was little changed, slipping 7,000; construction rose 5,000; and mining increased 8,000.

Average hourly earnings gained 0.2 percent in October after rising 0.1 percent in September. The October number matched the market forecast. The average workweek for all workers edged up to 34.3 hours from 34.2 hours in October, marginally topping expectations for 34.2 hours.

On a year-ago basis, overall payroll job growth rose to up 0.6 percent in October from up 0.3 percent the month before.

Turning to the household survey, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent, equaling analysts' median forecast.

Today's report shows the labor sector healing more than anticipated. This is good news for the economy, though there is still a long way to go to return to pre-recession unemployment. On the release, equity futures rose modestly.



Sorry, very little change in this report and a still shrinking Employment Population Ratio is not good. If this chart was still near its highs, the employment situation would look as miserable as it really is:



Reality? Here’s our economy in a nutshell. Below are two graphs… the first one shows the raw number of total workers who manufacture any kind of real goods in this country (now including McDonald's hamburgers), while the second chart shows total government workers! Note that despite a doubling in the size of our population, we still employ the same number of people actually making things as we did in the year 1942:





And just to show how strong employment really isn’t, John Williams charts the horrific and depression level numbers at ShadowStats.com:



Okay, so we’re not fooled for a second into believing that the economy is actually producing meaningful employment. We’re not fooled for a second into believing that printing money will bring prosperity either. What it will bring is higher numbers… higher imports, higher exports, higher oil costs, higher food costs, higher everything AS MEASURED IN DOLLARS, EXCEPT… your wages.

If you want the audio version of my QE2 discussion yesterday, here’s David Stockman – Former Reagan Budget Director - who gets it, and explains it without pulling any punches:



Oh, you don’t say? And evidently the Chinese are getting it as well:
Nov 4 (Reuters) - Unbridled printing of dollars is the biggest risk to the global economy, an adviser to the Chinese central bank said in comments published on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve unveiled a new round of monetary easing.

China must set up a firewall via currency policy and capital controls to cushion itself from external shocks, Xia Bin said in a commentary piece in the Financial News, a Chinese-language newspaper managed by the central bank.

"As long as the world exercises no restraint in issuing global currencies such as the dollar -- and this is not easy -- then the occurrence of another crisis is inevitable, as quite a few wise Westerners lament," he said.

As an academic adviser on the central bank's monetary policy committee, Xia does not have decision-making power but does provide input to the policy-making process.

"We must keep a clear mind. We must not lead the world in financial regulation, nor simply follow the deeds of mature economies. We must think 'what is good for us'," he said.

The destruction of our monetary system is not academic, nor is it up to debate! Math is math. Exponential growth simply is, you cannot argue it away, nor can it be wished away. Making it go away requires action. The action required is changing the WHO controls the quantity of money, and that means taking the power back from the banks who actually OWN the “Fed.”

As far as other items in the news, it all seems quite bizarre to me. The President and his entourage traveling the globe in a manner that is further bankrupting our nation while the minions deny the scary cost figures, yet fail to account for the cost. Escorted by ANY navy ships is simply bizarre, and what exactly is the purpose of these trips? And why are there so many power players out of the country at the same time – that time being immediately after the election? And if you really want to be blown away to the point of wondering if they are trying to incite riots (!), take a read of this:

The Federal Reserve Is Holding A Conference On Jekyll Island To Celebrate 100 Years Of Dominating America: “A Return to Jekyll Island: The Origins, History, and Future of the Federal Reserve”

LOL, I thought that was a sick and twisted JOKE until I followed this link and found out that it’s for real!

A Return to Jekyll Island: The Origins, History, and Future of the Federal Reserve - November 5-6, 2010

Talk about audacity, there it is. The criminals return to the scene of the crime to gloat about their thievery and to plan their further domination of the people of the world. All the while their puppets are out traveling the globe.

Now, that may sound to people who don’t understand the situation as raging against the machine, but I’m telling you that this is very likely to have repercussions for the future of our kids and grandkids. Our government should be at Jekyll Island making ARRESTS, not fleeing from the sinking ship!

