Testy Tuesday: You Call This A Pullback?

by: Philip Davis

Click to enlargeCome on bears, is that all you've got?

It's getting so we can't even see the bottom on these 3-month charts and it takes us two days to drop half a point? You can't even get a proper correction at that rate. Cyprus "confiscates wealth" - so what? The Wealthy have lots of money and it's time for the people to take a little back - didn't the US just have an election that decided exactly that point?

As I said yesterday, Americans WISH only 10% of our wealth was confiscated through taxes and currency devaluation over the past 5 years but it was a lot more than that and there's a lot more to come before we even come close to balancing our own budget.

Cyprus is only a symbol - but it's more like a warning siren for those who have much, from those who have little and simply have no more to give. While the Conservative media may be telling you it's the end of the World as you know it, the World keeps turning for the bottom 80%, who could care less if someone "confiscates" 10% of what they have in the banks because, as the Wall Street Journal just realized this morning, 57% of US Workers have less than $25,000 in total household savings.

Click to enlargeIt's hard to get people all worked up about losing their savings when they don't have any and it's laughing to see the talking heads on Fox saying "a guy who only has $10,000 in the bank should be just as upset if the government takes 10% as a guy who has $10M." No, Mr. Idiot, he should not.

They guy who loses $1,000 loses the same 20 dinners for his family that you do - only his are at Olive Garden or Pizza Hut but it's still a dinner to him. Only the guy who loses $1,000,000 loses - well, a million dollars - even for rich people - that stings.

Click to enlargeSo, the rich people are FREAKING OUT that a country would DARE to charge their deposits to balance the books. In the US, for example, there are about $140Tn of total Financial Assets in the US and, of all that, only $4Tn of that is insured (under the FDIC limit) and the rest is held by "rich people," who have so much money they can't even be bothered to open separate accounts to keep the money insured or it's at play in the markets, etc.

The majority of that money, $60Tn, is held by "The Financial Sector" - ie, exactly the kind of people who might get 10% of their money "confiscated" if the government ever decides it would be a fun way to quickly pay down half its debts.

Most of the rest of the money is held by what we call "Households" but, as the WSJ points out, 57% of those households have pretty much NONE of the money and, even within that top 43%, the top 57% of them (24%) have the vast majority of that money and then again it can be broken down until you get to that top 1%, who control 43% of all the Wealth in America. Now THOSE are the people who don't want the government to come and take 10% of their $60Tn!

chartLet's say there's 100M heads of households in the US and that means 1M households have an average of $60M each (stunning, isn't it) and they think it's a TERRIBLE idea for America to take 10% of their money to help pay down the debt - even though that would still leave them with $50M each - still enough to stay out of Olive Garden, one would think.

Those rich people do get a lot of sympathy from the next 4%, who have 29% of the wealth ($40Tn), as that's $10M per household and those guys would be really mad if the government said to them: "Hey, you know how we taxed you 25% less for the past 12 years and how it helped you become really wealthy? Turns out that was a mistake and we're going to need 10% back to balance the books." Yep, that would suck!

Even the next 5M heads of household may be concerned because they have scrimped and saved at their upper-management positions and those families have accumulated 11% of our nation's wealth ($15Tn) and they have $3M tucked away and the next 10% rounds out the top 20% and those guys also have almost $1M in assets and they'd hate to lose 10% of it.

However (and here is the problem of wealth inequality for the wealthy), the bottom 80M households have been left with a total of 7% of the wealth of the nation ($10Tn) and they have an average of $125,000 and it's very hard for them to get all upset about the government coming for their $12,500 if it ends up paying off the national debt, giving them access to affordable healthcare (because they sure can't afford the care they're getting now) and guaranteeing them the retirement accounts they were promised they were working for their whole lives. A $12,500 one-time tax kind of sounds like a bargain for all that, doesn't it?

Click to enlargeEven with the Supreme Court granting citizenship to immortal Corporations (and I created 2 dozen corporations since then and they're all voting Democrat, you rat bastards!), that bottom 80% is 80M families with about 160M voters, voters who have, relatively, NOTHING compared to their masters in the top 10%. When given the choice between having what little they do have left being slashed away through ruthless austerity programs or just voting to take it back from the rich guys - what do you think is going to happen?

Keep in mind also that what you call austerity, a poor person calls "one more damn thing I have to pay for" as we cut back services they are used to receiving. In fact, a liberal-minded sort of fellow may even say these are services they have a RIGHT to receive. He might go so far as saying that this is a democracy (of sorts) and that, over the course of a couple of hundred years of voting, THE PEOPLE have decided that there are basic, human, inalienable rights that our citizens have like the right to education, food and healthcare and perhaps even the right to live out their lives in dignity when they are no longer able to work - even if we did pay them so little while they worked that they became one of the 57M families who didn't have enough money left over to save for retirement.

The world was not always this way, this is what has happened to the world slowly over the last 40 years and then very quickly over the past 12 - as is clearly evidenced from this chart. Cyprus should not be looked at as something to fear by the bottom 90% of our population but as a viable solution to help re-balance a system that is clearly failing them.

As the great Henry Ford once said:

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

Perhaps what's happening in Cyprus is merely a sign of mornings to come and, rather than try to fight it, perhaps the wealthy need to go with the flow because - as the French Revolution demonstrated in 1787 - there are far messier ways of confiscating wealth when the rich people begin to take so much for themselves that the majority of the population begins to suffer from austerity/poverty.

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - John F. Kennedy

Disclosure: I am long AAPL, GDX, TZA, CIM, GLD, BA, ALU, DBA, GLW. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Positions as indicated but subject to change (fairly bullish mix of long and short positions - see previous posts for other trade ideas). Commodity positions are very short-term and not tradeable by the time you read this.