It seems nobody wants to be Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration. The president’s first two Defense Secretaries, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, both complained bitterly this month about their time in the administration. The president’s National Security Council staff micro-managed the Pentagon, they said at a forum last week.
Former Secretary Gates revealed that while he was running the Defense Department, the White House established a line of communication to the Joint Special Operations Command to discuss matters of strategy and tactics, cutting the Defense Secretary out of the loop. His successor at the Pentagon, Leon Panetta, made similar complaints.
There is a perfect word that describes the current condition of governments and consumers around the world today. The word is obdurate, and it means to be stubbornly persistent in wrongdoing.
The word comes to mind when witnessing the renewed enthusiasm of central banks to re-inflate old asset bubbles and to endlessly debase their currencies with the misguided belief that inflation will engender sustainable economic growth. In the case of the Fed, it has so far to date made at least three QE efforts and six years of ZIRP to achieve this goal. But what it has actually achieved is to create asset bubbles and render the nation insolvent. Governments have failed to grow economies in any viable manner. But today’s central bankers have become the very embodiment of the word obdurate, as they stubbornly persist in the effort to pursue inflation as a panacea, despite all available evidence that it will fail to achieve their desired results.
Ronan Manly writes:
Switzerland’s ‘Save our Swiss Gold’ referendum was convincingly rejected yesterday by the Swiss electorate following an aggressive anti-gold campaign in recent weeks that had been closely watched both in Switzerland and abroad.
Unusually, it involved the Swiss National Bank (SNB) very actively, and ultimately successfully, trying to convince the electorate along with the main political parties to return a ‘no’ vote.
Obama Fumbles and the World Burns
An excellent summary and analysis of why the Obama White House has been overwhelmed by what we can call “legacy policy”, and has become the most paranoid US administration in decades – far surpassing rven Georfe W Bush – is given by professor Joel Migdal in his latest book (‘ Shifting Sands: The United States in the Middle East ). Migdal traces the basic problem to US exceptionalism – the cornerstone of foreign policy since Roosevelt and Truman – being totally unsuited to a “multipolar world” in which the US has to engage with and against a shifting set of allies and enemies on constantly changing issues, where today’s friend is tomorrow’s rival and vice versa. Like others (including Kissinger and Brzezinski!) he divides the post-1945 world into the period ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-90, and what happened after a 10-year “reflexion and incubation period” ending in 2001.
According to Reuters and CNN…and others, “OPEC” has declared war on shale-oil drillers in America.
That’s a serious accusation. In the not too distant past whole countries were bombed back into the Stone Ages for lesser transgressions!! Saudi Arabia was the only OPEC member to forcefully advocate not cutting back, so for “OPEC” read “The Saudi’s”. Bomb-Bomb-Bomb aside, it’s hard not to wonder whether or not a collective schizophrenia has descended on the talking-heads….“Saudi’s pumping more so America pays less…that’s terrible news, because shale oil will suffer**!!”….”Saudi’s pumping less…that’s terrible news, because hard-working -taxpayers will pay more for gasoline, and we will have to borrow more money from foreigners**!!” Can’t win.
Look for awhile at the China Cat Sunflower
Proud-walking jingle in the midnight sun
Copper-dome Bodhi drip a silver kimono
Like a crazy-quilt stargown
Through a dream night wind
Krazy Kat peeking through a lace bandana
Like a one-eyed Cheshire
Like a diamond-eye Jack
A leaf of all colors plays
A golden string fiddle
To a double-e waterfall over my back
Comic book colors on a violin river
Crying Leonardo words
From out a silk trombone
I rang a silent bell
Beneath a shower of pearls
In the eagle wing palace
Of the Queen Chinee
– Robert Hunter
Results for Swiss gold referendum were released today, ending weeks of enthusiastic bulls calling for gold to rally to new highs on a “yes” vote and countless articles speculating about the impact of the result. The Swiss people voted overwhelmingly against the policy of that would have caused the Swiss National Bank to significantly increase their gold reserves. However, the excitement and the speculation around the potential impact of the result represents a misunderstanding of the event and indeed, the gold market as a whole.
Amusing, that Swiss vote today. Or rather, the three votes. I can’t oversee why the first one, the hike in taxes for foreigners, was rejected. It would seem reasonable that everyone living in a country pays a similar amounts in taxes, but perhaps there’s another angle to the topic that I haven’t read about.
The second vote, the one on immigration limits, initiated by an eco group, looks easier to understand. In a country smack in the middle of continental Europe, which has 3 official languages and where 25% of the population are foreigners, forcing the government to limit immigration by 80% from one day to the next, from 80,000 to 16,000 people, seems to be quite simply too steep a demand.
Current Position of the Market
SPX: Long-term trend – Bull Market
Intermediate trend – While everything technical points to an overbought condition which should require an adjustment, the exact timing of that correction is for the market itself to decide and reveal.
Analysis of the short-term trend is done on a daily basis with the help of hourly charts. It is an important adjunct to the analysis of daily and weekly charts which discusses the course of longer market trends.
It’s time to do a follow-up to my last Golden Bottom article. We are coming down to the wire and the action on Monday after the Swiss referendum should tell us whether gold has already formed a final bear market low, or whether we have one more drop in this intermediate cycle to the $1050 level before the final bottom.
If the vote is a yes then I suspect gold will reverse all of Friday’s losses and immediately head back up confirming that we got the final bear market bottom in early November.
Egypt’s military dictatorship holds absolute power. Has no legitimacy whatever.
Rules by decree. Controls the media. Ignores fundamental international laws, norms and standards. Its own constitutional law.
Prohibits dissent. Tolerates no opposition. Killed at least 3,000 Muslim Brotherhood members. Imprisoned tens of thousands more. Brutally tortures many.
Rachel Gearhart writes: The Federal Reserve may be looking to make its first round of interest rate increases since 2006 in mid-2015, but that doesn’t mean you should panic.
According to Loomis, Sayles & Co. Senior Equity Strategist Richard Skaggs, "A rate hike would not present a material obstacle" to stock gains in the next year to year and a half.
This morning the final votes were cast on the Swiss Gold Initiative (most votes were submitted via post). As we speak the final votes are still being counted however we already know: The initiative has been rejected!
The majority of votes of most individual cantons (some cantons’ votes are yet to be released) were against the initiative. As Switzerland has a federalist structure, this by itself already means that the initiative has been rejected.
Public votes are still not final, but indications show that about 25% of the population voted for the initiative.
Tonight I would like to update a few oil charts I posted several weeks ago when oil was breaking out of that multi year five point triangle reversal pattern.
Editor’s Note: See the links below to follow the evolution of this move in the Friday Night Energy Series.
Before we look at the bigger picture I want to show you a short term daily chart that had an interesting day. There are several things I like to look at when I see a stock that looks like it’s breaking out. First, it’s nice to see an increase in volume but sometimes it happens a day or to later. Secondly, it’s always nice to see a gap where you were expecting a breakout. That gives you a little more confidence when your anticipating a breakout and it happens right where it should. The third thing I like to look for is a long bar that covers a lot of ground. It tells us that, in oils case, there were no more bulls left to defend the support zone, so they retreat en mass looking for the next support zone to try and defend. In a bear market all the bulls can do is put up some minor support as the big trend is down and they’ll be overrun again in due time by the bears. You can clearly see this on the short term daily chart for oil below.
Investors and traders around the world continually search to find or increase their edge in the financial markets to boost profits. The next few months are going to be critical for investors because the number seven is now in play for the stock market.
What does this mean?
In magical lore seven is a magical number., While all numbers are ascribed certain properties and energies, seven is a number of power, a lucky number, a number of psychic and mystical powers, of secrecy and the search for truth.
Although they are still among the top ten in total gold holdings, Switzerland has been one of the largest sellers of gold among official entities since 1993.
It is no surprise then that the people of Switzerland have taken to a referendum to provide their opinions on this to the Swiss National Bank.
Nemo debet esse judex in propria causa.
Earmarked gold at the Federal Reserve dropped 42 tonnes for the month of October as foreign countries repatriate their gold.
Despite these declines the Fed’s earmarked holdings are quite substantial to say the least.
One has to wonder why the German people are not able to get back their gold for seven years.
The Dow’s parabolic move higher has continued with gusto throughout November. So what’s next? Well, I think Santa is coming to the party with a Christmas rally that will be the last hurrah for this bull market that began in 2009.
Let’s begin the analysis with the weekly chart.
US Dollar Index
The US dollar has surged in recent months breaking some obvious resistance levels. This has brought out many calls for an even bigger move up. While this is possible, I suspect a big fake out move is in play. Let’s investigate.
Firstly, let’s begin with the yearly chart of the US dollar index to help put things in perspective.