Laissez le bon temps rouler

This week the market has been going up. One has to believe the Institutions have decided they shaken the Muppets out, taken their money and now can get back to the real game of taking advantage of each other.

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Laissez le bon temps rouler

How did you like the market plunge yesterday? Everything had the bottom drop out. The gnomes have been calling for this for some time now and it had to happen. All that money on the table in profits was just too enticing to leave there for someone else to take.

This is a great time for those with a strong spine and capital to invest. If you own some dogs that have been under performing, perhaps sell them now and taking a capital loss, use that money to buy some bargains that are sitting nice prices, particularly those that pay hefty dividends, like Ford (F) and Exxon Mobil (XOM). Ford pays $0.68/share quarterly and can be had for the price of a couple of frappawhattas at Starbucks. Look at it this way. You’re not going to become the next J. Pierpont by slurping up a couple of dark roasted each day.

The metals bounced around too. They were not in the usual flight to safety zone; most of the money strolled over into bonds or cash. [Most Recent Quotes from]

Laissez le bon temps rouler

How did you like that action?

Everyone get their money’s worth? Yesterday certainly proved J.P. Morgan’s posit, “The market will go up and it will go down.”

As a point drop the DOW saw the biggest ever drop. As a percentage, not so much. If you bought equities in ’18, you took a hit, but only if you sold into the sell off. By holding on, it’s only paper losses. For those who bought into the market last year, you’re still up.

UNLESS, you were one of those believers in the fast buck cryptocurrencies path to instant wealth.

Bad news on that front.

As Bitcoin Bubble Loses Air, Frauds and Flaws Rise to Surface

You did not have to be a technophobe to worry that the virtual-currency boom of the past year papered over plenty of problems.

The scale of those problems is starting to become clear as digital tokens have slid more than 50 percent in value from their peaks in early January, with steep drops on Monday pushing the value of Bitcoin specifically below $7,000.

Hackers draining funds from online exchanges. Ponzi schemes. Government regulators unable to keep up with the rise of so-called cryptocurrencies. Signs of trouble have appeared at nearly every level of the industry, from the biggest exchanges to the news sites and chat rooms where the investment frenzy has been discussed.

On Tuesday, the leaders of the two main regulatory agencies in the United States that oversee the technology, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, are to testify before the Senate banking committee about their efforts to police virtual currency markets. In the past two weeks, both have brought major cases, but people in the young industry said regulators had barely made a dent.

Some virtual currency enthusiasts argue that the problems are no different from what has happened in other booms, like the internet bubble of the 1990s. But even true believers say the design of virtual currencies — meant to cut out middlemen and government authorities — has made bad behavior more prevalent amid this particular bubble. [snip]

A new virtual currency, Proof of Weak Hands Coin, whose creators referred to it as a Ponzi scheme on Twitter and use a pyramid as a website logo, raised $800,000 before hackers got into its systems last week and drained its funds. Another pyramid scheme, MMM, which was shut down in an earlier incarnation by the Russian government, has been revived thanks to the popularity of Bitcoin and is operating openly, with particular success in Africa.

One challenge facing regulators is that it is unclear how much of the deceptive activity they can legally control.

Some online groups openly try to manipulate the prices of digital tokens in what are known as pump-and-dump schemes. Similar schemes involving stocks are illegal, but people operating the groups recently told BuzzFeed that they did not think the same rules applied to virtual currencies.

Many schemes have been able to expand quickly because they do not use bank accounts and therefore do not have to win approval from established institutions. Instead, they are able to use virtual currency “wallets” without any approvals. And virtual currency transactions cannot be reversed like normal bank or even PayPal transfers. [snip]

It is tough enough playing in a game where there are published rules known to all players.
The first rule of gambling is never play another man’s game. The bitcoin game has no rules and it isn’t your game.

Wassup with the markets?

The non-Federal Fed, at least one branch, announced the potential for GDP growth of 5.4%. That number spooked the other lemmings who decided interest rates might need to be hiked another time. The whisper word is INFLATION. Suddenly bonds put on lipstick, heels and a slinky outfit and money started dating them, leaving equities sitting home. Bonds are safe, especially when interest rate are going up and Obama isn’t in office.

Everything else took a hit too including metals although they fared better than the tech stocks.
At this moment it is 09:05 and the DOW futures are off 153. 25 minutes to the opening bell.

Here is the Kitco spot quote board for London Sydney, Hong Kong, Zurich and New York.

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Remember metals are calculated in troy ounces. 12 oz = 1lb NOT 16oz = 1lb

Ponder this

Bankers know that history is inflationary and that money is the last thing a wise man will hoard.

~ Will Durant

Here today, Gone today

For those that figured to ‘get quick rich’ in Bitcoins, you had a better chance of scoring fast in a NY 8thAve three card monté game.

Bitcoin Is Falling Fast, Losing More Than Half Its Value in Six Weeks

Bitcoin plunged below $8,000 in intraday trading, extending its sharp rout since the start of the year in a selloff triggered by a widening regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

Late Friday in New York, bitcoin had recovered to $8,524, down 6.8% on the day after slipping below $7,700. That was the lowest level since November.

At its low point, the digital currency had fallen about 60% from an intraday record of $19,783 in December, according to research site CoinDesk Inc. That marks bitcoin’s third biggest drop over the past five years. It fell 76% in the spring of 2013 and 85% from November 2013 to January 2015. [snip]

Meanwhile, some big banks are putting up roadblocks to buying bitcoin. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. said Friday that they no longer would allow credit-card holders to use the cards to buy bitcoin.

Regulatory scrutiny is behind much of the reason for bitcoin’s sudden fall. India is the latest country to crack down on the cryptocurrency market, following in the footsteps of China and South Korea. That pressure shows that governments are turning out to be much harder to circumvent than cryptocurrency advocates once thought. [snip]

In Japan, $530 million of a cryptocurrency called NEM was swiped in a heist on the exchange Coincheck Inc.

In the U.S., regulators have warned of fraud in initial coin offerings, a new form of fundraising by which a company creates a new virtual coin or token and offers it for public sale. The offerings have attracted billions of dollars.

Even Facebook Inc. is cracking down. The social-media company said this past week that it would stop running ads promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings.

“I don’t think this is the end of the line for cryptos, but I’m certainly not touching any until more stability can be reached,” Mr. Beene said.

If you can’t hold it, you don’t own it. Never forget that.
That applies to everything including PAPER currency.

Laissez le bon temps rouler

Yep! The so called REALLY good times. These are the times that let the FED and the ‘Gummint’ lie to you about how good they are.

Inflation – A Banquet of Consequences…from Rico

When Richard Nixon effectively ended the Gold Standard in 1971, he set the table for the US to enjoy ‘a banquet of consequences’ otherwise known as inflation.

The first chart illustrates the explosion of debt to GDP in trillions of USD.
– This is the ‘systemic risk’ no one wants to really discuss.

The second, the Dollar’s loss of purchasing power.
– This is the inflation that the US does not have, according to the FED and the USG.

But, prices in 2017 are 504% higher than in 1971 (using the ‘offishul’ inflation numbers; using SGS Shadowstats numbers makes the picture even worse but we won’t go there today, this is bad enough to contemplate).
– Another way to express this is that $100 in 1971 is $604 in 2017.

No, everybody is NOT ‘richer’…it just takes more money that is now worth less to buy the same exact things it did before.

Gee, thanks a bunch “Tricky Dicky”…