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Thursday, December 1, 2022

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Which Way Wednesday – Republicans and Democrats Both Want to Kill You!

What is happening to this country?  

Robert Reich points out that, in announcing the Republicans’ new budget and tax plan Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said “We are sharpening the contrast between the path that we’re proposing and the path of debt and decline the president has placed us upon.”  But the plan doesn’t do much to reduce the debt. Even by its own estimate the deficit would drop to $166 billion in 2018 and then begin growing again.

The real contrast is over what the plan does for the rich and what it does to everyone else. It reduces the top individual and corporate tax rates to 25 percent. This would give the wealthiest Americans an average tax cut of at least $150,000 a year.  The money would come out of programs for the elderly, lower-middle families, and the poor.  "So what’s the guiding principle here?" asks Reich.  "Pure social Darwinism. Reward the rich and cut off the help to anyone who needs it.

Most Americans who do have jobs continue to lose ground. New research by professors Emmanual Saez and Thomas Pikkety show that the average adjusted gross income of the bottom 90 percent was $29,840 in 2010 — down $127 from 2009, down $4,842 from 2000, and just slightly more than $29,448 in 1966 (all figures adjusted for inflation).  Ryan says too many Americans rely on government benefits. “We don’t want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people into lives of dependency.”

Well, I have new for Paul Ryan, says Robert Reich:  Almost 23 million able-bodied people still can’t find work. They’re not being lulled into dependency. They and their families need help. Even if the economy continues to generate new jobs at the rate it’s been going the last three months, we wouldn’t see normal rates of unemployment until 2017.  

I wish I could tell you that Ryan's Republicans made the most disturbing statement I've heard from Government officials recently – but they didn't.  That honor goes to Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, who gave a lecture at Northwestern University outlining his three-part test for determining when it's "OK" to execute a US citizen without a trial.  Steve Colbert explains it nicely:  

Do you see a theme here?  We are being de-humanized by both parties in our Government.  They already took away your right to Liberty under the Patriot Act and Paul Ryan and his cronies are making the Pursuit of Happiness a game for the top 1% only and now we have Eric Holder saying that the right to Life is not so much a guarantee under the constitution as it is a sort of conditional privilege – as long as you don't piss off anyone in power.  

At the moment, the people in power seem to be on our side so Yay!, I guess.  The NSDAP rose to power in Germany with a popular "war" against Communism in which they too lobbied to change the rules of due process to "expedite" the necessary pursuit of their enemies, who could be anyone – anywhere.  As they morphed into the Nazi Party, they took advantage of those "minor changes" to consolidate their power. 

Soon the definition of who constituted a threat expanded to Gypsies, Jews, Black People, Homosexuals and anyone else who happened to disagree with them – BUT IT WAS ALL LEGAL!  When did "never again" turn back into "maybe later"?

Again, we're not "one of those people" so we have nothing to worry about, right?  Actually, we are right back to where we were in 2007, when I first began warning people that the ever-expanding wealth gap in this nation only served to make the top 10% (those of us who can afford to invest in the markets) THINK that things were going well – even as they were falling apart.  Even now, the infrastructure of this country is coming apart at the seams and Paul Ryan wants to cut 80% of the Government's discretionary budget over 8 years.  It's not even a fantasy – it's a nightmare!

Obama has already cut Government spending more than any President since Bill Clinton and 600,000 Government employees have lost their jobs (making Obama's net job creation numbers seem much worse than they are) but no amount of cutting and gutting will ever satisfy the Republicans until our entire Government is outsourced to Corporate Interests.  

You are probably thinking "Great – which ones so I can buy stock in them" but this is not a recipe for growth – this nothing more than a wealth extraction – draining America dry the same way business people drain the cash out of a near-bankrupt company by refusing to spend money and draining all of the cash flow until it dwindles away to nothing – at which point they default on the debts, lay off all the remaining employees (reneging on their pensions) while the top dogs parachute out and head off for the next fatted calf to slaughter (see SHLD).

15 Greek Billionaires rank among the World's richest men (an outsized number as their economy is 1/50th the size of ours) and they and the poorer 99% of the top 1% drained that country dry over the past few decades but they all get to walk away and leave the other 20M Greek citizens and their children and their grandchildren to clean up the mess they made.  You can see it in Greece because there was no interruption of the program between the Reagan/Thatcher/Kohl revolution of the 80s and today, while the US had 8 years of Clinton pushing some of the wealth back to the middle class – which bought us a little more time but, with a debt to GDP ratio now over 100% and rising fast – we're not very far behind.  

gdpdebt.png

As you can see from the chart above, since the 70's and especially since the early 80's this country has done nothing but go massively into debt – JUST LIKE GREECE – and our wealth is being extracted by the top 1% – JUST LIKE GREECE – and they will throw the bottom 99% to the wolves when the bill comes due while the top 1% skate out of this country and leave it an ungovernable wasteland with no future – JUST LIKE GREECE but, unlike Greece – there will be no EU to bail us out.  

The EU bailout is merely and "extend and pretend" move by the wealth extractors to make the bottom 99% of the nations that haven't been destroyed yet think that business as usual is still OK and, meanwhile, let's borrow more money and lower those pesky taxes and eliminate those annoying regulations because "that will fix everything."  It's like the plot to a dystopian fantasy only we're not only living in it but we're playing the part of the unwitting masses whose lives are being sacrificed on the alter of profits for the puppet-masters.  

I know you don't want to hear this stuff but THIS is why I am concerned about the "rally."  I was right in 2007 but it took an entire year for the market to collapse – I don't think we have as long this time because our second assault on the Middle Class and the poor is akin to kicking them when they are already down.  On the left we have a chart of gas sales in California – the bottom 99% simply don't have anything left to give us and if people like Paul Ryan are going to insist on bleeding them until they die (or revolt) – he's likely to get that wish a lot sooner than we all think.  

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HFT And buy program
At about 2:35 I detected a small IWM buy programHFT isn't to 2:30 yet, Algo is 30 minutes behind. What I want to see by 2:30 is IWM holding over JRW's 83.33 line or at least R1, 3 strikes and down again without math.

Tebow/Phil
 
They plan on using him for wildcat formations and some third downs especially near the goal line.

F#CKING OIL!!!

Those excited about Apple's (AAPL) dividend might want tocast their minds back to what happened to Microsoft (MSFT) when it bowed to pressure and started payouts in early 2003. "Microsoft within two years quickly moved from a growth company to a boring, fuddy-duddy, income-producing company," says Villere partner George Young. 
……but like I used to tell my girlfriend(s)….."hey, I'm not like those other guys."      🙂     

Sorry I should not think eastern time but I did say without math! Maybe a problem there?

I wish these pricks could get prosecuted for f#cking the american public like this… I dont understand how they even allow these pricks to just jack the price around like this… I hate these speculators more than I dislike the taliban….

David/CRM     Now there is a very unusual stock.   P/E sky high, 96.5 % owned by institutions.  Short interest 11%.  I would have no clue how to play this stock.  Good luck David.  I'll watch to see how this one does. 

Good job Jrom – oil is $0.25 down…

This is cool and useful on the road : 

'Air Display' to Let You Use the New iPad as Display for Your Mac
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/21/air-display-to-let-you-use-the-new-ipad-as-a-hidpi-retina-display-for-your-mac/

CRM/iflan:  Insiders play it by selling nonstop since 2007 😉
 
http://www.insidercow.com/

Boy was I wrong buying VXX 21 calls!  Apparently there will soon be absolutely "no" risk at all…

SEC Requests Details Of Priceline Activities In Iran, Syria

Mar 21, 2012 13:52:54 (ET)

 
–Regulator asks about business activities with Iran, Syria, Sudan and Cuba
–Priceline says it has no ties to governments of Syria, Sudan and Iran nor entities controlled by them
–Company facilitates travel for residents of those countries, in accordance with U.S. law
–It has no business or agreements with or in Cuba

Stjeanluc, how did you get that chart from 11:03am.  Is that something anyone can reproduce at will?  TIA.

Yawn, good morning!  Wow, Phil goes full freak on the destruction of America, not a stock symbol to be seen in it.  The Zimbabwe part was a bit hyperbolic, but I agree that there is a distinct "Road to Serfdom" cast  to U.S. political evolution right now, since it does appear that this year's selection of a president can have very little impact on the trajectory of U.S. economic evolution – the point that exec made.
 
As to the PSW "bearish thesis", the articles cited today can be decocted to reveal it's flaw, to wit: "As the issuer of the currency, the federal government’s true constraint is never solvency, but inflation."   James Montier's conclusion in respect of his corporate profits algorithm: "…the big source of profits? Yep, it was the government's monster negative savings. Or to put it another way, it was the huge deficit equalling 7.6% of GDP that really boosted corporate profits" doesn't seem to have a natural limit other than fear of inflation, a point he also makes.  
 
Frankly, I don't see that as a restraint in the current economic environment — I see it as a goal!!   And that implies that there is no apparent upper limit on stock prices, and would explain the current "irrational exuberance" of stock prices in an otherwise subdued economy with limited income and consumption potential.  Not on an inflation-adjusted basis, to be sure, but who's counting?  Not bondholders, obviously.  
 
So Phil:  if the U.S. government is willing to tolerate 8-10% inflation to reduce the deficit while employers give out 4-5% wage increases to employees — a thesis you advanced recently as being quite probably, not to say inevitable, in the coming years — how does this logic lead you to general bearishness?  Shouldn't we be running to the supermarket and laying in a five year supply of Kool-Aid?
 
Cited: http://www.businessinsider.com/gmos-james-montier-why-company-profit-margins-are-so-huge-2012-3#ixzz1pmODGqBI
 http://www.businessinsider.com/gmos-james-montier-why-company-profit-margins-are-so-huge-2012-3#ixzz1pmODGqBI

Amazed that day after day, low at 7:30-8…then grind up.  I need to stop thinking and start drinking.

Phil – It takes a big army to be the world's police officer….. And they pay us decently…Well, not compared to contractors who all start out at 6 figures over here and many make 200-370K a year….  I dont have an exact number on contractors out here but there are at least 20-40K…. And as we draw troops down in Afghanistan we are increasing the number of contractors…. A nice shell game that is doing nothing to help our deficit.

Zero
Consumer driven economy won't survive on less buying power.

CRIS popping higher.  you still like selling the Sept $5 puts Pharm?  I may do another round.

Phil – i forgot what your take on LULU was.  They are reporting in the morning tomorrow.

CRIS – yes.  I will focus on those almost exclusively.

PLX is at $6….can it move through and then to 6.65? 

Phil / VXX:  This trade is in bad shape with VXX getting absolutely obliterated over the last 3 days.  What adjustments would you consider here?  Roll the calls down to 17s or 18s?  Quit – VXX is going to the opposite place of PCLN?
 
There are massive open interests on the April puts compared to March puts or April calls – was there something in those tea leaves to have read?

Chart / Robert – The indicator Volume on Price is a standard overlay in Stockcharts.com.

VXX – and dropping again…

Buying Merck on baldness protein announcement with ATLN [CHF].  Big profits if it's real.  Stock not moving.  We'll see.

zero – propecia….proscar….testosterone….makes you grow hair there and everywhere….just sayin'

Pharm, dont forget the juggernaugt that is ARNA!

baldness/zero
 
Any drug from that announcement can be 5-10 years away and there will be plenty of pressure for them not to solve baldness because it's a multi billion dollar industry each year if they do nothing.

Oh, and I forgot the juggernaut that is ARNA…. 

Zero – How long will people tolerate 4-5% wage increases on 8-10% inflation?  Can they really devalue the dollar at an 8-10%/year pace without pissing someone off?  Can 8-10% inflation be done while at the same time keeping interest rates this low long term?  It just seems that the boys in DC have too many corss-currents to deal with.  JMHO

Is the Euro a sample of what a gold standard would be:

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-euro-is-the-gold-standard-2012-3

 

Europe is a close analogue to a gold standard.

  • Remember, each European country lacks the ability to print their own money.
  • All the European countries have a fixed 1-to-1 exchange rate, with no ability to devalue their currencies to correct trade imbalances.
  • The currency is designed to keep governments accountable, acting as a check on uncontrollable spending.
  • Countries have to raise through taxation or the bond market a certain amount of Euros each year to spend.

How about CLDX…or ARRY or IMGN or CERS for goodness sake.  I have had CERS on my SWW sheet, and it is up up up.  Forget all these Apples and Pricelines…let's buy overvalued, risky biotechs…. 🙂

StJ – if that is the case (yes, we have known it for a long time), WTF is the Euro doing at 1.32?  I am sorry, but it ain't worth enough to wipe my rear with.

Pharm / ARNA – but note how it cleverly became a juggeraut right after all of our MAR 2 calls expired worthless!

A fun way to play earnings on $LULU is with the 75/77.50 bull call spread and 72.50/70 bear put spread, making a reverse iron condor with weekly options. 50% gain if LULU goes to 77.50 or 70 by Friday's close.

Pharm – I bought ARRY at 1.80 ish based on your reco, are you out of ARRY now? I still hold it and was wondering what your position is now….

Pharm… Dutasteride which is taken off presc. for MPB.  GSK

mrm – Tell me about it….SGEN was the same since I had the $20 calls.  And look at the volume on Friday at 3:59 pm EST.  Someone loaded up on them and wiped out the shorts….I am really, really, really barking mad!

whoa, what's driving DMND up?

DMND popping….

jro – I am out, unfortunately.  I got out and posted a month or so ago when they hit $3ish.  Data is coming up though, so I would buy a few puts at $2.5 on them in Sept to protect your profit.  I need to find the date, but I believe it is May or June for data…could be the ASCO meeting June 1-5.  IF the data are good, then it will fly and those puts will be piece of mind.

New tag line going around is "To Win The Super Bowl, the Broncos sacrificed a virgin"

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