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Snapchat Takes Greed to Awesome New Heights

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In last week’s commentary, we opined that Twitter’s shamelessly overhyped IPO was the bell that’s supposed to ring when the stock market is at a major top. But that was before we’d heard of Evan Spiegel, a 29-year-old Stanford dropout who has single-handedly one-upped Twitter in three separate categories:  greed, hubris and stupidity.  It’s not what Spiegel did, but rather what he didn’t do, that tells us that stock-market mania may be at  an epochal high. In case you missed the story, which ran above the fold in The Wall Street Journal last Thursday, Spiegel snubbed a $3 billion offer from Facebook for the company he founded, Snapchat.  You say you’ve never heard of them?  But then, why would you have?  The software firm makes a smartphone application that is used almost exclusively by teenagers to send messages and pictures to each other that disappear in ten seconds or less. Don’t you wish you were the genius who’d thought of this first?  (Question: Can the idea be adapted by a company that packages meals for dieters?)

If you’re wondering where Snapchat’s profits will come from, you’re not alone.  Spiegel himself has yet to figure that one out.  Indeed, the company has no revenues, nor even a business model. But because there have been hundreds of millions of Snapchat messages flying hither and thither in cyberspace each day, that is deemed reason enough for the company to be in play as a red-hot buyout candidate.  Snapchat reportedly has suitors in China who are willing to invest at a level that would effectively value the company at $4 billion. But will even that be enough to satisfy Spiegel’s flamboyant brand of greed?  Perhaps not. He evidently thinks Snapchat’s user numbers have plenty more room to grow, and that the current, high levels of activity ensure that his software’s popularity won’t fade.

Suggested Reading

Before Spiegel passes up any more absurdly generous offers, we’d suggest that he read Mackay’s account, in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, of the South Sea Bubble.  History buffs may recall that in the early 1700s, the government of England, through the officially sanctioned South Seas Company, sought to boost revenues by granting exclusive charters to trading companies. Entrepreneurs lost no time dreaming up ideas on which large sums of money could be raised, in Mackay’s account, for such purposes as: insuring of horses; improving of gardens; trading in hair; erecting salt works in Holy Island; and, furnishing funerals to any part of Great Britain.  One hare-brained scheme in particular suggests that the arrant foolishness and gluttony of investors has remained constant over centuries. Consider the following prospectus, which raised a sum sufficient to have earned one very dubious company a place on Mackay’s list of bubbles: “For carrying on an undertaking of great advantage; but nobody to know what it is.”

Someone ought to tell Spiegel that whenever folly has reached such celestial heights, a collapse in confidence has not been far off.  No better example could be found than the Dutch Tulipmania that summited in the winter of 1636. At the time, tulip-crazed speculators bid up some rare bulbs to levels that equated to ten times the annual earnings of a skilled craftsman. Trade data suggest that the top of this mania occurred in the winter of 1636, and that the subsequent collapse reached full force by early February, 1637. If peaks in human folly are assumed to be roughly equal from one era to the next, that would imply the current mania will implode by no later than January of  2014. You’ve been warned.

Please do not ask trading questions!

  • mario cavolo November 25, 2013, 3:12 am

    Being sensible and putting ourselves in their shoes, it seems the FED will move forward shaping their dialogue gently in the direction of “keeping interest rates” low, which is the new MUST and WILL DO, and away from the focus on the amount of the monthly QE. In this way, the market will least likely freak out as monetary policity and tapering adjustments start happening. Wish China would do the same, darned mortgage rates are over 7%!

    Cheers, Mario

  • gary leibowitz November 24, 2013, 10:19 pm

    Pardon my divergence from the intended topic but this article seems important. It discusses ways to taper and keep short term rates low. Basically taking a book from the ECB. The economic nerds had better get this one right.

    =====================================
    Still, the experience of the European Central Bank suggests it may be manageable, said former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder. Under an as-yet-unused Outright Monetary Policy program, announced in September 2012, the ECB said it would buy unlimited amounts of government bonds maturing in one to three years from nations that met certain criteria related to their debt. Its creation is credited with easing the euro area’s debt crisis.

    ECB’s Experience

    ECB President Mario Draghi “hasn’t spent a single euro doing that and the spreads have come in a lot — the market didn’t want to fight the ECB,” said Blinder, a professor at Princeton University. That shows the Fed “might in fact not have to blow up your balance sheet a titanic amount” if it pursued a plan to peg interest rates.
    =====================================

    The whole article:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-22/bernanke-s-crisis-playbook-reopens-as-qe-taper-nears-economy.html

  • Troll November 24, 2013, 12:24 am

    I admit I appreciate the stick-to-it-tiv-ness of those who buy and hold their gold based on their own beliefs.

    So many gold investors, for whatever reason, are so mad at the world it becomes almost impossible to get into a friendly debate with them. They are right, everyone else is wrong, and that is that.

    Because of that, I get mad. And then I can’t get into a friendly debate.

    I am someone who takes a great deal of pride in my charting skills, even though I am sometimes wrong.

    The point is, right or wrong, we shouldn’t allow outside influences to have an effect on the way we look at charts. I freely admit, it’s sometimes easier said than done.

    The thing is, when most of us first get into the trading racket (and it is a racket, I don’t care what anyone says in this regard: traders produce nothing, economically speaking), we want to gather as much information as we can find.

    Why?

    Because we’re unsure of ourselves, for the most part.

    We head off into the wild blue yonder of the internet world seeking to find all those stock market gurus that will help us navigate our way through all the noise the investment world has to offer.

    Sometimes, we knock on the wrong door. Sometimes we knock on the right door.

    Sometimes, those doors can be both a blessing and a curse.

    I am not mad at the world, but I continually (and stupidly) allow myself to get sucked into debates with those who are.

    I don’t dislike anyone on this site, I just wonder sometimes what could have possibly happened to people where they can’t find one shred of good on a planet that is so amazing.

    This isn’t open for debate.

    It is an AMAZING planet, something I think far too few of us sit back and truly take in.

    I know I don’t.

    This is an apology, sort of, but not entirely.

    There is more to life than sitting at a desk reading information from sites telling us all that is wrong with the world.

    There are plenty of things RIGHT with mother earth.

    Rick teaches an exceptional course. It is our job to use what he’s taught us and make money. On either side of the ledger.

    Here is the choice:

    We can listen to all the noise but it only serves to corrupt the charts.

    Charts don’t care about me or you and they don’t care about noise.

    Charts don’t care about anything.

    And if the charts are manipulated (as many here suggest they are), we seem to have a tool at our disposal that takes all that into account.

    If that weren’t true, could someone kindly explain to me how Hidden Pivots are as accurate as they are?

    While many of you seem to think a financial collapse would be a good thing (and while I disagree, I reallydon’t know one way or the other how things would turn out) and have likened my attitude to a “take the blue pill” thing (from the movie “The Matrix”) I will offer up some words of wisdom from Joni Mitchell:

    Don’t it always seem to go
    That you don’t know what you’ve got
    Till it’s gone

    And to you, DK, my mistake, but you seem to quote more government stats than you do HP’s, and in my opinion, you can’t serve two masters.

    Either Rick’s (charting) course works or it doesn’t.

    I’d wish you good luck, but quite frankly, I don’t want to see an economical collapse, thank you very much.

    • gary leibowitz November 24, 2013, 10:01 pm

      Troll, nice synopsis of how I feel. This blog however is an open-discussion slanted towards the owners views.

      There are people that were born as skeptics and others that enjoy what they have without looking for alternative reasons. The two do not ever meet. That is human nature with emotional baggage left over from our genetically evolving past. Instead of trying to “fix” what is perceived wrong with a persons perspective, we should be trying to detail out points across for a two-sided discussion. I live to learn and absorb knowledge.

      The 50 year anniversary JFK discussions were most enlightening. The controversy remains, but using todays technology has dispelled some rumors as impossible and even opened up a strong possibility that the fatal shot could not have come from Oswald’s gun. One theory had it that the CIA in the motor arcade used his automatic rifle to attempt to shoot at the window but accidently shot the president as the car surged forward. It is possible but odds of an accident happening so precisely is mathematically small. Had they lined up the CIA gunman with the window and shown a direct line of fire with the president I would consider that possibility. At least we are discussing the alternative events without prejudice.

