Search This Blog

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bernanke's Special Sauce

The stock market is toast. Unemployment claims shot up another 21k to nearly 400k and last week's figure, as always, was revised up.  Everything is being taken out to the woodshed today. Wall Street has a big time problem.

I call it the land of unintended consequences. Quite simply, the world is in debt up to it's eyeballs. While the vast amount of Main St. Americans don't have a clue just how bad of financial shape we are in, Wall Street does. So do I and a few others.

The number one absolute mandate of the FED is to avoid DEFLATION at all costs. Deflation is supposed to be what happens when debtors get in over their heads. They are supposed to get their asses kicked and lose the assets they can't afford and very likely- had never paid for anyway. When deflation occurs, people living within their means and savers benefit. Because too few dollars are chasing giant debt piles. Money becomes more valuable. People with money can buy things cheap.

Enter the FED. It's member banks are swimming in debt. They are the biggest debtors on the planet. The Fed's only course of action is to counterfeit currency and inflate away those existing debt piles. That has been the course of action since 2008. It is about to come to a head. This is what happens when idiots are allowed to manipulate the QUANTITY of currency. If you live under your means and save like me, you get hosed.

So for two years we have witnessed a stock market rise as the FED's policies have ruined every asset class except equities. Bonds have barely hung in there only because the FED is buying Treasury debt. This is an insane check kiting scheme where one branch of government borrows from another branch of government. This is like loaning money to yourself or writing checks on one checking account and depositing them in another.

The Mexican standoff is coming. Nobody on Wall Street wants to get caught holding the bag when the FED's 600 billion (which is actually 800 billion) permanent open market operations come to a close in June. POMO or QE2 as it's known, is the FED's scheme for money printing. At that point in time, there will be no more free money, no equity buyers, and the first one to panic- panic bests. This is precisely why the FED's intervention cannot stop. Because if it does, I believe, the deflation that should have happened in 2008 will start in earnest. Deflation is bad for commodities. Prices will ratchet down. 

My bets in gold and silver are bets that the FED will begin another contrivance like QE3. The reason I am so confident is two fold. The whole financial world will get it's ass kicked like it should have in 2008. The FED simply refuses to stop printing and if they do, treasury rates will back up and the mounting interest will implode. But here's my number ONE reason why the FED will continue counterfeiting. The 2012 presidential election. If the FED quits printing now, and the financial world implodes, the transparent one will get throttled. Obama knows this. There is no way he can win re-election in a deflationary scenario that starts in June. It is the perfect storm.

Today gold and silver are getting marked down. I am going to go buy some more- that's how supremely confident I am. You'll want to have some gold and silver about the time the FED says some bullshit like, "the economy is simply too unstable to run on it's own, therefore we are going to stimulate the economy with Bernanke's special sauce number 3.0." Coming to a TV screen near you- very soon.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why Warren "Buffet" Irritates the Shit Out of Me...

...and make no mistake about this Warren. It's your money they want, not your wisdom. Dropping one of those "t's" seems appropriate to me.

Warren Buffet is an excellent and intelligent investor. I've watched Berkshire Hathaway stock for 20 years. It currently trades at around 125k a share!  When he took his huge position in Goldman Sachs while everyone else was fleeing the banking sector- I stood up and took notice. Buffet fully exploited what appears to be a "once in a lifetime"situation. Nobody else could have cut the sweetheart deal that he did. Getting a huge dividend to sit chilly on preferred GS stock until it recovered. In fact, I explored the possibility of doing the same thing.

Sorry, small fish. That offer wasn't made available to anyone else. Only the wealthy elite get a ticket to that game. Now watching him milk the shit out of a new cow.

So Buffet is probably the king of "due diligence." That he wields his wealth like a club gives him a huge advantage. Nobody does it better. Having said all of that, here's what bugs me about Buffet.

It continually pisses me off when he offers his sage wisdom (read opinion) on affairs outside his level of expertise. It also irritates the shit out of me when he condemns a US tax structure that he has taken full advantage of. A tax system created solely for rich pricks like him to avoid paying taxes and shift the burden onto the middle class.

This dude, pun intended, never leaves the ego buffet. I loved it when he said his secretary pays more in taxes than he does. As a percentage. Like he was proud of that. Well if your conscience bothered you that much Warren, why not send in an extra billion or so? Level the playing field. I can't fault Buffet for taking advantage of the system as it exists. An un level playing field. But just because you thrive in a game rigged for elite success- that doesn't make you a polymath in all matters worldly. What have you done to enrich the greater good, not just your own little sphere? Truth is, not much. So spare us the grandiosity, Oracle. The village has given you enough.

You go now. You eat too much.

