Monday, October 31, 2011

Client Cash Reportedly Missing At MF Global As It Collapses. WHERE IS THE VOLCKER RULE?

I’ll tell you where it is.  DOA (dead on arrival) due to corruption and continued lobbying by Wall Street to dismantle the regulation and make what is left toothless.  Republicans or Democrats.  It doesn’t matter.  They are all swimming in Washington’s sea of corruption.

I harped on Glass-Steagall for years; including when no one had ever heard of it.  20 pages.  No bullshit.  No trading.  No risky schemes.  Just plain lending for FDIC insured institutions.  In 2011 I said Glass-Steagall was now too little, too late.  I believe Wal Street has sealed its fate. 

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 8:29 PM links to this post

Rachel Maddow - Wall Street’s Path Of Economic Destruction

With all of the posts on here, I still can't even begin to express in words how corrupt Wall Street truly is.   And how corrupt it has been.  Forever.  The overt corruption really gained traction starting with Reagan’s presidency.  But, for-profit banking is and always will be diametrically-opposed to a merit-based, democratic economic model.  If I actually believed the world was in the midst of a religious end-of-times like  the 2012’ers, I would have no problems believing that Wall Street was indeed the work of a great evil force as part of that dynamic.  Haha.  I laugh nervously not humorously.  The kind of laugh where we do so in tense situations in an attempt to help relieve our anxiety.   There is nothing funny about Wall Street.  Wall Street is a criminal racket.  It serves no purpose for democracy or human development or a democratic capitalist system.  Private banking serves the very few who endlessly manipulate it for their private gains.

Truly the most sociopathic, evil, power-mad people in America gravitate to Wall Street.  It’s like a magnet for the most unstable who dream of power, control and a decadence sought only by an unstable self-image. 

Since many kooks tell us our president is apparently Muslim, I wish he would encourage Sharia law as it pertains to for-profit banking.  All joking aside, as I have said on here before, every attempt at virtuous and democratic civilizations in history, except the modern-day predatory America, has put limits on bank usury or even banned it completely as Sharia law has. 

Other than the documentary Inside Job, this may be one of the best documentary-type video overviews of the endless evil, fraud and systemic incompetence that is Wall Street. 

Over the years I have said on here that we are going through a substantial awakening in our country.  And, that I actually think we will take down Wall Street forever.   This won’t be an event.  It will be an awakening process.  And, the process has already begun. 

We need a public banking system.  I have had a few friends who read my blog remark that they don’t want a banking system controlled by politicians.   Clarification.  I said public banking system.  Not a politician-run banking system. 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

posted by TimingLogic at 11:52 AM links to this post

House Speaker Says No More Defense Cuts ---->>>> Cut Social Security, Aid to Handicapped Children And Unemployment Benefits

As we have cited and it generally understood by anyone using some modicum of their brain cycles, the U.S. spends more than double the rest of the world combined on defense.  If you add in the NRC that overseas substantial military spending, the State Department, off balance sheet spending and whatever potentially-hidden money printing goes on to support the war state, some well-reasoned accounts put our military spending even well beyond that.   Our economy is comprised of financial gambling and bombing or extorting anyone who disagrees with our vision of hegemony and global serfdom to Washington.   If we cut spending in this area, then the corporate welfare state looses its ability to exploit the rest of the world.  That includes many poverty-stricken countries where massively corrupt regimes are propped up by the United States while its people suffer basic human indignation.  Sound familiar?  One of those nations is the United States itself. 

Guns or butter?  Social Security or more Homeland Security spying contracts for security contractors?  Unemployment benefits or more bombing campaigns and military training in Yemen?

All of this creates a corrupt loop of self-reinforcement.  Military and security contractors are awarded bloated contracts then said firms turn around and spend taxpayer-funded profits from bloated contracts to lobby the state for more contracts.  Life is rich in Washington, D.C. 

Change you can believe in. 

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 9:24 AM links to this post

Greek Bailout Deal A Water Pistol Or A CDO Squared

Watching the status quo is like watching a dysfunctional intimate relationship with someone unwilling to take responsibility for their own behavior.   Instead, they create endless drama as a result of their unwillingness to take personal responsibility for their behavior.  As a result, they project and outsource their  responsibility onto others in the form of unaccountable socialized losses.  And, then in the end, they refuse to actually embrace the change necessary to ensure their drama doesn’t repeat itself over and over again.  The status quo’s behavior is exactly like being in a dysfunctional relationship.  I think we could safely assume being in an actual relationship with any of these people would mirror the economic drama they create.     

Unfortunately, the person interviewed by Russia Today believes the answer is for Greece to leave the Eurozone and devalue their currency for comparative exchange-rate advantage.  This is part of the failed financial structure we have been under since the banksters and politicians ended up in bed together decades ago.  It is simply more dysfunctional neoliberalism of comparative exchange-rate advantage.   

As we have said over and over again,  Greece should kick out the international bankers, default on its illegitimate foreign debt and institute a monetary and banking system that serves democracy, human development and the quality of life of its citizens and not its monied elite, their politicians or for-profit banking criminals.    The people of Greece or Spain or Portugal or Italy do not need to borrow other people’s money ie borrow money from for-profit banks in order to have a functioning, capitalistic or merit-based economy.

This most recent EU bailout Ponzi scheme looks a lot like a levered CDO squared.  You remember that criminal scheme?  Worthless paper backed by more worthless paper.  Kaboom! 

posted by TimingLogic at 9:14 AM links to this post

Friday, October 28, 2011

Obama Relies On Lobbyists For Campaign Contributions

There are countless holes in who is a registered lobbyist and who is not.  And, the system is being manipulated by lobbyists as it has been for years.   Now that lobbyist is a dirty word to those who understand the massive corruption, the system is completely manipulated.  The latest manipulator apparently is President Obama's campaign team.

I have this simple metric of who I believe can possibly be trusted as a leader and not a politician.  That is, anyone willing to even utter the words that all political campaigns should be publicly-funded with substantial limits.   You can hear a pin drop in Washington when these words are uttered.  Publicly-financed elections are a necessary step to restoring merit and democracy to a corrupt government.
posted by TimingLogic at 12:33 PM links to this post

Former Goldmanite Slams Wall Street’s Hypocrisies – Cronyism, Corporate Welfare and Systemic Incompetence

A man with a conscience.  Not a conscience determined if someone is watching but someone who wishes to see the world become a better place…  and make money selling a book in the process.  Haha.  All joking aside, only Emanuel Derman knows what his intent is but the article is a worthy read and supports what we have always said.  That is, quantitative finance and Wall Street’s associated betting parlor are illusions that are going bye bye. 

posted by TimingLogic at 11:20 AM links to this post

Corzine, Former Goldmanite, Uses Goldman Sachs-Inspired Leverage To Blow Up MF Global

Wall Street is systemically-incompetent.   I hammer on this incessantly because I want to shatter false belief systems.  

Wall Street/hedge funds have now traded everyone out of markets.  Now that they are trading against each other as counterparties, someone has to start losing money.   First it will be the weaker, less liquid firms and hedge funds.  MF Global fits that bill.

I just read where we have recently started trading upwards of 50 million equity options contracts a day.  That’s just equities.  And that’s just in the U.S.   These options and other derivatives once never existed.  All they are is a piece of paper.   They aren’t worth the paper they are written on.  The same dynamic of employing derivatives was used in 1987 to hedge risk.  Or so Wall Street thought.    It’s all a mirage.  They aren’t hedging anything.   As we pointed out before, the Nobel Prize-winning inventor of the option has blown up at least three hedge funds and has now publicly stated they don’t work as they were designed.  They appear to work as designed when there are ample bettors.  But when the shit hits the fan…..   The mirage is revealed for what it is. 

This theory that Wall Street is brilliant is based completely in pure propaganda.   Bankers used to make enough to buy a home in a middle class neighborhood.  And bond trading used to pay so little that traders needed a second job to survive.  Now, we have Lloyd Blankfein running what is perceived as the world’s most brilliant financial consulting and banking firm and Bill Gross is perceived as some kind of economic and monetary policy expert.   We wrote that both were not experts and actually pointed out their deficiencies in competence while their views were considered valid.   Then when the tide rolled out, both and many others were exposed as always being naked.

In the real world,  before banking criminals successfully deregulated finance, Blankfein and Gross would be desk jockeys making $70-100,000 a year.   Not a bad gig for a bureaucrat.  Maybe they would run a community bank and be making some amount more than that.   Of course, I doubt in a meritocracy, either would rise to that ability.  But, in the fantasy world created by smoke & mirrors and political fraud & corruption, they have reached the perception of masters of the universe.

Banking could be a virtuous profession.  But, let’s make something clear.  Bankers have never made anything. They don’t  understand how to run a business making anything.  They haven’t created anything of tangible value.  And they surely don’t understand economics.  That they have infiltrated every aspect of our society to how our businesses are run, to becoming politicians, to lobbying our government for how the economy should be regulated and on and on, gives us some indication of why our nation has become systemically-incompetent.   The financialized economy is nothing more than a systemically-incompetent Ponzi scheme of gambling and betting on everything.

What makes Corzine’s actions so egregious is this incompetent dumbass (I use this word judiciously) watched Goldman Sachs and other firms come close to blowing up our entire monetary and banking system.  (They have already destroyed our economy.)  So, what does he do?  After watching bankers create the worst economic crisis in our country’s history, he goes out and duplicates their failed strategies.   I mean WTF?  Anyone who can balance their checkbook could have told Corzine he is being a dumbass.  But the ego is undeniable in its self-delusion.

As we have written incessantly, banks need to be broken up.  No man, or woman, can effectively manage anything as large as the systemic risks on Wall Street.  That is before one even factors in their massively leveraged bets. Derivatives, trading and other Ponzi schemes need to be banned from our banking system.  Even as a hedge.  Any bank insured by society should only be lending deposit money.  Period.    Banking should be a public facility in a democratic capitalist or merit-based economic system.  The primary intent of our banking system should be human development.  Not profit or predation or debt serfdom or gambling or political bribery.   And with that focus, all banking should, therefore, be local.

Instead, the government keeps adding more agencies and regulators to manage an undemocratic banking system build on systemic incompetence.   It’s like watching the movie Dumb and Dumber - bankers and politicians. 

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 11:11 AM links to this post

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Federal Judge Blocks Florida’s Welfare Drug-Test Law

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

And I quote:  “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

As we have remarked incessantly on here, we are no longer a nation of laws.  We are a nation of men.   And that means the whims of man are determining our economic and democratic fate.  That is, until we restore the rule of law.   A step in the right direction is to restore free speech, reasoned dissent and the diversity of views necessary for democracy to survive by outlawing political parties.   Political parties demand allegiance and subvert reasoned dissent, free speech and the intellectual diversity of democracy.  Party-elected politicians swear an allegiance to their party in return for corporate-backed funding similar to the same allegiance sworn to Adolph Hitler. 

Were free speech, reason and intellectual diversity restored to our election process, none of these political stooges, whom I might add are typically idiots good at outsourcing their intellectual thought to party masters, would ever get elected.  

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 11:19 AM links to this post

Former Washington Republican, Now Ohio Governor, Seeks To Enforce Drug Testing For Unemployment Benefits

It was just a little over a month ago that we took a few shots at Orrin Hatch, one of my favorite neoliberals in Congress, for proposing the unemployed are drug tested before receiving benefits.  Of course, we all know most unemployed people are crack heads and losers.  How do I know this?  Well, because now Ohio governor and former Washington Republican (and former crony of Orrin Hatch) is proposing the same idea.   More of the police state’s war on drugs…. and war on liberty.   Isn’t life rich.

The United States Constitution guarantees both property and privacy rights.   It is arguable that property was the primary issue at the founding of our country.  With the rise of the police state, privacy is the new property.  In other words, big brother isn’t concerned about taking your property, he has done that frequently and often without due cause and due process for a long time.  He’s now interested in taking your liberty.  You are the enemy of the state. 

I don’t think Ohio Governor Kasich has ever had a real job in his life.  He has lived on the taxpayer dole since he came of employment age.  Well, except for the crony job Lehman got him in between his welfare stints of living on the taxpayer dole.

I would be all for drug testing but the first person who needs to take the test is the most egregious user of the welfare system.  That is, Ohio Governor Kasich.  Mr. Kasich has cost our society endless sums of money through his life time tenure as a career politician.  And, I think he should take the test before signing every piece of legislation or proposing any changes to government.  You know, we don’t need any of that drug-induced political stupor tainting the efficacy of public office. 

One more thing.  Since Kasich is randomly throwing out unconstitutional notions of the whims of man,  I have a few of my own.  I think Kasich should take a lie detector test for his involvement in the collapse of Ohio public pension assets under Lehman.  And how about a little bit of that Patriot Act wiretapping for any phone conversations Kasich might have with political donors or lobbyists?  And, let’s just round out the testing and ask both Kasich and Orrin Hatch to both take an annual Rorschach test.    Since they have both been on public welfare their whole lives, we don’t actually know if they are capable of actually holding down a real job.   Are they actually mentally-competent to be in public office?   I don’t see a lot of supporting evidence that they are.  But that is just my opinion.  You know, like Kasich’s opinions of what unconstitutional ideas he may muster.   My whims are just as valid as his.  Maybe more so.  Since mine are all based on reason.

Liberty?  Pshaw!  If we are going to keep taking more of it away, the first to be subjected to its abandonment are the politicians who shit all over our liberties and constitutional rights by taking it away. 

Neoliberals like Kasich and Hatch have an endless stream of bureaucratic ideas, most often batty, nonsensical or even unconstitutional, to impose their will and beliefs upon the rest of us in some Orwellian attempt to create their view of a better world.  How’s that working out for you? 

If you want to fix the economy and the drug issues in the United States, get politicians out of the economy and out of our lives.  Do that by restoring democratic economics and democracy in government.   That means reigning in political dimwits and their endless neoliberal nonsense; often nonsense driven by a for-profit or for-sale government.

posted by TimingLogic at 10:49 AM links to this post

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011 South Pole Ozone Depletion Time-Lapsed Video

posted by TimingLogic at 4:39 PM links to this post

World Power Swings Back To America

There are no jumping on bandwagon conclusions, group-think analysis or plagiarism on here.   Most of our positions are very unique.  One of those positions we have written ad nauseam over the last six years is that the United States will lead the world out of this crisis and dominate the global economy unlike at any time in the last fifty years.  Now, I’m not ready to go into the detail of that analysis but if you tie together out countless posts over the last six years, you should be able to gain some understanding of what is behind it. 

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is now taking a first stab at writing what we have said for years.    I like Pritchard a lot as a journalist although I think his article and analysis are very simple-minded and rely too much on a repositioning of the status quo.  I  don’t agree with the people cited in the article and there is ample evidence that the future will look nothing like the past.  There is well too much continuation of neoliberalism, comparative advantage (race to the bottom) and rear view mirror analysis in the sources cited by Pritchard.   

I think Pritchard, as a non-American may be well too distanced from the massive corruption and fraud that exists within our political system;  forces that defeat democracy and democratic economics.   That leads to an oversimplification of his analysis into something very trite; not typically a hallmark of his ability.  

The reality is we are at a major turning point for our nation.  I am quite confident history will judge this as the largest turning point in our nation’s history.  We have yet to experience our moment(s) that will start to redefine our future.   We are still experiencing moments that define our past.  But, of one thing I am certain, those moments are most definitely coming.   And as a result of those moments, democracy that has been dying a slow death for decades, will again start to bloom. (already happening)  And as a part of that, it is quite plausible that the military hegemony we see today will too be defeated by the American people, for as we have said before, empire is incompatible with democracy.     

If global politicians and authority around the world don’t first blow us all up,  I think the next century has the potential to be the democratic century.   Centers of power everywhere will do everything they can to consolidate their gains but the collective consciousness of the world is awakening to basic human dignities that should define every human existence.   As we have written numerous times over the years, these two forces must eventually play themselves out.  The good news is the technology now exists for these ideals to spread like wildfire and for authority everywhere to be sacked, hopefully peacefully, and replaced with democracy. 

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 11:02 AM links to this post

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fisker Gets $500 million U.S. Government Loan To Build Cars In Finland

Americans are denied access to society’s capital while we see examples of asinine crony programs like this.  More change you can believe in.   Does it get any more ridiculous? 

Give me a $500 million loan and I’ll put 1,000 people to work for 10 years making $50,000 a year.    We’ll dig ditches than then fill them back up.  That’s essentially what this program for Tesla and Fisker is.   It’s politically-connected cronyism to two car companies that don’t have a sustainable business model and most assuredly will default on their loans.  At least I’ll employ Americans. 

posted by TimingLogic at 2:25 PM links to this post

We The People Are The Enemy Of The State

Unless you live in a cave or watch Fox News, you already know Greece’s protests are becoming larger and more confrontational.  For the size of the country, these protests are massive.  The state, an invention of the ego, is losing control as the sovereign people of Greece rise up to take back their democracy and their economic freedoms. 