  • gary leibowitz November 23, 2013, 12:02 am

    Nice calls so far. I think we have another day or so on the upside however, SPX above 1810 is my guess. This should only be a correction in this bull run. Ricks call for 1900 on SPX seems logical based on current conditions. Momentum, breadth, and the credit market are all suggesting we are still in a bullish run. I don’t expect the next correction to get down further than 1750 or so.

  • Rich November 22, 2013, 7:51 pm

    ISE sentiment so uber-bullish,
    sold QQQ calls and bot QQQ puts today

    http://www.ise.com/market-data/isee-index/

  • Andrew Gutterman November 20, 2013, 2:34 pm

    Interest rates fall or remain very low because the demand for money is falling.

    The FED is only reflecting what the market is doing on its own.

    Its very hard to justify borrowing money to increase production when you have all that debt overhang from previous borrowings to both expand production and for consumers to pay for it.

    If you look back in history at the FED’s machinations you discover the market led the interest rates down and up before the FED did. The FED follows, it doesn’t lead.

    And right now and for the foreseeable future the demand for money outside of governments is going to remain very low, until we wipe out all that debt.

    How do we do that?

    Exactly.

    Andy

    &&&&&&

    The Fed IS the market, annually ‘buying’ nearly a trillion dollars worth of paper for which there is no market demand, and magnanimously forgiving and shredding nearly $2Tr of nearly worthless paper that would otherwise be sitting on the books of the banks. RA

    • gary leibowitz November 21, 2013, 6:50 am

      “Interest rates fall or remain very low because the demand for money is falling”

      So the 10 year note hitting 2.8 percent while the economic numbers are all hitting or exceeding expectation is just a coincidence?

      “And right now and for the foreseeable future the demand for money outside of governments is going to remain very low, until we wipe out all that debt”

      If everyone is in debt and our currency is valued against like currencies why would the demand be less? It’s like living on a polluted planet. What choices are there? As for increasing our debt even though we are knee deep in it, you must realize that is exactly what we do until we physically can’t anymore. this is the engine and until the engine breaks down expect that to continue.

      • Andrew Gutterman November 21, 2013, 2:40 pm

        I’m looking a t the long term picture, not the monthly or even yearly blips.

        What do you see in this picture?

        http://www.booktrakker.com/Economy/TenYearTreasury.jpg

        Notice that the FED if for all practical purposes irrelevant, the trend has been down for the last 32 years. (rates peaked in 1981)

        For another perspective see this:

        http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Long-Term-Rates.png

        Notice that the great peak in 1981 corresponded with the gold peak in 1980, and was WAY outside the trend of the last couple of centuries. What was different with the period from 1970 to 1981?

        Hint: The cause of that massive peak is trying to retire right now.

        Looking at both charts and my expectations for the economy going forward I see gold correcting to 730 before starting a long term sideways move that might even take it lower, and I see interest rates for the 10 year treasury note falling to under 1%.

        Gold miners need to learn how to make money with an average price of $800 – $1100.

        What kind of an economy will be operating in that environment?

        Some form of a depression. Won’t be the same as we had in the 30’s, but from the perspective of anyone in the bottom 80% it won’t matter.

        Got debt? Get rid of it as fast as you can!

        Andy

      • gary leibowitz November 22, 2013, 6:10 pm

        Andrew,

        We have had higher highs and lower lows since the start of our nation. Will we get as far down as you suggest? I doubt it. The Fed and world nations will conspire to prevent a spiraling deflation. More likely we get a bout of inflation from here before we see any steep drop, JMHO. The only known in all this is that we are in deep trouble. How it plays out is hard to say. I am leaning for a sharp but short deflation period after this supposed recovery is over. I also expect the next recovery to bring on hyper-inflation. A yo-yo affect. Anyone’s guess right now.

  • Rich November 19, 2013, 4:51 pm

    Speaking of social media

    Oxford Dictionary word of the year is “selfie”

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/53746/word-year-selfie

  • Rich November 19, 2013, 4:41 pm

    Out of QQQ puts long
    Into QQQ calls long
    Based on 4.8 times as many overvalued Index Puts as Calls opened yesterday on http://www.ise.com/market-data/isee-index/

    • DK November 19, 2013, 9:23 pm

      http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/11/19_Historic_Climax_Will_Take_Place_Over_The_Coming_12_Months.html

      With that, Stockman, and Paul Craig Roberts latest warnings, the picture is becoming more and more clear. I think they might all be right but I can’t believe what I’m seeing.

