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.

Ebenezer Tim

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My relationship with A Christmas Carol is much like I have with The Godfather: if it happens to be TinyTimon television, I’m going to stop whatever I am doing and watch it. I’ve often tried to figure out what the big appeal is for me.

To be candid, I think I see a lot of myself in Scrooge (and I’m confident Dickens’ intent was to help us reflect on the darker aspects of our characters). As we learn Scrooge’s tale, we find he wasn’t born nasty; things happened to him, and he made certain choices, which led to his foul and misanthropic disposition.

And yet when he is given the opportunity to see humanity head-on, his stone heart is warmed. He understands how his separation from people has harmed him as well as others. He seems how his stinginess has the potential to rob others of their very life. He sees that he can bring some light into a very dark world. His heart and mind are finally opened. (more…)

Interest Rates Will Define 2014

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As the world warms themselves around the comforting glow of TWTR, FB, GOOG, and all the other red-hot stocks of 2013, I’d like to quietly point out that interest rates are creeping up almost imperceptibly toward an important breakout level.


Central bankers have had the freedom to do what they’ve been doing based on a very accommodating interest rate environment. If inflation starts to really kick in, well, game over, man. I’ll be watching the chart above closely, as I think its movement could be a driving force behind 2014.

Joseph and the Innkeeper

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SPX followed the daily upper bollinger band upwards yesterday, and using my usual practice of counting any close within two points as a close on the band, closed on the band. The band isn’t rising at full speed yet as the 20 DMA is still turning up, but I’m expecting the upper band to close today in the 1830-2 range, and most likely the SPX close today will be within two points of that. SPX daily chart: (more…)