I used to read everything I could about this cat. I've kind of ignored Buffet over the last few years. He no longer fascinates me. He remains part of the problem. I kind of gave up any hope that he would use his substantial clout to to reform our markets, to end the ridiculous tax code that benefits only the rich and elite and dirt poor, or to leave this nation a better place. Instead I just view him as kind of a large tapeworm, a parasite, that found a generous host. I take great comfort in knowing that a guy like Warren ends up just the same as a guy like me. He who dies with the most toys Warren, still dies. I'd like to think that when I leave this place I'll leave it a little happier and healthier than when I found it. That doesn't have a thing to do with material wealth although guys like Warren and his followers-  would adamantly disagree.

Fish Committing Suicide by the Millions in California

A coincidence? I don't think so.

I think all of these sardines were either poisoned when Countrywide/Bank of America dumped all of their shredded toxic mortgages including the "Friends of Angelo" loan program into the ocean or the sardines simply see the writing on the wall. The canary in the California coal mine.

Take heed snail darter. Your ass is next.

The Silver Bullet

The resiliency of silver in this market has been astounding.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that JP Morgan is continually shorting silver. Those numbers are reported. In a market void of position limits, this bank simply creates as many short contracts as they deem fit- to try and keep the price of silver suppressed. Here's a piece that details JP Morgan's huge short position.

The 64,000 dollar question is why. Why do they care? So today, I was reading Turd Ferguson's, "Along the Watchtower" blog. He posits (via an anonymous cartel) that JP Morgan has tied a vast number of derivatives to a low silver price. That as the price of silver rises, losses begin to mount exponentially at JP Morgan. This actually makes sense to me. It would explain why they have so feverishly tried to reduce the price of silver. That in fact since they have always been able to manipulate the small silver market- that the bank would be confident that it could keep the price of silver down when selling those derivatives. It looks like the last battleground is here. Thirty six bucks an ounce. Beyond this price, JP Morgan begins to bleed money like a stuck pig. That makes me happy. It makes sense. I have no way of proving or disproving the allegation. So read this and perform your own due diligence.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In America Anything Seems Possible, Creative Bribery Elevated to a Fine Art

Angelo Mozilo, the founder and CEO of Countrywide Mortgage, is one of the chief architects of the banking collapse. Ultimately, the now bankrupt Countrywide, was purchased by Bank of America. Angelo Mozilo had a little slush fund that he operated called the "Friends of Angelo" during Countrywide's heyday.  The "Friends of Angelo" was nothing other than a way of providing bribes to elite high powered people and Congressmen such as Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad. Mortgages did not go through any kind of regular channel, documents were simply routed to Mr. Mozilo who had complete authority over the note. The terms of these loans, or the people who received these secret loans, have not been fully disclosed.

I want to explain something to the un-indoctrinated here. Bribery comes in many shapes. Bribery can be done in hundreds of imaginative ways. Secret little corporate deals, personal loans done under the cloak of a legitimate business, future lucrative jobs, pieces of real estate set aside and sold at heavily discounted values, scholarships arranged for children that would ordinarily not receive them. What I am trying to do is expand your definition of bribery. Money in envelopes is passe.' The only place that practices true cash bribery are unsophisticated areas of the country like New Orleans.

Now let me give you an example of how this is done. A developer wants to build a development that is very lucrative in a small town. Millions of dollars. He has to get approval before starting the project. In a small town the project will have to go through planning and zoning and get approval before getting approval at the city council or county commissioner level. Facilitators such as architects or lawyers, are used to present projects. Very often if not always, several ordinances will stand in the way of project compliance. The life and death of any given multi million dollar project can hinge on some puny and insignificant ordinance and often does. Whether or not the project proceeds- almost entirely rests on whether or not local government chooses to enforce those ordinances and often depends on how they are interpreted by local governing officials. The easiest and quickest way for developers to get a project through- is to determine who in the approval process has all of the clout or power. Who has the final say. Once that official is identified, the developer then crafts a strategy to appeal to that individual. Let's say in this case it is the City Mayor. The developer might send a lawyer to meet with the Mayor. During the course of their initial conversation, the lawyer discovers that the Mayor is in need of a condo. The development is a condo development. An agreement is struck to deliver a condo at a really fantastic price. To avoid detection, an agreement is reached that the condo will be held in a corporate name during the construction phase and a period extending beyond the statute of limitations or the length of the Mayors term in office until such point that the property will be converted to private ownership. Long after anybody is looking. Does this shit happen? All over the world. I have seen it. It is as crooked as hell but it is virtually undetectable and unstoppable. It is sophisticated. In fact, if caught- the parties will have any number of excuses to justify the business deal that will render any potential prosecution useless and they will end your career for having even looked at it. Trust me.

That's why Darrel Issa's subpoenas are so interesting. He is compelling Bank of America to disclose the loans made solely by a man who has already been fined for insider trading. A criminal who should have been prosecuted for felony fraud. A man who had a sophisticated way to bribe and grease those elite people with power and get away with it. In fact, Congress themselves cleared Senators Dodd and Conrad because the potential truth is- they themselves may be involved in similar deals, they may be sympathetic for reasons outside this incident, the deals were done under the cloak of legitimate mortgage financing, or the facts are so difficult to obtain that a successful prosecution can't take place.

Please make no mistake about what I am stating here. The "Friends of Angelo" was nothing other than a way to bribe and grease powerful people with corporate and stockholder assets under the sole discretion of a criminal. Bank of America was ordered to comply with the subpoena on Mar. 7. That was yesterday. I do not know if they have, or will, or if the incriminating documents were destroyed. I am waiting to hear.

I noted that Chris Dodd financed a cottage in Ireland through Countrywide. The terms were never disclosed nor could I find the seller. Interestingly, that cottage was purchased far below existing comps in the neighborhood at that time. Dodd is gone now. His term is over. Now he has found a new career. One wonders how he was able to secure this new gig as a lobbyist. Spending 1.5M on a crooked but influential former congressman is just good business for the MPA. In America, anything seems possible. Anything. You just have to dream big like Senator Dodd and be ethically corruptible. That it seems, is how our culture defines "success."

LOS ANGELES - Former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, a veteran Washington insider, is Hollywood's new chief lobbyist. The Motion Picture Assn. of America said Tuesday that Dodd will become the new chief executive of the MPAA, the lobbying arm for the main studios that also oversees the film ratings system. Dodd succeeds Dan Glickman, a former Kansas congressman and Secretary of Agriculture, who stepped down a year ago after five years on the job. Dodd will pull down more than $1.5 million in salary, 25 percent greater than the $1.2 million Glickman received. Dodd In selecting Dodd, the MPAA's board is counting on the one-time U.S. presidential...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Obama Plays His 60th Round of Golf

If we ever get rid of this bastard, maybe we should consider making the Office of the President a full time position.

The Rubber Is About To Meet the Road

I have been hearing talk of ending QE2 all morning long. That smug Kudlow on CNBC thinking that once QE2 ends- the economy will stand on it's own. I don't think so.

You can't make an economy healthy when you have robbed 30 million jobs and reduced the income and benefits on existing jobs. You simply lack the capacity to recover. Do not think for an instant that equity prices- having tacked on a 90% gain since Mar of '09- can stand on their own.

I still do not believe that they can end QE2 without a QE3. The bulk of treasury re-financing occurs this year and next in the five year horizon. Debt will have to be re-financed into higher rates. If they do, I see a stampede for the exits. As of today, I am changing my stock market implosion line from a 20% chance to a 25% chance.

Could the media be trying to stop commodity markets' rise and the plunging dollar? Oh yea. Is talk of ending QE2 bullshit? Yes. This is going to get interesting and fast. Very odd, all of this pollyanna happiness this morning. Seems orchestrated. This is the bullshit you must wade through when President Obama buys a network by making Jeffrey Immelt a czar. Government controlled media, the Frankenstein version.

Fed's Lockhart now calling for QE3. I've been reading your mail, pricks.

The Transfer of Wealth Continues

Came across this article today. Who's buying homes? Well the rich and wealthy are.

When I was down in Bullhead City, Az. earlier this year- I noted a rich guy buying up homes everywhere and paying cash. The fifteen homes he bought will net him him a cool 10k a month. I noted then as now, that the transfer of this nation's wealth continues. From the Fed to their Wall St. cronies. From working stiffs with 500 credit scores to lawyers' with big inheritances.

Kind of hard to buy a house with no job or having a "new age" job making twelve bucks an hr.

I would rather live in a tent than make some rich bastards' monthly nut. That's just me.

Chicago Fed President Evans Carrying the Water

Watching Evans right now on CNBC with Steve Liesman. Liesman has some four dollar tie on and his shirt is so small- and his neck is so big- that the collar has all but disappeared.

They must have some secret school where all of these central bankers go. They teach them how to bullshit us with finesse. Come off like rational people that know what they are doing. I essentially gleaned very little from the interview. I did note however that President Evans said that his 23 year old daughter calls him every day and tells him what gas prices are. This was very interesting since ZeroHedge commenters have been talking about this lately. You get the feeling that Evans might be reading ZeroHedge. I did.

Good boy Evans. The Bernank will be proud of you this morning. Especially that part about QE2's 600 billion being the right figure. Good boys' get ahead in the Fed's scheme of things- but I guess you already knew that.

Up, Up, and Away... in My Silver Balloon

Egypt's stock market fails to open as promised. Yields backing up on bonds. Libya still in chaos. Gold's up 10 bucks in overnight markets...silver up almost a buck again- past 36.20.

Gosh, what a head scratcher. Poor Bernanke. Seems more and more people would rather invest in something of tangible value rather than billions of unbacked counterfeit paper. Odd, eh? Yea.