Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Syriza says "screw you guys"

BBC - Syriza says "screw you, capitalist pigs". Some quotes and commentary:

It is unrealistic to expect Greece to repay its huge debt in full, the chief economics spokesman for the victorious Syriza party has told the BBC.

"Nobody believes that the Greek debt is sustainable," Euclid Tsakalotos said.

Exactly. If the Troika felt their debt was unsustainable before they demanded that Greece destroy their own economy, why would they think it's sustainable now that Greek GDP is a fraction of what it was?

But you can bet the EZ will never, ever, even for a second, admit their failure. Because the capitalist exploiter class has continued to make their fortunes.

"It's going to be a very funny and a very dangerous Europe with very strong centrifugal political forces if they signal that after a democratic vote they're not interested in talking to a new government.

"It will be a final signal that this is a Europe that can't incorporate democratic change and it can't incorporate social change."

They already hate democracy. It's already been proven. How can you tell? Because they've already been demanding that government policies enacted with democratic support be eliminated, in favour of the "new democracy" of the European kleptocratic elite.

All you have to ask is "austerity for whom?" and you see what's really been going on in Europe.

So why are investors not in a state of frenzied panic? Why have the euro and stock markets bounced a bit? One slightly implausible explanation is that investors believe the eurozone would actually be stronger without Greece, so long as no other big country followed it out the door.

Unfortunately, once you take all the weak countries out of the EZ, you're left with what's essentially a Deutschmark. Germany's economy will collapse because there'll be nothing to stop their currency from appreciating to the stratosphere again, and they'll be unable to export goods again.

German government spokesman Steffan Seibert stressed it was important for Greece to "take measures so that the economic recovery continues".

What economic recovery? Again, yet more proof that the Germans are living in a meticulously-constructed fantasy world.

Ross Beaty likes Dalradian

Yahoo Finacne - Ross Beaty plumps for $11M with Dalradian. Our buddy says this placement is highly significant, especially with this financing closing even before the exercise date of the existing February warrants.

I guess Beaty wanting to own some Dalradian is good, and the 90 cent floor he's set is good, but I don't see specifically how this impacts the value of my Feb warrrants.

Anyway, yay someone famous now likes Dalradian. And I guess they've got an extra $11M cash.

Oh, the hold period ends in mid-June, so make sure you don't own DNA then.

Morning news

Dow is off strongly because people are taking Oberhelman's cautious, highly conservative outlook as a reason to sell, I guess. Guys, his frickin' job is to keep Caterpillar in business: that's why he's being so conservative in his outlook.

Meanwhile CNBC is still putting that ignorant clueless idiot Santelli on in the mornings to shout and scream about how the US is going to hell in a handbasket.

Anyway, here's news, for what it's worth:

Brett Steenbarger - SPY redemptions. He flagged a large wad of SPY share creation a couple weeks ago, and noted forward performance after such an event is negative, so chalk one up for him. Now, he's flagged a large number of SPY redemptions since then, and notes forward performance after this sort of event is positive. 

BI - CAT Q4 earnings. Um... none of this should have been a surprise.

FT Alphaville - the US will soon have a budget surplus. Apparently, the CBO has been infected with Republican idiots, because their entire US deficit case is based on completely unrealistic interest rate numbers. Matt Klein:
More than all of the projected increase in the US federal budget deficit between now and 2025 is expected to come from higher interest payments on the existing debt.

Now, it’s entirely possible that interest rates will rise and that the debt service burden will increase commensurately. In fact, one would hope that borrowing costs eventually go up given that low rates are being driven by weak demand for credit and low expectations for real growth and inflation as far as the eye can see.

That said, we have several reasons to suspect the CBO’s forecasts.

First, it isn’t clear why interest rates would jump so much given their economic projections. Nominal GDP growth is only expected to be about 4.2 per cent per year from 2018 through 2025. The jobless rate, which is currently 5.6 per cent, is expected to float around 5.4 per cent for the next decade. Inflation is expected to be quiescent and employment growth is expected to slow to a crawl.

Those projections fit with the notion of a static tax take and persistently high levels of government spending despite cuts in discretionary programmes, but not with sharply higher interest rates.
Seems like the simplest explanation is that Obama's black and the CBO has a problem with that.

FT Alphaville - a reminder about disinflation. Again, sensible commentary from Matt Klein:
Falling prices in the euro area are one reason why the European Central Bank announced last week’s bond-buying programme. Deflation is dangerous when it leads to falling incomes and higher debt burdens. But it can also be benign if it boosts real incomes and increases purchasing power. Maybe Draghi was right the first time.

After all, the government of the world’s marginal consumer of industrial commodities recently decided that it requires much less coal, iron ore, copper, and oil than producers had been expecting. The resulting imbalance between supply and demand is currently being reconciled by a collapse in prices. At the same time, buyside investors are coming to the realization that commodities are not an asset class with a positive long-term real return, which is making the price swings even bigger than you might expect using purely fundamental analysis.
The deflation hysteria is overblown, basically. Or rather, they're not looking at the real source of bad disinflation - government austerity policy.

BBC - Greece debt repayment in full is impossible, says Syriza. Frankly, they shouldn't even want to: the Troika assured them that the structural reforms would make their debt-to-GDP better, and instead the reforms destroyed Greece's GDP to the point where debt-to-GDP is just as bad as it was before - but now with the added benefit of a crippling economic depression. More on this later, it really pisses me off.

BBC - Saudi men call for no girls on twitter. Hey, guys? The stone age called, they'd like to know when you're coming back home.

Mining.com - money still pouring into gold ETFs. It's good for the supply-demand balance, as long as the gold doesn't get sold back out a week later....

Mining.com - hedge funds raise bullish gold bets to 2-year high. Eesh! These are not the people I want to be long with. I am now getting out of gold.

Tumblr - penis shaped clouds. Yes, a whole tumblr page with nothing but clouds shaped like penises. It's the most competent commentary on the market that you'll find anywhere today.

Monday, January 26, 2015

All the Tsipras that the lamestream media continues to hide from you

They love calling him a "radical communist", but they don't love giving Tsipras even 30 seconds to speak his mind. Instead they'd rather quote neofascists like Weidmann and ignorant propagandizing clowns like George Osborne.

Can't let the commie speak directly to the people of the world, can we? I mean, they might listen to him!

So here's a couple Tsipras quotes for you that the lamestream media has never bothered to print:

"There are no winners and losers. Those who have been defeated are the elite and oligarchs, the vested interests that destroyed our country.”


"The verdict of the Greek people, your verdict, annuls today in an indisputable fashion the bailout agreements of austerity and disaster."

And meanwhile, here's Kruggie's take on the whole affair:

Krugman - Greece has already gone through a 16% internal devaluation. And they've had to because they don't own their currency, and Germany has no interest in inflating their own internal economy to rebalance flows. Oh, and because the EZ is a currency union with no internal fiscal transfers, unlike real monetary unions like Canada.

Basically, the oligarchs know they screwed up, and are prepared to do whatever it takes to paper it over for as long as they can, til they can move all their money to a new offshore tax haven.

Krugman - they call Syriza "radical". But the real radicals were the EZ officials who ignore basic economics. Quote:
As we head for the big Greek face-off, Francesco Saraceno makes a point I’ve also made on a number of occasions: although many of the press reports describe Syriza as “far-left”, it’s actually preaching fairly conventional economics, while the supposedly responsible officials of Brussels and Berlin have been relying on radical doctrines like expansionary austerity and a growth cliff at 90 percent. The same has to a certain extent been true in the US context.

Once again: textbook macroeconomics says that focusing on deficit reduction in a depressed economy, where the zero lower bound constrains the effectiveness of monetary policy, is a very bad idea. And although nobody will believe it, textbook macro has actually been a very good guide to the economy since the financial crisis, as Jared Bernstein also emphasizes.

Some Monday news

Yeah, you already know the "radical leftist Syriza party" won the Greek elections and will now destroy Europe. Frankly, I'm happy that Tsipras was all-guns-blazing right after his victory speech: you win a fight against these EZ clowns by punching hard and fast.

And frankly, nobody cares about the "imminent re-rating" from the kleptocrats at Standard & Poor's: the Eurozone holds all Greece's debt, and they're running a primary budget surplus. Matter of fact, I wouldn't expect that a drachma, introduced at par today, would drop very much at all.

And Tsipras knows there's a whole pile of money just waiting to be taxed, in the hands of the kleptocrats who own Greece and who have been best buddies of the Germans for decades.

Anyway, here's some reading:

New Deal Demoncrat - weekly indicators. LLIs all positive.

Gavyn Davies - the Fed accused of complacency. More opinion on when tightening comes.

BNN - Cookie Monster! He's still going on about your anium, but at least he teaches us some useful things about the deposits. Too bad BNN's site doesn't work in Firefox with script blockers and there's a fuckton of commercials at the start.

IKN - best of the VRIC interviews. Strangely, he places Kaiser's interview among "the best", even though he really doesn't like Kaiser.

Gold's already back to $1600. For me, anyway.

Here's a chart of gold in Canadian dollars:

And as you can see, as of last weekend, it's almost completely recovered from the waterfall collapse of April 2013.

Here's gold in Euros:

It's not recovered entirely yet, but maybe in the next few weeks with the Syriza victory?

Apparently Jeffrey Currie has given up the ghost on $1050 gold (and Marcy Nicholson at Reuters gave him a free pass, repeating his original 2015 gold target of $1200 and not the more recent $1050), so maybe this is about as far as gold can get without some consolidation?

I guess it depends on whether the Americans have all already finished going long gold.

We'll have to watch GLD flows for clues, I guess.

In the meantime, what does $1600 gold and lower fuel costs mean for Canadian miners? Is that good?

OMG, Shakira used to be Alanis Morrissette


used to do this:

Humble beginnings, eh?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Amazing pole dancer on Ukrainians Got Talent

I came across this video of this stunning Ukrainian pole dancer girl, Anastasia Sokolova, on Ukrainians Got Talent and sprained something sprained everything and of course you've all already clicked through.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Some weekend news

Here's some weekend reading:

Bespoke - EPS and sales this quarter. Quote:
As you can see in the chart, compared to prior quarters over the past few years, the current earnings beat rate is somewhat mediocre, but the revenue beat rate is relatively strong. Investors like to see strong top line numbers because they're less easy for companies to fudge, so it's a positive sign that revenues have held up well so far this season.
So y u selling, Whitey?

Brett Steenbarger - tracking sentiment via buy and sell programs. Seems the market should go up from here:
At market lows, sell programs diminish while buy programs continue to fire. That creates a situation in which buying pressure spikes early in a market cycle. (Note that this is what has happened recently in the wake of the ECB action). As a market rise matures, sell programs begin to exceed buy programs and we see the balance between the two top out ahead of price. The recent significant expansion of program buying suggests that we should see upside momentum from recent central bank actions.
The magic part is, does the market really have any way to arb away this indicator? Interesting thought!

der Spargel - German companies sold chemical weapons equipment to Assad for decades. And Merkel doesn't care, because the weapons manufacturers are her biggest supporters. And yet fascists like Timothy Ash criticize the Mediterranean states for corruption and sociamalism? I guess that shows he doesn't care about good and evil, just about unfettered capitalism. So why does he think his words have any importance?

FT Alphaville - European sovereign debt hypocrisy. Let's explain exactly how selfish and greedy the Germans really are:
SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Germany of today is considered the embodiment of stability. How many times has Germany become insolvent in the past?

Ritschl: That depends on how you do the math. During the past century alone, though, at least three times. After the first default during the 1930s, the US gave Germany a “haircut” in 1953, reducing its debt problem to practically nothing. Germany has been in a very good position ever since, even as other Europeans were forced to endure the burdens of World War II and the consequences of the German occupation. Germany even had a period of non-payment in 1990.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Really? A default?

Ritschl: Yes, then-Chancellor Helmut Kohl refused at the time to implement changes to the London Agreement on German External Debts of 1953. Under the terms of the agreement, in the event of a reunification, the issue of German reparations payments from World War II would be newly regulated. The only demand made was that a small remaining sum be paid, but we’re talking about minimal sums here. With the exception of compensation paid out to forced laborers, Germany did not pay any reparations after 1990 — and neither did it pay off the loans and occupation costs it pressed out of the countries it had occupied during World War II. Not to the Greeks, either.
Though you shouldn't expect the Germans to actually admit any of this. They seem to have learned how to forget the more inconvenient parts of their history. Or at least they can explain it all away by asserting that it's really somebody else's fault.

BBC - German court rules that men can pee while standing. Piddling in the standing position is no longer verboten. Yeah, I only included this link because I particularly hate the Germans today.

Mining.com - Cookie Monster says "don't buy crap". Ha ha! Too late!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Market commentary

Well, the US markets are skyrocketing in foreign currencies, but still rangebound in USD. Time to be unhedged USD I guess, eh?

I'm a little spooked by today's weakness in the regional banks and strength of TLT. So while $VIX is downish, that's maybe because the big money is just certain of where it wants to be next, which means new positions are being taken, most of which will ultimately be wrong.

I could imagine gold being weak for a few days, what with OpEx next week and new currency crosses now interesting to the hedge funds: maybe a new round of people will go short gold over the next couple days?

So I guess I'll just step away from the computer and let that roast cook for a while.

Timothy Ash, fascist liar and right-wing plutocratic propagandist from Standard Bank

FT beyond brics - Europe: more right-wing lies from Standard Bank. A rehash of the right-wing neocon lies that have driven Europe into depression:

Europe is in the worst state it has been in at any point in the entire post WWII era.

Really? Worse than the inflation of the 1970s? The era of the fascist juntas in Spain and Greece? The RAF and Red Brigade insurgencies? The chaos of the collapse of Bretton Woods? The long task of rebuilding Europe after WWII? Worse than all those?

And it's the fault of the evil central bankers stealing German money to give to lazy, swarthy Mediterraneans, right?

Europeans (Brits included) don’t work hard enough and pay themselves too much, at the same time expecting too much from the state while generally being reluctant to pay up in taxes.

So you want Europe to go the way of the Americans? With rampant homelessness, legions of poor locked up in prisons or gunned down by police, the working poor unable to afford shelter or medical care?

Um, do the sovereign citizens of Europe get to vote on this subject? Or do you want to impose it from above?

And what do you think they have been voting for over the past 50 years? And given the violence of past revolutions and communist insurgencies in Europe, don't you think a little bit of social welfare is a small price to pay to keep your plutocrat buddies alive and in power?

How did we get here? With the global financial crisis we initially saw deep recession driven arguably by global factors, accompanied by the collapse of Icelandic, British, Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, even German, Austrian, Latvian and then Cypriot, Slovenian and eventually Bulgarian banks.

You got there, you fascist pig, because Europe held its rates down artificially low to help Germany's economy struggle through reunification. But that cheap German money flooded into peripheral real estate markets, causing a massive real estate bubble.

The proper tack should have been to keep Europe's rates realistic and let the fucking Germans starve for 20 years. Because that's exactly what they now want to visit upon the rest of Europe.

Recovery has been weak, reflective of weak banks, weak demand for credit because of weak growth prospects, high unemployment, and limited scope for counter-cyclical fiscal policies due to concerns over debt sustainability.

Really? Is the market really all that concerned about debt sustainability? Right now Italy's 10-year yield is 1.53%, and Spain's is 1.51%. Is that reflective of concern? Or are you just repeating the tired lies of the plutocratic rentier class, who are clamouring for a higher interest rate to base rents on while also demanding that they don't pay taxes to fund that rent?

Adding to the mix is the fact that Europe has perhaps the weakest group of political leaders for generations, the only exception lying in the experience and political weight of Angela Merkel in Germany – now perhaps the one great hope for the continent.

Wow, you sure love the Germans, don't you? And what has Merkel's response to the crisis been? More austerity. She's only the "one great hope" for crushing the periphery and subjugating it under the jackboot of German supremacy.

Merkel's so great that she almost made Draghi quit his job last month. Here's the one guy who has the slightest clue about economics, and she wants to drive him out of his job and replace him with - who? Weidmann? Whose only qualification is being "wrong, but German"?

A strong leader is a bad thing when they use their strength to drive a continent into the dirt. Check your history books. What you want is sensible leaders, and Merkel's not one of them.

Overshadowing it all is the not insignificant prospect of a large-scale war in Ukraine, which threatens to become the largest European conflict since the Balkan wars.

And Merkel's response to the Ukrainian conflict has been to cozy up to the fascist Russian kleptocratic state, in order to protect her plutocratic buddies who ten years ago happily went into business with the Russian mafia.

But of course she can do that, because if there ever is a full scale war, there's no way we'll ever see German soldiers putting their lives on the line to protect Ukraine. Once again it'll probably be Canadians getting gunned down to protect the innocent, while the fat German bastards sit back and make their fortunes selling arms to the other side.

We can argue all we like about whether Europe went too far in terms of deepening and enlargement.

You guys loved EZ enlargement when it meant cheap German money flooding into Bucharest and buying up all the real estate, leaving the Romanians essentially homeless while German rentiers made a fortune flipping properties back and forth.

Now, all of a sudden, you have a problem?

Perhaps the move to a single currency was a naïve and ultimately dangerous political project.

Canada has a single currency, and we do well. But we automatically redistribute funds from rich provinces to poor provinces, in order to balance money flows and ensure the country's economy can continue to function.

But Canada can do that because we don't hew to a racist ideology which asserts that some Canadians are morally and ethically inferior to others just because of where they come from. Even Harper isn't that evil.

Friday videos: Thrushes again

This is more New York noisecore than it is shoegaze, but whatever:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

So... what's with this gold fixation anyway?

So I was looking up the Saudi Royal family, and came across a short video of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's luxury A380: