Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Obama’s Forked Tongue

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I am indebted to ZeroHedge for bringing to everyone's attention then-Senator Barack Obama's bold statement from 2006 with respect to raising the debt limit of the nation:

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

Contrast that with the latest statement from a man whose sole purpose in life seems to be – – ironically – – making sure the mega-rich get mega-richer by kow-towing to keeping their markets "stable" (e.g. perpetually ascending):

Failure by Congress to raise the U.S. debt limit "could plunge the world economy back into recession," President Barack Obama declared Friday, and he acknowledged that he must compromise on spending with Republicans who control the House to avoid such a crisis. Obama urged swift action, saying he doesn't want the United States to get close to a deadline that would destabilize financial markets. He said he was confident Congress ultimately would raise the limit. "We always have. We will do it again."


Bonds Breaking Out & Volatility Breaking Down – WTF?? (by Leaf_West)

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Why are bonds breaking higher today?  When you look at the relative performance of Bonds vs Equities it doesn't look like the "risk trade" is one that is getting a lot of action here.

Add to that how defensive sectors like consumer staples and health care have been doing lately (all the way back to the Feb 18th market peak), and something is starting to smell a little fishy.

TLT_April15, 2011_Daily

TLT_April15, 2011_Daily_vsSPY
TLT_April15, 2011_Daily_XLPvsSPY
TLT_April15, 2011_Daily_XLVvsSPY


Much has been talked/written about the $VIX volatility guage today as this index dropped below the $15 level today.

It seems to me from what I have read is that $VIX is at very low levels not so much because of no fear in the market but because market players are busy buying longer-term options and selling shorter term options.  I'm not sure if that is the sole reason, and I'm not sure that will make a difference when we have the next market pull-in.

Interestingly, if you look at the daily chart of the $VIX, the last time we were at these levels was on option expiry date in February (the 18th).  That turned out to be the market top so far.

I took advantage of these low levels to add some VXX to my trading account when it crossed above the 20EMA on the 5min chart this afternoon ($27.49).  VXX is a tough vehicle to trade but it is a good insurance policy over the weekend.


VIX_April15, 2011_Daily
VIX_April15, 2011_Weekly

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