"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

FOMC - More uncertainty

The way I am reading today's release of the FOMC statement is more of the same - some on the FOMC are ready for tapering; some are not. Translation - we are back to watching the economic data releases and attempting to ferret out what is in the mind of these monetary masters from which the markets are begging their crumbs.

I still think that when it comes down to brass tacks, the key data is going to be the payrolls numbers. As far as the Fed is concerned, inflation is non-existent and thus there is no need, as of now, for them to cut back on the bond buying. What will tip the FOMC in favor of tapering sooner rather than later is strength in the jobs market and there is not a lot of that which I can see.

Part of the reason is this damnable Obama-care. It is a job killer and everyone in Washington, including the administration, which rammed it down our throats, knows it. That is the reason they gave the exemption or delay to corporate America in implementing this disaster.

Until this albatross is taken off the necks of the US job creation machine, I do not see any SHARP increases in hiring. Instead, I think we will see more of the same - mediocre increases in hiring which a large percentage of that in the form of part time jobs.

The bond market however seems very concerned that those who favor the early tapering are going to win out and thus we are watching interest rates on the long end of the curve continuing to rise. The yield on the Ten Year just missed 2.9% today!  Methinks that those in the FOMC who are watching these long term rates rising are getting more than a bit concerned about that.

Gold is trading in the same confused manner as some of the other markets with it bouncing higher, dropping lower, bouncing back up again and then moving lower. It is readily apparent to me that there is simply not much in the way of very strong conviction when it comes to gold right now. The bulls have brought prices a long way from off the lows under $1200 but the bears seem fairly resolute in selling shy of $1400. We need to see that handle change from "13" to "14" to spark another strong wave of hedge fund short covering and bring in some more hot money.

That being said, thus far the metal is holding above the major moving averages with the 50 day down close to $1298 and rising. There looks to be a pretty good zone of support between $1344 and $1324 on the chart with resistance just above $1380 and then again just shy of $1400.

Silver is being buffeted by the same winds that are blowing through the rest of our markets but has been able to maintain its footing above $22 with buyers emerging down near $22.50, a former resistance level now turned chart support.

The mining shares as evidenced by the HUI were spanked fairly hard today closing down 4.60%, which is fairly dramatic. The chart shows hefty resistance at 280 with good support near 255 and again near 237 or so. The 50 day moving average is moving higher with the market trading above that level so the bulls currently have the advantage.

It is a damned shame that our once proud system of financial markets, the envy of the civilized world, has been reduced to a quivering blob of Jello, sitting at the feet of the FOMC like some sort of lap dog begging for scraps of food from its master. I for one wonder how historians are going to record this period and whether or not they will chronicle this as just one more step down the path towards mediocrity and decline in our nation. Personally, as someone who loves the markets and the study of fundamentals upon which solid investment decisions were once made, it disgusts me to witness this unseemly beggary and sycophantic attitude.

Since when did the well being of our markets become so utterly dependent on the vicissitudes of 12 men and women sitting on a committee? This is not the capitalism that made our nation the marvel of the world.