Monday, July 31, 2017

Being A Good Corporate Citizen

Alibaba Launches Fund to Promote African Youth Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship in Africa has emerged as one of the most sustainable tools to generate jobs. A 2015 study by Approved Index, a UK based group, ranked Africa near the top in terms of entrepreneurship. Global investors are increasingly recognizing the rise of entrepreneurship and the changing business landscape in the African continent. At a recent Youth…

As I've Always Said, Never Waste A Good Crisis

Goals of Paris Agreement May Be Met Sooner Than Expected

The precipitous drop in costs for renewable energy technology-even from prices a few years ago-means that carbon emissions may decrease faster and hit the targets earlier than those envisioned by the Paris Climate Agreement. Here are three technologies making that happen: 1. Solar – the average price of a MWh of electricity from solar cells has…

Sunday, July 30, 2017

It Was Going To Happen Anyway

Did Tesla Break the Oil Industry?

Elon Musk was smart enough to see the opportunity, wealthy enough to be able to try, and…

China Continues To Strengthen Transport Links In Asia

China, Sri Lanka ink Hambantota Port deal

COLOMBO - China Merchants Port Holdings and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority signed an agreement here on Saturday to develop the Hambantota Port in southern Sri Lanka. Under the deal, the Chinese side will hold a 70 percent stake in two joint ventures to be launched to take charge of the commercial and administrative management operations…

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I Knew It...

Money Is the Secret to Happiness, Science Says

Money can buy you happiness, a new study shows. But it must be spent wisely: not on material possessions, but on time-saving activities that will contribute to living a more satisfied, relaxed life. A team of researchers led by Harvard Business School professor Ashley Whillans surveyed nearly 4,500 people, including millionaires, from the U.S., Canada, Denmark…

Hopefully With Business Comes Regional Stability

Independence will open doors to investment in Kurdistan

The liberation of Iraq in 2003 brought with it economic opportunities that the people of Iraq had never before imagined. In Kurdistan, we seized upon this chance to grow our society in the ways we had long dreamed - in the first 10 years annual per capita GDP grew from around $500 to $7,000. Although the…

England Follows Suit

UK To Ban Sale Of Petrol And Diesel Cars By 2040

The U.K. is set to ban all petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040. Ministers will unveil a fund of £225 million ($332 million) to help councils take measures to deal with pollution from diesel vehicles. "What we're saying to local authorities is come up with an imaginative solution to these proposals," said Environment Secretary…

Great, But Adding Jobs At A Market Top?

Amazon seeks to fill 50,000 warehouse jobs

SEATTLE — says it will hold a giant, multisite job fair on Aug. 2 to help fill some of the 50,000 jobs open across its U.S. network of fulfillment centers. The e-commerce giant, based in Seattle, says that on the occasion it calls "Jobs Day," it will welcome applicants at 10 of its warehouses. Amazon…

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Coal's Influence Continues To Wane

China's LNG imports jump in H1

BEIJING — China increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports in the first half (H1) of 2017, as part of an effort to clean up its coal-dominated energy mix. The LNG channeled into the world's biggest energy consumer rose 38.3 percent year-on-year to 15.89 million metric tons in the January-June period, according to data released by the…

U.S. Not Ready For A Multi-Polar Economic World

US Losing Heft In Global Economy: IMF

Six months after President Donald Trump assumed office, the economic heft of the United States is already diminishing. Several experts predicted better economic growth for the country under the Republican administration and the International Monetary Fund too began the year on optimistic note. The IMF predicted Trump’s ascension as the US president would trigger a fiscal…

Toyota Continues To Muscle In On Electric Vehicles

Toyota May Produce Electric Vehicles In China By 2019

Toyota could start mass production of electric cars in China as early as 2019, according to Nikkei. China is planning to set production quotas for “new energy cars” next year, and Toyota is planning to meet the goal. Read: Summer Olympics 2020 News: Toyota-Backed Flying Car Could Light Torch In Tokyo For Opening Ceremony In 2012,…

Knock On Effect Of Strong Loonie

Canadian Buyers Storming US Real Estate Market

Canadians have been purchasing property in the United States in record numbers, with the period between spring 2016 and 2017 seeing an all-time high of $19 billion, it was reported Saturday. The figure from a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is believed to be something of a surprise due to the relative weakness…

Monday, July 24, 2017

Confusing Energy Pivot For U.K To Volatile Market In Africa

We're Interested in Nigeria's Oil, Gas - Britain

Britain has expressed its interest in Nigeria's oil and gas industry. It expressed its readiness to invest in pipeline infrastructure, renewable energy, gas and power of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, made this promise when the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr.…

Never Waste A Good Crisis

'Clean cars' will save us from climate change deniers

Donald Trump has, as we all know, withdrawn America from the Paris Climate Change Accords. The biggest, most promising international agreement since the founding of the United Nations. It was to be expected. He said he would. When he took office, the official White House website removed every mention of climate change. Except for the promise…

Regional Resource Grab Boxing China In

Philippines Pokes China With Intent to Drill for Oil in Disputed Sea

Plans in the Philippines to reopen a tract of the disputed South China Sea for oil and gas exploration is likely to complicate the foreign policy of Manila’s new friend Beijing, which claims the same waters, and adds to a regional pushback against Chinese maritime influence. Philippines oil drilling plans The Philippine Department of Energy is…

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Volatility Could Be Turning A Critical Corner

XIV Hits All Time Highs – VIX Sets Records That May Never Be Broken

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By Mike Golembesky,

In an article published widely last week, I had noted that as long as the XIV was able to hold the 83.93 level, I expected to see it hit the 87.76 – 91.53 zone into this week with the potential to see a move into the mid 90’s prior to making a large degree top.

