21 February 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Faith, Force, and Fraud - Comex Option Expiration on Thursday

It is in the upper 70's here today, so I will keep this brief because it looks like a good time to toss on a pair of summer shorts and do a little straightening up outside before the cold weather comes back again.

The markets today were 'whippy' to say the least.

Most of this churning was due to the release of the January FOMC minutes, and speculation about what this means for interest rates and the Treasuries markets.

Silver held its ground, albeit rather undervalued as it is. Gold took a hit again ahead of the Comex option expiration and more importantly perhaps another day of a strong Dollar.

The dollar is being driven higher on expectations of higher dollar-denominated interest rates. That will only take it so far.

The three major components if a currency are Faith, Force, and Fraud.

Unless it is backed by something, some external standard or a peg to such a standard, a currency relies on the faith of the holders of that currency and its associated debts.

Granted a sovereign can 'print' as much of its own unanchored currency as it likes. That is what is meant by 'fiat' currency.

However, the more of the currency it prints, and the criteria it uses to print more or less of it, affects the faith placed in its value.

Force should be familiar to anyone who has studied modern currencies. A sovereign can dictate the use of its own currency, and even set a value for it for some period of time, largely within its own sphere of influence.

The example of the former Soviet Union and its satellites is a fairly good recent example. The State can decree the use of its currency, in both official and ordinary payments and transactions. And it can even dictate the relative value of it by declaring an official exchange rate. The more out-of-whack that this official valuation becomes, the more use of force will be required to impress its will within its sphere of influence.

And this discrepancy in valuation, the conscious mispricing of risk if you will, can be covered for quite some type by fraud. This fraud includes the misstating of official actions, secret agreements with both foreign and domestic banks, and of course sheer market manipulation,

But all value pools, all such artificial schemes eventually crumble and fail, all other things being equal, as long as the mispricing of risks proceeds.

This applies not only to the official currency, but for semi-official and systemic financial assets and instruments as well.

Money is power. And like most forms of power, it proves attractive to all the worst sorts of behavior and unscrupulous market participants. This is why people create governments and laws, to restrain the powerful and wealthy, given the uneven performance of human nature over time.

Have a pleasant evening.

Russiagate, Twitter Meddling, the New McCarthyism: The Credibility Trap of the Increasingly Hysterical Elites

You may find this worth hearing.

And you probably will not hear it on the mainstream media.

The professional ruling class cannot accept responsibility for their many failures, and hypocrisies, and compromises with duty, and abuses of privilege because they are craven careerists in a corrupted system, caught up in a credibility trap. Their motto should be 'go along to get along, though the heavens may fall.'

Remarkable times when the truth is being told by comedians, and not the unintentional kind in politics and the media.

Is Trump being harried by the 'deep state' and the political establishment with Russiagate? It sure looks that way. Alhough some of it is self-inflicted. And bear in mind that I am no Trump supporter, or Hillary either for that matter.

The proof of the hysterical phoniness of this New McCarthyism is that these same efforts and overstated smears are also turned, almost effortlessly, against Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, often in the same breath by the same courtiers to power and money. What do these three have in common? Not so much except all of them are political 'outsiders.'

We have been allowing our emotions and tribal loyalties to cause us to fall for all this manipulation. Have we, at the end of all of this, no shame? No dignity, or love of the truth to prompt us to rise above our own short term self-interests?

Force and fraud. And as the fraud wears thin and deteriorates, the use of force will increase.

Caution on language.

Related: The Surveillance State and Endless War

20 February 2018

Stocks and Precious Metals Charts - Try a Little Tenderness - Comex Options Expiration

"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting for forty days and forty nights, he hungered. And the Tempter came to try him."

Mark 4:1-2

"And whenever you may stand to prayer, forgive, if you hold anything against any one, so that your Father in the heavens may also forgive you."

