Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend Open Thread...

Weekend Funnies...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Morning Update/ Market Thread 10/14

Good Morning,

I’m out of town this morning and will be unable to post daily commentary today. Please use this post as today's Daily Thread, thank you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Morning Update/ Market Thread 10/13 - What’s Next Edition?

Good Morning,

Equity futures are lower this morning, with the dollar higher, bonds higher, oil lower, gold & silver lower, and food commodities taking back some recent gains.

Weekly Jobless Claims rose from 401,000 in the prior week to 404,000. Of course that 401k was revised higher, and the mainstream then compares apples to oranges only if it puts a positive spin on the headline so they can say the number didn’t rise, it was flat. Whatever, numbers above 350k are job losing propositions, the real economy has been, and continues, to shed jobs. Here’s Econocomplicit:
Two steps forward and one step backwards may be a good description for weekly jobless claims. Initial claims slipped a very slight 1,000 in the October 8 week to 404,000 with the October 1 week revised 4,000 higher to 405,000. But these levels are still over 400,000 and are disappointment given the brief dip to 395,000 in the Septmeber 24 week. But the four-week average is definitely moving in the right direction, down 7,000 for a third straight dip to a 408,000 level that is more than 10,000 below the month-ago comparison. This is a good initial indication for the October employment report.

Continuing claims fell 55,000 to 3.670 million with the four week average, at 3.724 million, down 25,000 from a month ago. Declines in continuing claims generally point to improvement in the labor market though they also reflect the expiration of benefits as the long-term unemployed find themselves on their own. The unemployment rate for insured workers slipped one tenth to 2.9 percent.

The Labor Department says there are no special factors in the October 8 week though this week's Columbus Day federal holiday did lead to partial estimates for a number of states including California. Today's report points to steady conditions in the labor market but probably won't trigger much of a rally for the stock market.

In fact what’s happening to continuing claims is that people have been unemployed for so long, historically long(!), that they are dropping off the backend of their benefits. And without Congressional action soon, the Emergency Unemployment benefits are set to expire, that will cause more than 4 million people to fall off the roles in the next year. Obama put an extension of those benefits onto his “Jobs Bill” as if unemployment benefits were about jobs. Did you know that his “Jobs Bill” also included a 5.6% tax on income in excess of $1 million? Needless to say, it went nowhere and was voted down yesterday, this morning Obama is talking about splitting the bill in two in order to attempt to pass part.

That “Jobs” bill is nothing but impossible math on top of impossible math – as has been all efforts to date attempting to cure the impossible math. You can’t cure debt saturation with more debt. And because you’re trapped inside of the central banker box where everything benefits them, you can’t raise taxes or you cut off your hand to spite your face. Impossible math just is – you can work to make it possible within the central banker paradigm, but that leads to deflation and thus it is impossible to fix anything as long as you remain inside their box.

So let’s examine this Herman Cain fellow – does he know how to do math? Former Burger King and Godfather’s Pizza executive, he went onto head the Kansas City “Fed.” Didn’t see anything wrong with the “fed” setup and still thinks Alan Greenspan was great. His “9-9-9” proposal would in his words be “revenue neutral.”

Hmmm, does revenue neutral fix the impossible math in anyway whatsoever? So, even it is were revenue neutral, what in the heck is the point of all this?

I can almost assure you that his business interests and his contributor’s businesses will be located in those “economic empowerment zones.” And remember, his sales tax would be in addition to state and local sales taxes. Also note the resistance to change here – if there is no benefit, where’s the motivation to change? Smoke and Mirrors, Cain’s 999 plan is really no plan at all, and calling it “revenue neutral” only shines the light on the fact that Mr. Cain doesn’t ‘do’ math.

Then he equates this, somehow, with “Jobs, jobs, jobs!” As if there’s any connection whatsoever with revenue neutral and jobs. Delusional is what that is.

While I don’t know Cain personally, I can generalize about people who run big companies and go on to work as lackeys for the “Fed.” Most are narcissists who believe that the “fruits” of the planet and of people’s labors are theirs for the picking. They think of themselves as job “creators” not realizing that their job actually worked to create the debt saturated condition we’re in today. Cain still doesn’t see, recognize, or acknowledge debt saturation, no “Fed” members do and they especially won’t acknowledge their role in making it so.

Speaking of impossible math, our trade deficit grew in August to $45.6 Billion from the prior $44.8 Billion. We’ve been running trade deficits for decades now, an unsustainable situation that is adding to the pressures present with the impossible math.

So what’s next? TARP, QE1, QE2, the “Twist” (long rates already back to pre-twist levels), Europe creates a massive fund to “bail banks and governments out… (but not actual people)” debt on top of debt. Again, what’s the next insane iteration? Because they need one and they need it now to keep the impossible math from imploding upon itself.

Market going up, oh boy, for four days in a row? LOL times trillions, and trillions, and trillions PLUS leverage that with about 600 trillion in derivatives and I’m rolling on the floor laughing at anyone who thinks they are participating in a real or viable marketplace. Real change is coming, and it won’t be coming from behind a teleprompter.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Morning Update/ Market Thread 10/12 - Getting Involved in the Bill Still for President Campaign Edition!

Good Morning,

Equity futures are higher again this morning, with the dollar, of course, paying the price, bonds lower, oil higher, gold & silver higher, and food commodities adding onto yesterday’s large move higher.

The hypocritical Mortgage Banker’s Association reports that Purchase Applications rose 1.1% over the past week, and that Refinancing Activity also rose by 1.3%. Of course their numbers are meaningless and I would contend fraudulent, however, we know that they are still close to all-time lows. Here’s Econoday reporting on these numbers as if they are real and not conflicted:
The purchase index is extending its recent firm run into October, up 1.1 percent in the October 7 week. The gain in this index is a positive indication for underlying home sales. The refinance index is up 1.3 percent. Both indexes are getting a boost from low interest rates, at 4.25 percent for conforming 30-year loans under $417,500 and at 4.59 percent for jumbo loans over $417,500. Purchase demand is also getting a boost from continued discounting in home prices, indicated in this report by a fall in the average loan size to $210,863 in September vs $212,736 in August.

You mean that you can track the average loan size the week after a month? Gee, how come that metric hasn’t been getting attention? I would think that this is a quick read on the reality of home price pressures.

Speaking of unusual reads on the economy, Econoday has begun publishing the “Ceridian UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI)." What is the Ceridian UCLA PCI?
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index (PCI) is based on real-time diesel fuel consumption data for over the road trucking. Ceridian is a global business services company providing electronic payment services and human resources solutions. By tracking the volume and location of fuel being purchased, the index closely monitors the over the road movement of raw materials, goods-in-process and finished goods to U.S. factories, retailers and consumers. The PCI serves as an indicator of the possible future direction of the U.S. economy. Working with economists at UCLA Anderson School of Management and Charles River Associates, Ceridian provides the index monthly.

Hmmm, that might be a good metric to watch, so what is the Ceridian UCLA Index doing now?
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index fell 1.0 percent in September on a seasonally and workday adjusted basis, following a 1.4 percent decline in August and a 0.2 percent decline in July. In the last three months, the PCI has declined at an annualized rate of 10 percent per year. This rate of decline has been exceeded only in the deep recession of 2008/09, and equaled only once outside of a recession in March 2000. In other words, since June, trucking activity has been receding at a pace that would be expected to show up in other economic measures soon. According to report's statistical analysis, two or three more months like this would confirm an official recession.

And there you have it, measured in something REAL, in this case diesel fuel consumption, the economy has been contracting at the rate of 10% per year! Of course if you measure your metric in dollars, then you may be able to create the appearance of “growth” by monkeying with the supply of money and credit. Note this metric is measuring VOLUME of fuel purchased, not the dollar value of the fuel that is purchased. Frankly I’m surprised Econoblueskies let this out, this is a metric I will follow and report on later.

I have been talking with Bill Still regarding his Libertarian run for President and have agreed to get involved in the campaign in a capacity yet to be decided – one that must work with my business venture. I will be busy over the next few days and weeks, therefore, helping Bill build a platform and team to take his message to the people and to the Libertarian party in hopes of getting him on their Presidential ballot, something Bill and I believe is achievable. But we’ll need YOUR HELP to do it!

We will need people to show up at the state conventions to help Bill gather Libertarian “tokens.” There are 700 of these tokens nationwide, it takes 30 to make it onto the ballot and it is considered a very strong showing if you possess 100 or more which is our goal.

