Boring Markets: Hand Me a Scapegoat, Please?

Depends who you ask, of course.  But my friend Robin Landry who manages somewhere north of $100-million, is just marking time. 

His proprietary trading indicator hints that any upside will be very limited, for now anyway, and despite the recent surge, the market in the past week has given up on one blast-off attempt.

The Nikkei overnight bounced a tad from the 14,000 level, and China was up a bit as well.  But in Europe this morning, there’s a modest pullback, and it is almost as though the world is marking time for this weekend when “official” elections come up in Ukraine.

Markets don’t usually follow the advice of the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2014 but old sayings like “Sell in May and go away” do generally have a fit.  It’s just that markets love scapegoats and the milling around this week is likely just the herd waiting for a good scapegoat to come by.

Futures are flat and so are financial headlines.  The most exciting thing for the week will be Fed minutes tomorrow, and some home sales figures on Friday.  But none of that is likely to move markets.  They need a bigger scapegoat and Russia is still our odds-on pick, but not until after the voting this weekend in Ukraine and we see the Russian reaction next week.

Russia is off talking to China, and likely there won’t be too much discussed publicly.  Figure the weekend before any policy shift discussions turn up.  And as the Russia Today/RT folks report, “West may end up isolated if Russia turns East” which is where Putsky is now.  Categorize this as a sales call.

And one more thing that pops up now:  Russia is doing a pivot toward China with a $400-billion gas pipeline deal.  Has the US State Department “won a battle and lost a war” — again?

And Russia is looking to cut a fat hog on gas sales to Ukraine, which is a major financial thorn in the side of the EU.

To be sure, there are some other possible scapegoats.  In Thailand, although interesting to see a country go through a military coup without calling it a military coup, is not a big enough prize to be a concern.  Unless they were to announce formation of a Muslim government, or something.  That might work, but not what’s going on there presently.  Wiki the odds:

According to the National Statistics Office, in 2005, Muslims in Southern Thailand made up 30.4% of population over the age 15, while constituting less than 3% in the other regions of the country.

We’ll save that one for the 2020’s.

For the next couple of days,. be on the lookout for “scapegoats” marching around.  They may be uppers, they may be downers, but goats are needed says the calendar.  And soon. 

And isn’t our rampage shooting timer about to go off?

About That Cookie Jar

Credit Suisse has reportedly entered into an agreement to plead guilty to helping American citizens engaged in tax evasion and will pay a $2.6 billion penalty.

Whenever I say things like “About time” I get inundated with email from trolls who proclaim how rich people (like them) should be able to accumulate wealth in secret from the government and tax-free, at that.  Such trollmail get immediately trashed.  They’re cheapskates of the worst kind; living in a country that pays the bills, and trying to stick everyone else for their share of the tab.

I’ve got a lot of misgivings about Eric Holder and the Justice Department (especially on breaking established laws on things like deportation laws) but on this one, they got something right.  Credit where due.

Now, if he would go after the illegal criminal class with the same vigor that the rich were attacked, that would be a nice balance.

I’m not holding my breath, though.  I sort of doubt there’s a big block of potential democorp voters to be harvested from the Swiss bank account class.  But maybe that’s why the other party didn’t go after them, during the Bushistas’ terms know what I mean?

Collapse of the Internet:  Web War With China

Now that the US has indicted a number of Chinese officials for using the web to spy on American companies, we have to wonder how long before another surge in “web licensing discussion” is from popping into the public eye?

The big headline this morning is the China has halted cybersecurity cooperation with the US following the spy charges, but the bigger picture is that governments (ours and others) are terribly worried about the arising global mass consciousness on the web.

VA Reports Sought

A group called VA Oversight is actively soliciting complaints about the VA and has put up a secure complaint form which can be accessed over here.

This comes as the VA is accused of keeping two sets of books on patients, and complaints about long delays in treatment/benefits.

Where’s the Solidarity Check

Reporters are terrible when it comes to memory, but here’s one coming out of the memory hole:  Remember during the government shutdown, the president said he would give back 5% of his salary in a show of solidarity with fedgov workers?

Now that the White House is declining comment, there are media that have noticed that the presidential tax return didn’t show it and wondering if it was another Obama……(you fill in the blank, which shouldn’t be too hard).

Speaking of Obama, does anyone know why the Obama Golf Counter hasn’t been updated since March?  I don’t care if the prez plays golf (and I assume he won’t mind my tinkering with ham radio or an old airplane).  BUT what I am curious about is the disappearance of the updates.  Whazzup wid dat?

Mideast: Sorting Wheat from Chaff

OK, so here’s how the information battle for your mind is going in the Middle East at the moment.

On the one side, we have reports that the :”US pushing false narrative about Iran and Nuclear Weapons” and the report goes to the idea that Israel is making up documents to feed into the fears of the West.  A move, which would fit if you remember the Niger uranium forgeries  and how forgeries can be use in political situations with great effect..

On the other hand, Iran just got a pass on building it’s Shahab-3 missiles and that, explains a report over here, misses the point about regional security.

Oh, and off in the background, the Israeli defense minister says there are storm clouds on the horizon, but let me check here…wouldn’t be the first time would it?

Calling Mr. Science

Here comes one of the least surprising headlines ever for readers of UrbanSurvival or Peoplenomics:  “Matter will be created from light within a year, claim scientists.”

The part that is not surprising is that anyone with even modest powers of observation (including Ures truly) should have figured out shortly past high school that Einstein’s E=MC2 is really a two-way street.

A fine example of how Man, uppity critters we is, finally figures out that light can be condensed into matter.  Whoo-hoo!

Except planets have been doing that for billion and billions of years.  Ain’t like there should be any intellectual property in this.  But the rush will be on… I can see the patent/IP festival now.

Up against the wall, Ure.  Them are cotton fibers in that shirt of yours created with carbon that we made down as X-Y-Zonia Labs!  You owe us the shirt off your back.”


We now return you to another view of the future, the classic Bob and Ray History of the United States.”