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Behind Market activity Opening dismal October, 2014

By 11:00 AM EST,the US markets had recovered from the 1% + drop opening, standing at approx. - 0.76%. Red still predominated globally but for the positive Hang Seng and CSI 300.

Explanations for the decline centered on the US ebola patient and relevant industries: e.g., airlines and travel in those confined quarters - generally down; pharmaceuticals at work on ebola medicines; healthcare, on clothing, etc., generally up.

Not helping matters are

  • slowing factory activity in the US and Asia in September;
  • construction spending declines;

Market activity, Thursday, September 25, 2014 - Reality and Fantasy colliding?

At 11:16 AM this morning, the Dow stood at slightly more than 200 down. Thursday appears to be the new "unloading" day; dump on Thursday and pump on Friday to establish a firmer outlook for the start of the new week. However, the Dow dipped below 17,000 and hit a support level and bounced to a minimally higher point at about the 16,998 level at this time.

Reuters featured an article that highlighted the record high decline in durable goods orders, -18.2% - where a -17.5% decline had been anticipated. We're "due for a correction".

News Breaks – Weakness Everywhere!

Amazing what can develop in one week’s time when least expected. The hope had been that the Fed could have announced that since the economy is doing so well we’d be able to raise interest rates. Suddenly, the consumer inflation indices are down, the bond markets which had been maneuvering in anticipation of the increases find themselves out on a lonely prairie abandoned and the dollar is slipping, and on both sides of the rate issue principals are retracting.

Futures lower, USD sheds some luster, gold rebounds, and Phillips looks for greater returns.

Smaller things create the greater picture.

Also a sign of the times, the Phillips group appears committed to ridding themselves of their first reason for being - electric light bulbs. Reuters had the short blurb announcing Phillips intention among other headlines that indicate our shared path regardless of the feasibility and compatibility with current situations. These are a mark of our times.

Home sales disappoint, Stock markets pull back!

So the Reuters headlines herald today as the Dow dips a modest amount, barely edging into the three digit negative area.

The short blurb on existing home sales finishes off with the quick summary,

" . . . much weaker than expected raising new concerns about the level of growth in the economy."

A Note on Retail Businesses

We've mentioned traffic in US retail business on more than one occasion and in more than an off-handed way. Veteran Lender has contributed the thought that some leading retail corporations may be facing more than a squeeze before the year-end holidays and might even be forced into consolidation of some sort. O&G has voiced concern about the light traffic encountered in malls and stores. Now, Fortune magazine has an article in their September 22 issue starting off with a question for a title - "Where have all the shoppers gone?" Reflection on the Secular Stagnation?

We're sitting on top of the world - - In case you haven't heard.

Paul Krugman is quite a fortunate man - all due to his industry, intelligence and planned investment in his future. The number of people with his blessings are so few even with the ridiculously low calculated suggestion that we are only six degrees (contacts) away from knowing everyone on the face of the earth, the chance of our coming into face to face contact with someone of his caliber is prohibitive.

An update on the puzzling report on derivatives - 8/26/14

Before the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law, an enterprising reporter cornered Representative Barney Frank and asked a few questions about the contents of the Bill as passed. One of the questions was whether the Act brought all derivatives under regulation. The answer was short, "No, it didn't. It wasn’t meant to." Congressional records carry similar disclosures from both Frank and Dodd in respective recorded responses.

Reuters touts S&P advancing records rather than record advances.

The main headline on the Reuters site today looks for S&P to continue its upward move despite no indication from "fundamentals" that value has increased. In their words, -

"The level has more psychological than fundamental significance, and it could prompt market participants to consider whether their holdings have become stretched."

Secular Stagnation, chasing after the golden fleece while ignoring the flock.

Voxeu.org has a new e-book available, Secular Stagnation: Facts, causes and cures, edited by Coen Teulings and Richard Baldwin. It is available at this site: -


A shorter, lead-in version is on the voxeu.org site, at: -


Headlines and beyond: 8-13-14 AM

Reuters primary headlines - meaning bolder type and more prominent location than the second tier headlines - provide the following for consideration -

  • Weak retail sales point to slowdown in U.S. consumer spending;
  • Wall St. rises with ease in Ukraine, Iraq tensions 9:41am EDT;
  • Macy's cuts same-store sales forecast, shares drop 9:07am EDT;
  • U.S. Fed seen moving slowly after first rate hike in second quarter 2015: Reuters poll 9:43am EDT; and,
  • U.S. mortgage applications fall in latest week: MBA

Fighting Debt with Inflation

The culmination of papers suggesting the Fed increase the inflation target, points out some of the problems and negative aspects residing in Inflationary policy.

Outlook for August 6th, 2014 - Class War continues - Chapter n-1!

FIRST- Veteran Lender's post should open this thread


Submitted by Veteran_Lender on Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:05.

Obviously, the day took a nasty turn after your update yesterday, but the message remained spot-on. There is one thing to add to your commentary- that the in-fight for power through financial manipulation takes a mighty toll on us all.

Outlook Thursday, July 31, 2014

Very short initial post before markets open in the US, on which we'll expand our thoughts.

  • Bloomberg shows futures worldwide in the red - all but for China Securities Index 300;
  • Major Impetus appears to be geopolitical unrest and the Fed's nearing the end of its current QE culling process; and
  • Foods are down in US and Insurances up - the last apparently explained by the ludicrous cycle of insurance stocks appreciating since an important source of their income derives from the rising prices of market equities held.

An effective multiplier, but senseless. Simple ask if the same multiplier applies on the way down?

"Dark Pools" and Brokers' Opinions Responding to a Bloomberg Poll

One broker is quoted at the top of the article, in paragraph three -

“I don’t like secret societies,” said Peter Nielsen, a senior investment analyst and poll respondent at Saturna Capital Corp. in Bellingham, Washington, which oversees $4 billion. “I don’t like secret trading; it just runs against my personal disposition,” he added. “I’m a big believer in transparency -- huge believer in transparency. Even the word ‘dark pool’ freaks me out.”

This from a man who earns his living at the market.

Comcast, the bully! How to endear customers.

Impossible to think of the exchange between a customer seeking to terminate service from a supplier and the arrogant refusal to respond to his request as possible anywhere but in the land of the dollar.

An Age-Old Story

What does Janet Yellen have in reserve to be revealed in her coming testimony before Congress?

A Reuters headline poses the question facing more than the Fed alone - more than her cohorts in the various committees, systems and sectors in the US or elsewhere: How to chart a path to "normalization".

Despite the smiles, displays of confidence and self-congratulating attitudes, what do their faces show when the spotlights are turned off and the crowds disperse?


Life Imitates Art

A Reuters article on Vatican banking today reports even the Vatican cannot resist temptation in its banking system and adopted the code of ethics – or dropped them is more a propos – to race after riches and scruples be damned!

For those awake at this hour. . .

. . . how many as a result of attempting to analyze markets' next move or whether they are paused in anticipation? Or governments' next commitment to policy or program?

So many bubbles have generated air space beneath us, there's question enough whether the flooring has the support we need. It's honeycombed with weakness that can disappoint us on any step from here on, forward or backward. . . and in our indecisiveness, we do too much of both!

Faulting quick decisions from unexpected sources

Two news items exhibit unexpected turns of rationale which may be of the same species:

  • Part One: Paul Krugman calls to task those with "delusions" about inflation - and classifies the group in the "Conservative" category; and,
  • Part Two: Reuters features an article that strongly suggests Central Banks (specifically the Fed, BOE and BOJ) are giving up the "openess" of "forward guidance" and returning to the days of opacity, when Monetary Policy was and "art".

Jobs still in the forefront

Previous Comments on the vital JOBS issue which is not improving - moved to front and center.

Lehman Bros culture is not dead

Reuters reports that Barclays, which assumed Lehman Bros US business, is involved in "Dark Pool" operations, described as allowing large institutions to engage in market activity anonymously. The problem surfaced when increased activity suggests parties other than large institutions are allowed access to the process.

New York's Attorney General filed a lawsuit Thursday and Barclays promptly lost $3.4 billion, approximately 6.5% of market value Thursday before stabilizing Friday.

"Liquidity Preference" explained with examples

For those not absolutely certain of the definition of the commonly used phrase “liquidity trap" this begins with an extraction from a 1960's paper by Friedman-Schwartz entitled “Money and Business Cycles” -

Vindicating a six year quest

Since February, 2008 we've been on a quest to explain the 2007 crisis and the failures that prolonged recovery. We gathered sufficient courage to begin concentrating in earnest in a thread on Microsoft's Money Talk forum initiated by Duffminster early February, 2009.

  • By the seventh of the month, we listed our version of the four main problems the system faced, which Duff moved forward to occupy message #15 in the tsunami thread - beginning March, 2009..

    The link to the article in Old and Gray's blog site is -

Krugman on President Obama's "Big Deals"

Monday, July 15th, Paul Krugman defended President Obama's record in his NYTimes column. Health Care and Climate: President Obama's Big Deals. The grounds cited, leaders should be judged by their achievements, not by their press reports, may sound logical, but are of no use to the unemployed, under-employed, of otherwise stressed or deprived by issues of income and sustenance - e.g., low interest rates, inadequate return for their career-long social security payments, diminishing compensation - all adding up to difficulty in making ends meet, etc.

Bureau of Labor Statistics and arithmetic 6-12-14

This is the third entry on statistics provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and jobs in which disagreement on the principles of arithmetic are in dispute.

Figures provided are prefaced with "seasonally adjusted" which may cover the mythical "multitude of sins". The sinful part is the reporting, in this case by Reuters, and the conclusions drawn about the "strengthening economy"?

Apologies for inviting communication with Old and Gray

If readers responded to the email address posted here less than 24 hours ago, humble apologies are in order.

The promise from the site was anonymity, but delivery on service is some kind of maze O&G is unable to master. Last night access was possible; this morning, the site will not accept O&G's login.

With regret, the offer must be retracted.

Again, with apologies.

U.S. Outlook heading into the final thirty days of the half year.

With only the month of June remaining before closing out the second quarter of 2014, where are the good signs for recovery?

HFT evaluated by a new Economic paper from Holland.

What’s the value of High Frequency Trading (HFT) if additional unanticipated, un-contracted for and onerous “deadweight costs” are attached to the expense of participant traders all for the benefit of “market makers” and “market bandits”? And will it have any effect on day traders or the general perception of the markets' integrity?

Are world banks returning to banking?

Jamie MeGeever, Reuters' chief Markets Correspondent in Europe. . . and elsewhere for that matter. . reported on May 11, 2014 that

Boom Times for bank trading have gone, and may never come back


His observation -

(Reuters) The boom years of financial market trading, when banks made unprecedented profits from bonds, currencies and commodities, may be over for good as financial firms realize there will be no cyclical upswing on their dealing desks.
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