Human nature – – particularly collective human nature – – fascinates me. I was thinking this morning about the completely unprecedented event of getting three hate mails in a very tight cluster last month (whereas normally I might get one, if that, in an entire year), and I was wondering about when that happened; well, it was no big surprise:
It’s extraordinary to me that three men – – and, of course, they just had to be men – – would, without conferring with one another, all decide to take the trouble and time out of their oh-so-busy lives to write me something hateful. (After all, since they’ve given me $0.00 in my life, it’s perfectly fair of them to expect me to perform services for them of the highest caliber).
Suffice it to say I hope they all got very long based on their venom, and that they remain so. God knows that I deserve kindness, and nothing like this, although their unwitting “Short” signal was, in retrospect, mildly interesting.
As a courtesy, which none of them deserve, I’ve blotted out the surnames, not that anyone has ever heard of any of these people. I will not debase myself to the behavior of others.
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:
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 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?
At the start of this week, on my Tastytrade show, I said that it felt like something had “snapped” in the market. There was a confluence of little events that took place that convinced me that the few remaining bears had either lost their minds or thrown in the towel. The “Disappointment After Doha” – – that is, the inexplicable rise in the market after the complete collapse of talks in Qatar last Sunday – – – was the straw that broke the camel’s back for many people.
Now, in my line of work, you’d expect me to be the recipient of a regular amount of hate mail. For one thing, my view is an unpopular one. The vast majority of people actually want assets to inflate in perpetuity. A permanent bull market would be just dandy for 99.9% of the public, and not only do I tout exactly the opposite, but I’m rather bombastic about it.
It has been ten weeks since the market bottomed on February 11th. To me, it feels like ten years. It’s been a grueling, awful grind, but it didn’t get really beyond-belief miserable until March 17th, when Yellen went uber-dovish and patterns and trendlines started getting smashed like turkeys being thrown from helicopters.
As I sit here now, the last decent down day we had was back on April 7th, and otherwise the market is just grinding higher and higher, in many cases making highs never seen before in human history. I really thought we were done with all this; that, as I put it, “the wind was at our backs.” Well, the central banks learned their lesson in 2008, and they’re not just going to roll over and let market forces take control. No way, no how.