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.

Decision 2024

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Now that the long-awaited Mueller investigation is done, the predictable camps have formed: one calling for impeachment, and another wanting to just put the entire matter to rest forever. In a few weeks, the latter camp will succeed.

But I think it is more worthwhile to look ahead – – far ahead – – to anticipate what might be next. A combination of history, politics, and financial markets blend together into some intriguing possibilities, and I would like to offer my own theory as to what the next six years may hold.

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Derailed

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I’m a libertarian at heart, and as such, I believe that, with few exceptions, pretty much the worst entity to handle any task is a government body. Therefore, over a decade ago, when Californians were sold a pipe dream about a high-speed rail (HSR) that would whisk them from San Francisco to Disneyland in just 2.5 hours, I rolled my eyes.

I didn’t keep my eye-rolling private. Five years ago, in this post, I mentioned the HSR project:

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SALT on the Wound

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Some of you may recall that a component of last year’s tax reforms was a $10,000 limit on State And Local Taxes (SALT) which includes, important, property taxes on real estate. I had sort of forgotten about this until I begin very crudely roughing out our taxes for 2018 and noticed this:

As you can see, the deduction would formerly have been $13,945, but thanks to the new law, POOF!, about $4,000 is no longer deductible. Those have to be AFTER tax dollars. Keep in mind, I had only calculated property tax on our house: this doesn’t include state and local taxes (which for some folks can be really significant).

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Is the Recovery Rally Nearing Exhaustion?

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My article last week, “Tale of the S&P 500 Tailwind,” came on the heels of the Emini S&P 500 (ES)’s rally of 100.75 points (4.1%) off the 2019 low and 53.25 points (+2.1%) above the Christmas week close. On its face, the advance was impressive, but recall that I qualified my enthusiasm, stating the following: 

“In the aftermath of the Christmas Upside Reversal, last week ES (e-Mini March S&P) traversed a range from 2438.50 to 2539.25… and ALL OF IT occurred on Friday (1/04/19) after Jay Powell acquiesced to the wounded easy money masses, appearing to become a kinder, gentler, and more investor-sensitive Fed Chairman.”

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Tale of the S&P 500 Tailwind

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On the morning of Wednesday December 26, the first trading day after the Christmas Day holiday, the ES (e-mini March S&P 500)) plunged to a new three-month corrective low at 2316.75, a full 21.4% beneath its September 21 high. In the hours thereafter, ES reversed strongly to the upside, from an acute oversold condition, and with a bit of prompting from the POTUS.

In my closing commentary in our member room at MPTrader.com, I wrote::

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All Out of Truce Juice

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You’re going to hear a quintet of words many times over the next day: “All Eyes On The Fed“, as the bloodied financial world prays that Jerome Powell will have absolutely no backbone at all and, out of fear of getting a mean tweet from the President, will cease raising interest rates. This morning, we can also see the hope that he will in fact wilt built into a saucer pattern on the ES:

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