Okay, now let’s talk markets. The SPX closed one point above the April high. This follows the DOW and Transports in doing so. Note that the 61.8% retrace of the entire decline is at 1227 on the SPX:



Since we made a new high, it means that the prior Elliott Wave count was incorrect, that we had not begun wave C down. Therefore we are either still in the larger wave B up, or we are in wave 3 up of a bull market. From a fundamental perspective, there is simply no way I’m buying the bull market scenario, it is bullish only from a Zimbabwe like perspective. And the market is EXTREMELY dangerous here, way over-extended, the most gaps below us in history, 569 EXTREME new highs yesterday, and historic sized divergences. One huge divergence is found in the Advance-Decline line which yesterday was significantly lower than it was at earlier recent peaks. This means that breadth is contracting, another sign of major tops.

I’M STILL NOT BUYING THE BULL, and note that major trend changes often occur on what is perceived by the masses as good news – Queue Obama’s speech… in 5, 4, 3…

Steve Miller – The Joker:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 11/4 QE2 and YOU!

Good Morning,

Equity futures are blowing out higher this morning on the back of “Fed” intervention. The dollar has broken major and key support, the Euro is breaking higher out of a bullish flag, long bonds are recovering higher after a steep sell off yesterday, oil is zooming now above $86 a barrel, and gold has plastered on about $40 an ounce this morning alone.

Let’s get something straight right off the bat… the “Fed” is OWNED (literally) by private banks. They act in THEIR interest. Understanding this is key to understanding why their actions help the banks and work AGAINST the people. Simply look at the BANK STOCKS following the FOMC announcement yesterday and you will see WHO was helped by this CRIMINAL activity. Which, by the way, is BIGGER than TARP and yet has NO CONGRESSIONAL approval or oversight. In fact, Ben Bernanke in sworn Congressional testimony said, “The Fed will not monetize the debt.” And yet that is exactly what they are doing, and yes, that is PERJURY. Yes! Bernanke should be JAILED as he is inflicting SEVERE damage to our nation.

Let’s get something else straight about yesterday’s announcement… it was NOT just $600 Billion! It was $600 billion ON TOP OF QE1, but what is clever about the announcement is that the time period only runs through the end of quarter 2 of next year! QE1 and QE2 working together amount to $110 Billion per month, or $1.32 TRILLION annualized! Effectively this means that we are PRINTING the entirety of our national deficit. Remember, we only take in approximately $2.5 Trillion in taxes, this means we are printing 50% more than that out in the open.

Effectively this makes what was $10 Billion per week in POMO activity equal to $27 Billion per week! And thus the exponential growth in numbers is incontrovertible.

Why would the Fed even make these figures public? Because they can’t hide it anymore and because they WANT TO CREATE THE PERCEPTION OF INFLATION IN YOUR MIND. This is literally INSANE, it is Narcissistic Disorder at its finest. It is self-destructive as there is no way it can ever be stopped – no exit strategy. Remember Vietnam? No exit strategy. Any General worth his salt will tell you straight up – YOU NEVER ENTER A BATTLE WITHOUT AN EXIT PLAN. You MUST think at least two moves in advance. Well, we are all in battle and there definitely is no exit plan, not one that can actually work in practice.

Now, with all that I’m going to tell you that QE2 will fail as miserably as QE1! Imagine if they were to take that money and instead of using it to effectively prop up bankrupt banks, they were to refund taxes to the PEOPLE to be used to pay down their existing debt. This would not only help the people, but that money would pour into the banks with velocity, thus making the entire system healthy. That’s what is so nuts about what is going on. By giving the money to the banks, the money DOES NOT GO WHERE IT IS NEEDED. The banks use the hot money to speculate in the markets running up commodities that act as a DRAG on the economy.

Furthermore, the money WILL NOT STAY IN THE UNITED STATES! The “Fed” has now created the BIGGEST CARRY TRADE IN HISTORY. The carry trade created by Japan was HUGE, but this is WAY BIGGER. Countries like Australia are raising interest rates while our “Fed” is using trillions to artificially buy our rates down. This sets up an interest rate differential that the holders of hot money use to arbitrage the difference. They literally take the money from the United States, CARRY IT to Australia where any benefit of its use benefits THEM. This also massively pressures the price of worldwide commodities, creating BUBBLES. These bubbles circle back around to SQUICK the CITIZENS of the United States. A normal, HEALTHY deflation would make things like oil and building materials cheaper. But that won’t be allowed to happen with these CRIMINALS still in power. And least you think that the election changed all that, guess what, I’m already reading that new Republicans are talking about INCREASING spending on defense. Now there’s some kind of change to the change you can believe in!

And so, if you are one of the Americans who is underwater in your home, your retirement diminished, and you are tossing and turning at night worrying about losing your home and not having ANYTHING during your retirement, guess what… you now are facing $4 gasoline again! Here’s a daily chart of oil, it has broken a bullish flag and is making a bee line for $95 a barrel. Does it stop there?



You KNOW that this price increase is a BUBBLE in the making as the price is rising despite FALLING DEMAND. Proof once again came yesterday on the weekly petroleum report that showed FALLING OIL IMPORTS, oil refineries working at very low capacity, and RISING OIL INVENTORIES despite the falling imports. This equals falling demand, and you can see on the chart of inventories that we are approaching all time high inventory levels, breaking out of a sideways consolidation period:



And any savings you have is literally being DESTROYED.



Since June of this year, your money weighed against a basket of other depreciating currencies has now fallen 15%! And it is in process of a 5th wave down that is breaking major support. That support is the bottom trendline of a huge pennant that you can see on the monthly chart:



A break of that pennant from a technical point of view is targeting an area that is a disaster for the people of our nation. And keep in mind that this is an index measured against other countries who are also printing – it’s not measured against anything REAL. And thus the true devaluation of your money is reaching extremes, we are rapidly approaching the key area where the loss of confidence occurs.

And it’s not just our nation, obviously. Take a look at what’s happening in Ireland right now. Bonds and Credit Default Swaps are blowing out! The cost of borrowing is shooting through the roof.



And I still haven’t talked about the continuing fraud occurring in the banks that’s being ignored and swept under the carpet for now. But all these debt rooted problems have not gone away, they are festering and beginning to boil over. They are creating tensions around the globe in regards to trade, and don’t look now, but ahead of the next G20 meeting in Soul, the two Koreas are taking pot shots at one another.

And did you see the reaction of bonds to yesterday’s announcement? The long bond PLUMMETED straight down, causing long term interest rates to RISE.



What does that tell you? And by the end of this month the “Fed” will become the world’s largest holder of Treasury debt! Larger than China! And what’s clear about this is that NO ONE ELSE IS WILLING TO BUY OUR DEBT AT THIS LOW OF A RATE. Therefore, it is up to us to MONETIZE it. This is a SPIRAL from which there is NO ESCAPE. The more we print to devalue our money, THE LESS OTHERS WILL WANT TO FINANCE OUR DEBTS. The less they want to finance, the more we have to print. THIS SPIRAL WILL CONTINUE ALL THE WAY INTO A LOSS OF CONFIDENCE EVENT.

And so, let’s circle back around to stocks. Just yesterday I linked you to an article and published a chart showing that stocks are as overvalued already as they were just prior to the 1929 stock market crash - and that's based upon FRAUD. Pour more gasoline onto that fire and you ABSOLUTELY HAVE A BUBBLE. All bubbles burst. This one will be no different other than we are now creating bubbles during the end of the game.

And as I’ve always said, we must correctly recognize the fundamentals in order for the technical analysis to work. Have the fundamentals changed? Well yes, they did change back in early 2009 when mark-to-fantasy accounting fraud was allowed again, and at the same time $1.7 Trillion in QE was implemented. Since that time, stocks while not anywhere near their 2007 highs have nonetheless plowed over massive overbought, divergent, and screamingly negative market and economic signals to get us to where we closed yesterday, which was with a reconfirmed DOW Theory buy signal when the Industrials closed above the April closing high, as the Transports did the day earlier. Thus, the hot money is in fact pushing through the technical landscape, MANIPULATING the price higher. And now the amount of hot money potentially pouring into stocks and commodities just went up by 150%.

I want to note that the larger and more meaningful indices of the S&P 500 and the Russell 2000 have yet to break their April highs. That is yet another divergence, a very important one. It indicates that the hot money is effective at running up narrow ranges of the market, but is not as effective at running up the broader market.

