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Ivan the Fool

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  • What Happens If Stocks Crash? [View article]
    I claim that toilet paper has value.
    Jun 1, 2013. 11:27 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Triumph Of The Ostriches [View article]
    Maybe it's not everyday people but rather the fund managers who decide where the peoples' money goes who are loving this frenzy and trying to squeeze profits. I can imagine fund managers across the nation willing to ignore the risks and trying to maximize profits. It's not their money after all and they inform us that there are inherent risks to alleviate any personal responsibility. Scary thought. They are in the business of making money, like any other business - protecting pensions is not the goal of a fund manager. I read recently that many funds have eliminated PM from their port-folios. They are probably pulling money from safer investments to try to maximize their gains. It is only a matter of time before they will want to take profits and it will start the chain of dominoes. If they were to jump back into PM and other "safe" investments all at the same time... I think I'll just be holding onto my silver.
    May 31, 2013. 04:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Triumph Of The Ostriches [View article]
    I have never understood why earnings and financing are valued so highly when a company has enormous debt - debt that exceeds the earnings and financing. I am a simple guy and even I can see that the math doesn't seem to work out. What's with these market sentiment numbers? Who are these people - so pleased with the markets? Every coin shop in America now has a $5+ premium. Thus, the public is NOT as pleased as the reports are suggesting. History is not even required to figure this out. Even if we had no knowledge of the recent succession of bubbles, this would still look like a bubble. But when factoring in the bubbles of the last 13 years... it's just a matter of how long they think that they can use the media to drag more people into this trap before skinning the "poor animal" that gets caught in it. It must be the people who are too busy to look into it and simply want a piece of the action. Can there really be so many? All we can do is try to warn them, but if they are not wanting to hear it, then they won't look for alternate views and will seek only to substantiate what they wish were true - I guess. I see people at work commenting and smiling about the gains that their retirement accounts are making and it's really sad. I would love to be wrong, but every ounce of my being tells me that they are about to get robbed. Kleptocratic Oligarchs. That's a fantastic descriptor! Thanks User. And thanks Gestalt.
    May 31, 2013. 02:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Ignore Eurozone's Only Choice, And Growth Isn't It [View article]
    Logic- appreciate the honesty. Distorted by printing - fully agree. When the top Phd-packing economists in the world all are saying the same thing... I am inclined to believe them. Bernanke must know what they know - so rather than being merely an idiot, he is a crook. But he is just the mouthpiece - it's how he makes his living. Which leads me back to where I keep finding myself... am I any different? I am on these sites looking for an angle - a chance to make some easy money. I have known in the back of my mind that the best approach is what you are suggesting - just go with good, solid companies - but when those companies are stagnant while others are rocketing up, I start wanting to believe Mr. Charlie - who seems like a decent guy, just perhaps a bit too optimistic. I think it's time to start investing with my heart instead of my ego. I will look for companies that respect their employees, make healthy products, and have room to grow. Know of any such companies? I am well-aware that your advice could lose me money and am prepared to take such risks. If I am true to my values, then I'd rather lose money supporting something good than... well, you get it.
    May 31, 2013. 01:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Terrorism Attack On Areva Uranium Mine Raises Security Of Supply Concerns [View article]
    Warming and cooling at the same time = extreme weather. Solar flares will be blamed on power-outages. I had a premonition. I'm weird. The market is the ultimate resolution? Is that a joke? Nature is the ultimate resolution. All forms of energy production via radioactive material is a very bad idea - unless life is a bad idea. Those proselytizing for oil and coal are pretty much the same as those proselytizing for Plutonium and coincidentally, very often the same people proselytizing the traditional way - advertising everlasting life. Sorry, but some things are worth more than money.
    May 31, 2013. 12:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Ignore Eurozone's Only Choice, And Growth Isn't It [View article]
    "Chicago Purchasing Managers Index jumped back into expansion territory, rising to 58.7 in May.

    Mr. Logic... what am I to do in the short term while my silver gets dusty?
