Category: Money (page 1 of 2)

Rolling Stone Magazine

Matt Taibbi is a reporter who wrote an illuminating piece about Goldman Sachs a few years ago. Here is how the article starts:

“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.”

You might like to know that on Friday, in the middle of this economy destroying crisis, that Trump and the president of China held talks and brokered a deal to allow Goldman more access to China’s financial markets.

Aren’t you glad they still have their priorities straight – billions for bankers and crumbs for us.

Is Part of the Stock Market Rigged?

Dark Pools of Liquidity.

Has this term ever come up in a conversation with your financial advisor?

Like the dark web, there seem to be stock markets that operate outside the view of most people. Not exactly what anyone with a brain would consider democratic.

The following is from an article from Dec. 2019 on

“The public has no way to know just how deep in the red the mega banks on Wall Street might have closed yesterday or in recent months because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is, insanely, allowing these banks to trade the shares of their own bank, as well as the shares of their peer banks, in Dark Pools they own and operate. Dark Pools function as lightly-monitored stock exchanges owned by the major banks on Wall Street. (See Wall Street Banks Are Trading in Their Own Company’s Stock: How Is This Legal?)

During the week of November 25, the most recent week for which data is made available by Wall Street’s self-regulator, FINRA, Goldman Sachs’ Dark Pool, Sigma-X, traded 22,136 shares of its own stock in 228 separate trades. The mega bank, UBS, however, with whom Goldman does a great amount of counterparty business, traded 262,804 shares of Goldman Sachs’ stock in 4,074 separate trades in just that one week in its Dark Pool, UBSA.

The public has no way to know just how many shares of Goldman’s stock its own Dark Pools traded because in addition to its U.S. Dark Pool, Goldman owns Dark Pools that trade on three other continents.

For the same week, JPMorgan Chase’s Dark Pool, JPM-X traded 265,906 shares of JPMorgan’s stock in 1,912 separate trades. That made it the second largest Dark Pool trader of its own stock that week, just behind UBSA which traded 475,306 shares of JPMorgan’s stock in 5,238 separate trades.

But JPMorgan also owns another, algorithm-based Dark Pool, JPB-X, that traded another 88,182 shares of JPMorgan’s stock the same week in 1,308 separate trades.

Under a sane and functioning Securities and Exchange Commission or federal regulatory regime, banks trading their own stocks in darkness while holding trillions of dollars in federally-insured deposits would result in perp-walks, not in elevating their outside counsel to Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission

The data that FINRA is making available to the public has cleverly been gutted to make sure that no math whizzes in academia have the ability to reverse engineer the data into successful charges of market rigging, as occurred previously in a forensic probe by academics Christie and Schultz in 1994 into how Wall Street firms were engaged in tacit collusion on the Nasdaq stock market.

FINRA’s Dark Pool data does not show hourly or daily trading, just weekly totals; it does not show if the prices paid for the shares were in keeping with the rest of the market. And, it does not show what party was on the opposite side of the trade. For all the public knows, banks that own more than one Dark Pool could be making a two-sided market in their own shares.”

Maybe Buy a Few Extra Things

It’s better to be prepared than scared, especially when we don’t really know what’s happening.

Just read an opinion piece that says the bond markets are indicating inflation, and possibly hyperinflation might be on the way. Maybe, maybe not. It’s quite impossible to know for sure.

The U.S. owes $trillions from their reckless spending. There are two ways to make this kind of debt go away: default or hyperinflation.

Unfortunately, savers are the ones punished when a currency is debased.

Stay Healthy and Stay Safe

This is the mantra for Coronagate. How healthy are you going to be with the stress of stock markets crashing, businesses closing, and sheltering in place, which might be a euphemism for martial law.

And what about your financial health, which is being crushed by what some think is an insane overreaction or possible power grab for dictatorial powers over your health, or a sea change to worldwide digital currency. I hope we’re not saying sayounara to freedom of choice.

If I was an evil genius, I would create a panic and let people willingly bankrupt themselves out of fear of the unknown. I would set up a few authoritative-sounding voices that pounded the fear in 24/7. Then I would get the government to guarantee the loans that the people can’t pay back because they are broke. Thus increasing the debt of governments that future taxpayers are on the hook for – forever. Kind of like what the bailouts did in 2008, and are doing now:

So get this: The big four US airlines – Delta, United, American, and Southwest – whose stocks are now getting crushed because they may run out of cash in a few months, would be the primary recipients of that $50 billion bailout, well, after they wasted, blew, and incinerated willfully and recklessly together $43.7 billion in cash on share buybacks since 2012 for the sole purpose of enriching the very shareholders that will now be bailed out by the taxpayer (buyback data via YCHARTS):

One thing you might not know – the Federal Reserve is not a part of the government. It is not Federal, and it doesn’t have any reserves.

You can educate yourself here.

A wonderfully enlightening book about how financial parasites and debt destroy the global economy is Killing The Host by Michael Hudson.

Market Meltdown – Covid 19 or Something Else

Every criminal wants the same thing – to blame something else.