      Oh, and Santelli throwing it down again:

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-19/santelli-slams-jobs-manipulation-scandal-american-media-you-can-do-better

      Priceless.

      • gary leibowitz November 20, 2013, 6:41 pm

        You can cite Santelli and Richard Russell today or at any time frame you like, it makes no difference. They are curmudgeons, and will always be curmudgeons. They have always been wrong and late to the party. I wouldn’t put much stock in their opinions.

        It’s like predicting the winner of a 26 mile marathon before it even starts. There is a clear favorite, and despite the early, mid, or late race results you know in the end the favorite will win. Well that might even be true but to ignore the whole race until the final result could cost you.

        I was told that whenever there is signs of economic growth it must be faked, yet when you look at earnings, sales, productivity, wages, employment they seem to reinforce the notion of a healing economy. Today the market is up because the high expectations of double digit earnings growth is viable based on all the data coming out. Will it continue? Don’t know. Should I assume like all of you that the economy could never muster growth? The 10 year note is now once again hitting the 2.75 mark. Will it break out this time around? Will the Fed be able to prevent a breakout? I don’t have the answers to this, but do know that every data point coming out either hits expectations or exceeds them.

        The market will continue to go higher as long as the economic indicators don’t fall apart and earnings stay in line. This is not about the end-game where debt saturation will cause a collapse. To ignore the last 5 years and stubbornly insist that you can’t play this market because of fear of a washout event is ludicrous. This philosophy has already been proven wrong. We already doubled from the crash lows. If you invested then there is no way you could lose out on a washout event. Nothing drops 50 percent on a dime. the market is too diverse and big, with many different emotional bets for it to be seen as a one day crash. I know most don’t believe me on this, but even the shocking 87 crash had early warning signs that it was super-heated.

        With rates, earnings, economy where it is now, it can only take a major terrorist attack to cause such a crash.

        That being said I will reiterate my early prediction since it is the most logical as of today. A heated economy would force tapering, rates to rise above its defined range, and inflation fear to resurface. This scenario will kill the bull market. Its retailers time now. Lets see if the holiday season turns out as well as I predict. I know no one believes this is possible but time will tell if this is so.

      • redwilldanaher November 21, 2013, 12:01 am

        Once again expanding the known boundaries of absurdity. Not worth a real response by anyone.

      • gary leibowitz November 21, 2013, 6:40 am

        Red, I expect nothing more from you. You are very predictable. Too bad I can’t bet on your future diatribes. I present real hard facts and how the interest rate phenomenon is telegraphing the health of this economy. I am talking surface health, not the fact that a cancer is growing inside. I can distinguish the two. Can you? Just look at the data and 10 year note and tell me they are not one and the same. If this season turns out to be a strong one, watch out for some violent moves both up and down. The up move to justify high earnings growth, while the down side realization that too much of a good thing will spoil the party they had for 5 years. Once the real tapering takes hold it will be the start of the end. But this must be crazy talk since we all know that would never happen. I can remember the heated discussion on BITCOIN and how it challenged the established holy dollar and would never be allowed to continue. Yet no one here seems to remember.

        Rick should have some sort of collection of discussion points and reintroduce them when some event provides closure. I know it would be so very sobering for you folks to see just what your score would be.

        For the record every single person on this current board believes there is no chance of an economic recovery, let alone a heated one where the 10 year note can go over 3 percent. Is that correct?

      • Redwilldanaher November 21, 2013, 3:48 pm

        Stop speaking for other people. I wasn’t a party to the bitcoin discussion. I’ve already proven several times that I believed and in fact predicted that they’d do everything they could to fake a recovery. The fake recovery can also become one that is more legitimate for a while, take on somewhat of a life of it’s own, I’ve stated that here as well. I also repeated that it is all predicated on a myriad of unsustainable frauds.

        You’re losing track Gary.

      • Redwilldanaher November 21, 2013, 3:54 pm

        You are probably performing your duties in several forums and have not been able to keep track with who has argued what. You’re beyond absurd at this point.

        Aside from a shock, I expect them to be able to carry this charade on for about 1 more year. Too many people have come out and cautioned, from my experience it must get even more frothy by about a year’s time before they will pull the plug.

        This sums you up. You still have faith in the people in government and the media. If that doesn’t categorize you as a fool’s fool I don’t know what will…

      • gary leibowitz November 21, 2013, 6:37 pm

        Red, I didn’t direct the Bitcoin to you, but to everyone on the board. As for your insistence that this is a fake recovery, you just reinforced my original argument. Trillions spent to prop up the economy is not faked. Did you really think that that money wouldn’t help? It’s not the recovery I am worried about, but the aftermath of such a recovery. The credit market will explode once again, and business as usual will take hold, except this time around the debt will be so much higher.

        I stated for years that the FED will orchestrate a recovery and the good times will be the cause of the next big debacle. Everyone here stated that was impossible. All I know is that 5 years after the last crash we have across the board improvement domestically. The 10 year note is once again trying to break out above 3 percent. Tapering IS expected soon. All these things were decided a long time ago that it could never happen. I give the odds of it happening at 50/50 right now.

        You can’t keep ignoring the reality of the situation. Change and adapt or you will be left behind. I have. Originally I assumed the debt was too great to be able to push the economy back into positive territory. I changed my view and will stay the course until proven otherwise.

      • Redwilldanaher November 21, 2013, 8:41 pm

        Garidiculous, it is a fake recovery. It entirely based on illusion and fraud. The improvement you cite is from entirely artificial inducements and machinations. Off the scale dramatically understates the degree to which tptb have rigged everything.

        Explain why I can’t simultaneously believe that and continue to let a portfolio run to the upside based on projections and experience from trading in bubbles.

        Tell me how I can’t do that since I have been for years at this point.

        Rick does it too with his HP work. His subscribers do as well. Tell us why you can’t understand that or refuse to admit to that being reality.

        Maybe I will collar the portfolios at some point but I’ve yet to do it.

      • gary leibowitz November 22, 2013, 6:02 pm

        You arbitrarily decide what is an illusion and what is not? The crisis was real and so was the very above board response. Who doesn’t know what the Fed is doing? All crisis events creates a dramatic response, or so it should. Who is happy about this debt?

        Have we not gone thru this excess before? I do agree that this is a grand daddy of them all, but the process has been seen before. If we ever learn to control our emotions and prevent greed from taking hold we would not have these large swings. There isn’t a person on this board, including you, that hasn’t stated over the past 5 years that we have topped out and a crash is imminent.

        Illusion and fraud. I guess that is the job of the Fed since they have been controlling money flow and rates since the Great Depression. Nothing about 5 years ago is any different. They have now managed to use the bond market as a means to control and keep rates down. it is a known entity from day one. The need to justify your indignation with a crash is absurd. I hope they can manage to reduce this massive debt and keep the economy going. I am not insulted if that were to happen, but you would be.

      • Redwilldanaher November 22, 2013, 7:43 pm

        Sorry old boy but I haven’t said a crash is imminent. Rick consistently makes a great point in that we all think we can get out in front of one. Things are more precarious than ever. I accept that I could literally get crushed overnight on my longs.

        Gary you are a flat earther. You only care to focus on what is in front of you which these days are only illusions.

        I am going back to trying to not waste time with you and tool.

        I am content to leave it now because you, jill, tool, et al. Have all dodged defending the guvamint’s latest series of fiascos and crimes. None of you have any credibility and are thus not genuinely worthy of engaging in a discussion.

        Do you and the other ostriches collaborate via journ o list?

      • gary leibowitz November 23, 2013, 1:36 am

        Sorry Red but you have jumped into the mix when the market seemed to be in a nose-dive. You say one thing, hold tight for the ride up, but are very quick to declare a top is in at every opportunity. Since the market hasn’t given you any opportunity recently you have stayed on the sidelines.

        I will be sure and capture your next announcement of doom/gloom so we can end this charade.

      • redwilldanaher November 24, 2013, 6:36 am

        Gary! Why I’ve been giving you too much credit this whole time. You’re not even an honest clown. I thought you were simply a mixed up fool but it turns out you’re just another delusional leftist sociopath. I have never declared a top is in in my life. Not once on an index anyway. I’m not that cocksure about something as manipulated and at times insane as centrally planned markets.