    May 31, 2013. 12:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Ignore Eurozone's Only Choice, And Growth Isn't It [View article]
    Mr. Logic (I prefer this title to Mr. Price), I agree with your long-term outlook (though I'm beginning to wonder), but with today's news of manufacturing gains **"Chicago Purchasing Managers Index jumped back into expansion territory, rising to 58.7 in May** ... what will you do in the short term? As a small-time investor without the skills to use puts and calls with margins etc.... I don't want to enter the equities rally just before a big dump. Is there any chance that Charlie is right and that this thing could run for years?
    May 31, 2013. 12:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Federal Reserve Kicks Up Communication Dust [View article]
    "Chicago Purchasing Managers Index jumped back into expansion territory, rising to 58.7 in May, up from 49.0 in April which was the first sub-50 reading since September 2009. Economists had predicted a slight increase to 50.0. A level above 50 depicts growth in manufacturing. The upbeat report came as new orders moved further into expansion territory, while production and employment both easily escaped contraction territory."

    Maybe today's manufacturing data is a sign that the money is finally starting to flow out of the banks. I would like to know where exactly it's going because I might be inclined to throw some money that way. Still, this report is suspiciously rosy. I made a bold move today - possibly a foolish one - selling my Ford and Blackberry shares and putting the $ toward mining and silver. It continues to be my guess that we are preparing for a big war and I suspect that the manufacturing gains are in industries related to war. Perhaps not. I'm prepared to be wrong. This rally could go on for years and I could miss the boat. My earlier prediction was that the bull would run until September and then get eaten by a bear, but with stocks growing so rapidly, it is too risky for a guy like me with little cash to expose myself to a potential sell-off. Since silver is so low, is used in manufacturing and continues to have ridiculous demand, it is a much safer bet. If I had more cash to throw around I might feel differently.
    May 31, 2013. 12:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Feels Like Yet Another Bubble [View article]
    JohnBin, Wow, that was awesome. Refreshing. Non-religious and ethical. Plenty of goodness within you. I am full of false assumptions. I know what you mean about the death bed. When my daughter had a seizure that lasted almost 10 minutes, I found myself talking to things in which I don't believe. Still.... I disagree with the "no shame." There is great shame in the way "we" colonized. And what you say was the way of the world back then - is still the way of the world now. I am not opposed to hard work and tending to one's garden (hence, Ivan the Fool - Tolstoy) and feel that the ones who really need to rise up are us. The "we" who sent the British packing might be construed as the same men who crafted our Constitution - and while some of them were literally slave owners, they understood the true meaning of liberty - which Americans, in general, take for granted. I am, as I always have been, a bleeding heart, and so I will hang on to my fantasy of a spirit of "we the people" for all people of this earth and dream of a time when people seek to give as much as take. We have a propensity and a history of violence, but we also have a propensity and a history of charity and good will. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts in such an honest manner. I think I will post only this today. Peace to you, John.
    May 31, 2013. 09:16 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It Feels Like Yet Another Bubble [View article]
    JohnBin - No need to be sorry. While I am not a fan of exploiting others to secure my personal comforts, when it comes down to it... family, clan, community, nation - I will side with my own too. What I'm talking about is fairness - it's okay for some to live more comfortably than others, but great disparities are not okay. I am extolling an ideal. I am talking to myself mostly. I also have worked hard, but don't have the toys to show for it. The two things I want most... a boat and a motorcycle. I am a slave owner too. This is my own conscience that I am wrestling with - semi-publicly. It is quite possible, however, that the plights of foreign laborers are becoming our problem. The natives are getting restless. They want leaders that will allow them to benefit from their own resources. I'm not convinced that "we" can continue to create and support puppet governments that oppress their own people for our gain. Yes, I'd rather be the oppressor than the oppressed, but are those the only two choices? Which history are you referring to? No government has been overthrown in American history. Western "we" escaped the tyranny of England (primarily, if you are Caucasian) and its mecca of debtor's prisons and then "overthrew" the Natives - like Hisatsinom. None of the "they" out there in the world right now have a New World to colonize. Much is stopping "them," but the oppressed continue to rebel with whatever weaponry they can get or make. The US and THEM mentality inevitably results in US vs. THEM. It comes down to stewardship of the earth's resources. As the major world power, I believe that we have a responsibility to care for the earth and its peoples. Power and comfort are correlated with the ability to not care. I am not content to be a typical greedy, self-absorbed American. I am willing to sacrifice some power and some comfort in order to diminish the suffering of others. Ironically, chances are that you are more religious than me. What does your religion suggest? The bible is full of bloody stories too, but I believe that the central message is to cast one's selfish interests to the side and lead the weak through the valley of darkness, not shove the weak to the side and let them fend for themselves. My goal is not to offend, but to awaken the light within - maybe you have more compassion than you are revealing here.
    May 30, 2013. 11:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Ignore Eurozone's Only Choice, And Growth Isn't It [View article]
    Mr. Logic... If your aunt had balls - that's one of the funniest things I've read in a long time - well done. Charlie, you seem like a nice guy, so that may have been an even lower blow (pun intended) than the shot you gave, but you kind of set yourself up by suggesting that our budget problems are easily solved economically. You can redeem yourself if you can explain in detail how it will be done.

    Is Bernanke simply a puppet for the feds? Every time he speaks, he looks like he's totally stressed out. He does a reasonable job of fielding questions that are difficult to answer and some of his tutorials are pretty good, so maybe (I said maybe) he's not an idiot. Maybe he is being extorted into saying what they want him to say. Maybe he's stressed out because he knows the end game but can't let the cat out of the bag - and is thus lying to himself on a deep psychological level. Or maybe he's an idiot.

    Completely agree that, "we will never again enjoy the kind of non-debt-fueled 'natural' growth that we had in the past." We can't go back without giving up our competitive advantage. To live within our means while others expand ten-fold is not an option. The Bank of England figured this out around 1550 and it is the fundamental reason why the West gained supremacy. China goofed up big time by relaxing behind The Wall and are still trying catch up. I believe that this entire situation is the Western response to other world powers making too much progress. If we allow other nations to become our equals in terms of our technological advantages, then our supremacy is lost. We are shutting the world down to protect our advantage. The only other scenario that fits the conditions that I am seeing is that the boundaries of culture are an illusion and this is a game of the world financial elite against everyone else. But would someone like Warren Buffet, for example, rather spend his time with other rich people who speak a different language or with people who are poorer than himself but speak his language? I think option #2 is more likely, that's why I'm long on SPWR.
    May 30, 2013. 07:38 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Ignore Eurozone's Only Choice, And Growth Isn't It [View article]
    The only way that it is possible for a company to grow and have all investors gain is if all investors wait patiently for a company to grow before selling. Companies take time to grow, but stock prices jump all over the place. This is the obvious part that you refer to as "in practice." In such short term scenarios like we have now - rising stock prices are clearly not related to the actual growth of companies, thus when a savvy trader (like you, probably) makes money off of well placed puts and calls (which I don't know how to use), from whence does thine profit originate? The "obvious" answer is... from Fools like me who are working class stiffs just trying to get a little piece of the action. IF you spend your earnings, then the greater economy is helped, but everyday people whose sentiments are being manipulated to feed this rally lose out and the greater economy is hurt. This is compounded by the fact that those who are winning at the game will NOT spend their earnings but will put them into savings. For the economy to genuinely improve, we all have to go long (no puts or calls), and when we carefully sell our shares so as not to damage the companies in which we are investing, we then have to spend our earnings rather than save. To me, and I think Mr. Logic (he will have to speak for himself), this scenario defies logic. But then, when it comes to trading, you are clearly more intelligent than I am and I really am the Fool I claim to be. Educate me, please.