And thus while the hot money is flooding in, I still remain extremely BEARISH on equities. They are in a bubble. They could very well scream higher into a bubble blow off – great, they are going to do so without my money going along for the ride. This is true even though I watch the markets constantly, day in and day out. I shutter to think what’s going to happen to those who do not. I personally think that the whole thing is a criminal enterprise – it is going to come to an end, and it’s going to end badly for them. I absolutely will not participate in advancing the criminal’s agenda. My goal in life is to be able to know on my death bed that I did not what was necessarily in my own best financial interest, but that I did what was right for everyone’s interest. That’s why I continue to write the truth about the economy and about the markets.

Thus you have a decision to make. Do you join the crowd in promoting and working for the creation of the private bank’s bubbles, or do you work to promote stability and sanity? I can only tell you from experience that working inside of the bubble is a wheel that will consume your life and leave you empty in the end.



There was yet another small movement of the McClellan Oscillator yesterday, thus we are obviously getting the large move called for. We produced very clean outside topping hammers yesterday that are being overrun by today’s POMO and excitement over more hot money. Meanwhile insider selling is obscene, mom and pop are forced to withdraw for the 26th consecutive week from their mutual funds, and divergences are giant sized.

Of course the currency can only be debased so far. Note that since April the dollar is down and yet stocks have yet to overall return to where they were in April. In other words, the dollar being down has NOT resulted overall in stocks rising! At best it has simply held stocks where they already were:



This type of action is the very same type of action found near almost all major tops. Once again, though, those who chose to front run the turn are getting nailed. There is simply no advantage to doing so from my perspective ever.

And we have lunatics running the show. Check out what Bernanke said about stock prices:
Easier financial conditions will promote economic growth. For example, lower mortgage rates will make housing more affordable and allow more homeowners to refinance. Lower corporate bond rates will encourage investment. And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending. Increased spending will lead to higher incomes and profits that, in a virtuous circle, will further support economic expansion.

And thus, he is going far beyond even the insane powers that Congress sold out to the private banks in the year 1913 and ever since. The current “mandate” of “low inflation” and high employment now includes high stock prices, which follow their goal of high home prices, which is supported by their extremely high levels of DEBT and FRAUD. Virtuous circle? More like DEATH SPIRAL. THROW BERNANKE IN JAIL!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 11/3

Good Morning,

Equity futures are mute following yesterday’s elections where we of course simply switched flavors of the exact same ice cream. It will obviously mean more difficulty for Obama and it may mean more difficulty for the bankers to push through their stimulus and spending – time will tell, they’re pretty darn good at corrupting so I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. The dollar is slightly lower, bonds are higher, oil is poking through $85 a barrel, and gold is flat this morning.

The break higher in oil is significant as it’s coming out of a bullish flag targeting $95 a barrel:



There is resistance at $87, but beyond that it’s gunning higher. That is real trouble for our economy, more central banker induced folly. Thinking that you can generate inflation in the manner they are attempting will only result in a higher cost of living which acts as a tax on our citizens whose wages are failing to keep pace.

The FOMC announcement today will likely influence the markets more in the short term than the elections. I’m not certain what is priced in or what the reaction will be. What I am certain of is that there will be volatility and that there will likely be fake moves designed to take anyone’s money who is foolish enough to think they can outplay the HFT machines on a regular basis. Paramutual gambling is kinder.

The still worthless MBA Purchase Applications Index rose by 1.4% in the week prior, but refinancing activity fell a supposed 6.4%, pushing the overall index lower by 5.0%. Here’s Econoday:
Highlights
The purchase index rose 1.4 percent in the October 29 week, a second straight gain yet still well behind two steep declines in the prior two weeks. The refinance index fell 6.4 percent for its third straight decline. Rates remain at record lows, at 4.28 percent for 30-year loans.

The Challenger Job Cut report came in very close to last month showing 37,986 mass layoff notices.

