Slope of Hope Blog Posts

This is the heart and soul of the web site. Here we have literally tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. You can also click on any category icon to see posts tagged with that particular category.

A Touchy Subject – Part 1 (by Mark St.Cyr)

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I believe I’m going to touch on a subject that might make a few
uncomfortable. However, I think it’s a subject that needs to be
addressed for it could have far-reaching implications to whether it
moves web traffic as many think it does. Or, could be a catalyst with
dramatic monetary implications in ways some would never expect. The
subject – porn.

No, I’m not going to sink us into the gutter. However, something is
happening via what we deem as “search” that a great many might be
unaware. The resulting backlash or acceptance of new policies could
alter many things we take for granted. i.e., What’s available or
delivered to us on the web.

Another way to put it would be; what you or I currently take for
granted as in our expectancy of the results delivered to us via our
search queries in Google®. This policy change could possibly exclude you
from viewing (or reading) certain results be it now, or in the future.

Currently we take for granted when we initiate a search we have an
expectancy as to see everything in an unadulterated format if we have
adjusted our settings as to be unfiltered. Make sense that’s not only
what one would expect. It’s also what one wants. Results that should be
presented or delivered for us to choose from. The good, the bad, and the
ugly. Yet, if there’s a policy change that now no longer allows you to
see what you expected to see – would you know it? Hence, lies the crux
of this discussion.


Some Things Never Change

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The founding principles behind futures markets are for
businesses to hedge their positions. Ranging from General Mills buying sugar to
lock in their costs, to General Motors shorting the Yen in order to lock in
their agreed contract prices in Japan.

For a while I studied Larry Williams’ method on swing
trading commodities and it completely resonated with me. Mainly the basis of
his trading is COT analysis and seasonal patterns. Which is an oversimplification,
but nonetheless I finally felt like I was seeing what moved the market and
riding with the whales that moved those markets. The greatest part was, in
order to be wrong the market had to prove the big boys wrong who were betting

The S&P 500 E-mini, is an extremely liquid and cost
effective hedge/insurance product for the equity markets. I assume this as the
guiding fundamental truth of the market place. Another truth about the market
place is that it spends 80% of the time range bound, which means our goal
should be to devise a strategy to exploit the range. In short, mean reversion.


What’s Wrong With This Credit Card? (by Goatmug)

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I'm pretty much the last guy in the world to expect an implosion in long dated treasury bonds, and this week has really been amazing to watch long bonds get smacked around.

In the past, I stated strongly that treasury bonds weren't going anywhere and in fact we'd see 30 year mortgages at sub 3% levels.  I still believe that the Fed will fight and fight to keep rates low as they don't have any choice but to purchase their cocktail of MBS, and mixed treasuries, or else the whole US economy my tank (isn't that what they say every month?).  This week, Tim made a great post with a very bearish call on bonds.  I was bold enough to post a picture of TLT and suggested that a gentleman's bet was in order and that we'd see $130 on TLT before we see his number of $100.  Could either happen?  Of course, but I also suggested that Tim would get some quick confirmation and that it would reinforce that he was correct in the short term, but this would only serve to make his beat down more painful, and ultimately he'd have to hand over my dollar.