Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Madison Avenue Spin

Well the election is over and now all I keep hearing is the latest "Madison Avenue spin" for our 31 year long debt boom....."Fiscal Cliff".  I checked out "the trend" on Google Trends and, yep, the Sheeple are already regurgitating it like they even know what it means.  Look at this "up trend"

Source: Google Trends
Here's some other great "spin terms" with my interpretation:
-"Axis of Evil" - countries that we plan to control relating to securing oil reserves
-"War on Terror" - justification for invading oil producing nations
-"Operation Enduring Freedom" - Afghanistan, thank you for the landing strip
-"Operation Desert Storm" - cool name for our invasion of an oil producing nation
-"Operation Iraqi Freedom" - "Operation We Now Control Your Oil" or "Sorry France and Germany But Your Oil Contracts Are Now Null And Void"
-"Arab Spring" - the contraction of mass social mood (e.g. The mob is angry)
-"Quantitative Easing" - cool name for bankrupting our country
-"QE1" - ditto
-"QE2" - ditto
-"QE3" - ditto
-"Operation Twist" - QE4 was too predictable?
-"WMD" - remember when we called then "atomic bombs"??
 -"Flash Crash" - major alert that a "Black Swan" lies ahead

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Reflection - 2012

Well I'm still trying to end my "random roving hiatus".  Just too much going on in my real world I guess.  Election Day is just too tempting to hold back.

My thoughts on the candidates.  I didn't vote for Obama in 2008 because I believed that he had zero experience to hold the most powerful position in the world.  Today I won't vote for him because "3 plus" years is still not enough real world experience especially considering the task at hand.  Mr. Romney probably has the best presidential resume that I've ever seen.  It has real world business experience, government experience, and significant experience relating to investment capital.  For the times at hand, this resume is a perfect fit.  In my mind, it was amazing to see his Bain Capital experience get attacked so strongly by The Left.  We need a venture capital mentality to sort through these financial rogue waves.  Here comes the "but".  But, Mr. Romney, if elected, would not do anything different from Obama and Bush.  The Bush and Obama presidencies in my mind have been identical. Their two main underlying themes have been "print money" and "occupy oil producing nations".  I don't see Mr. Romney doing anything different.  Continuing those two operations has massive negative consequences for our country.  Forty years of "excessive credit" has left us in quite a quandary.  Yes, forty years.  The Gipper opened up the "federal credit card" and every president has used it well.  We're now experiencing exponential growth of our debt which makes the current "man in charge" appear to be the most guilty.  The curve is only steepening and will continue to do so.  So, with that said, I'll say it again, it doesn't matter who the next president is.  The cycle will once again make it's selection.  "Fear and anger" are still the dominant emotions of the masses around the world.  It is my belief that fear and anger will benefit President Obama the most which will lead to a very narrow victory.  Many citizens still have some bad feelings about Bush and Cheney.  Fear will drive many to vote for Obama because he is a "known quantity".  Fear of what Romney might do is enough for some to vote Obama.  Yes, many are angry about the economy, but I don't think that most blame it on the current president.  They might even blame Bush and vote Democrat for that reason.

For the same reasons as stated below in my 2008 rant, I plan to vote for a third party candidate.  I'll either write in Ron Paul or vote Libertarian with Gary Johnson.  Now more than ever it is important to send a message that a third party is needed.  These two candidates spent $2 billion on their campaigns.  They were the only two invited to the debates.  We have a "machine" that's broken.  Both parties have exhausted their platforms.  Both parties spend all of their time and money trashing the other instead of fostering new ideas.  This election will be another stepping stone towards third party strength in 2016.  That's why my vote is not wasted. Change takes time.  Endorsing a bad system only exacerbates it.

The Republicans spent three years looking for a birth certificate instead of a candidate.  Once again, they've ended up with someone they don't care for.  How does that happen?  In 2008 they ended up with an old "washed up" politician and paired him with a numskull.  In this election, the party, controlled by the Evangelicals and the Fox News Mafia, ends up with a Mormon as candidate.  Fox News can't discuss this, but all of the "self proclaimed born agains" that I know believe that Mormonism is a cult.  Many of those individuals probably won't vote because of their religious belief dominating their decision.  That might be the deciding factor in the election.

To the Democrats, I once again say, "be careful what you wish for".  The past four years will be nothing compared to the next four.  That exponential curve is only steepening.  Massive inflation, especially of food and energy, will send the world into further chaos.  We've already seen this play out in "Phase I".  Like we always do, we gave this event a cute name for the media to spout and for the sheeple to regurgitate......the Arab Spring.  Of course, Fox News' interpretation of the event was that all of these countries want to be the United States.  "Phase II" will "up the ante".  In this next term, I believe that "fear and anger" will greatly escalate and the next president will pay dearly.  Calling him the "fall guy" might not even be a strong enough description.  The next vice president could very well be the next LBJ.

