September 2nd, 2014
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[Dr. Kurt Richebächer was one of the most visible and vocal proponents of Austrian School economics at the time of his death in 2007.  Eight years earlier, at the height of the dot-com bubble, we interviewed him for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner.  In retrospect, the economic problems that he believed threatened the global economy were small and relatively manageable back then. The same problems are of course still with us, and Richebächer undoubtedly would be appalled by the extent to which they have metastasized.

Although he spoke of a deflationary collapse in the interview, a close reading of his monthly newsletter from 1997-2002 reveals that he was conflicted on the subject. He used the word “deflation” only rarely during that period, and when he did, his logic became uncharacteristically muddy. Perhaps this is because, in the Austrian scheme of things, spectacular credit blowouts are not supposed to beget deflation, but rather, inflation. Arguably, if he were around today, he would still be uncertain as to which is likely to prevail when the economy finally collapses, as it must.  The interview below appeared in November 1999 under the flippant headline -- not my work, for sure -- “Economic Basics Predict Apocalypse”.  RA]

The dismal science will never be the same if Dr. Kurt Richebächer’s dire predictions for the global economy should come to pass. The former chief economist and managing partner at Germany’s Dresdner Bank says a deflationary collapse lies ahead that will ravage the world’s bourses and usher in a dark period of austerity and financial discipline.

Probably not one economist in 50 shares his views, at least not publicly. Richebächer, now living in France, says many of his American colleagues have been seduced into ignorance and complicity by Wall Street’s billions as well as by their love affair with mathematical models that shun fundamental laws of economics. Where they see a New Era of productivity growth and industrial efficiency, he sees duplicitous bookkeeping and manufacturing’s steep decline. They talk of a booming U.S. economy; he sees a profitless mirage. They worship capitalism’s bold risk-takers; he scorns them for recklessly piling leverage to the sky. Someone’s going to be wrong, but judge for yourself who. » Read the full article


TODAY'S ACTION for Wednesday

Sweetening the tedium

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 8:09 am GMT

More tedium was the prediction for bullion here a couple of days ago, and it seems to be coming true. Thrill-seekers might want to take a look at today’s tout for July Sugar, which, as a chat room denizen noted, appears to be taking off for a seasonal flight-of-fancy.


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June E-mini S&P (ESM11) price chart with targetsIt’s understandable if you’ve lost interest in the downside targets I gave here earlier at, respectively, 1273.50 and 1276.50, since I’ve practically lost interest myself. Getting there has been pure tedium, a downtrend punctuated each day by either a Whoopee Cushion rally or numerous feints higher.  Alas, there’s also an excess of enticing Hidden Pivot targets to bottom-fish at the moment.  One that I especially like that is perhaps best suited for Tuesday night owls lies at 1274.75, and it can be bid with a 1.00-point stop-loss.  At the time this recommendation was published, the futures had exceeded by a single tick the 1281.25 midpoint associated with that number.  Accordingly, you should be alert for a possible bounce that could be traded bullishly via camouflage on the three-minute chart.  If there is no rally, or not much of one, that would affirm the outlook for more slippage to as low as 1269.75.

Incidentally, if you don’t subscribe to Rick’s Picks but would like to know more about the proprietary camouflage trading technique that we use to keep entry risk to a bare minimum, click here for information about the Hidden Pivot Webinar in late June.  You could also take a free week’s trial subscription that will give you access not only to detailed trading recommendations each day, but to a 24/7 chat room that draws experienced traders from all over the world. ______ UPDATE (10:02 a.m. EDT):  The 1276.50 pivot we’d grown so bored with caught the overnight low within a single tick, so officially we did nothing.  As a practical matter, a camouflage long entry from the 6:48 a.m. (EDT) bottom would have been difficult to justify, even on the 3-minute chart.

SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:33.70)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 4:59 am GMT

Silver Wheaton (SLW) price chart with targetsThe stock is sitting at a precipice, since yesterday’s close was on a major trendline (see inset). The support is so obvious that we should be alert to a possible false breakdown that could afford us a bottom-fishing opportunity.  The nearest Hidden Pivot support lies at 31.91 (A=37.72 on May 10, daily chart), so that’s where it should be attempted.  Camouflaged entry is preferred, but if you don’t want to bother, or if you don’t know how, bid 31.93, stop 31.86, for 400 shares. Please note that if Wheaton should really fall apart it could fall all the way to 26.77, the ‘D’ target of a pattern shown in the chart.  We continue to hold 300 shares @ 42.01 against three June 40 puts with a 4.00 basis, but option expiration will soon put it out of its misery.

