Price Analysis then Personal Political Position

Published on: 14:48PM Nov 16, 2010

The Bull is dead; the Bear Ascendant.

First a correction: yesterday I typed "March wheat below 770" when I meant "...below 700." Old guy brain-fingers disconnect.

Beans, corn and wheat were hammered again today. On the weekly chart oats are bearish, wheat, beans and corn in bear markets. You can bet the funds have been selling like mad and are a little put off that they weren't able to get out at better prices. Let's all shed crocodile tears for them.

Crude, powered by a down day in the stock market, got back to 82.70 and should get down to 82 sooner rather than later. While certainly not impossible, from here the likelihood of prices below 76 is small. Of course, a collapse of China or the EU or, heaven forfend, the US would change things greatly.

Gold and silver are down, BUT BONDS ARE UP. Bonds recovered all their losses of yesterday, and could have a couple more up days soon. For the past couple of weeks, stocks & bonds have tended to move in the same direction. Today was different -- and more normal. If stocks continue to plunge, we may well see bonds move up a good bit more. That would be just what the doctor ordered in terms of keeping interest rates from rising, or at least from rising much soon.

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My actual views on politics:

I was reading through some comments today. Understandably, since I have nothing good to say about Bush, some/many folks think I am (a) a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, and (b) an Obama supporter of considerable enthusiasm.

In college (the 60s) and in the 70s, I was a registered Republican. The parts of the platform I found appealing were fiscal responsibility combined with personal responsibility. "Green" was not an issue then. In 1980 I worked to help elect Republican Vic Atiyeh in a closely contested election here in Oregon. At the same time, I was very much not enamored of Ronald Reagan for president. Reagan promised to do for the country what he did for California. I have many friends and had some business interests in CA, so I was aware that Reagan DOUBLED the size and cost of government. That was not what I though Republicans should do.

Was I a fan of Carter? Until W., I thought Carter to have been the worst president at least since Woodrow Wilson, and maybe further back than that.

So who did I like as President. Laugh if you will, but I rather appreciated Gerry Ford. I thought voting for him in preference to Carter was a no-brainer. I cannot imagine Ford would have screwed up in the Middle East the way Carter did.

Am I a fan of Obama? I think Obama is the best orator we have had since JFK, even though Reagan was a pretty darned good speaker. I should give Obama a partial pass by noting that no matter who was president following the total mess Bush made, he or she was going to have far more problems than time or votes – or, maybe even ideas to use.

Now, on to Obama’s policies. O’s first priority seems to have been health care. It is true that Americans pay twice as much per capita for health care as anyone else in the world (or so the folks who put together these numbers claim), and that includes the Swiss where prices are not cheap and health care is private, not single payer. It is also true that the last time WHO did the numbers, the US came out 34th in quality. I don’t know what the metric used was, but I know it was not the quality of our docs. So health care is costing each of us too much. But the first priority should have been… "It’s the Economy, Stupid." No, I was not and am not a fan of Bill Clinton, but he got that right, didn’t he?

O’s health care bill left everything to be desired. It was a wonderful piece of transferring money from the rate payers to the health maintenance organization CEOs, CFOs & other over-paid professional thieves.

O’s policies towards the economy were mostly wrong. Most who read my pieces will know I really think the big banks should have been taken over by the government, the executives fired without compensation – likely, some should have been criminally prosecuted – and the banks sold off in small pieces. The Swedes showed it can be done, and done profitably for the government. AIG is more of the same except clearly the executives should now be in prison. Yes, that statement of the solution is vastly over-simplified, but it does serve as a clear contrast between what I think O should have done and what he did do.

Stimulus was, perhaps still is, a must. But it should be directed at infrastructure, not at banks, not a big corporations. O did send a chunk of money to rebuild our aging highways and sometimes literally crumbling bridges. That was good. Not much went to small business, and tons went to big banks. That was very clearly a bad idea. But I think bringing Larry Summers on board was clearly stupid. Guess it's the "Harvard boys" club.

What else did O do right? Well, he is one heck of a good speaker, isn’t he?

What would I like politically? I would really like a new political party, one that represents the interests of real people to the total exclusion of the "personhood" and rights therewith granted to corporations. It seems to me the Democrats and Republicans have both been bought and paid for by large corporate interests. I’d not give you a nickel for either party, but since the Republicans seem to be mouthier, they give me more opportunity for complaint. I suppose I should add that, because of my main political dictum, I always vote. That dictum is, "No votie, no bitchie."

 

rd