In 2008, everybody knew it was the criminal banksters with their creative financial instruments and the corrupt rating agencies that blew up the global financial system. And government (taxpayer) bailouts set it right.

Or did it?

Maybe it’s the derivative timebomb that is collapsing it this time around. The media is quick to tell us that the credit system is fine, even though the repo markets are throwing billions into the system to try to keep it afloat. Maybe it’s the Credit Default Swaps and not the virus. Covid is the perfect fall guy because it can’t defend itself.

My friends know I love conspiracy analysis. I have no idea how the global financial system really works, but I have read that the people at the top of the food chain would love a one-world currency. Maybe that’s the point of Fintech and cryptocurrency. Creative destruction is always at work in the world. Keep watching. Maybe the Bretton Woods agreement to have the U.S. dollar as the reserve currency of the world is ending. Who knows?!

Some people think this is the real problem.

Advice on the Stock Market

With the wild gyrations of the markets today, here is some advice from the 16th Century:

Buy sheep, Sell deer.

“Buy cheap, sell dear” is a popular proverb from the 16h century. Through jocular malapropism, this saying becomes “buy sheep, sell deer.” The following joke was cited in print in 1850 and appeared in many newspapers for many years: 

“A FRENCHMAN was recently seen bargaining for a dozen sheep. ‘What are you about?’ said a friend. ‘I have heard say,’ replied Mounseer, ‘that if you want to make money, you must buy sheep and sell deer. I shall buy de sheep and sell de venison!’”

Have You Been in a Store Lately?

The inventory levels seem insane. Like a retail apocalypse scenario. Every store has five million toasters, and five million gift baskets, and millions of things that nobody needs. The line extension of products (like 25 types of tomato soup) is crazy-making. The tyranny of choice has invaded our lives.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to turn the third world into a slave labour manufacturing camp on steroids.

But, it is Christmas, so enjoy your trips into the Buyosphere. I won’t be joining you in the pursuit of more.

I’m spending money on things that matter, like the $40.00 I just paid for a festive red coloured cast for my broken wrist.


Found this on

Money Moron

My face will never grace the cover of Fortune magazine, and I will never be quoted in the Wall Street Journal. For me, reading the financial pages is akin to reading science fiction. My attitude towards wealth was always “If I can overeat, I am rich.”

This mantra hasn’t turned out well for someone in the final third of life, so I have had to re-educate myself by quickly reading a lot of books and websites about money management, and watching movies about Wall Street like The Big Short.

Here are some things and people I read about:

Quants; FAANG; Blockchain; Bakkt; Dark Pools of Liquidity; CDO’s; Unicorns; Dry Powder; AI and Deep Learning; Strategic Inflection Point; Mezzanine Debt; Value Extraction and Value Creation; DOJI; Candlestick Formations; Rule of 72; RoboAdvisers; Trailing and Forward Earnings; EBITDA; Initiating Coverage Reports; Economic Moats; GAAP rules; Jack Bogle; PMI’s; Norbert’s Gambit; VIX; SMI; CASS Freight Index; Keynes ‘Animal Spirits’; Secular Bottom; Price to Value Ratio; Debt to Equity; Currency Risk; Yield Curve Inversions; Tranches; High Frequency Traders; 10K Filings; Net Global Equity Supply; Buybacks; The Dumb Money of Muppet Clients; Market and Limit Orders; Interlisted Stocks; Credit Default Swaps; Intrinsic versus Book Value; Repo Market; Hedge Funds; Shiller P/E Ratio; CDS Index; Elliot Wave Pattern; Quiet Bull and Volatile Bull Markets; Plunge Protection Team; EDGAR; DSCR; SWOT Analysis; Value Trap; Major Angas; Fred C. Kelly; Bear Raiding; FINRA; Event Risk; Shadow Banking; Zombie Banks; Tracy Alloway; Rehypothecated; Alpha and Beta; Look Through Earnings; ROE versus EPS; Max Keiser; Charlie Munger; Flash Boys; Baltex Index; Greenmail; QE4; AAII Sentiment Survey; Brad Katsuyama.

And on and on it goes down the rabbit hole.

My conclusion: I don’t have the energy or the brains to be rich.

A Warren Buffet Thought Experiment

“Buffett often speaks to business school students, and when he does he sometimes gives them the following thought experiment. Imagine that you can invest in one of your classmates, and be entitled to 10% of their future earnings. Who would you choose? What are the characteristics that person would possess? He says that most people wouldn’t simply choose the student with the highest IQ. There’s often a big difference between potential and actual. They’d be more likely to choose someone not satisfied with mediocrity, someone who is driven to excel. They would probably also have a lot of other positive characteristics, like generosity, integrity, and sociability. The point of the exercise is to show the students that the skills they’d be looking for aren’t innate for some people and not others, but are skills that anyone cultivate. Everyone has the potential to be the person worth investing in. So consciously choose to develop those positive traits, to realize your full potential, to become the kind of person others would want to invest in. Best of all, when you invest in yourself, you won’t just get 10% of the benefit, you’ll get the full 100%.”

(From an article by Thomas Murcko at

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