"Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one's thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason. ~ Frederick Douglass
Finally, the over hyped, over priced, and over subscribed Facebook initial public offering goes off. It was priced at 38, ran up to 45, and then everybody looking for the quick buck- flipped it. Trading at 38- right now. I'd laugh if it settled the day lower.
If I did anything with this stock- I'd short it. Buy puts. I can't stand Facebook or Zuckerberg. I'm just glad it's over with, I got tired of reading about it everyday for a month.
Yesterday, the dead cat bounce in precious metals happened. This is that point in every market when the sellers have sold, buyers begin buying, the shorts had to cover, and the gold market rallied nearly 40 bucks. Silver rallied as well- but less than a buck. Precious metals are up again today. I bought everything I wanted to. Still keeping my fingers crossed that the selling is over with. There is a serious base in silver in the 26-27 range. I have seen that level tested many times and it holds. There are market insiders and geologists who say that silver cannot be produced for less than 20 bucks an ounce on average. That makes sense to me. The costs of the mine, permitting, equipment and trucks, personnel, smelting. I think the days of sub 20 silver are officially over.
Last night, I was looking at some worldwide oil production and consumption charts. I called the top of this market on Mar. 1. After looking at those charts last night, I am every bit convinced that oil is well priced at 80 bucks. I am edging down to 75 or until such point that actual demand meets price. (West Texas Intermediate)
The media loves to proclaim the death of gold anytime gold finds itself in a prolonged down draft. I posted one of those stories this week. What the media never does, is proclaim the death of the US stock market. Short term death. The market has been getting it's collective ass kicked for 2 weeks.
Yesterday, after reading the reports of 32-50000 job cuts at Hewlett Packard, and 200,000 more people losing their unemployment benefits- I continue to wonder how long this facade of economic health can last. The powers that be are desperately trying to hold up the market, ignore the coming death of the euro zone, the breaching of the debt ceiling, while trying to get to the elections in Nov.
The market continues to crumble.
It is a glorious Friday. I have one last Frankendamus prediction. There is no way in hell the Kenyan gets re-elected. Period. I don't care whether Romney whacks a school bus full of children driving drunk. I have a strong feeling by election time as thing deteriorate, the Kenyan is toast.
A reader sent this to me. Apparently approved by and published with Obama's knowledge.
Dishonesty, or telling lies, has apparently become ok.
I knew everything I needed to know about this man when his very first executive order, within 24 hrs. of being sworn in, was to seal his personal records.
Really...what else do you need to know?
Just after posting this, I saw that Wirecutter had posted this as well. He added...
Saw this over at Kerodin's tonight when I got in from work.
Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by
Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts
Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the
publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the
biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton &
It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White--which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
Obama’s biography in the booklet is as follows (image and text below):
The reason I am ok with Mormons is that at the very least, they don't go around hating on everybody and trying to kill non- believers.
I can't say that about Muslims or Islam. I have read that other great work of fiction, the Quran, as well. That is a book of exclusion, of hate, and everything I don't want God to be. Islam is a philosophy more than a religion. That becomes problematic. I nabbed the following link (below) from Kenny's site and listened to it.
Often I talk about my severe hatred for liberals. This came about as I endured the liberal concentration camp of Moonbat Valley for 25 years. Not that I love the GOP. I have found over the years, that I have enough hatred for both sides. I see that as a useful thing. It keeps me sane.
At any rate, the primaries were held yesterday in Idaho and the moonbats were out in full force. Liberals are big believers in free speech just so long as it agrees with them. If your free speech is offensive to moonbats- they will try anything to censor you. Including a call to nanny government.
To prove this point, I found an article on Huffpo wherein a liberal author took offense to the term "tranny." The author had a son with gender issues and she just found that term too offensive to deal with. So I did what any good, caring, and sensitive libertarian commenter would do. I told her to quit her whining, quit telling everybody what speech to use, and go buy her son some eggplant. Since I have never seen a man eat eggplant, this is the litmus test for gender determination. Of course they deleted my comment.