ADP estimates that for the month of October there were 43,000 jobs created, this is a large increase over September when they estimated a loss of 39,000 private payroll jobs. They also revised that figure higher to only a -2,000 loss figure. Personally I give the ADP report little credence as it rarely reflects what is reported by the BLS. Still, this report is used by the market to set expectations for the Employment Situation Summary that will be released this Friday. My take is that expectations are again too high for this report, largely due to the fact that October is not a month that the BLS typically adds large quantities of Birth/ Death model faux jobs.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the data after the election and QE announcement is behind us. Yesterday it was learned that the Social Security Administration erred in their calculations of income levels across the nation. They claim this overstatement error was the result of adding $32.3 BILLION onto just TWO of the top 74 wage earners in the nation! This supposedly takes that group’s average earnings down from the widely reported $500 million plus, all the way down to “only” $84 million per. Okay… so how do you make a multi-billion mistake on just two people’s incomes? How accurate is the rest of their data? What effect on supposed economic reports will this error have? Did you note that the error came just in front of the elections? How convenient. And so I am left to ponder what is the angle? Would wages have plummeted even further and that was not acceptable to report? Will it influence other data? You bet it will, and so we’ll have to be patient and see what comes out in the wash now that the election is behind us. My bet would be that the data will mysteriously begin to sour.

The market has been moving at the mercy of the currency markets. Dollar down, stocks up. We’re at a juncture at this time, for sure. The question is which direction in the short term? Again dollar down promotes increases in commodity prices, that is sending oil well beyond the danger mark of $80 per barrel. The economy is backed into a corner from which there is no escape within our debt backed money box system. If they QE the economy will be in trouble from rising price and wages that can’t possibly keep up, and if they don’t QE, then the forces of deflation will work their magic at restoring balance as they just did with the elections. Thus I think the most likely outcome from today’s meeting is to QE smaller than expected or in increments, but it will contain MUCH jawboning about how they will monitor and ACT IF NECESSARY. This is nothing but lip flapping, the proof will be in the actual quantity and I’ll bet they will make it difficult to determine how much QE they are actually doing or are going to do (and I believe they are doing FAR more QE behind the scenes that they are not admitting to).

The SPX finished yesterday right on its 200 Week moving average. The McClellan Oscillator moved back to a positive reading, however all the divergences are large and continue to grow. Over the past couple of days I’ve read a couple of good articles on equity valuations. The best comes from Doug Short on how The Q Ratio Indicates a Significantly Overvalued Market.



As you look at the charts in that article note how valuations calculated by this means are approximately in the same area as valuations were prior to the market decline in the year 1929! And it shows you just how out of whack valuations were in the year 2000.

Other market pundits discuss the “positive” earnings of late and they theorize that the market will continue to climb as the earnings remain in positive territory. These are the same people who didn’t see the overvaluations in 2007 and they also thought that subprime would be contained! What they fail to see is that the reported earnings are based upon accounting fraud across the entire spectrum. When the fraud is called out, as it was in 2007 when FASB demanded mark-to-market, then the market tanked.



So, where we are now is simply waiting for the day that the fraud is called out again. And it’s coming because nothing was ever solved in the first place.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 11/2

Good Morning,

Equity futures are gapping higher yet again this Election Day morning – oh happy times, the markets must be signaling all is well!? NOT. The dollar is sinking like a stone yet bonds are rising, and meantime oil is breaking out higher and will be running like a big dog if it gets above $84 a barrel. Gold is level.

Yesterday’s action was quite the display… up then down, then straight up to finish almost perfectly level. This is the eighth daily candle to finish within a 5 point range. All eight look like topping candles. This is completely unprecedented. This bizarre display, I believe, is a function of computer trading that lacks enough real human players:



Note that while that has been going on, that the VIX has been slowly rising. In fact the VIX pinned the upper Bollinger band yesterday before retreating. This is a bearish divergence from the market price:



Remember all the 90%+ up and down days? The big flash crash and the daily mini crashes? Having invested in the market for more than two decades I can say that what I see is nothing but criminal enterprise. I feel slimy just knowing that I own bonds and money markets in my retirement plans that support these criminals (wife’s plan where I have no choice).

So, let’s say that I know the robber barons are in fact going to run the DOW up to 60,000 tomorrow, do I participate in their enterprise is the question I find myself asking from a moral perspective?

Am I a fool not to? Or would I be contributing to the ongoing fraud if I do? That’s quite the question to ponder as you head out to the polls to vote. While I am hearing pushback type talk emanating from CORPORATE BACKED advertising, I know that nothing structural is going to change due to the election.

Is there not anyplace where you can put your money to work for you and where you can feel safe, confident, and know that you’re advancing humanity and not just contributing to a few narcissists? If that investment exists, please let me know – I haven’t seen it.