On Tuesday of this week, the XIV closed at the upper end of this 91.53 zone and then on continued to extend higher into Wednesday, and as of Thursday’s close is now trading at the 93.83 level having so far been contained by the 238.2 Fibonacci extension level of the move up off of the 7/6 low.

While the XIV is so far following through on the smaller degree pattern and is tracing out a very clean impulsive pattern off of the 7/6 low, it is now starting to push the limits of the upper end of what I still prefer to count as a large Ending Diagonal pattern off of the April 12th low.

The price action over the next several trading sessions should be key in helping give further clues as to where the XIV is heading in the near term.

As I noted in the title of this article, the CBOE Volatility Index or the VIX index has set some records in 2017 that have been truly remarkable and may never be seen again. Not only in ultra-low price levels but in the frequency that these ultra-low price levels have occurred.

The VIX hit an all-time low closing reading this year using both the new VIX methodology that was created in 2003 and also the old VIX methodology, which is trackable by using the VXO symbol, that dates back to the early 90s. The VXO saw a 7 handle this year, while the “new” VIX closed at 9.51 last Friday, the lowest level since the new methodology was introduced by the CBOE in 2003.
As impressive as these record low closes are, even more impressive is how long the VIX has maintained these ultra-low levels.  Prior to 2017 the new VIX going back to 2003 had only closed under the 10 level four times. This occurred three times in November through December of 2006 and once more in January of 2007.

In 2017 the VIX has closed under the 10 level a total of 13 times. These occurred in May, June and July of this year. In fact, as of July 20th the last six consecutive sessions all saw the VIX close under the 10 level. That is more closes under 10 in just the last six days than had ever occurred in every year combined prior to 2017.

While closing under 10 is certainly ultra-low level to see, a close under the 11 level is still also very low. So low in fact that prior to 2017 the VIX had only closed under 11 in a handful of months 2006, 2007 and 2014.

This year the VIX has closed under the 11 level at least once in every single month of the year . Having closed under 11 in nineteen of the twenty-two trading days in May and eighteen of the twenty-two trading days in June. This month the VIX has closed under the 11 level in eight of the thirteen trading days that we have seen so far in the month. The total days that the VIX has traded under the 11 level in just six and half months in 2017 comes to 58; the previous record for a single year was 35 in 2006.

So while I cannot predict the future and say with certainty that these records will not be broken, I can say that I would be truly impressed if the VIX can manage to once again accomplish a feat like we have seen in 2017.

As noted above the current pattern off of the 7/6 low has been following the shorter term pattern quite well and has hit all of our expected fibs almost perfectly. The one possible exception to this is that we may have extended beyond the ideal upper target for our minor degree wave iii up off of the 7/6 low. I say possible exception because while I am still leaning towards seeing another minor degree wave iv down and v up as shown in the white count on the 20-minute chart I can make the case that we have already topped in wave iii and are currently already in wave v up per the yellow path.
I would need to see a break of at least the 86.87 level to have the initial confirmation that we have indeed topped per the yellow count with further confirmation coming with a break of the 83.74 and then 77.52 levels.

While I am still leaning towards seeing another high back into the mid-90s prior to topping, there is still quite a bit of risk in attempting to play the XIV to the upside here or Volatility in general to the downside. While I am still looking for a tradable top in the XIV, the setup has still yet to present itself. Until that setup comes I will continue to remain content on the sidelines as we still have no confirmation that this period of record setting low Volatility is behind us.

See charts illustrating the wave counts on the XIV.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What Could Be More Terrifying, China And AI Taking Over The World In The Future

Plan to put China in AI industry vanguard

China aims to build a 1 trillion yuan ($147.9 billion) artificial intelligence industry by 2030, as the country scrambles to lead the world in research and application of the cutting-edge technology, a new plan said on…

Well That Settles It, North Korea Is A Buy

North Korea economy undergoes rapid growth

North Korea’s economy grew at its fastest pace in 17 years in 2016 despite the isolated country facing international sanctions to curb its pursuit of nuclear weapons. The expansion, driven by mining and energy, marked the biggest rise since a 6.1 percent gain in 1999. The robust economic growth may also partly be due to the…

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Seems About Right

Calling for Market Top Within The Next Three Weeks

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Last week, I noted to members: “As long as last week’s low is not broken, the market still has a set up in place to rally up towards the 2500SPX region.”

And, as we saw, the market has rallied up towards our long-term target region. The high we struck on Friday is now only 24 points from the bottom of our long-term target box, which we set several years ago.

Since bottoming back in February of 2016, the S&P500 has rallied 38%. That is one of the best runs in the market’s history. But, were you prepared for it?

The truth is that most in the market were quite bearish back in February of 2016. As I have noted before, back on February 10, 2016, bearish sentiment, according to the AAII Investor Sentiment Survey, was at one of its highest readings, hitting 48.7% (with only 24% responding as bullish), whereas it has a historical average of 30.5% bears and over 40% bulls. The February 10th measurements are considered to be relatively extreme bearish numbers.

How many of you even reasonably considered that the market could attain 2500+ in the S&P 500 back in February of 2016, even after I continued to strongly suggest that potential? If you are honest with yourself, the answer is likely going to be an extremely small percentage. But, the potential was clearly on the chart for all those who knew where to look.
You see, the market does offer clues as to where and how it can move. In fact, back on the last days of 2015, I warned that the SPX could drop down to the 1800 region before it began its rally to 2500.