Who cares what the EU, the bankers and the corrupt Greek politicians are trying to hammer out with regards to the Greek debt crisis?  Honestly.  The fate of Greece will be determined by its people.  And that is exactly how it should be. 

posted by TimingLogic at 1:10 PM links to this post

Obama’s New Foreclosure Plan Shifts Fraud Liability To Taxpayers

More of that change you can believe in.  Just in time to start collecting more campaign fees from Wall Street crooks. 

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 12:48 PM links to this post

Message From Corn Syrup Producers Of America

I have noticed the corn lobby is ramping up their television commercials recently about the safety of high fructose corn syrup.  Interestingly, the sugar industry is now suing corn processors after their lobby has convinced our for-sale government that high fructose corn syrup can now be relabeled as corn sugar.  This because many consumers are steering clear of anything labeled as high fructose corn syrup.  Sounds rather Orwellian, eh?  Newspeak?

Anyway, this all reminded me of my favorite corn syrup producers commercial.   Make sure you watch it till then end.  Haha

posted by TimingLogic at 10:51 AM links to this post

Design For Sustainable Fisheries

This is actually a quite interesting white paper by McKinsey.   We are headed for a new world as far as food.  That is driven by two (or three depending on how you classify those factors) major factors – sustainability, nutrition or lack thereof and safety.  Industrial farming is going the way of the Dodo bird.  Natural food harvesting such as fishing is headed for a paradigm change for sustainability reasons.   This paper is about sixty pages so it’s not a quick read and you need to spend a few minutes signing up for access to the site but it’s worth it if this is a hot button for you.     

posted by TimingLogic at 10:41 AM links to this post

Hedge Funds Continue Commodity Manipulation With New Large, Highly-Leveraged Bets

So much for Frank-Dodd.  Oil is driven by financial speculation and manipulation as are all commodities.  Remember, hedge funds go bye bye.  These people are eventually going to lose their ass.  That is, the hedge funds who already haven’t. 

Hedge funds increase bullish oil bets by 32%

Hedge funds hike bullish commodity bets by over 70,000 futures contracts

posted by TimingLogic at 10:41 AM links to this post

Monday, October 24, 2011

More Than 70 Members of British Parliament Threaten To Defy Government And Vote To Leave EU

posted by TimingLogic at 4:12 PM links to this post

Update On Unmanipulated Equity Advance-Decline Data

I'm not going to say the unmanipulated advance-decline data I occasionally show is always going to divine the future, but it always has.   And in a world of Frankenstein finance, that is its objective.

This data point hit its peak post the 2009 crash lows in April/May of 2010 and has been deteriorating ever since.   We see it is currently in a very controlled uptrend over the last handful of weeks as the market has made a massive rally in that period of time.   The controlled nature of this move is highlighted within the very tight, rising, blue linear regression channels.  This compares to the much broader and volatile channels highlighting its downward collapse over the last year. 

A few days before commodities and equities started collapsing some months ago, we remarked that the S&P could rise to approximately 1250-ish but that the next major move would likely be down.  The market, especially commodities, then imploded.  The S&P fell a little more than ten percent in a handful of weeks.  It appears the market is trying to now crawl back to test that 1250 level that was subverted, possibly prematurely.  This morning we are almost at the 1250 level.  In the next week we shall see what happens next but this very tight upward channel in advance-decline data will eventually broaden out.  At the least, that means this contrived, low-volatility derivatives-driven (leveraged) rally will slow.    2011-10-21_1902

posted by TimingLogic at 10:38 AM links to this post

Friday, October 21, 2011

Larry Summers: Conscience is the Knowledge That Someone is Watching. How Do You Define Conscience And Morality?

Let’s end the week with something to think about.  That is, the essence of morality.  No one is perfect.  I am not talking about the infrequent poor choices that everyone may make in their lives.  I am talking about what exists within the core being of a person.  What only you know about yourself. 

This plays a very substantial role in today’s economic system and the virtues embraced by those in leadership positions.   These virtues or lack thereof, then trickle through to society.  They determine what behavior is acceptable in business, politics, religion and other man-made institutions that have leadership positions.    Often, especially in economics, these virtues determine the baseline for what is acceptable and even if someone doesn’t agree with particular values, in order to survive economically, one must embrace them.    This is part of the aberrant behavior and outcomes of trickle down economics. 

Let’s pick a relatively benign topic as an example; although I could pick many that are not benign at all.  If I run a business in a particular industry and the industry leader has now decided that it is no longer going to pay for health care, then it becomes almost a necessity for other competitors to follow by jettisoning their health care in order to remain economically-competitive or in many cases, to remain in business.   We could apply this to pensions, offshoring, collective bargaining or any number of dynamics.  Make no mistake.  These decisions are not business decisions.  They are moral decisions.  They represent the values embraced by those in positions of leadership. 

A link to this set of videos came into my email inbox.  The last video has Larry Summers quoting the title of this post.  That is,  conscience is the knowledge that someone is watching.  Although Summers does not ask the question as I do in the title link.  He simply makes a statement of belief.  A belief I find highly disturbing and completely erroneous.

Now this is often a generally accepted belief amongst many.  It is foundational, and might I add, very incorrectly so, to what religion has often become for many.  That is, if God is watching over your shoulder, you will be guilted or shamed into making the right decision.   And then as long as you made the right decision, regardless of whether it was made out of guilt or out of genuine compassion or love, the end result is considered virtuous regardless.  Meh.  One is based on control and the other is based on truth.   They aren’t even remotely the same. 

Summers applies this same logic to economics.  In other words, he believes we need to have more eyes on decisions so that people will make just and virtuous economic decisions.   While I agree with him, I do so not because of the reason he cites.  I do so because there can be no trust in leadership when they believe as Summers believes that conscience is the knowledge that other people are watching.   Is this the definition of morality we really want our leaders to embrace?  Because there are plenty of times when no one is looking.  But this is surely representative of where we are today.  We have people in positions of leadership who must constantly be monitored out of fear of what they may do otherwise.   There can never be any trust between society and leaders with this definition of morality.  Do I actually need to say how effed up this is?  

This is the typical disturbing belief system regarding morality of those seeking leadership in the United States today - politicians, Wall Street, senior executives in business and even many who seek authority in religious institutions.   America’s economic crisis is directly a result of the belief system on morality that is accepted by those in positions of leadership.  And, as a consequence, these people have taken leadership positions of service and have turned them into self-gratifying positions of authority.   

It’s often fawned upon when billionaires leave their fortune to the benefit of hospitals or nonprofits or whatnot.  But those decisions were made when someone was watching.   Those decisions were made for ego-driven reasons.   I find it dubious that anyone who truly cared about the world around them would need to acquire such massive sums of money and power in the first place.   In other words, I’m not sure how people live with themselves when their lives are defined by such excesses then somewhere around 25,000 people die each day due to starvation.    Well, I actually do know how they live with themselves, but you get the point.  These are not compassionate people.  These are people who are disconnected from the community of life.  They give their fortunes for their own self-gratification, to ensure they are place in history is rewritten favorably, to atone for the guilt for accumulating such enormous wealth or over concern of what others must think if they don’t.    In other words, for a multitude of dubious reasons they give their fortunes because someone is watching. 

A value system derived through decision-making when someone else is watching isn’t authentic.  It is driven by ego and essentially, on some level, a foundational immorality.  If you have to be consistently monitored by others to make the right decision, then your sense of self is incredibly unstable and you are completely disconnected for your core inner being and the world around you. 

People who are intuitively and genuinely tied in to the community of life make decisions about the world around them not because someone is watching but because of the authentic connection they share with all living things.   They make decisions because they have truly heart-felt empathy and compassion for their fellow man.  Because they have a great respect and love for the planet and all of life.  They are connected to their core being and recognize they are a part of community and they value and respect the relationship with the world around them.  

I think it says something about leadership in our society today when one of the economic leaders in the Clinton and Obama administrations remarks that conscience is the knowledge that someone is watching.  I always thought conscience was derived from the authentic compassion, love and respect we had for ourselves and for the world around us.   And part of that is the acknowledgement that we all make mistakes and then being granted forgiveness for suffering from the human condition. 

The crisis in leadership continues.

posted by TimingLogic at 11:27 AM links to this post

Thursday, October 20, 2011

World’s Most Famous Hedge Fund Manager Is Now Infamous With A Massive 47% Loss And A Few Timely Remarks About One Of His Largest Investments, Gold

One of our long term calls has always been that hedge funds are going bye bye.  The most famous hedge fund manager today, John Paulson, is doing a fine job of helping create that reality by losing an astonishing 47% this year. 

I remember meeting with a top PhD (Piled Higher & Deeper) quantitative model builder for a major hedge fund back before the world collapsed.   I asked him if he had ever considered a few scenarios I laid out.  He arrogantly laughed them off as ridiculous.  Then a matter of a few months later, everything I had mentioned then started coming true.   Understanding the human condition we all suffer from allows us to understand we are able to delude ourselves into believing  just about anything.  Especially when it comes to our own brilliance.  And no one is more self-deluded in today’s world than many who are in the field of investing be that banks or hedge funds or money managers. 