And if such an investment does exist, it must earn dollars faster than the dollar is being destroyed. Gee, that means it would have to earn more than 8% in just the past three months, and it would have to earn nearly a full percent just overnight!

Is gold that investment? Does “investing” in gold promote humanity and build a future worth having for future generations? I’m going to go right back to what I said yesterday, and that is that the change that needs to happen will not happen with the ballot box – not unless you are presented with the choice of voting for someone who will place an adult in charge – someone who will enforce the rule of law and start throwing the perps into prison where they belong. Not going to happen anytime soon that I can see, and thus I know that the criminal enterprise will continue.

The FOMC meets today and will announce their Quantitative Easing plan tomorrow at 2:15 Eastern Time. Zero interest rates PLUS “they” (the “Fed” who is the private banks) are going to “print” money to buy up debt that can never possibly be repaid. This amounts to accounting fraud. It is an attempt to get something for nothing. It is an attempt to FOOL the other holders of our debts into believing that the “Fed” can really keep interest rates at zero while spending trillions they do not posses.

Again I ask, “What’s the exit strategy?”

The population is saturated with more debt than can ever be repaid. The Fed is buying up bonds and via their surrogates is propping up equities. The question is how long can the charade go on? How quickly do the numbers grow? Where does it stop? How does it stop?

So, to go back to my original question – why support the enterprise?

As much as I can, I am not. Yet we must all make the determination for ourselves how deep we’re willing to support a system that is not sustainable. Do you work within the system where your livelihood depends upon it? Are your investment choices fueling their enterprises? No doubt that it is very difficult to avoid it, the tentacles of the vampire squid are far reaching.

The outcome of Quantitative Easing will indeed be a disaster, of course. While they may be able to keep the façade up a little longer, if they do then commodities like oil and food will also go to the moon. With wages falling, increased costs for energy and food act as a tax on the consumer. There is no free lunch, all debts get repaid with interest in one way or the other – that would be the other.

And just look at how the corporate empire is doing:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- BP returned to profitability in the third quarter, rebounding from the severe loss caused by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company said Tuesday.

London-based BP said it earned $1.8 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30. While that was down from a $5 billion profit in the same 2009 quarter, it was a turnaround from the $17 billion loss incurred in the second quarter of this year -- when the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig led to the environmental disaster in the Gulf.

So, here we have a British company who created the worst environmental oil disaster ever in the United States earning $1.8 BILLION during the same quarter in which the disaster was still ongoing. Have all the people and businesses affected by that spill been made whole? This just simply pisses me off to no end. That we don’t have the leadership, the manliness to stand up to corporations is sickening. No, we have judges who say it’s okay for them to speak freely with their money. Superhuman rights. You can bet that if YOU caused such a disaster that you would be behind bars, not reporting billions in income.

Example after example of the breakdown of the rule of law. And no, just because a banker passes a law doesn’t mean that said law conforms to the natural rule of law. And that’s where the people step in. That’s where you have to decide if you’ve had enough. Are you going to support the criminal enterprise. Is Mark-to-Fantasy accounting okay with you? Is it okay with you that the banks subvert the state’s laws to create their derivatives? Is it okay with you that the politicians aren’t prosecuting the crimes that the bankers are perpetrating?

No, it’s not okay because we all pay.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Morning Update/ Market Thread 11/1/10

Good Morning,

It’s a Monday, so it’s safe to assume that equity futures are higher (eye rolls). It’s also a POMO day (double eye roll). And speaking of intervention in the markets, the Japanese tried their Yen manipulation trick again last night, only this time it lasted all of about 5 minutes – another large spike that just melted as it was quickly laughed off by the markets. The dollar was down but has bounced back to even, bonds are up significantly, oil is higher and gold is flat.

It’s going to be a wild, wild week for certain as tomorrow is Election Day and we’ll be getting a flavor for the new political composition by Wednesday when the Fed will take the opportunity to QE the population to death, a hidden tax on all our earnings and savings. Then on Friday we’ll get the Employment Report for October.

The consensus for the Employment Report, by the way, is calling for +60,000 jobs despite a -95,000 print last month. That sounds overly optimistic to me, but of course if it misses it’ll mean QE3, right? … and so it must be good because the bankers are getting their way. For now, because there is no one there to stop them – no adults. And that’s exactly why the Democrats are going to give up power. The people are looking for adult leadership, but they will be woefully let down once again because both parties are simply extensions of the central banks who finance their campaigns.

