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Wednesday, 30 November 2005

Real Estate is on the lips of all these days!

"If the elevator operator recommends buying, you should have sold long ago." Henry Ford, 1929.

The dynamics of real estate are complicated. Unlike the stock, commodity, and bond markets, objective market data is hard to find in the real estate market!

Is that an offer? No, it's an appraisal!

Consequently, hyperbole and deception are rampant in the real estate arena. A recent example of the lack of objective data in the real estate sector was revealed in this recent article.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. housing market has gone from boom to bust to boom again, if you believe the recent data.

"Just a day after the National Association of Realtors declared that home sales had peaked, the U.S. government reported record new-home sales for October."

"The contradictory data have investors and economists scratching their heads. Has the housing bubble has popped? Or is it still growing?"

You don't have to be a Phi Beta Kappa from the College of William and Mary to see that this is a script right out of a lunatic asylum.

One can spend one's time speculating on the cause of this contradictory gibberish, or one can just ignore the effluents emanating from these mental aberrants. I opt to ignore all of their ilk.

There is one obvious undeniable fact. The majority of the citizens are now comfortably ensconced in massive amounts of long term debt.

Mr. And Mrs. Main Street have bought their ticket, and they will get their ride! What motivated them to buy tickets on the real estate ride?

Perhaps they were too busy to go to Disneyland that weekend!

Alas, this argument is easily disproved.

The folks in California and Florida have bought a lot of the most expensive seats on the real estate choo- choo train!

We need to search elsewhere for the primary motivation.

When a mass phenomenon occurs, there must be an underlying cause. Let's see if we can identify that cause!

Some years back, Dick Stoken did an extensive study on the nature of cycles.

One of his conclusions involved the propensity of people to repeat past behavior.

Stoken's research found that the younger generation will try to repeat behavior that had a positive outcome for their parents.

This conditioning is mother's milk.Therefore, this premise will never be checked by the younger generation.

Worked for Ma and Pa, and it'll work for me!

This sounds reasonable enough!

A quick review of the older generation's experience is order!

A slow but relentless devaluation of the dollar.
A slow but continuous increase in Social Security Benefits.
The creation of Medicare/Medicaid.
A continual rise in corporate pensions.
A massive rise in government pensions.
A general rise in real estate prices.

What, Us Worry!

Naturally, the younger generation has been conditioned to extrapolate this historical experience into the future!

No Worries, Mate! Just go with the flow!

Now we must add an old truism.No group ever believes that there will be a major change in their lifetime.

Now we'll put all the ingredients into our cauldron, and bring it to a slow boil. Carefully add eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat, tongue of dog, and season to taste with hemlock! Serve when cold, adding interest only variable mortgages for garnish!

As they connect their seat belts and shoulder harnesses, let's conjure up a view of their coming ride on the choo- choo train to the Brave New World!

Looking through our looking glass, we see Alice, the real estate agent, hurriedly throwing her toiletries, stacks of cash, and a passport into a suitcase.

Camouflaged in her saffron robes, and equipped with her suitcase, her copy of the Kabbalah, and her worry beads, she tells the limousine driver to go to the airport quickly!

Quasimodo, a former mortgage banker, is heading for the nearest cathedral, bellowing sanctuary, sanctuary.

Morey, the former real estate appraiser, has just put an ad on EBAY "My Kingdom for a Passport"

The former General Manager of the Queen's Banks main office in Washington DC (the FED) has been seen standing on the top of Bellvue Hospital in N. Y. C. screaming "I love the smell of mortgage defaults in the morning!"

The major supermarkets are running their usual special, a free Condominium with every $25.00 purchase (liquor and tobacco products excluded)

A number of former elected representatives have moved to their reserved prisons cells.

Warm, fed, and safe from the angry mobs on the streets, they are brainstorming to create the latest MLM (Multilevel Marketing) program to pick up the last of the wealth.

Ford and General Motors have merged, and have converted their unsold inventory of trucks into mobile pawnshops and check cashing services. The large trucks have been converted into mobile video poker salons.

The now property less debtors (see the new bankruptcy laws) have not yet grasped the simple concept that they have been reduced to their historical status as serfs and slaves.As long as they are all reduced to serfs and slaves, they will be content.

Some readers will feel that I am developing an overly pessimistic, and a very implausible forecast.

However, the brokerage industry has started releasing their real estate forecasts, and these forecasts are a real wake up call.

In her article "Housing bubble's burst dreaded", Ellen Simon of AP, revealed the following:

"The demographic story behind the housing market boom, as we always thought, was a giant hoax," wrote Merrill Lynch & Co.'s North American Economist, David Rosenberg, in a recent report.

A downturn in housing could mean more than 1.3 million lost jobs, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts, bumping up the national unemployment rate by 1 percent and the unemployment rate in house-mad California by 2 percent.

These numbers don't include likely job cuts in housing-dependent businesses, such as banking, furniture and building materials.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research predicts worse, saying a bubble burst would mean the loss of 5 million to 6.3 million jobs.

Another indicator, unsold homes sitting on the market, also points down. The ratio of inventories to sales has been rising rapidly in recent months and now stands at its highest level since 1996, according to Wachovia Corp.

Rents provide more evidence of an imbalance between supply and demand. Since World War II ended, sale prices for homes have generally kept pace with the overall rate of inflation, and rents moved at the same pace. That hasn't been the case for the last eight years, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

"There has been no significant increase in rents, which would be expected if the run-up in house prices were explained by the fundamentals of the housing market," wrote Dean Baker, the center's co-director.

Then, there's the problem of affordability. Affordability for first-time home buyers is the worst it has been in 20 years, which brings to mind an old parable about the stock market.

A woman buys up a company's stock, driving up the price as she goes. Eventually, she tells her broker to sell.

His response: "To whom?"

"House prices are at the mountain top," Zandi said. "All roads lead down. It's just a question of how steeply."

"A final nightmare scenario: A federal bailout of the mortgage market is likely if housing crashes, the center predicts.

So, if corporate pension funds continue to falter and this dire prediction does come true, the Feds could conceivably be holding your mortgage and your pension."

All of this said, we still don't have a confirmed bear market in housing stocks.A rational investor would wait until the herd's fuel tank is empty prior to commencing short selling operations.

It's understood that you have already cashed out your long holdings. Keep your powder dry, and watch the wildebeest herd carefully to select the weakest targets.

In closing, we should always remember that brokerage houses are notorious for painting the rosiest picture possible. If this principle applies to the opinions that were given to Ellen Simon, it's going to be very ugly!

NEW YORK (Fortune) - Tom Barrack, arguably the world's greatest real estate investor, is methodically selling off his U.S. real estate holdings as prices drive the market to nosebleed levels. Perhaps Tom Barrack knows better than to listen to real estate brokers, and local newspapers!
We need to remind you that the new credit card payment rules go into effect in January. This will be a shock to the budgets of many people.
Last, but not least, are the coming changes in the tax law. There is a good chance that homeowner deductions for interest expense and property taxes are history. The new US tax laws are just being written, so it's a little early to state with certainty about the coming changes. The tax subsidies for real estate may be over.
"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." Charles Mackay

Wayne N. Krautkramer

Posted by onlypill at 6:48 PM PST
Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005 6:58 PM PST
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Saturday, 2 July 2005
"Liberal" Justices Turn Back Clock ... To the Year 1215
You no longer own your own home or have the right to buy one. This is due to an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, approved June 23. No, this amendment didn't pass both houses of Congress and three fourths of the state legislatures, in what is whimsically termed "the amendment process." Rather, our Constitution was amended in the usual way, by judicial fiat. In essence, five Supreme Court justices -- John Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Anthony Kennedy -- voted that you no longer own your own home.
That's the result of Kelo v. City of New London, in which, according to dissenting Justice Clarence Thomas: "The court has erased the Public Use Clause from our Constitution."
That's right. A whole Constitutional clause, a clause that protected your property from arbitrary government expropriation, erased by five justices. At least with flag burning, the issue is undergoing the official amendment process.
But to understand Kelo, let me first give you some historical background. Back in olden days, all land was owned by a "sovereign," that is, a king, tsar, pope, or emperor. This sovereign leased his land to vassals, i.e., lords, barons, knights, and other titled nobility. Vassals could use the land so long as they served the sovereign. (See the bargain struck in the movie, Excalibur.) Because the sovereign owned the land, he could always repossess it.
In 1215, the English nobles decided this was a bad deal. They asked King John to sign Magna Carta, restricting his ability to reclaim the land. King John agreed, mostly because the nobles had brought plenty of swords. Peasants still owned no land, but the times, they were a changin'.
A big change occurred in 1776, when Americans decided that "the people" were sovereign, owning the land and the powers to govern it and themselves. In 1789, they delegated some of those powers to the government via the Constitution, while also restricting those powers through the ten Bill of Rights. For instance, the Fifth Amendment says: "No person shall be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Thus, "the people," being sovereign and owning all the land, can, through their elected representatives, take your property, but only if (1) the taking is for a "public use" (traditionally, a road, school, or other public project), and (2) you're paid "just compensation" (theoretically, fair market value).
With Kelo, according to Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court "erased" the Public Use Clause. Now government can take your property for any reason at all.
In Kelo, the city of New London, CT, had condemned 15 homes so that private developers may build offices, a hotel, pricier homes, and a pedestrian path along the Thames River. The homeowners sued the city, trying to save their homes by arguing that private development was not a public use. The city said it was, because offices and pricier homes would generate more tax revenue.
The Supreme Court agreed with the city.
Justice Stevens wrote: "Promoting economic development is a traditional and long-accepted function of government. ... [T]here is no basis for exempting economic development from our traditionally broad understanding of public purpose."
But if private use is a public use, and public use is a public use, then everything is a public use -- and the Public Use Clause has no meaning. As Justice O'Connor said in her dissent: "Who among us can say she already makes the most productive or attractive use of her property? ... Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded. ... Nothing is to prevent the state from replacing any Motel 6 with a Ritz-Carlton, any home with a shopping mall, or any farm with a factory."
Is she right? With the Public Use Clause erased, what will prevent the state from replacing any home or business with a "nicer" business? Nothing but the good intentions of back room politicians. Seriously. According to Justice Stevens, the very cities and states condemning the land can best determine "local public needs," and their judgements are "entitled to our deference."
That's like letting the accused decide whether he's guilty.
The result is that politically-connected developers can now use state muscle to force those of modest income to sell their homes at below market rates, while wealthy homeowners are protected by their own political clout. (I say "at below market rates," because if developers paid homeowners their asking price -- the true definition of "market rate" -- there'd be no need to condemn land, as every owner has his price). As Justice O'Connor put it: "The government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more."
So it seems the times are a changin' again. Only now we're going backwards, to about 1215, when only nobles could protect their land from the king, the peasants at the mercy of both. And ironically, it's the more "liberal" justices who are turning back the clock.
Thomas M. Sipos is Vice Chair of the L.A.-Westside Region of the California Libertarian Party. His books & bio at:

Posted by onlypill at 3:18 PM PDT
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Thursday, 23 June 2005
This study begins with World War One. This war has been selected to begin our analysis because it was the war created by Woodrow Wilson. It was the war to "End All Wars", and to "Make the World Safe for Democracy". Let us see just what the cost was for allowing big government to emerge. We show the real cost of later wars to see just how much war war was eliminated by Woerld War One. We already know that World War One was a total failure at "making the world safe for democracy".

World War One

Military Casualties

Killed Wounded POW/MIA Total Casualties 8,528,831 21,189,154 7,750,919 37,466,304

US Military Casualties
53,512 298,198 Unknown 342,710

World War Two

Military and Civilian Casualties

20,000,000 (approx.)Unknown Unknown 80,000,000 (approx.) Includes civilians

US Military Casualties

407,000 500,000 Unknown 907,000

Korean War
Military and Civilian Casualties

159,000 Unknown Unknown 3.5 to 4 million est.
Includes civilians

US Military Casualties

142,000 103,284 Unknown 245,284

Vietnam War

Military and Civilian Casualties

500,000-600,000 Unknown Unknown 15 million

US Military Casualties
51,184 304,000 Unknown 362,184

Military and Civilian Casualties To Date
This tally begins with World War One and ends with Vietnam

Unknown Unknown Unknown 136.5 million

US Military Casualties

660,697 1,205,482 Unknown 1,857,179

Posted by onlypill at 5:03 PM PDT
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Let Us Define Our Terms, and Learn the Principles that a Communist Lives by! Proudly Presenting the Communist Manifesto
The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.
But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to Communism.
We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.
The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.
Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.
These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.
Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralisation of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.
When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

If you subscribe to the principles shown above, you are, by defintion, a Communist!

Posted by onlypill at 5:01 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 June 2005 5:05 PM PDT
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Wednesday, 20 October 2004
Now Playing: Technical analysis
The Commitments of Traders report is now being referred to as a conspiracy by some writers. Others are claiming the Commercials are wrong, and that the Speculators are correct. Another camp claims the Large Commercials (Hedgers) are never wrong. A quick analysis should assist us in resolving this controversy.


The first Commitments of Traders (COT) report was published for 13 agricultural commodities as of June 30, 1962. At the time, this report was proclaimed as "another step forward in the policy of providing the public with current and basic data on futures market operations." Those original reports were compiled on an end-of-month basis and were published on the 11th or 12th calendar day of the following month.

Over the years, in a continuous effort to better inform the public about futures markets, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has improved the COT in several ways. The COT report is published more often--switching to mid-month and month-end in 1990, to every 2 weeks in 1992, and to weekly in 2000. The COT report is released more quickly--moving the publication to the 6th business day after the "as of" date (1990) and then to the 3rd business day after the "as of" date (1992). The report includes more information--adding data on the numbers of traders in each category, a crop-year breakout, and concentration ratios (early 1970s) and data on option positions (1995). The report also is more widely available--moving from a subscription-based mailing list to fee-based electronic access (1993) to being freely available on the Commission's internet website (1995).

The COT reports provide a breakdown of each Tuesday's open interest for markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or above the reporting levels established by the CFTC. The weekly reports for Futures-Only Commitments of Traders and for Futures-and-Options-Combined Commitments of Traders are released every Friday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Reports are available in both a short and long format. The short report shows open interest separately by reportable and nonreportable positions. For reportable positions, additional data are provided for commercial and non-commercial holdings, spreading, changes from the previous report, percents of open interest by category, and numbers of traders. The long report, in addition to the information in the short report, also groups the data by crop year, where appropriate, and shows the concentration of positions held by the largest four and eight traders.

Current and historical Commitments of Traders data are available on the Internet at the Commission's website: Also available at that site are historical COT data going back to 1986 for futures-only reports and to 1995 for option-and-futures-combined reports.

We now know that the COT is a government generated report that publicizes the total commoditity futures positions held by each of the two main categories (Commercial, and Non-Commercial). This report is issued weekly by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). This allows one to see the changes in their holdings.

It is very questionable that the COT report represents a conspiracy of some kind, given the source, and the continual updates of the information. This would require a massive government conspiracy, covering numerous agencies.


This part of the study becomes murky. It appears that there are three differing opinions. The basic argument comes down to their belief in a "battle" between the Large Commercials (Hedgers), and the Large Speculators. Each side either believes that their "team" is the superior in terms of success, or that the COT is irrelevant. In the interest of objectivity, I will present all positions.

The Forecasting Methodology By William L. Jiler COMMODITY RESEARCH BUREAU

Basically, we tried to determine the "forecasting" performance of the major identifiable groups of market participant--Large Hedgers, Large Speculators, and Small Traders. It was logical to assume that the larger and more sophisticated traders should have market insights that would enable them to predict futures price movements, if not infallibly, at least more accurately than the small traders who presumably included the "uninformed public." We also thought it was possible that the sizes of the various market positions, at different times, could well result in a type of self-fulfilling prophecy.

From the statistics in the "Commitments if Traders" report, we were able to approximate the net positions at the end of each month for Large Hedgers, Large Speculators, and Small Traders. We averaged their month-end statistics over a number of years to find out what their normal positions would be at any given time of the year. We then compared each group's actual position with their so-called normal position. Whenever their positions deviated materially from the norm, we took it as a measure of their bullish or bearish attitude on the market.

By studying subsequent price movements, we were able to establish "track records" for each of the groups. As anticipated, we found that Large Hedgers and Large Speculators had the best forecasting records, and the Small Traders the worst, by far. We were somewhat surprised to find that the Large Hedgers were consistently superior to the Large Speculators. However, the predictive results for the Large Speculators varied widely from market to market.

The differences between their current net open interest position and the seasonal norm supply us with a tangible percentage measure of the degree of bullishness or bearishness of each group towards a particular market to a certain extent. From these "net-net" figures, we obtain a configuration of market attitudes of the principal players. From our research and long experience we have drawn up some general guidelines:

The most bullish configuration would show large hedgers heavily net long more than normal, large speculators clearly net long, small traders heavily net short more than seasonal. The shades of bullishness are varied all the way to the most bearish configuration which would have these groups in opposite positions-large hedgers heavily net short, etc. There are two caution flags when analyzing deviations from normal. Be wary of positions that are more than 40% from their long-term average and disregard deviations of less than 5%.

We'd like to present some examples of how we utilized this open interest analysis in our "Technical Comments" section of the CRB Futures Chart Service. In late August of 1983, we turned bearish on sugar when it was over 10? a pound. Throughout 1983 and 1984, we advocated a bearish stand even though prices had dropped below 4? to 16-year lows. An important reason for our doggedness, in addition to the bearish chart, was our analysis of the "Commitments" report. For over two, years, the Large Hedgers' average net short position was over 20% larger than their previous 6-year average. Small traders, despite tremendous losses, averaged almost 20% higher net long positions throughout the entire debacle.

In August of 1983, Chicago wheat futures soared to new contract highs. The charts were very bullish, which we acknowledged in our "Comments" of August 12, 1983. However, we noted that the latest "Commitments of Traders" report sounded a negative note. Large Hedgers were 36% net short and Small Traders were 24% net long, both way over their 10-year averages at that time. Subsequently, the market topped out and prices trended lower for the next 6 months.

A study of the open interest configuration for corn and soybeans just prior to their spectacular bull move in the summer of 1983 will show how the analysis "did" and "didn't" work. It worked for corn, which showed Large Hedgers with net long positions well above normal and Small Traders net short. This bullish pattern was just the opposite of the soybean open interest. Here, Large Hedgers were heavily net short and Small Traders had a net long position of 20% versus a more normal 10% for June. Yet, both commodities enjoyed similar bull moves. An unforeseen drought that summer probably accounted for the strange results.

While we have shown only some relatively recent examples of this kind of open interest analysis, our experience with the technique goes back over two decades. The performance patterns are fairly consistent. Yet, we have to admit that there were exceptions that proved to be quite dramatic. Therefore, it is important also to utilize other available technical and fundamental tools to arrive at a high probability of success in forecasting prices. The nature of the events that shape price trends of futures contracts should keep even the most proficient of technical and fundamental analysts on their guard and flexible at all times. International developments, weather, and politically-motivated legislation are among the unpredictable forces that can change the direction of the markets in an instant. There is no master key that can unlock all the doors to successful price forecasting. Nevertheless, we believe that the proper interpretation of the Commitments of Traders" reports is valuable and belongs on the analyst's key ring.

Jim Bianco, President of Bianco Research

Looking at things from a different angle (as he is wont to do), Jim Bianco, president of Bianco Research in Barrington, Ill., focused on the Commercial hedger's vs. Large speculators rather than hedgers vs. small traders. Why? Because "small traders" refers specifically to the volume of activity rather than style (hedgers or speculators), Bianco explained. Large speculators are just that, he said, "trend-following technical types" with no position in the underlying asset, in this case the S&P 500 cash. In the latest report, the large speculators were net long 10,721 contracts -- near-record levels as well.

Historically, "commercial hedgers have been right the vast majority of time and the speculators wrong," Bianco said plainly. How wrong? Large speculators were net short S&P 500 futures every week except five for the six years ending May 16, while commercial hedgers were net long roughly 95% of the time, or all but about 16 weeks, he reported. (Given that the S&P 500 went from roughly 300 to 1500 in that span and these are "naked shorts," Bianco wondered how speculators managed to stay in business. He mused that there probably has been a big turnover in their ranks.)
Bianco offered two caveats to analysis of the report:

One, when commercial hedgers get it wrong, it's usually in a "major way" where they miss a major secular change. For example, commercial hedgers were net short crude futures for much of 1998 and 1999 as the commodity plunged to $10 a barrel, but remained so during the initial phase of its recovery to above $30 this year. "Eventually, they got back in synch, but struggled in the beginning."
Two, May 16 is significant because the hedgers and speculators swapped positions (the former getting short, the latter long) in conjunction with a change in the reporting requirements by the CTFC. Previously, trades above 600 contracts were considered "large" vs. small. Since May 16, the threshold has risen to 1000."The CTFC is not going to recalculate [the reports] going back in time so we effectively have six months of history and can't read into this either way," Bianco said.

The Myth of Commercial Superiority in the Futures Markets Dan Norcini

Once again we see that many in the gold community are anxiety-laden with dread over the prospects for poor "ol Yeller. As can be expected, the "I never met a gold rally I could not pick a top in" expert advisors are warning of impending disaster for gold bugs. Some of these gold perma-bears, and I hate to sound too piquant, remind me of roaches that emerge as soon as the lights go out in the kitchen. They run hither and thither defiling everything they come in contact with only to scurry back into the cracks and crevices as soon as the lights come back on. "Gold is finished". ""The top is in and we are looking for gold to move back down in earnest". "The nth super-cycle has combined with the xth sine wave that has harmonized with the zth multi-year squiggly whatever to tell me that the golden goose is cooked". And so on and so on and so they pontificate, ad infinitum, ad nauseam!

To buttress their claims, they trot out the war-wearied, old soldier argument that the Commercial category, comprised of the "genius, boy wonders, miracle working, epitome of wisdom and knowledge" traders have amassed a sizeable net short position against the poor, dumb, ignorant, hapless, witless speculators who have moved over to the net long side of the market. Obviously, the "smart" money is betting on declining gold prices while the dim-witted speculators are long and wrong or so the argument goes.

Is this really the case however? Are the commercials the superior traders? Do they always make money? Can the hapless speculators, especially the feeble small traders ever hope to beat the commercials? If the answer to this last question is, "NO", then I submit the futures markets might as well be shut down since no small trader should ever attempt to defy the powerful commercial interests. Happily for us, the answer is not, "NO", but is rather the opposite. The small specs and the large specs are quite capable of regularly taking money out of the market and right out of the commercial category's pocketbooks if they trade smart.

We find no reason to believe that Commitments of Traders Report is manipulated by the CFTC or the FDA. However,the increasing frequency of the COT Reports may be having a deleterious effect on its usefulness. The historical value of the COT Report was based on the monthly cycle. We are now using a weekly report. We may be comparing apples to oranges. A monthly chart is more reliable than a weekly chart for trend determination!

Another problem is the interpretation of a Large Commercial's (Hedgers) activites. They are long the commodity by definition. Their primary concern is to avoid a price break which would reduce the value of their inventories.A rising market is not a major focus of their trading activites. Therefore, it seems likely that the Large Commercials (Hedgers) will be the best guide for predicting bear markets. The very size of their positions preclude trading for quick profits.

The question of proper interpretation of the COT must be addressed.Fortunately,various authors have shared their perspective on the value and use of the COT report.

Jim Bianco found that the Commercials (Hedgers) were almost always right, and the Large speculators were almost always wrong. (Given that the S&P 500 went from roughly 300 to 1500 in that span and these are "naked shorts," Bianco wondered how speculators managed to stay in business. He mused that there probably has been a big turnover in their ranks).

William L. Jiler "We were somewhat surprised to find that the Large Hedgers were consistently superior to the Large Speculators. However, the predictive results for the Large Speculators varied widely from market to market".The Commodity Research Bureau studies validate the Large Commercial's superiority in market forecasting.However, one would have to use the interpretative rules developed by the CRB.

Dan Norcini finds that the COT is a secondary input to his trading activites Mr. Norcini is adamant that the following the trend is the primary approach, and all other factors are for confirmation only.

Jim Sinclair gave this response to a question about the COT. "I put more attention on the price movement of gold and the MACD 3,7 & 9 plus Momentum 14 than I would now on COT. Therefore, I make nothing of COT either bullishly or bearishly on gold. Also, do not look at static numbers on anything but rather look for trend. COT is more important on Cotton than it is say for gold."

George Paulos volunteered the following observation; "I watch the COT myself for gold and silver. There seems to be some correlation with intermediate trends, but the other markets don't make sense to me.".

The readers will have to make their own minds from the evidence presented. My personal opinion is that Mr. Sinclair, Mr. Norcini, and Mr. Paulos have the best of this argument Perhaps it's time to downplay the COT Report. It appears to be needlessly complicating our trading strategies! Most of the time the markets are in a trading range, or trending upward. The COT is the most useful only a small percentage of the time, but we must trade most of the time. Let's rely on tools that work most of the time!


Wayne N. Krautkramer

Posted by onlypill at 2:59 PM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 21 October 2004 1:54 AM PDT
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Wednesday, 15 September 2004
Few perceive the truth about the Federal Reserve. Rare are those who know its origins. It is right in front of us, but our relative ignorance of economics and history is their protection. A quick history lesson is in order.

On October 14, 1066, AD., King William I (the Conqueror) founded the English monarchy. The Corporation was created by William in 1067 AD. to facilitate trade, and assure the continuation of the wealth of the monarchy. The City of London's legal name is The Corporation of the City of London. The City of London has unique political and economic privileges that do not apply to Greater London, or anywhere else in the British realm. The "City" even has its own police force that is sovereign.

The Bank of England was granted a royal charter on July 27, 1694, by William III to regularize the monarchy's finances. This scheme was invented by a Scot promoter named William Paterson. The scheme was to create a bank with a "fund for perpetual interest". Fractional reserve banking was created, along with the radical monetary concept of a "monopoly" bank which would create money for loans that would never be repaid. A perpetual money machine for the monarchy was born. The permanent National Debt was born. The Bank of England would finance the emerging empire from its headquarters in the City of London. Never again would the lack of money, or liquidity, hamper the British empire under normal economic conditions. Conveniently, the monarchy also controls the City of London. This assures that the heart of the economic machine will always be protected.

The United States fought a hard and expensive war against England in 1776 to achieve sovereignty. That included the right to have her own currency, control her own tax policies, and the avoidance of involvement in the affairs of other nations. > > War of 1812> United States Declares War on Great Britain
The United States declared War on Great Britain on June 12, 1812. The war was declared as a result of long simmering disputes with Great Britian. The central dispute surrounded the impressment of American soldiers by the British. The British had previously attacked the USS Chesapeake and nearly caused a war two year earlier. In addition, disputes continued with Great Britain over the Northwest Territories and the border with Canada. Finally, the attempts of Great Britain to impose a blockade on France during the Napoleonic Wars was a constant source of conflict with the United States.

The US did everything in their power to remove British influence and control from this continent. Again and again we defeated all attempts to allow our money to be controlled by a National (Central) bank. When Central banks were established, we abolished them. Times changed, and Thomas Woodrow Wilson was elected. The intellectual who wanted the League of Nations (the progenitor of the United Nations) was elected. Under his leadership, we received the Federal Reserve, and the Sixteenth Amendment (Income Tax) shackling us into slavery to the British Crown forever. In 1917, Wilson made the world safe for democracy by plunging the US into World War I

On December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve Act, also known as the
Glass-Owen Bill, was passed. The Republican controlled Senate rammed the bill through when
many members of the US Congress were home for the holiday. The President, Dr. Thomas
Woodrow Wilson, signed it into law one hour after being passed by the Congress! Somebody very
powerful really wanted this law passed. The Federal Reserve System is an independent central
bank. Although the President of the United States appoints the chairman of the Fed, and this
appointment is approved by the United States Senate, the decisions of the Fed do not have to be
ratified by the President, or anyone else in the executive branch of the United States government.
Buried in the legislation was the granting of total power over the monetary policies of all US banks.
A very curious statement is found in the original 1913 law. SEC. 30. The right to amend, alter, or
repeal this Act is hereby expressly reserved. Reserved expressly to whom, or what? No definition is
provided. This is the entire Section 30 statement! "Curiouser and curiouser, cried Alice".

Stock not held by member banks shall not be entitled to voting power. This clause guarantees
that no outsider can justify buying shares in the Federal Reserve. "But wait! There's more!"

Sec. 341 Second. To have succession for a period of twenty years from its organization unless it is
sooner dissolved by an Act of Congress, or unless its franchise becomes forfeited by some violation
of law. The Federal Reserve was only given a corporate life of 20 years! Their time was up in 1933
Who was President at that time? Franklin. D. Roosevelt, of course. Somehow, the Federal Reserve's
termination did not occur. Reader, do I have your attention yet? My research failed to find any reauthorization of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, other than the tacit approval given by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

No Senator or Representative in Congress shall be a member of the Federal Reserve Board or an
officer or a director of a Federal reserve bank. No member of Congress is have access to the inner
sanctum! Hello, what is this? Are they afraid that an American might come upon something
untoward? 12 USC 3019 Federal reserve banks, including the capital stock and surplus therein, and the Income derived therefrom shall be exempt from Federal, State, and local taxation, except taxes upon
real estate. People, I think we are a roll now.

SEC. 25.Any national banking association possessing a capital and surplus of 1,000,000 dollars or more may file application with the Federal ReserveBoard, upon such conditions and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the said board, for the purpose of securing authority to establish branches in foreign countries or dependencies of theUnited States for the furtherance of the foreign commerce of the United States, and to act, if required to do so, as fiscal agents of the United States. Such application shall specify, in addition tothe name and capital of the banking association filing it, the place or places where the bankingoperations proposed are to be carried on, and the amount of capital set aside for the conduct of its foreign business. The Federal Reserve Board shall have power to approve or to reject such application if, in its judgment, the amount of capital proposed to be set aside for the conduct of foreign business is inadequate, or if for other reasons the granting of such application is deemed inexpedient. Wow, the US government has no formal control over the foreign operations of the Federal reserve banks! The Federal reserve banks are exempt from all taxation. These people are very independent. Independent of audits, independent of congressional supervision, and independent of the American voter.

The Federal Reserve claims that nobody owns it - that it is an "independent entity within the
government." The Federal Reserve is subject to laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and
the Privacy Act which cover Federal agencies but not private corporations; yet Congress gave the
Federal Reserve the autonomy to carry out its responsibilities insulated from political pressure.
Each of the Fed's three parts - the Board of Governors, the regional Reserve banks, and the Federal Open Market Committee - operates independently of the federal government to carry out the Fed's core responsibilities. Once a member of the Board of Governors is appointed, he or she can be as independent as a U.S. Supreme Court judge, though the term is shorter. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the U.S. Congress. It is considered an independent central bank because its decisions do not have to be ratified by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms. (The Fed's financial independence arises because it is hugely profitable due to its ownership of government bonds. (It gives the government billions of dollars each year.) However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by the Congress, which periodically reviews its activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Also, the Federal Reserve must work within the framework of the overall objectives of economic and financial policy established by the government.

The only statements of ownership made by the Federal Reserve Board is an allusion to the twelve Federal district banks. This circle puts us back at the beginning, for no information is provided regarding the ownership of the twelve Federal district banks. However, a 1976 government study commissioned by the Federal Reserve Directors revealed the following:

OWNERSHIP OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE Most Americans, if they know anything at all about the Federal Reserve, believe it is an agency of the United States Government. This article charts the true nature of the "National Bank." Chart 1 Source: ** Federal Reserve Directors: A Study of Corporate and Banking Influence ** - - Published 1976 Chart 1 reveals the linear connection between the Rothschilds and the Bank of England, and the London banking houses which ultimately control the Federal Reserve Banks through their stockholdings of bank stock and their subsidiary firms in New York. The two principal Rothschild representatives in New York, J. P. Morgan Co., and Kuhn, Loeb & Co. were the firms which set up the Jekyll Island Conference at which the Federal Reserve Act was drafted, who directed the subsequent successful campaign to have the plan enacted into law by Congress, and who purchased the controlling amounts of stock in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 1914. These firms had their principal officers appointed to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Federal Advisory Council in 1914. In 1914 a few families (blood or business related) owning controlling stock in existing banks (such as in New York City) caused those banks to purchase controlling shares in the Federal Reserve regional banks. Examination of the charts and text in the House Banking Committee Staff Report of August, 1976 and the current stockholders list of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks show this same family control.

George Bush presided over a minor change in the Federal Reserve Act. The Sarbanes-OxleyAct was passed in 2002. The American Congress failed again to deal with the Federal Reserve. Bush managed to keep all discussion and changes confined to some reporting requirements for financial institutions. Bush knows very well who he serves, and he really serves his master well. It's amazing how few grasped the significance of Alan Greenspan being knighted by the Queen of England! Greenspan was knighted on September 26, 2002. An obvious reward for preventing any real discussion, or change, of the Federal Reserve during the Sarbanes-Oxley Act debates. Had an American President been knighted, serious questions would have arisen. It was so each easier to reward her manager, Alan! Do you still believe that Alan Greenspan has the power of Dearth Vader? He is only a little man, faithfully serving his queen.

The British Crown, or the British monarchy is the owner of the Federal Reserve. This is their real secret. The strategy of the Federal Reserve is their other secret. Again, it is right of front of us, but no one sees the obvious. The strategy of the Federal Reserve is to accumulate all the wealth through the very slow, but effective, technique of currency debasement. The monarchs of old used to shave or clip the coins as they passed through their treasuries. Now the process is more sanitary (no more clipping and scraping all those dirty coins). John Maynard Keynes clearly stated that at there is no more effective method of destroying a society than through currency debasement.

The primary reason for its success is the inability of most people to understand that more is not necessarily better. A recent conversation highlighted Kenyes's observation. There is some agitation to raise the minimum wage in my state. I listened to a proponent of a higher minimum wage. I attempted to point out that an increase in a large number of people's income would only result in prices going up, along with the obvious tax increases. "What was I talking about?" was the response. I explained that some percentage of people might wind up dealing with tax bracket creep (increases), and all will have the obligatory tax increases that follow from any price increase. If nothing else, the sales tax must go up because the prices have gone up. I was immediately informed that I was the most negative person they had ever talked to.

The Federal Reserve will always debase the currency to take its cut, and guarantee that the government has a tax base available to feed its bureaucratic family. The government is a total slave of the Federal Reserve. For example, analyze the latest real estate boom. There will be a major boost in property taxes based on the new valuations. Many people will be surprised when they receive their new tax bill. This will guarantee more money for the government coffers. They know that people will do almost anything to keep their homes. What's another job or two per family? Besides, the extra job will provide more tax revenue for the government. This will require more day care, or baby-sitting services for many families, which create more income for the government. This will cause more meals to be eaten out, which creates more revenue for the government Meanwhile, prices will continue to go up, which creates more sales tax revenue for the government. Are you getting the point yet? Deflation is end of the government. The local, state, and federal government will all fail!

This is the strategy of the Federal Reserve. The majority of the people will always believe that more is better. Knowing that, and now having a democracy ensconced in the US, it was time to feed and breed. Prices always go up, and everything is "Wunnerful, Wunnerful" Bring on the Champagne Lady. Alan runs the bubble machine. The illusion of money has destroyed most people since society (goverment) developed socialism. Democracy feeds on the illusion of something for nothing. As each demagogue promises more than his competition, the tax burden becomes oppressive. The monetary illusion serves to conceal the costs through currency debasement. This assures the complete destruction of the society that embraces this perversion. Any attempt to introduce logic into a dialogue will be defeated by claiming you're an elitist devoid of compassion. Envy, hate, and manipulated passions are the hallmark of democracies. While all this destruction is occurring, money diverted by the mechanism of currency debasement is constantly being transferred to the British Crown in the City of London.

Any questions, gang?

Free Markets For Free Men

Wayne N. Krautkramer
More commentary at

The Corporation of the City of London:
The Bank of England:
The Sixteenth Amendment:
Federal Reserve Act of 1913:
Federal Reserve: 2002 Amendment:
Federal Reserve ownership:
Wunnerful, Wunnerful:

Posted by onlypill at 3:31 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 16 September 2004 1:57 AM PDT
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Monday, 23 August 2004
Is it the best of currencies, or the worst of currencies?, asked the emperor. His economics advisors suggested that the currency will only be safe if the Mad Hungarian is neutralised. The Emperor gleefully agreed. Another chance to use the latest robotics threat remover had surfaced. I need a reason, said he. The geopolitical advisors instantly answered. The Mad Hungarian has weapons of currency destruction! Can you prove that?, asked the Emperor. Sire, look what he did to the British pound; the Queen is still demanding massive amounts of foreign aid from us! OK, said the Emperor, your point is made. Just make sure you eliminate him in the most expensive way possible. I have to have better numbers in the economic reports.

The Emperor mentioned the increase of wailing and gnashing of the teeth by his subjects. His advisors told him of the new demand for cosmetic dentistry as a result of the gnashing of teeth. A new entitlement program for cosmetic dentistry will be a big hit with voters, and the dentists will be big contributors for the upcoming election. The Emperor inquired as to the possibility of wailing being classified as a disease. The advisor's response was swift and sure. No problem! There might be a small delay, but easily managed. Why a delay?, asked the Emperor. Sire, there are no professional wailing therapists at this time. Great!, exclaimed the Emperor. We will need new schools, which will create more construction contracts. More teachers will be hired to teach the new students, and more loans for the tuition. The textbook publishers are always good for campaign contributions. The empire will rally around the War on Wailing.

The Emperor became concerned over rumors that the food supply might be unsafe. His advisors reported that there were no mad cows. Every cow they checked was happily mooing and chewing. Therefore, the scientists and reporters were obviously mad, and in need of another chemical dosage adjustment. This would also help the sales of Prozac, which had been stagnant in recent months. Wonderful, replied the Emperor. Well-adjusted scientists, reporters, and more campaign contributions for the small cost of surplus Prozac. The Emperor then suggested that pizza should be part of the new school breakfast program. Sire, pizza is not a breakfast food!, was their response. Slowly the emperor explained that if emperor Reagan could call ketchup a vegetable, then he could call pizza a breakfast cereal. The emperor mentioned that Pizza Hut was the best Italian pizza in the US. When informed that Pizza Hut is not Italian, the emperor decided to declare Pizza Hut Italian naturalization day as a National holiday. The advisors pointed out that the emperor does not have the legal authority to give Pizza Hut Italian citizenship. He responded by pointing out that the Italians are an under appreciated group in the US, that everybody loves another holiday, and that the Roman Catholic vote might be important in the next election. Struck speechless, the advisors scurried away.

The next major event was a review of the education system. The advisors were concerned that the latest initiatives were failing. The emperor explained the logic of the "Leave No Child Behind" Program. He asked if they found many children falling behind? The advisors pointed out that less children were getting ahead. The emperor reminded the advisors that the program only left no child behind. No one had claimed that all the children would go ahead. He pointed out that all the money being spent was stimulus The teacher's union vote was in the bag. The "All Children Move Ahead" program would be saved until more votes are needed. The education, and children's programs were always big winners, so you used them sparingly. The speech writers were already submitting speeches. The emperor always has 10 to 20 programs complete with emotionally loaded speeches ready to launch at any given time. The government is not the largest employer of psychologists by accident. Every word you see and hear has been scripted for effect. This also creates a demand for more college graduates with degrees in psychology.

Soon all you lucky homeowners will get your new property tax bills. Just keep remembering that you're getting rich while your paying that new bill. It's very expensive to get rich. Don't weaken now; stay the course. The Emperor Printalot may, or may not, come to your rescue.

The new cost of energy is a minor disturbance unless you need to use transportation that won't burn hay. The Amish might yet rule the world. At least they will have some wealth left. They could less about the Middle East, or any of this other nonsense. Actually ,the Amish don't use much electricity either. Why did we used to laugh at these people?

"Life is a tale told by the media, full of taxes and regulations, signifying bankruptcy" I personally guarantee that no politician ever said this!

Wayne N. Krautkramer

Posted by onlypill at 1:12 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 23 August 2004 1:28 PM PDT
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Sunday, 18 July 2004
We hear a constant barrage of rhetoric about the evils of Alan Greenspan.Alan Greenspan is the
heavy in this charade. He is keeping this game going in spite of the demands of the lunatics.Everywhere we read that he is either a Satanic instrument, or a naive fool who serves the New World Order. He is just a banker. You are the ones demanding everything for nothing.

You believe that every defect and perceived failure should be remedied by the government. You continue to elect every con person that promises infinite wealth,and the redressing of every injustice,real or imagined.Then you whine that Alan Greenspan should be more responsible,and stop this insanity.

A careful review of Greenspan's testimony before the Congress will reveal that he has tried to tell
your elected representatives that this spending has to stop. Show me the examples of their comprehension.Ron Paul in the House of Representatives is the lone example.Alan Greenspan has consistently attempted to tell your Members of Congress that this shell game is over!

Does anyone realize that Alan Greenspan has no executive power, nor a political constituency?
Furthermore, according to the U. S. Constitution, only the House of Representatives has the power
to enact a money bill. The U. S. Senate only advises and consents. You are the problem, not Alan
Greenspan. He cannot save you, even if he choose to.

You cling to your entitlement rights as if they were sent from Mt. Sinai. Your court system and your
elected representatives have tried to convince you that these entitlements are immune from cuts and
changes. You really want to believe this illusion. We now speak of the uncontrollable portion of the
budget as though it is real.The only thing uncontrollable here is your ridiculous expectations. You further the myth of the Social Security Trust Fund, when it has always been a fiction. What has Alan Greenspan to do with all this?

A young man named Tom faced an uncurable illness. He choose to be frozen, hoping medical science could find the answer. Some 100 years later,he was restored. Elated at his luck, he asked the nurse if he could use the telehone. He was advised that we now used communicators.She showed him how to use the device,but warned him that only the first three minutes were free. The nurse mentioned that there had been some changes in the last hundred years. It was now June 21, 2104.

Tom began checkout from the facility. When he asked for the bill, he was informed that all medical care is free. Stunned, he asked if Hillary Clinton's call for universal health care had been the driving
force behind this great program.The nurse had never heard of Hillary Clinton, but the Global Council For Free Organs paid all bills.Tom was advised that his body would take some time to adjust to the new organs.His real organs had been removed and shipped to the Galatic Nations holding facility.Totally shocked, Tom asked for an explanation. Tom had never agreed to give up his organs. The manager explaned that rights were an obsolute concept. Tom's sanction was irrelevant.

In 1831, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America. He said "In a democracy, you get the
government you deserve." It's your creation. Live with it. However, don't expect anyone else to pay
for this monster. Milton Friedman said it very well with TANFL;"There ain't no free lunch".

Wayne N. Krautkramer

Posted by onlypill at 5:07 PM PDT
Updated: Sunday, 18 July 2004 6:45 PM PDT
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