Hard to make an educated guess at markets over the next few days. You see, there’s a calendar versus the cycles versus the news battle to be considered.
The calendar view suggests that often (but far from always) the markets will get a pop to the upside because of rampant optimism. America is still here and the sun will be out. Good times. And that positivity can sometimes be viewed (for fleeting moments) in trading action.
The cycles offer something different. They seem to argue that we should have a pre-holiday decline and maybe carry over into early June. And, as if to back this up, volume in the last-hour rally Wednesday was thin, hinting a running of the shorts was making some bulls mighty well-fed.
Finally, there’s the news cycle, and this, too, is murky as hell. We have three days when people will not be able to unload stocks – or buy if there some kind of breakthrough to the upside.
Frankly, we aren’t offering any financial advice here (we never do) and besides, not being a licensed securities agent, you’d do about as well consulting a financial astrologer. Some of there are pretty good, by the way.
The trading question for the rest of the week seems to be “Which way will this tangled web of interests break?”
Goldman Gets It
We’ve decried the scam called “high frequency trade” (or HFT) for years. Because, in effect, it lets machines break laws that people would go to jail for.
Now it seems as though Goldman Sachs’ thinking may be moving in that general direction. The Bloomberg report “Goldman Warns the Rise of the Machines Leaves Markets Exposed.”
In the U.S., about 65-percent of trading is machine vs. machines.
The way it works is simple: When you enter an order into an electronic trading platform, the firm you’re using can use high-frequency trading to front-run your stock purchase, or sale. In most instances, they will make a fraction of a cent profit on each share you move.
Thing is, if you had a human broker, and you gave them and order (mano y mano) and they entered an order for their own account ahead of yours to get a better price? Well, that’s patently illegal in the SEC rules.
It’s not for machines.
This gets us back to a familiar topic around here: The Warped Reality we live in where we have ceded more rights to machines and corporations than flesh-and-blood persons have.
Think about this: If you were a machine, you wouldn’t pay income tax. You’d just hum along 24-7 and make money for some Ownership Class of humans, who then spend their time, trying to minimize their tax consequences and pocket the most dough possible.
And, as the “special case” of high-frequency trading show, Machines have superior rights to humans when comes to skimming from financial clients.
This – along with the legal fiction called corporations – is not as big a deal now as it will be. That’s because as artificial intelligence (AI) comes along, there will be more and more widening of what we think of as the Machine-Human Spread.
What Goldman is looking at is (in the context of this morning’s Coping section discussion on Peter Drucker’s five key questions for managements) the tip of the iceberg.
Corporations have already begun to take over government because they are allowed to use their immense financial resources to lobby for “special conditions” that allow them to prosper more (and faster) and us, the upright apes.
And, since machines have been adjudged too fast to punish by a weak *(if not empty-minded) S.E.C. the scam called HFT continues to print money for platform owners. Money that eventually – in some measure – finds its way into politics.
Nice to see Goldman acknowledge the risks ofs HFT. But, if you’re looking for anyone to actually do something to end it?
Don’t hold your breath.
Abuse of Prosecutorial Powers
Pay attention to The Daily Caller story about how Trump-stalker Robert Mueller is going for a second delay in the upcoming trial of an American company and some Russians for alleged interference in our elections.
Mueller’s shady tactic is obvious to an informed observer: Having gotten one 90-day trial delay (going against the Speedy Trial Act) he’s seeking another.
It’s a ruse to sit on documents demanded by Congress.
The key reason for this new delay request likely has little to do with the trial. As long as things like Manafort sentencing can be pushed back, the Mueller fishing (and hooker) expedition, along with the FBI and DOJ, will claim release of documents cannot proceed.
They’re doing this because the documents they’ve been sitting on for a year are likely to show the real collusion in the election was the FBI/Obama-Lynch FBI. With so much time passing, evidence is, well, turning stale at best and disappearing at worst.
Meantime, we are growing less likely by the day to find out if there were additional plants inside the Trump campaign…and that’s very damned important to know.
And It Gets Worse
So let’s see: Machines and Corporations have more rights than People. And Mueller is, in effect, telling Congress to piss-off, and using delays to shield Deep State operatives of the Obamanistas.
What else could go wrong?
Well, as contributor warhammer notes, LOTS. Starting with the FISA Court abuse that’s come to light:
“The NSA, one of the principals routinely requesting FISA warrants, admits it doesn’t keep track of all of the activity and queries being made to the database, meaning potential abuses would be largely undetected. In fact, FISA abuses notwithstanding, queries to the FBI and NSA databases are apparently being done without a FISA warrant.
This very detailed and informative linked investigative piece should send shivers down the spine of every freedom-loving, Constitutionally driven American citizen, permanent resident or friend of the nation:
Playing a game, a very serious game, of what if, and taking the above allegations into consideration, how might one prevent unscrupulous individuals from profiling a rival or conducting opposition research on any particular political or ideological adversary? Short answer – you don’t!
Combine this disturbing info with the observation that the current DOJ special prosecutor has few limits on his investigative powers, and we have open season on political opposition. Ah, but opposition to who? Short answer – the previous administration.
We’re not talking just dirty politics here. This is down and dirty ideological warfare, conducted using all instruments of state and psychological weapons available. From before his inauguration Trump has been Progressive Enemy #1. Name the liberal cause, Trump is its nemesis. It just so happens there are a great many people still in high public office who were appointed under the previous POTUS who identify with his political vision and philosophy. His ‘Change‘ must move ‘Forward.’ Trump cannot, must not obstruct or reverse this collective greater-good of the past administration. Surely the only way Trump could get elected was through cheating! But if cheating can’t be proven, he must be taken-down by any means.
These are dangerous times for American democracy. Strap yourself in. It’s gonna be a wild ride.”
Worse – and yet to be fully revealed if you follow QAnon and other sources – is the degree to which the U.S. media has been co-opted into being a leftist house organ, often running stories in unison on a particular theme, using particular phrases to bash, that reveal a much deeper layer of anti-America coordination is in play.
We’re anxious to see the Inspector General report due soon. But we’re also aghast at the long time-lag between the report and its release.
“You can’t handle the Truth?” Seems like more than a great line from a movie: The Obamanistas in the GS-levels of government are still there and taking calls, expect, from the Vichy/Shadow Government,
NK Talks to Fold?
(South) Korea’s Yon Hap news agency says the North is unloading on VP Mike Pence, now. See their “N. Korea threatens to walk away from planned summit with U.S. ”
Meantime, the AP reports the NorKs have dismantled their nuclear test site.
Still, we’d be interesting in transport links between the NortKs and, oh, Iran for example. Especially because of these two leads from Wikipedia:
“…North Korea and Iran have an active exchange of military expertise particularly in relation to special operations and underground facilities. North Korea is thought to have trained Iranian operators in these advanced infiltration techniques.”
“Arms expert Jeffrey Lewis (academic) claims that the second stage of North Korea’s Hwasong-14 ICBM is similar to the upper stages designed for the Iranian space launch vehicles…”
All of which (coupled with recent Israeli hints in what they released about Iranian nuclear development) gives us some cause to be suspicious.
A Bit of Coin Trouble
Bitcoin is down to the $7,350 range this morning and on the charts, we could be looking at this as being a bounce having failed in the declines from its all-time highs.
If so, that would spell the functional end of Bitcoin in 2019 to 2020.
The timing of this is sure odd: Comes just two weeks after reports that US Intel outfits declined to answer a freedom of information request on whether they had a hand in creating the system which can be used to launder money and facilitate drugs and human-trafficking.
All a coincidence, we’re sure.
Gosh, if Congress wasn’t so busy doing nothing, sure seems to me like someone ought to hold hearings into who let Bitcoin into the wild, don’tcha think?
(Hand me some paranoia meds, would you?)
Monetizing the Dead, II
I recently told you to keep an eye on this ABC monetizing the dead “documentary.” Looked to us like a crass and callous way to try and make a buck on Jackson’s memory.
Apparently, Jackson’s estate has similar thoughts: “Michael Jackson estate slams ‘crass’ new ABC TV special on singer’s life.”
Anything for money, and me-me-me, huh?
CNN On NFL “Stand Rule”
Note CNN’s coverage of “Trump: NFL players who don’t stand during National Anthem maybe ‘shouldn’t be in the country’.”
Much face-time in the video for George Martin of the Player’s Association. (To his credit, Martin stands…)
I disagree with the kneelers and their supporters. Players, under contract (at work) don’t have a right to protest. Leave it home.
If they want to quit or not live up to their contracts? Bye-bye…protest your hearts out. I’m not paying to see politics. The game is football and anything else? BS.
We don’t think Trump is wrong on this, at all. (If you need directions to the nearest border, drop us an email and we’ll be glad to send you a map.)
If you’re offended by such a view, wait till I put on my $18 CNN Communist News Network T-Shirt Fake News Media Novelty Clothing Tee Shirt L Sport Grey, from Amazon.
Can we get back to being One Nation again, please?
Speaking of the American Left
We are sensing that some formerly liberal Seattle companies might be coming to their senses on overboard political correctness.
Having run into the Seattle City Council’s resident free-lunch (at some else’s expense) Bolsheviks, we think change may be in the air. Sometimes cents leads to sense. Should be the other way around, but this is New’Merica.
Futures down 60…moron the ‘morrow.