26 October 2016

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Option Expiration for November - The God of the Market

"Since the earliest stages of human history, of course, there have been bazaars, rialtos, and trading posts—all markets. But The Market was never God, because there were other centers of value and meaning, other "gods." The Market operated within a plethora of other institutions that restrained it. As Karl Polanyi has demonstrated in his classic work The Great Transformation, only in the past two centuries has The Market risen above these demigods and chthonic spirits to become today's First Cause...

Does anyone doubt that if the True Cross were ever really discovered, it would eventually find its way to Sotheby's? The Market is not omnipotent—yet. But the process is under way and it is gaining momentum."

Harvey Cox, The Market As God: Living In the New Dispensation

Today was the Comex option expiration for November futures for both gold and silver.

Since November is not an active month for either metal it did not impact the prices significantly.

December is the next big month for both precious metals that I track.

The dollar index was off a little bit in forex trading, and stocks were a bit wobbly.

The data continues to confirm that The Recovery is a thin facade over misgovernance and the mispricing of risk due to a pernicious corruption of the balances in the system.

People have been asking me how I think one candidate or another might be for gold and silver.

I am not sure I can frame a good answer for that, because there are so many variables besides a particular candidate.  I can make a decent case either way.

Personally I have been thinking a bit harder about how each candidate might react to opposition since the electorate is so clearly polarized, and both candidates have historically high disapproval ratings.

It is, after all, 'the choice between two evils' whether one is lesser or not, as the media likes to say.

And I hate to say it, but despite the trappings of religion or supremely benevolent ideology in which some of our new evils like to cloak themselves, it does seem in practice to be more of a form of self worship, a kind of neo-Paganism, than any acknowledgement of a higher morality and sense of obligation to a greater power than our own selves.

But as you know, my 'model' of the Imperial Presidency is expecting a type of a Nero to appear on the seen, marked by growing excess and over-reactions to even perceived resistance in pursuit of their own goals.

In our parlance, that would be someone Nixonian to a fault, or at least I would hope it would not be much more than that. Perhaps bolder and more shameless.

Again, either one of the front runners may step up, or rather down, to meet and exceed that mark.  I would hope not, but I do believe the possibility is there.

This is not to say that I am trafficking in eschatology.  I think that is mostly prideful and distracting, and we have certainly been through times like this here before.  We just forget about them.  We think that we are somehow different, exceptional, and more put upon than our parents and grandparents.

Like gold and silver, goodness is precious because of its relative scarcity. And these days it does seem to be particularly hard to find.  The economist Pierre Rinfret told me that a few months before he passed away, as he reflected on his life and experience in politics.

But goodness is not constrained by nature, but rather by the toxic desert of our hardened hearts.

Have a pleasant evening.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - VIX Rising, Wobbly Earnings Results

The data coming in for the most part seems to be confirming the idea that consumers are on the skids, and that corporate profits that depend on a healthy aggregate public demand are feeling the pinch.

Monopolies like big finance and healthcare, and firms that depend on special situations, like war for example, may be showing more resilience in this odd economy which we have grown over the years.

Everyone seems to be thinking about what the upcoming elections may mean to equities, what the central banks may do for the stock markets, and what additional military conflicts the neo-cons may provide.

But do you see that in each case, the focus is not on a healthy economy with organic growth through productive end.

This will not end well. But no one will do anything to stop it until after the fact.   This seems to be the 'MO' of the ruling elites and their porcine constituents.

Have a pleasant evening.

We Must Resist the Temptation to Despair

"Because of the increase in wickedness, the love of many will grow cold."

Matthew 24:12

"Every century is like every other, and to those who live in it seems worse than all."

John Henry Newman

I have noticed that many seem to be discouraged by the current state of things, and the catalyst are elections that seems to offer only the choice between two distasteful alternatives.  I have the opportunity to speak to people from every part of the world each day, and there seems to be a common thread in the discussions.

We have been battered for years now by the repeated crushing of hope, and the impulse to reform, by the powerful moneyed interests of a relative few who seem to honor or uphold nothing but their own greed.  Every region seems to be plagued by some form of this brute selfishness and prideful corruption.

If I am being objective, and not focused only on the present day, I am profoundly grateful that I do not have to face (yet I say with hope) the obstacles that our parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents faced over and over for years.

They personally faced absolutely brutal world wars which slaughtered millions, and many of them were dirt poor in terrible Depressions where all hope was almost lost.  They faced industrial accidents and exploitation, child labor, enslavement, and powerful repressions by inhumanly sick men and women.

And even now there are those facing things such as that in the world as it is today, and if anything we should be appalled that we do so little or nothing to relieve their distress.  And, may God forgive us, we sometimes stand by while our own people may be inflicting these hardships upon others.

But we are distracted from all this, by feeling sorry for our own disappointments and troubles.

This is not to say that we do not have problems. This year has been so bad for us personally, and for others that I know from Le Cafe,  that at times I wanted to cry out like Job.

But putting our own temptation to wallow in despair aside, one finds they can rise above these things, sometimes with the help of others and sometimes with a slow but steady determination, and make things good where they can, for themselves and most importantly for others.

And that is enough, for it is our lot in this life.  Not to make an account of all the things that we do not like, that frighten us, that may potentially harm us, that concern us, that could go wrong, that afflict us in our daily lives like 'a thorn in the flesh.'

I know that this seems to be the opium of the distressed, and to the placidly self-content and self-absorbed as 'a folly' of the weak-minded, an opportunity to feel superior to the rest, to the '99 percent.'  This is as it has always been.

But sometimes God must first break a heart to enter it.  And it is what remains afterwards, when the crisis is passed, that offers us the way to becoming fully human.

And we are then called to stand up and witness to the fully human life, in grace that is given, not cheaply by ourselves, but by our resolve and determination to follow Him in our calling.

Where there is sickness bring healing, where there is despair bring hope, and where there is darkness, light.

Not in some abstract sending out of good thoughts, which if fine for a start, but more importantly in some tangible acts of kindness and goodness for our families, and friends, and acquaintances, and finally even for those who are undeserving.  There is so much that needs to be done, that we are finally tempted to do nothing.  But all we are asked to do is to begin, and do something even if it is only something little.

And there are many paths to goodness.  You may have found one, and therefore serve it faithfully. But this does not detract from or say that someone else may have found another, and they ought to serve it faithfully if it leads to the same loving heart.   This is not for us to judge.

Little acts of goodness spread like ripples in a pond.  A candle in the darkness allows others to find and ignite their own—  and then there is light.

"God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission—  I may never know it in this life but I shall be told it in the next.

I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught.

I shall do good, I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.

He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about.

He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me— still He knows what He is about.

We are slow to master the great truth that even now Christ is, as it were, walking among us, and by His hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us to follow Him. We do not understand that His call is a thing that takes place now. We think it took place in the Apostles' days, but we do not believe in it; we do not look for it in our own case.

Let us feel what we really are— sinners, but attempting great things.  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.

The more we do, the more shall we trust in Christ; and that surely is no morose doctrine, that leads us to soothe our selfish restlessness, and forget our fears, in the vision of the Incarnate Son of God.

May the Lord support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.

Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last.”

John Henry Newman

Caesar was swimming in blood, Rome and the whole pagan world was mad.

"But those who had had enough of transgression and madness, those who were trampled upon, those whose lives were misery and oppression, all the weighed down, all the sad, all the unfortunate, came to hear the wonderful tidings of God, who out of love for men had given Himself to be crucified and redeem their sins.

When they found a God whom they could love, they had found that which the society of the time could not give any one, -- happiness and love."

Henryk Sienkiewicz, Quo Vadis, 1905

25 October 2016

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts - Dollar Looking Toppy - Hell Freezes Over

The US dollar popped a bit higher today but then gave it all back in the afternoon.

That helped the precious metals denominated in the buckeroo a bit.

Gold managed to stick a close over 1270.  Another 20 points or so higher would be better still.

Silver was tagging along for the ride.   This is not a particularly active month for silver.

There was another disgorgement of their house gold position by Macquarie yesterday.  I have not gone back and added them all up, both the buys and the sells, but it looks from an eyeball estimate that they have been getting beaten up over that very public position they had taken, and have already given the greater part of it back.

Don't play poker against the house on their own table, and especially when they make you play with all your cards exposed, while they deal themselves from the bottom of the deck into a well hidden hand.

Have a pleasant evening.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts - Waiting For APPL

Stocks were weak today, and mostly ending lower led down by consumer discretionary earnings reports.

Speaking of which, Pandora had a sloppy miss after the bell.

All the world waits for Apple. If it is notable I will update.

The American consumer is an endangered species due to over-harvesting by the pigmen.

Have a pleasant evening.

Christian Humanism: Love Is the Meaning and the Measure

“We are slow to master the great truth that even now Christ is, as it were, walking among us, and by His hand, or eye, or voice, bidding us to follow Him. We do not understand that His call is a thing that takes place now. We think it took place in the Apostles' days, but we do not believe in it; we do not look for it in our own case.

God's presence is not discerned at the time when it is upon us, but afterwards, when we look back upon what is gone and over. The world seems to go on as usual. There is nothing of heaven in the face of society, in the news of the day.

And yet the ever-blessed Spirit of God is there, ten times more glorious, more powerful than when He trod the earth in our flesh."

John Henry Newman

People sometimes ask me, 'what exactly is this 'Christian humanism' which you talk about?'

It is what Jacques Maritain called a humanisme intégral.

