Monday, July 9, 2018

Running On Empty

Ten years of rot and decay lies beneath the Potemkin facade of the Dow Jones Illusional Average. It's a single dimensional metric of "success", for a single dimensional society. The corporate disposable batteries are approaching their expiration date...

"Gotta do what you can just to keep your love alive
Trying not to confuse it with what you do to survive...
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too"

I read with interest Jim Quinn's take on America's moral decline:

"Life is a tragedy, with the richest and poorest dead in the end. The only thing that really matters is your character and integrity. The societal hollowness created by those pushing the delusion of a materialistic American Dream based on an ever-growing pyramid of debt has left a society morally deadened, psychologically damaged, living lives based on deception, and willfully ignorant of the truth."

These thoughts mirror my own on this latent fiasco. What I call "the old way of life" - external gratification self-destruction - has led to extreme internal ingratification. Now manifesting in mass shootings, fentanyl overdoses and broken homes. A new way of life will be born out of the ashes of this failed circus, wherein knowledge will be an asset instead of a liability. Human commodification has reached its insolvent limit.      

The question on the table is how did we get here, because it didn't happen overnight. This mass delusion was ultimately predicated on the idea that human welfare can be measured by wealth alone - bereft even of regard for how it's distributed throughout society. And purposefully ignorant to the various gimmicks used by policy-makers to prop up fake wealth.  

So much does the U.S. and the world at large now trust the Republican Party to manage the economy, that even the left doesn't question this late cycle Potemkin con job anymore. They have endless outrage on social issues, and next to zero on economic issues. Decades of economic McCarthyism have destroyed the left's economic credibility, which went the way of untold jobs and industries. Which is why the economic left and center are barren of corporate-skeptical commentators. To question the "American Way" is anathema. 

No questions. No answers. That's how we got here.

Speaking of Potemkin con job, oil made its all time peak in July 2008, exactly ten years ago this month. That marked the end of the Commodity Super Cycle.

Canadian stocks ($USD) made their second lower high concurrent with the peak in oil, as they are doing now. In fact, all four of the global RISK ON rallies ended this same way:

What I am suggesting is that the problem discussed above will fix itself this time. There is no better teacher for recalcitrant students, than a wholly unforeseen dose of inconvenient reality. 

Spot the difference

Treasury bond net shorts at a new record, meaning record bets on Trumpflation:

Spot the delusion:

"The first quarter was a triumph in financial results but a disappointment in stock-market reaction...Two things overshadowed the Q1 reporting season: concerns about President Trump's trade war and the flattening of the yield curve. Unfortunately neither factor has been resolved."

Actually, both problems are now far worse than they were three months ago. The trade war was just a threat. And the yield curve has subsequently reached decade low levels. 

"Bulls are hoping that a strong earnings season can do this time what it failed to do last time"

I think it can