Mark 11:25

It is a passage so familiar, the 'temptation in the desert', that we hear it, but we may not really think about it, and its implications.
'Then Jesus was led, by the Spirit, into the wilderness.'
So our Lord was tempted, by the devil himself of course, but with the seeming complicity of the God the Holy Spirit, who led Him into it.

This also recalls another passage so familiar that we also do not think of its implications.
'And lead us not into temptation...'
Doesn't it seem odd and out of place that God would lead His own people into harm's way?  Isn't temptation a very negative thing that we are told to avoid at all costs?

Temptation is certainly not something we should seek out, given the risks in taking that proposition as our own choice.  But if we think instead of temptation as a 'trial' or a preparation for our calling, as in the case of our Lord whose time in the wilderness preceded his public ministry, it is something that can strengthen us, make us stronger in our faith through that trial, that testing, in the practical applications of what we believe.

If the words we have received are at all accurate, it is not intended that spiritually we remain an untested bunch of cream puffs, riding to heaven on feather beds, with God attending to all our needs like the staff on a cruise ship.

Like an athlete, we must train for the contests, but it is in the contest itself that we do most of our learning and growing and extending ourselves to the limits.   Such exercises are always marked by pain, in the muscles, and in the core of our being.

To varying degrees we are preparing and are called upon to be God's hands, and feet, and the living manifestation of His word here on earth, in a life long journey through the peaks and valleys of both good and evil, success and failure.  We are 'the Church militant' here and only later, one would hope, triumphant at long last.

Or as J. H. Newman put it:
"Let us simply obey God's will, whatever may come.  He can turn all things to our eternal good.  Easter day is preceded by the forty days of Lent, to show us that they only who sow in tears shall reap in joy."
And it is one of the most sublime ironies of God's economy that the greatest weapon in our battle is not the violence and power of the world, but the service and self-effacement of God's love.  As the pilgrim of the absolute Léon Bloy said,  “Love does not make you weak, because it is the source of all strength, but it makes you see the nothingness of the illusory strength on which you depended before you knew it.” 

The power of love and forgiveness is unfathomable and bewildering to the principalities and powers of this world, and the spiritual darkness that rules them.   And this then is to be their failure and their demise.

Gold and silver were being hit today, for several reasons.  The yields on Treasuries were rising because of the record high issuance of notes and bills his week in the neighborhood of a quarter trillion dollars.  That drove the US dollar higher in the short term, and helped drive down the metals.

And of course we will be having an option expiration for precious metals on the Comex this week, and so all the pick pockets, cut purses and dips will be taking their usual cuts by managing prices in their desired directions.  This has become so regular an occasion that you might tell the time by it.

We may also see some action around the release of the FOMC minutes tomorrow at 2 PM.  They like to talk bearishly between crises.

Stocks were weak because the higher rates will make it less convenient for companies to buy back their own stocks through debt issuance, which as I am given to understand is the major source of stock buying at these lofty valuations.

The US financial system and the elite establishment are morally and intellectually exhausted. They produce little, for the most part, are draining the nation of its resources in endless wars and financial control frauds, while they allow its systems and infrastructure to decay. 

And having been soundly rejected in the last election, they are looking for some scapegoats to blame.  Since they are perfection itself, they could have not possibly lost fairly, being so deserving of the win.

They rule not by merit and faithfulness, but through fraud and force. And as the fraud fails, the force must inevitably increase.

How are the mighty fallen, and their instruments of oppression, broken.

Have a pleasant evening.

17 February 2018

Net Asset Values of Certain Precious Metals Trusts and Funds

It has been a while since we have had a look at this.

It is odd to see the relative 'bearishness' on silver. 

The gold/silver ratio is very high, and the discount on PSLV is more than normal.

All things being equal, silver would seem to be a screaming buy here.

However, this may highlight that gold is being favored as a 'flight to safety' asset, and that there are deep underlying concerns about the US economy and financial system.

As a reminder there will be a precious metals options expiration on the Comex this Thursday the 22nd of February.