If Everything is so Bullish, Why Are Bank Insiders Dumping Their Shares at Record Pace?

What are they seeing from their perch that we don’t?

The Big Bullish signal with a capital B – for those who believe in this kind of religion – was that the Dow Jones Transportation Average jumped to a new high on Wednesday for the first time since 2014, and that it rose again on Thursday to another record, even as the Dow also hit new records. The theory goes that transportation stocks predict the broader market in some manner.

There were other bullish signals. Everyone is finding them suddenly everywhere. The hopes are flying high that whatever Trump is going to do – from instigating trade wars to letting Goldman Sachs run the Trump administration – it’s suddenly all good for stocks.

Then why are insiders at banks and industrial companies selling their share as if there were no tomorrow?

Banks had a blistering run. The shares of Wells Fargo, the most hated bank in America these days, soared 28% over the past 30 days, Citigroup 25%, JP Morgan 26%, Goldman Sachs, which is successfully placing its people inside the Trump administration, 37%. It has surged 50% since the end of October, when insiders figured that Trump had a big chance of winning:

In fact, financials have become the S&P 500’s best-performing sector.

Not that everything is going all that great. Wells Fargo already offered some titillating tidbits on Tuesday, when CEO Tim Sloan said at an investor conference that interest rates that have jumped recently and currency fluctuations have caused some of its securities – he was talking about hedges – to decline in value and hit profits. Reuters:

While Sloan did not specify how big the impact on reported results would be, he pointed for comparison to a $379 million first-quarter hedge accounting gain from a sharp decline in interest rates and foreign currency moves.

“So far interest rates and foreign currency fluctuations have moved even more than in Q1, and in the opposite direction,” he said.

Other banks may see a similar reversal of erstwhile profitable hedges and trades. No matter. Bank stocks have soared. But high-ranking insiders have been dumping their shares faster than at any time in the data going back to 2003. These executives are considered the “smart money.”




Citing data from research firm InsiderScore, The Wall Street Journal reported:

Right on cue, insiders at US-listed banks, brokerages, and financial-services companies are poised to set records for the sheer number of people selling stock and the dollar value of shares sold in the fourth quarter, based on data since 2003.

Ben Silverman, director of research at InsiderScore, said a similar pattern holds for industrials, up 9% over the past month.

But the Wall Street Journal was quick to pooh-pooh the bearish signal. In fact, there are no bearish signals. Everything is bullish, even bearish signals. So, couched in words like “might” and “could,” it pointed out that there must have been bullish reasons for those insiders to sell:

But insiders might choose to sell their stock for reasons that don’t necessarily match the incentives of the typical individual investor.

Some insiders could be locking in profits or exercising options that are close to expiration. Many banking executives in particular have held underwater options in the years following the financial crisis. Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley, for example, have rallied back to mid-2008 levels. If this postelection rally was the first chance to sell, it is hard to argue against doing so no matter how they feel about the future. That activity differs from more-diversified mom-and-pop investors.

But the report admits that at the beginning of this year, when bank stocks were getting clobbered, insiders were heavy buyers, with impeccable timing: Jamie Dimon bought $26 million of JP Morgan shares on February 11. Since then, JPM has jumped 60%. So now, for them, seeing what they see from their perch, it’s once again time to unload, and do so at record pace – perhaps with impeccable timing once again.

These bank executives are among the households for whom the stalled US economy has performed a miracle, according to the Fed’s current progress report. Read… Who the Heck are these Households that are Worth $90 Trillion?




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  115 comments for “If Everything is so Bullish, Why Are Bank Insiders Dumping Their Shares at Record Pace?

  1. Greatful again
    Dec 9, 2016 at 10:40 am

    What is the track record of insider sales indicating a down turn? I seem to remember it not being all that reliable. It may fall under the time honored advice “never be afraid to take a profit”.

    • jacky
      Dec 9, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Greatful, no doubt, profits are good but I think we’re being set up for the “mother-of-all-shorts” come inauguration day.

      • Hg
        Dec 10, 2016 at 12:24 am

        Agreed: Mother-of-all-shorts coming up. Stocks were supposed to crater Nov 9 but launched instead. The money leaving US bonds had to go somewhere. If Trump really IS the black swan, if he is going to attempt to change the system, then ‘the boys’ will be onto him. They will try to bring it all down on his head. When they do he will have to ‘short-the-short’: nationalize the stock market.

        • Hg
          Dec 11, 2016 at 11:16 am

          And if everyone is dumping bonds for dollars that’s not an inflationary signal,
          it’s ______________

        • Dec 11, 2016 at 11:40 am

          Hg,

          Actually, for every bond sold, there must be a buyer, paying the exact same amount in dollars to buy that bond. When investors dump bonds, others are buying by definition, or else there’s no trade. It has no impact on the demand for dollars. It just puts pressure on the prices (and yields) of those bonds.

        • d
          Dec 11, 2016 at 11:05 pm

          “When investors dump bonds,”

          should this not read “when terrified holders dump”

          Or words to that effect.

          many of them were either speculators or people needing somewhere secure to preserve capital as they did not want it in banks or $$$$$$$$ under their mattresses.

          None of those being “investor’s”.

        • Hg
          Dec 11, 2016 at 3:25 pm

          Wolf! OK: Two gentlemen hold $10 cash and a 10-dollar bond respectively; total systemic value is $20. Gentleman B sells his bond at a loss for $9 to Gentleman A; who now holds a 9-dollar bond + $1 cash while Gentleman B holds $9 cash: systemic value is $19. Gentleman B sells the bond back to A now at $8! Rinse and repeat until each party has $5 and the first guy has a $1 bond: total systemic value $11 with 9 dollars in bond wealth destroyed and $9 cash with nowhere to go. Those Indestructable Dollars are now at 10:1 value vs bonds. What have I missed?

        • Dec 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

          OK, this is kind of fun. So let’s walk down this theoretical road to the bitter end.

          BTW, going to an extreme in your scenario would imply a default by the issuer, which is not possible with US Treasuries since the government via the Fed can always create more money to redeem these bonds at face value. Nevertheless, sticking to your scenario and going to that extreme…

          The amount of systemic dollars (= 10) remains constant throughout, at each step, while the value of the bond goes down the tube. I just walked this through step-by-step. Try it. In terms of dollars, the only thing that changes at each step is who owns how many. But the sum is always 10. At the bitter end of your scenario, there are $10 between the two parties and a worthless bond.

          So the systemic value is now $10, and it’s all dollars. The bond has a value of zero. And trading losses of $10 are spread between the two parties.

        • economicminor
          Dec 11, 2016 at 6:13 pm

          What can change is what that $10 can purchase in the open market.

          Whether the government will buy it back or not, if they keep making dollars beyond the actual production that $10 may only buy one gallon of apple juice when in the beginning when it was originally issued it would have bought 10 gallons. Thus anyone purchasing that note from anyone else would only pay $1 worth of produce for it. Even if that note says $10.

          The only time it will purchase 10 gallons of apple juice after 10 years is when it is a static system and there is no additional dollars created beyond the expansion of new apple orchards.

          So the FED is trying to create inflation to benefit whom? Only the asset or production owners benefit. The savers and workers lose unless they can some how magically grow their money as fast as inflation.

          Inflation transfers the wealth from the workers to the asset holders and owners of the production.

  2. Dec 9, 2016 at 10:44 am

    The first wave of TRUMP disappointments :

    To the extent the Donald is hiring from the Wall Street Swamp of Bankster thieves — his first term is already shaping up to be a disappointment.

    I was upset that the Big O retained each of Bernanke, Summers and Geithner during his first year on the job. Change we can believe in, indeed. I always wondered if this indicated that Barry was Bankster-owned !

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec16/populism12-16.html

    Look at the Financial Profits over the last five years as compared to wage growth.

    THESE BANKSTER THIEVES CANNOT REPRESENT ORDINARY “WORKING” AMERICANS. I despise them to a person. We need a revolution, but Americans are too well-fed and entertained, at the present time.

    SnowieGeorgie

    • Tom Kauser
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      A good history pamphlet would explain that bankers been running the show since the beginning of time?

      Obama needed these officials in place to calm the nation after the nation realized Bush was an idiot!

      • Dec 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm

        There are alternative interpretations that Paulsen, Bernanke, and Geithner lied to the public, and especially snowed the naïve and gullible congress.

        I have no time to debate the point today, but I will briefly say this : The fact that those dam-fooL officials gave the banksters — who brought the economy to the brink ( as you do say ) — ONE HUNDRED CENTS on the dollar — was as wrong as a policy could be.

        Their bad bets placed the economy at risk, and their “bad bets” were valued at 100%. IN BAILOUT ? ! ? ! Really ? Do you really believe that ?

        The Banksters owned Barry, snowed the Congress and lied to the public. This much is true.

        SnowieGeorgie

        • Dan Romig
          Dec 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

          Yes sir! As I have posted before: look at the records of Neal Wolin, Penny Pritzker and Loretta Lynch.

