Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 97 of 100, Vol. 2

The reading group is successful and a great source of encouragement in my life. Once a month I have the opportunity of meeting with my fellows and having intelligent conversation using a work important to civilization as the prompt. The kinds of engagement that pursues is rarely achieved outside of the academy, and in distinction to university and college campuses, engaged in enthusiastically without attention split between the pursuit of truth and career and academic advancement. In the civilization I should like to be apart of these kind of conversations would occur while in the check out line of a super market. In our every quickly degenerating culture its good to have them at all. Our next meeting we will consider “The Laugh of the Medusa” written by Helen Cixous in a shared inquiry that is sure to be provocative.

I have found material that forms a nexus around human needs psychology and integral psychology which I am studying and it is providing boons. The work is immediately applicable to my case load. That said I have been thinking about reducing my hours and lightening my case load. Not now but in the future I will limit myself to nine clients. The reason for this is so that I can focus on writing and my fund both of which require a great deal of mental energy. Clients are like books and there lives become my business. Each one an individual enterprise. In the future I will have to lower my concerns so that I can produce greater quality. Quality not quantity is key to life.

This last month proved problematic for the trading methodology I have been testing for my futures fund. There are numerous complected components that I have integrated and would be impossible for me to model without a computer. Simply put if it wasn't for computers I would not be bothering myself with this venture. I have added two more filters for determining trading opportunities. There is good argument to be made to computerize the entry and exits so that they are executed automatically but I have human resistance to that notion. I think, perhaps incorrectly, given the difficulties around human error, that a human being should be at the trigger of those trades. Thus leaving one discretionary element in the game based on live human reason. Call me old fashion. But then caution is warranted as I am trading with live funds and if I have it correct in the next hundred days cycle I will have another income stream and profitable business which will require me to, as I have said already, lighten my other responsibilities.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Fed, Wall Street, and the Presidential Election

While I still vote out of nostalgia for the democracy and civil liberties we once had ... my experience with the market tells me that this specific election is in the hands of the Fed and Wall Street.

No incumbent President has ever won the election with the stock market in a downturn and the stock market can't keep at these levels without more quantitative easing ... or money suddenly coming in from the sidelines which is now being horded by corporations around the globe .... before we go to the polls.

Conversely incumbents have Teflon and can do all sorts of things, legal or otherwise, when the market is rising. The Dow is almost at 13,000 now. Should it break 13,000 ... an indication that Obama has the confidence of Wall Street will be it remaining above 11,000 as we go into vote. The 10,000 range means something of a contest leaning in direction of Romney. Anything in the 9,000 range means an insured Romney victory.

From Wall Streets perspective as of today ... both candidates will do nicely. Its just a question of how they dot their I's and cross their T's. Till then we will have this bread and circus election ... the bread of fundraising for the candidates and the circus of the campaigns ... which by and large has no substance or meaning at all beyond the inflammatory meant to frighten us into shelling out money for the various election funds and super pac's. One must remember in our market economy an elected official is a commodity and brand. There is money to made in the careful and well timed fluctuation of those brands value as measured on the spot market of what we call election polls.

Speculating into the future with no crystal ball ... nor a memo from those in key positions to know ... I would think Obama will be the next President of the United States. While the US stock market should decline in the next few months in a dramatic leg down it will be answered with one of the following: The E.U. tanks sometime next year due to its economic crisis an money flows into our markets as a "safe haven" and stocks rise ... or ... as long as Industrial Capacity Utilization is under or at 80% or thereabouts quantitative easing will have no short term risk of hyperinflation.

And should Capacity Utilization rise above 80% the second Obama term will declare victory and dismantlement the stimulus plan, and when the domestic stock market decline again, take us into a war with Iran ... which would be the Romney agenda as well.

Still ... its important to think we have choice. The nation is built on us believing that is so.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Order out of Chaos and Chaos out of Order

The problem is this consistent shift between enveloping mimetic layers that is the human progress. From dyad to monad to dyad to monad each layer more comprehensive containing the other but also dependent on its continued existence. The two forms of critical theory in competition for the heart of globalism is one that wishes to destroy the thin layer of monadic humanism bellow thinking to release capital over authority from current limitations to establish a new world order based on a projected dynamic corporatism and the other seeking to strengthen that humanistic layer synthesizing it with extended responsibilities to the biosphere in order to extend a governing civil society to include interconnectedness with ecological limits.

The first notion is ascendent and through finance is using the second notion as a means to paper over its end. It is because the spiritual commitment to humanity and the biosphere over finance through human solidarity and security that the second notion requires to succeed is not in place within its ranks. The result is that the ugly face of competition masks itself when necessary with the happy face of the Green since both when drunk with power can agree on one thing ... depopulation.

The ugly face of competition, when the time is right, has the means and power through finance, upon which the Green is dependent and still addicted, to throw him or her upon the bonfire of radical and quick depopulation which the Green in principle is not against. Through this critical lack of compassion and chink in the chain upon which human rights are dependent the Green can be outmaneuvered and piloted towards an end it basically agrees with through political means it otherwise does not but is too weak to stand against in the twisted hope to gain power in the catastrophic aftermath.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I have been revising my opinions on the economy of late ...

I no longer agree with the deflationists that we will be just like Japan. That is to say in a condition of continued deflation which would be the result of keeping alive bankrupt (zombie) banks and corporations (though indeed there are already any number of zombie banks and corporations, to be sure, but our situation is different in kind from that of Japan in that the United States is capable of imperial action and foreign adventure and the Japaneses currently are not).

I also part with those predicting hyperinflation because I don’t believe Open Market Operations will have the inflationary impact they believe will occur. I say this because bank lending, the best tool for inflating money supply, will remain constrained and be a drag on the economy. This means I believe when the economy has gone into a double-dip decline between now and 2016 (or thereabouts, I have no crystal ball) the Fed will create ways to inflate using Open Market Operations that will be effective while government and business collude to create wars and an eventual green technologies bubble that should measure 27 trillion dollars when it goes bust. This is to say there are many tools at hand to keep the day of reckoning or any true democratic solution at bay.

This means hardship and increasing third world conditions in the United States for for everyone but the top 20% of our society and a kind of serfdom or corporate indenture existence for any individual within the top 20% who cannot integrate themselves into a global economy through a direct relationship with the financial markets.

Even I am amazed at how the ideas of Keynes and von Hayek are being so deftly used in concert to social engineer events so that majority will vote against their own interests within the domestic two party system. Unless you have 5 million dollars in liquidity your short and long term interests as citizen are not included on the bargaining table except as disposable collateral marketing pieces of a rhetorical nature meant to garner your vote and ratification for your current increasing marginalization and economic (and therefore political) demise.

There will be protest like in Wisconsin and the Occupy Movement, and there may be sporadic incidence of riots, but nothing that will not or cannot be contained. I see no mass action on the part of labor which will be content to be the ATM machine of the democratic party hoping to live off the scraps of access. There is still too much wealth to be squandered and only people who who can't feed themselves revolt. Access to bread and circuses even for the most squalid will continued to be provided in one form or another.

The noise you think is a bang is actually a whimper. Still if you are a humanist, if ever there was a time to live for future memory, now is that time in accordance with your highest ideals with courage to confront coupled with realistic acceptance of your basest impulses and drives. In a sentence … work on your soul and find a way to serve others.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Curbing My Enthusiasm Over The S&P 500

Last week I found myself enthusiastic for the potential of a new bull market.  However the week has sobered my assessment.  While there are plenty of technical indications for confidence in a bull market, economics, market psychology, and behavioral finance tell us another story.   Technical indicators as well as actual price of the S&P 500 index are excellent indication of social mood and analysis suggests to us that euphoria has taken market participants into a dangerous herding formation.  A formation I myself fell under for the last week until again recovering my individuality and reason.  One must take a broader view of this market and be willing to recognize the distinct probability that we are topping out and that the next leg is one of decline.  Indeed contrarian indications are so pronounced we must step aside from the herd and announce our bearishness.  We are suggesting caution informed by realistic pessimism.

A sobering warning comes from Laurence D. Fink, chief executive of BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, urging investors earlier last week in Hong Kong to “be 100 percent in equities.” He later said in Beijing his call was aimed at getting cash back into the capital markets. One can hear his unspoken concerns that this bull rally in a bear market has exhausted itself without new infusions of capital.  Panic masked by enthusiasm are illustrative and indicative of impending turns of fortune.

I believe that the problems demonstrated in Greece specifically and the Eurozone in general are systemic and will continue to unravel.  Capital will pour into US Treasuries and United States stock market, but that will only bring immediate attention into the systemic problems of our economy now being overlooked, causing a failure in confidence.  Currently I don't see a bottom in the market before 2016 or thereabouts and I believe (with horrible consequence) war with Iran in some form or another will be the sign that the bottom is in place.  Subsequently I favor trading over investing believing that in short term that would be the best place to apply enthusiasm garnered by technical indicators as any further gains in this market I suspect will be short lived.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 16 of 100, Vol. 2

This weekend on February 4th one goal will be achieved, which will provide a great deal of joy in my life. Not just pleasure, like watching a television program or entertaining movie, but joy. I have revived my chapter of the Great Books Foundation: “The Self Preservation Society” which ironic title at first reading seems to point to self-serving rapacious activity. But a deeper reading reveals that I am referring--in a Platonic manner--to the Self with a capital S and not the self with a small s. In other words I mean to foster a monthly meeting where the Self has its place and the individuals who come to enjoy shared inquiry into an important text of Western Civilization also have a place to live out their portion of that Self through discussion. These once a month meetings will be one of the specific lodestars I have operating in my life for meaning.

I once sponsored a Great Books reading group before and enjoyed doing so. These texts provoke the deepest thoughts and grappling for those who read and discuss them. They also unlock aspirations and more often than not reveal personal folly. For those who can apprehend the opportunity they are superior to forms of group therapy in attenuating oneself, as the focus shifts from the individual to the text and then, in the compass of individual thought, to the persons themselves. That is taken away in solitude but later can be shared as culture.

I have committed to sitting on an ongoing peer to peer panel at Kaiser Permanente that focuses on the emotions; specifically anger and fear as they affect patients both in and after treatment as residual symptoms. I presented a case last week and will do so as often as possible. This panel is also becoming something of a lodestar and is a boon both professionally and personally. While my professional focus includes, among other things, an archetypal appreciation of symptoms this panel with its reductive, even repetitive, cognitive behavioral bias, serves as something like a tonic.

I changed brokers this month, which has kept my trading funds tied up for a month in bureaucratic administration. They will be available tomorrow which means commitment of actual funds towards a practical application of a financial behavioral theory I have been studying. It is through this activity, which sometime in the future I plan to turn into an investment opportunity for others, I will fulfill a personal goal towards entrepreneurship.

Using spiral dynamics one can postulate three general levels of potential mimetic cyclical forms of human behavior that have predetermined points of change (each of which can be further defined with additional layers of specificity and points of inflection). For my purpose I use the terms foundational, entrepreneurial, and theoretical. Foundational life requires effort, entrepreneurial life is delineated by leverage, and finally theoretical life through ratification. I have been living in the borderland of foundational and entrepreneurial life for some time now using those who have been theoretically ratified as my guide.

I see as I move forward that my private practice as a counselor is a personal demonstration of foundational living, My trading practice and its eventual evolution into an investment opportunity will demonstrate entrepreneurial competency. What I will do at the theoretical level which requires ratification remains unconscious. Towards uncovering that I intend to spend this year learning and applying Ira Progoff's method for an intensive journal and see what the unconscious can reveal.

Saturday, January 21, 2012