Have you ever noticed that only men want to be females? How many females want to be men?
Oh geezus, I wander. Ok. So my friend in Moonbat Valley called to tell me that two morans morons had put up some sort of display that featured a picture of President Obama with a Hitler style mustache- and calling for his ouster as people drove to the polls yesterday.
Like I said... Moonbat Valley loves you just so long as you agree with them. This sacrilegious display of Dear Leader near the local post office set the moonbat asses on fire. They can talk shit about Bush, but when you throw their nutjob under the bus, they get all kinds of crazy. Complaints came streaming into the local police agencies. There were people claiming to be "patriots" threatening these two with bodily harm. People wanted these guys removed, arrested. But alas they were protected by some concept called a right to assemble and free speech.
Lefties like to talk a good game of tolerance and "co-exist" yet they just can't seem to bring one.
Moonbats don't like technicalities like basic human rights. It's the same way for them on issues of God. They are avowed atheists, sworn to hating the Christian right, until such point that some nutter decides to build a Muslim place of worship near ground zero. Then all of a sudden, the moonbats become experts on human rights, free speech, God and religion and who can build what and where. They become advocates for things they know nothing about- when it is politically expedient for them to do so.
When conservatives don't like something, usually they have the good sense to just keep their mouths shut. This inherently places them on a much loftier perch from a libertarian point of view. Unfortunately, the efforts of these two men are going to have no impact on Moonbat Valley. It's just fun to watch, I am kinda sorry I missed it.
The other night I saw a commenter call another commenter a "moran" on Yahoo. I thought this was funny because it couldn't be a typo-the "a" on my keyboard is a long way from the "o." Of course it makes you wonder who the real moran is. Sometimes it's you.
There is a moran moral to this story.
For many years, I had at least one open margin account with which I bought and sold equities or more to my liking- options. You can make a lot more money in options using far less principal. That appeals to the gambler in me. Making gobs of money with very little capital at risk. That is leverage and it seduces everyone that understands it. Controlling hundreds of shares of any given stock while paying a very small premium to do so comes with caveats. Options are time sensitive. If they do not hit your strike price during a short time frame, you lose your investment. I was an all or nothing player. I hated to resell an option when it was clear to me that I had screwed up. At any rate, options are all about leverage.
Banks understand leverage..the more money you have... the more leverage you have available.
You are required to open a margin account in order to sell stocks short. When you open a margin account, you agree to allow the investment bank the right to borrow shares that are held by you in your account and deliver them to other clients. This allows guys like me to borrow shares in some shitty company like Bank of America, sell them short at 15 bucks a share, repurchase them 6 months later at 5 bucks a share and deliver them back to the guy I borrowed from. I pocket the 10 dollar difference minus trading costs and interest.
I loved selling stocks short. There is far more money in that and equities tend to go down fast and furiously. However, short selling is all about timing. Shorting a thinly traded and volatile stock and watching it go straight up is not a sport for the meek or undercapitalized.
That was the scenario for me late in 2006. I had found a company called Fuel Tech. (FTEK) Like everything else in 2006- it was vastly overpriced. Selling at 25 bucks a share, it had been over hyped by it's cheerleading CEO. Fuel Tech's core business was removing particulates from coal fired power plant emissions. Not only was their technology extremely expensive, it didn't work that well. To read their prospectus you'd think that China had a coal fired generator on every street corner and that every one of them would require FTEK filters. I knew this was bullshit. I have also seen government mandated EPA regs lifted in a heartbeat- especially about the time elections are occurring and campaign contribution checks are being written. I knew FTEK's earning were going to miss. And miss big. I felt the stock was worth 5 bucks at most. Realistically, I was hoping that it would trade down to 15. I started shorting the stock and buying put options out of the money and targeted 20 bucks as my strike price. I built a position in front of the earnings release. I had been targeting the earnings release due out the summer of '07. June, if I remember right.