And, as we know, the drop we saw into February of 2016 just below the 1800SPX level provided us with sufficient bearishness to catapult us up towards our long-term rally targets which were viewed in disbelief by most.

And, this happens over and over in all different markets. Yet, because investors are looking for the next 2008-type of crash to happen at any time, they fail to understand that many of these fear-intensive drops are what sets the market up to rally just as strongly. Even this weekend, I have seen at least 3 other articles calling for the market to crash.

Another example of how markets fool most participants was seen around the time of the Presidential election. You see, as the market was dropping into our pullback target days before the election in early November, on November 5th, I wrote:

“once the market moves strongly through the 2098SPX level and is able to continue through 2125SPX, that is our initial indication that we could have a long-term low in place, and finally begin our run to 2350SPX next.”

Now, consider the general market expectation at the time. We were within days of the election, and the common expectation was that if Trump was going to win the election, the market was certainly going to crash. However, it did not matter who won the election in our analysis, as the market was set up to rally to 2300+ no matter who was in the White House. And, despite many scoffing at my perspective at the time, the market has certainly proven me correct, as Mr. Trump is now sitting in the White House, and the market is approaching our longer-term target regions.

This is simply another example of how most of the market is fooled by their expectations surrounding news, whereas it truly is market sentiment which “trumps” all other factors when it comes to the stock market. This was likely one of the most obvious recent examples of this perspective, and those who are willing to recognize it are much more wealthy for their willingness to open their minds.
Moreover, as our government continues to seem in disarray, the market does not seem to care. In fact, our government has been doing nothing other than dithering over this ridiculous Russian issue for months. But, again, none of this matters to the market, and it never will, as the market has simply continued to rally towards our long-term targets. Despite what many believe, it matters not who is in office, nor what they are doing. The market has a mind of its own, and if you have not learned that lesson over the last two years with Brexit, terrorism, Trump, Syria, rising interest rates, etc. being unable to derail this rally, then I am not sure you have been paying attention.

As the DOW and S&P500 hit new all-time highs this past week, and the NASDAQ has come back almost all the way from the “scary” drop we saw in June, many market participants are starting to believe this market may never come down again. Even though you have analysts coming out week after week calling for a market crash, many of them have been saying this weekly during this last 37% rally in the SPX. Oh, and don’t forget about all those Hindenburg Omens which were supposed to portend a market crash. At this point in time, investors may have begun to view these analysts as the little boy who cried wolf.

But, are we approaching the time of day when those broken clocks will finally be right? I think so.
Last Tuesday evening, July 11, my evening update to my members at stated the following:

Market Will Be Tested Tomorrow

With the market pullback today, we have a completed i-ii, 1-2 in the bullish set up for wave 5 of (V) of (3). But, with that set up, it means the market is just about out of room to break out to the upside. In fact, I would need to see a strong confirmation as early as tomorrow, with a potential gap up over the downtrend line on the 60 minute chart.

The next day, we gapped up over the downtrend line, as the market tacked on a 20-point rally on Wednesday. It followed up with a further 20 points the next two days, and struck a new all-time high.
As you can see from the charts linked below, the market is now approaching our long-term target we set several years ago. In fact, we are now within the final “squiggles” of this segment of the rally.

And, I think we can strike a top to the market within the next 3 weeks. In fact, Luke Miller, who runs one of our proprietary timing models at, notes that there is a potential timing target around August 9th which can mark a larger degree top in the market. (Just so you know, Luke’s timing model called for this current rally in the SPX over a week ago).

While many will now turn bullish in disbelief of the action in the equity markets, I am now finally turning somewhat cautious, and will likely remain so until the fall. My expectation is for last week’s ascent to slow down in the SPX over the coming weeks, which will likely result in a multi-month top being struck, sending us back down to the 2300 region in the SPX in the coming months. (Click for larger image)

Following In Lock Step With China

Issues As Nigeria Prepares for First Sovereign Green Bonds

As Nigeria prepares to issue the first Sovereign Green Bonds by this third quarter, CHIKA OKEKE examines several inter-agency collaboration, benefits of the bonds and how it would green Nigerian economy. Prior to Nigeria's participation at the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change…

The Demographic Earthquake Emerges

Starting in 2022, Social Security will pay out more than it takes in

According to the Social Security Board of Trustees, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be depleted in 2034. When this happens, only 77 percent of benefits will be payable. That estimate is no change from last year’s estimate. In addition, the Disability Insurance trust fund will be depleted in 2028,…

Industry Majors And A Push Towards Sustainability

Nornickel Unveils Major Sustainability and Work Safety Advances for 2016

MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC (Nornickel; MCX: GMKN, LSE: MNOD), the world’s largest nickel and palladium producer, released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report on Wednesday, detailing the company’s performance in 2016 and progress towards achieving environmental and social responsibility goals set for 2023. In 2016, Nornickel spent US $383 million on environment protection, up 8.9%…

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Solar Cheaper Than Coal

Wind of change is blowing through energy sector

Two farmers on a tractor pass through a wind power farm in Inner Mongolia. [Photo by Su Weizhong/For China Daily] Coal mining has become a way of life for Inner Mongolia but a new wave of green energy is about to change that. Bu Xiaolin, chairman of North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, talked with pride…

Never Waste A Good Crisis, Even If Our Survival Is Threatened

Earth Is Getting Warmer And There’s A Reason To Worry

Climate change is real and it’s happening now. The data published Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) highlighted the first half of 2017 was the second warmest in 138 years. The global average temperature recorded between January and June was 1.48 F degrees above the 20th century average of 59.9 degrees. Besides, the…

Here We Go Again...Again

US Imposes New Sanctions on Iran

The United States has imposed new sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals and groups it accuses of backing Tehran's ballistic missile program. The State Department announced its sanctions Tuesday against two groups linked to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, saying they were involved in ballistic missile research and development. It further said that Iranian activities in the Middle…

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cycle Pattern Ending With A Current Rounding Pattern....Convenient

SPX Cycles, Fed Funds and Gold

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This “amateur cyclist’s” chart (I am anything but a cycles analyst) of the S&P 500 shows that the 12 month marker (C12) meant exactly nothing as the market remained firmly on trend, after brief pokes down in April and May. We noted that C12 was a lesser indicator than the 30 month cycle, which has coincided with some pretty significant changes (+/- a few months). That cycle (C30) is coming due at the end of the summer. Will it mean anything? Well, this market eats top callers for breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight snacks. But it is worth knowing about to a lucid and well-armed market participant.
spx cycles
Here is the S&P 500 from another angle. The Fed Funds Rate (as of June 1) is now climbing in unison with the 2yr Treasury yield, and has even exceeded it. A problem for the stock market? Well, not quite yet when viewing historical context. The stock market has continued to climb in the short-term under conditions like this. But you will note that when the 2yr yield began to flatten and turn down, leaving the Fed in ‘overshoot’ territory, the major market tops of 2000 and 2007 were registered. Folks, I am not promoting an agenda, but simply reviewing history.
Indeed, NFTRH has been in bull mode in one way or another since the height of the Brexit hysteria and its low risk bullish signals (as global herds rushed to risk ‘off’ sovereign bonds amid the knock-on NIRP!!! hysteria). More recently we have been bullish but in ‘risk’ mode, which continues and if the above cycles and Fed Funds analysis means anything, will only intensify. High risk does not mean bearish; it means high risk which, especially if the mania intensifies, can go hand in hand with reward.

As for the gold sector, look no further than our Macrocosm picture to see why the sector cannot yet be called bullish. At best, there are better places to invest as long as stock markets and the economy are doing well checkand out performing gold check.
macrocosm, nftrh 363
As we go to print on Friday in US pre-market the CPI number came in flat and the gold sector is rightly celebrating the lack of inflation and the ‘dovish Fed’ implications. The positive reaction is news driven and can be filtered per the weekly charts below. Subscribers have been and will be updated on the parameters to unchaining the sector from its technical lock-down.

But there is a long way to go to undo the negatives. We’ll leave it to promoters and obsessives to micro-manage the sector in the meantime. There is no macro signal here for a real bull phase by the important element of ‘gold vs. stock markets’.
gold vs. stocks
Nor is there much positive going on in the sector’s nominal technical situation.
precious metals
However, when factoring in the S&P 500 analysis above, considering that the Fed Funds vs. the 2yr yield is nearing signals similar to 2000 and 2007, considering that the 10yr-2yr Treasury yield curve has recently made a move upward (a significant macro fundamental consideration in its own right) and in light of certain positive divergences in quality miners and royalties that we track, we will surely be on alert for coming opportunities in the counter-cyclical precious metals, because things could change at any time.

We cover the sector in detail (including stock charts) each week along with all other major markets (including stock charts) in NFTRH. But this article is intended to give a general view of what is bullish (i.e. bull trending) and what is not… along with some markers for potential changes. Meanwhile, trading can be done long and short in either broad stocks or the gold sector. But understanding current trends is important, until said trends change.

Subscribe to NFTRH Premium for your 40-55 page weekly report, interim updates and NFTRH+ chart and trade ideas or the free eLetter for an introduction to our work. Or simply keep up to date with plenty of public content at and Also, you can follow via Twitter @BiiwiiNFTRH, StockTwits, RSS or sign up to receive posts directly by email (right sidebar).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Which Is A Shame Because I Really Like Emerging Markets

Fourth Approach

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The emerging markets fund has soared almost 50% since the beginning of last year. That’s a pretty amazing performance for such a broad base of equities.

I would like to point out – – for what it’s worth (which isn’t necessarily that much in today’s QE-fueled world) this is the fourth time prices have approached the red trendline drawn below, each of which has carved out a slightly lower high. We shall see if a fourth descent begins, as before, or if at last this breaks above the resistance.

But I Think Success Belongs To Those Who Persevere

Ego Salieri

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All I wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing… and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that. If he didn’t want me to praise him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body! And then deny me the talent?

This will be the most personal post I’ve ever written in nearly thirteen years of doing this blog. Indeed, I’ve been debating with myself whether I should ever do this post. There are people I know will read it whom I’d prefer not be aware of these thoughts. It would be much easier, as well as risk-free, to simply yammer on about some stupid chart or something. For whatever reason, however, I feel compelled to express myself.

On occasion, I’ll encounter people that will tell me they enjoy my writing, and I secretly cringe upon hearing this. Working alone as I do, I prefer to pretend no one out there is reading what I write or listening to what I say. That’s very liberating for me, and although I have consistently tried to keep what I write and utter to adhere to some basic decorum – – and, importantly, while I have drawn a thick red line separately what I will or won’t talk about from my personal life – – there are times such as this where I get uncomfortably close to sharing thoughts that are deeply personal and, in some ways, painful. There are still broad areas of my personal life that I’ve never discussed here, and this post isn’t going to change that.