GCQ11 – August Gold (Last:1539.90)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 5:15 am GMT

August Gold (GCQ11) price chart with targetsA dip below 1536.30 would cede control to bears for the near term, sending the futures down to a likely test of support at 1531.10, a Hidden Pivot whose provenance is shown in the chart.  The one-off ‘A’ is so seductive here that I have ignored the fact that the point ‘B’ of the pattern is pure ’sausage’ (having failed to breach the 1536.30 low).  Accordingly, I’ll recommend bottom-fishing  at 1531.10 with a 1531.30 bid, stop 1530.70. ______ UPDATE (9:54 a.m. EDT): The futures fell $12 overnight to a low that was 0.70 points shy of our target, so officially we did nothing.  The subsequent $13 upthrust has taken the trade out-of-range, so cancel it.

SIN11 – July Silver (Last:36.720)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 7:06 am GMT

July Silver (SIN11) price chart with targetsThe high of yesterday’s gratuitous thrust didn’t even come close to the 37.890 peak whose breach would have signaled a bullish resurgence, but it remains valid nonetheless as a trigger point to watch if you’re keen on buying a breakout. Meanwhile, in trading early Wednesday morning (EDT), a Hidden Pivot support at 36.770 resisted sellers for all of a half-hour, hinting of further slippage over the near-term to at least 36.290, its ‘d’ sibling. You can bottom-fish there with a stop-loss as tight as four ticks, but the appeal of this gambit will diminish as the night wears on and the c-d leg becomes increasingly labored. ______ UPDATE (10:18 a.m. EDT):  The futures took a 30-cent bounce overnight from 36.250, so if you used the four-tick stop-loss advised, you would have missed the tradable low by a tick, with a resulting, modest loss of $100.  The futures have subsequently surged anew, but the recovery high at 36.820 is nowheresville relative to the tedious range of the last five days.

SBN11 – July Sugar (Last:24.37)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 7:48 am GMT

July Sugar (SBN11) price chart with targetsA chat room denizen suggested taking a look at sugar — “a nice set-up, and the seasonal low is in” — and so we shall.  Price action since early May’s low does indeed look bullish, since successive upthrusts on the daily chart seem to have had little trouble impulsingv above previous peaks. Dropping down to the hourly chart, the most recent such surge projects to 24.55, a Hidden Pivot that lies just six cents above yesterday’s high.  An easy push past the number would hint of yet more bullish action to come, and as you can see, the hourly chart is loaded with “external” peaks  that can be easily leveraged by the adroit Pivoteer.

JYM11 – June Yen (Last:1.2487)

by Rick Ackerman on June 8, 2011 8:01 am GMT

June Yen (JYM11) price chart with targetsAll the king’s horses seem unable to suppress the yen, much to the detriment of Japan’s increasingly desperate exporters. The nearest Hidden Pivot resistance lies at 1.2657, representing a 1.3 percent rise from current levels. That number is shortable with a stop-loss as tight as five ticks, but if it gives way easily, that would portend an even weightier exchange-rate burden on the nation’s already severely depressed economy. _______ UDPATE:  For the September contract, 1.2633 is equivalent to the target given above. It too is shortable. _______ FURTHER UPDATE (June 27): Bor-ing. We’ll put this one aside for now, since it has become a tiresome distraction.

$CLV14 – October Crude (Last:93.76)

by Rick Ackerman on August 28, 2014 1:13 am GMT

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$PCLN – Priceline (Last:1260.77)

by Rick Ackerman on August 28, 2014 1:00 am GMT

If the lunatic stocks are about to lead the broad averages higher, we should see Priceline bounce sharply from the 1259.21 midpoint support shown. Yesterday’s low came within 38 cents of this Hidden Pivot — close enough for the target to be considered fulfilled. Any further slippage, however, and its ‘D’ sibling at 1224.45 will be in play. This would imply that the stock market itself is likely to go nowhere, or possibly down, in the days ahead.  The stock would become shortable on a decisive breach of the red line (i.e., a breach of perhaps 0.30-0.60 cents), but if you plan on getting short for the potential $35 ride south, you should initiate the trade on the 5-minute chart or less, using a corrective pattern that would subject you to no more risk theoretically than perhaps 0.15 per share. If the trade works and you are still short when 1224.45 is reached or closely approached, reverse the position and buy at the target aggressively using a tight stop.

$+TSLA – Tesla Motors (Last:264.09)

by Rick Ackerman on August 26, 2014 7:35 am GMT

Tesla’s bullish rampage looks like it could hit 305.55 on the next big thrust.  Accordingly, I’ll recommend bidding 1.54 for the October 3/Sep 5  300 calendar spread 8 times, good till Friday. You should adjust your bid by 0.05 up or down for every 50 cents the stock moves above or below 262.50.  Please note as well that a pullback to the red line, a Hidden Pivot midpoint at 241.39, should be regarded as a buying opportunity, especially the calendar spread (albeit it at a much lower price). _______ UPDATE (August 26, 11:43 p.m. EDT):  Volatility has gotten crushed, and so you’re doing well if you buy the spread now for 1.34 (with TSLA at 262.00).  Since the spread price can fluctuate wildly from one day to the next, I’ll suggest that you recalibrate it hourly if you’re a buyer, using a spread price midway between bid and offer as “fair value.”  It has a delta value of around 9 at the moment, so you should adjust your bid for the spread by 0.01 for each 0.11 move in the underlying. _______ UPDATE (August 28, 9:45 p.m.):  With the Sep 5 calls melting away, the fair price for our spread must be recalculated several times daily by anyone seeking to buy it. It was a decent buy at Thursday’s close for around 1.20, but it could shed yet another 0.15-0.25 as the week ends.

$SLW – Silver Wheaton (Last:24.89)

by Rick Ackerman on August 25, 2014 12:05 am GMT

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$AAPL – Apple Computer (Last:100.89)

by Rick Ackerman on August 21, 2014 3:16 am GMT

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$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:117.72)

by Rick Ackerman on August 20, 2014 4:59 am GMT

Subscribers are working two bullish calendar spreads (x16), but I would suggest increasing the size of the position if TLT corrects down to the 115.18 target  shown.   For now , we are long September 20 118 calls against short August 19 118 calls that we will roll into August 29 calls this Thursday and Friday.  We’ve already done the roll twice, reducing the cost basis of the spread to 0.04. This week’s roll will entail covering (buying back) the short calls and shorting a like number of August 29 calls, effectively selling the August 22 118/August 29 118 calendar spread.

It was marked on Tuesday at 0.17, off a 0.26 offer, but any price higher than 0.04 will effectively turn the position we’ll have  – long the Sept 20 118/August 29 118 calendar — into a credit spread.  This means we can’t lose – will make a profit no matter what TLT does.  Ideally, come September 20 , TLT will be sitting at 118, our spread will be trading for around 0.50, and we’ll be carrying it for a credit of perhaps 0.50.  The imputed profit would be  $1600 — not bad, considering our risk is already close to zero.

My long-term outlook for T-Bonds is very bullish, a view that goes sharply against a consensus which clings to the belief that interest rates – and the stock market — can only go up.  That is a bet we should be eager to fade. We may have a chance to do so at still better odds if T-Bonds continue to  sell off  on the manufactured idea that the Jackson Hole conference will open the floodgates for more stimulus and inflation. _______ UPDATE (10:38 a.m.):  The Sep 20/Aug xx calendar spread is recommended at this point only for those who did the original spread, since there’s not enough time left on it to roll its cost basis down to zero or less (i.e., a credit). If you are new to the spread, try buying the Nov 20/August 29 calendar for 0.90 with TLT trading around 115.80.  The spread has a delta value of 0.20, implying that being long one spread is equivalent to being long 20 shares of stock.  This means that, using a spread price of 0.90 as a benchmark, you should adjust the price you pay for it by one penny, up or down, for each 5 cents that TLT moves away from 115.80. ______ UPDATE (August 23): The strategies detailed above continue to rack up solid gains for subscribers that have come with minimal risk. If you have yet to take a stake, I would strongly urge you to do so, and to monitor reports in the chat room from those who are working the order. If there are any questions about how, and when, to initiate a trade, please don’t hesitate to ask me or others about it. _______ UPDATE (August 26, 12:01 a.m.): These spreads are working well, to put it mildly — especially for subscribers who increased their position size as suggested whenever TLT was weak.  Check my August 26 posts in the chatroom for further, detailed guidance.  In brief, I am suggesting covering half of the 118-strike spreads for 0.90 or better this week, and to roll the short side of the Nov 22 120/Aug 29 120 to Sep 5. _______ UPDATE (August 28, 12:43 p.m.): The August 29 118 calls look likely to finish in-the-money. To avoid being exercised, make sure you roll into the September 5 calls before noon EDT Friday.  Currently, with TLT trading 119.09, the September 5 118/August 29 118 calendar spread is a decent sale for around 0.28.  Keep in mind that the spread could widen, to our great advantage, if TLT pulls back, since the August 29 calls we are short will shed value more precipitously than the September calls that we continue to hold as the long side of our position. Even so, you could do worse than take the 0.28 now and run, since it would simply fatten the premium we have taken in on the weekly short, increasing our net credit.  With TLT rallying liking a moofoo, the weekly credits will be more significant to our final gain than the calendar spread itself at expiration.

+GDXJ – Junior Gold Miner ETF (Last:42.06)

by Rick Ackerman on September 2, 2014 12:03 am GMT

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This Just In... for Wednesday

Read here the confessions of a University of Illinois professor who at age 64 recently retired to fat city, courtesy of the state’s taxpayers. He’ll receive 80 percent of his salary for life, plus a three percent annual cost of living increase, but you  won’t believe some of the other perks that came with the job.


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