As in past years, I hope and pray for the best.  I go into this election day with continuing concerns that our populace is uninformed, disinterested, and in utter denial about the realities ahead.  Another large storm just devastated our shores and nobody was prepared.  They were too busy watching those millionaires on "Jersey Shore" versus preparing for a storm that was approaching the Jersey shore.  Good luck to all.  I hope that your boy wins and that you can endure the next four years with him.  Today might present a good opportunity to write on paper why you voted for your candidate.  It might make for interesting reading in the years ahead.

My post from election day 2008.  I've not changed my view on anything:
"The day has finally come. Two years and $2.5 billion later, we finally have out opportunity to cast our ballot. It seems that we've been in this process for ever! The experts predict that we will have a record turnout. Based on the timing in the economic cycle, that make a lot of sense. No matter the outcome, today proves to be historic.

Back in June at our annual beach trip, I predicted that Obama would win by 14%. That prediction was unanimously scoffed at and all stated that it will be a "photo finish" like Bush/Gore. My prediction then and now is that Obama will win by a landslide. I don't believe this because I think that he's the dominating candidate or necessarily the best candidate. I believe this because of the timing of the election with the economic cycle. As we entered the new millennium and the beginning of the "contraction" phase of the cycle, Bush took office. His approval ratings have consistently slid down to an all time low. In contractions, the mob becomes angry and fearful. Kings and presidents are thrown out of power during the contractions. The Republican party will suffer greatly during this election due to timing. The imperialistic occupation of Iraq has been cited as the explanation for the down trend in ratings, but ironically the conflict also aligns with the behavior "of the crowd" during the contraction phase.

The Obama landslide victory will reflect the significant shift in mass social mood from "happy and greedy" to "angry and fearful". The anger is focused on the Bush administration, yet the fear appears to be focused on the policies of a potential Obama administration. I believe that the anger will overpower the fear. When we're happy and greedy, we forgive a president for having sex with an intern in our country's White House. When we're happy and greedy, we typically re-elect the incumbent. John McCain is considered the incumbent. George Bush Sr. knows what happens when the tide shifts slightly off kilter. He still hasn't forgiven Greenspan for not printing more money to artificially stimulate the economy prior to his re-election bid. Greenspan made up for it during W's term.

Most concerning to me during this process, and mainly during the past six weeks, is the content of emails that I've received from my Republican friends. The fear mongering has been staggering. The most shocking have been those wrapping the election decision under the veil of Christianity. I believe that Jesus loves both candidates. The Republican party made the conscious decision to "go negative" instead of telling us why McCain was the right choice. During the Republican convention, all I heard were two things: "Vietnam POW" and "maverick".

The interesting question to ask on election day is: Should one vote for what they believe is best for themselves or for their country? For me personally, being a white upper middle class geologist in the petroleum industry, most would agree that I should vote Republican. The Republican Party states that they will keep my taxes low, keep illegal aliens from mowing my lawn, and they want to drill, drill, drill. Sounds like a simple decision. I actually believe that one should vote for what's best for the country as a whole. I firmly believe that one should assess the picture on a global scale. I also believe the "the chain is only as strong as the weakest link". If our "weakest link" gets weaker, it will affect all of us. So who is the best candidate for the country as a whole?

I don’t think it matters who the next president is. I know that 99% of you will disagree with this statement. I believe that he will be doomed by the economic cycle. The cycle is much greater than a president or a political party. The next president will time it horribly like Carter did, but much worse. He will be the fall guy. He will be worn down by the Middle East like LBJ was with Vietnam. Hopefully he won’t receive the fate of JFK. Yes, that sounds pessimistic, but history is very repetitive. Although Obama and Palin don’t have enough experience, especially for dealing with the rogue waves that lie ahead, I believe that both have great potential for a future moment in time. Obama has brought excitement and hope to the masses. I don’t ever recall seeing a 100,000 person rally for a presidential candidate. Palin has brought a freshness to the process and great hopes for future female candidates. McCain and Biden are career professional politicians and that’s not what the country needs. Bush’s term aligned with the “beginning of the end of the great expansion” and McCain can’t shake the Bush connection. I’m still trying to figure out if Obama is a Christian, Muslim, Arab, Kenyan, or terrorist?!?!

This morning I voted for Ron Paul as a "write in". I believe that our two parties are stuck in a state of significant paralysis. The rigidness and extreme perspectives are at a standoff. When this cycle finds a bottom in the coming years, it might be the opportunity for a third party to rise in power and stature. My vote can be easily cast as a wasted vote, but I truly believe that out of all of the candidates and through the entire process, Ron Paul was the only candidate that conveyed an honest and accurate understanding of the situation along with providing real, concrete solutions. He understands that a fiat system will ultimately come to a catastrophic ending. Someone in charge has to have a plan for this. Of course, I hope that I’m wrong. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, and have been a full participant in theSupersize Me Era.

It's interesting to observe politics on the home front. My 14 year old son wants Obama, 12 year old daughter McCain, and my wife still was rooting for Hillary. How's that for diversity."


Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Attack On Yellow Comes To An End

It took some time, but the cycle always wins.

"It will be interesting to see if the downward 'draft' of mass social mood takes down cycling champion, Lance Armstrong. Tiger might say that 'the draft' makes everyone vulnerable."
Random Roving, August 9, 2010

"'Enough is enough,' Lance Armstrong has declared, and another sports icon enters the gray. Not fully diminished, but not pristine, admired by some, radioactive to others. Spoils are expected to be scrubbed—seven yellow jerseys from the Tour de France, pulled from the wall—the memories muddy, but harder to erase.  I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours,' the 40-year-old cyclist said in a statement late Thursday, announcing he would not continue to battle doping allegations brought by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency."

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Mega-Meltdown

"The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen 'the peak'". Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals."
More challenges for the mega-millionaire ministers.  The stress of losing their millions must be causing them to get aggressive.
"Even before controversial megachurch pastor Creflo A. Dollar Jr. released a statement Friday denying he assaulted his 15-year-old daughter, the College Park minister's legion of supporters rushed to his defense. "It's just something that's been blown out of proportion," said Randi Garrett, a longtime member of Dollar's World Changers Church International. "Kids misconstrue things, and they take them out of context."  But Fayette County Sheriff's deputies say they found ample evidence to charge the prominent televangelist and author with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children.  Dollar's 15-year-old daughter alleged her father grabbed her by the throat in the family's home on Sandy Creek Road in Fayette County, pushed her to the ground and then beat her with his shoe, according to the incident report. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not identifying the girl because she is a minor.  The lone witness to Friday morning's altercation, Dollar's 19-year-old daughter Alexandria, confirmed her sibling's account, telling deputies their father "put both hands around her sister's neck and choked her for about five seconds," the incident report said.  Alexandria Dollar said she then saw Dollar grab her little sister by the shoulders and slap her in the face. She says her sister tried to break free but was thrown to the ground, at which point Alexandria ran to get her mother, Taffi, whose arrival in the kitchen ended the fight, the incident report states.  Sheriff's spokesman Brent Rowan said the teen sustained "superficial injuries" to her neck."
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chase's WMD's

My post have been infrequent of late, but this one is significant in my mind.  The most significant aspect is Chase's desire to "play it down" as a non-event.  Two billion dollars...non-event...really?

JPMorgan Chase's 'Jamie the Great': tap dancing with derivatives.  
"JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, the shining industry agitator against some of the tougher regulations on banks, has suddenly become the shining example of why still tougher regulations may be needed, writes Maureen Dowd.A nd it was. A $2 billion credit derivatives trading bungle that could mushroom to a $4 billion loss. The shining industry agitator against some of the tougher regulations on banks has suddenly become the shining example of why still tougher regulations may be needed.  But now the blunt 56-year-old New York City native who snowed Democrats in Washington with all his talk about not lumping in "good banks" with "bad banks" has fallen off his pedestal.  Talking even faster than usual, the tarnished silver-haired banker told shareholders that he couldn't justify the "self-inflicted" debacle. While the trade was "poorly vetted and poorly executed," he said it wouldn't make a dent in the "fortress balance sheet.""
Source: Seattle Times

"I don't know if it will happen in 2010, but I believe that one of the next 'too big to fails' will be JPM Chase. They hold more derivatives than any other company in the world. We've just seen the beginning of the derivative implosion. Remember, Warren called them 'weapons of mass destruction'."
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Darkness At The Box Office

As I watched "Hunger Games" with my daughter, nephew, and brother-in-law last weekend, I couldn't help but think about the alignment of the dark theme of the movie with the contracting cycle that we're in.  It's so fascinating that a book about teens murdering each other in a game is required reading for class in some schools.  Yes, the storyline is interesting, but the darkness of the story and the dark imagery throughout the movie is telling.  I had the same revelation sitting through the first Twilight movie. Darkness reigns for sure.  First, "Harry Potter", then "Twilight" and now "Hunger Games".  If I remember correctly, there's not a ray of sunshine in any of the movies....both literally and figuratively.  Yes, "Hunger Games" presents a message about a potential future for our country.  Some could argue that the movie depicts the 1% and the 99% very well.  My fascination is more with the fact that these dark themes are the mega-movies of the current and past decade.  As I've mentioned many times, Robert Prechter with Elliott Wave International has done significant research regarding movie and music themes and how they align with mass social mood. It would be hard to argue after watching thirty minutes of the world news at night that the world isn't in a "dark" mood.  The chart below places each movie along my "mass social mood barometer", the Dow/Gold Ratio.  Interesting alignment of the mega-movie release dates and their place along the "Great Contraction" cycle.  The real concerning point is that we're a long ways from the bottom of the contraction. Many more dark films to watch I'm afraid.
The Mass Social Mood Barometer (Dow/Gold Ratio)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Cycle Continues On

"As this cycle continues downward, it will be important to know what you believe in. You will be challenged to stand up for what you believe in whatever that is. When you see the cowardly hooded white man on horseback heading down the road, what are you going to do about it?"
Random Roving, November 9, 2009

Thursday, March 22, 2012


"We tell ourselves we’re in an economic recovery, meaning we expect to return to a prior economic state, namely, a turbo-charged “consumer” economy fueled by easy credit and cheap energy. Fuggeddabowdit. That part of our history is over. We’ve entered a contraction that will seem permanent until we reach an economic re-set point that comports with what the planet can actually provide for us. That re-set point is lower than we would like to imagine. Our reality-based assignment is the intelligent management of contraction. We don’t want this assignment. We’d prefer to think that things are still going in the other direction, the direction of more, more, more. But they’re not. Whether we like it or not, they’re going in the direction of less, less, less. Granted, this is not an easy thing to contend with, but it is the hand that circumstance has dealt us. Nobody else is to blame for it.”Jim Kunstler

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Federal Pez Dispenser

"Once Bennie fired up the printing presses, the government car companies decided to make subprime auto loans again and the Federal government started doling out student loans like a pez dispenser, all was well in the non-revolving consumer loan world. The debt outstanding has soared to $1.7 trillion, a full $90 billion above the pre-crash peak. So, after three and a half years of “austerity” and supposed deleveraging, consumer debt outstanding has fallen by 3%."James Quinn, "The Burning Platform"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Freudian Illusions

"Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.” - Sigmund Freud

Monday, March 12, 2012

Crumbling Crystal

This forecast continues to play out right on schedule.  Does this sound like a church or a business?  "Hostile work environment"?
"Changes are planned at the landmark Crystal Cathedral after the founding Schuller family announced plans to leave the congregation.  The Rev. Bill Bennett assured congregants that Crystal Cathedral Ministries would hold services next Sunday.  'The congregation can basically stay where they wish to stay,' Bennett said.  He said the church would revert to what he called a more "traditional" style of service, with hymns and music. It is unknown who will take over as senior pastor. The church was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in February for $57.5 million, and the ministry has three years to find a new home.  Bennett's comments came after the senior pastor, Sheila Schuller Coleman, announced Sunday that she was leaving to start a new church.  'This is the last Sunday we will be worshiping in this building,' Schuller Coleman told congregants during an emotional 11 a.m. service in the 10,000-pane glass cathedral, designed by architect Phillip Johnson.  Schuller Coleman's announcement came one day after her parents, church founder Robert H. Schuller and his wife, Arvella Schuller, resigned from the Crystal Cathedral's board of directors, which oversees the ministry's trademark "Hour of Power" broadcast. The future of the show and the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral Ministries is unclear.  Schuller Coleman said she was leaving because of her family's "adversarial" relationship with the board. She pointed to the recent firings of her sister and brother-in-law, Jim Penner, who served as the executive producer of "Hour of Power" since 1999.  'My entire family has been experiencing a hostile work environment,'  said Schuller Coleman, who was temporarily removed as chief executive officer of the ministry last month.  The events immediately created a divide among congregants." Source: LA Times

"He said the church would revert to what he called a more "traditional" style of service, with hymns and music."

Religion will become smaller, "deeper", and more traditional.
Random Roving, January 1, 2010

The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen "the peak". Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals. The trend toward more "traditional" might spark some old flames. Keep an eye out for increased religious conflict though."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Complex Array Of Paper Currencies

"The con game is impressive. They call debt money. The entire foundation of the current monetary system is a complex array of paper currencies backed by sovereign debt. The problem for its managers is that the sovereign debt is crumbling."Jim Willie

Entire article:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Evangelistic Contraction

"The North Carolina-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is laying off nearly 50 workers, or about 10 percent of its staff, as it shifts focus to its online ministry and other initiatives. Rhinehart says the workers losing their jobs are getting severance packages and career assistance.  About 55 workers were let go in 2009."Source: Washington Post

"The megachurch and megamillionaire ministers might have seen 'the peak'. Hopefully they saved all of those millions from the book deals."Random Roving, "Happy New Year 2010 is Here", January 1, 2010 


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Shock & Sacrifices

“In real life our species has such a modest ability to deal with distant outcomes or to defer gratification that a bad ending is probably inevitable. We need, it seems, the shock of a Pearl Harbor to really gear up and make sacrifices.”
Jeremy Grantham