Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's blog
I clearly have a very hard time reconciling a U.S. stock market making new all-time-highs almost daily, especially in the face of what most economists consider to be a weak domestic economy with negligible growth prospects. Moreover, when you layover the thoroughly stalled and certainly weaker overall global economic picture, it’s even harder to rationalize. Finally, throw into the mix the gravity of threatening geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and Russia, the two nations with the largest stockpiles of tactical nuclear weapons on earth, and the market actually welcomes it. Something majorly does not add up, well, to this Idiot anyways.
The Likeness of God is to Create not Consume. Ingenuity and innovation are hallmarks of our human creativity. Curiously, those marvelous characteristics unique to mankind, which have delivered the most astoundingly advanced technological productivity gains ever conceived, are now fast displacing a multitude of relatively menial jobs previously attended to by human beings, who having been anchored to unsatisfying and unfulfilling laborious routines, were less able to enjoy the free time and space certainly required to become more creative enlightened beings themselves.
For the New Year, it seems that SOH, that last true refuge for pensive brooding bears, has been overrun with pompous bulls peddling & pumping a new 21st century high tech plateau of permanent prosperity, that would make even Irving Fisher's rose twittering cheeks blush. I wonder if old Irving would have Linked himself In or posted his rip roaring 20s rosy market views on a pretty pink Facebook page?
Hired guns receive staggering fortunes to write fourth-rate code, and it shows. The federal ObamaCare web site exceeded the billion dollar mark a while ago, and dozens of states have had to create their own web sites. The state of my residence, California, is one of these, and their site is Covered California (which is littered, as you might guess, with images of all kinds of "diverse" families - - I'm just waiting to hit the page where the family represented is a white man, a black guy, and they're both in wheelchairs).
Now I was a kid once too, and I liked toys as much as the next child, but over the years, I have grown increasingly aware of the fact of how short-lived the pleasure of Getting Stuff is. Whether it's a toy as a child or a sports car as an adult, once you've actually got whatever it is that you thought you couldn't live without, well, it just sort of blends into normalcy.
Of course, the "relentless" rise hasn't been for two months this time.......it's been for nearly five years. And I can tell you, reporting directly from the heart of the Silicon Valley, the zeitgeist around here is 1999 and 2007 compressed together and supercharged.
Everything you say about the U.S. economy jibes with my experience as a real estate investor in Chicago. The vast majority of my tenants are low-income (their rents are mostly subsidized by our fine government), but a couple make a decent living and reside in luxury condos downtown. Based on what I've seen during the past 5 years that I have been doing this, I completely agree that our financial system is totally, utterly screwed.
It was a pretty interesting day in the market, of course, since two Fed-related items were happening. First, as was initially reported last night, "Damn It" Janet Yellen was nominated by Obama to be the Chairhuman, once bearded-wonder Bernanke splits in January. It's a little odd that in the midst of all this rancor Obama decided to address this bit of not-at-all-urgent business, but maybe he wanted to remind the market that all that matters is QE-infinity.
It is seriously 1999 all over again here in the Silicon Valley. There's the revival of Kozmo (OK, that's in New York, but still.......), the comic run-up of TWTRQ yesterday, and now, right across the street from where I am sitting, there is Draper University.
I have never been fashionable enough to conjure up surely one of the silliest startup ideas with, bar none, the worst name of all time: Fashism. I only know of this site because I read about its demise yesterday. Evidently Ashton Kutcher (who, for reasons wholly alien to me, is heralded as some kind of tech-savant investing genius) put $1 million into this dog.
This weekend has launched a new level of the bull-ghey, as we have our second example this month of the market rallying not on something that happened, but on something that didn't. Thus, I humbly offer more good reasons that the bulls could conjure up to propel us to yet new record highs, because God knows, if there's one industrial powerhouse that we need to safely usher into a successful IPO, it's Twitter. So here we go:
The conclusions I have come to are somewhat threatening in the short term, but even more disconcerting in the intermediate term, as the developing image is exposing a crystal clear picture of the ominous resource wars looming directly ahead. Equally dismaying, are the "honorable distinguished gentlemen" presiding over this Middle East mayhem, which are showing themselves to be either grossly incompetent cretins or dangerous duplicitous megalomaniacs
The press that Google Glass has received already been stunning, particularly considering there's hardly a person on the planet sporting a pair of these things on the bridge of their nose yet, but I've got a feeling that, like Google Wave (remember that? anyone? I didn't think so..........) it will be a flop. Here's why:
It’s painfully clear for all to see that the majestic United States is now firmly caught in the rapacious stranglehold of financial elites which have completely captured it in a grotesque gamed monetary process. Our country’s once idealistic and industrious free market economy has been hijacked and is undeniably being fraudulently and overtly financialized by the craven clutches and maniacal machinations of a contemptible self-seeking banking class. They have become nothing more than avaricious parasites disgustingly feeding from the grand trough of our treasured human ingenuity and self-respecting industry.
Excuse me for asking, but what in the name of Jesus H. Christ is wrong with us? Oh, I forgot. If you're rich, you can do anything you want. If you're poor, you have the be the apotheosis of rectitude. And talk about swift justice! This incident took place not even two weeks ago! And yet Blankfein, a man who torture is too good for, smirks and leers his way to mega-riches.