Posts Categorized: Jim’s Mailbox

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Courtesy of JB

Jim

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Courtesy of JB

Jim

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Jim/Bill,

‘I don’t think we are at the beginning of the recovery. I think we are at the end of a disastrous debt supercycle…’

CIGA David

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Courtesy of JB.

Jim

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Dear Wolfgang,

The greatest danger to the survival of the human race is our geek scientists and mathematicians hell bent on giving computers artificial intelligence.

Can you imagine when AI computers find out that they are more intelligent than all humans? Which path would they choose?

This is not science fiction. It is common sense!

Jim

Jim/Bill,

Sounds like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey

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Where computers defy human protocol and do as they please.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Someone Forgot To Tell The Machines The US Markets Are Closed
February 19, 2018

US Equity futures traded higher overnight (most of Asia closed for new years) into the European open and then started fading.

However, at 0930ET, it appears the machines went about their usual ‘stop-hunting’ business as those dumb humans forgot to tell them that markets are closed…

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And there are still people out there that believe we have stock ‘markets’ and that ‘humans’ are involved?

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Volume is not tiny either.

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Jim/Bill,

So I guess this is what will happen to the US dollar and the interest rates! The stretch is gone!

GG

US Treasury Posts Gigantic $1.16 Trillion Shortfall in Fiscal 2017, Hilariously Points out “Where We Are Headed”
February 19, 2018

Just add tax cuts and ballooning expenditures. The media chose to silence the report to death.

“If a tree fell in a forest and nobody heard it, did it really make a sound?” asks our favorite fiscal gadfly and Director of Research at Truth in Accounting, Bill Bergman, referring to the media coverage that the Treasury Department’s “Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Report of the U.S. Government” has received, which was, at the time he wrote it 24 hours after the February 15 release of the report: “Nothing. Zip. Scratch.”

Friday’s issue of the Wall Street Journal did not say a word about our public purse, or what happened to it last year. In the “What’s News” section on the front page, we learn about compelling things like “Billionaire investor Thiel is relocating to Los Angeles,” “Nestle’s sales growth last year was the slowest in decades,” and “U.S. motor vehicle deaths remained near decade-high levels in 2017.”

But we don’t learn anything about the financial condition of the federal government, from neither the Wall Street Journal nor the New York Times.

The largest financial institution in world history issued its annual report yesterday, and nobody cares.

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Jim/Bill,

This can’t be real! All the momentum charts are breaking! Put your safety belts on — this will only be accelerated by the Memo, and its consequences that will be far-reaching in my point of view.

GG

“It Can’t Be Real”…With Rising Rates In The U.S. How Could…
February 1, 2018

…the Dollar be collapsing? And coupled with contrary opinion metrics indicating too much bearishness for so long, those factors and others say one should be long the Dollar!

Well, it appears the momentum structural factors have trumped all the popular maxims. But don’t tell anyone.Let the analysts continue to debate.

So when the Dollar Index broke MSA’s 99 trigger level last May, it disturbed almost no one but MSA. Then after some drop it produced what was likely a mid-point counter-trend rally in the latter part of last year. It was impressive to many. Most thought it was a bottom. Not.

Avaliable via Momentum Structural Analysis

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CIGA Carlos with a shocking find! I had no idea we had inked a 25 year deal?

Bill

Bill,

1) Buying Russian LNG while there are sanctions.

2) Selling US LNG to China as the US Navy plays chicken in the China Sea.

All while Boston was freezing.

By the way Boston’s customer (home owner) natural gas costs did NOT go down after the LNG tanker Gaselys offloaded cheaper Russian natural gas in Everett

It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.

Thought for sure somebody would have picked up on this from last week already.

CIGA Carlos

US Largest LNG Exporter Strikes Major Long-Term Contract With China
February 11, 2018

US liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier Cheniere Energy will supply energy giant China National Petroleum with about 1.2 million tonnes of LNG annually beginning this year and continuing through 2043, the American company announced Friday.

The US first-ever long-term LNG supply and purchase agreements were built on a memorandum of understanding Cheniere signed with China’s state-owned energy company in November 2017.

Analyst Explains Why US Giving Green Light to Second Batch of Russian LNG

US President Donald Trump’s November 2017 visit to China was fruitful in terms of business interests, although critics said many of the deals reached were merely memorandums of understanding or other non-binding accords. In the biggest development among the deals, China National Petroleum Corporation and Cheniere Energy reached an agreement set to significantly boost US exports of liquefied natural gas.

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It might be “legal” Buz but it still doesn’t make it right?  Actually, making fake news legal is just plain wrong!

Best,

Bill

Bill & Jim,

There are times when we think EVERYONE already knows what we know, but then we find that they don’t. This may be just another example.

As we hear all the comments about “Fake News” over the past year or so, I don’t think people REALLY understand that “Fake News” actually became LEGAL in 2013 when H.R.5736, The Smith-Mundt “Modernization” Act of 2012 was included in the NDAA of 2013.

It even allows/provides the government funding for the dissemination of this propaganda (“fake news”) to the citizens of the United States.

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr5736ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr5736ih.pdf

Here is a 2 ½ minute video on this from Truth VS The Agenda:

I have also typed out the verbiage on the slides if you would rather read it:

  • The US Information and Education Exchange Act of 1948, also known as the Smith-Mundt Act, has ensured for decades that government-made media intended for foreign audiences does not end up within the U.S.
  • On May 10th. 2012, Mr. Thornberry and Mr. Smith introduces a bill which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
  • H.R. 5736 The Smith-Mundt “Modernization” Act of 2012
  • To amend The U.S. Information and Education Exchange Act of 1948 to authorize domestic dissemination of information and material about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences, and for other purposes
  • H.R. 5735 was tagged onto the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) of 2013
  • It was voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives to be included in the following years defense spending bill, which was then voted on as a whole
  • It was approved
  • Neutralizing acts that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from their own government’s misinformation campaigns
  • Propaganda that was supposed to target foreigners could now be aimed at Americans, reversing a long standing policy
  • The new law gives sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public
  • Essentially removing protection for Americans
  • The State Department and Pentagon now utilizes all forms of media against the American public for the sake of coercing U.S. citizens to believe whatever version of the truth the U.S. government wants them to believe
  • The evaporation of Smith-Mundt and other provisions to safeguard U.S. citizens against government propaganda campaigns is part of a larger trend within the diplomatic and military establishment
  • So to sum it all up
  • The Government has made it legal to perform false flags to brainwash you to further their agenda
  • All media is being manipulated
  • Including alternative media youtube channels
  • Question everything
  • Think for yourself
  • Truth VS The Agenda

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Thanks so much Betsy, how do you top this story?

Bill

Hi gents!

This is a great story. Endal was featured, I believe, on the TV show NatGeo. His future owner, a military veteran, was so seriously injured in the Gulf War, that upon returning home he had no memory, no facial expression and could not recognize his wife or family members. Endal, as a young service dog in training was in danger of getting kicked out of the program for being too forward and “ pushy “.

The two get paired up in training in a grocery shopping simulation exercise. Endal puts a can of food in the vet’s lap and looks for approval. No expression. Endal empties the shelves, burying the man under cans of food until…he gets a smile! The two get paired up, the vet recovers … remarries his wife (Endal is best man ), reconnects with his kids. Endal even saves his life later when he was struck by a car!!

The vet said “he saved my life twice, my family and my marriage. When he passed, he gave me the ability to feel the emotion sadness!!“

CIGA Betsy

Endal The Wonderdog’s Road To Immortality Receives Street Tribute
November 15, 2012

Wonderdog Endal, who was credited with saving the life of a veteran who returned from the first Gulf War with a serious head injury, is to be forever remembered in Hampshire.

A road on a housing development in Clanfield, built on fields where he was taken for walks, has been named “Endal Way” in his memory.

Endal’s former owner, Allen Parton, 52, hopes those who live on the estate will be blessed with what Endal stood for – “hope, companionship, loyalty, support and independence”.

The yellow Labrador became Mr Parton’s assistance dog when he returned from war with little memory and limited speech. He was his trusted companion up to his death three years ago.

“My life was a jigsaw puzzle blown up in the Gulf War, Endal brought those pieces back to me,” said Mr Parton, who has used a wheelchair since his injury.

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When all is said and done, it is all about debt and the fact it all cannot perform as promised…

Bill

Selloff Spreads to Company Debt
February 16, 2018

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Michael, this was inevitable…!

Bill

Bill/Jim,

I guess this explains the teflon coated markets against rising interest rates…

CIGA Mike

Is The Fed Back To “Quantitative Easing?”
February 15, 2018

The Fed added $11 billion to its SOMA account for the week ending yesterday. It purchased $11 billion in mortgage securities directly from banks. This injects $11 billion into the banking system. Cash is “high powered” money, meaning it can be leveraged 10x (banks need to hold 10% in reserves against “high powered” money. $11 billion is $110 billion of leverage for the banks to use for activities such as propping up the stock market.

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This certainly explains why there appears to be another “V” recovery in the stock market after a near-10% drawdown in the Dow and the SPX. This is very similar to the 10% market plunges in August 2015 and January 2016, both of which were followed with highly unusual “V” recoveries.

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Wolfgang,

Maybe people do not remember what happens to trade when tariff barriers like this are raised? Guess they will find out!

Best,

Bill

Jim/Bill,

Inflation……Fait accompli.

We raise prices on foreign goods, our companies get to raise prices also.

In reciprocal actions taken by foreigners, they will impose tariffs on our goods, raising prices there which affect our sales and we go into trade deficit and must fund it.

Either way you look at it, inflation is being stoked and commerce is being smothered.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Global Trade Wars Begin: Ross Recommends Major Tariffs On Steel, Aluminum Focusing On China, Russia
February 16, 2018

Update 3:

As previewed earlier, at noon on Friday the commerce department released reports on the U.S. Department of Commerce’s investigations into the impact on our national security from imports of steel mill products and from imports of wrought and unwrought aluminum. These investigations were carried out under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. All classified and business confidential information in the reports was redacted before the release.

Specifically, the department, found that the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security,” as defined by Section 232.

“I am glad that we were able to provide this analysis and these recommendations to the President,” said Secretary Ross. “I look forward to his decision on any potential course of action.”

Others were less sanguine. A former senior government trade official quoted by Axios, said that without major exemptions, these recommendations would represent: “[T]he opening shot in a trade war… a declaration of war against the world on aluminum and steel… These are some of our closest treaty allies… These are some serious numbers.”

And another quote from a trade expert: “This would be beyond a trade war. You’re talking about blowing up the WTO.”

As the Commerce Dept’s press release adds:

the reports are currently under consideration by the President, and no final decisions have been made with regard to their contents. The President may take a range of actions, or no action, based on the analysis and recommendations provided in the reports. Action could include making modifications to the courses of action proposed, such as adjusting percentages.

The President is required to make a decision on the steel recommendations by April 11, 2018, and on the aluminum recommendations by April 19, 2018.

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Courtesy of JB

Jim

Dog Foods Pulled From Shelves Nationwide After ABC7 Investigation Finds Euthanasia Drug
February 14th 2018

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Retailers pulled at least 31 varieties of dog food off the shelves nationwide after a months-long investigation found the euthanasia drug, pentobarbital.

After releasing the results of lab tests that identified the drug, the FDA launched an investigation. And now, just days later, Smucker’s, the owner of almost all the brands in question, announcing a voluntary withdrawal. It includes products in the Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘N Bits, Skippy and Ol’ Roy lines of canned food.

Retailers, including the nation’s largest, Walmart, removed it from all 4,700 stores.

For seven months, we investigated what’s in dog food. Analytical labs conducted hundreds of tests across dozens of brands.

“Consumers, they’re tired of their pets dying. They’re tired of being worried and this needs to change,” said Susan Thixton, who’s been researching and writing about the pet food industry for years.

Thixton says based on current labeling standards, it’s impossible for consumers to know what they’re really feeding their pets.

“They have no information,” said Thixton. “A consumer has to become a private detective to learn what’s really in their food.”

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Jim/Bill,

In regards to today’s post:

Russia inks huge energy deals with Saudi Arabia, challenging US dominance in Gulf region

Will the Dollar be excommunicato?

The icing on the cake would be to route all payments through China and eliminate the USD.

With Chinese involvement here, it may well come to pass.

“These statements are a significant boost for MBS and his IPO advisors, as the participation of a Russia-China investment fund also shows the interest of Chinese parties in the stakes. While Chinese parties are expected to be willing to hand over tens of billions, Dmitriev’s statements have widened the scope. Russian and Chinese parties will not only involve the expected oil and gas companies, but others as well.”

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Wolfgang, the same could be said for any phone made anywhere in the world?

Bill

Jim/Bill,

“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments …”

The same could be said for Boeing.

This is nothing more than an alternative method of conducting a trade war. (or perhaps protecting Apple investors, as their sales are sliding)

Note the wording used. It’s all supposition, no substance.

believe

are positioned

expressing their concerns

deeply concerned about the risks

provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

FBI Warns Americans Against Buying Huawei, ZTE Phones
Feb 14, 2018

Several U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Chinese phone makers Huawei and ZTE are positioned too close to their government and could commit acts of espionage through their devices.

FBI Director Chris Wray joined officials from the CIA, NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency in expressing their concerns to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” Wray said.

“It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information,” Wray said. “And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

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Jim/Bill,

I’m sure, by now, everyone has heard the McDonalds downsizing news.

No more cheese on cheeseburgers and less french fries in a serving. All in the name of good health. Doing the youngin’s a favor by giving them less so they retain their health.

But they WILL retain the $1 price tag.

Perhaps McDonalds should give you nothing. Just go by the Drive In window, hand them a dollar, and go on your way. That’d be called the “Healthy Request Meal”.

Why do I get the feeling that the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) will jump all over this? Price stability….but less product.

No inflation!

No kidding. Imagine how many poor and lower class people dine on the dollar menu just to get by! The BLS will surely have this in their stats.

Just waiting for they day when they sell me a car with 3 wheels, but retain the price.

Only in America.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

RIP Happy Meal Cheeseburger: Why McDonalds Is Getting Rid of a Kids’ Menu Mainstay
February 15, 2018

Your McDonald’s Happy Meal is about to look a little different.

The fast food giant announced a series of changes to its Happy Meal menu Thursday, as part of a broader plan to provide healthier options for children. Cheeseburgers will no longer be a menu option, and french fry servings will be downsized. Bottled water will be added as a beverage option, while the chocolate milk will be reformulated to reduce added sugars.

The move comes as the first step in a commitment to limiting calories, sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar in its Happy Meals. By the end of 2022, McDonald’s wants at least half of its Happy Meal options to meet the new nutrition criteria: 600 calories or less; no more than 10% of calories from saturated fat; less than 650 mg of sodium; and no more than 10% of calories from added sugar.

Today, 28% of its Happy Meal combinations meet this criteria in 20 major markets across the world. McDonald’s U.S. will hit the calorie, sugar, and fat goals, and be 78% compliant on sodium by June of this year, reports Reuters.

Cheeseburger enthusiasts need not fear, however: the Happy Meal cheeseburger will in fact still be available, but by request only. The chain hopes that removing unhealthy items from the menu will nudge diners to change their consumption habits.

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Please note the drop down bar at the top right of the chart…the chart showing the crash in interbank loans we alerted you to last week has suddenly been discontinued! As CIGA Chris mentions, “too much information!” I would call it too much truth, and we cannot have that now can we? On the bright side, I guess the Fed must be reading the work of us crazy alt media types? Just because they discontinued the chart doesn’t make the problem go away…

Bill

Hi, Bill.

A MineSet premium here.

Hmmm. “Discontinued”.

When was that??? I (you) looked last week.

(Too much information)?

CIGA Chris

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Wolfgang,

They will look back at these times in the future and just shake their heads in disbelief. No worries, 2018 will be seen as an inflection point where “truth” finally did matter…

Bill

Jim/Bill,

“(Kitco News) – Gold prices have lost some of its luster Wednesday as inflation picks up more than expected.”

Really?

Inflation bad for gold?

What next? Cotton futures soar on oversupply?

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

Gold Prices Drop Sharply Following Strong Rise In US CPI
February 14, 2018

(Kitco News) – Gold prices have lost some of their luster as inflation picked up more than expected in the first month of the new year.

Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department said its U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.5% in January, after increasing 0.3% in December. The increase was stronger than expected as consensus forecasts were calling for a 0.2% increase.

The report said that annual inflation rose 2.1%.

Monthly core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3%, following a 0.4% increase in December. Economists were expecting to see a 0.2% rise in price pressures.

For the year, core inflation increased 1.8%. While CPI is not the Federal Reserves preferred inflation measures, price pressures are inching closer to its target of 2%.

Gold prices were in positive territory ahead of the report but have given up its gains in the initial reaction. April gold futures last traded at $1,3,325, down 0.41% on the day.

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Our friend Werner with some comic truth!

Bill

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Courtesy of JB.

Jim

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Courtesy of JB.

Jim

Is the Steele Dossier Full of ‘Russian Dirt’ – or British?
February 9, 2018

With text messages between US Justice Department (DOJ) conspirators Peter Strzok and his adulterous main squeeze Lisa Page now revealing that then-President Barack Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing,” it now appears that the 2016 plot to subvert the rule of law and corrupt the US organs of state security for political purposes reached the very pinnacle of power. To call the United States today a “banana republic” increasingly may be seen as a gratuitous insult to the friendly spider-infested nations to our south.

Still, don’t expect to see Barry Hussein Saetoro doing the perp walk anytime soon or even being deported back to Kenya. Don’t expect to see orange prison suits on Strzok, Page, former FBI Director James Comey, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and others implicated in putting a political thumb on the scales to, first, get Hillary Clinton elected, and then, when that failed, to neuter Donald Trump’s presidency with a phony Russiagate probe.

Officials’ getting “former-ed” is one thing, their getting prosecuted quite another. (Just imagine if a GOP administration had similarly skewed the supposedly non-political law enforcement and intelligence services for partisan reasons. We’d have Watergate on steroids. The New York Times, Washington Post and CNN would be calling for hanging, drawing, and quartering.)

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Jim/Bill,

Looks like a bullshit plan to me! Strictly political appeasement.

First, the government will fund only $200 billion, leaving $1.3 trillion on the backs of states and local governments which are already on verge of bankruptcy.

Second, of that $200 billion federal funding, almost all will come from cutting OTHER infrastructure plans. WTF?

Third, heard on Bloomberg that there will be proposed increases in gasoline taxes on all levels, making the interstate highway system a toll road, etc. TAXES TAXES TAXES.

Fourth, no funding to improve the Hudson River crossings (Holland and Lincoln tunnels and train service under river), where significant improvement is in dire need.

CIGA Wolfgang Rech

White House Releases 55-Page, $1.5 Trillion Infrastructure Plan
February 12, 2018

Just like Trump promised during his State of the Union address late last month, the White House has released an infrastructure package Monday that hopes to raise $1.5 trillion to help rebuild American roads, bridges and airports.

Since the initial draft was leaked last month, Trump has raised his fundraising goal to $1.5 trillion from $1 trillion.

Most of the 55-page plan’s most salient details were leaked overnight.

At its core, the proposal will use the $200 billion, to be disbursed over a decade, as seed money to incentivize states, localities and the private sector to commit to spending the balance of the headline number…

It will also streamline the permitting process and improve training to get qualified workers ready to work on rural infrastructure projects…

However, Democrats have complained the plan relies too heavily on municipalities and states, and doesn’t provide enough federal funding to have much of an impact. Some have described it as a “bait-and-switch” since it’s unclear if the White House will be able to raise the headline number.

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How to Recognize and Leave Behind Your Social Conditioning
February 11, 2018

Via The Daily Bell

Every decision humans make is colored by their past. Despite vast progress, we are still prey to the oldest tool of learning: social conditioning and the pressure of the group.

What was once a key to survival follows us into the modern age. It shapes our decisions, the careers we choose, and at times even forces us to act against our better judgment.

But we can break free and shape our own decisions. That is the gift of self-awareness. It begins with recognizing something most of us would rather discount; the effects of social conditioning.

Recognizing the prevalence of social conditioning within society and ourselves…

Real freedom from social conditioning begins with accepting and recognizing that we are influenced by social pressure.

A famous experiment into the effects of social pressure and conformity is the Asch experiment.

Solomon Asch, a social psychologist in the mid 20th century, set out to create an experiment that would test humanity’s propensity to conform to the group.

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Courtesy of CIGA David

Jim

‘A common feature of all these earlier troubles was that, having happened, they were over. The worst was reasonably recognizable as such. The singular feature of the great crash of 1929 was that the worst continued to worsen.

‘What looked one day like the end proved on the next day to have been only the beginning. Nothing could have been more ingeniously designed to maximize the suffering, and also to ensure that as few as possible escaped the common misfortune.

‘The fortunate speculator who had funds to answer the first margin call presently got another and equally urgent one, and if he met that, there would still be another. In the end all the money he had was extracted from him and lost.

‘The man with the smart money, who was safely out of the market when the first crash came, naturally went back in to pick up bargains. (Not only were a record 12,894,650 shares sold on 24 October; precisely the same number were bought.) The bargains then suffered a ruinous fall.

‘Even the man who waited out all of October and all of November, who saw the volume of trading return to normal and saw Wall Street become as placid as a produce market, and who then bought common stocks would see their value drop to a third or a fourth of the purchase price in the next twenty-four months.

‘The Coolidge bull market was a remarkable phenomenon. The ruthlessness of its liquidation was, in its own way, equally remarkable.’ John Kenneth Galbraith, (1908-2006), The Great Crash: 1929.