    May 30, 2013. 04:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 1 Overseas Indicator To Watch Every Morning Before Wall Street Opens [View article]
    Larry. If I may... so long as we are printing, Japan will be printing. In the short term - say the next few months, it is highly unlikely that we are going to stop printing because it would mean no unemployment checks for millions of Americans which would quickly lead to violence in the streets. The feds don't like the idea of austerity in the U.S. It seems that printing is linked to the continual climb in stock prices which tends to keep the price of gold/silver suppressed. The timeline is what everyone is trying to predict. There is no historical precedent for the world-wide quantitative easing, so it is very difficult to predict what is going to happen. It is a near consensus that things can't go on like this for too much longer, but what happens next is a mystery. I am personally trying to crack this nut and I'm sure many others are trying as well. Where I seem to be different than others is in my belief that we are already in a world war, but so far without world-wide military conflicts. There are a growing number of indicators that support my opinion - including manipulation of currency values, changing trade patterns, huge "over-night" price fluctuations in the U.S. and Japanese markets particularly, the falling gold prices, and most especially the complete turn-around from Peak Oil to massive domestic production. Printing fake money can't work in Japan or anywhere else - no nation is going to let another nation simply print dollars and use them to purchase real assets. So what is going to happen? Best case scenario is that the U.S. convinces the rest of the G20 to all stop printing at the same time and to go back to a model of sustained growth based on real supply and demand. This does not appear likely. The rich (who are linked to our leaders or are the leaders themselves) are making out like bandits and are thus not likely to stop the madness on their own. It is a time of buy-outs and take-overs. When power has been sufficiently consolidated and the small players have been pushed out, only then will interest rates go up and printing slow down. That Soros has allegedly began purchasing mining stocks suggests that the turn is imminent. Small gains or losses in the value of gold typically relate to the dollar in that when the dollar goes up, gold goes down, but big moves in gold occur when fear of a system collapse begins to spread. Right now, investor sentiment is riding the equities wave and so gold and silver are likely to remain relatively low. But when mining stocks such as Hecla begin to make big moves like over the last couple of days in spite of the equities surge, it indicates to me that the rosy sentiment being reported in equities applies only to the average greedy, short-sighted investors trying to ride the wave and not to the long term picture. It seems to me that the feds have no choice but to INCREASE easing in order to keep the bubble from popping - which would also allow for the acquisition of more hard assets while the dollar is strong. I think that the feds suggestion that QE will diminish is a tactic to try to slow the equities bubble and give a false signal to the world at the same time. Given the uncertainty in the market and that precious metals are priced relatively low, I am adjusting my philosophy of 15% PM to 50% PM. I may lose out on the short term surge, but when the bubble pops as seems inevitable, PM will trample most other bulls. The way that I look at it is... if the equity bulls are wrong, then they are going to get decimated, but if I am wrong and PM continue to fall - at least I will still have something. Please note that I have a bad habit of changing my opinions based on new revelations and that I could be completely wrong about all of this. Sorry so long-winded.
    May 30, 2013. 04:05 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Ignore Eurozone's Only Choice, And Growth Isn't It [View article]
    Charlie, good point about the buying of Treasuries. Obvious, but sometimes the obvious is hard to see. The final question, "Under what circumstances would they not inflate them back up again?" is a great question - maybe THE question. One circumstance might be that sentiment can be increasingly difficult to manipulate. Burn me once...
    I don't see it as a direct correlation of printed money going into the markets so much as the public - including the whole world - being tuned into the fed news releases. Growth in equities is fueling itself by investors moving capital from poor performers. Each time the rally fades and investors take profits, somebody has to lose and the losers become more conservative. We seem to quickly forget the lessons of the past however, so maybe you're right. It's the "sheep" thing essentially. Because of a propensity for self-aggrandizement, it is natural to think of others as being less intelligent than ourselves, but investors in general seem to be relatively intelligent people - who may want to make a quick buck but become sensible after getting beat up. The idea that everybody is going to reap rewards with no losers defies logic, however, and this appears to be the point that Mr. Logic is trying to make. I think it was a bit of a low blow to suggest that Mr. Logic wants the system to collapse. I'm sure that he doesn't. When we tell our kids to look both ways before crossing the street it doesn't mean that we want them to get run over. And just because they didn't get run-over the last time they crossed the street doesn't mean that it is a bad idea to remind them to be careful.
    May 30, 2013. 02:35 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets Ignore Eurozone's Only Choice, And Growth Isn't It [View article]
    Great article, Mr. Logic. When "common sense" finally is reduced to the original intent of "sensus communis," the people will finally see objectively. Until then, sentimentality will rule the day. It will require that the term "philosophy" gets a new interpretation that places the adjective in the proper location behind the noun. The love of wisdom is the cousin of greed. What we need is the wisdom of love. We must stop exploiting other nations so that our corporations can fulfill their duties to stock holders by fleeing from regulations and gaining access to cheap labor. Charlie's first statement is accurate, I think, except that "eurozone" should be replaced with "United States." Unfortunately, politics and economics have become synonymous. The only solution is to hire Robin Hood, but the financial elite have Sherwood surrounded.
    May 30, 2013. 01:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment