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Financial news I consider important, with my opinion, which is worth as much as you paid for it.
Please click HERE to read a synopsis of my view of the financial situation.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Institutionalized Corruption

Corruption hurts no one, until it gets severe enough to hurt everyone.
Good video watches, thanks to my brother for links.

I actually think insider trading laws are ridiculous, and everyone should be able to trade on what they know.
But government officials should be prevented to buy any stock, large funds only.
For personal gain should not exceed the greater good, which is clearly not the case right now.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Apple Chart and the Market

I have tried to call a top in Apple stock before, that was over 100 dollars back.  But this time, the stock chart is presenting a nice, classic hockey stick.  Price rises like what Apple has seen the last two months are typically parabolic blow-offs before the price drop hits.   Today Apple did drop quite a bit, over 2.5% from day high to close.

If Apple is in fora  correction can the market rally?  Apple is not the end all for US stocks, but it is a market leader in tech.  It's stock is heavily weighted in the Nasdaq.

The overall S&P 500 seems to be having trouble pushing higher. The next week will be interesting.  For your pleasure, charts below.   My posting has been lax because my work has been very busy for me, for months.  Busiest I have been in over 5 years.  Since I work in software development, related to the financial industry, that usually indicates to me markets higher ahead.

So I have mixed feelings here, the charts vs personal experience.  Personal experience that I am seeing says much higher market ahead.  The long term trend line I watch may soon cross into bull/up territory.

From WebSufinMurfs FinancialBlog2

From WebSufinMurfs FinancialBlog2

Thursday, February 9, 2012

We are all fleas on an elephant

In our day to day, I forget sometimes how truly out of control life is for everyone.  Sure, I think I have some control over my job, my home life, my play time.  But really, I owe my entire life on some basic structures that dictate my entire living standard.

The largest one is cheap energy.  For without it, I couldn't have a career in Computing software.  The energy it takes to make one PC is amazing, my car, everything that is complex.  Without cheap energy, these items just wouldn't exist.   Not to mention my 99 cent burger at McDonalds.  Every aspect of my life depends on this building block, cheap energy.

I have posted before about peak oil, and it is REAL issue.  People can dismiss it, but those who look at the facts, that every production of a limited resource hits a bell curve.   It's a mathematical reality, it can't be escaped.  I was bouncing around on the web when I hit the wikipedia article on peak oil.  I highly recommend reading (or skimming it).

I cannot for the life of me even understand what we face, and how we will cope. Think I am over-hyping?  Read the quotes below.  The greatest hope is if we can accelerate alternative fuels we can sit at the top of peak oil for years as new demand, and shrinking supply, is offset from reduced net demand.  So it is possible we can avoid a severe economic calamity.  This isn't a crazy far-fetched possibility.  Peak oil was originally predicted to be in 1995, but has been pushed out by increasing efficiencies.

All the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been found. Now comes the harder work in finding and producing oil from more challenging environments and work areas.
— William J. Cummings, Exxon-Mobil company spokesman, December 2005

It is pretty clear that there is not much chance of finding any significant quantity of new cheap oil. Any new or unconventional oil is going to be expensive.
— Lord Ron Oxburgh, a former chairman of Shell, October 2008

In Feb 2010 the US Joint Forces Command issued the Joint Operating Environment 2010[114] warning US military commands "By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day."

"A severe energy crunch is inevitable without a massive expansion of production and refining capacity. While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India. At best, it would lead to periods of harsh economic adjustment. To what extent conservation measures, investments in alternative energy production, and efforts to expand petroleum production from tar sands and shale would mitigate such a period of adjustment is difficult to predict. One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest."

"Energy production and distribution infrastructure must see significant new investment if energy demand is to be satisfied at a cost compatible with economic growth and prosperity."

"The discovery rate for new petroleum and gas fields over the past two decades (with the possible exception of Brazil) provides little reason for optimism that future efforts will find major new fields."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

This week in charts, market decline ahead?

I have been working since November 60+ hour weeks.  This is the main reason I have not been posting more.
I am not going to do my usual chart roundup, but instead redirect you to Gary of the smart money tracker.

I missed him telling dump miners last week.   I encourage you to read his post from Sunday on market warning.
Click here to read his post Dangerous Times Ahead.

The other reason why I am nervous I heard comments at work today that their 401k was improving.
Once the rank and file feel good about the market, probably a good time for a punch in the face by the market.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Capitalism and Austerity

In Capitalism, there are suppose to be winners and losers, in a sort of evolutionary game of business.   In business if a company can't hold up it's end of an obligation, it defaults, and the lender takes the hit as well as the borrower getting a black eye on credit worthiness.

That is how it used to work.  As it is well known now, most larger institutions are allowed to avoid taking losses, through changing of accounting rules in place since the great depression. (mark to market).   Also by quasi government institutions setting up special funds and funding. (Federal Reserve Bank).

What we are seeing in Europe is similar, but since there version of Federal Reserve bank and their governments can't just print money at will, they are shifting in the other direction.  Asking debtor nations to cut back.   What this really is the lenders wanting to avoid taking hits from the borrows inability to pay back.

So instead of taking the hit, they want everyone to take the hit...for decades...or however long it takes to get their payment back.

Below is great video to explain all of this.  I don't agree with every sentence here, but 90% is on the mark.  Well worth the watch.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Alternate News Sources Important

Yet another example of how important alternate news sources are.  Granted, the issue below is super small, stupid and nothing to get up in arms about.
But how many other items don't we hear about, because its killed early?

The Mythbusters show encouraged to not show an episode answering how secure are RFID in credit cards.   If Myth busters can find out information that shouldn't be shared, I am pretty sure Russians, Chinese, organized crime, and a determined hacker could.

I'd have some respect for stopping airing the show IF the companies promised RFID 2.0 by January 2014 that covers all the security holes.  And they want less information on how to hack RFID in the mean time.  But I am in the camp of silence will result in slower action.

Anyway, I digress.

A society and economy is best served with clear laws, enforcement for all, and transparency to ensure corruption doesn't become entrenched.  In such an environment investment can be made with higher confidence and corporate growth increased.

Notice how no legal action was taken, the threat of being friendly to its advertisers was enough.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Media News Bias

Mish has a great rant on his blog about mainstream US media vs other sources such as Russia Today.
I think of myself as open minded, but I also recoil a little about getting news from Russia Today.  I guess my childhood of being told over and over that Russia is the enemy (and they are!) has me on the guard.

But the US media also is the enemy, for if we pull back for the last 20 years, the media has NOT been on the attack and helped the masses understand the important issues and keep their focus on the ball.  Instead its "Entertainment News", and less news, more opinion/spin.

So how can I trust US news to give me the current important news if the media has not been focused on core political and economic issues?

This doesn't mean I trust Russia Today, but the coverage I have seen rings more informative than many other news sources in the last few years.

I encourage you to read Mish's Rant Privatizing of Gains and Socializing of Losses; You Want the News? From Where?, and a good episode of Russia Today below.  It is full of opinion, and not facts, BUT it is very apparent when opinion is being given, unlike fox news.