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.

Inside their Minds

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There was a time I thought pretty much all my readers were from the United States. Out of fear of offshore hacking, I blocked a ton of countries and quickly found out how many loyal readers I have in places I could never have imagined. It seems just about every landmass with civilization has Slopers on it. Indeed, looking at my Twitter followers (which is a pretty good proxy for the site in general), you can see how they are spread far and wide.

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The Latest Salvo

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So if the prospect of a relaxation in trade wars is worth 3,000 points on the Dow, then surely the total collapse of trade talks is worth – – what – – about 70 points or so? Anyway, as I type this on Sunday evening, the ES is down, getting slaughtered and vanquished to the tune of two-tenths of a single percentage point. It’s just like last weekend. A mountain of bad news resulting in a tiny downtick, all of which will be green by tomorrow, right?

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Financial Cold War

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As we crossed the finish line last week into the longest bull market in human history, a question that has been on my mind for years came bubbling to the surface again: if this is so easy, why didn’t the governments of the world do it before? In other words, since it’s been proved quite clearly that central bankers can prop up equity markets around the world, as well as public sentiment, why did it take them so long to figure it out?

Were they really that dim? Why would the governments, and all the self-interested individuals which comprise them, put themselves through the financial horrors of 2007/2008, the crash of 1987, the Internet bubble collapse of 2000, or the grinding equities-are-dead market that lasted the entire 1970s? It doesn’t make any sense. (more…)

Real Independence

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Happy Independence Day, Slopers. The series John Adams was brilliant, and here is a favorite scene from it. Please take seven minutes of your life to watch it and meditate on the fact that these were real men facing real peril. Death by hanging is a pretty strong threat. How blessed we are these such a group of ingenious and principled leaders were present to create this nation of ideas.

In Dodd We Trust

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NOTE that has nothing to do with this post: we have SUBSTANTIALLY sped up how fast comments update. Please refresh with a Ctrl-F5 so activate this. OK, on with the post…….

What is it with Texas politicians and the banking industry?

I thought Texans were supposed to be all about cattle and oil. Yet over the decades it seems like they are first in line, shoving themselves even in front of New Yorkers, to provide whatever aid, assistance, and comfort that big banks require. It’s bizarre.

The most famous example, of course, being the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act in 1999, championed by this genius:

When public “servants” are whoring themselves out to any particular industry, they couch it in the mask of freedom and progress. This was no exception, as Senator Gramm said at the time: (more…)

Slum Your Way Into Riches

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As a younger man, I truly believed that those individuals who didn’t have the drive and intellect to hack it in the world of free enterprise were relegated to low-paying, boring jobs in government. Whether city, state, or federal, I figured the dullest among us would wind up with a direct-deposit paycheck from some bureaucracy and just slum their lives away with a steady diet of paperwork, fast food, and watching tee-vee at night.

How wrong I was! The City of Palo Alto makes clear that it’s ME who is the moron and the clerks in city hall that are banking coin! What a fool I was.

And I know we’re all supposed to get misty-eyed at these “civil servants”, especially police officers and firefighters, who hang out at the station house risk their lives every day on our behalf, but I’m sorry, when a fuckin’ firefighter is getting a third of a million bucks a year, the world’s gone wrong.

Out of the Way

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As usual, Fed Day gave us quite a ride. The big news was that our friends at the FOMC plan to give us another 3 rate hikes this year instead of 4. Guess how many Fed meetings there are with accompanying press conferences left this year? Three. How about that.

My stomach went into a knot the moment the news came out, because everything – – EVERYTHING – – went against me big time. It didn’t last though. Just imagine how many people were short the utilities and got stopped out, all because of a stupid, multi-second Fed spike.

XLUS (more…)

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