Sunday, June 16, 2013

Feeling sorry for the rats.

'What's in the box?'
-David Mills, Se7en

'And the eye-in the-sky is watching us all.'
-Ace Rothstein, Casino

'To be modern only means to fill new forms with eternal truths.'
-Joseph Goebbels

As a trader, there is time to reflect ‘tween the flickering ticks, often in the wee hours. Here in the Great City there is tranquility when the air is sepia; the darkness balanced by the illumination necessary to keep the cameras in focus as they watch the over-served stumble home whilst the bunnies litter the green space. Actually we have a bunny infestation here, but no one seems to mind. After all they are cute, cuddly, and as such of course harmless. The signs referencing infestation always refer to the rodents, many the size of rabbits. Both critters carry disease no doubt, but there are of course no proclamations with big red Xs superimposed over Thumper and his kin.

For the gnostic the wailing and gnashing of being spy gamed is about seven years too late.  The Federales mirrored the San Fran Carrier Hotel  back in ’06 and have never snooped back. They hack us for our freedoms dontchaknow. The digital binding of the left hand to the right foot, the requisite dissection of ones’ avataristic soul, with mercy dispensed as necessary in the name of national security.

The comics of course living up to their name in discourse, oblivious to any other amendment other than the second.  Snowden, Manning, and the like, you are no Daniel Ellsberg, for as we live through a bad sci-fi movie from the 70s the concept of whistleblower is being queued up as requiring a minimum sentencing standard. Pay no mind that the self-immolation of a Tunisian monk that purportedly initiated the Arab Spring was motivated by the Wikileaks disclosure of corruption in their government and direct your inattention to the fact that Snowden’s girlfriend is kinda hot eh?

No one asked us if we wanted a credit score. No one will ask us if we want a citizen score. Alas such a metric is undeniably coming to a job interview, college application, mortgage document and dating website near you. When the spooks gave away the basic algorithms to business  awhile ago assuring that there was no bottle for that genie, the ubiquitous commercial application of that military tech became inevitable.

At the end of the day the data intelligence complex is a job creation program. Oh certainly the usual suspects over time will be rounded up so our solons with flag pins suitably shined can trumpet the necessity of it all for there is data gold in them there hills; a digital homestead with free spoils .

Youth may be for the young but youthful indiscretion is now a thing of your past, available into perpetuity at the touch of the button by any opposable thumb that finds you within six degrees of nefarious separation.

Frankly, I feel sorry for the rats.

Friday, October 12, 2012

QE baby QE.. baby don't you spare no dimes on me...

Gordon Cooper: Who was the best pilot I ever saw? Well, uh, you're lookin' at 'im.
John Glenn: I'm tired of being forthright, gracious and magnanimous.
Gordon Cooper: Yeah.
John Glenn: I'm tired of these stupid questions from the press.
-The Right Stuff

In preparation for an Irish Wake this evening I  became a bit reminiscent of family and such.

Had the memory of when as a lad lived ‘downstate in the sticks’ for a few years where , foreshadowing my future as a trader, across  the street  from me resided a fella of the name of Cash Dollar. (Honest to goodness!) Oh… he would also wear a big hat and walk around in a stars and stripes get-up from time-to-time.  

Mr. Dollar owned horses and he would corral them with an electric fence.  Not enough to harm the horse,  the fence’s setting was strong enough though, to get their attention.

As a young’un was into a young’un’s ways and sometimes out of love and devotion , of course, was perhaps  just a tad bit mischievous toward some of me dear relatives. My plan, admittedly a bit reckless, was to apply the juice meant to apply said ‘horse sense’ in a less than judicious manner to whoever happened to be visiting at the time.

Would not  usually have difficulty luring the relative, and am ‘membering a specific occurrence with a cousin,  to feed apples to the horses, and invariably this fella  had a pretty big construct, although sometimes it varied, on the setup. ..

With this cousin the sting was the ‘passioned representation that I had in fact procured superhuman powers and that as proof would lay hands upon her where she would both feel my power and might.

Upon my plaintive cry would then  grab the electric fence and reach over to the victim and give them literally a jolt.

Truth being stranger am sure the analogy is not lost on you gentle reader.

If I were the Fed, and my dear cousin Marie were …well… you, my dear fellow surplus eater,  can only assure you that the expression on her face from this betrayal  should clearly imitate that yonder on yours.

Delivering dollar’s juice might be couched with nice apples but betrayal  ain’t going to go down well.  

Our testy solons though are confident that it will be Japan first  (after Europa) or at least for what passes as confidence these days from the fireman that go from room to room putting out the work of their arson.

These troubles always end in currency crises don’tcha  know.

Yeh and they do too.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Theohphilus Thistle, a secular epistle, Bennie's wet whistle

'Our blessed leaders at the Fed have a God Complex, they believe they are bigger than the markets, they will suffer the judgement that history bestows upon all fools.' - unattributed

'A vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who have nothing in them of the feelings or principles of '76, now look to a single and splendid government of aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and monied incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.'
-Thomas Jefferson 

'Say 'what' again! Say 'what' again! I dare you. I double-dare you...' - Jules, Pulp Fiction

'It's not a panacea' - Bernanke on QE3

'The time has come for someone to put his foot down and that foot is me.' -Dean Wormer, Animal House

So much outrage so little rhyme.

The fact that the Federales had to build the biggest computer in the world to break every code in the world in order to fill up the biggest data center in the world is freaky enough. The latest revelation that everyones' license plates have been scanned and if you make a public record request you can get a hold of a couple hundred images of yourself driving across these  here Yoo Knighted States is downright creepy. Get ye back Datalogix. Remember it is not a police state until they knock on your door.

But don't worry dear citizen 'tis only to fight the evildoers. Hey if you are innocent then you have nothing to fear and if not well then tie the left hand to the right foot and have mercy on the accused's soul.

Lot of folks crying mercy today. That irascible Uncle Fed, pinching cheeks and givin' noogies to the Atticus Finches of this world that thought that hard work if not returning reward would at least yield some er.. yield.

But yield is for the more equal brainworkers that posit the rest of the economy must yield to their troubles, the never ending gurgling emitted from the rabbithole whence all the QSPEs and VIEs were deposited. The deflationary chasm if you will. All but disappeared from the eyes of us mere surplus eaters, gently ensconced in the depths of the Google Cache.

How much cred does the Fed Head shed  if the Fed Head still had cred? Verily the great Bernak will monetize cows to drive up the price of milk.  A friendly professor employing friendly persuasion to corral the assorted sycophants into enabling Nancy Capitalism and the grand criminal syndicate that is the American financial system. We will keep firing away until morale improves proclaims the Oracle at Eccles. The portfolio balance akin to a trapeze walker, the safety net only stretched for those too Big to Fall.  The subliminal to the folks on the Street is that this generation busted by liquidity lusted  is only partially through the generational workout; we can keep papering over declining living standards with policies that are, of, for, and by the banks; and can win the hearts and minds with the pablum narrative of decreasing the unemployment rate by kicking folks out of the labor force (nudge nudge wink wink) - 89 million and counting.. BOOHAH!

If ideology is the devil verily we live in a ring of hell. Leader Obama rightfully is betwixt and bewildered that the banksters don't love him, seriously(goes his plaintive cry) do you think you would have got half as much from McCain? At minimum Hobgoblin Geithner should wear a monocle and top hat when he disdainfully addresses Congress cackling about reforms and expressing his personal outrage at the latest book that weighs him in the balance and finds him comically lacking. This 'seminal' election that offers the clearest distinction since the founding of the union is naught but a choice of two peas in a pod, the noise masquerading as debate akin to galley slaves fighting over the color of their master's tie. 

Romney Robot is equally dismayed that his mercenary past doesn't sell in Peoria. Do they not understand that bloodletting is good for the patient? The black guy said you didn't build it! For the love of Pete they even made me pay more in taxes last year than I should have just to prove that I am a patriot...what more do you people want?

What we want Mittens is what we got. The real referees are back. And all is well.

God Bless America and Go Bears! Golly gee... that flyby was cool!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fight the Power

'How low can you go? we go again... They'll never care for the brothers and sisters'.
-Public Enemy, Bring the Noise

'You know, we always called each other good fellas. Like you said to, uh, somebody, :You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella. He's one of us.: You understand?... It's like a license to steal. It's a license to do anything.'
-Henry Hill, Goodfellas

'U.S. futures industry investigators are looking into why Iowa-based collapsed brokerage PFGBest used a tiny accounting firm that appears to be operating from inside a suburban Chicago home to audit its books...'
- Chicago Tribune 07/12

'All I know is that first, you've got to get mad.'
-Howard Beale, Network

As the latest Ponzi within a Ponzi unravels within the comics perhaps a moment should be taken to focus on the bigger picture.

A progressive reading the FT and WSJ on a daily basis for years may seem to epitomize the duality of life but in truth how can one fight the power lest one at least stay acquainted with the outtake of said propaganda mills?

To wit, a young turk with most certainly an unabashedly bright future of the name Matthew Schoenfeld ( with CV of  'recent graduate of Harvard Law School'), penned a piece in the WSJ two or 'tree' days ago that was most certainly received fondly by the the proponents of the 'ideology of the rich' and their assorted sycophants. 

He used the example of 'Micheal Jordan's exorbitant salary as making the Bulls better overall and by extension the league' to exclaim that income equality ain't what your lyin' eyes record. Quoting the Grand Poobah of Unintended Consequences, Larry Summers, "From the time of Pericles until the end of the 18th century in London-2300 years, standards of living increased perhaps 100%." ; Schoenfeld continues with, 'In the U.S. since 1790, by contrast, real per capita gross domestic product has increased nearly 4000%. Quality of life, in other words, increased 40 times more in 220 years of American history than it had globally over two millenia.'

He concludes with, 'perhaps a century from now low-income Americans will pity the living standards of today's 1%'. 

Golly gee so I guess the surplus eaters stricken by the failure to liquidate the insolvent criminal syndicate and suffering from the greatest level of income inequality (give or take a few percentage points) since I don't know... the Tyler Rebellion of 1381... should count their blessings that they have indoor plumbing, and neither have to worry about the plague nor the fixing of maximum wages?... (they only fix minimum now).

Well done liege Schoenfeld, well done... verily though...

Let me retort.

It is obvious Matthew that your time at Goldman Sachs , Lehman Brothers, 3GCapital, and your upcoming stint at Morgan Stanley after graduation has and will give you a robust appreciation of the 'little people'.

Perhaps you might though be interested  in what some of your fellow students (admittedly  from a much lower caste) have to say on the troubles of the 99%.  ...  has been compiling a metric for 5 years now that calculates the defacto unemployment rate.

It is of interest to discerning folk for it closely mirrors the methodology employed to calculate unemployment during the First Great Depression.

The last tabulation was performed in January of 2012:
Unemployed ...8.3%
Marginally Attached...1.8%
Excess Disability...6% (est)
Government Programs 4% (est)

Total 26.1% (looks like there is a typo on their site on the discouraged total).

Again their methodology is similar to GD1, where they basically counted up folks that were able, and had worked in the past,and were not working now. Yes I know that  the Jan '12 defacto total includes disability but gentle reader we all know folks on disability... need I say more?

Another adjustment when comparing to GD1 is that given the Keating-Owen Act there were industries where it was legal to hire 'em on their 14th birthday.

Lastly, the unemployment rates in 1932, 1933 and 1934 were 23.53%, 24.75%,  and 21.60%

So gentle reader forget about income inequality, forget about the defacto unemployment rate, cause the top1% back in GD1 should be pitied by today's huddled masses where the intertubes are free and the check is in the mail.

To each according to their eligibility ...for each according to their greed.

Fight the Power.

So Long, and thanks for all the fish Matthew.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nuke 'em. Let's nuke the bastards.

' I saw... its thoughts. I saw what they're planning to do. They're like locusts...  After they've consumed every natural resource they move on ...'
-President Thomas Whitmore (Independence Day)

The same "Senior Compliance Manager" who signed off on the PFGBest affadavit and who is listed on the NFA website as both the "Director of Audits/Investigations" and the "Director of FOREX Compliance", Lauren Brinati, is the same woman whom I and my attorneys dealt with two years ago. {Brinati told my lawyer...}
"I don't actually understand any of this stuff. I just sign whatever comes across my desk." 
Lauren Brinati, June 2010

'Outside theft is even harder to stop in advance than foolish risk-taking. No reform proposal  should adopt the impossible goal of eliminating the need for trust and integrity. The cost of any proposed remedy will ultimately be passed on to brokerage customers.'
-Financial Times 7/11/12

'Client funds held by PFG Canada are also covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, which puts them at an advantage over U.S. clients. The U.S. equivalent to the CIPF, the Securities Investor Protection Corp. doesn’t cover futures accounts, while CIPF covers all investment accounts, from stock to futures to currencies.
CIPF was apprised of the situation late Monday afternoon but does not believe it will be called upon to cover any losses, said vice-president Barbara Love.
Regulators are working “very quickly. There’s a lot more knowledge in Canada about the futures industry after MF Global.” 7/10/12

Bad people do bad things.
Clearly, mistakes were made.
Madoff? Lone wolf. MFG? Market turned against them...whoops! PFG? How were we supposed to know that P.O. Box was a fake? He was such a nice man.

The second time this fella has missed a ponzi by whiskers. The first saw overseas institutions take a hit. Caveat Emptor Deutschland!

This time its' personal. Good folks, some known to me, who through no fault of their own...wiped out. Financial detritus strewn about with the skidmarks of another clown car.

This morning whilst grabbing the normal cup of joe got into a conversation with a MF Global refugee. A stranger who overheard my riffin' on the PFG headline in today's comics.
Everytime he reads how 'most' have received 70-80% back he wants to grab a pitchfork... he has seen nada and knows many that have garnered just as much.

'When you tell folks that it is a criminal syndicate they roll their eyes', I opined.

'They have no idea', he replied.

Let me though gentle reader, fan such a thought, provide perhaps a gentle breeze to just such an ember in your mind....  

' The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama's economic recovery.  While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits…     After adjusting for inflation, median annual household income dropped 5.3% between June 2009 and May 2012. In contrast, median incomes dropped 2.6% during the 18-month recession, Sentier found.  "The recession was bad enough," said Sentier's Gordon Green, "but what's extraordinary is the even larger decline during this so-called economic recovery."…  7/6/12

Oh and the situation is much much worse if you exclude entitlement payments.

Clearly the Band of the Hand can only create a Potemkin demand. This so-called recovery, with so-called free markets, and so-called regulators, should be called for what it is ...a Ponzi reliant upon the charisma of the schemer. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The criminal syndicate strikes again ...Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

'History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce..'
-Karl Marx 

I have spoken to the heads of various Wall Street equity derivative trading desks and every single one of the senior managers told me that Bernie Madoff was a fraud. Of course no one wants undue career risk by sticking their head up and saying that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes. As a result of this case several careers on Wall Street and in Europe will be ruined. Therefore, I have not signed nor put my name on this report. I am worried about the personal safety of myself and my family.'
-Harry Markopolos in 2005. 

'No one at MF Global ... has been accused of any wrongdoing....The CME Group...has not been accused of any wrongdoing.' - New York Times

'A “spot check” performed on US futures brokers’ customer accounts in the wake of the MF Global failure found all, including PFG, were in compliance, CFTC said in January.The Chicago-based NFA had responsibility for auditing the broker’s accounts. 
After contacting US Bank on Monday, the NFA found that PFG had only $5m on deposit there, NFA said. Further, NFA found that two balances of $207m and $218m reported by PFG for February 2010 and March 2011 respectively at US Bank were false. PFG only had less than $10m for each of those months, the NFA said.' - Financial Times

 'Only now at the end do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side...'
-Emperor Palpatine

'We have to show these men and women freedom by enslaving them, and show them courage by frightening them.' - Fight Club

"FCM's should be required to develop automated daily reports that divulge their segregated customer account balances and holdings to exchanges.  Appropriate information such as compliance to guidelines need to be made public," Alex Kins, CEO, AlphaMetrix

The criminal syndicate strikes again.

The NFA, National Futures Association (NFA) is the industrywide, self (er scratch that) stealth-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry. NFA strives every day to safequard market integrity, protect investors and blah blah blah (insert your derision here).

Obviously the (smurfs at the) NFA's  spot-check of PFG, the most recent happening 'that could never happen'  involved making sure that the officious document asserting  a couple hundred million at US Bank was  uh.... officious looking.  Hold it up to the light to see a watermark perhaps? Check the PFG website to make sure it was the correct company letterhead? Did the fella sign it? OK!! Put it in the official file.

Of course actually contacting the institution to confirm funds was too obtrusive and outside the NFA's striving mandate to safeguard and protect the criminal syndicate and its' associated sycophants.

Golly gee, they will no doubt exclaim we don't have a mandate or the manpower (er scratch that) willpower to police the thousands of FCMs ( er scratch that...  less than 100!... see  and besides that responsibility if it were to exist would rightfully need to be explained away by one of our brethren regulators (er scratch that... wolves).

Today's 'hen special' of two or 'tree' hundred million vaporized will quickly cycle through the pablum narrative... the 'regulators' even now divining what mitigating action need be taken to turn the page , to start afresh, to restore confidence and integrity to the folks who serve as the necessary fodder for the armaments of the more equal brainworkers.

The only hope for the good people, which I can assert since they include friends and acquaintances, who now stand victimized and vulnerable, is that the dollar cost to the Cosa Nostra of the hit to whatever these solons desire their 'reputation' to be is greater than the dollar cost of making clients of PFG whole.

The 1st rule of Fight Club is that you do not talk about FIGHT CLUB. The 2nd rule of Fight Club is that you DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB.

Watch as they try to change the conversation again.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

@$#%@#$%@#$ Honey! Where is my scotch?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Those too astute to buy refute you.

A brief dispatch from a pragmatic outpost on the outskirts of the ideological empire.

Manufacture of contempt cause it's only a Great Depression if they say it is? Check.

Beware the Trojan Hoax? Check.

Failure to liquidate the insolvent banksters has liquidated the productive economy? Check.

Verily, let them eat debt? Checkmate.

No need for this fella to opine regularly as the song remains the same although there have been a few amusing happenings as of late... and that's a gift that our political cycle just can't help giving.

Watching the POTUS's SOTU half expected to see a crawl at the bottom showing job listings. Human Resource Manager in Chief... seriously?

And the publican response? Why it's Mourning in America. Our nation as a whining city upon a hill whose QE blight beguiles Nancy Capitalist loving people everywhere.

Replace their conflicted moderate with our conflicted moderate and we'll regulate through repeal and bring back the Old Deal.

And more importantly sayeth Mortimer we'll get those soldiers back in there! We'll turn those wars back on, or at least do a little Persian nation building.

It's a job creation program dontcha know.

But to top it off.. to find that in this election cycle the establishment political candidate that purportedly supports the only rational economic policy is, given his co-opting of Dr. Paul, Newton Leroy McPherson? Well for a liberal progressive that isn't just falling through a rabbithole it is a rip in the space time continuum.

Ah Newt... born of teenage parents, participant in Venn Diagram marriages, Freddie Mac millionaire...who else could take the mantle of an outsider preaching family values. Given that his teenage parents were married for three days he obviously felt he had the experience to once advocate orphanages for the children of single unwed welfare mothers.

His surname of Gingrich came from his teenage father giving up parental rights in exchange for skipping his child support payments.

He truly is, aside from a complete inability and/or desire to connect on a retail level, the Republican Clinton.

Mere fodder for the comedy channels no doubt...

But here in and about the heartland it is about the jobs stupid.
You can screw with the denominator.
You can screw with the deflator.
You can villify the victims and break bread with the satyrs.
You can cut them in half while they are smiling ear to ear... what magic!

But at the end of the day sus lying ojos can't help but make the smiling propaganda gazetter's black and white arguments seem a bit more sepia.

The Grey is more than just Liam versus the wolves it is the shade we all live in, the twilight of Empire, where the ideology of the rich battles the struggling pragmatism of making a payment on time.

It is the cusp of the demographic black diamond slope versus the bright light of entitlement for the more equal brainworkers.

The battle of right versus trite, exposition versus expediency, socialized guts versus diminished glories, and ultimately Mr. Hand's chimera of currency debasement versus productive growth.

Truth makes strange bedfellows but not if folks fail to agree that there is at least a bed in a room in a house on a block somewhere... anywhere ...where the pillow talk isn't impuning the other's patriotism.

Doing God's work whilst being hell bent to seek rent doesn't trickle too terribly well when the world is concurrently walking through the Valley of Debt and fearing no easing.

Eventually something has got to give.

To all the naysaying nabobs of Nancy Capitalism, who think that social mobility is accessing Facebook on their cell, that the Pareto curve describes a major leaguer's out pitch, who believe the worth of a man is judged by the size of his wallet, who continue to argue about nickels whilst the solons steal gold bars out the back, and try and sell hope by enabling despair...

Those too astute to buy refute you.