In your opinion, what does this blog need more of?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

On gold, world markets, and R2K


Some other reading:

Reformed Borker (Bork Bork Bork!) - it's the global economy, stupid. Read this and you'll want to go long global equities!

All Star Charts - bull flag in small caps. Read this and you'll want to go long IWM!

Jesse's Cafe Americain - gold to da moon Alice! Read this and you'll want to go long gold! Oh but wait:

Jesse's Cafe Americain - one market day later.... Read this and you'll... um... blah blah evil bear raid, blah blah Goldman Sachs, blah blah international Jewry.




Some perspective from Liz Ann Sonders


I'm still sick with a cold, and in addition now have to make up a week's worth of work at school, so thus the lack of posting.

But I just remembered today that I'm still not following Liz Ann Sonders as much as I should, so here's her latest market update:


Liz Ann Sonders - 13 Oct market perspective.

Salient points:
U.S. stock indices have continued to push to record highs, with little apparently able to throw them off course. The grind higher has pushed through natural disasters, the Las Vegas tragedy, domestic political failures, international political tensions, and missile tests and threats from North Korea—an ample “wall of worry” for stocks to climb.

And

Although there is little of the excess that would suggest recession risk is near, we do see signs that the characteristics of the economy and market may be changing. Bond yields have crept higher, international markets have performed better, and cyclical sectors such as energy and materials have outperformed—all potential signs of the latter stages of a cycle.

And

Strong surveys indicate improving economy


ISM manuf. vs. ISM non-manuf.

Source: FactSet, Institute for Supply Management. As of Oct. 9, 2017.
Additionally, the U.S. Citigroup Economic Surprise Index has moved back into positive territory, while several measures of capital expenditures have started to move higher. 
Economic surprises are positive

Citi Economic Surprise Index- US
Source: FactSet, Citigroup. As of Oct. 9, 2017.
And capex looks to be improving

nondefense capital goods orders ex-aircraft
Source: FactSet, U.S. Census Bureau. As of Oct. 9, 2017.
Philly Fed Capex Index
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. As of Oct. 9, 2017.

Read her, she's an example of the exceedingly rare analyst who knows what they're talking about.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Mr. Robot commentary


And as for this week's episode of Mr. Robot, two observations:

1. It is obvious from Elliot's monologue that Sam Esmail feels personally responsible for the election of Donald Trump. Good, that'll teach him.

2. It is obvious from, hell, like ten whole minutes of this episode that Sam Esmail has been reading the Mr. Robot reddit threads for ideas, came across the "Whiterose is building a time machine!" thread, and has decided to incorporate it into the series. Whether it'll be for real or just a troll is still to be determined.


Friday, October 13, 2017

STOP PRESS: THERE ARE NOW SEX ROBOTS


I did not know this was a thing:


San Diego Union-Tribune - world's first talking sex robot is ready for her close-up. Quotes:
News of creator Matt McMullen’s latest invention — he’s been making lifelike silicone sex dolls for 20 years — has created international media interest and a firestorm of criticism from ethicists and futurists who see a dark side to a sex doll
What, a dark side? To a sex robot?
that becomes more “human” with each technological innovation.
OK yeah, if it becomes more human that's dark. I don't want a humanlike sex robot. I want one that shuts up and makes me a damn sammich.
One critic worries that the doll’s artificial intelligence app could be hacked to make it kill its owner (like the vengeance meted out by sex robots in the film “Ex Machina” and TV show “Westworld”).
We have that now, it's called "wife".
And women’s advocates say owners could realistically rehearse plans for violent sexual acts with the interactive dolls.
And what's wrong with that? If I have violent sex with a pumpkin is it a crime? Then who cares about a robot? And is it okay if I have violent sex with a James McAvoy robot, instead of some poor helpless oppressed woman robot?


The Sun - you aren't committing adultery if you bed a sex robot, says law. Yeah like I even care.