John Paulson was considered a genius a few years ago.  Now, his investment losses are an amazing 47% this year.  Paulson was neither a genius nor likely even qualified to do what he is doing.  He was simply riding the largest financial bubble of all time.  A monkey with a dartboard could become the richest man in America if he had a substantial capital base.   Frankly, I could have been that monkey if I had Paulson’s investors and was willing to make massive naked bets with other people’s money.   You know, those same bets that destroyed Wall Street.

The U.S. financial system has deluded itself into believing its own brilliance.  Instead, their success was nothing more than being in the largest financial bubble in history.  As the money tide recedes, we’ll find out almost all of them were never wearing any clothes.   The dynamics over the last fifteen years will never exist again.  Their perceived brilliance will never again be replicated.  Because it wasn’t brilliance.  It was being in the right place at the right time.  And because their belief system is so rigid and delusional, they are going to be exposed as naked.  

Paulson lost his butt on investments in banks, Chinese stocks, technology and gold.    What were four investments we said we hated since well before the 2008 collapse and the Chinese equity market collapse?  Banks, Chinese equities, technology and gold.   This isn’t rocket science.  And, people in finance are clearly not rocket scientists if it were.  

This is a good point for a remark about gold since John Paulson is one of the largest private investors in gold today.  We have made some very timely calls on gold.  I understand the market for what it is without the delusional ideology of being a gold bug.  We said gold was headed south before the 2008 collapse.  It did.  We said gold stocks represented the only value I saw in the equity market within a few days of their November 2008 lows. (That translated into a more than a 200% return since).   And we have made a few other remarks and calls that were very timely with the shiny metal.   But as I have said countless times, I do not like gold as an investment.  As a trade?  Well, do what you will if you want to speculate but I expect to be pulling out many prior remarks about gold in the future.  Fundamental global demand for gold is imploding (We said this would happen before it actually started happening.)  but demand for paper gold aka derivatives is not.   Not yet.  In other words, gold’s high price is being levitated by financial manipulation rather than fundamentals.  

We have made one statement in particular that I know irks gold true believers.  But the truth is the truth.  Gold investors were saved by the Federal Reserve back in 2008’s collapse.  Gold and gold stocks were imploding just like everything else.  Were the Federal Reserve not to have acted, gold would have been completely buried.   We have said on here that gold investors will not be bailed out by the Federal Reserve again. 

Anyone who is telling you gold is a hedge against inflation or deflation or anything else is feeding you nothing more than complete bullshit.  Gold is and always has been a tool of monied interests.  The status quo is the largest buyer of gold today.  If you think the status quo is going to win this economic battle, then maybe you should be in bed with your neofeudal masters but there are absolutely no historical examples of what is going on in the world today where gold can be cited as a safe haven.  Zero.  Additionally, gold has always been used by those who have it to deny economic and democratic rights from those who don’t.   If you think that is going to be the final outcome to this environment, then by all means, buy more gold. 

This environment is different than anything we have seen since our country’s founding.  As we have said numerous times, this is not the Great Depression.  It is substantially different.  So attempting to curve fit this to the Great Depression or other historical examples is the same curve-fitted nonsense that quantitative finance is built upon.  And that is crumbling.  If you think this environment is just about deflation, then maybe your gold investment provides you come peace of mind.  But this is not about deflation.  It’s about the collapse of global finance.  It’s about the collapse of an unsustainable global economic model.  

It’s no great irony that gold had its worst down days in thirty years over the past few months.  Gold prices are still in an uptrend.  For now.  But you might want to think about something as it pertains to gold.  Gold is experiencing massive financial speculation.   With all of the gold derivatives and ETFs, the turnover in gold financial products happens at such a high frequency that all of the physical gold held by investors around the world today is traded in a very short period of time.  The turnover of gold is enormous.  The same enormity of speculation that we see in the turnover of massively overvalued equities.  That, my friend, is not a safe haven.  That is a train wreck waiting to happen. 

Hedge funds are some of the largest buyers of gold today.  Their investment in gold is cross-tied to countless other overvalued and often worthless paper contracts and assets.  So, when any of these financial positions start to go bad, gold positions must often be unwound in order to cover other failing financial positions in the massive financial Ponzi scheme.   That means the only way to stop gold’s decline in situations like this is to buy all overvalued assets and paper contracts that are souring in order to keep them from unwinding.  That is what just happened over the last few months.  As buyers stepped in to stop the hemorrhaging in other financial assets, gold stabilized.  For now.  Is the Federal Reserve or the ECB going to be able to stop the hemorrhaging so your positions in gold don’t collapse for the same reason they collapsed in 2008?   Well the Federal Reserve again step in to bail gold investors out one more time?  Hahaha. 

Anyone who tells you gold is a safe haven in this environment is deluded by their own faulty belief system at best and dishonest at worst.    It’s just a matter of when………...   The status quo is going down for the count.

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 1:08 PM links to this post

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mastercard, Visa, JP Morgan, BofA, Wells Fargo Sued For Price Fixing.

So, what’s new?  Really?  When are we going to dump private for-profit banking and institute democratic or public banking? 

Link here and here.

posted by TimingLogic at 1:48 PM links to this post

Our For-Profit Government Is Doing Quite Nicely - Top Income In The U.S. Is None Other Than Washington, D.C.

We have highlighted this before but it’s always a nice reminder.  12 of the top 25 counties in the U.S. ranked by income are in the Washington, D.C. area.   In other words, the corruption of our for-profit government continues to pay handsomely.

posted by TimingLogic at 1:29 PM links to this post

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The “Invincible” Goldman Sachs Reports Larger Than Expected Loss

I have a pretty good track record on here with some very prescient calls for the finance industry over the years.   In other words, I don’t write about what I don’t understand.  For all of those people who think with their eyes, I hate to say I told you so.  Who else was writing so specifically that Goldman Sachs didn’t have a sustainable business model and that they could even fail at some point in their future?  And I wrote this when they were minting record profits and being highlighted on the cover of nearly every mainstream business periodical as invincibly brilliant.  Too many people outsource their thinking to others.  That most definitely includes the business press who sycophantically defers to the masters of the universe they are supposed to cover. 

With an economic model that does not encourage wealth creation but instead encourages wealth shifting, what happens when you have stolen all there is to steal?  

Goldman Sachs simply bribed (legally, of course) and manipulated (legally, of course) their way to rigging the economic rules to the game in their favor and now that game doesn’t work under the same manipulated rules.   So now Goldman has three choices.  1) Bribe and manipulate politicians to set new rigged rules they can manipulate for profit. 2) Go out of business.  or 3) Create a new and sustainable merit-based business model based on sustainable market demands.  I’ll be honest.  I don’t believe their management is smart enough or competent enough to successfully execute the third option.   I have never seen any such ability within the walls of Goldman Sachs.   And, frankly, with all eyes on Washington’s corruption, I don’t think they are going to get through any substantial legislation that benefits them for very long. 

Does Goldman Sachs really hire brilliant people as the mainstream press sycophantically reports?  Or do they hire people who got an "A” in a subject that was ultimately found out to be based on voodoo or junk science or ideology?  People who do well on standardized and rote tests.  In other words, people who have shown an ability to mimic or take direction that can be molded into learning a belief system that serves the corporate state?   Or do they hire prima donnas who have no problems effing over anyone they can if it means they will fill their own bank accounts to do it?  That seems to be what I saw in Senator Levin’s hearings.  

The ego is the only source of evil in this world.  The pursuit of money for money’s sake is driven by the ego’s desire for control.  The desire for control is driven by negative or destructive energy.  Negative energy could very well be termed evil.  It directly conflicts with the search for truth and connectedness.  An outcome of industriousness may be the accumulation of wealth based on virtue or merit but wealth is not the primary intent.  The primary intent of industriousness is the search for truth.  That truth could take many forms.  I want to feed my family.  I want to create a widget that serves society.  I want to create a product that benefits the planet.  I want to …. whatever.  But one cannot serve two masters - control and truth.    Goldman Sachs serves control.  Control is failing everywhere we look.  Why would they be any different?  With this earnings announcement, those who think with their eyes are finding out that they aren’t.  

Goldman Sachs isn’t a capitalist organization.  They are what Matt Taibbi said they were;  they are a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.   Of course, their psychopathic or delusional CEO cited this as doing God’s work.   That’s not so far from truth depending on what god Goldman Sachs worships.  Goldman Sachs worships the god of money.