    • Frederick
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      Couldnt agree more Georgie

    • HD
      Dec 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      His first term? Regardless of what I think of Trump, I don’t think there’s going to be a second term. Things will (start to) unravel on his watch.

      • Dec 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm

        Yes, I agree.

        I accidently implied there might be a second term, but I did not mean to.

        This economy has been teetering since the housing bubble burst.

        Gonna tip soon as you say .

        Got canned food ? Got gold ? Got silver ? Got bullets ? Be prepared ! Can’t say “Got God?” as I do not think that will help in any way at any time, ever.

        Georgie

        • d
          Dec 10, 2016 at 5:10 am

          The projections say there maybe 2 terms, as the bubble he will build will still be blowing in 2020. popping soon after.

          Remember his bubble will not start till end 17 so that’s only 3 years, they can pump it that long.

    • kitten lopez
      Dec 9, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      oh, man, Snowie Georgie, i’m SMILING.
      i’ve been busy focusing on sewing and trying to be “cool” and read and talk to people and figure out what’s NEXT…

      and i was listening to Richard Wolff’s economic radio show earlier, and started hyperventilating about the hopelessness of any CHANGE ANYWHERE as i’m not even seeing clear, cogent thought on ANY side anymore to get us out of this or ANYWHERE…

      and instead of reading Chris Hedge’s UNSPEAKABLE book, i wanted to come here and ask one of the regular commenters here to tuck me into bed even though it’s almost noon, and read me a bedtime story and convince me everything’s gonna be alright.

      so i get on here and YOU’RE COMMENT about trump made me smile because i was also hoping for the best and it just keeps getting worse in a cartoonishly “you’re fucking KIDDING ME” way.

      but what makes me hyperventilate is how docile EVERYONE is and i don’t believe in ANY revolution when i remember that even back before guns, the population would never unseat the insane, inbred royalty who were casually using them as toilet paper or for target practice.

      so when i look at it with that longer roman perspective, people think they’ve got it so much better than back then and we’re so supremely fucked now that we’ve got this entrenched panopticon of bullshit.

      i’m having a hard time with this long-term perspective thing because the reality kick back is brutal. i mean, people DIED for the right to ONLY WORK 40 hours a week.

      i’m very confused about everything right now so i’m also thankful for this place like the other writer who said folks here make him feel not insane. i agree.

      and you all, Petunia’s RIGHT: kids have been living with their folks for decades but now it’s rampant. of the grown ups i know who have kids elsewhere, they’re often paying their rent and expenses and we’re talking working class parents i worry are using their appreciating SF homes as ATMs.

      that creeping uneasy feeling of hidden monsters of despair underneath my bed are now dancing everywhere out in the open.

      this site already gives me headaches for reminding me all that i don’t (and can NEVER know), but now i’m seeing more slime trails coming from other places i didn’t even knew existed.

      i’ve no words for ANY of this..it’s all blather above.

      just wanted to say thank you Snowie Georgie. sometimes just knowing one’s not alone in hyperventilating is enough to make it to 1pm intact.

      • kitten lopez
        Dec 9, 2016 at 3:15 pm

        i’m also mostly scared about how things are different now because there’s NO solidarity, no community of any real kind.

        i’m sad because words are meaningless and living in san francisco i’m awash in “theory.”

        but it’s everywhere in america. i don’t know about elsewhere. i only know that when i went on my last and final book tour in 2010, i realized, “we are SO fucked.”

        and the internet and all this social media has made isolated movie stars of everyone.

        in the book, EVICTED, by matthew desmond talks about how the sheriff couldn’t carry out evictions in the olden days (i think ’30s) because he said 1,000 people in the community would show up to prohibit it.

        that just about made tears come to my eyes because when i first got my ass kicked by two tweakers and their pitbull down from my house, men just stood around FILMING the whole thing with their phones and were PROUD to say they’d captured “the whole thing” for when the cops come.

        i looked at them each in the eyes with blood streaming down my face and laughed, “oh, THANK YOU for that.”

        and when there were one of those new fires in the mission to clear rent control buildings, a young boy and his dog were trapped on a fire escape screaming for help.

        it was NEWS that people just stood still FILMING HIM with their phones and did nothing.

        i didn’t grow up with any of this.

        so what would ANY revolution even LOOK LIKE now????

        • PrototypeGirl1
          Dec 9, 2016 at 4:49 pm

          Kitten that’s a very good question. I don’t think there will be a revolution, If the economy crashes, a natural, or man made disaster happens most people will file in to a fema camp. I don’t understand this plan. I’m really glad it’s not my plan.

        • Kent
          Dec 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm

          Kitten,

          The economy crashed in 2008. We are all still here and alive. Many are thriving. The Great Depression did see people stick up for each other in a way that doesn’t happen like that today. But that is almost everyone was deeply hurt.

          The welfare system stops that level of pain, and so people can get by without needing each other. If FDR didn’t institute that program, the USA would be a socialist country today. Donald Trump and Republicans will work hard to dismantle the welfare system, the economy will collapse again, and then folks will get together and make the revolution happen.

          Truly not that bid a deal. Republican just can’t help themselves. They will turn the country socialist. Hopefully it will be Denmark style and not Russia style. But we’ll see.

        • Sound of the Suburbs
          Dec 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

          The plan is bigger, the plan is global.

          Neoliberalism was first tested in Chile with General Pinochet.

          It is gradually been done in the West by stealth, the aim is to remove the welfare state.

          It has been done much more harshly in developed world with “The Washington Consensus”.

          The problems were there at the start but were ignored, it was always going to go wrong in exactly the way it has.

          It was known from the start it would bring vast wealth to the few and poverty to the many, it was tested in the 1970s.

          Francis Fukuyama talked of the “end of history” and “liberal democracy”.

          Liberal democracy was the bringing together of two mutually exclusive ideas.

          Economic liberalism – that enriches the few and impoverishes the many.
          Democracy – that requires the support of the majority.

          Trying to bring two mutually exclusive ideas together just doesn’t work.

          The ideas of “Economic Liberalism” came from Milton Freidman and the University of Chicago.

          It was so radical they first tried it in a military dictatorship in Chile, it wouldn’t be compatible with democracy.

          It took death squads, torture and terror to keep it in place, there was an ethnic cleansing of anyone who still showed signs of any left wing thinking.

          It was tried in a few other places in South America using similar techniques.

          It then did succeed in a democracy but only by tricking the people into thinking they were voting for something else, severe oppression was needed when they found out what they were getting.

          Margaret Thatcher bought these ideas to the West and the plan to eliminate the welfare state has only recently been revealed. Things had to be done slowly in the West due to that bothersome democracy.

          The West has now seen enough.

          It was implemented far more brutally in the developing world where Milton Freidman’s “Chicago Boys” were the henchmen of “The Washington Consensus”. The IMF and World Bank acted as enforcers insisting on neoliberal conditionalities for loans.

          Global markets punished those not towing the neoliberal line and kept nations in their place.

          As Nelson Mandela was released from prison the South African Rand fell 10%, someone like this was going to be pushing up wage costs and would be bad for the economy.

          Looking back it was a grand folly of an international elite whose greed overcame even a modicum of common sense.

          Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” will take you through all the gory details.

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm

          PROTOTYPE GIRL 1:
          fema camp filled with trailers with noxious gases… yeah… i can see that (again).

          SNOWIE GEORGIE: oh, man… Chris Hedges called this a long time ago as he was reporting from the edges of empire. he was a NY Times war reporter who was raised to be a bad ass by his minister father. so his reporting is his form of bearing witness and he NEVER trusts power. he was a scholarship kid at a fancy boarding school and it gave him insight to the elite, which he has ALWAYS detested and has never made secret. a lot of the “courtesans” of the elite have done their best to crush him and his credibility but he’s clean and untouchable because now he doesn’t give a fuck as this is all for his kids now.

          his inside knowledge and contempt for the reality/truth of the elite/this system makes him dangerous–i think even more so now with this interview book where he pulls not one punch. not that he ever did. but i prefer this direct interview style to writerly prose because it’s more visceral somehow and i’m needing that. conversational feels more… scary. there MUST be a reason. like being hunched over a candle in the middle of the night plotting!

          (smile)

          but during the runup to the gulf war, he did a commencement speech coming out against it and the Times ousted him and he’s been on his own ever since, black listed by media.
          you can find his writing/interview videos with other bad ass folks on Truth Dig, but as i said, i’m digging this book, UNSPEAKABLE, because it gives me more a sense of the man and his MAJOR bad assness. it inspires me because he’s so far beyond caring about “being liked.”

          which brings me to PETUNIA:

          man, your responses made me cry and i’m fine with that nowadays. your bed time stories always make my teeth feel sharp and more ready for the slimy creatures rising up from under my bed! like Chris Hedges… because you’re RIGHT about underground and other ways of rebelling: i’m even shocked that a paper book could even still be so KILLER in this day of expanded article books with pat, happy (meaningless, unlikely) solutions postulated at the end so that books don’t “depress” people with Reality.

          you wrote: “You think the 2000 veterans that showed up there to support them really care about Indians or water, they don’t. What they care about is that the tactics they were trained to use on our enemies, have been brought back to use on their fellow citizens. It had nothing to do with water or pipelines, and every thing to do with the ‘environment’.”

          you’re also right about OTHER underground ways people are fighting back and i needed to hear that about the Standing Rock situation: I DID NOT KNOW/UNDERSTAND THE REASON BEHIND WHAT HAPPENED as i expected full-tilt escalation to happen as it was all ramping up. so thank you.

          the cynicism of EVERYTHING in the news is getting to me, even as i’ve tried to go light. it seeps in like the slime. and how compounded the bullshit is getting– like the carrier air conditioning story down to its last fucking detail. i just wanna yell STOOOOOP IT ALREADY!!! the most seemingly mundane stories now are becoming torture. like reading about the own-to-rent bad ideas (i also wondered about upkeep for individual houses when it’s not so good even in best of times) and how billionaires like buffet are investing in trailer parks. when i first heard that last year or so, i SWORE it was “fake news.”

          i’m getting claustrophobic and itchy and there’s nowhere to GO.

          but other ways…

          oh man, that just reminds me how Chris Hedges was talking about an Occupy group was at his house, and they knew the cops were moving in on them, so they put all their electronic devices out into a car outside so they couldn’t be eavesdropped on, then they went inside, and in case his house was bugged, they wrote all their ideas on paper BY HAND, and afterwards they burned the notes in the fireplace.

          i read Chris Hedges and feel like i’ve gotta step up to all i was taught because i don’t want him to be the only one. because when one man like that bites it, we’re fucked. so i’ve gotta do my little part and pass the inspiration on.

          like everyone does here… I LOVE THIS PLACE.

          Wolf, as long as you’re not shut down for some silly “thang,” i’m eternally grateful you’re here, you’ve made this place for us. because i’m glad Walter Map’s still here, but i’m fading and need help sometimes. thanks for this.

          man, i’m CRYING again.

          this all gets to you, you know? yeah… i know you know.

          thanks, Petunia, Snowie Georgie and Prototype Girl 1 and EVERYONE here. not kidding. i lurk sometimes just to be able to grab onto something once in awhile.

          but i feel like lurking’s not so FAIR after awhile. like i’m just TAKING and suffering politely in silence while others have the tits or balls to scream about all our humanity in agony.

          i can’t thank the lot of you enough.

          but Petunia.. you’re my GIRL. it’s all i can do to not slam anyone who dares to give you ANY shit. i know you can take it but you dare to share. you care SO much. i love that.

          thank you.

          x

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:07 pm

          KENT-
          thank you. your response came while i was typing back to the others. yeah.. .the welfare system… that is fascinating, actually. James was reading sebastian junger’s book yesterday, TRIBE, which actually talks about tribes and people –especially milary guys—being nostalgic about difficult times because there was solidarity and connection.

          THAT’s what first electrified me with hope when i heard a woman reporting back on the radio about what she’d seen at Standing Rock camps where some of the kids who’d had drug problems felt a sense of place and purpose at the camps, and how HEALING that was. as in “happy people aren’t addicts.”

          so thank you for that, too, because i get so myopic here in san francisco living in the midst of all this… dissonance.

          there is homelessness like i’ve never SEEN. even nyc in the 70s didn’t seem so gritty to me in comparison to what’s going on out of normal sight here. but then there’s so much MONEY and affluence… it’s surreal.

          we’ve had this new homeless guy sleeping and crapping under our front steps. i’ve had to figure out how to deal with that in a way that he can store his sleeping bag away behind the planters or whatever, but no more CRAPPING and leaving half-open food.

          i’m cool with co-existing with the homeless, as we always have had to here, but don’t crap where i’ve gotta clean up and i’ll leave your stuff alone and dry in the rain.

          thanks, Kent… yeah, it’s funny what the welfare system did even in the scandinavian countries with how friends leave their partners without working things out because they’ll be okay.

          thanks for reminding me of the LONG VIEW’s complexity and how what’s OLD will be NEW again in SOME NEW way (like collaboration).

          yeah.. .if the indians could do it after being nearly decimated…

          yeah… i’ve got some solid purchase now… not slipping into madness!

          (smile)

          thanks ALL youse guys. i needed this…. so NOT kidding, either.

          x

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:09 pm

          correction to KENT:

          i meant sebastian junger’s book, TRIBE, was mostly about MILITARY guys being nostalgic for the close knit nature crappy times. not “milary guys”–what the hell is THAT?/ this typing a lot and fast thing gets outta hand sometimes.

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:13 pm

          correction #2:
          i meant “courtiers” not “courtesans”!!! although the way Chris Hedges calls the suck ups with careers to support all this “courtiers”, i think the term IS interchangeable.

        • Mike B
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:19 pm

          What will it look like?

          Hmmmm. My Viking ancestors had a great word for it. Ragnarok. The war of all against all of more poetically, “the doom of the gods”

          That’s where we’re headed and yes, it scares the living hell out of me also but sites like this one at least keep things grounded. Cold comfort I suppose but still…

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 10, 2016 at 6:28 pm

          SOUND of the SUBURBS…
          wow, thank you for that explanation. i had to read it three times practically mouthing the confusing sentences, and still it’s all confusing to me so i’ll have to read Naomi Klein’s SHOCK DOCTRINE.

          thank you for that. now that i’ve got my attention span back, i LOVE having good books suggested for my reading list.

          x

        • Sound of the Suburbs
          Dec 11, 2016 at 8:10 am

          Be careful, its a pretty depressing book.

          You’ll find out things are much worse than you ever imagined.

          It does look as though this ideology is starting to break down now, but it will probably get worse before it gets better.

        • Raymond Rogers
          Dec 10, 2016 at 6:30 pm

          If you understand everything the Roman Empire had gone through, it would answer your question. There is a good series on Youtube titled the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. It does not cover the financials very well, but it does cover other topics. Rome dealt with constant barbarian threats, insurrection from all corners of the empire, plague brought back from Eastern campaigns, assassinations, dismal financial situations from monetary to fiscal problems, the loss of fertile lands to sustain its population, religious infighting, a massive slave revolt, and much more. Yet it lasted as an empire for about 500 years.

          Countries and empires can last a long time, as long as they are fortunate enough not to deal with events that can suddenly bring down the house. It’s amazing that Rome survived as long as it did, yet the Soviet Union fell in a much shorter time period.

        • economicminor
          Dec 10, 2016 at 8:03 pm

          A few years ago my wife and I spent a few days in Rome with a university historian. She said that one of the issues that caused the end of the Roman Empire was its inability to deliver wood (which it used as energy) back to the center of the empire. It had deforested the country sides for a thousand miles in all directions and finally the cost was just to great and the lack of it helped cause the final end. Hard to cook food with out it. She said many of its long roads were not only for moving the armies around but to bring back the resources it needed to function. Wood was a very important resource.

        • d
          Dec 10, 2016 at 8:50 pm

          ” Yet it lasted as an empire for about 500 years.”

          The Byzantine empire is the eastern roman empire a continuation of it, in total the roman empire lasted nearly 1500 years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 11, 2016 at 10:44 am

          KENT! i don’t know if you’ll get this response/reply but i’m gonna answer below in case it gets long…

      • Dec 9, 2016 at 3:55 pm

        I gotta look into the Chris Hedges author you’ve mentioned a few times now.

        Sounds interesting ! The first time or two you mentioned Chris, I was thinking “Chris Hitchens”, one of my favorite well-known atheists. But that’s not the same person as this Hedges guy.

        Googling him now . . . .

        SnowieGeorgie

      • Petunia
        Dec 9, 2016 at 4:01 pm

        KL,

        People are pissed off and fighting back in small and big ways. You just need to know where to look. When the 1% squashed the Occupy movement, it didn’t disappear, it went underground. You think Wikileaks on Hillary was a coincidence. No, it was the Occupy movement getting even with the democrats for pissing on them. Trump is more of the same. I remember you supported the Indian Tribe in ND. You think the 2000 veterans that showed up there to support them really care about Indians or water, they don’t. What they care about is that the tactics they were trained to use on our enemies, have been brought back to use on their fellow citizens. It had nothing to do with water or pipelines, and every thing to do with the “environment”. Have a nice nap.

        • Petunia
          Dec 9, 2016 at 4:46 pm

          P.S.

          If you are really into fashion, watch “In Between Times” on Netflix. Original title “Entre Costuras”, great fashion and the best looking guy I have seen in film in years.

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm

          Petunia-
          i’ll check that movie out. and Wolf, i’m SO sorry about the possible long reply that’s coming out too skinny for iphone folks. i won’t do it again. i was crying, typing fast, and not paying attention.

        • Edward E
          Dec 10, 2016 at 9:05 am

          The veterans are now looking at going to Flint, so it sure looks like they care about people. They need to raise hell, they the only thing that the elites really fear. We’ve been needing something for a long time.

          Now where do you get that occupy movement is responsible for Wikileaks? CIA is now saying it’s Russia again, while admitting no concrete evidence. I thought it was supposed to be from various people inside intelligence.

