During the many years that I’ve been running Slope, readers from all corners of the earth have shipped me gifts, such as chocolates, wine, little statues, and so on. I find it very touching anyone would take the time or trouble, but Scott (Iguanodon) created for me a couple of real gems. First, there’s this puzzle:
As a new month begins, the standouts continue to be precious metals. Gold and silver have been so much more consistent than bonds, equities, volatility, or just about any other financial instrument, that it’s no surprise sentiment is so strong.
I’m more focused on crude oil, which has taken on a role every bit as powerful as central banks in determining confidence in equities. It’s been steadily uptrending for months now, making the tinted series of higher lows, but watch that red line I’ve drawn. Crack that, and you could have a trend reversal on your hands.
Today I received in the mail the State of California Primary Voter’s Guide, which the Secretary of State prints up by the millions and sends to every blessed citizen. I was expecting a few boring candidate statements of the U.S. Senate – AKA the World’s Most Exclusive Club – but, boy, was I wrong. Just take a look at some of these gems.
First off is a chap named Tim (I like him already………) who, understandably, doesn’t associate himself with any particular party. It seems what matters to him most is good old J.C., and he comes right to the point:
I am (finally) watching The Big Short, and although I’m only about half way through it, I’m enjoying it. I read the book when it first came out, and my hero of Michael Burry, of course. (I can easily empathize with being inside an office screaming obscenities that the market isn’t doing what it logically should be doing). Here’s a little clip that will simply break your heart in its truthfulness:
I have written about my town, Palo Alto, many times here on the Slope of Hope (a sampling can be found by clicking here), and these posts tend to focus on its rapidly-escalating real estate prices. I personally think we’re past the top at this point, since I’ve noticed the For Sale signs in my neighborhood are actually just sitting there. It used to be that houses sold instantly. At this point, I’m noticing the signs lingering for weeks. Something has changed.
In spite of this, I noticed something on my regular early morning dog walk that I wanted to mention. In the twilight of 5:30 a.m., I noticed a small home around the corner from mine had a For Sale sign. I had long noticed this little house, because it was on a surprisingly large lot, almost completely devoid of anything but squirrels, and it was a cute little cottage. Having seen the sign, I was curious what they were asking. Two million? Three million, perhaps?