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.

Hedge Funds & the PPP

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Note from Tim: as a reminder, I put together a spreadsheet of Palo Alto firms that got over $150,000 in PPP loans. Check it out here. If you don’t have an AirTable account, it’ll ask you to sign up for free.

I had noted a few months ago that many of these firms getting the PPP loans were not ‘in the spirit’ of the program.

Without any real ‘oversight’ the compliance part of these loans seems – – – questionable — on some.  I am not sure how it all really works, but the American public likely believes these funds should have gone to the ‘small business’, with waiters, waitresses, or bartenders who obviously couldn’t work.  This was the spirit of the PPP program.

And, there are others – the people at the gyms and yoga studios.  At the nail salon and corner barber shops.  There are many, many businesses, and it seems everyone has a hardship story.


Follow the Money (by Lee Adler)

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Note from Tim: I think I could save myself a lot of time and energy by just publishing really good emails. This is another one I just received from Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner – – he has kindly given me permission to share it here with all of you. I have made minor edits for clarity and brevity, plus I’ve added a bunch of goofy pictures to try to keep your attention.

Tim, as I hope you know, I love your work. I was a customer of ProphetCharts many moons ago. And of course, I’ve been syndicating your posts on WSE for a while.

I was somewhat bemused about your Via Mundi post.

I’ve spent the last 19 1/2 years online explaining just how the money gets into the system and how that impacts the markets.

There’s normally only one conduit for monetary policy transmission, except when the Fed goes crazy with alphabet soup programs. But even those are but the pimple on the elephant’s ass compared with its main transmission mechanism.


Via Mundi Response

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My recent post Via Mundi (an awkward attempt by me to write “The Way of the World” in my rusty Latin) generated a lot of positive emails. I just got this one this morning that the author allowed me to share. The italics and boldface emphasis are my own:

I think it would be interesting to discuss how exactly the money made available by the Fed (and other central banks) actually reaches the market…

For example: how about buy backs? If the Fed gives free money to banks, they are not going to use it to lend money to average Joe to buy a car because that is a non-lucrative/risky business.

More likely the commercial banks will lend that Fed money to corporations like Apple, Amazon, etc., and also to smaller crappier corporations.

These corporations will take the money saying they want to use it for some AI projects or new robots, more shops, more hires, whatever.


Via Mundi

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If there’s one consistent reaction the public has to the stock market these days it is confusion. Whether bull or bear, people watching the stock market over the past three months can hardly believe their eyes. Most of them are thrilled, of course, since the so-called market seems to be virtually printing money, even in the face of horrible economic and social problems, but hardly anyone is arguing with it.

For instance, if my house in Palo Alto increased in value 5%, month in and month out, without any apparent rhyme or reason, that would be just fine by me. Would the utility of my house have increased? Would its appearance have improved? Not at all.

It would simply be worth more, and my net worth would increase, while simultaneously those who wanted to own a home in Palo Alto would be farther and farther away from their goal. The wealth disparity – – measured, in this case, in residential housing – – would be getting worse. I’d be happy. Non-home-owners would not.