        You owe me an apology. You’ve again intentionally maligned me and clearly have me confused with someone else. I felt that “V” guy crossed the line with his vitriol directed your way. After all of the lying and untruths that you’ve spewed lately, I can see that my humanity has indeed proven to be a weakness of mine yet again.

        You have no proof because none exists.

        On a serious note for nearly everyone else here, are there any high profile bears left? It concerns me that no one seems to be bearish right now…

      • gary leibowitz November 24, 2013, 9:42 pm

        Red, I don’t have proof simply because I don’t record every thing that is stated. If you haven’t stated that you saw a topping pattern before than I can’t dispute your recollection against mine.

        No one seems to remember my insistence that this market will go higher and last a lot longer than anyone here expected. I gave my reasons which has been panning out, despite everyone’s insistence that it isn’t real. I even stated that earnings, in a low inflation and cost environment was ideal for profits. Investors only focus on one thing, profits. If current or expected future profits were to fall so will the stock. I am still waiting for an explanation as to how earnings are faked.

        You on the other hand insist it is going up all on faked data and manipulation. if that were so than we would never again have a crash since it can be controlled. You whine about events that unfolded and the evil intent by our government to continue to deceive us. You give no constructive opinion other than to abandon our system all together. Every single leeway for a possible conspiracy theory to pop up and it is gobbled up here as truth.

        I am tired of all the complaints and no discussion on solutions. Tired of the one-sided, all is bad with the world, and all governments are evil. The frenzied fixation that only a total annihilation of our way of life will satisfy this bunch. this is not a healthy way to live. it also will never result in satisfaction. even if your view of the world will come to pass, how would that help your emotional state? how are you more prepared than the Pollyanna’s out there? Which person would you rather be? The one that has known for 5 years that the end is coming, or the person that is oblivious of that fact? 5 years of anger that you are cheated as opposed to zero heartache. which one lives the healthier life?

      • Redwilldanaher November 25, 2013, 5:57 pm

        This one is hilarious Gary. You have no proof so you’re going to make baseless accusations anyway? I love your argument, it’s safer in the matrix, I’m too used to the matrix, I prefer the matrix and so should you, please insert me back into the matrix, stop torturing me with all these anti-matrix thoughts of yours,,,

        If anyone around here has called for recent tops it’s been you. You then trying to call some sort of short-term or intermediate top from late-summer if my recollection is accurate. This is one time that I really hope Rick jumps in or someone else to set the record clear that I’ve never called for even one top because I’m never that confident at any one time aside from the fact that they can confirm that you’ve done it practically for the last four months.

        Your clown ry is beyond belief, you actually think the only thing the market cares about his profits, wrong Gary, the market riggers like bookies care about action and being able to manipulate things so that they can profit from it, that’s what they care about, they care about speculating with other peoples money, if they can manipulate the market upwards and make money and then manipulate the market down and make money, theyre going to manipulate it in both directions and they have, with 85% of players bullish and we cant seem to find any bears out there, this could be great time the plug, but oh those E o Y bonuses.

  • mario cavolo November 19, 2013, 9:03 am

    Let me suggest gang that we can’t talk about such items as twitter and snapchat bubbles without throwing in Bitcoin… we are in a new world of new things cropping up that are somehow being valued by “who” at billions…?…I stopped sneering at bitcoin this morning, after regretfully watching it move from 200 to 500 to a five minute 900 spike this morning, but why? Its intriguing, because the govt is talking about it, because it is most massive in China, and so in some way is it getting legitimized, will be around much longer. I’m in one speculative lot at 750 thinking this tulip mania could very well hit a few thousand in the coming weeks and months, and if not, my stop loss is
    set at $650, so it seems like just about the best flyer bet I could make, like a far out of the money option for $100 that Mr. market could have a nasty 1000 point spike down. We’ll see snapchat lovers…

    Nice call on Facebook’s decline… all shenanigans disguised as healthy American business and capitalism!

    Cheers, Mario

    • Rich November 19, 2013, 4:48 pm
    • gary leibowitz November 19, 2013, 7:03 pm

      What ever happened to the notion that the governments of the world will squash this? Looks like more unfounded paranoia.

      “The virtual currency bitcoin took a big step toward the mainstream on Monday as federal authorities signaled their willingness to accept it as a legitimate payment alternative.”

