Greetings from the interior of a huge shopping mall in Culver City, California. I am camped out here, long after the stores have all been shut, to try to crank out a post while my Tesla charges outside. I have spent the weekend here in the San Fernando Valley for a fencing tournament, and after careful consideration, having been utterly new to the charms of Chatsworth, Reseda, and CSU Northridge, I have reached the conclusion that this entire valley is a complete and utter shithole.
I find the city name Chatsworth particularly ironic, since I assure there is nothing emanating from this place that merits discussion of any kind. Road after road is lined with tacky strip malls packed with liquor stores, massage parlors, “vape” palaces, crappy fast food joints, and cheap Chinese take-out. It’s depressing from end to end, and a Tsar-sized hydrogen bomb detonated somewhere near the center would probably push the Culture Index of the United States up by a few points.
Purists might note that Culver City is outside the Valley, and yes, I’m closer to Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Bel Air right now – – but Culver City still rubs me the wrong way, and the only reason I ventured down here away from the even-worse Chatsworth area is because this is the closest Supercharger. The dozens of wild – – ummm – – “urban youth” making their way through the underground parking lot scared the bejesus out of your harrowed narrator, and I decided lingering next to this deserted Lemon Heaven inside the mall was a safer bet than seeing what an ebony-hued mob of adolescents might want to do with the world’s most beloved financial blogger.
So here I am.
Anyway, I’m scared to pieces about this upcoming week. I wrote a long piece about my feelings and strategy for my beloved Slope Plus members called The Deafening Silence, and I’m quite tortured about what to do this week, particularly on Thursday before the devil incarnate – – the gash with panache – – the semite with fight – – Janet Yellen – – comes out spitting blood and declaring the need for Yet More Data in order to get off her pasty, cottage-cheese-textured ass and lift interest rates.
Good Lord, I’m feeling sassy. The brothers from another planet in the parking area below must have rattled me.
Hating Southern California, of course, is a tired cliche. Many comedians have beaten the topic to death. Between the heat, the sprawl, the shallowness – – – I think everything south of Mountain View, California to be disturbing enough to try to avoid it altogether. If I had any sense, I’d probably just plant myself in a place like Seattle and not look back.
Some folks have been stacking stuff to SocialTrade indicating that an explosive move higher is imminent. It’s irrational, but I deeply resent those posts. I am the living god of confirmation bias, I realize, but posts like that just prod at my worst fears.
The thing I’ve realized for this entire year, though, is that the one regret that keeps coming up again and again and again is that I didn’t hold on long enough. I wimp out too early. I see the charts; I interpret the charts; I’m right about the charts; but fear causes me to take cover.
Here, let me cite one small example: the symbol TAXI. I wrote about this company many times (such as here, in July of 2014), and I quite rightly pointed out that Uber was going to ruin the taxi industry, and that TAXI should be shorted. Well, it’s lost about 33% of its value since then (and even when I did the post, it had already been trashed), but did I hang on? Absolutely not! (And I suspect it’ll just keep working its way toward $0).
And don’t even get me started on energy producers. My Shifting Sands post from ten months ago boldly declared that “oil producers are the new gold miners” (in other words, headed for collapse). Let’s take a peek at the last ten months of the XOP in a percentage chart, shall we?
So, again, spot-on – – dead spot on – – but I only captured a portion of the move.
And so my “regret” over the past year has far more to do with premature closings than initial openings, so my temptation to cover all my positions and cower under a blanket while that white-haired wildebeest does her thing on Thursday is probably, shall we say, ill-advised. Again, I’ve laid out for Slope Plus folks what my strategic plan is, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still tied up in emotional knots about it.
I’ll say this, though – – hear me now and believe me later (those words are most effective played in your head with an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent) – – the damage…………is……..…..done.
Yellen can raise rates………..or delay raising the as he/she awaits “further data”………or declare that rates will never go up again during the remainder of her natural life (which gives us, what, two or three years more?), but the damage………is………done. The chart above isn’t a bullish setup. It isn’t in the same ZIP code as bullish. It is jumping-up-and-down bearish, and even a hearty rally starting on Thursday isn’t going to change that.
Yellen is, in the end, doomed, just like this Frankenstein “market” she has created. It’s only a matter of time, and my principal concern at this moment, frankly, is to make it to the other side of this week in one piece and with some semblance of my sanity intact.
My car has a full charge now. I’m going to get the devil out of here.