The P-Kit

When I was a kid, I liked going to the Radio Shack store. We didn’t have much money, but from time to time, I’d be able to buy one of the inexpensive “P Kits” they sold, which was basically a small breadboard with a few resistors, LEDs, and such, and there was some ready-made project like a noise maker or radio. A typical complete P Kit would look like this:
My attempts to put them together never worked out, though. For one thing, I was lousy at soldering – – absolutely terrible – – and many a P Kit went unfinished. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I never took the time to try to learn. I just didn’t have it in me.

A little later on, I got one of those “100 in 1” sets, which were more suitable for retards like myself. There was no soldering – – there were just little springs you could insert wires into, and there was a manual with a bunch of easy projects. I was able to get these to work (any moron could), but I confess I didn’t really study as to why it worked the way it did. I just wanted to get it to function, and then I was through. I never really learned anything at all about electronics.
After that, Radio Shack came out with their so-called Digital Computer Kit (about which I wrote a very extensive post a few years ago). This, too, was a total failure on my part. It was complicated, and I didn’t have the dexterity or patience to assemble it right. I didn’t complete it, and obviously I never got it to do anything.
So why all this talk about my failed attempts with simple electronics? I’ll come back to that.
Starting Yahoo

Fast forward many years. It is the late 1990s. My parents are visiting me and my wife. During dinner, out of the middle of nowhere, my mother looks at me and says, “Tim, don’t you wish you had founded Yahoo?”

On the surface, the question is preposterous. It’s like asking someone if they wish they had been the first man on the moon or had been a founding father of the United States. We can all fantasize about how great it would be to be some esteemed person or role, but I had honestly never been asked a question like that by anyone.

It was also a hurtful question to hear. It was infused with motherly disappointment, and although I was well into adulthood, it still stung. It stings to this day, even though it’s been many years since it happened.

I can somewhat understand that, from her naive (very naive) point of view, if someone had any ambition at all in the Silicon Valley, they would naturally start something successful. I, alas, was not among them, in spite of being very early on in the world of computers. Little did she realize the odds of making it big in this valley are equal to the odds of one of the hundreds of thousands of aspiring actors that show up in Hollywood becoming Tom Hanks.

What she didn’t understand is how badly I had wanted to be part of something great like that. Ever since the early 1980s, when I eagerly read about the stories of all the early computer entrepreneurs, I craved to be one of them. Adam Osborne, Nolan Bushnell, Steve Jobs, Bill Millard – – I read all their stories, and I ached with every part of my body to be in that club. It was my only dream, and a very powerful driving force.
What you might find hard to believe is that it had almost nothing to do with money. It had to do, for lack of a better term, with a desire to be swept up by something. It all seemed like it would be so thrilling to be caught up in the chaos, fervor, and excitement of a new idea that was growing fast and grabbing the world’s attention. Long hours. Late nights. That was for me.

Of course, I didn’t start Yahoo, Google, America Online, or anything else of import. The only company I ever started was tiny little Prophet, which never got bigger than 25 people. It had its little successes here and there, and its share of camaraderie, but whereas I wanted to enjoy a gigantic bundt cake, I found myself trying to be content with a couple of stale crumbs.
Neither a Failure Nor Success

As the years passed, I used to torment myself for my lack of success. I wondered what was wrong with me, what opportunities I had overlooked, or where I had gone wrong.

Sure, I wasn’t a complete washout. I had a beautiful family, enough money to get by, and a decent house. However, my childhood dreams of being someone big never materialized, and my mother’s needling question stayed at the back of my mind, tormenting me.

Having dwelled on it for a very long time, it occurred to me not that terribly long ago the truth of the situation, and it is this: I should never have been a success in the first place. I didn’t deserve it. Period.

And this isn’t a moral judgment. It is simple a statement of fact: there was very little that was special about me.

Think back to to the P Kit, and the 100-in-1 set, and the Digital Computer. Think also back, although I haven’t described it here, to all the computer languages I tried to learn, all the code I tried to write, and all the programs I tried to create. None of them were very good. It was all a struggle. None of it came naturally. The only thing I could do was write, and even that wasn’t particularly special.
In short, I just didn’t have the talent. I didn’t have the intellect. I didn’t have the natural gifts.
And that understanding……….the acceptance of my own shortcomings and inadequacies……was more liberating than anything else before. Because  I finally realized the actual truth: I never had the talent to merit success in the first place. In short, meritocracy had actually worked.

You can understand now perhaps why I wasn’t eager to share these feelings. I don’t like to trumpet my own inadequacy. I still want so badly to be perceived as someone who is at least a little beyond normal. But, one evening during a swim, this entire confession came to me, and I felt driven to share it, for better or worse. Probably worse.

I am thus content to live out the rest of my life as the most incidental of success stories. I’m never going to be a great entrepreneur. I’m never going to be a great fund manager. At best, I’ll be a productive, occasionally innovative blogger who tries his best to take care of his readers and his family.

Perhaps my offspring will instead do great things with their own lives. Or maybe not. That’s up to them. For myself, I accept that my lack of innate greatness has led to a just consequence.

Your merciful God. He destroyed his own beloved, rather than let a mediocrity share in the smallest part of his glory. He killed Mozart and kept me alive to torture! Thirty-two years of torture! Thirty-two years of slowly watching myself become extinct. My music growing fainter, all the fainter till no one plays it at all, and his…………..

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why Now And Not Four Years Ago?

