Category Archives: Best-of-Slope

The Missals of October

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I recognize all too well how the country has been completely obsessed with the (surprising) results of the presidential election. I frankly find the government – in all its flavors (federal, state, city) to be a nuisance with which I’d like as little to do with as possible, so I don’t get real worked up about who the temporary occupant of the White House is. As for the recent election, I wanted both of them to lose, so I got half my wish.

All the same, I do think the POTUS has two important roles in our country: (a) moral leadership (b) security through temperament.

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Eleven/Nine

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So here we are. In just a few days, we will be in the thick of election day, and by Tuesday evening, we should have a good idea as to what the next four years are going to be like.

I started off this year with a post about the election, and I’ve written about it from time to time since then. The entire post can be summarized with its closing line: “It’s as simple as that. Status Quo means Hillary. Financial Mayhem means Bernie. Fear means Trump.”

Unfortunately, we didn’t get financial mayhem, so Bernie’s out of the picture. As some of you know, this saddened me greatly, because the country at last had a chance at a truly moral leader. His endorsement of Clinton now baffles me, considering the disgusting behavior that the DNC took toward destroying him, but I suppose his reasoning is the same as 90% of Clinton’s supporters (“He’s not Trump”), so………shrug.

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No One Will Be Happy

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Near the end of the book The Big Short, there is a scene in which two of the principal characters are sitting outside in downtown Manhattan during the throes of the financial crisis. The entire financial world is in absolute pandemonium, but as they look around them…………nothing. Birds are singing. Children are playing. People are walking around, getting their errands done. A guy passes by on a bicycle. Nothing is different than it ever was.

That’s always been one of my favorite parts of the book, because the contrast between what those guys were experiencing (being completely and utterly enveloped in global chaos) and what was going on in the normal world is applicable in so many facets of life.

I begin this post with that anecdote because, with but a single week left until we have elected a new President, it seems everyone is convinced that Things Will Be So Different once the deed is done.

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Theranope

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After a long trading week, for no particular reason on Friday afternoon I decided to take a look at the Theranos home page. This “smoldering wreckage” of a company (as Fortune eloquently put it) is based in my beloved Palo Alto, and I like to check in from time to time based on some morbid curiosity.

What struck me immediately was the sentence they put front and center on the home page. The geniuses at the firm decided it would be a great idea to slap these words on top of a photograph that also happened to have a lot of lines on it, yielding an appearance of – – how shall one say? – – pig crap.

1015-therHome

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US Stock Market, Big Picture View

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Because perspective is everything, let’s once again get some big picture perspective…

S&P 500 is outside the lower fork line (again the Fork being a novelty, but the line being real) but above critical support.  Bears would call this an overthrow to the upside and massive bull trap.  We can call it an intact bull market above support and a very bearish market should that support be lost.

spx monthly chart

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2020 Vision

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In less than a month, we will know who our President will be for the next four years (cough President Pantsuit cough cough). Way back in January, my post about the election stated simply: “Hillary Clinton will win the election if things more or less, kinda sorta stay the same. In other words, the status quo begets the status quo.”

In case you didn’t notice, over the nine months since I did that post, things have sorta kinda stayed the same. Central bankers still control the world. Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon are billionaires that will never be charged with a crime. Hillary and Bill can act with impunity. Nothing has changed. No big terrorist attacks. No financial panic has been allowed. It’s all……the same.

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