WASHINGTON, January 26, 2015 – Traders have been confronting a volatile market environment since the 2015 New Year Baby sent 2014’s tired Old Year codger packing. Oil prices, a change in congressional leadership, continued left-wing belligerence from a no-hugging-no-learning White House, chaos in the Eurozone, the metastasization of ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Iran and their assorted Nazi wannabes… the list goes on and on.
The result: after a weak Friday, stocks are having their usual Blue Monday today, with all averages down substantially in the first hour of trading today before recovering somewhat before the noon hour.
Initializing this week’s political parade of fun, the gaudy assemblage of über-wealthy muckety-mucks in Davos this weekend spent a great deal of time lamenting worldwide income inequality as they guzzled vintage Château Lafite Rothschild by the keg. In the class struggle game, it’s clearly these phony Marxists who are winning.
Moving right along, Davos aficionados also listened raptly to the usual
global warming climate change priests and fearmongers, likely citing the latest bogus NOAA and NASA reports loudly proclaiming 2014 as the warmest year ever (pronounced with the proper Valley Girl intonation), backing, their assertions up with the usual manufactured stats.
No doubt, those attending this glittering array of hokum will fly home in their dozens upon dozens of climate-neutral private corporate jets to demand that their respective governments steal even more taxpayer money to impose new or greater carbon taxes on the average citizen—driving the costs of fossil fuels into the stratosphere, just when prices at the pump were getting reasonable again.
What a bunch of clowns.
Meanwhile, in beleaguered Greece, the results of the ½ of 1%’s cretinism and greed and a complacent, statist sclerosis that has blinded most if not all Western governments to economic reality combined to put a radical Marxist party, Syriza, in control of the Greek parliament as Sunday’s elections there have made abundantly clear.
Latest reports have Syriza just one seat short of an absolute parliamentary majority. In any event, they’re already set to run the whole show, courtesy of a tiny right-wing party that joined them to form a new majority government. That puts Syriza’s new anti-austerity premier Alexis Tsipras in complete control of Greece’s destiny, at least for now. And according to Tsipras, that destiny doesn’t include kow-towing to the Germans, whom they are essentially accusing of running roughshod over Greek sovereignty
Proclaimed Tsipras, “Our victory is, at the same time, it’s a victory for all the people of Europe that are fighting against austerity that’s ruining the common European future,” according to a CNN report.
As with all political pronouncements and accusations, this is all partial truth, really. German money—a lot of it—has been keeping the impecunious, tax-evading Greeks in Euros while they allegedly rationalize their state-heavy kleptocracy of a government.
That said, the average Greek citizen has borne the brunt of the Eurozone’s brutal economic solution for a good five years now without any perceptible end in sight. Gradually, these average citizens began to wonder, en masse, if they’d ever have a life again. At the same time they watched with growing disgust how ruling politicians, condescending government bureaucrats, and impossibly wealthy, tax scofflaw oligarchs kept living the high life.
The results of their deliberation showed up in the ballot box yesterday, and Europe’s blind statists—all of them, including those in Greece—have only themselves to blame for the triumph of the Syriza Marxists.
Fortunately, we could never see anything like that happen here, since our current Administration, Congress and the yacht-owning 1% oligarchs who support them have been so very careful to preserve our middle class incomes and way of life, not to mention those important tax-breaks for 529 college savings accounts.
Meanwhile, back at the proverbial ranch in DC, another brain-dead Marxist oligarch—President Barack Obama—helped matters and markets along this weekend by announcing his latest plan to ban any more energy exploration at all in Alaska’s far-northern wilderness. This is presumably meant to protect those non-endangered polar bears.
But more likely than not, this latest insult to American intelligence is meant to thrill the Luddites and radicals who dominate the current Federal government and who fund this Administration’s perpetual campaign. Eager to please these radical eco-freaks, climate-change goons and clueless mega-rich Davostistas alike, this president is damned if he’s going to let fossil fuel prices go down on his watch. Besides, he’s too busy right now helping the middle class.
The litany of events we’ve just described, combined with the low-level continuing slaughter on at least 3 continents by a brutal cadre Islamofascists and the continuing belligerence of the
Soviet Union Russia and the implacable murderers and assassins running Iran, and you start out the week with one nervous and unstable market.
Politics shouldn’t be the central topic of these columns. Unfortunately, it’s as clear now as it ever has been since at least 2007, that it’s politics—not economics, P&Ls and that good old American entrepreneurial spirit—that’s running the stock and bond markets today. That’s why the HFTs have been having such a free run of the place, giddily driving markets up and down on headlines alone, and damned if companies are really profitable or not.
In short, if you don’t continually follow situations like those we’ve outlined above and rely only on your charts or fundamental analysis to pick stocks, you and your portfolio will inevitably get hosed. So that’s why we try to keep you up to date. We’d prefer just to do the charts, numbers, and new product stories. But that’s simply not the way the market rolls these days.
Oh yes, and one final thing: New York-based weather media have been hyping that city’s imminent destruction by the impending greatest snowstorm ever. Reminds us of “Superstorm Sandy.” That was a “superstorm,” of course, since it clobbered NYC. No one ever upgraded Katrina to a “superstorm,” interestingly enough, considering it nearly wiped New Orleans off the map.
One way this country could start getting back on track would be if New Yorkers and their media mavens could bring themselves to remove their eyeballs from their navels on a permanent basis. New York is not and never has been the center of the universe. The city’s denizens just think that it is.
New York’s citizens, in the end, aren’t special at all, just as parochial as the most narrow-minded small villager in Albania. Worse, New York’s myopic, greedy politicians are far worse than most as clearly exemplified in the outrageous and complex scandal now swirling around longtime New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Imposing this city’s narcissistic, 1%-driven intellectual cluelessness, pervasive corruption and general attitudinal crappiness and condescension on the entire nation is only going to put the U.S. out of business. Permanently.
So hey, New Yorkers. Just get out the plows and salt trucks and deal with the snow, for God’s sake. And grow up.