When the earnings report came out- it was a giant miss. I thought I had hit the jackpot. But instead of going down- FTEK stock shot straight up from 25 to 33. I was in absolute disbelief. I had committed a full third of my capital to the FTEK project. To this day, I cannot explain why FTEK shares shot straight up on an earnings report miss of that magnitude.
Now to be honest, I am still digesting Taibbi's article and trying to put the pieces into place as they apply to my FTEK trade. Why? Because nothing that happened back in June of '07 makes any sense to me- including the rabid fascination this country had with green stocks back then or a CEO willing to lie and mislead investors about the company's prospects. There is nothing to account for a 30% rise in a stock price that misses its earnings as badly as FTEK did back then.
The only explanation was that there were millions of shares short just as I was and that traders began to panic and cover. (buy and replace borrowed shares) I knew what the float (total shares outstanding) was and I knew how many shares were held short so this explanation did not make any sense either. Why would anyone cover anyway?
Now 5 years later, I read Taibbi's article which gets my juices flowing all over again. What if investment bankers were creating an artificial float- allowing customers to short a stock that they could not get their hands on. The float on FTEK was thin. Perhaps they just pretended to borrow and sell shares on behalf of clients knowing full well that they couldn't get their hands on shares so they simply allowed the trade- knowing that they themselves would have to cover losses.
So instead of just making a simple commission- bankers became the counter parties. So here you are, thinking you can trust your bank while making simple trades, when in fact the bastards are trading against you. Without your knowledge.
Could investment banks cause an artificial ramp up in price by buying shares- and thus shake out all of their looming losses as short side clients were forced to buy and return an equity that the firm never possessed in the first place? Then the bank could front run that trade and sell- knowing the price had to go down?
The possibilities seem endless. And the last place you can go for justice and explanations is the SEC. I didn't even take the time to file a complaint back then. Wasted effort. Like a fart in a hurricane.
The prologue to my story is a good one. After the tragic ramp of FTEK in Jun of 07, I did the only thing that made any sense. I took the rest of my account and shorted and put FTEK at 35. I went all in. I covered months later at 20. I made a few thousand net and closed my account permanently. I have not made one trade since then- and I traded for 25 years. FTEK trades around 4 bucks now. It is probably over priced.
The implications of Taibbi's story are immense. Instead of simply making commissions and interest- bankers who permit naked short selling within their firms- are becoming the counter parties to the trade. They are at risk. Because of their multi billions in capitalization they can manipulate any position to their advantage. Which of course they would do unless some idiot camp somewhere believes banks like to give away their money.
The moral to this story. If you sit in a poker game and look around for the pigeon and can't find one- it's you.
The precious metals complex looks like it has found an intermediate bottom here. I can't say with absolute certainty that the metals will not leg down another 10% or so from here....and stay there for a year or so, but...
I have always been a momentum investor. Buying metals as they fall is so counter to my intuitive senses. Yet I cannot escape the fact that there is no solution to the worldwide debt problem. Nothing has fundamentally changed. There is just this patient lull as the FED and it's conspirators sit quietly, contemplating their only move. Print more money. Issue more debt. Ignite inflation to prevent deflation.
The precious metals that I will buy today and in the next month (I always average in) will leave me at acceptable and permanent levels. This store of wealth represents nearly 1/2 of my liquid net worth. I am not afraid to wade in here and buy through another 10% dip.
At some point, you have to be satisfied with your holdings. I am getting pretty close. My hands might get a little bloodier- but they will rinse off. I've just never been precise with buying at bottoms or selling at tops. That's a fool's game but I have to admit- I still try it.
If you are going to try and catch falling knives- this would appear to be a good time to take a stab- so to speak. Those coin shop guys love me.
* Have you ever noticed when gold takes a 5-10% plunge how quickly the media proclaims gold's death? If there are any of you- who have the slightest doubt that bankers and corporate masters are in charge of economic propaganda- read this typical piece of mainstream garbage. http://money.cnn.com/2012/05/14/markets/thebuzz/index.htm
"We are a country addicted to convenience. When you think about it, everything that is convenient to eat is unhealthy." Think buffets. Think packaged carbs. Think fat ass America. When I was a kid, it was actually rare to see obese people. Really.
Yesterday, I had one of those thought provoking conversations with a trainer at the Y. We were talking about the fat epidemic and the decline of America in general.
It all started with fat.
Let me ask you a simple question. Are you proud of what America stands for? And just what is that- by the way?
Is it perspective, opinion? If I say we have turned into a nation of self absorbed and superficial narcissists- is that generally accurate? Have we lost our sense of community? Are we a nation of self centered ego maniacs trying to prove we are better than others to the point of exploitation? Are we angry and impatient? Do we look for the quick fix? Are we spiritually sick?
Are we a nation of addicts? Food, beer and alcohol, legal and illegal drugs, caffeine, tobacco, addicted to entertainment and sex, anything to change the way we feel about ourselves? Is that why ever idiot on the planet has a pacifier an Iphone, something to entertain themselves with? Are we addicted to feeling good?
Probably. Are the good old days ahead of us? I don't think so.
For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am no longer proud to be an American. I talk to people who while traveling to foreign lands, now claim to be from Canada. What does that tell you? Are we having a little national shame and guilt?
The problem I have, that we have, is that we cannot stop Americans from behaving like Americans. We have lost whatever identity we once had which I think, used to be pretty good. We have become a nation addicted to convenience and with distracting entertaining ourselves because we just don't like who we have become. We are superficial and lazy. We scan headlines. If it can't be absorbed in a second or two- we instantly move on to something else. I don't know how all of this changes. I don't know if it can be stopped or reversed. This much I know for sure. I don't like it- I don't like being exploited- but to the extent that all of this is beyond my control, I must find a way to practice acceptance. I need an individual solution for what I believe is a national epidemic.
Now if you'll excuse me, I am headed to the Y for 60 minutes of sheer agony. My war with the last twenty pounds continues. Maybe I will see that trainer today. We should talk about something else.
On March 1 of this year, I wrote a blog about oil being ridiculously priced given the supply, lack of demand, and non existent or shrinking world economy. Oil is down another 2 bucks today.
None of that has changed. I still see oil at 80 bucks a barrel.
Every commodity this year- has gotten it's ass kicked. What is amazing to me is that I forget the pure market forces of deflation because of all of the FED intervention that has gone on over the last four years. No matter how hard Bernanke tries, deflation just keeps coming back. The only solution to deflation is inflation. The FED hates deflation. Debt holders get their asses kicked and sooner rather than later, bond holders will begin to feel the pain.
My next prediction and the point of this piece... is to remind you to get ready for another FED intervention. The only solution left for the FED is money printing. They know it, a few of us know it, but the vast flocks of sheep do not know it. I am going to post the following chart which is intended to scare you into believing this is 1980 all over again and silver is headed for 5 bucks. This is complete and utter bullshit.
So far this has been the game. Try to let the economy work its way back on it's own, when it can't, administer pain killers in the form of money printing. The game, for the FED, is to never telegraph your intentions. Pretend there is no QE3 plan and don't talk about it yet. Markets are beginning to deteriorate, capsize, and investments are being liquidated to pay liabilities elsewhere. Do not fear this. It is not 1980. We cannot eliminate the debt tsunami that we are in which was not present in 1980. We had the capacity to recover back then and pay the debt down. Structurally, we have lost that capacity. Paying this debt down is currently not possible- if ever.
Within 6 weeks, as markets deteriorate further and Obama feels the noose around his neck, the FED will announce another round of quantitative easing. I am looking for the great unveiling by Jul. 1. They have no choice. At that moment you will know that the cat is out of the bag permanently and they will not be able to retrieve it. Do not be afraid to let the metals complex deteriorate further and do not sell physical. Prepare to buy more. If you have not bought by the time QE3 is announced, you will not get the best price. Just be aware that in the next 6 weeks as markets unwind- a desperate FED and desperate politicians will be doing anything they can to stop deflating markets just as we hit the new debt ceiling before election day. Say... i n t e r v e n t i o n.
Most people will read this article and think one of three things. The first reaction will be "good." People need to pay attention while they are walking. The second reaction will be those folks who would never try walking and texting. They view walking and texting as some reckless activity that they would never engage in- therefore they are apathetic or indifferent about it. The cop and government haters will see the law as a conspiracy and revenue source- some secret means to steal money from people.
I see it as all of those things and none of those things. So what I thought I would do is describe the process wherein these crappy ideas gain traction and become law. I have witnessed this stuff first hand for many years. I will say this.
People are terrified to publicly speak out against something when an insurmountable army of opposition has already stormed the hill and taken it. Ultimately- they let it slide rather than risk some public embarrassment. This is how statists keep chipping away at our freedom. They would have a law for everything and never give a second thought to losing freedom. They want to run your life. They think most folks, aside from them of course, are too stupid to conduct themselves properly and they need to give you directions on how to live your life. They use all kinds of rationales and justifications. So here's how a law like the walking and texting law gets legs.
There is always a catalyst. There is always one village idiot who will text and fall down a manhole. Then there are the crusaders. These are people, informal leaders within their communities, that have credibility. They march some data set forward while garnering additional support. Sometimes they show up enmasse. Sometimes they enlist the help of City Attorneys and Police Chiefs. They find and flex whatever "muscle" they can muster. Sometimes they are the Mayor or Councilmembers- always looking for good things to do particularly in election years. Politicians, if they are nothing else, are incredibly aware of how they appear to the public. They might think you have the dumbest idea on the planet- but they will never let you know that. If your idea has any kind of useful merit, or they can personally benefit by supporting it, they will. If you have the greatest idea on the planet- but the public doesn't like it- forget it. Politicians are professional cowards. Trust me, they will not march a cure for cancer forward if they think it will make them look bad.
So once our crappy law has garnered overwhelming support they have three readings and codify the thing. The three things that are almost always ignored when passing knee jerk laws are these. Was the catalyst an isolated incident? (Yes, almost always.) Can we achieve compliance without passing a law (education) and was anyone encouraged to point out the flaws of this new law? (Usually and almost always the answer to part a is yes via education... devils advocates are almost never encouraged to participate, that embarrasses the crusaders) How much is this going to cost to enforce and do we have a mechanism to review it for effectiveness (does it do what it was designed to do) or can we get rid of it at a future date? (Never)
Nobody ever stops to consider the freedom we lose when we pass garbage like this. There is an emotional groundswell, the tail waggers all wag, and voila! New law.
If any of you want to have some fun- pick up a copy of your local city ordinances and read them. You will find laws from the dark ages that nobody has reviewed, laws that have gone unenforced for decades, laws that remain on the books. Up until a few years ago in Moonbat Valley, it was illegal for women to go into bars or for pedestrians to spit on the sidewalk. Trust me when I tell you that the same processes were at work when those laws were passed one hundred years ago- that are still used today.
I absolutely hate the idea of losing my freedom every time some moron steps into a bus while texting. If I want to walk and text- I will. We used to call that freedom. I have actually done it without dying. Let me judge whether it's safe or dangerous. I don't need, nor do I want, a bunch of liberal statists stealing my freedoms and delivering them to the nanny state every time something goes wrong. My opinions and rights are not any less valuable than those of the statists.
Next time you see one of these shitty laws, stop and give it more than a cursory glance. Laws like outlawing happy meals or outlawing volleyball on beaches (California) or making everyone wear a life preserver who gets in the water or helmet laws on bicycles. (Washington St., Seattle) You cannot pump your own gas in Oregon because of one isolated incident. These laws never go away and they cost us money and freedom. Thankfully, the statists can't get a foothold in Idaho so I am insulated from their opinions on how the world should be run. At least for now.