      • william
        Dec 9, 2016 at 7:51 pm

        My hunch is older people had too few children and now fear being alone in old age… their few adult children are cared for in hopes they return the favor.

      • Dec 10, 2016 at 5:44 pm

        I hear you. It’s Orwellian (when will the wars come nearer to home?)

        http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/desperate-straits-the-secret-financial-crisis-of-middle-class-americans/ So much in the name of that “inflation target” of 2.0%. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k

        http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/lies-damned-lies-the-bls-inflation-statistics/

        Then there are posters (on CNBC and other MSM sites) who regard the FED as an arm of Congress. Getting the power relationship wrong, as if the tail was wagging the dog.

        What counts are actions, not talk and bluster. Years ago, I read “Trumped”, a book by his casino manager in Atlantic City. Looks like the 2 candidates have been masks on the same shadowy face for decades. Voting hasn’t changed the course of the last 8 years, has it? And Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize? Make “Animal Farm” and “1984” your bedtime story books.

        Central banks are running out of ammo. But then, they have been behind terrible economic suffering earlier last century.

        Personally, I think the people of India having taken away “the full faith of the state” in 86% of their currency have a word to say about things to come.

        As a German, I thought I was dreaming when I read an article in the #1 newspaper, FAZ: a total ban on fossil burning cars and trucks. WTF?! By the makers of Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, VW and big operations by Ford and GM? NO DEBATE. Just like when Merkel ordered the border to be opened and over a million u n k n o w n people streamed in. “Hippie government” is a charitable way of describing this. Now she is clammoring for a Burka ban and taking away dual citizenship. No need for 2 candidates in Germany. And the editorials are telling the readers what to think.

        Q: will the world be gobbling up BMWs and Mercedes cars like before? Hell no. So what’s been happening with the DAX? It rose in tandem with the S&P 500. Q2: WHY? Explanations have been utterly bizarre and contradictory. Some days, the rising oil price is good, then it’s bad. Like speculation on a rate hike. A sign of strength and faith, or a dangerous thing?

        These EXCESSES will lead to a counter move. Markets are like the pendulum on a grandfather’s clock.

        One day people will have their cash declared invalid?
        Why the unrelenting build up of Russia as bogey man? Now soldiers are in Syria which has been invated by NATO psartner Turkey’s tanks?!? While Turkey has been sponsoring the dreadful IS?!? http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/how-turkey-enables-isis-more-proof-of-the-oil-transit-connection/

        Nostradamus saw WW III in the ME.

        Apologies for this long-winded stream of consciousness rant. I just wanted to reply to kitten_lopez that she isn’t alone with her feeling of doom and unreality.

  3. OutLookingIn
    Dec 9, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Ringing the cash register.

    Just a plain and simple case of pump and dump.
    Wash. Rinse. Repeat, as many times as possible.
    They are now peaking over their shoulders with fear.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-08/deutsche-bank-provides-smoking-gun-proof-massive-rigging-and-fraud-silver-market

  4. Marco
    Dec 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

    If you’re Jamie Dimon wearing “Presidential cufflinks” as a gift from his boyfriend Barack, instead of the handcuffs and orange jumpsuit that he deserves, how could anything go wrong ?

    Not when Trump loves all these guys too.

    • Frederick
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      But you must admit Donald sure pulled the wool over us sheeples eyes didnt he? I stated doubting his authenticity about 6 months ago to be honest

      • Lee
        Dec 9, 2016 at 3:54 pm

        Frederick, you think so?

        I really get a kick out of all the comments about Trump by a bunch of know nothings living in la-la land that think they can second guess what the guy is going to do or what his appointees will do.

        These comments are found in the MSM to blogs such as Wolf’s.

        I don’t know, you don’t know and the ONLY person in the that knows is Trump himself.

        I will comment on something called leadership which has been lacking in the USA for many years at all levels especially in the US government over the past eight years including the military.

        A leader appoints people to perform a job, tells them what he wants done, gives them the tools and resources to perform the job and then lets them DO the job.

        If they don’t do the job they are expected to do or fails to perform then the LEADER cans the person and puts somebody else in the position.

        Do you really think that Joe Blow down the road could run the US Treasury or that PFC Linda Tanker could run the DoD?

        We can hope that Mr. Trump pulls off what he said he is going to do and that the people put in place will do what they are supposed to do as directed.

        I DO wonder if the guy can even come close to repairing the damage that has been to the USA by the current administration to the US economy and its standing in the world.

        Whatever happens you can be sure that the result is going to be a lot better than if that woman or another Bush was in the White House.

        • Frederick
          Dec 10, 2016 at 12:23 am

          Lee I certainly agree that he has to be better than the alternative Im just suspect and believe me I hope Im wrong

        • milking institute
          Dec 10, 2016 at 12:33 am

          Thanks for a bit of Sanity amongst all the Screaming,Lee,the guy isn’t even in Office yet but he’s already failed according to the political Geniuses here and i agree,he’s got one hell of a job cleaning up the mess this Clown occupying the White House now has left….

        • night-train
          Dec 10, 2016 at 3:05 am

          You three should get a room. Just because you hear something on tin foil radio doesn’t mean it is true. All the GOP has offered for the past 8 years is no. Their desire for Obama to fail completely overwhelmed their sense of patriotism for the US.

          If you think Trump is going to do anything for anyone other than a Trump, I have some shale oil deals you should look into.

        • d
          Dec 10, 2016 at 5:21 am

          The things you need to know about p 45.

          He is a thin skinned, irrational, petulant child, with a strong vendetta streak.

          He is connected, as was his father, and probably his brothel keeping grand father. Who was, like him, a draft dodger.

          His connections will come calling.

          He is a professional fraudster, in the land of professional fraudsters, he has never been convicted, to date..

  5. Jerry
    Dec 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Folks need to understand that CB’s have broken the markets, there is zero price discovery and the only players that were in the game were folks that were front running CB’s announcements.

    The bond market has topped and the smart money is getting out before the trickle becomes a flood heading for the exits. These guys are parking it in equities because its the only market big enough to suck it in. Do not be fooled these guys are not investing, its about capital preservation now. Gold can be confiscated like FDR did and now the Indian government and the French have placed restrictions on gold so expect other governments to do the same.

    Do people actually think that the Greeks, Italians, Spain and other European governments are going to honour their sovereign bonds. Who would buy a 50 year or 100 year bond, you have to be mentally insane if you think you are getting your money back.

    Every western government is broke and they all have shrinking populations which means the tax base is getting smaller and bond yields are rising. This is when socialism hits the brick wall of reality. Socialism is a Ponzi scheme that keeps needing an ever expanding idiot base coming on board hence why the socialists in Europe have been happy to let in over 1 million Muslims into a Christian nation, what could go wrong?

    We are entering the final stage of this nonsense and we are all in for a lot of pain. When things get this extreme economically, you will see civil unrest and an increasing likelihood of war. If I was an immigrant in Germany, France even the UK I would be returning home, the host citizens will turn on you because you are taking their jobs and this event wouldn’t have happened if you were not here. In times like that are coming the state will turn on its own citizens, they will shake you down and put their hands down the back of your couch for any spare change you have. This is a very dangerous time for all of us if you value your freedom and liberty.

    • memento mori
      Dec 9, 2016 at 11:40 am

      Scary, what do you suggest we do then? Build a nuclear bunker in the backyard and fill it up with guns and canned food?

      • Mary
        Dec 9, 2016 at 6:10 pm

        Good point. Whenever the topics of economic downturn and social unrest come up, half the commenters on this site start channeling the Unabomber.

        Canned goods and bullets? Surely there are more hopeful, creative ways of imagining the future. We are a nation born in revolution, yet everyone now seems terrified of change.

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:29 pm

          i think like a unabomber, too. from what i remember of what he actually wrote in his manifesto, he actually wasn’t so crazy in what he believed and wrote and i understand his rage and frustration, but he lost me with his idea of a solution; i don’t believe ANY answer involves killing people.

          and change for me isn’t in 4-year increments. those of us under the rocks can’t tell much difference between booms and busts.

          but when teachers are homeless and the middle class is done and gone, we’re all fighting over the same dumpster’s half-rotten food and THAT’s gonna get interesting.

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm

          “We are a nation born in revolution, yet everyone now seems terrified of change.”

          revolution..maybe… but that’s not the whole cute story: this nation exists and got so powerful from hundreds of years of SLAVERY and GENOCIDE colonization and imperialism… and now it’s eating its own for a small few who count on escaping to mars when this place is trashed.

          for the life of me i cannot possibly see history or success and failure in 4-8 year increments any longer. i feel more connected to feudal times than ever before and that’s what’s freaking me out so much.

    • nhz
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      “Gold can be confiscated like FDR did ”

      Shares can be confiscated even easier than physical gold, with the push of a button; most people can’t store them in their personal safe.

      “Who would buy a 50 year or 100 year bond, you have to be mentally insane if you think you are getting your money back.”

      These speculators assume that they can get their money back from the ECB very soon, with a huge profit; and they might be right given the latest ECB policy statements. Whatever it takes ;-(

      “If I was an immigrant in Germany, France even the UK I would be returning home, ”

      Maybe that applies for honest immigrants who were planning to adapt and work for their money; they are in for rough times. But for many others, Europe is simply a lifelong vacation with endless entitlements. The EU citizens are not protesting in the streets because most of them are working their a** off to pay for the EU migrant vacation paradise.

      In my city ‘refugees’ are 1-2% of the population (if the government numbers are true) but they are 50% of the population in the shops, especially for stuff like phones, electronic gadgets and quality clothing. And unlike most Europeans, many of these immigrants know how to use a weapon and have no moral problems using it against their hosts (sometimes they even feel a moral obligation to do so, of course those are always ‘accidents’).

      IMHO the migrant chaos is fully planned by the ruling elite in order to keep control when the economy collapses: divide et impera. The people who ship the migrants over here, those who organized the bombing and looting in the Middle-East, the politicians and MSM who cheer the migrants and those who finance some of their most vocal opponents like Mr. Wilders in Netherlands are all aligned with the same tribe. I hope their plan will fall apart very soon.

      • Jerry
        Dec 9, 2016 at 12:22 pm

        I would not like to be a Policeman these days because they will take the brunt of the citizens anger. The time is not right yet the anger is there for sure what will spark it off will be when middle class folks whom had thought because they bought their house back in 2002/3 they would be safe, suddenly find that all their equity is gone, they are losing their job, their pension plan has just blown up in the bond market and they cant make the payments on their car.

        When ordinary folks start feeling the pain, then they will act. When folks are losing and they have nothing else to lose, they lose it.

        • nhz
          Dec 9, 2016 at 12:44 pm

          that’s why they plan to have the people fight among themselves (e.g. immigrants and their lefty supporters against the rest) while the country slowly descends into chaos. As long as it is a slow grind most people will keep low because they still have something to lose.

          In my country people on social security and government workers have been doing well after 2008, their spending power has been increasing for several years if you believe the official inflation numbers. Only the real middle class, the self-employed and small business are losing and that is less than 10% of the population in most of Europe; politicians don’t worry about that.

        • Observer
          Dec 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm

          Jerry
          Here in the US, we’re already there. Ordinary folks have been feeling the accumulated pain courtesy of Reaganism/Thatcherism for the last 30 years. People lost their 401Ks, home equity, and jobs in 2008, if they hadn’t already. Wolf has pointed out the used auto loan financialization bubble, so the car will be the next to go. Since people here already have nothing to lose, they threw the dice on Trump. That’s all the “protest” we’re gonna get while Trump’s voters wait for him to magically fix things. Of course, given his cabinet appointees to date, the foxes will be guarding the chicken coops and folks are in for a very rude disappointment. Maybe in 4 years?

        • kitten lopez
          Dec 9, 2016 at 6:33 pm

          “When ordinary folks start feeling the pain, then they will act.”

          no dice. when they start feeling the pain they’re already “the poor” and thus, invisible.

          and as americans, they suck it up and figure it’s their own fault.

          when we heard about the first tent cities springing up five years ago or so, an older couple was interviewed. they used to have a house and their children had middle class homes and had NO IDEA their parents were even homeless in a tent city because the parents didn’t want to bother their children with their problems.

          americans get embarrassed for not being millionaires.

        • David G LA
          Dec 10, 2016 at 9:02 am

          Miss Lopez – so true ” Americans get embarrassed not being millionaires”

    • Frederick
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      Germany France or the UK how about the good US of A things could get dicey for the illegal invaders here too for sure

    • economicminor
      Dec 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm

      Jerry, I can see a lot of pain in the future but your implying it is all about socialism I think is rubbish. It is about Crony Capitalism at the extreme end of a Kondratieff Super Cycle.

      For the *civilized* world, there is more than enough of everything to go around. Humans are overly productive. It is just that the distribution of the wealth and resources are completely out of line with our political systems. The extreme greed and power syndrome has captured to many humans and we are going to crash because of it.

      Some think they can win the game of Monopoly.. Ha ha ha ha! Then what?

    • Dec 10, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Hear, hear!

  6. mynamett
    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Everything you see and hear is a lie. CB are printing money like crazy and pass it to bank. ECB is keeping QE alive it should tell you everything there is to know. You have seen nothing yet. Prepare for DOW 25000 and S&P 2500.

    Prepare for currency devaluation Zimbabwe style with new stock market record while currencies devaluate /loss of confidence in money like you see right now in India.

    • mynamett
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      I have been watching the Nikkei 225 for the last two weeks except for two day, the nikkei 225 went up 1% on average per day.

    • Jerry
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      DOW could go to 40000 or close to it.

      The bond market under pins every other asset class

      Ludwig Von Mises: ‘There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.’

  7. akiddy111
    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Bank insiders continually break records when it comes to insider selling.

    I used to try and follow insider transaction activity closely. But the level of buying that took place was so negligible that i considered it to be meaningless for the most part.

  8. Tom Kauser
    Dec 9, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Fed hinting about taking off QE and letting chips fall were they lay in 2017.
    Fed hinting about more QE and the need to draft a bail-ins provision for bank bailouts once QE becomes unproductive?
    Distribution days as fundamentals signal screaming buy right at the top?
    There will be no bells ringing b/c its truly different this time?
    A republican populist in charge isn’t very different than 1981?
    1982 is the new 1950?

    • Tom Kauser
      Dec 9, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Bankers rally to hide massive bonus pool?
      QE pays off once again to line bankers pockets.

  9. nhz
    Dec 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    will they allow the economy to crash with a record number of Goldmanites at the helm?

    Goldmanites have been at the helm of the crashing EU banking system for many years already, but banksters are less visible for the public than politicians.

    On second thought, maybe banking insiders are dumping their stock at record pace because they are all going to be in the Trump administration and pocket their stock gains without any taxes;-)

  10. Sound of the Suburbs
    Dec 9, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Central Banks and the wealth effect.

    Real wealth comes from the real economy where real products and services are traded.

    This involves hard work which is something the financial sector is not interested in.

    The financial sector is interested in imaginary wealth – the wealth effect.

    They look for some existing asset they can inflate the price of, like the national housing stock.

    They then pour money into this asset to create imaginary wealth, the bubble bursts and all the imaginary wealth disappears.

    1929 – US (margin lending into US stocks)
    1989 – Japan (real estate)
    2008 – US (real estate bubble leveraged up with derivatives for global contagion)
    2010 – Ireland (real estate)
    2012 – Spain (real estate)
    2015 – China (margin lending into Chinese stocks)

    Central Banks have now got in on the act with QE and have gone for an “inflate all financial asset prices” strategy to generate a wealth effect (imaginary wealth).

    The bubble bursts and all the imaginary wealth disappears.

    The wealth effect – it’s like real wealth but it’s only temporary.

    • Jacky
      Dec 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Sound of the Suburbs, you forgot one:

      2017 (or 2018 ?) – Canada (real estate)

      • Sound of the Suburbs
        Dec 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm

        It’s a race between Canada and Australia.

        Who is going to discover their housing market wasn’t part of a new paradigm first.

        Markets are irrational and have been since Tulip Mania in 1600’s Holland.

        Do not look for rational explanations, the prospect of easy money turns human beings into gibbering idiots.

        Stocks, house prices, [yet another asset type] are going up in value.

        I have heard of someone who has made lots of money, I want in.

        I am making money, I need to borrow money to carry on investing and make more money.

        Gibber, gibber, gibber ………………………………

        The bubbles burst; I am going to be ruined.
        No more gibbering, till next time.

        Tulip bulbs ….. gibber
        South sea company …. gibber
        UK Railways (1800s) …. gibber
        The new internet (pre 1999) …. gibber
        Sub-prime ….. gibber
        Property …. gibber
        BTL … gibber
        Apple …. gibber
        Social media …. gibber
        Emerging markets … gibber

        Easy money ….. gibber, gibber, gibber

        The true joy of capitalism making money doing nothing.

        • Kreditanstalt
          Dec 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm

          Your sentiments understood!

          And I don’t merely want to “vote the establishment out”. I’ll support anyone, anytime, who holds any promise at all of wrecking this unethical, immoral, comprehensively rigged system. And so what if the public’s pension, benefits and bank accounts disappear? They were never ‘real’ wealth anyway.

          Those in government, their “regulators”, central and commercial bankers, and hedge fund grandees will one day be taken out and shot in the streets and, more importantly, their FAMILY wealth and holdings will be seized.

        • Me
          Dec 9, 2016 at 3:12 pm

          That is not Capitalism.

          CAPITALISM is when people pool their money, Capital, to open a business.

          Free Enterprise Capitalism is when individuals do so. State Capitalism is when the State does it, like Cuba, North Korea, the old Soviet Union.

          Tulip-Mania had nothing to do with Capitalism. Just people over-bidding other individuals. I would blame “greed”.