      I was assured here that this would never happen. Allowing competition? I do believe investing in bitcoin will be ruinous before it will be accepted. If the world markets continue to show life the emotional scare would deflate, like it has with Gold. I do however think in the long run it is a smart choice. Not yet though.

    • Rick Ackerman November 20, 2013, 12:50 am

      From Karl Denninger, click here for a fascinating deconstruction of bitcoin.

  • gary leibowitz November 18, 2013, 11:33 pm

    A melt-up? Well we did get Google’s IPO melt-up, Netflix, and a slew of others that actually turned out to have a good working model. Who knows if this is a melt up or a major transition of money shifting to the web/mobile market. It is still in its infancy. I suspect there will be major winners and glorious losers along the way. Since I have little understanding of the money stream and earnings potential I will leave that up to the analysts.

    I do agree that we are stretch thin over the last 5 years with P/E ratios getting higher. I do not yet agree that GDP growth will stay flat lined forever.

    Still see this last move as a terminal one for this current bull run, but not the end game. As long as the economic numbers are mixed QE will keep its course. If QE is going away so too will the market multiples. Not here yet and I suspect everyone will know when it is coming since the Fed does not want to cause a shock.

    If the current move does push the SPX to 1900 with little pause, than the odds for a minimum 20 percent drop is a good one.

    If you believe in the Fibonacci method along with the Kress Cycle, October 2014 presents a very enticing date. It is where many long term cycles are expected to hit their lows. That would suggest there would be a nasty drop between now and then. I myself would love to see an unabated move up from here to hit that SPX target of Ricks. It would present a golden opportunity to bet on the next bear, whether 20 percent or 80 percent, as long as you are with the trend you can’t lose. but we are getting ahead of ourselves. Clearly today we are in an up phase.

    • Jason S November 19, 2013, 6:43 pm

      Gary, this isn’t flat line growth, this is the growth slope of mature socialistic economies. Get used to it.

      http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2009/nov/25/gdp-uk-1948-growth-economy

      • gary leibowitz November 19, 2013, 6:56 pm

        Not exactly. The last 5 years is exclusively a result of trillions of government money buying up debt. That allows for 5 years of flat line growth, followed by recent signs of a breakout above that trend. I define flat line here in the United States as less than 2 percent GDP, but more than 0.

        Eventually this debt on the governments balance sheet will have to be cleared, one way or another.
        In todays market the upward trend is so strong that we would need to have the SPX drop below 1775 to even consider a garden variety correction to be in place. I suspect greed will cause the drop before year end. Profit taking should ensue soon.

      • Jason S November 20, 2013, 6:04 pm

        Not that I am a huge fan of economics pretending to be a hard science but let’s explore the math:
        C+I+G+netX=Y. G is a factor of one of two things, it comes at the expense of I and/or C currently or in future years. Either way it is a zero sum game and due to interest expense and inefficiencies results in a lower Y. Since Y=GDP, the longer we have excessive G (which has been since Reagan) the longer we have a reduced Y. So your belief that we will have any protracted (more than a year or two) of greater than 3.5% GDP doesn’t make sense to me. The G borrowed too much from the future and the future is now. The only way I see your greater than flat line growth materializing is if we happen upon another dynamic industry like microprocessing in the late 70’s. There are only two ways to grow an economy, increased productivity or increased population, that’s it. So again I say welcome to the American version of socialistic economics, get used to it.

      • gary leibowitz November 22, 2013, 4:04 am

        Jason I would agree with you had the debt not been absorbed by the government. How or when the regurgitate that debt is another matter. For now they have managed to essentially wipe the slate clean. A zero interest rate environment will revamp the old structure of increasing credit demand. I believe we are seeing sustained gradual growth in all fronts. I don’t know the real formula to determine if it is possible to heat this economy up. We have no history to review. This is a new experiment and everyone here is absolutely shocked it got this far over such a long period of time. This is a new paradigm. It has kept us above water for 5 years now. How they orchestrate a way out of the government debt is beyond my understanding. That is the only reason I believe we will eventually collapse. Don’t know when or exactly what will trigger it.

  • redwilldanaher November 18, 2013, 11:10 pm

    Just heard this stat:

    Top 7% have had huge gains in this engineered market rebound. Lower 93% still underwater. