Goodbye, Socialist Paradise

Nestle USA has announced that it will move its headquarters from Glendale, California, to Rosslyn, Virginia, taking with it about 1200 jobs.  The once Golden State has lost some 1690 businesses since 2008 and a net outflow of a million of mostly middle-class people from the state from 2004 to 2013 due to its onerous tax rates, the oppressive regulatory burden, and the genuine kookiness which pervades among its ruling elites.*

 

There has been a remarkable reversal of flow of people and businesses – but California’s ruling elite seemingly remains utterly clueless as to why this is happening and/or doesn’t seem to care. When people and businesses flee from such a well-developed region with such a favorable climate, one should realize that something is probably very wrong. Here is a link to a comprehensive study of the flight of businesses and a million middle class people (net) since 2008 (PDF).

 

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Exterminating Angel

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA – Amid all the sound and fury of the Trump news cycle, hardly anyone noticed. There is a specter haunting this economy. It is the specter of inflation…

 

See, if you want to whip inflation now, you don’t need to do any of the really difficult things, such as printing less money… or God forbid, return to honest, market-chosen money (shudder!). All you need is intelligent nutrition!

Image credit: Marshall Astor

 

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A Simple Way

In their efforts to beat the market, many investors are spending a lot of time searching for rare undiscovered gems or sophisticated trading rules.

There is actually a simpler way.

 

Not everything is simple – but some things actually are.

 

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To Unleash or Not to Unleash, That is the Question…

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA –  Corporate earnings have been going down for nearly three years. They are now about 10% below the level set in the late summer of 2014. Why should stocks be so expensive?

 

Example of something that one should better not unleash. The probability that a win-lose proposition will develop upon meeting it seems high. It wins, because it gets to eat…

Image credit: Urs Hagen

 

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Fundamental Developments

Last week, the prices of the metals mostly moved sideways. There was a rise on Thursday but it corrected back to basically unchanged on Friday.

This will again be a brief Report, as Monday was a holiday in the US.

Below, we will show the only true picture of the gold and silver supply and demand fundamentals. But first, the price and ratio charts.

 

Prices of gold and silver – click to enlarge.

 

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The Technical Picture – a Comparison of Antecedents

We wanted to post an update to our late December post on the gold sector for some time now (see “Gold – Ready to Spring Another Surprise?” for the details). Perhaps it was a good thing that some time has passed, as the current juncture seems particularly interesting. We received quite a few mails from friends and readers recently, expressing concern about the inability of gold stocks to lead, or even confirm strength in gold of late. In light of past experience, such market behavior certainly deserves to be scrutinized. We felt reminded of another occasion though, when a negative divergence prompted a flood of mails to us as well (not every divergence does).

 

The HUI compared to gold. It is a good rule of thumb that positive divergences between the HUI and gold are bullish signals and negative divergences are bearish signals. Also, gold stocks should ideally lead gold in order to confirm the prevailing trend. They should be strong relative to gold in uptrends and weak relative to gold in downtrends. As you can see above though, not every negative divergence is meaningful. It can even turn out to be a major misdirection, as happened in early 2016. We published a great many posts  on the sector between August and December of 2015, stressing that we felt a great opportunity was at hand. The brief break of support in January 2016, coupled with a negative divergence,  prompted many people to write in and express concern – click to enlarge.

 

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Definitely Maybe

Everyone’s got a plan for sale these days.  In fact, there are so many plans out there we cannot keep up with them all.  Eat celery sticks and lose weight.  Think and grow rich.  Stocks for the long run.  Naturally, plans like these run a dime a dozen.

 

All social engineers who get to impose their harebrained schemes on the rest of the world through the coercive powers of the State, as well as all armchair planners regaling us with their allegedly “better plans”, should have this highly perceptive quote by Robert Burns tattooed on their foreheads. In case you’re wondering, “gang aft a-gley” is slightly old English for “usually turn out to be total crap”. The second part that points out that as a rule, we get nothing but grief and pain instead of promised joy, is applicable to interventionism in general; the so-called “unintended consequences” of interventions almost always turn out to be their main feature and defining characteristic.

 

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Regret and Suffering

BALTIMORE – Victoribus spolia

So far, the most satisfying thing about the Trump win has been the howls and whines coming from the establishment. Each appointment – some good, some bad from our perspective – has brought forth such heavy lamentations.

 

Oh no! Alaric the Visigoth is here! Hide the women and children! And don’t forget the vestal virgins, if you can find any…

 

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How to Save Money When Buying or Make More When Selling a Home

In your professional capacity and perhaps also in your private life, you may be closely involved with financial and commodity markets. Trading in stocks, bonds or futures is part of your daily routine.  Occasionally you probably have to deal with real estate as well though – if you e.g. want to purchase an apartment or a house, or if own a home you wish to sell.

 

The people who took this photograph probably want to sell… how do we know? Read on…

Photo credit: vantagedesigngroup.com

 

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Monster or Mozart?

BALTIMORE – Investors seem to be holding their breath, like a man hiding a cigarette from his wife. It’s just a feeling, and it’s not the first time we’ve had it… but it feels as though it wouldn’t take much to send them all running.

 

Actually, they’re not going anywhere yet… but there is a lot of overconfidence by those who were very worried when prices were a lot better – click to enlarge.

 

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Silver Is Pushed Up Again

This week, the prices of the metals moved up on Monday. Then the gold price went sideways for the rest of the week, but the silver price jumped on Friday.

 

Taking off for real or not?

Photo credit: NASA

 

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Thirty Year Retread

What will President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talk about when they meet later today? Will they gab about what fishing holes the big belly bass are biting at? Will they share insider secrets on what watering holes are serving up the stiffest drinks? [ed. note: when we edited this article for Acting Man, the meeting was already underway]

 

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe, a dyed-in-the-wool Keynesian and militarist, meets America’s new CiC in the somewhat ostentatiously appointed Trump Tower. They look happy.

Photo credit: Reuters

 

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