Growth in money supply scaled down

Central bank: Economy's needs met during deleveraging Growth in a broad measurement of China's money supply dropped to a record low in June as regulators worked to reduce leverage in the nation's economy. The M2 money supply grew 9.4 percent from a year earlier, after a 9.6 percent growth rate…

Interesting Synopsis Of Yesterday's Fed

An Extraordinary Statement

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Today and tomorrow, Yellen will be treating the world to her Congressional testimony. Her remarks have been released, and the summation of her entire disposition was boiled down to this one sentence:
“I see roughly equal odds that the U.S. economy’s performance will be somewhat stronger or somewhat less strong than we currently project…”

So has Janet joined the Elliott Wave brigade? Honestly, just take a look at that. She’s saying that, based upon the projections – – the projections, remember, of a building full of economics PhDs and luminaries – – that there is a 50% chance things could be better or a 50% chance that things could be worse. In other words………
The one thing the market “knows”, however, is that in spite of the endless – ENDLESS – press lately about how the Fed has taken away the punch bowl, and how people better get used to a non-accommodative Fed – – not a goddamned thing has changed.

Real Estate Putting In A Rounding Top Pattern?

Real Estate Busted Trendline

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I’m noticing a terribly-interesting breakdown happening place in real estate, encapsulated nicely with the sector fund shown below. Take note of how the long-term trendline is already broken, and as I’ve shown in the inset, we’ve got a nice little breakdown taking place on a short-term basis as well.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Convenient Time For The Tesla Model 3 To Be Shown

France wants to stop sales of gas and diesel cars by 2040

PARIS — No more gasoline or diesel cars sold in France by 2040-that's the ambitious goal set on Thursday by France's environment minister as part of far-reaching efforts to wean the world's…

Colonialism v2.0: Closer Links To Garment Industry

China Invests U.S.$600 Million in Kano's Textile Industry

A Chinese multinational company, Shandong Ruyi Technology Group is set to invest $600 million in the textile and garment industry in Kano State. Already, talks between officials of the company and the Kano State Investment Promotion Agency have reached advanced stage, and it is expected that a memorandum will be signed in the next few months.…

Wish They'd Do This In Canada

China cancels charges on bank services to support real economy

A bank clerk tells a customer how to use the mobile banking services at a bank in Nantong, Jiangsu province. [Photo/VCG] BEIJING - China's top economic planner announced Monday the country's lenders will cancel or suspend charges on some financial services to support the development of the real economy. The move will reduce the financial burden…

Monday, July 10, 2017

Colonialism v2.0: Awards, Acclaim For China

Chinese company wins acclaim in Ethiopia's construction sector

The logo of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC)is seen at a construction site in Beijing. [Photo/VCG] ADDIS ABABA - Celebrating the structural completion of a landmark building in Ethiopia on Friday, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has received praise for its effective handling of construction projects in the east African country. CSCEC, together with…

Buying At The Top, No?

China's overseas acquisitions rebound strongly in recent months

A pedestrian walks past skyscrapers in London. [Photo/Agencies] WASHINGTON - Chinese companies have been speeding up their overseas acquisitions since March after a sharp slowdown in the beginning of the year, a report from a US consultancy showed. A new report by Rhodium Group, a consultancy famous for its tracking of China's overseas investments, found that…

U.S. Regional Alliance Continues To Come Apart

Once a US Ally, Pakistan Now Looks to China, Russia

Once a key ally in the U.S. war on terrorism, Pakistan finds itself increasingly isolated from Washington amid allegations that it harbors more than a dozen terrorist groups. Instead, it has been steadily cozying up to China and Russia. Both of America’s primary rivals have been taking advantage of Pakistan’s paranoia about India, and gaps in…

Funny, It's Not Even October

Roll Over. Play Dead.

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Farewell, vain world! I’m going home!
My Savior smiles and bids me come,
And I don’t care to stay here long!

Hello from the Google campus Starbucks, where I again take keyboard in hand to share some bearish thoughts for the week ahead. Thanks to my precious SlopeCharts, I am able to share some ideas related to worldwide markets, which I think create a pastiche of ursine possibilities.
Broadly speaking, I am seeing three different kinds of situations with these international indexes. Some of them had bullish breakouts which have since failed. Others are at extremely high prices relative to their broad histories. And others, like the Straits Times Index below, are getting repelled by overhead supply.
The Jakarta index is, to my eyes, a jumping-up-and-down, screaming short. Indeed, I dug up a few Indonesian ETFs, i was so excited about this chart. I mean……..just LOOK at it.
Britain is no different; we can see the mid-caps of the FTSE rolling over here:
With a similar situation in Germany.
slopechart_$DAX (1)
Let’s drink in the bigger picture of the very important DAX for a moment. The shorter-term graph, already shown above, illustrates the rollover. Looking at the big picture, you can see why our bull friends should be feeling disappointed, because until recently, the German market had been sporting a powerful breakout. No longer. The breakout dangles now like a spent member, exhausted from attempts to plant the seeds of endlessly-ascending prices into his lady fair.
Little different are things across the channel, as the French market breaks down…
slopechart_$CAC (1)
……from what, too, had been a recent bold breakout for bulls. The ascent has turned to merde.
Throw a shrimp on the barbie, because your time is better spent enjoying a beach grill than waiting for the Australian market to rise…….
slopechart_$AORD (1)
……since it, like all the others, has turned around, not even managing to achieve a breakout in the first place.
I’ll close with the red light district. A fitting color, methinks, giving where worldwide equity prices are about to go in the weeks and months ahead.
Bright angels shall convey me home,
Away to New Jerusalem,
And I don’t care to stay here long!

Regional Escalation Continues And Everyone Is Powerless To Stop It

Qatar to seek compensation for damages from blockade

Qatar has announced the formation of a committee to pursue compensation potentially worth billions of dollars for damages stemming from the blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf crisis. Ali bin Fetais Al-Marri, Qatar's attorney general, told reporters on Sunday in the capital Doha that the Compensation Claims Committee would handle claims…

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Of Course He Did, He Was Told Too

Trump Trusts Putin Denial of Russia Election Meddling

U.S. President Donald Trump said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s "vehemently denied" that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, when the two met face-to-face during the G20 Summit Friday. “I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I've already given my opinion,” Trump wrote in an early morning tweet…

Terrifying If You Appreciate The Implications

A Couple of Bond Funds

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Not feeling terribly inspired on this quiet Sunday, so I’ll just share with you a couple of positions I’ve got focused on bond funds. The first of these is the high-yield bond fund symbol HYG, which broken beneath this massive pattern below and has been in the throes of rolling over for some time now……..
Looking closely, you can see the failure of the blue trendline and the going-nowhere-fast action of the past few weeks. A failure of the green horizontal line would really get things kicking.
I’ve got an especially large short position in the emerging markets bond fund, below. The channel goes back for years, and even though we’ve already dropped some, we’re quite high (relatively speaking) within the confines of this channel.
Once more, looking closer, the drop on this one has been steadier than on HYG (note the red arrow – – my kind of market!) and I’m comfortable suffering through any bounce as long as it doesn’t penetrate above the magenta horizontal below (where the gap is).
I am presently positioned with 48 shorts, concentrated in energy, retail, and the above two funds, and I’m fairly aggressively using margin.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Void Left By U.S. Continues To Be Filled By Germany

China-Germany economic cooperation on fast track

BEIJING — Leading economies and advocates of free trade, China and Germany are seeking to forge closer ties in trade and investment to help global economic recovery and encourage globalization. President Xi Jinping arrived in Berlin Tuesday for his second state visit to the country, and is scheduled to meet German leaders and sign a series…

Growth That Can't Be Denied

Hundreds of Thousands Finding Employment in Marijuana

If you’re an American living in a legal weed state, more than likely you’d have a better chance of finding someone to recommend, grow and sell you an eighth of Granddaddy Purple Kush before you found the perfect dental hygienist to clean your teeth. That’s because the legal marijuana industry, whether operating in states with recreational…

A Sigh Of Relief Breathed For Now

Monte dei Paschi to cut 5,500 jobs in EU-approved restructuring plan

The world’s oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, has received the European Union’s formal approval for a five-year restructuring plan and thousands of job cuts. Italy’s fourth-largest lender will receive a 5.4 billion-euro state bailout, which will remove a considerable weight from the country’s financial system. The state will take a 70 percent stake in…

Unlikley Alliance In Race For Self-Driving Cars

Nvidia And Baidu Will Partner Together On Self-Driving Cars And AI

Nvidia has made some early entries into the self-driving car and artificial intelligence market, but now, the hardware company has joined up with a notable partner: Baidu. Chinese search giant Baidu announced Wednesday it will work with Nvidia on initiatives focused on artificial intelligence. The two companies will partner together on areas including Baidu’s cloud offerings,…

Escalation Continues, Lots Of Historical Precedent Of Where This Goes

Saudi-led group: Qatar not serious about demands

Four Arab nations that impose a blockade on Qatar for its alleged support for terrorism have issued a statement saying that Doha's response to their demands to end the crisis was "not serious." Wednesday's statement came after foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — the Arab states involved in the…

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Natural Gas At Rock Bottom Prices, Producers Now Fight Over Market Share

Qatar to increase gas production by 30 percent

State-run Qatar Petroleum has said it plans to increase natural gas production by 30 percent over the next several years. Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, the company's CEO, told reporters on Tuesday that Qatar Petroleum intends to raise production from 77 million tonnes of natural gas to 100 million tonnes a year by 2024. The announcement comes after…

Unlikely Rally In Oil Now, But You Never Know

Numb Skull

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I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and sometimes it takes me years for a truth to sink through my thick skull. Allow me to give you a couple of examples.

The first has to do with buying gold bullion. Now, I’m not a gold kook, but I’m fond of coins and bullion to some degree, and there have been instances when I got the urge to buy the stuff. Usually this would come after a long bout of strength on gold’s part, and I just couldn’t help myself anymore, so I rushed out and gobbled up whatever I wanted at my local dealer.

Time after time, that would mark the top. Let me be clear, I’m not talking about buying GLD in my account. I’m talking about getting in my car, walking inside Pacific Precious Metals, and buying physical gold. And it never worked out.

I’m pleased to say that last week, I got the exact same urge, and at long, long last, I told myself, “Hey, Tim, the past 839 times you’ve done this have been a mistake. How about NOT doing this?” And so I stopped myself.

In fact, I went even farther than that, and on Thursday I wrote a bearish post to my beloved PLUS readers called Watching Miners, in which I touted the symbol JDST (that I bought) which is triple-bearish on junior miners. Just a couple of trading days later, it’s sporting a nice profit, and I don’t have any freakin’ GOLD from my dealer which has lost value. So – – hurray for me for finally learning!

I’m not quite there with crude oil, but I’m getting close. The problem here isn’t me personally. I don’t get the urge to rush out and buy barrels of oil. The problem has more to do with – – you guessed it – – commodity king Dennis Gartman.

The rule for me and gold is – – if I feel like buying bullion, I should short gold. I’ve finally learned that. The rule for me and oil SHOULD be – – do the opposite of whatever Dennis is doing. I have PARTLY learned that rule.

On June 23, Gartman declared that oil would be heading “egregiously lower”. To my credit, I started covering some of my oil positions and, when stopped out of DRIP, didn’t get back in. I didn’t enter any new positions in energy, and I’ve had no quarrel getting stopped out since then. So I *partly* did the right thing. Of course, the truly right thing would have been to dump everything instantly and bought ERX instead. So I only get half credit.

When I sought to talk about this, I did a Google search on “Gartman egregious oil” and was surprised to see this…………
There are various June 23 references, but check out the highlighted one – – it’s from January 11 2016. The EXACT same phrase! Does this guy need a thesaurus or something?
So I decided to plot out these two instances he used this phrase. In Dennis’ defense, the oil market did go a LITTLE lower after January 11th, but as you can see from the tinted area, his declaration preceded one of the largest rallies in recent memory. The arrows, I hope you’ve gathered by now, marked the points where he made his “egregious” declarations.
God forbid we get a rally as long-lasting as the last one!

I did a few moments of poking around and saw another story from April 2014 in which, having suffered through a major rally while being short, Dennis finally flipped and jumped onto the long side. What happened next?
We see once again that he wasn’t PRECISELY at the inflection point, but boy, was he close. (Although I’m not the only one who has realized this contra-phenomenon).

My point is that I still haven’t trained myself to OBEY the signal, but I’m partly there. Some day I’ll make it 100%, just as I’ve done with gold. As of now, Gartman has re-asserted his oil bearishness, but God willing, he’ll throw in the towel around $50 and give me a chance to short again.

Turning Into A Shout

Whispering ETFs

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No less an authority than Tom McClellan went onto CNBC (“The Network That Never Knew a Bear Market”) yesterday to declare that the bull market would just keep rip-roaring away another year. Maybe. Maybe not. I wanted to show a couple of ETFs which I’m short that suggest otherwise, at least for the short-term.

The first one is the emerging markets bond fund. Doesn’t exactly look healthy, does it? This is by far (by an order of 10 times) my biggest positions, and I’m cheerfully holding onto it.
The other is a long, but since it’s an ultrashort it’s bearish – –  my principal ETF position, the QID, which is the double-inverse on the NASDAQ. It’s been doing well for obvious reasons, and I want to particularly point out the sensational increase in volume lately.
Famous luminaries with technical studies named after them don’t scare me. History is littered with brilliant minds that have been proved wrong. We shall see.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Blockchain And Oversight

Delaware Lawmakers Say Blockchain Can Manage Stock Records

Delaware legislators passed a historic bill that explicitly legalizes the right to track stocks on a blockchain, according to Coindesk. This new amendment is a part of a broader series of legal updates for capital markets, clarifying different types of corporate records on blockchain networks. Coindesk reports that legal experts expect Delaware governor John Carney will…

Opposing Block Gets Closer, America Faces Off Against Two Adversaries

China, Russia embrace new opportunities for economic cooperation

BEIJING — For online shoppers in Russia, the go-to website is neither Amazon nor a local e-commerce portal, but AliExpress, an e-commerce site run by China's Alibaba Group. Over 22 million visitors logged onto the site in January 2017, making it the most popular e-commerce site in Russia, leaving local counterparts such as and…

Hardly Suprising, Now Uranium Just Needs To Rise

China to become world leading nuclear power

The capacity for nuclear power units both in operation and under construction in China is expected to reach 88 million kilowatts by 2020, which will turn China into a world-leading driving force in nuclear power development. Currently 36 nuclear power units are in operation and 20 are under construction, which contribute to a total capacity of…

Peculiar Climb In Oil Despite Glut

Oil Prices Leap to $48 Per Barrel Over High Demand

Crude oil prices have risen to $48.77 per barrel, showing $3.23 in excess of Nigeria's 2017 budget reference of $44.50 per barrel. The price of Brent which is usually used to benchmark the price of other oil grades rose from $47 to $48.77 per barrel. The price of WTI also rose from $45.50 to $46.04 per…

Odd Time For Him To Be Showing His Face

Assad appears on Syrian banknote for first time

President Bashar al-Assad has appeared on the Syrian currency for the first time since taking office, with his portrait printed on a new 2,000-pound banknote ($3.9) that went into circulation on Sunday. Syria's Central Bank governor Duraid Durgham said the bill was one of several new notes printed years ago but the decision to put it…

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Colonialism v2.0: China's Financial Influence Continues To Spread

Bank Launches World's First Africa China Banking Centre

In efforts to capture the lucrative Chinese clientèle in Africa, Standard Bank SA has opened the world's first dedicated Africa China Banking Centre (ACBC) at its Simmonds Street offices in Johannesburg. The Centre will look to provide a long-awaited platform to link African and Chinese clients with China's highly networked digital banking and customer knowledge systems.…

It's Gotta Go Somewhere, The World Is Drowning In Gas And Crude

Donald Trump promises new petroleum pipeline to Mexico: 'It'll go right under the wall'

President Trump on Thursday said he's approved a new petroleum pipeline to Mexico as part of a broader plan to export American energy around the world. "It'll go right under the wall," Mr. Trump said of the new pipeline during a speech at the Department of Energy. His address coincides with the White House's "Energy Week,"…

It's Okay, We're All A Little Confused Anyway

South Korea President Praises U.S. Trade Deal that Trump Denounced 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in Wednesday defended his country’s free trade agreement with the United States, which U.S. President Donald Trump denounced in the past as a “job killing deal.” Moon addressed a pro-free trade audience of business leaders and lawmakers at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the first day of his presidential visit to…