Cosmo - 1 in 4 men would consider sex with a robot. Well, duh. If she doesn't have a 60-inch ass, three chins and four multiracial children by different fathers, then she's a novelty. Amirite?


The Guardian - should we ban sex robots while we have the chance? The leftie fascists have to weigh in with their two cents. I assume "while we have the chance" is a nod to the fact that nobody's going to want to ban them when they all have one.


Daily Mirror - sex robot that lets men simulate rape should be outlawed, says campaigner. Oh, Daily Mirror! Whatever it is, you always find someone campaigning against it! How do you do this?


NY Post - sex bot "heavily soiled by barbarians" at tech fair. But it gets funnier:
The ersatz lover — an interactive silicone doll named Samantha — was the star attraction at the Ars Electronica Festival
heh heh... "arse"...
in the city of Linz, where sex-crazed men mounted her and groped her bulbous breasts.
Yes, in Austria. Though I'm sure they're blaming it all on Turkish immigrants.


Men's Health - this orgasming sex robot blah blah don't care. The bonerkiller:
“We are not perverts, and these dolls are not for perverts,” Squire said on ITV'sThis Morning.
OK, well I am a pervert, so let me know when you decide to make something for me, you pompous little wankstain.

Italian students strike over "work experience"


BBC - Italian students strike over "work experience". Quote:

Italian Education Minister Valeria Fedeli defended the centre-left government's education policy. She said internships gave students "complementary skills that enable them to face the future with more knowledge".

[...]

In a statement (in Italian), McDonald's said its outlets across Italy were taking "up to 10,000 students each year", with the aim of helping young people develop skills required in their future employment.

And of course the working for free bit is just icing on the cake, right?

Well, these jobs do "enable them to face the future with more knowledge" - the knowledge that the globalists want to march the working class back into the loving embrace of feudalism, and that at this point the only way to turn this big fucking boat of capitalist kleptocracy around is to gun down all the fuckers responsible.


Friday videos: that crazy Ed Ball again


The strange thing about a song with the lyrics "Ma-n-chester, Manchester Eng-land" is that you don't expect the rest of the lyrics to be all so poetic.



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Got a cold


I've got a cold, here's some news so get off my dick:

Tim Duy - Trump's going to destroy the Fed. By appointing Kevin Warsh, who has no clue what he's doing. And yes, there are people like this in the field of economics.

The Krugginator - again, Trump's going to destroy the Fed.

IPE Zone - and meanwhile, Houston the abandoned hellscape. Contractors can't find the tradesmen to rebuild the city, because they're in Mexico.

I mean, you could easily take all the middle-aged unemployed white men in the rust belt, train them all to be drywallers and framers, and fix your problem right there.

But corporations don't want to train anyone anymore, they don't want to pay decent wages to skilled trades anymore, and thus the US slides back into feudalism.

Remember, in a feudalist economy, productivity growth is 0, wages are subsistence-level, and nobody in the elite cares because they can still make 5-10% profit per year sitting on their investments.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Yellen and Kashkari


Two newsbits:

Jared Bernstein - Trump's best move is to reappoint Yellen. He has a very good point:
There’s an interesting way in which a more hawkish Fed chair–and most of the top candidates other than Yellen fit that bill–would be a double whammy for Trump.

First, raising rates would slow growth, which presidents never like. Second, higher rates strengthen the dollar, making our exports less price competitive, which this particular president really wouldn’t like.
So let's see if President Piddles has the sense to reappoint Yellen.

Neel Kashkari - my take on inflation. I didn't understand the appointment of a lower-level functionary with an MBA, but it turns out that Kashkari has the most sense of the lot - probably because he has no economics background, so he falls back on empirics.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Well, you voted Trump....


Vox - Puerto Rico is all our worst fears about Trump becoming real. Quote:

“People on TV news shows spoke significantly fewer sentences about Hurricane Maria than about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” he writes, and “the spike in conversation about Puerto Rico right as the hurricane hit was also much smaller than the spike in mentions of Texas and Florida.”

Cable producers surely had their reasons for this. But something anyone in the media could tell you is that cable producers’ news judgment is not an infallible guide to the substantive importance of various stories. In particular, a broad range of issues — potentially including natural disasters in outlying US territories — have an asymmetrical quality to them, where if handled appropriately most people won’t care that much, but if botched it eventually becomes a big deal.

This is why traditionally presidents have relied upon staff and the massive information-gathering capabilities of the American government for information rather than letting television set the agenda. Trump has a different philosophy, however, and spent the post-storm Saturday glued to his television and letting the hosts of Fox & Friends drag him into an ill-advised Twitter spat with NFL stars.

Because Trump wasn’t paying attention, the situation evolved into a catastrophe. And because the situation evolved into a catastrophe, it eventually ended up on television.

The Washington Post reports that by Monday, Trump “was becoming frustrated by the coverage he was seeing on TV.”

[...]

A president who was focused on his job could have asked in advance what the plan was for a hurricane strike on Puerto Rico. He would have discovered that since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, FEMA is the default lead agency, but it’s the US military that has the ships and helicopters that would be needed to get supplies into the interior of a wrecked island. And he could have worked something out. Instead, he didn’t get worked up about Puerto Rico until more than a week after the storm hit, when he saw the mayor of San Juan lambasting him on television. He lashed out with his usual playbook — one that will only make things worse.

[...]

Retired Gen. John Kelly’s background and experience are unusual for a White House chief of staff, but as it happens, his final military assignment was as commander of American military forces in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean basin — basically perfect preparation for the crisis that happens to have struck.

It’s of course entirely possible that things would be going even worse if Reince Priebus were still in charge, but on its face, Kelly’s experience does not seem to be doing any good. And that should be a stake through the heart of the notion that some stable of “adults in the room” are going to save the country from having made a spectacularly inappropriate choice of chief executive.

The one thing we can say for sure is that it’s essentially inconceivable that the next objectively difficult crisis that Trump fumbles will be more in Kelly’s wheelhouse than a disaster requiring a military response in the Caribbean. We’re witnessing the Trump administration at peak performance, and it’s appalling.

Well, as President Truman once said, "the American people know what they want, and they deserve to get it good and hard".*



*yeah I know it was probably someone more like Mencken

A quick market comment....


US equities:

SPY is RSI=74, +2SD. IWM is >2SD, RSI=85. QQQ, however, is not overbought.

Wharrgarbl:

GLD is -2SD, RSI=36. SLV is about -1.8SD, RSI=35. GDX is ~-1.5SD, RSI=42. Gold and the miners are at a thick band of price, so they should have support here. Copper is failing to break down below its SMA(50). GDX is supported at its weekly SMA(50).

Would you go short S&P, long gold miners right here?


Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday news


Seems like the market's climbing a wall of worry again... everyone's doubting it as it continues to scale all-time highs.

In other news, I got 84% on my first Metrics 2 test, which is okay, so I'll be sticking at it.

Here's some high-class reading for those of you who think multisyllabically:

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Everything's still hunky-dory.

IPE Zone - can US stocks still rise? Yes, because there's nowhere else for the tens of trillions of world wealth to go.

CFR - the world's China problem. They just can't get it through their fucking heads that China has figured out that macroeconomic orthodoxy is only one possible solution, and that a strong enough state can do what it wants.

Tim Taylor - demography rebalances Asia. I know for a fact that wealthy old people don't spend down their wealth. And as for India, it's a clusterfuck: the only way it grows is by (1) exporting goods via satellite because their transportation network is a disaster, or (2) generating fake numbers for their real estate values. Neither of those is a recipe for success.

WSJ paywall - many students around the world can't read. As it turns out, the growth economist's assertion that "education spending raises human capital" is bullshit. You have to actually have teaching, not just spending.