          South Seas Company was like John Lott. Clever scam using “stocks’ (paper). That, too is not Capitalism since no wealth was used, but rather……greed.

          Sub-Prime? Fake and paper, again. The Central banks created paper notes and flooded the world with it. That has nothing to do with Capitalism.

          It is like blaming “Agriculturalism” for Grain Futures.

        • Sound of the Suburbs
          Dec 10, 2016 at 3:12 pm

          Try and keep a national housing market rational.

          In no time at all everyone is riding the bubble for capital gains.

          Markets will always be open to speculation and people will speculate.

          Wall Street has specialised in it for a century, pumping and dumping stocks.

          Markets will always be exploited because they are vulnerable to it, the financial sector worked that out centuries ago.

        • Lee
          Dec 9, 2016 at 4:03 pm

          “It’s a race between Canada and Australia.”

          No contest: Australia was and still is a better place to live.

          We have a huge number of RICH, cashed up immigrants that underpin the housing markets and to some extent the economy.

          A better climate, lifestyle, and so far a generally well educated population (Also underpinned by a bunch of really intelligent and well educated immigrants and their children.)

          Our politicians are a bunch of dolts, but not as bad as the idiotic Canadian PM praising Fidel Castro (Although some in the Labor Party did that.)

          We’ll see how the recent shocks to the world economy are reflected during the RE auctions today (10/12) & next week (17/12) before they take a break over the holiday season.

          There are a huge number of properties coming on to the market to beat the break.

        • Sound of the Suburbs
          Dec 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm

          It’s different this time – the new paradigm.

        • nhz
          Dec 10, 2016 at 5:26 am

          @Me:
          “Tulip-Mania had nothing to do with Capitalism. Just people over-bidding other individuals. I would blame “greed”.”

          Tulip-mania IS related to capitalism. In 1602 the stockmarket was invented in Amsterdam, related to establishment of the Dutch VOC company. This caused huge changes in finance and economy, a ‘golden age’ and fed the speculation with tulip bulbs later on.
          Initially tulip speculation made sense: tulips were rare and precious, and if you ‘invested’ in a bulb, planted it and cared for it, you had a prized status symbol and after some years you would have copies that you could sell for a nice profit. Unlike a home that doesn’t magically multiply … Because of the delays in selling and risk involved, contracts similar to current stock market futures were used. But just like with most other mania’s things completely got out of hand and by 1636 tulip bulbs were traded in almost every tavern in the country (there were often two taverns in every street …). When the little people get in on a great opportunity, the end is nigh ;-(

          By then most contracts were verbal (not written, so impossible to check) and people traded on credit, similar to subprime buyers in the US around 2006. This was the main cause of the huge economic problems after the tulipmania crash of 1637: there was no way to settle the debts, causing total chaos for several years and a total distrust in the government.

        • Dec 10, 2016 at 5:57 pm

          FANG… gibber

  11. Kreditanstalt
    Dec 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    The establishment’s “fake news” propaganda meme seems to apply to “markets” as well.

    The myth that with Trump’s election ‘everything has changed’ is being relentlessly promoted and pushed and touted everywhere…even though the factors augering for asset price drops, deflation, low money velocity, zero-real-growth and a recession/depression remain firmly in place.

    Markets seem to be on autopilot. The direction and magnitude of the ramps are set in the pre-open and from then on to closing it’s a flatline at the predetermined cruising height.

    What “markets”? A handful of huge funds, algos, ETFs and financial entities swap a few shares around daily. There is no mass participation and out-of-favour sectors are punished as regularly and as predictably as the favoured stuff…

    There is no mass participation, no retail input.

    It would be very interesting to determine what proportion of ‘favoured son’ stuff is traded by retail and how much by institutions…and the same for out-of-favour sectors.

  12. Justme
    Dec 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Last night on PBS, BofA CEO Brian Moynihan was douching it up with Charlie Rose. I was wondering what the occasion was, and even thinking about posing that question here.

    Now I think I know the answer: Bank insiders want retail customers to buy into the bank rally so they can unload their overpriced shares without causing a price drop. Hence Moynihan (and probably others) are out doing a charm offensive in the media.

    I still retch when I remember Vikram (The Bandit) Pandit of Citigroup going in the Charlie Rose program in 2008 to defend the misdeeds of the bank and pretend all was ok. Yech. Jamie Dimon, too, And maybe some others.

  13. NotSoSure
    Dec 9, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Yeah, insider trading is a pretty crappy indicator as far as I remember. The most bullish indicator is really the David Stockman indicator. I swear that guy is going to have a heart attack if the market does not crash soon.

    The most bearish indicator then is probably if:
    1. He is appointed to the Federal Reserve.
    2. He gets bullish.

  14. Chicken
    Dec 9, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    They say gold rallies when confidence is lost, I suppose the opposite is also true?

    • NotSoSure
      Dec 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

      Meaning, Gold will never rally since US people will never run out of confidence and hope? I am mostly with you there.

      • Frederick
        Dec 9, 2016 at 3:51 pm

        Oh they will and it WILL rally and rally big

        • NotSoSure
          Dec 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm

          Like in the Great Depression you mean? I used to be a big believer in Gold, but no more. People in the US will accept life at the subsistence level as long as the TV is on and showing Game of Thrones and the millenials have their Facebook.

          Those things are cheap to provide. Heck The Hunger Games took a while before it’s dismantled.

          Can’t rely on muppets.

        • Sound of the Suburbs
          Dec 10, 2016 at 3:18 pm

          A consumer society relies on demand, the rich are always too greedy to work it out, but it always bites them on the arse in the end.

          Larry Summers one time 100% neo-liberal:

          “Former Treasury Secretary Summers Calls For End Of Fed Independence”

          “Central bank independence “comes from an understanding of the macroeconomic policy problem that is not relevant to current times,” Summers said in a speech at the International Monetary Fund.

          Central bank insulation was needed in the 1970s and 1980s to combat inflation, Summers said. That’s because the White House and Congress sometimes saw the short-run benefits of unexpected inflation, while the Fed kept its eyes on the long-run costs, he said.

          But that was yesterday’s problem, Summers said. The economy now faces secular stagnation, or a chronic lack of demand.”

  15. Kreditanstalt
    Dec 9, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Stock “investors”? They’re not “bullish”…they’re “lemming-ish”…while confidence can be maintained, at least…

    1. They’re DESPERATE for any yield.
    2. They’re MASSIVELY leveraged.
    3. They chase MOMENTUM regardless of any fundamentals.

    A future without growth, without “investment” (defined as buying a debt providing an income stream while calling it an “asset”) and with volatility is their waking nightmare.

  16. Uncle Frank
    Dec 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Insider selling is not a bearish indicator in this situation. Merely profit taking. The markets will keep going up as long as investors believe Trump is good for stocks. Only when, and if, he screws up will the upward momentum be reversed. So far with Trump’s cabinet selections it appears it will be a Goldman Sachs directed economic policy and that supports a continued bull run for equities.

    • walter map
      Dec 9, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      “The markets will keep going up as long as investors believe Trump is good for stocks.”

      Since the Fed was able to simply levitate the equity markets with cheap credit without restoring the real economy, it is also likely they can continue to keep it inflating for so long as the financial economy can parasitise the real economy. You’d be amazed at how much blood a corpse has in it.

      It will likely be a long time before the financial economy actually crashes, but by then the real economy will have been bled dry and most people in the prey class will have been driven to despair any way.

      After all, the weak are meat and the strong will eat.

      • Observer
        Dec 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm

        Walter, do you think the Goldman Sachs directed economic policy we have in store for us under Trump would essentially be doubling down on this, hence hastening demise?

        • walter map
          Dec 9, 2016 at 8:15 pm

          I expect Goldman Squid to go with plan A and gorge themselves silly. Best stay out of range. No telling where that might be.

  17. walter map
    Dec 9, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    “If Everything is so Bullish, Why Are Bank Insiders Dumping Their Shares at Record Pace?”

    Because the exits are small.

    The banksters know when to cash in. After all, they’re the ones who engineer the booms and busts and have little confidence their minions at the Fed can keep the markets inflated indefinitely, what with all the double-dealing their masters have been perpetrating.

    • Chicken
      Dec 9, 2016 at 11:19 pm

      Their minions at the FED were hired to pump the market up so the banksters could dump into strength, near the top. Those minions are in line for cushy jobs after leaving their FED positions.

    • night-train
      Dec 10, 2016 at 3:24 am

      “Because the exits are small.” LOL

      Thanks for that. So true. And maybe the banksters see the window closing as well. Perhaps they foresee the damage the bankruptor-in-chief is likely to wreak. Take their profits now and buy back at a dime on the dollar.

      • nhz
        Dec 10, 2016 at 5:33 am

        Even worse: maybe they don’t see the window closing but KNOW when it is going to close. Never before has the owner of the Wall Street Casino (G$) had so much power in government. Not really related to Trump IMHO, things have been moving in this direction for many years. There will be insider profits like never before.

      • Chicken
        Dec 11, 2016 at 12:48 am

        US financial condition went from hero to zero overnight, LOL Never mind the debt doubled under the watchful eye of the exiting administration giving grants to technologies that are disruptive to the power grid.

  18. Robert
    Dec 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    How about the insiders dump their shares, Dow 21000 by Jan 20th, Dow 9000 by March, major bailout at the bottom, Dow record in a few years. Worked last time. Works every time, suckers.

    • night-train
      Dec 10, 2016 at 3:26 am

      You corrected my mistake. Why would banksters use their own money to buy the trash, when they can use our’s?

  19. kitten lopez
    Dec 9, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    PETUNIA:

    regarding my still being into “fashion”? ha! it’s my LIFE now and all i’m interested in my free time BECAUSE as an artist i really had to make sense of this venture in even a MYSTICAL way so that i’d be sure to weave my own secrets and reasons into my work so that i’d remain interested and in love.

    SO the update i wanted to give you is that i’m going even MORE away from my “the people’s clothing” idea and am going more towards making art of myself and this whole venture, even if it’s secret and only you all know about it away from home.

    i was listening to the music composer, John Zorn, talk about how people thinks he just runs out ideas willy nilly when he actually takes a TON of private ruminating time before executing it.

    it’s like that planned spontaneity thing i’d mentioned here earlier, although in what context i cannot recall. but like how guys have pick up lines to help them break ice. but my job is to not dance with the lines, but see how SPONTANEOUS one can be once you fuck his game up… then THAT’s the magic, and shows much of his TRUE character, right?

    so while i have tons of fabric for this jacket project all ready to go, i’ve got books on corsets and structure and tailoring and fitting… each of which, it turns out, is its own art. such that there used to even be a guild just for men to make corsets. women couldn’t make ’em (whale bone or steel took men’s stronger hands and women could sew home stuff but it took awhile for women to be able to even have their own guild… the more things change, right? ha!), anyhow, these are things i learned through all of my reading up on this.

    i say all this because like John Zorn, i need to know what’s involved before i jump. especially now. i’m older and although energetic, i MUST conserve energy as i see how precious it is (and why this site is my ONLY news site now that i bother to “handle” as nytimes or wsj just make me get that ancient feudal serf itchiness that i now cease to confuse with my life long but occasional before sleep panics about the vastness of the universe because i think my new horror at the vastness of the insanity of humanity is WORSE and makes even less sense than the cosmos to me now).

    i knew this would be long… point is, it’s ALL related to me. why am i making clothes? i love middle age because all the shit i loved when i was little but too chicken or broke (or so i thought) to take on, has entered my life now that i’ve “lost” (GAINED!) everything. i think you actually know what i mean, Petunia.

    and so i thought fashion is shallow. it may be. BUT right now when women and men look the same in made-in-china tubular clothes, poly cotton, bad seams, and no one has time or inclination to look great (san francisco is full of polar fleece/yoga pant level of giving a fuck).

    and now that i know that corsetry and tailoring and fitting are completely separate entire ARTS each unto its own, i’ve decided to wrap them all into ONE so that i may NEVER be bored. because i’ve also learned that fashion is about love and swagger and feeling good and inspiring those who SEE it, as well as those who WEAR it.

    fashion as i wanna do it—artistically and offline and … wait, for a writer i can’t write shit because i’ll get cheezy and go hollywood here and go cliche: as i do clothing, it will be HIGH ART like Jean Michel Basquiat and Warhol but with a lot of political “fuck you” even as i MUST sell to rich people. this could be high level bullshit, Miss Petunia, but that’s what makes epic megalomaniacal tightrope walking worth all this time and effort, right?

    i’m going to use my powers of promotion and seduction and LOVE to sell one of a kind high art JACKETS that i hope in promotion will inspire people to talk to each other and me or anyone who’s WEARING it. because it’ll be superhero clothing that makes the wearer feel great, as well as the LOOKER.

    i broke into tears when i opened Ari Seth Cohen’s ADVANCED STYLE: Older & Wiser from the library, because it had super fly old folks in wild sunglasses and crazy pretty colorful and fierce clothes. many spoke of the magic of getting ready to go outside, and the gifts given to others by giving a fuck about how good you look. i’d never seen “old” look so DAMN GOOD and i was so proud to be part of their species, i sobbed at the beauty of the reality of their ages and how they rejoiced in just BEING here.

    check it out.

    anyhow, so i now have political/social peace about what i wanna do. it’s not just shallow, ESPECIALLY now. and my idea is to take on Chris from Dallas’ idea of promoting just by BEING and EXISTING. if i could totally avoid the internet, i’ll feel like Chris Hedges meeting with Occupy and leaving their phones in their cars and writing then burning notes in the living room.

    i want other bicyclists to stop James or me to get artistic reflective clothing with their names on the back because my new theory is that if i can put “KITTEN” on the back of my jacket in this reflective fabric i got, along with ART images, then cars will be less likely to wanna kill someone with a name (ha!).

    so like John Zorn, the ideas are already begetting other ideas, and it’s getting cool and EPIC. it’s so out of hand already, i can’t imagine ever being bored. or finding the HEART. maybe that’s what Zorn was talking about. it takes awhile to find the heart so you can have a love affair that is solid protein and not fleeting infatuation.

    that’s my update. it sounds convoluted but i think art/ideas are always messy in their nascent stages. i cry over the state of things, but oddly, personally and artistically i’m actually flying regarding ideas and being open emotionally more fearlessly more and more.

    maybe this is our own version of “nostalgia for the closeness we had during the war.” but it’s HERE and NOW!

    so i’m okay with making special clothes for rich people now. not because i’ve sold my soul. but because things are what they are and i’d rather have FREE TIME to live and enjoy my life and health while i have it.

    i get tired of my own tendencies to live in theory. but as i realize how old this fucked up system is, i oddly feel less… i feel more like, “well, i can only do what i can do.” i feel less of that “american exceptionalism” and more like one little human trying to get along in the history of human beings.

    this is a new contradictory feeling i don’t quite have the words for just yet.

    but i have an inkling i’m just getting older. and i kinda like that because i’m not so silly or frantic and i end up laughing at stuff more even as i also cry easier.

    one of the women in Ari’s book, a red headed 90-something year old who makes her own beautifully absurdly LOOONG red long eyelashes with her own hair, she said that now it’s like she can see and feel people’s souls and i immediately felt like i wasn’t crazy because i feel that way now, too. i love it. people think i have special “powers,” but i laugh. i’m just LOOKING! paying ATTENTION!

    now i get that’s what all that “mystical” stuff really is. just paying attention. life is holy. being HERE is holy. i’m glad i “failed” at american success and can see it while i can still sit down on a regular toilet seat.

    those tall toilet seats always terrified me like a long tunnel of death. that’s why i do many squat reps at the gym. i think i’m okay with wrinkles and i do love laugh lines, but i never wanna grunt when i get up out of a chair unless i WANT to for dramatic emphasis!

    x

  20. james wordsworth
    Dec 9, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    This is very much looking like Reagan v.2. Lots of “kill regulation” and “unleash the economy”. The difference this time of course is that the debt levels at all levels are far higher so there is no pent up capacity to consume. In fact the tank is empty – so no matter how much they cut taxes or red tape it will have at best a minimal impact. This is looking a lot like a blow off top looking for a pin. Funnily enough it may be gas prices which for the last year have kept inflation low that may now act to push it higher giving the fed more of an excuse to raise more .. and finally get the ball rolling downhill

  21. Chicken
    Dec 9, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    The $US is trash, eh? Over the past 3 years, the dollar is higher vs a basket of major currencies by 21%.

    • Frederick
      Dec 10, 2016 at 12:33 am

      The best analogy Ive heard regarding the dollar is that its the best looking horse in the glue factory Perfect wouldnt you say Mr Chicken? Diversification is the only answer in todays bizarro world of finance IMO

    • Kent
      Dec 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

      King Dollar is what people want more of than anything, and it has far too much scarcity.

  22. night-train
    Dec 10, 2016 at 3:34 am

    I know the “get rid of the regulations” meme has cache. It sounds good and simple. People like that. But, before scrapping too many of these regs, educate yourself as to why they exist. Having worked in both the oil and environmental industries, I can assure you that many of them are in place to prevent previously committed sins by industry. Just look at how well getting rid of financial industry regs and not enforcing others has worked out.

    Unless you are Jamie Diamon; then never mind.

    • Chicken
      Dec 11, 2016 at 1:01 am

      Regulations that make it impossible to manufacture anything in favor of globalism, gotta break eggs to make omelets.

      • night-train
        Dec 11, 2016 at 3:28 am

        Never said that reviewing regulations from time to time wasn’t a good idea. Like all else, the devil is in the details. There are those among us who would like to see all regulations go away and have a dog eat dog world. On the whole, US regulations are designed to protect the weak from the powerful. Now is definitely not the time for wholesale reg destruction. The powerful already have more than enough weapons to use against the rest of us.

      • Sound of the Suburbs
        Dec 11, 2016 at 7:47 am

        One of the first regulations was the abolition of slavery.

        Slaves are the ideal for maximising profit.

        Today multi-nationals chase around the world to find workers who are closest to the ideal (slaves).

        Sweat shops are as close as they can get with all those darned regulations.

        • d
          Dec 11, 2016 at 8:41 am

          “Today multi-nationals chase around the world to find workers who are closest to the ideal (slaves).”

          The British abolished slavery without firing a shot, as they deduced that it was inefficient.

          You had to pay to feed and keep slaves, when they were unproductive, or dispose of them in a bad market at a loss.

          American agricultural producers using slaves would have run into that problem in time. As wars were no longer returning free slaves to war-maker nations. Which is were Rome and various other slave keeping society, got many of their new slaves from.

          Casual workers are actually cheaper than slaves, as you dont have the fixed overheads that go with slaves.

          Casual workers in much of the world live worse than slaves did, as it is economically counter productive to allow slaves to starve to death, or become to unhealthy to work.

          The same does not apply to casual worker’s.

          The Industrialized Holocaust kept the average unskilled healthy laborer, for 90 days as that was all the time most of them could survive on subsistence nourishment, and be able to work effectively. In the regions near extermination centers.

          The multi nationals who continuously chase the cheapest labour and do not move with the times. Are those that will fail first as the cost of continuously moving on effects long term profitability and when they run out of cheap labour they will not be able to compete.

          These days they have been all over SE Asia and are moving back into Bangladesh and india.

          Textiles moved from Bangladesh to china as china had better machinery, now china has higher labour cost and textiles are moving back to Bangladesh.

          From Bangladesh and india, where do you go to get cheaper this time?.

          Nike, and evil company, one of the leading global job exporters and labour exploiters, has moved some production back to the US, off course into robot factory’s.

          When the leading global labour exploiter comes home, the writing is on the wall.

          The next stage is robots, and its now, not when

          Get with the times.

          +

          The other big Question is.

          When and how are country’s like the US going to deal with the huge, unskilled, unemployed, asset-less, population mass. Which the US is still importing

          The Caribbean tax havens have got rid of most of theirs, by making it to expensive for them to survive there.

          Japan has huge money printing issues, and has an ageing and shrinking population problem.

          Or does it.

          A country that deliberately makes it extremely expensive, to, have, keep, and educate children, in a compulsory education society.

          A country that after all this time, is encouraging, almost driving, it’s mothers back into the work force.

          The Japanese have long term (multi generationally) obviously got Economics and Society very wrong, or ??????.

        • Sound of the Suburbs
          Dec 12, 2016 at 5:37 am

          Noam Chomsky said US slave owners argued that they treated their slaves better because they owned them rather then renting them (the wage slave).

          It was a valid argument at the time.

          The UK compensated its slave owners for the loss of their property, not the slaves.

        • d
          Dec 12, 2016 at 5:53 am

          “The UK compensated its slave owners for the loss of their property, not the slaves.”

          The lords of the time.

          Considered the freedom granted, and I believe immediate Equal citizenship, a great benefit to the slaves.

          Whereas in America, there was a strong, send them all back to Africa sentiment, post emancipation.

  23. roddy6667
    Dec 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Insiders selling stocks, building Doomsday bunkers and buying “vacation property” in countries with no extradition policy?

    Nothing to see here, folks. Move along, nothing going on.

  24. kitten lopez
    Dec 11, 2016 at 10:58 am

    this is for KENT from our little bit above.

    i’m glad you reminded me of the FDR thing where he did the WPA and welfare so that he could “save capitalism.” i NEVER really totally GOT THAT until you answered me above so i’m GRATEFUL for that piece!!!

    James and i talked a lot about it and a ton of serendipity is going on connected with the great conversations on this site:

    so i just finished Chris Hedges’ book, UNSPEAKABLE, and it is like a sermon to ALL this that we’ve been speaking about. the interview format allowed for jumping around from imperialism to porn and why we’re HERE and i’m gonna re-read it a few times because it was short but intense like ESPRESSO. i got a beautiful existential kinda vertigo for a change. but there are a lot of authors they mention, and like creativity and art, i need to find MY way of existing and fighting in all this so that i may maintain energy and not be depleted.

    after reading Hedges, i feel deeply re-connected to the activists and Qakers and religious people i grew up around who’d calmly take a punch and teach me how to stand up for what i believed in while being terrified… but you do it and there’s some kind of “transcendence”. sublime madness i think they call it.

    this book IS dangerous because i recognize it as a super intense “handbook” for bad asses who wanna learn HOW to turn their bad assness for good.

    and what you WROTE made me think of THIS that i just saw as i was looking up HEDGES’ more recent post-Trump articles on Truth Dig. it’s so related to what you were telling me about people coming together when they’re FORCED to and about what the Standing Rock action did to HEAL internal anguish of being disconnected to their history and each other on the reservations where there’ve been rampant despair and addictions:

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/truthdiggers_of_the_week_the_water_protectors_at_standing_rock_20161211

    i cannot thank you enough.

    i cannot thank ALL the people here, enough. even Event Horizon!

    because on a more personal note, i realized i’m not feeling fear of general “white people” like i have been of late. i know a lot, if not most all, the folks here are white and the kindness here has reminded me to get over my smaller fears and terrors and what i’m seeing going on around here.

    i fear liberal elite white people in san francisco way more than any “good ole boy” in mississippi. but when you hate everyone, it’s a waste of god and our humanity and i THANK YOU EACH for reminding me of what i’m really about.

    i used to say i just got to joke about my irritation with white folks. but it’s a way of thinking. and as i read Chris Hedges, he REMINDED me. it’s the elite. and yeah, the liberal elite because they TELL you how good they are while they’re eating your legs.

    so i had to admit this because it’s HOLY to bring anyone from the brink of hate so that they may point in the right direction.

    check out that link above about the larger (beautifully dangerous) beauty that is coming out of the Standing Rock stand off. it made me SMILE in every cell of my body.

    thank you. this place is so beautiful, it’s gotta be mad DANGEROUS. Wolf… as an artist, this is all a game of good energy “tag,” and i tap you to be ever aware of diversifying what you’ve built here on this internet, so that it can move should it NEED to in the future.

    this is hardly just a money site. ha! something beautiful and powerful is constantly emerging here in relative quiet.

    i love it. i KNOW what i’m looking at. i’ve FELT this before when i was a kid.

    x

    • Sound of the Suburbs
      Dec 12, 2016 at 5:33 am

      I’ve just ordered a copy, I didn’t know who Chris Hedges was but recognised his picture.

      I have seen him talking on YouTube and he says some good stuff, so fingers crossed for the book.

      • kitten lopez
        Dec 12, 2016 at 12:19 pm

        SOUND OF THE SUBURBS:

        good morning!

        (i love the conversations that go on this far south as Wolf’s original post gets older, because it gets more interesting way down here at the bottom…like hanging outside in the cold rain with the smokers.)

        you wrote: “Be careful, its a pretty depressing book. / You’ll find out things are much worse than you ever imagined. / It does look as though this ideology is starting to break down now, but it will probably get worse before it gets better.”

        THAT right there is becoming a constant state for me as i try to find god in this meandering slaughterhouse that is america. and i also believe and know that things usually get worse before better as people double down out of panic, insanity, habit, or simply grabbing what’s left.

        i’ll be excited to see what you get out of the Hedges book, as there’s SO much in there. as for Naomi Klein’s SHOCK DOCTRINE, i actually saw (and reserved) the documentary based on the book to watch first with James.

        i’ve started a “to read/watch” list from all the recommendations i’m getting on here. added Raymond Rogers’ suggestion for the series on Youtube titled the “Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

        while we’re at it, i wanted to APOLOGIZE for suggesting this last season of South Park, for it went beyond jumping all the sharks and went the way most art/writing/movies seem to dissolve into a puddle of “whaaat?”

        BUT i will make up for it by suggesting a movie from 2015 that i think is on netflix that James got the DVD for at the library:

        The movie is “HE NEVER DIED” with Henry Rollins. it’s not overtly political or anything. in fact, i’d suggest that if you’re in the mood to not know anything, just watch it without reading the jacket copy or any reviews because i have so little faith in fiction movies being remotely interesting anymore, however this movie felt like how independent movies used to feel adventurous in the ’90s.

        i almost quit watching for the first 25 minutes because i thought it was going to be one of those cute/quirky alternative films but Henry Rollins does this amazingly unique and perfect performance where his TIMING is so good and his delivery so DEADPAN in a brilliant way, i have no idea how he pulled it off so he’s INTERESTING. many contradictory things so it’s magic that you give a fuck.

        in fact, all the actors in that movie did a great job of being their own characters and not cliches.

        and it made me THINK, which “entertainment” doesn’t make me do and “art” is dead to me, like even Hedges was talking about happening with the hollowing out of america’s last bit of soul.

        PETUNIA:

        if you’ve made it this far down, this late since the posting, i have your fashion movie down on my list but it’s ONLY on netflix and i don’t subscribe anymore. so i’ll keep an eye out for it to reappear elsewhere later.

        x

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