It is to consider carefully, to mediate on, and then fully give oneself over to a continuing contemplation and observance of the deepest of all mysteries:  the awesome reality,  the immanent presence—  the implications of the Incarnation.

It is to understand the ennobling of the human condition in an overwhelming and all-renewing Divine love, not absent, or distant, or once upon a time, or waiting for us elesewhere, but even and ever here among us,  in this very moment, and acting on it.

If we have all other virtues and gifts and knowledge but not love, we are just a bunch of noise, hollow, spiritually inanimate, nothing, ready to blow away in the wind, a 'resounding gong or a clanging cymbal'. Love is faith alive and in motion; living love.

It is for the person to fully and continually immerse themselves in the love of their Creator, and to thereafter embrace Him and love Him, not in some purposeless and unproductive abstraction that bears no fruit, but by loving and upholding Him in all of His creation, and in His creatures as He made them.

Love is the meaning and the measure of our being, of being truly and completely human.

'Amen amen I say to you, whatever you did to even the least of these, you did to me.'

Because He is no absent God.  We can shut our eyes and our hearts to Him, but we cannot escape His presence.  We can see it if we but look for it in His way, not ours.  We can measure it if we use His measures, not ours.  And it permeates us, it gives us life both now and for always if we will have it, whether we realize it or not.  He is no absent God.

Love Is The Measure

Summary:  In the face of a world in turmoil–atom bomb tests, food shortages, impending strikes, destitution–an exhortation to “love as Christ loved, to the extent of laying down our lives for our brothers.”  This tells of a priest whose work made him “a perfect fool for Christ.” And says “we confess to being fools for Christ, and wish we were more so.” (DDLW #425).

We confess to being fools and wish that we were more so. In the face of the approaching atom bomb test and the discussion of widespread radioactivity is giving people more and more of an excuse to get away from the philosophy of personalism and the doctrine of free will; in the face of an approaching maritime strike; in the face of bread shortages and housing shortages; in the face of the passing of the draft extension, teen-agers included, we face the situation that there is nothing we can do for people except to love them.

If the maritime strike goes on there will be no shipping of food or medicine or clothes to Europe or the far east, so there is nothing to do again but to love. We continue in our fourteenth year of feeding our brother and clothing him and sheltering him and the more we do it the more we realize that the most important thing is to love.

There are several families with us, destitute families, destitute to an unbelievable extent and there, too, is nothing to do but to love. What I mean is that there is no chance of rehabilitation, no chance, so far as we see, of changing them; certainly no chance of adjusting them to this abominable world about them, and who wants them adjusted anyway?

What we would like to do is change the world–make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And to a certain extent, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute–the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor in other words, we can to a certain extent change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world.

We repeat, there is nothing that we can do but love, and dear God– please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as well as our friend.

This is the month of the Sacred Heart, the symbol of Christ’s love for man. We are supposed to love as Christ loved, to the extent of laying down our lives for our brothers. That was the New commandment. To love to the extent of laying down our lives, dying to ourselves. To accept the least place, to sit back, to ask nothing for ourselves, to serve each other, to lay down our lives for our brothers, this is the strange upside-down teaching of the Gospel.

We knew a priest once, a most lovable soul, and a perfect fool for Christ. Many of his fellow priests laughed at him and said, “Why, he lines up even the insane and baptizes them. He has no judgment!” He used to visit the Negro hospital in St. Louis, and night and day found him wandering through the wards. One old Negro said to me, “Whenever I opens my eyes, there is Father!” He was forever hovering over his children to dispense the sacraments. It was all he had to give.

He couldn’t change the rickety old hospital, he couldn’t provide them with decent housing, he could not see that they got better jobs. He couldn’t even seem to do much about making them give up liquor and women and gambling–but he could love them, and love them all, he did. And he gave them Everything he had. He gave them Christ. Some of his friends used to add, “whether they wanted Him or not!”

But assuredly they wanted his love and they saw Christ in him when they saw his love for them. Many times I have been reminded of this old priest of St. Louis, this old Jesuit, when I have visited prisons and hospitals for the insane. It’s hard to visit the chaplains and ask their help very often. They have thousands to take care of, and too often they take the view that “it’s no use.” “What’s the use of going to that ward–or to that jail? They won’t listen to you.”

If one loves enough one is importunate, one repeats his love as he repeats his Hail Marys on his rosary.

Yes, we go on talking about love. St. Paul writes about it in 1 Corinthians 13.  In The Following of Christ there is a chapter in Book III, Chapter Five. And there are Father Zossima’s unforgettable words in The Brothers Karamazov–  “Love in practice is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”

What does the modern world know of love, with its divorces, with its light touching of the surface of love. It has never reached down into the depths, to the misery and pain and glory of love which endures to death and beyond it. We have not yet begun to learn about love. Now is the time to begin, to start afresh, to use this divine weapon.

Dorothy Day, The Catholic Worker, June 1946