Tired of the record number of political ads? You can thank the recent supreme court ruling for that which made corporations super human in terms of being able to “speak freely” with their money. This was dumb as a bag of rocks, as giving a business entity human protections under the law, is like giving a stone those same rights, and this insanity is cloaked under the Constitution and fed to people as being the right thing to do. And thus the people will pay the price for their apathy, they will wind up living in a corporate ruled state as we already do. The real question mark about the elections for me is if the new composition will pushback against the stimulus and bailouts.

Meanwhile Personal Income fell during the month of September, while Personal Outlays increased .2% which is a deceleration from the prior .4%. Personal Income fell to -.1% from the prior positive .5%, a miss from the consensus who was expecting .3% - here’s Econoday:
Highlights
The consumer sector softened in September on both the income and spending facets. Personal income in September slipped 0.1 percent, following a 0.4 percent boost in August. The headline number came in noticeably below the market consensus for a 0.3 percent gain. Weakness was led by a sharp drop in government unemployment insurance benefits. Also, the wages & salaries component was unchanged, following a 0.2 percent rise in August.

While income growth dipped, spending remained positive. Personal spending rose 0.2 percent, following a 0.5 percent jump in August. The September number fell short of market forecasts for a 0.4 percent gain. By components, durables jumped 0.7 percent, nondurables rose 0.1 percent, and services edged up 0.1 percent.

PCE inflation eased at both the headline and core levels. The PCE price index firmed only 0.1 percent in September after rising 0.2 percent in August. The core rate came in at flat after nudging up 0.1 percent in August. Analysts projected a 0.1 percent rise for September.

Clearly, the consumer sector decelerated in August but part-emphasis on part-of the slowing may be related to coming off strong numbers in August. But without a doubt, the government sector is a negative in terms of wages and unemployment benefits.

Anytime the government takes their foot off the gas even a little the numbers plummet. Incomes going down against a background of Fed induced commodity price manipulation is a very dangerous thing for our nation – it’s already way out of hand.

The Manufacturing ISM and Construction Spending are released at 10 Eastern this morning.

So, what’s going to happen this week in regards to market action? Of course much depends on the manipulation announced by the “Fed.” The markets are way overbought, and yet everyone now expects a sell the news event. The most likely wave count I’ve seen suggests that there could be one more wave higher – perhaps we get a spike higher? I would tend to think that any further movement higher presents a good short opportunity, but we may not get it and front-running turns isn’t a smart play in my book.

The markets are going to come apart when the central bankers are pushed. I’m hearing a lot of talk about their fraud from states and from investors who bought their garbage – that’s where the real pushback is coming from, not from the pansy-assed politicians nor the sold out mainstream media. What that pushback is really all about is the unraveling of their fraud. The fraud is still hidden by even more accounting fraud. But like all Ponzi Schemes, the banks cannot keep the game going forever because eventually they run out of willing suckers – take a look at the diminishing volume in the markets, same thing.

So it’s an extraordinarily dangerous time all the way around, the general population is only partially aware of the dangers that are present. The McClellan Oscillator remains in negative territory telling us that the majority of stocks are currently in downtrends – this, of course, is a divergence against generally rising price, one of many.

Several people have asked me to express an opinion in terms of the election and how to vote… My very cynical take is that at this juncture in history it doesn’t matter how you vote because you are presented with no choice whatsoever. Your choices are between candidates and issues that are all defined by the debt money corporate world in which we now live. Your vote will not change that. It will not change the fact that the central bankers have the real power… the power of money creation. But in general, a message can be sent by removing those who have voted in favor of TARP and in favor of the latest insurance subsidy scheme cloaked as a “healthcare” bill. The more pushback against the banks and their financing schemes the better. By the way, the unions are NOT the cause of the ills of our economy! The seemingly excess they may currently possess is a byproduct of the credit bubble blown by the banks! It is the WHO controls our money that is at the root of all the SYMPTOMS. If you wish to cure the disease, you do not treat the symptoms, you treat the root of the problem.

And thus to me our democracy is broken beyond the ability of the ballot to fix it. Real change will occur when votes are cast with something other than a ballot box.