Daryl Klein has agreed to act as Treasurer for the campaign and together we will be activating the SWARM in an effort to get the word out and to garner support for Bill’s run. We will also be building Bill a new website and we’ll be calling for volunteers and for donations to help run the campaign – stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Morning Update/ Market Thread 10/11 - Bill Still for President Edition!

Good Morning,

Equity futures are lower this morning, with the dollar and bonds higher, oil lower, gold & silver lower, and mixed food commodities. Basically this is the opposite of yesterday.

Earnings season kicks off today with Alcoa reporting after today’s close.

The only significant data today comes from the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index which rose slightly from 88.1 to 88.9. Here’s Econoday:
Pessimism eased slightly among small businesses in September with the National Federation of Independent Business index edging 0.8 points higher to a still weak 88.9. Improvement is centered in employment and business investment. Showing no improvement are sales, the outlook for the economy and the assessment of conditions in the credit market. Borrowing demand also remains weak with 92 percent saying they are not interested in borrowing.

This was the first rise in the past seven months, however, the people who prepare this report tell it like it is in seeing very little real improvement, realizing that their readings are still extremely depressed. Always a good read, here’s the entire report, their summary gives a good flavor for what’s happening in the small business world – keep in mind the disconnect here, where large corporations who are receiving trillions in bailouts and are allowed to play shell games to hide bad “assets,” and are allowed to use false accounting are thus spinning that conditions for them are better than what you hear from small businesses:
NFIB Small Business Trends October

Yesterday Bill Still announced that he is running for President on the Libertarian ticket:
Presidential Press Release-10 11 2011

I talked to Bill about his decision to run, he thinks he has a good chance of getting on the Libertarian’s national ticket, and is already making progress towards that nomination. I wish him the very best of luck and he knows that he has my full support with his mission to get the word out about the importance of WHO controls the production of money!

Bill mentioned that he agrees with the majority of the Libertarian platform, so yesterday I spent some time researching the Libertarian Party and was surprised to learn that indeed I also agreed with much of their common sense positions. In fact, when I took their political leanings test, indeed I tested a little left leaning Libertarian – this was an interesting test, I particularly like the categories in it and the definitions they present for each category. Check out the test and then take a look at their platform, you might be surprised - Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest party in the United States, claiming to have more than 225,000 registered members.

I’ll be talking more about Bill’s run in the future – he’s going to need our support and I hope that everyone will help support his mission, you can start by getting the word out that he’s now in the race.

Below is a paper written by Martin Armstrong, quickly covering his thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street protests and gold. I’m posting this paper as he is spot on regarding the use of gold as money or behind money – his take is the same as both Bill Still and I on the subject:

Armstrong on Gold

Monday, October 10, 2011

Morning Update/ Market Thread 10/10

Good Morning,

Banks are closed today for the Columbus Day holiday. Equity Markets are open and bond markets are closed except for futures trading, of course with no volume equities were pumped higher over the weekend. Of course higher markets come at the expense of a dramatically lower dollar, lower bonds, higher oil, higher gold & silver, and higher food prices.

Desperate people do desperate things, and man are they desperate in Europe. Bailouts, money printing, and bank nationalizations are flying all over the place. Belgium bank Dexia is being nationalized after passing Europe’s version of the “stress tests” which Dexia passed despite being leveraged nearly 30 to 1, the same as Lehman when they failed. In fact, Dexia’s debt portfolio is greater than the entire GDP of Belgium all by itself! Talk about impossible math. Now other banks in Europe are being nationalized as well – again making the people responsible for private mistakes, a complete and total breakdown of the rule of law. Dexia’s bond holders will supposedly receive 100% of their investment.

Meanwhile the people suffer, no real bailout for them, just more and more impossible math. No surprise then, that we see them finally take to the streets all over the world including the U.S.. None of what they are doing will have any helpful impact in more than just the short run, in fact their actions will only lead to bigger and nastier other events.

No economic data today and a pretty light economic calendar all week. Earnings, as trumped as they are, will begin pretty soon.

The market has gone basically straight up since receiving that VIX market buy signal early last week. Meanwhile “other events” in Syria begin to increase with more violence occurring there. Fukishima is a nightmare of historic proportions, just scroll down the headlines at the following link, and you’ll soon develop that nuclear nasty metallic taste on your palette: