The globalized economy is a colossal Ponzi Scheme in which the vast majority survive on the bread crumbs falling off the table. The possibility of 7 billion people achieving a consumption-oriented lifestyle is zero, so the World Bank conveniently set the poverty line at $1.25/day to legalize global slavery. As long as someone else's children are doing the suffering, it's "all good". Post-2008, this illusion was extended merely by plundering all future generations.
The tax cut and the rate hike are both now "priced in" to the casino. Meanwhile, currency and bond markets are a tad skeptical about raising rates on the middle class while lowering taxes for the ultra-wealthy. But unfortunately, the ill-fated Idiocracy is trapped between the Scylla and Charybdis of dumb and dumber. And they don't trust anyone who can be trusted...
Because we all know how bullish Fed rate hikes are:
Cheerleaders for Globalization are all proven failures, but they need to find that out the hard way. The human attrition rate under Globalization exceeds the attrition rate of a normal human life. For a variety of reasons: job insecurity income insecurity, retirement insecurity, and a lack of social safety net. The end result being that people are burning out much faster than they used to...
Aging societies get dumber by the minute - The scope of fantasy necessarily expands as the endgame approaches. Now apparently it takes a Nobel Prize winner to figure out that the status quo is "not working". The problem isn't that American capitalism doesn't work for ALL Americans it's that it only works for .01% of Americans. Of course, they could have just asked anyone who voted for Bernie Sanders...
Surge in ‘deaths of despair’ among whites suggests the loss of ‘a way of life’
For mortality rates to rise instead of fall is extremely rare. It typically takes a war or epidemic for death rates to jump.
Deaton and Case found that these deaths are tied to “deaths of despair” from alcohol, suicide and opioids.
"Mortality rates were rising for working-age white Americans since 1999."
A society that exists solely to increase corporate profit, will find its life force soon depleted:
Bitcoin of course is the original and oldest Cryptocurrency which is what accords it the mantle of world's largest bubble. That said, year-to-date, Ethereum just blew the doors off of Bitcoin (again), in the past 24 hours: Year-to-date % change Ethereum: 7400% Bitcoin: 1650% As a reminder, these two competing bubbles have peaked at the exact same time twice in the past year. I'm sure this time they will both keep going to infinity together. Or not...
Shorter-term, Litecoin beats both of those with a ~400% return in three days:
And "The Crypto Company" beats all comers with a ~3,000% return in ~three days:
Which gets us back to the 'other' casino. The big one. The Dow and S&P both just eked out new record intra-day highs. So far unconfirmed by the Nasdaq/100 and Russell small cap. Also unconfirmed by every other stock market on the planet.
All of which means that the party of one, is ending
The idea of inflating risk assets while the real economy goes Third World, was the dumbest fucking idea in human history...
I read with faint interest this essay on why this third bubble is the last. It offers many casino-related theories as to why a fourth bubble is highly unlikely. I don't know anything about 'S' curves, nor do I intend to learn. However, the real reason why a fourth bubble is unlikely is political.
Here is why there won't be a fourth bubble:
"Jerome Powell, the nominee to replace Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chair, said there are no more "too big to fail" banks during his confirmation hearing."
"Even the big Wall Street banks acknowledge they are still too big to fail, and markets still price them as having implicit taxpayer backing."
"Powell's statement could come back to haunt him if there's a financial crisis under his watch."
Each of the three "wealth" bubbles has generated greater and greater poverty. When the DotCom bubble crashed in March 2000 it took a full year before the onset of recession. When the Housing bubble popped in 2007, recession began a few short months later. When this bubble pops, recession will be well underway, as consumers will be fully tapped out from history's cheapest line of credit. These bubbles were only about covering up corporate shock doctrine. And as we see, eight years since the last recession and the Fed rate remains at the same level as the nadir from the Bush era:
This stoned Idiocracy is using drugs, alcohol, and printed money to pretend that everything is getting better while everything gets worse. The eight year delusion has led to ever-growing wealth and income insecurity for the middle class, despite fake wealth being at record highs.
This week (tomorrow), the Fed has a chance to repeat its 2015 mistake of pushing interest rates too far for tapped out consumers. And as they were back then, they are totally clueless as to the consequences:
Likewise, submerging markets are feeling the effects of tighter credit:
Nevertheless, the Idiocracy at large remains totally clueless, still loading up on fake reflation. For the last time:
With tomorrow's election, the Party of hate and war will also officially become the Party of the Pedophile... "Assume you were a person of the left and an atheist, and you decided to create a couple of people in a laboratory to discredit the Republican Party and white evangelical Christianity. You could hardly choose two more perfect men than Donald Trump and Roy Moore."
I was going to insert my usual rant, but I found this much more eloquent one, which basically explains Trumpfuckistan in a nutshell:
I’m speaking for all of us here in Alabama, even if some of these people will never apologize and never believe that they’ve done anything wrong.
The rest of us know better, though.
We know what we’ve done to all of America over the past year, when the Alabamization of this country began. You weren’t ready for it, and I told you last November that no amount of lowering expectations could possibly prepare you for the river of lunacy that was rushing towards you.
And, well, let’s just say I nailed that one.
Over the last year, America has been treated to the Alabama “superfecta” of governance: Scandals, criminal indictments, bigotry and stupidity.
These things are shocking to most of you, but in a state that rarely has a governor complete a term without a criminal conviction and that has seen its Governor and House Speaker convicted and tossed from office in the current election cycle, it is like a warm cloak of familiarity.
It’s how we live; how we choose to live.
We thrive on corruption and chaos and unbelievable ignorance.
Like Roy Moore.
Where else could a man be booted from the Supreme Court for failing to follow the law, get elected Chief Justice again, get booted again, and now be on the verge of the same state electing him to the U.S. Senate?
That probably should be explained, because, to be quite honest, Moore is too bat-guano insane for even most of Alabama.
The reality is it took the most Alabama-level of political corruption in history to get us here. We needed the House Speaker convicted, the Governor to go down in a blazing flame of vomit-inducing text messages to his 40-year-younger mistress, a bumbling goof of a state AG, and for nearly 90 percent of the registered voters in the state to ignore an election for U.S. Senate.
And because this is Alabama, we got all of that.
So, here’s Roy Moore, set to star on the big stage.
And make no mistake, if given the opportunity to do so, Alabama voters are going to elect this man. That’s probably the most infuriating piece of this whole thing — that so many voters would do so little to prevent a man who they know is bad for Alabama from becoming one of two people who represent them in the U.S. Senate.
Honestly, I have no decent explanation for it. I mean, I know why it’s happening, but the reasoning is neither logical nor acceptable.
Basically, it’s two things: Alabama voters have been conditioned to think of each election as a game that must be won by their “side” — no matter who is representing their side — and they have been conditioned to do this through the use of fear.
The fear of Hell. The fear of black people. The fear of Mexicans. The fear of Muslims. The fear that something in their life won’t be tomorrow what it is today.
We are the most easily frightened bunch of snowflakes in American history. It’s why so many people here carry guns and vote for dopes who promise to save them from things like Sharia law. Our people are convinced that if a decent, good man like Doug Jones is elected to the U.S. Senate, what will follow are mass abortions and a Christianity ban.
That’s absurd, of course. And if any of them would bother checking the history books, they would understand that the majority of Alabamians do much better when the government is controlled by progressives than when it’s controlled by austerity-pushing conservatives.
But I suppose checking history is too much to ask from a group that’s currently tripping over themselves to defend Moore from mounting allegations of sexual assault on minors. They, like me, have no idea if the allegations are true, but they are convinced that the women are money-chasing Democratic plants who want to destroy the “good” name of Roy Moore.
They have bought — hook, line and sinker — the absurd excuses from conservative mouthpieces, such as Sean Hannity and Breitbart. They have chosen to listen to the people who tell them what they want to hear instead of those who tell them the truth.
And really, that’s always been Alabama’s problem — so many opportunist politicians playing upon the fears of common people for their own benefit, truth and consequences be damned. It has been a problem that has held this state down for decades.
And now, it seems, we’re infecting the rest of the country with this stupid disease.
Most people don't believe in nor understand Social Mood Theory; which is why it works, at conning the same sheeple over and over again... Concentrating all asset flows into a handful of stocks has left the casino "fragile" to borrow Taleb's parlance:
Speaking of fragility, if we want to see what is in store for the DowCasino, we need look no further than BitCasino, locus of what passes for modern "financial innovation": In the past week, the largest U.S. Bitcoin broker, Coinbase, went offline twice. The largest U.S. exchange, GDAX crashed, the CBOE futures were halted limit (up) multiple times, and $70 million in Bitcoins were stolen. All of this "innovation" controlled by Japanese housewives leveraged 15x. But really, what could go wrong?
Meanwhile, the head of Japan's largest cryptocurrency exchange, bitFlyer, revealed to the FT what may be the secret sauce behind Mrs. Watanabe's unprecedented control over bitcoin: 15x leverage
Worse yet, in order to accept the fantasy that BitCasino is the leading edge of financial innovation, we have to ignore the blow-off top in the Dow, semiconductors, FANG stocks, Emerging Markets, China Tech, TitCoin, and FuckToken that has taken place at the exact same time. In other words, it's pure coincidence that a Social Mood melt-up occurred as Bitcoin "reached its potential".
Here is where it gets interesting. The simultaneous melt-up of all sectors of the casino has never occurred in any other cycle. Usually there is sector rotation as the cycle advances, from cyclicals to growth, to value/dividend plays. In other words, as the economic cycle progresses towards recession, the stock market adjusts its underlying foundation to price in economic weakness. Not this time. In this cycle, relentless sector rotation has kept the largest stocks in each sector bid, while the remainder of the casino rolls over. Meaning, there's no real support for this point in the cycle:
Case in point, Transports:
Big cap Tech
Which leaves Financials rolling over ahead of the Fed rate hike this week:
Betting that historically low volatility will last forever amid record speculation and leverage is the biggest fool's game ever. Which is what a bet on the Dow Casino now represents - a bet on a continuing Black Swan event...
The bubble that garners all of the attention of course is BitCasino. CBOE futures began trading last night and the contract moved into steep contango, halted twice limit up.
Nevertheless, what BitCasino gamblers lack in the way of knowledge of Blockchain technology, they make up for in their lack of knowledge of the futures market. Being cash settled means that the futures market trades wholly separate from the Bitcoin exchanges. Meaning that there is no direct means of keeping the two markets in synch. To be sure, at contract expiration, market makers will arbitrage the two markets to the spot Bitcoin price. However, between expirations, large speculators will conduct their bets on the futures market wholly independent of the Bitcoin exchanges: A side bet between two large parties having no effect on the underlying market. The idea of a tsunami of new capital entering the Bitcoin market was a fantasy. Which is likely why the Bitcoin price peaked last week, as did trading volume:
The link between Bitcoin and the larger casino is via semiconductors: