While taking a short vacation last week, this article was intended to be my first one upon returning. That plan was squashed a week ago with the brutal "interventions" upon gold and silver during the illiquid overnight hours early Sunday morning. Let me add to what I wrote last Friday by saying the phrase "TIME AND SALES"! For anyone who does not know what this means, any trade on any market anywhere in the world has a "paper trail". It is called a "time and sales report". Very simply, it reports who traded what, in what amounts and to whom. Once the broker is identified, then regulators can query as to who the customer was for whatever trade in question. If they want to know "whodunit", it’s quite simple.
This is not rocket science. It is not hocus pocus or even anything "special". Time and sales have been around since the dawn of trading. Even prior to computers, handwritten records were taken to record who traded what, when and in what quantities. Should the SEC, NYSE, CFTC or anyone else want to know who is doing what, it takes five seconds or less to find out.. (This includes the Chinese who have outlawed selling under the penalty of firing squad!!! So who is doing all the selling?) In my opinion, the regulators should be strung up on lampposts for their lack of doing the jobs they are being paid public tax money to do. They have turned a blind eye, presumably because they are told or believe it is for "the greater good"? …the greater good… sounds like something out of Russia or China back in the day when I was a youngster in the 1960’s – or even something in the history books we read as kids in school regarding Nazi Germany.
Do you remember this time period? I still remember this time frame very well and pine for it every day. Back in those days we couldn’t wait to get home from school so we could get to play baseball, football, basketball or even hike it to the nearest pond in winter time to play some pickup hockey. Back in those days our parents knew where we were by where our bicycle was.
There were no cell phones and if we needed to make a call from a public place, we would pull the dime out of our pocket our parents always insisted we have.
We could sell (or even buy) lemonade without a health department license and had no fear of arrest – we even gave the police free samples. We walked a half mile or even a full mile to get to school (but not uphill both ways nor always in the snow). We did this with friends or if we were late we did it alone. Back then this was the norm. Today, parents are regularly being arrested for allowing a child to go two blocks away on their own… not to mention the nine-year-olds for selling lemonade!!!
After playing, we’d all head home for dinner and get to watch some TV. Remember? " TV" where no cussing was allowed. Most shows had a "theme" or an underlying lesson that taught kids "good always triumphed over evil". We watched Batman, Superman and others. Western’s were in vogue and there was always a lesson to be learned from watching The Rifleman or Gunsmoke. I have said several times over the years when writing on this subject, "Leave it to Beaver cannot even be found on syndicated reruns anymore". My point is, the "wholesome" world we grew up in is so far gone, current history books don’t even mention it as a footnote!
Think about where we are today. Where handshakes used to suffice, contracts are now drawn up to be purposely broken. More than half of our population "takes" while less than half the population supports this spending habit. Worse, it is the "supporters" who are vilified today because they don’t "give enough." We used to have free speech as outlined in The Constitution, now there is only free speech for the "special" groups. Anyone who speaks against any of these very special groups is branded a racist, sexist, homophobe, or religious persecutor (except of course, unless you’re speaking against Christians – that’s OK… even seemingly encouraged). Or worst of all, you could be labeled a "CONSERVATIVE!"
Today it is OK to burn the American flag, outlaw the quaint historical Confederate flag …while flying the flag of any other nation (here in Texas the favorite to fly is that of Mexico) on our own sovereign soil. I noticed yesterday while in a very long U.S. Customs line upon returning home, how much longer, formal and probably difficult it was rather than just swimming across the river! Many states no longer require a voter registration card to vote or even a driver’s license, so the motto "vote early and often" applies. Citizens who pay for "old" health insurance now get "charged" extra on their taxes, while those who can’t afford insurance get it for free… along with cellphones, housing, food, stipends for each child etc. …and anyone who speaks out about it is branded a "crazy." Please let me remind you, this country was originally formed because of oppression and the practice of "taxation without representation." Have we pretty much gone full circle?
You could not have told me even 20 years ago we would be where we are today. We have a system where the president makes up laws as he goes along, the Supreme Court rubber stamps his illusions and Congress has been relegated to irrelevance. Speaking of Congress, didn’t "We the People" just throw the bums out? Didn’t the Republicans run on a ticket that said they would overturn all sorts of ridiculous (and if you ask me) tyrannical laws? Have they overturned anything? No, they just passed the fast track trade bill which will gut our economy even further …while the Democrats voted against it …? Forget about the giant sucking sound Ross Perot spoke of, we will soon hear the wheezing and gurgling last breaths of a nation, in my sad opinion. In the interest of not losing you as a reader, I could go on and on about subjects like guns, GMO’s, baby parts for sale or whatever but I think you get the point and I’ll stop here.
From an economic and financial standpoint, it is funny that while away I read "The Scarlet Woman of Wall Street." This was the story of Daniel Drew, Vanderbilt, Fisk, Gould and Erie railroad during the mid to late 1800’s. There were no financial laws back then that prevented anything with the exception of bribery which was impossible to prove unless the giver and receivers were both stupid beyond their years. Then all sorts of laws were written and the playing field was somewhat leveled (as much as it could have been). Now, there are so many laws on the books, it is impossible not to break one of them. The thing is, financial institutions do not care. Since no one goes to jail (except for a couple of hedge fund managers), it is more profitable to illegally and blatantly swipe $10 billion because you know your fine will only be $100 million. If you think about it, management in today’s world could probably be held accountable in today’s civil legal system for NOT BREAKING THE LAW and leaving money on the table. Why play fair when everything is rigged, while you can steal and pay only 1% or less of what you made? It is almost management’s "fiduciary duty" to lie, cheat and steal in order to not fall behind!
To wrap this piece up I would like to say this, if you don’t believe or cannot see that all markets are rigged all of the time I’m sorry. If I offended anyone for any reason, again I’m sorry. If you believe today is "normal" in any way, I am sorry. Actually, let me clarify this: I am not sorry, but I am sorry you don’t understand the point I am trying to get across and sorry you cannot see it. Unfortunately, the American people have been slow boiled into believing our lives are normal and things are "just the way they are." We have been lulled into believing we are an "exceptional" people and "deserve" the finer things in life. What we have forgotten is that hard work, hard money, and innovation is what made this country great to begin with. Many today don’t remember or never knew this very basic tenet…but ignorance does not change the fact. Truth and justice (and for the most part "business") was what America was once all about. Please do not tell me I am naïve. I am not. Please do not tell me this is not being done according to a plan. It is. There is zero percent probability the policies in place today are by mistake. They are not by mistake and no one could be so stupid which leaves only one option …"purposeful" is the operative word.
The United States was the shining light of the world in so many ways. We are no longer. We were built as a Republic that followed The Constitution which was written mainly by God fearing Christians. We have evolved into a perverted, apologetic, weak and slovenly society with little to no values regarding anything from our ethics, morals, constitutions, or anything else. We believe we deserve the best and should work the least (if at all). It’s the American WAY!!! Unfortunately, what I write here is now considered by the majority as either anti-government or unpatriotic. It is neither. In fact, all I advocate is following The Constitution. You know, that "thing" our politicians "swear to God to uphold" (did you catch that? They swear to God! Not to Walt Disney, Facebook or even the almighty Google!) while raising their right hand with their left hand on The Bible? I am a true patriot in a world where burning the flag, shredding The Constitution and spitting on The Bible is considered sane and normal. I am here to remind you it certainly is not! I am not writing this to convert the perverts, only to let those who are still sane know that yes, you are still sane. That said, in today’s ludicrous world, what I write here can be used as proof of my "insanity" and my lack of "patriotism." You decide.
I guess I would sum it all up by twisting the words of Superman, "Truth, Justice and (is no longer) The American Way!
Standing watch (with tears in my eyes),
Holter -Sinclair collaboration