40 Up, 16,000 in Sight and other Holiday Cheer

The trading indicator, which Peoplenomics subscribers see twice weekly, has really ticked me off this year.  I am *(as you probably figured) a dyed-in-the-wool bear who loves to make money on the short side of markets and who does extremely poorly when ‘gut trading” in a rising market.  The Indicator, however, with a single weekly exception, has been resolutely bullish since last December and continues its long position, even now.

Historically, Fall has been a great time for markets to pull major dives and yet, at least so far, we haven’t exactly gone off the high board.  While there’s a chance of a decline come Wednesday, we can’t help but wonder if some of the “enduring optimism” (financial snort) hasn’t been due in part to the busting up on regular economic reports thanks to the government shutdown when 83% of government couldn’t even get the regular statistics turned out…

I mention this because the Cost of Living report which has been previously issued around the 14th of the month won’t be out until Wednesday.. 

In the meantime, when it comes out, the market is likely to be further cheered by what will be (predictably) lower than expected inflation, despite the wholesale printing of money.  There is, you see, a well-orchestrated international G20 print festival going on, and as long as the illusion persists, we may expect the following to continue as a consequence:

  • Gold will not drop through the floor ($1,200) until the ravages of deflation become clear and the printing speed globally may prevent that.
  • The Dow and US stocks will continue to climb as long as the money is being “watered down” while at the same time, falling yields are putting even higher targets (think Dow 20,000 and S&P 2,000) in sight.
  • And electronic digital replacements like Bitcoins should be doing very well indeed. And they are.

So the Good Times should arrive once again this morning with the Dow set to tack on another 40, which will put 16,000 in sight for tomorrow, if not this afternoon, and even with a modest pullback at mid week, the mistletoe is coming along with the eggnog down on The Street.

Time to order your Stock Trader’s Almanac 2014 (Almanac Investor Series) if you’re a bear like me.  It might help to jot down the license number of the bus that’s been running over us bears lately.

Us bears, that is, (like Ures truly) who are addicted to disaster porn and don’t follow our own well-performing systems that we developed to keep us from losing money. 

One of my buddies called to tell me he was loading the boat on SDS call options (on the 2X S&P short ETF) for December.

You are???”  I asked incredulously…

“Well, January might be better, but I’m thinking that the budget crisis will come back and maybe worse than before…”

Maybe.  But what’s going on right now is sort of living synchronized water ballet or parallel fed printers:  The printing presses are getting warmed up in the EU and the if the German Court says the German people really can be put in debtor yokes to bail out Greece by an unelected government, well, then I’m afraid my friend won’t even get the license number of the bus. 

If the republicans can learn to articulate, well, maybe.  But absent that, the last go-round scared them and for all they are, they are not complete idiots and the budget “crisis” might be short-lived.

It’s a race, to be sure.  But sometimes the best way to make money, is to sit on your wallet until a clear change of trend becomes apparent.

And it doesn’t seem to be on tap this morning.

Global Warming to Cooling?

We’ve been considering the notion of late that the transition from high solar output to much lower output of the Sun – the lowest in more than 200 years – would cause large temperature gradients, and with them, extreme weather.

The national coverage, like this report over here, don’t go into this global warming cum cooling issue, but we know from our required flying education in meteorology that high temperature gradients (between hot and cold) are one of the predictors of extreme weather.  Toss in some pressure gradients and it’s a pretty simple matter to figure out when is a good time to go flying and when’s a good time to sit on the ground.

This morning, winds are strong and not much fun up in the Ohio/Pennsylachia area and out on the Oregon Coast.  We are only a month, or so, from the onset of winter and the storms are a hint.  So keep at eye out for temperature gradients and you’ll develop and eye for this stuff, too.

More after this…

Shaky Monday News

I assume you saw my 7.8 quake showed up, more or less on schedule, a couple of days late, this weekend?  Can we relax?  Lemme see…how’s about we start off with this which popped in from the Jakarta desk overnight?

Hiya chief!

Can’t say we don’t get good shows around here…  Mount Singabung popping.  [Hell of a picture! – G]

Sinabung is located in north central Sumatera near Lake Toba, which itself is the crater of a supervolcano similar to Yellowstone Park.  I’ll let you know if the lake starts boiling.  May want to seek a fresh planet at that point.  Luckily, there are an estimated 8.8 billion of them in the Milky Way.

Sampai jumpa,

Bernard Grover

Managing Editor, Indonesia Bureau
P.S.- all the Philippine crew have checked in with minor damage.  Most of the bad stuff is limited to the southern end of the country.  Folks still say the 10,000 estimate is well short of the real situation and that likely thousands have been washed out to sea.

If you haven’t read on the Toba catastrophe theories about, this snip out of Wikipedia ought to get it onto your learning list:

The Toba supereruption (Youngest Toba Tuff or simply YTT[2]) was a supervolcanic eruption that occurred sometime between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba (Sumatra, Indonesia). It is recognized as one of the Earth‘s largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe hypothesis holds that this event caused a global volcanic winter of 6–10 years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode.

The story continues over here at the Wikipedia site.  So if you’re thinking Obamacare is a problem, just imagine the global impacts of another supereruption and picture how that would change people priorities around about what’s “important”.

Toba’s not enough?  Well, how about the article this weekend “Volcano discover smoldering under a kilometer of ice in West Antarctica:  Heat may increase rate of ice loss.”

Now close your eye and imagine that puppy going kah-blooey

Kind of like Mt. Etna which is going off light up the sky over Sicily.

Oh, and I had someone write in this morning (must have gotten more coffee than me) asking what did I think about the quake at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on Sunday?  There’s a video up on YouTube about it over here.

imageNot much to comment on, except double-checking the mapping: which I did and yes, it is on the banks of the Columbia River right upstream from  the Tri Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and yes, there is all kinds of ugly leftover nuclear crap which is bound to start leaking into the Columbia river sometime,   It’s more a matter of when, not so much if.

Since some of the stuff there is going to be “hot” for 25,000 years, and will give Fukushima a run for its money, let’s just say that I wouldn’t be making plans to be a north Pacific fisherman or crabber for a lifelong career, the ways this “third of the world’s oceans bittered” stuff is coming together.

Keep an eye on the downstream radiation monitors (which Washington state does) and as much as I like the area down around Cascade Locks and Goldendale as a some day retirement area, there’s enough “stuff” upstream that a close look at ground water would be in order. I figure there’s enough coming down from the mountains to make that area OK, however. Although prevailing winds are from the west up the Columbia River Gorge down that way.  And enough to do some serious home wind power.

Say, did anyone mention the epicenter of this lil feller was 41-miles from the center of the Umatilla Army (nerve gas) Depot?  That facility is being decommissioned and that should be done by 2015, or so.  Expect it to be the rads, not the gas, that’s the long-term worry.  This set of worries should be going away sooner than later.

War Is in the Stars

We have another missive this morning from our resident wargamer (a/k/a “Warhammer”) who as long-term readers know is a very savvy fellow who has done much of the country’s gam ing of the future in officialdom and who’s now happily in academia.  But old habits die hard, and waiting for the Middle East to blow up is an addict sport…


An old Arab proverb states “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  It is apparently ringing true with Israel and the Saudi monarchy.

While definitely a wild card in the current dynamics of Middle Eastern poker, Saudi Arabia providing assistance to Israel as the U.S. stands by incompetently on the sidelines would be unprecedented in Modern times, maybe in all of recorded history.

Such cooperation would also be very risky for Saudi Arabia, aiding and abetting the oppressors of the Palestinians.  This stresses the threat the Saudis perceive Iran to be regarding their leadership role among Muslims world wide.  And Iran assists Hezbollah via Syria in their guerrilla warfare attacks on Israel.

Opponents might legitimately ask whether Saudi assistance would pull Syria into any ensuing armed conflict, also ramping up Hezbollah attacks against the Jewish state and increasing the very real risk of a massive and violent Palestinian uprising?  Essentially, the entire region could rapidly unzip into bloody chaos.

Lastly, and most interestingly, most of us know that Comet ISON will whip around the sun at the start of the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah.  Kabbalistic prophecy seems to be pointing to this celestial event as a prophesied Jewish Messianic harbinger.  This Kabbalah astronomy site has this to say about the event…[link]

Key Extract:  “Due to the trajectory of comet ISON through the cosmos with specific reference to the constellations, there appears a story worthy of consideration. Remember that we are told to watch the sky for signs.

Read the rest of it and you’ll see how the “fit” is made.  And see this article:

Key quote:  “We don’t need permission from anyone – we are an independent state . . . We have our own sovereignty. If Israel is in a position in which Israel must defend itself, Israel will do it.

              ~ Yaakov Amidror, former Israeli National Security Advisor”

Compounding the Kabbalistic prophecy issue, (and on the other side of the stargazing spectrum, if you will) Shia prophecy here  indicates ISON may also be the long awaited sign heralding the return of the Hidden Imam, or Mahdi.  

Iran is fervently Shi’ite and its leadership believes the nation is destined to bring about the Mahdi’s return.  The Mahdi will then lead a unified Islam to conquer the world (and by default, Israel).

So events are proving more interesting and volatile as each day passes.  Religious prophecy may fans the flames of the militant faithful on both sides, making war between Israel and Iran the seeming fulfillment of a pre-ordained destiny.

Cheers,  ‘Warhammer’

Wars and rumors of war “when the comet runs” wasn’t it, in Nostradamus?

Steak and Eggs Breakfast Note

I’m thinking about steak and eggs for breakfast this morning for reasons that will come through in this morning’s “Coping” section.  Since I’ve lost track of where eggs are on the “threat to long life” list – I know for a while they were demonized and then, later, they came off, but no telling what docs are thinking lately, I’ll probably have a couple..

You probably remember my frequent mentions of  the groundbreaker book Ignore the Awkward.: How the Cholesterol Myths Are Kept Alive  and the other one from the same author Dr. Uffe Ravnskov The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy that Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease.

OK, so that’s the background, now on to the “meat” of this morning’s development – assuming you are awake to remember the word “marketing” for a minute, OK?

Madison Avenue Mike spied this dandy article in the NY Times about how a recently released heart attack assessment tool apparently wildly overstated the risk of heart disease.

We note, with some suspicion that it would have likely set up millions more people to take statin drugs and we wonder the obvious:  Is it good medicine having a hiccup, or is it….(think back on the word you’re supposed to remember…got it?)….