Who knows.  Maybe Goldman will surprise us and transform their business.  Maybe they can make lawn mowers or something.   If they actually made something of tangible value, I could then boycott their business if I wanted to make a statement of dissent against what I believe are clearly not virtuous business practices to put it mildly.  But until they actually make something of value, I guess we just demonstrate against them in whatever peaceful way we see fit.    

In closing, JP Morgan also just recorded their business results.  Its private equity business lost money as well.  That’s another business we said was going kaput back before the bubble popped.  This when CNBC was fawning all over those masters of the universe as well.   Mitt Romney accumulated his wealth in private equity when that wealth-shifting scheme paid dividends.   You could pretty much throw a turd against the wall and where ever it hit, that was where there was money to be made in private equity.  Were Mitt “I’ll do anything to be president” Romney to just be starting in the business today, he would most certainly never earn the massive sums of money he earned.  So, is his wealth a sign of economic brilliance or simply that he was in the right place at the right time in a morally-bankrupt business?  So, why the hell would anyone listen to what he has to say about the economy?  He helped dismantle it.   Listening to Romney simply assures more trickle-down neoliberalism.   Romney’s 59 point economic plan reads like a road map for more Wall Street stupidity

If we get money and authority out of politics, and we allow those who wish to serve community and society to participate in a process void of monied interests on a level playing field, we will have a completely different experience with our elected officials.  That is, a system that seeks truth rather than authority and control.  

The world is not as it seems.

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 10:10 AM links to this post

Monday, October 17, 2011

The European Union’s Attempt To Exert Greater Centralized Control Will Fail

What happens in any natural ecosystem where any particular organism gains too much control?  Genetically-modified foods?  Nature responds with its own unintended responses in order to subvert that control.  The examples of a system’s stasis being altered and then experiencing an unintended outcome are endless.  Nature is self-correcting or put another way, for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction. 

What happens when the EU bureaucrats seek greater control and authority in order to save their man-made invention of the ego?

The reality is we can better explain what is going on around the world today by understanding biology more than by understanding economics.   And, really, the human experience is nothing more than a particular process of the biological world around us.  We, and by conclusion, our institutions of government and economics, are subjected to the same natural laws as those that define all life on earth.    A successful economic model would embrace constant change and reinvention that is part of the cycle of life within nature itself.  Not the authority of monopoly or the fascist state which seeks nothing more than control.

The human experience is really craving nothing more than a return to the biodiversity and natural cycle of chaos that a vibrant economic model would create.   The world is simply telling us that centralized control by an organism, authority,  is being met with the kinetics of natural law.   Natural forces will eventually return us to an environment of stasis or sustainability…..  and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.  

Change is inevitable.  Embracing change rather than fighting it is what leadership would do.  Authority, on the other hand, seeks control.  To resist change at all costs.  But control is nothing more than an illusion that only exists in the mind.   That illusion is only sustainable as long as society believes the illusion and accepts its mythical control. 

The EU’s attempt to exert greater control in order to save illegitimate authority will eventually be met with the same biological response nature would induce were a population of deer to become so large that they overran the natural resources that are able to sustain it.  The deer would become the illegitimate authority and nature would respond accordingly.  The deer population would need to disband or eventually die off until a sustainable ecosystem were met or something of the sort.    That is, the EU in its current form must change or fail as nature seeks a new and sustainable normal.   A normal that returns biodiversity to the economic and political environment within the area of Europe.  The same dynamic applies to authority all across the world.  Any authority over the biodiversity of life always fails.  Always.  Be it a natural or a man-made phenomenon. 

posted by TimingLogic at 1:06 PM links to this post

A Troubling PBS Update From China

Most people still don't generally understand what is going on in China.  There are some over the last few years who have started to gain an appreciation for the  massive real estate bubble in China.  To believe that is the extent of China's crisis is to think with your eyes.  We have said on here that reality is much more ominous - a capital bubble.   In other words, the mother of all bubbles.  I wrote before anyone in the financial community showed any concern about China that their  GDP could fall as much as 50%. Nothing has changed in what we wrote years ago.  In a land of massive corruption….. that makes the U.S. appear saintly, Communist China is nothing more than a mirage.  And that means massive volatility is headed to a China near you.  We are simply waiting on reality to show its face. 

 

 

posted by TimingLogic at 12:06 PM links to this post

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Cycle Of Volatility, The World Is Not As It Seems And Other Timely Rants - Japan Quake May Have Struck Atmosphere First. Huh? :)

For newer readers, one of our primary theses in here is that we are living through a cycle of volatility.  And that the volatility we are experiencing in the natural world is no different than the economic and political volatility we now see unfolding around the globe.  This thesis really started to show signs of validity in the 2008 collapse and the subsequent economic and political environments since.  I have put up countless posts on this topic over the years.  Some quite bizarre.   Most at the time were probably wondering what any of these posts had to do with economics or markets.   Some people probably still wonder.   :)

Quite a few years ago I put up a post were I said I was intrigued by the potential for the source of volatility to be extraterrestrial in origin.  Some time later I posted a link to a scientist who theorized, quite elegantly might I add, that earthquakes were caused by extraterrestrial forces beyond our solar system.  Well, this recent announcement that Japan’s earthquake may have struck the atmosphere first does not confirm this theory but it is likely the start of the crumbling of existing scientific ideology.  A crumbling that may ultimately lead to the realization of earthquakes being caused by forces well beyond the earth.  Maybe more importantly, beyond the human ego’s endless desire to control the world around us.

The consistent use of manipulation that those seeking power use to divide people appeals directly to the ego or manufactured self-image.    If one is able to release the ego and “just be” in the moment and remove our conditioned ego-driven belief system and its associated response, one can experience a different reality.  That is, the search for truth.    One realizes in this moment that the self only exists in the human mind.  Or put another way, if I am to be at peace and achieve true contentment, I must embrace the community of life as a part of me.  While the human experience tries to separate itself from the world around it, the reality is completely the opposite.  The reality is we are all connected in ways that are clearly not understood.  And we are all interconnected with the universe in ways that are not at all understood.   Once we come to this realization, we understand that the forces that impact our planet also affect our mind and consequently our behavior.  So, is the volatility created by the human ego’s desire for control and the institutions of control it creates truly separate from the volatility we see in weather patterns, as an example?  Or are the same forces simply producing different measurable outcomes? 

This is a good point of interjecting something I wrote on here long ago.  The fact that modern institutions of learning, or institutions of the ego, generally reject any such connected experience to the world around us shows how little truth there is in this world.   That separateness leads to institutions of learning often silo-ing science and education.   So, we have people studying earthquakes, evolution or economics, to use three failed examples, who have little to no understanding of basic sciences, theories or knowledge espoused beyond those protecting these silos of ideology.   This leads to endless examples of junk science and nonsensical conclusions that would hold no merit were knowledge not controlled by artificial, ego-driven, man-made hierarchies but instead were distributed freely amongst anyone with knowledge which added to the state of science, be they college-educated or not.   In other words, be they part of the silo-ed ideology or not; quite simply the democratization of knowledge.  This is surely blasphemy to the keepers of the scientific faith or ideology who make a living protecting such failed edifices across a wide spectrum of education. And they do so for ego-driven purposes of control rather than any desire to seek scientific truth.   This very reason is one major contributor to why most knowledge is nothing more than brainwashed belief systems of the ego.   And why people outside of existing ideology are almost always the sources of new ways of thinking and new ideas that propel society, art, literature, culture and science forward.   In other words, those outside of the illegitimate forces of hierarchy and established ideology are most often the sources of human advancement.     

Examples of this ego-driven search for control exist everywhere in the world around us.  Alan Greenspan,  Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson and Timothy Geithner have all remarked that no one could have seen this environment coming.  There were many people who saw this coming.  They just weren’t steeped in silo-ed ideology pawned off as an education by the keepers of the faith that guard such useless drivel as esteemed knowledge.  Knowledge only the very few paying participants (students) or professional members of the ideology club are able to access.   Another example is in one of our posts we showed that scientists have measured warming of the planets and some of the moons in our solar system; thus blowing a massive hole in the man-made global warming ideologists and the hierarchy of useless drivel they espouse for their ego-driven interests.  Now, we have an out of the mainstream view espoused by a scientist in Japan telling us that the atmosphere was showing substantial disturbances before the massive earthquake to hit Japan.  A phenomenon I would guess is exactly what was occurring during the Chaiten volcanic activity we highlighted some years ago.   I don’t think too much of this Japanese scientists discoveries fit into existing ideology taught at universities or accepted by most in that field of study either.   I could go on and on with endless examples in medicine, evolution and other religious institutions of control that are mockingly portrayed as science.   As I have said repeatedly, most everything you will ever learn in your life isn’t truth at all.  What is it then?  It’s all a dream.  An ego-driven delusion based on nothing more than false and unsubstantiated beliefs.    

