They are Dropping Like Flies…
Ann Barnhardt of BCM Capital closed her brokerage business this week because of the MF Global scam. Taking excerpts from her post: “November 17, 2011 10:27 AM MST. It is with regret and unflinching moral certainty that I announce that Barnhardt Capital Management has ceased operations. I could no longer tell my clients that their monies and positions were safe in the futures and options markets - because they are not. And this goes not just for my clients, but also for every futures and options account in the United States. The entire system has been utterly destroyed by the MF Global collapse. MF Global, a firm, led by a crony of the Obama regime, stole all of the non-margined cash held by customers of his firm. Let's not sugarcoat this - Jon Corzine STOLE the customer cash at MF Global. Knowing Jon Corzine, and knowing the abject lawlessness and contempt for humanity of the Marxist Obama regime and its cronies, this is not really a surprise. What was a surprise was the reaction of the exchanges and regulators. Their reaction has been to take a bad situation and make it orders of magnitude worse. Specifically, they froze customers out of their accounts WHILE THE MARKETS CONTINUED TO TRADE, refusing to even allow them to liquidate. No informed person can continue to engage these markets, and no moral person can continue to broker or facilitate customer engagement in what is now a massive game of Russian roulette. I have learned over the last week that MF Global is almost certainly the mere tip of the iceberg, and as the failures begin to cascade there simply isn't that much money in the entire system. I will not consider reforming and reopening Barnhardt Capital Management until Barack Obama has been removed from office AND the government of the United States has been sufficiently reformed and repopulated so as to engender my total and complete confidence in the government.”
As you can see, Miss Barnhardt has no problem expressing her opinion. But, is she right or wrong? I think that she is right, and we are witnessing 40 years of fiat currency craziness all coming to a head. Can we clean it all up? I do not believe we can, because the problems are too deep, too widespread, and too interconnected. Sit back and ponder what we’ve seen during the past 4 years – Lehman Bros, Bear Sterns and MF Global are gone, while Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Ireland are all technically insolvent. U.S. housing is still falling, the poor are increasing, food stamps are at record usage, and joblessness is raging. And all of this is happening despite 2 rounds of Quantitative Easing, Operation Twist, Cash for Clunkers, cash for Window Replacement, Government owned General Motors, and our FED lending out $16 trillion to European banks that when asked ‘Who got it?’ - The Ben Bernanke responded: “I don’t know!” And currently The Jefferies Group is about to go belly up – due to their exposure to MF Global.
I think the most telling part of all this is that no one seems to notice. John Corzine was about the most connected person you could name, and was probably going to be the next Treasury Secretary – he’s done! David Tepper (we learned this week) has taken all his funds out of equities. Here are some facts about the poor that certainly shook me:
- Last year, 2.6 million more Americans descended into poverty. The largest increase since the US government began keeping statistics.
- In 2000, 11.3% of all Americans were living in poverty – today it’s 15.1%.
- 22% of the children in the United States are living in poverty.
- Over 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.
- One out of every six elderly Americans now lives below the poverty line.
- 45 million Americans (15% of all Americans – one out of every 4 children) are on food stamps – increasing 74% since 2007.
- Today – 18% of Americans are on Medicaid – in 1965 only 2% were.
- Today – over ½ a million children are homeless!
So where can we invest our money safely? Understand, on any given day the $600 Trillion in outstanding derivatives could take down all the trading houses and all of the exchanges – which is why investing in physical Gold and Silver make sense to me. For your information, we’re beginning to hear of non-delivery of gold and silver after payment. And warnings are beginning to circulate telling everyone to cash out of all gold ETFs because the backing is questionable. I'm just hopeful that the right people get in power so that when the default hits, the reset is done correctly and our kids have a shot at a brighter future.
Our market is broken. When 200 to 300 point swings are the ‘new normal’, you can bet all semblance of ‘real normal’ is gone. We have a $600 trillion derivative bomb lying in wait, ready to go off at any moment. We have Europe melting, and brokerages imploding. Without more stimuli – QE3 – the economy will continue to crumble. Last week the Fed heads were out in force talking about how Europe could force us to be more accommodative, which is a fancy word for "print more money". So it’s coming, and when it’s announced the market will put on a furious rush higher. However, until it’s announced, we're going to be in a ‘rinse and repeat’ moment. So we’re in a time where the market depends upon free money from The Ben Bernanke, otherwise we will ‘slosh and fall’.
So one tactic is to just buy silver and gold, take possession, and forget the stock market. The only other tactic I can recommend is for you to understand how to trade. Trading means – actively buying something today, and maybe selling half by the close and the other half a day or two or a week later.
Currently the market is set for more down side. However, something happened this week that suggests to me that without something "real" like the FED coming out with QE3, or something really solid out of Europe – we are indeed heading lower. That ‘something’ was that the market rewarded the PUT buyers. You see people buy call options and put options to hedge their positions and to try and make money. Well, most of the time, the Market will generally move in the direction that will punish the most people, most of the time. It's called the "max pain" theory. Coming into this past week, to "punish" the most people the market would have had to trade sideways and slightly higher, but it didn't. This past week the market fell like the proverbial rock. It rewarded the bulk of the options holders who were destined to make the most money. So something went terribly awry, and could signal the shape of things to come.
I’m betting that (minus some rumor or news of a bail out) the market's going to go down and test the 50-day moving averages. On the S&P it has only 8 points to go, but on the DOW it’s got a couple hundred. So, we should be looking at a lower market this week. Normally Thanksgiving is a time for the markets to be fairly strong, so maybe they’ll all pitch in and try and save us, but it sure looks shaky.
Be careful out there, because we’re just one headline away from an all out crash, or a wild run higher.
We’re out of virtually everything except:
- GLD at 157.49 – now at 167.90, and
- SLV at 28.00 – now at 31.55,
- And HDGE at 25.30 - now at 26.01.
As the miners continue to ‘relatively’ strengthen – thanks to Dave S for recommending Mines Management, MGN.
Now if things continue to roll over, I continue playing the short side using HDGE.
To follow me on Twitter and get my daily thoughts and trades – my handle is: “taylorpamm”.
Please be safe out there!
Expressed thoughts proffered within the BARRONS REPORT, a Private and free weekly economic newsletter, are those of noted entrepreneur, professor and author, RF Culbertson, contributing sources and those he interviews. You can learn more and get your free subscription by visiting:
Please write to
If you'd like to view RF's actual stock trades - and see more of my thoughts - please feel free to sign up as a Twitter follower - "taylorpamm" is my handle.
If you'd like to see RF in action - teaching people about investing - please feel free to view the TED talk that he gave on “Fearless Investing”:
To unsubscribe please refer to the bottom of the email.
Views expressed are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as an offer, an endorsement, or inducement to invest and is not in any way a testimony of, or associated with Mr. Culbertson's other firms or associations. Mr. Culbertson and related parties are not registered and licensed brokers. This message may contain information that is confidential or privileged and is intended only for the individual or entity named above and does not constitute an offer for or advice about any alternative investment product. Such advice can only be made when accompanied by a prospectus or similar offering document. Past performance is not indicative of future performance. Please make sure to review important disclosures at the end of each article.
Note: Joining BARRONS REPORT is not an offering for any investment. It represents only the opinions of RF Culbertson and Associates.
PAST RESULTS ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS. THERE IS RISK OF LOSS AS WELL AS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GAIN WHEN INVESTING IN MANAGED FUNDS. WHEN CONSIDERING ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENTS (INCLUDING HEDGE FUNDS) AN INVESTOR SHOULD CONSIDER VARIOUS RISKS INCLUDING THE FACT THAT SOME PRODUCTS AND OTHER SPECULATIVE INVESTMENT PRACTICES MAY INCREASE RISK OF INVESTMENT LOSS; MAY NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS AS MUTUAL FUNDS, OFTEN CHARGE HIGH FEES, AND IN MANY CASES THE UNDERLYING INVESTMENTS ARE NOT TRANSPARENT AND ARE KNOWN ONLY TO THE INVESTMENT MANAGER.
Alternative investment performance can be volatile. An investor could lose all or a substantial amount of his or her investment. Often, alternative investment fund and account managers have total trading authority over their funds or accounts; the use of a single advisor applying generally similar trading programs could mean lack of diversification and, consequently, higher risk. There is often no secondary market for an investor's interest in alternative investments, and none is expected to develop.
All material presented herein is believed to be reliable but we cannot attest to its accuracy. Opinions expressed in these reports may change without prior notice. Culbertson and/or the staff may or may not have investments in any funds cited above.
Remember the Blog:
Until next week – be safe.