It’s not like Socialism has a monopoly on horrifying unintended consequences. In fact, human history teaches something far bleaker: every formalized system of government we’ve created has been perfectly capable of facilitating mass murder, class warfare and repressive regimes. – Justin Boland, “The Revelation of the Method” (Skilluminati Research; Nov. 27, 2010)
Here is an excellent video by Stefan Molyneux, the host of Freedomain Radio:
Powerful ideas for all lovers of personal and political freedom – Freedomain Radio is the largest and most popular philosophy show on the web, and was a Top 10 Finalist in the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Podcast Awards. Topics range from politics to philosophy to science to economics to relationships to atheism – and how to achieve real freedom in your life today. Passionate, articulate, funny and irreverent, Freedomain Radio shines a bold light on old topics, and invents a few new ones to boot!
I like what I’ve seen so far. Have a look and enjoy!
Tyler Durden on the elites who have lost their way: “This is financial war make no mistake about it.”
What I discovered as I interviewed for jobs disturbed me right away. Every single firm with the exception of one was completely obsessed with math. Entire interviews revolved around “how quantitative are you” and the like. Although I hadn’t had much experience with investing I had enough to know this line of thinking seemed preposterous. It seemed to me only basic math skills are necessary to be a successful equity investor. Besides that, it seemed that the key is understanding that the world is always changing rapidly under the surface and therefore what is a good business today might be bankrupt tomorrow and what is a start up today could be the next Microsoft. This seems obvious but the skill set to figuring all this out is more geared to an appreciation of human psychology, historical cycles and cultural shifts (both fads and structural changes) than math. What I realized later is the reason they were so focused on mathematicians and Phd’s is that Wall Street was moving away from what it was always meant to be – a conduit between the holders of capital and those that wish to deploy that capital in productive economic activity. Rather than trying to hire a well rounded workforce of intelligent college graduates the firms were hiring a cadre of quantitative robots that would play an instrumental roll in blowing up the world’s financial system.
… and this:
As far as the speech itself, it confirms something I mentioned several weeks ago. Banana Ben absolutely wants to do a massive QE2 program. The only thing holding him back is gold is near an all time high. What he wants is gold much lower and stocks much lower to give him cover. Gold has not cooperated so he is in a bind. He cannot print a massive amount of money with gold here and stocks at 1055 because what happens if gold soars and stocks sell-off in the days that follow such an announcement? What if the response in the treasury market is not as desired? He is scared to do it here and he is right to be scared because such a reaction would be the end of the Fed right then and there. The Fed will be gone anyway within a few years in my opinion but it’s going to fight hard to survive and if you want to make money in this market you need to understand that. The most powerful institution in the world is fighting for its survival. Never forget that.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Hat tip to Market Ticker: As Denninger suggests, some cracks may be appearing in the facade of the mainstream press.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
In case your wondering how yesterday’s trading “aberration” on the DowJonesIA could possible happen, I point you to this beautiful article I found posted on Zero Hedge by JS Kim – “The Near 1,000 Point Slide of the DJIA Compels Further Investigation of the Wall Street Casino Scam”. I’ll share a couple of excerpts that are too great not to capture – but you really have to read the whole thing:
Predatory algorithmic HFT programs aren’t called “predatory” without good reason. Not that yesterday’s selloff wasn’t partially the result of fear injected into a Fed Reserve inflated stock market bubble, because it was. But Wall Street deployed HFT programs had a lot to do with the cascading nature of the decline in yesterday’s trading. Continuing our casino analogy, HFT programs act in the same capacity as the thugs employed by casinos that take you to the back room to rain down their “thuggery” upon you if you start winning too much. HFT programs are designed to block the retail investor from making successful trades against the trades of the house (Wall Street) and often prevent the retail investor from obtaining fair prices in the execution of trades in numerous financial markets.
Consider the following example. Stock A’s bid is $10.10 and the ask is $10.13. An investor places an order to buy at $10.13. Instead of his order being filled and executed as it would if human traders were executing the trade, HFT programs often immediately step up the ask price to $10.14 and screw both parties in the trade. Depending on the orders that HFT programs “see”, sometimes the HFT will see an order at $10.13, and step up the price to $10.18 so the bids follow higher and the bid price gets reset from $10.10 to $10.13 almost immediately. Or, if the bid price does not follow higher, then the bid-ask spread becomes grotesquely distorted from $0.03 to $0.08 for no other reason than HFT programs are blocking liquidity. Should the human trader withdraw his order to buy at $10.13, then often the bid-ask spread almost immediately returns to $0.03 and the ask will subsequently fall from $10.18 back to $10.13. Should he place the order again seconds later, however, the bid-ask spread will often immediately increase again with the bid price increasing to a point higher than $10.13 again.
The ratings agencies like Moodys and Standard and Poors are the pretty cocktail waitresses that lure the mark (the retail investor) into the Casino (stock markets) with free alcoholic drinks (abominably horrible and deceitful credit ratings of financial instruments) to instill the mark with the false sense of confidence necessary to induce gambling in the rigged Casino. The regulators like the CFTC and the SEC are the pit bosses that oversee the floormen (Wall Street firm CEOs) that oversee the table games dealers (the firm’s traders) and ensure the games (stock markets, currency markets, commodity markets) you are allowed to play possess a feature (HFT trading programs) that ensures that the odds will always enormously be in favor of the house. The pit boss oversees all floor dealers and conspire with the regulators (the cocktail waitresses) to give gamblers (the investor) a sense that all dealings are legitimate even though the odds of every table game (currency markets, commodity markets, stock markets) are insanely rigged in favor of the house (Wall Street firms). If we consider the table game of blackjack, in a real casino, should you receive a good hand, the dealer will pay out your bet. In the case of Wall Street, due to HFT programs, in many instances, should an investor receive a favorable hand (i.e., a favorable move in the stock market) in the game he or she is playing, HFT programs move in to prevent the bet from paying out in full or paying out at all (an investor’s sell order never executes at the price at which the market has informed the investor that he or she can cash out).
Read the rest.