Saturday, February 28, 2015
Friday, February 27, 2015
Hey, so bitcoin is US$250 now, eh?
Is that good?
at 9:35 AM
So there's this new idea called the "open textbook". It's freely-distributed, professionally written and often peer-reviewed, unlike the hideously expensive bullshit you have to pay for at university.
Frankly I love this idea as much as I love the emerging concept of the "open university". It's about time education became free.
Anyway, if you'd like to learn about economics, here's a bunch of free textbooks - mostly in pdf, but one in epub:
UMinn - open textbook library.
OK, this was funny:
IKN - A Babylonian would like to register a complaint. What's funny is that, even 3765 years ago, there were still people anal-retentive enough to sit down in front of a wet clay tablet, peck out four paragraphs of cuneiform, dry the damn thing in the sun and then deliver it, just so he could bitch about a crappy copper delivery.
You know the type. If there was a newspaper in existence back then he'd be writing them tablet after tablet complaining about the kids of today and their funny haircuts and if the Jews don't like our gods they can go back where they came from and what's with the schools teaching this "new masonry" and pi=3 was good enough for us when I was young and nobody needs to count past 59 unless they're up to some sort of mischief and when is the King going to do something about all these evil spirits and so on and so on.
Anyway, thanks to the Penn Museum cuneiform generator, we have an idea of what the response tablet might have looked like:
BI - Japanese stocks surge to 15-year peak. What's important about this is that our analyst fellow (from a company whose name rhymes with Blarketfield Blasset Blanagement) just pointed out yesterday that foreign flows into Japanese equities have been almost nonexistent for a while now, despite the strength in the chart, and how happy he was to be in before the rush of white-ass honky crackers into the Nikkei. Well, now your secret is out, Mikey! Let's watch Japan surge now.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
NSC always gets killed when Whitey decides to puke stocks.
And it's rolling over now.
In fact, all of the transports is rolling over:
So I guess that's it for this advance? But QQQ is still looking okay, though it's getting repeatedly sold down.
HYG still looks fine, even though oil's taking another 5% puke today.
I guess we'll have to wait and see if Business Insider, Reuters and CNBC can dream up some new fucking retarded yet wholly believable reasons for everyone to puke stocks again.
SPY and QQQ are still really looking like they're rolling over. RSIs hit 60-70 and $VIX is too low to get a meaningful advance, I think.
Meanwhile gold and silver have become exciting with China back in the market, though I want to see how they react to today's 10AM smackdown and the many more that obviously will come, this being PDAC weekend and all.
Oh, speaking of which, y'all make sure you give a big hello to Clive Johnson at PDAC for me, okay?
Anyway, here's some news:
Bonddad - wage stagnation is primarily occurring in manufacturing. But the right wingers who'll bitch about this are the people who caused it, with a 35-year war against the working class.
Humble Student of the Markets - buy Europe? He says no, and I agree, though I would say so because Europe has an iron-fisted penny-pinching contractionary austerian leadership that will ensure it remains in depression for decades. Good luck waiting for all that earnings growth! I would also suggest he don't go ex-Japan: Japan is breaking out. But it would certainly be interesting if China popped.
Mining.com - David Harquail says junior mining really, really sucks. I'd suggest he get off the "marginal trader"'s back:
Harquail lays much of the blame at the feet of mining executives and directors who catered too much to investors. Good miners know that commodity cycles come and go, so they time a mine’s development to catch at least a couple of higher price cycles during its expected lifespan.What, so Harquail thinks we're supposed to be patient and let companies grow, and not trade in and out? Please explain how the fuck that is supposed to make us money, using the example of B2Gold where every single person who bought the stock since August 2010 is now underwater.
But investors no longer have that kind of patience. Harquail said they’re interested only in the latest upswing, not the next one, and too many mining companies have high-graded their operations and focused on big-budget, high-volume, low-grade deposits.
“There’s been too much catering now to the marginal investor, which right now tends to be the traders and hedge funds that only invest for the nanosecond,” Harquail said.
Fuck you, Harquail: I'm not going to be patient with any of these fucks. I'm not even going to "be patient" with FNV: I can buy SPY and do just as well over the past two years without any exposure to PM volatility.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
So for the heck of it all I bought some Blackberry a couple weeks ago. Apparently they're not going to go bankrupt now, but everyone still laughs at them anyway.
Chart looked neat back around early Feb is why:
I figured I could hold for a bit and sell on the next buyout rumour. Meh, rest of the market looked weak, I hadn't yet bought my CJP.to and ZEB.to*, and the US was still rangebound back then, so this was spice for a porridge portfolio.
Anyway, today this comes out:
Berryflow - Blackberry to partner with Google blah blah and me not understand tech things, but me think article say they leveraging existing security technology and partnering with Google.
And those two things are pretty positive for a $5.5B cap company that was circling the drain just last year, no?
But yeah, fine, you can go ahead and short Canadian banks too, I mean, that's lost money so far but maybe it turns around, right? Cuz I mean... reasons, eh?
* - HA HA! THAT'S RIGHT VERDMONT! I WENT LONG CANADIAN BANKS BEFORE BMO'S EARNINGS! HA HA YOU SUCK! HAVE FUN CLOSING THEM SHORTS, BITCHES!
In case you've forgotten, back on January 15th we saw the following electrons winked out of existence forever:
Verdmont Capital - Royal Bank is a screaming short.
It spent a grand total of two days below the Jan 15th price. Yeah, it spent more time below on the US ticker, but only because CAD has gone down: your stated trade wasn't short-CAD, it was short-RY, so don't pull no US ticker crap with me.
And the pop today? Why did Royal Bank pop today?
Reeking Alpha - RBC beats and boosts dividend. Oh snap!
BNN - Royal Bank posts record profit and boosts dividend. OH SNAP!
Toronto Star - RBC income soars to $2.46 billion record in Q1. Aw geez, Blogger has banned flashing ASCII. I'm gonna need Gregory House's help with this:
Like I said, guys: the Canadian banks have always made money, all the time. And a drop in the price of oil ain't some scary new thing to us up here in the frigid backwater of Canada, y'know: in fact, we've lived through fishery collapses, lumber collapses, base metal and precious metal collapses too.
And yet our banks have always made money.
For your assigned homework: please ruminate on how market and stock analysis, if it leads you to take the same overcrowded position as the rest of the market, is guaranteed to be wrong and lose you a fortune.
And tomorrow you can close your shorts out with the rest of the honky white-ass cracker bitches.
Oh, and by the way:
In the time you've been short RY thinking you're all clever and shit, you could have made an easy 5.5% with SPY. Or 11% with HSU.to. The moral of this story? Maybe you should quit thinking, buy the SPY, and go away for ten years.
Like Mila Kunis.
In fact, I'll give you a motivational poster than you can print out and tack up beside your computer so that you don't do anything silly like shorting Canadian banks ever again, ok?
|click for an even larger Mila Kunis, which will be yet even more smarterer than you|
UPDATE: Geez, Verdmont guys! How many times do you have to come back to this post? Hasn't it sunk in yet? Close your Royal Bank short!
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Hoo boy, here we go:
Reuters - Banks face scrutiny over pricing of precious metals. I'm sure we'll see reams of electrons bleeped out of existence with this one:
Here's a couple things:
FT Alphaville - no, Japan's not in danger of a fiscal crisis. Quote:
About 20 years ago or so, it started becoming fashionable to conclude that the Japanese government’s borrowing costs were going to go up a lot.Does that sound familiar? Say, any sort of commonality with what certain people were blathering regarding the USA's debt situation of the past couple years?
Demographic changes were going to dramatically increase the share of retirees dependent on the state for income and healthcare at the same time as the working population — and therefore the tax base — would be shrinking. Add in alleged economic stagnation and the result would be a rapidly widening gap between inflows and outflows. The ratio of government debt to GDP would skyrocket.
Eventually, investors would refuse to continue lending to a government that was becoming ever-more indebted, which would lead to some kind of crisis: interest rates would spike, the currency would collapse, and politicians would have to choose between the Scylla of default and the Charybdis of hyperinflation.
One popular way to bet on this outcome was to short-sell Japanese government bonds. Back in the beginning of 1995, the benchmark 10-year was yielding about 4.6 per cent. By the beginning of 1998 the yield had plunged below 2 per cent and has basically never crossed that threshold since. If you’d been long over those three years you would have made well over 20 per cent just on price appreciation. Nowadays the yield on a 10-year JGB is just shy of 0.4 per cent. No wonder old macro hands refer to the short JGB trade as “the widowmaker.”
Here comes the economics:
Japan’s public debt is denominated in yen and mostly held by Japanese residents. To the extent that these bonds pay interest, they’re merely a mechanism for transferring wealth from one set of Japanese to another, and the level of interest rates merely determines the size of this transfer. While that may have important macroeconomic effects depending on how the winners and losers tend to spend and invest their income, it’s hard to see why these transfer payments would spiral up or down in a way that harms growth.All public debt is also a private asset. Get that? Cos if you don't, you should probably fucking read Piketty. Also,
Japan’s government debt is often overstated. We were surprised that Ito repeatedly cited the gross public debt figure of 245 per cent of GDP. That’s correct, but a bit misleading, since much of the debt is held by other branches of government and because the government owns many valuable assets. Net all this out and the debt burden plunges below 140 per cent of GDP, according to the International Monetary Fund. And that doesn’t even include the 210 trillion in JGBs held by the Bank of Japan. Cut that out and the actual debt burden is closer to 50 per cent of GDP.Public debt is also often a public asset, and public debt is also offset by other public assets.
With that in mind,
Takatoshi Ito, an economist who has advised several Japanese governments and was rumoured to have been on prime minister Shinzo Abe’s shortlist to run the Bank of Japan, argued that the consumption tax needed to be raised to at least 15 per cent to prevent what he called a “fiscal crisis.”In other words, Ito's real strategy is to destroy the working class through crushing taxation in order to transfer as much wealth as possible to the creditor class. Which, really, is just what you'd expect from any right-wing economist out there today.
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Idaho lawmaker thinks the vagina is connected to the digestive tract. Apparently the Idaho legislature has solved all the rest of the world's problems, so now they're drafting a law to ensure telemedicine isn't used for abortions. Quote:
An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.Unless misplaced, of course.
The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.
Dr. Julie Madsen, a physician who said she has provided various telemedicine services in Idaho, was testifying in opposition to the bill. She said some colonoscopy patients may swallow a small device to give doctors a closer look at parts of their colon.
"Can this same procedure then be done in a pregnancy? Swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is?" Barbieri asked.
Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.
My god, this is the world's greatest economy?
Under HB154, abortion-inducing medication could not be administered through telemedicine — which does not currently happen in Idaho — and requires doctors to make "all reasonable efforts" to schedule a follow-up visit. The bill is backed by the anti-abortion group Idaho Choose Life.My god, they really have solved all the rest of Idaho's problems. Fantastic small government you've got there, boys!
Anti-abortion advocates argue that the bill will protect women who may have an adverse reaction to abortion medication. Those opposed counter that the bill is an attempt to restrict abortions, pointing to women living in rural areas where access to clinics is already limited.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Here's Piketty, explaining for those of his readers who are unfamiliar with the socialist flavour of European capitalism, why you shouldn't listen to people who say "I'm buying Europe because the US is at a 17 P/E but Europe is only at a 15 P/E!":
At this stage, suffice it to say that the lower market values of German firms appear to reflect the character of what is sometimes called “Rhenish capitalism” or “the stakeholder model,” that is, an economic model in which firms are owned not only by shareholders but also by certain other interested parties known as “stakeholders,” starting with representatives of the firms’ workers (who sit on the boards of directors of German firms not merely in a consultative capacity but as active participants in deliberations, even though they may not be shareholders), as well as representatives of regional governments, consumers’ associations, environmental groups, and so on. The point here is not to idealize this model of shared social ownership, which has its limits, but simply to note that it can be at least as efficient economically as Anglo-Saxon market capitalism or “the shareholder model” (in which all power lies in theory with shareholders, although in practice things are always more complex), and especially to observe that the stakeholder model inevitably implies a lower market valuation[....]
Alternatively, you can just go to Yahoo Finacne and try to find me one European company that you would have wanted to own in the past 25 years.
There's pretty much not a single European company whose long-term stock performance wasn't outshone by equivalent American companies. Nokia was good in the late 90s, that's all I have found in my own studies.
European companies are given a lower P/E always, and it's because - generally speaking, in the capitalist sense - they suck compared to American companies. A 15 P/E for European socially-owned corporations means their multiple expansion has already finished, and now longs will just have to hope for economic growth. Because earnings growth without economic growth can't happen when Euro labour productivity has already been maximized through 7 years of austerianism.
But European economic growth won't happen while the Germanic university dropouts continue to boss around the educated economists. Seriously, you expect a failed Communist-bloc physics labtech and a former tax accountant to have the slightest clue how to stimulate the European economy? They're Germans: they don't even want to try to help the rest of Europe.
And any European economic growth that does happen will be essentially confined to Germany, because that's what the Euro monetary structure accomplishes.
And every stupid American right-wing fascist who still believes in austerianism is already long Europe. So they'll be disappointed.
Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Kruggers - on the supposed "skills gap". Yes, there's such a horrible skills gap, oh my, so bad it is in fact that wages have been skyro-
I mean, if high skills are in such demand, why have real median wages for educated men gone down consistently over the past 10 years?
Kudos to Kruggers for killing this argument with one simple chart. There is no "skills gap" because basic economics says the excess demand would make median wages go up to encourage new supply. Instead wages have spent 15 years going down.
You want someone with skills? Pay him for them, you cheap capitalist fuckers.
Bloomberg - China growth is slowing. See if you can make B follow from A here:
a Chinese slowdown will rob the world of another vital growth engine amid already tepid demand.Um...
If China's already the world's second largest economy, and if it's still growing even at 3-4%, that still means the world's second largest economy is already growing at 3-4%.
That's still better than the Eurozone and Japan, and about equal with the US.
The only reason anyone would whine about slower Chinese growth* is because they want to make money speculating on demand shortages caused by overheated growth.
* - And btw, note that growth in the real estate sector provides little benefit to the economy because the real estate sector is generally unproductive; what you want is growth in services and manufacturing, where productivity improvements can strongly impact GDP growth.
Dammit this is so tempting, if only technical analysis meant anything and if only we didn't believe in gold seasonality:
Gold ex-USD has spent a week bouncing on the SMA(50).
So China is still on holiday.
So what a great time for gold to get puked below $1200 on late-night trade.
But it's recovered already. That's interesting point #1.
But what's very interesting to me is that silver is up 1.3% this moment. It's interesting because I like to use silver as a tell for gold.
So really, despite the whole PDAC curse thing and the whole buy-US-sell-gold thing and the whole look-Greece-is-so-fixed-now we-sure-showed-them-Commies thing, I've got an antsy feeling making me want to buy all them gold miners who've just been puked down 20-30% this past couple weeks.
I'm not buying yet, but I sure am paying attention.
Here's just a bit of reading:
New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. Everything's generally still positive, quit piddling your frilly pink panties.
BI - investors sour on Canadian banks. There's already a big short interest in Canadian banks ahead of earnings, for probably exactly the reason the guys at Verdmont Capital gave a month ago. But I would like to note, yet again, that:
1) The shorts are generally white-ass honky crackers who don't know Canada;
2) If they did know Canada, they'd know that Canadian banks always have good earnings because they essentially own the government and can do as they please;
3) Honestly, do you really want to stay short on the crowded side of the boat with earnings around the corner?
It turns out you're not ahead of the herd, you're in the herd. Bad place to be.
If I were Verdmont, I'd close my Royal Bank short ASAP. It's done nothing since you called it on Jan 15th, and since then all the short selling hasn't pushed it lower.
In fact I might just buy a Canadian bank ETF today. ZEB.to has a 3.5% yield and its weekly chart looks just as amazing as this:
That sure looks like one hell of a buy point, not a sell point! January has a 3-candle negation, and now there's a big fight happening at the weekly SMA(50), Bollinger mean, and weekly EMA(12)!
Sorry, guys: you don't sell that chart, you buy it. Especially when a bunch of white-ass honky crackers are selling.
Thanks for giving me a good idea for a buy, guys. I was wondering what to do now that SPY, QQQ and Japan have all already taken off. I owe you one!
Talk all you want about skating with your head down, but any real Canadian will tell you it's more dangerous to get clobbered by Wendel Clark while admiring the pass you just made:
You gotta be a man to play this game!
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Just been poking around the intarwebz learning about the history of markets and so on, when I stumbled across something interesting.
General Electric's market cap in March 2001 was $477 billion.
With inflation, that would equal about $650 billion today.
Which is around the level of Apple's market cap today.
Sure, GE builds important electrical equipment and stuff, while Apple just does stupid phones. And mobile computing. And music. And stuff in general.
Then again, Apple doesn't face the competition that GE faces. Yeah, a few other companies make smartphones too, but there's a cachet in the i-phone* that there isn't in, say, GE roadway lighting luminaires: Cooper and Hubble compete in that sector quite well against GE products, while nothing really sits at an equal level with the i-phone. So there's margin at Apple that there really isn't at GE.
So just keep that in mind when you hear talking heads crowing about Apple's market cap.
* - I refuse to use camel-case in this post. Camel-case is unnatural and against god's plan.