What does it prove that you got an "A” in a subject that is ultimately found out to be based on voodoo or junk science or ideology or even complete and utter bullshit?  And that you then spent your entire career fostering and furthering efforts to accept that belief system that may or may not be exposed as false within your life time?   Well, I’ll tell you what it means using one of my favorite terms of endearment.  You might just be a learned idiot.  The reality is that your belief system or views of science or any particular topic don’t exist anywhere outside of your mind.    This type of rigid thinking is pervasive in our companies, our universities, our religious institutions and our government; essentially any place there is a bureaucracy or hierarchy of knowledge and authority there is a potential subversion of the search for truth by rigid thinking and self-interested ideologists whose primary intent is the search for authority and control.    The democratic ideal that no man should hold dominion over another man most assuredly applies to the search for truth well beyond democracy itself to include the institutions of ego created by man.  Are you truly free if your mind is filled with useless clutter placed there by others who seek to gain authority and control rather than the noble search for truth that science, art, literature and human achievement should be based upon?  

Should we be teaching anything as truth or simply a belief that no human being has been able to disprove at any given moment in time?  And, should the search for truth be less about rote learning of what has already been discounted and more about what truth may exist within the uncluttered human mind.  Your mind.   And what beautiful impact the expression of that truth may have on your experience and on humanity. 

Now, there is one difference between the recent discovery in Japan and the recent discovery that there may be particles that travel faster than the speed of light and the voodoo that we call economics.  Economics affects the lives of every person on this planet.  It has determined how our livelihood and the human experience are controlled by those espousing the beliefs behind this failed ideology.  If economists and those living in ivory towers of learning, who are hidden from the real world implications of their bloviating bullshit, had to live in the world their beliefs create, they couldn’t survive.  If economists couldn’t hide behind their ivory towers of academia while living off of other people’s money, and actually had to find jobs in the real world by espousing their useless bullshit, the profession would simply disappear.  The free market they advocate as they hide behind their ivory towers of anti-free marketism, would have no demand for their services.  It’s mumbo jumbo as a profession: 

What do you do for a living?  I spew mumbo jumbo.  Oh, we have an opening for that skill in our department of endless bullshit right down the hall.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way down there. 

Now if society deems it necessary to invest in the study of useless bullshit, well then that’s okay.  But, keep it out of my life.   It should be for your own self-expression and others who wish to share that expression.  Let’s stick to what we actually understand  when it comes to jobs, health care, social safety nets and other human needs to provide our citizens with a safe and stable world to live in.   That is, we as a nation and a member of the community of life, often need to rely on others in time of need.  And our society should acknowledge this in how we make the human experience a more fulfilling one.   Then we can work backward from this noble truth to design a world and society that includes everyone.  A world where we are all worthy.   Because we indeed are all worthy.       

How often have we said on here the world is not as it seems?  And that most science is not truth at all but instead the extent of human knowledge at any given point in time?   How true that really is as we see institution of the ego or the human mind fail left and right over the past handful of years – science, economics, political structures, corporations, finance, countries, education, nuclear power plants, manipulated religion, man-made global warming, etc.  The list is long and illustrious.   And, mind you, these failures are an incredible “achievement” necessary for the advancement and evolution of the human race and for our collective consciousness.    

This seems a good place to make a timely closing remark.  I try to provide a different experience on here.    We have attacked almost every belief system anyone could possibly have.  Ideologues will never find a place to worship on here.   And that is what many blogs have become.  They are places of worship for people who have adopted a like-minded ideology.   I could cite every major financial or investment blogger out there as a source of a particular religion.   (By the way, atheism is a religion too.)  By inserting an external human authority into what the spiritual experience should be – an experience where truth is found from within – religion and man-made hierarchies both foundationally become a source of external control by the human ego.  As I have said numerous times on here, the only source of incontrovertible truth comes from within.  The only thing in your life that you will know with complete certainty is what exists within you.  Every advancement in the history of man came from within.  It never came from the beliefs of others.  All you have to do is surrender to the moment and look.  You will find it. 

This blog is nothing more than the often raw, unedited view into what I have found within me.  That’s it.  I’m not trying to get you to buy my DVDs.  I’m not trying to convince you to hand over your investment money to me.   Or any of the countless other sources of conflicts of interest that lead to the subversion of truth.   The same subversion of truth that drives the ego to protect hierarchies of failed ideology like economics, private for-profit banking and a beholden political system driven by the ego’s desire for control.  

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 2:56 PM links to this post

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Evidence Adds Doubt to FBI’s Case Against Anthrax Suspect

posted by TimingLogic at 9:41 PM links to this post

Volatility Butchers Quantitative Hedge Funds

One of our long time theses is that quantitative finance as it is now accepted is a myth.  An invention of the ego that is destined to fail.  And along with it, Wall Street’s quantitative trading and the hedge fund industry is going bye-bye. 

The Goldman Sachs quant fund that is cited at the bottom of this article was once $12 billion dollars in size.  That is, before it imploded under its own incompetence and finally closed with $1.6 billion in assets.   Well, we said this was going to happen and it has.  

So, I’m sort of curious.  What does it say about someone’s intelligence that they receive high academic grades in a field of study that is eventually found out to be based on myths and lies perpetuated by ego of the self-deluded mind? (Quantitative finance MBA programs and courses of study)  What does it say about the professors who are teaching it?  And the financial community who then spends billions of dollars building massive institutions of the ego to embrace it?  And all of the financial advisors who pushed it like crack cocaine?  And all of the economists who shilled for it?  And all of the support industries that grew up around it?  And all of the journalists who wrote of their brilliance?  And all of the politicians who rewrote and dismantled the laws to allow it?   

All of our long term calls continue to work out quite nicely, albeit, more slowly than I anticipated.  More slowly because the status quo continues to spend other people’s money in its own self-interest rather than spend that money to build a new, sustainable and emotionally-enriching reality for all of us.  

posted by TimingLogic at 2:14 PM links to this post

The Video Congress And The Plutocracy Doesn’t Want You To See

In the private sector, corporations typically demand very substantial authority over their employee’s life.   That often involves over their personal lives as well.  And if there is any hint of impropriety or even difficulties in someone’s personal life, the person in question is typically terminated.   We even see silly instances of people being fired for posting personal opinions on their own time of what the corporate authority deems as unacceptable perspectives on sites such as Facebook.   Sometimes the actions may be appropriate.  Sometimes not.  But there is no mediation process able to consider issues with any impartiality other than our often corrupted and wildly expensive court system.  You may believe corporations can do what they wish but I beg to differ.  Corporations exist through the access to society’s resources and society’s capital.   They only exist because society allows them to exist and funds their existence.  And , therefore, they exist to serve society.  I personally believe the corporate state and capitalism has gained well too much authority over democracy in countless areas of our lives.  This is due primarily to deregulation and capitalism run amok.  By the way, for all of you deregulators, as we said on here before, the greatest Republican president of the 20th century and one of our greatest leaders, Teddy Roosevelt,  remarked that unregulated capitalism resulted in tyranny and corruption.  (More specifics about Roosevelt’s views on capitalism are found at the Roosevelt Center and various other journalism sources.

Politicians are held to a very different standard.  A friend sent me this article about Nancy Pelosi’s husband and the appearance of impropriety.  And a loophole that exists within the House that allows that certain impropriety

Additionally, there is the issue that is now rising regarding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  And how he failed to report gifts and the fact that his wife is a lobbyist who has accepted nearly a million dollars from an organization whose goal it is to overturn Obama’s health care plan.   Thomas should clearly recuse himself from the Supreme Court on any cases involving  unreported dealings of both he and his wife.   That includes the health care debate.  Links to these stories are here and here.   We most assuredly need to reform the court system and that means life time appointments should be reconsidered.    We need a much more equitable method of selecting judges that reflects democracy rather than serving the monied plutocracy. 

These are but two of countless examples.  The reality is politicians, and mind you the Supreme Court justices are clearly politicians elected by political ideologues, as part of the plutocracy, hold themselves to a different standard than us mere citizens are held to.   They view themselves as above the laws and norms that the rest of us have to adhere to.  Or as we have cited at least a half a dozen times:

"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve. But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime." -- Frederic Bastiat

This is a nice point to put up a video that politicians clearly don’t want anyone to see.  A video that will leave you very disturbed.  Well, maybe I should say even more disturbed than you already are.  

And, while I am at it, I’ll pass along a few reforms that seek to restore virtue to Congress.  Mind you, it should also apply to the Supreme Court and the Executive Branch.  These comments were posted by the nearly 90 year old LuRain Penny, a favorite blogger of a friend of mine.

posted by TimingLogic at 12:30 PM links to this post

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Mayor Bloomberg Stands Behind The Fascist Manifesto – Democracy Kills Jobs -- As He Shills For Wall Street

Excuse the French, but Mayor Bloomberg needs to take his asshat off.  One more time…..  Private for-profit banking may serve capitalism but there is absolutely not a single element of it that serves democracy.  Remember, the Nazis and the Chinese communists love capitalism.  We don’t live in a capitalism.  We live in a democracy.  Our economic model should serve democracy.   If capitalism can serve democracy, I’m all for it.  If not, then get rid of it.   (With the right changes, capitalism can serve democracy.)

I would love to hear any rationalizations anyone can come up with as to how private for-profit banking supports democracy because I’ve heard them all.  And none of them are defensible.  Additionally, finance is a tax on society.  It does not create wealth.  It consumes it.  Another reason why banking should be a public or democratically-controlled institution.  Everything Wall Street does is a tax on society.   Let me put this another way as I said on here before.   The government could just as soon pay people in finance to sit at home and do nothing rather than companies pay them to work.   Wall Street’s salaries, all of its expenses and profits are simply transfer payments just like unemployment insurance and food stamps.  In other words, Wall Street is the largest consumer of society’s wealth.  Period.   It is the largest welfare recipient in our country’s history.   It doesn’t compete in any free market it advocates.  It is a cabal living on welfare payments paid for by the grandmothers it endlessly rips off.

Our society would be better off firing everyone at Goldman Sachs and paying them all $50,000 a year in unemployment insurance.   (We are already essentially paying them welfare payments to destroy our economy as it is.)  Which, by the way, given everything they do is a tax, that’s $50,000 more than they are worth.  By the way, that would be a huge savings for society given the average salary at Goldman is about $450,000 a year.   If we factor in all of Goldman’s earnings and expenses, it would be an enormous savings to society.  Ditto for all Wall Street firms.     

Bloomberg is attempting to use control to subvert democracy in action.   That should be no surprise since we already have some idea how big his ego is.  Attempting to use ad hominem and unreasoned attacks against reasoned dissent and democracy is the game of the bureaucrat.   Of the mind that truly despises democracy.   But then Bloomberg has made a multi-billion dollar business supporting Wall Street’s endless Ponzi schemes.  And then he used his wealth, taken from society in the form of a tax, to feed his ego by becoming mayor of New York City.   Now he uses his authority to shill for Wall Street criminals.  Bloomberg is the consummate status quo elite.  So as far as I’m concerned, his remarks are talking to the hand.  As Joseph Schumpeter told us, Bloomberg is one of the status quo buffoons we need to push aside to fix our democracy and our economy.   In other words, people who think like him created this mess and we need new thinking to get out of it.

Maybe now we know why 700 peaceful demonstrators were arrested in New York City.   Fascism hates democracy and reasoned dissent. 

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 12:12 PM links to this post

Friday, October 07, 2011

Wall Street Witnesses Its Most Costly Leak Ever

posted by TimingLogic at 3:34 PM links to this post

Top 10 Occupy Wall Street Protest Signs

The Occupy Wall Street movement has swelled to over 20,000 people.  And the status quo is attempting to marginalize these valid concerns by American citizens of all walks of life by making them appear ignorant.  Some protestors have been interviewed by the mainstream media and made to look as buffoons.  Buffoons they are not.    Every day people don’t often have the time or information denied by a corrupt media and political system to understand all of the specificity of the con games Wall Street has pulled or the level of fraud of this criminal cabal or whatnot but these people all know something is very, very wrong with this country and its financial system.  It is glaringly obvious.   The Occupy Wall Street movement is reasoned.  It is dissent against illegitimacy.  It is nonviolent.  It seeks a compassionate world.  It wishes to end corruption.  It seeks a rule of law.  It is virtuous. 

Title link here.

posted by TimingLogic at 3:25 PM links to this post

Thursday, October 06, 2011

More Wall Street Crimes Against Humanity - Banksters Sued For Cheating War Veterans

posted by TimingLogic at 11:11 AM links to this post

Commodities Bust Update: Are Agricultural Commodities On The Verge Of Collapse?

"Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to see the stock market a good deal higher within a few months."
-- Irving Fisher, Ph.D. in economics, Oct. 17, 1929

We have long written that Wall Street is responsible for substantial misery around the world through its Enron-type manipulation of commodities.  Agricultural commodities most definitely are a part of that dynamic. 

Jeremy Grantham came out with some stream of conscience unintelligible blather a few months ago about a new paradigm of permanently high commodity prices.  I used to think Grantham had his head on straight but just as with Warren Buffett and Irving Fisher, his mind has become a prison for linear thinking and his own self-delusions by being an enabler to the status quo’s illegitimacy. 

Grantham’s comments about permanently high commodity prices were just in time to top-tick commodity markets before they started collapsing.   This is eerily similar to many documented remarks, including Fisher’s cited above,  in 1929 about society achieving some great new level of enlightenment and achievement by financial and economic bozos.  

Notice in the chart below that in the summer of 2010 both corn and wheat rocketed higher; price nearly doubled in about a month.   And look at how the charts are completely correlated in their pricing actions.   They are also very tightly correlated with oil, equities and countless other tradable assets.  As we have said numerous times over the years, portfolio diversification is a scam dreamed up by another financial bozo.   All tradable assets are nearly perfectly correlated.  That includes gold.   That should be no surprise to anyone.  Frankenstein finance and Wall Street computer buy programs eschew any fundamental analysis and simply launch into massive speculative buying binges across  baskets of assets.  In other words, the thinking investor has been thrown under the bus in favor of fuzzy math driven by financial bozos.   Were Benjamin Graham alive today, he would clearly be telling us the end of the investment world is nigh.  At least the world espoused by Wall Street.  Today we live in a  ‘Jim Cramer’ world where idiot savants tell us to buy, buy buy!    And that means when the system fails, all correlated tradable ‘inflation-motivated’ assets are fraught with risk.   That is no new revelation on here.

On that note, let me place a reminder in here.  We have said numerous times there is substantial evidence this is a derivatives-driven rally in assets since the summer of 2010.   (That includes gold for all of the religious ideologues who worship at the alter of this false idol.  Fundamental gold demand has been and continues to crater very substantially around the world.)  I see that again this morning in the movement of assets.  Not only in their correlated movement but how they are actually moving.  In other words, this morning’s pop upward is again derivatives-driven. 

The 1929 asset bubble was also a derivatives-driven bubble.  ie, Margin or the leveraged derivation of money was used to run assets to the moon in 1929 even though the underlying economy was already failing.  Today, that same margin is being used except we call it a derivative.  And instead of 10x margin as used in 1929, we often see magnitudes more margin leverage used today in some derivative contracts.  That means just like 1929 the vast majority of the money used to ram assets to the moon wasn’t even real.   But what is even worse is the products and Frankenstein finance strategies used to ram asset prices have no intrinsic value.  Derivatives are just pieces of paper.  They have no tangible value or asset backing them.   This rally and this financial environment was and is nothing more than an illusion.   And because the money and meaningless products used to create this massive illusion aren’t actually real and are built on incredible leverage, at some point there won’t be enough money in the real world to meet the obligations of all of these levered bets.  Bad bets or useless algorithms aren’t exposed as long as there is ample liquidity and an ever expanding supply of money to paper over the systemic incompetence of these strategies and products but as the pool of liquidity recedes, reality is very different.   When reality sets in we realize most bets are bad bets, Wall Street is leveraged hundreds of times their capital ratios with these bad bets, no counterparty except taxpayers can pay off these bets in the event of a too-big-to-fail bad bet,  Wall Street monopolies have traded counterparties out of the betting game and are holding the bag on their bad-betting strategies and the entire system is incredibly unstable.  We should have banned all banks from trading in derivatives after the 2008 collapse.   Coulda, shoulda, woulda. 

Today’s illusion of financial brilliance is many times larger than 1929.   And as we have said countless times in the last six years, as a result the average stock today is 3x more expensive than in 1929.  The dynamic is even worse for commodities.  Maybe Jeremy Grantham should have thought through his comments before posting his senseless drivel for the world to see.  Instead he will now be known for one of the most ridiculous calls in financial history.  One that will be quoted one hundred years from now just as the foolish calls of the linear mind of 1929 are quoted today.

So, in closing, let me share a heartwarming story.   I have a friend who is a grain farmer.  When he went to sell his harvest last year, he was approached by a firm who was using a derivatives hedging strategy meant to ride the commodities wave higher.  So, rather than sell his harvest, this firm asked him to join their pool with other farmers and hold their grain off the market while waiting for higher prices.  Or, should I say this dynamic actually forces prices higher by creating an artificial imbalance in supply & demand dynamics.  And this firm would use a derivatives-based scheme to give him essentially unlimited upside with little downside risk.   Of course, the downside risk is limited as long as counterparties honor their derivatives contracts.  Now, what if this artificial supply constraint was repeated countless times across the country in concert with other trading firms, countless farmers and Wall Street artificially limiting the supply of food available?  What would be the outcome?  Just something to think about.  (By the way, I told my friend to sell his grain  in the first half of 2011 and again on Labor Day weekend.)  

Did you really think Wall Street’s balance sheets were cleaned up?  Their massive leverage we wrote about before the 2008 collapse has only been reigned in on overvalued hard assets.   That is, if you appreciate their nonsensical values assigned to those assets.  Overvalued hard assets that continue to fall in value and thus create ever-deteriorating balance sheets.  That doesn’t even begin to address the exposure to massive leverage in worthless gambling schemes that have absolutely no intrinsic value.  Dodd-Frank reform?  Hahahaha.  You have got to be kidding me.   Bought and paid for government.  Now, that’s more like it. 

sc

posted by TimingLogic at 11:06 AM links to this post

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The HP Way Is Now A Culture Of Leadership Failure. Sacked CEO Again Walks Away With Millions

HP used to be such a unique company that their culture and defining values for success were coined the HP Way.  And like most unique corporate cultures that used to exist in this country, a formal creed or constitution espoused those shared values.    The HP Way was "...an egalitarian, decentralized system that came to be known as 'the HP Way.' The essence of the idea, radical at the time, was that employees' brainpower was the company's most important resource.  "...one of the first all-company profit-sharing plans... gave shares to all employees... among the first to offer tuition assistance, flex time, and job sharing... Today, the behavior of the two founders remains a benchmark for business..."  

Now the HP Way is one of endless leadership failure and systemic incompetence. 

Sounds more than a little bit like the HP Way has much in common with our Labor Day post three of the last four years.   That is no great irony.  The search for truth will always lead to timeless ideals of reason, virtue, respect, acceptance and empowerment.   The HP way was no different than the Ford Way that was then adopted as the Toyota Way and was even adopted by parts of our society for a time as the American Way.  But the search for truth is always and eventually subverted by those seeking control.  Seeking to subvert the search for truth.   Seeking to destroy reason, virtue, respect and acceptance. 

Working with senior executives across countless companies, I have seen more than my fair share of failed management strategies.   Large organizations always and eventually learn to manage through authority and not merit.   I think I have some idea how to run a high-powered management organization.  And, that knowledge was the basis of that Labor Day post.    Now The HP Way is now a culture of centralized control.  Of hierarchy.  Of, ultimately,  failure.   It’s no coincidence this is also the same management style of politicians in this country.  Most everything we learn in our lives is not truth at all.  It’s either outright mistruths or often ideology reinforced by societal norms.   We learn through social conditioning.  What our parents do, what our teachers do, what our leaders do, what Bugs Bunny does….. 

Remember, one of our long term theses is that this environment could very well be classified the end of big.  HP is a prime example of this.  HP is failing for that very reason.   Centralized, authoritarian, bureaucratic incompetence.  

The combined payout of HP’s last three failed CEOs is almost enough money to bail out Wall Street for the systemic incompetence.   What happened to the countless people who lost their jobs because the systemically-incompetence board keeps hiring systemically-incompetent CEOs?   Were they rewarded with millions?  Just like the victims of economic fraud in this country, the answer is clearly no.  The kleptocracy rewards itself regardless of merit.   The kleptocracy is and always has been a culture of entitlement.   HP now exemplifies this culture.

posted by TimingLogic at 11:18 AM links to this post

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

How Did Trickle-Down (Social Darwinism) Get Acceptable?

Because either you bought the elite’s propaganda or were without a voice to defend against it in a country bought and paid for by monied greed and corruption.  

Interestingly, David Stockman is cited in this article as never believing Ronald Reagan’s ideological drivel and publicly admonishing it.    Stockman has recently come out and stated that the Republican Party alone destroyed the United States economy.  While I agree that their corruption put the policies in place, both parties share a substantial complicity.   Reagan made Social Darwinism an acceptable belief system.  Bill Clinton and Algore turned it into an art form.   They also are the true godfathers of a for-profit government.    

Don’t miss the link in this story to a 1981 David Stockman story by William Greider.  As we have said before, Greider is one of the most brilliant journalists in the twentieth century.  He is one of of but a handful of public figures who foretold all of what we are witnessing today.   And he foretold of it well before its symptoms, a massive debt bubble, massive government corruption, the war state, deregulation, economic anarchy and many other symptoms were visible.  In other words, Greider never believed the lies of the mind that our senses delude us with.  

posted by TimingLogic at 12:51 PM links to this post

Monday, October 03, 2011

Neofeudal Trickle Down Economics Defined - Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales

"I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it. " -- John Dalberg-Acton

This Koch brothers revelation is a prime example of what we cited just a few posts ago in The Economic Realities Created By Pigmen….   We have incarcerated countless people for crimes that are often petty and economically-motivated while elites rob our society blind; often under the guise of the rule of law and escape any punishment. 

There is some substantial position to be made that taxing the extremely  wealthy at a very high rate serves a purpose of maintaining society and democracy.   That it helps achieve the desired effect of community and shared freedom that are both written into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. 

At the time of our country’s founding, economics was local.  No ability to distort the rule of law or the economy on a national level existed because we had yet to see the aberrant market conditions created by enormous economic entities and the aberrant wealth they created.   To live in a democracy does not guarantee anyone the right to dominate and eventually subvert economic opportunity for countless American citizens.  It guarantees one the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness under a rule of law. 

Now, we can easily institute and enforce rules that keep a very small number of people from walking off with society’s money while the rest of us are left to fight over the scraps (trickle down economics) but if we aren’t going to stringently enforce those economic rules, or even if we are, there are a few reasons why might wish to consider returning to a very high tax structure for the uber wealthy:

  1. Most uber wealthy made their money off the backs of the working poor or by using unsavory means of defeating competition and working markets.
  2. The human condition is very unstable and substantial wealth has an ability to corrupt the soul in all but the most centered minds.   A very wealthy and corrupted soul creates substantial issues for our society.
  3. It keeps those who have achieved substantial economic success, often through dubious means, from setting too much of the social and democratic agenda in the press.
  4. It keeps aberrant power from using that massive wealth from buying our government, destroying our economy and defrauding our democracy.
  5. There was an implied social contract when we went from an agrarian economy to one where people gave up their economic freedoms to work on behalf of capitalism that there would be a sharing of the  economic gains.  In other words, there was an awareness of an economic codependency that was necessary to move beyond an economically self-determined agrarian society to one of shared success.
  6. It is a form of mandatory compliance to those whose egos have forsaken the implied social contract between capitalism and democracy cited above.
  7. It contributes to aberrant conditions in our economy that defeats economic competition and competition for American labor and therefore stunts employment opportunity and wages. 
  8. The concept that rich people create jobs is preposterous.  Trickle down or neofeudal economics is why we are in this situation.  Rich people do not create jobs.   Rich people, if left to their own vices, create serfdom.  A free society where those with valid economic ideas, creativity or a strong work ethic willing to take measured risk are given access to the capital necessary to succeed is what has always driven job creation.  Trickle down economics subverts that dynamic; it contrarily relies on a very small handful of control-driven egos (who lack creativity and flexible, adaptable minds) for our economic and social success.

For anyone who has even a modicum of understanding of the human condition, it’s no coincidence our economy has historically done much better in periods of very high taxation for the most wealthy of our citizens.  Taxing the wealthy is amusingly called wealth transfer by those being taxed.  I guess they forgot to tell you how they got their wealth in the first place.  John Dalberg-Action reminds us in the quote above. 

It’s nonsensical to hear the elites cry that the poor are waging class warfare against them.  Yeah, it’s always the poor who enjoy a good beat down of the elites throughout history.  (Although karma has often become a bitch for elites with their jackboot on the neck of impoverished people.) We are simply witnessing the age-old struggle of a relatively small number of elites with the most uncentered control-driven minds attempting to subvert the rule of law, democracy and economic freedoms for everyone in society.  The United States economy and society is the ultimate expression of neofeudalism.   But, that is the very basis of Reaganomics. 

The rules to the economic game required this is where we would end up.   We don’t need any more talking by shills for the status quo or Barack Obama or Rick Perry or any other politician.  We need a new economic model and we need leadership to institute it.

Title link here. 

posted by TimingLogic at 10:34 AM links to this post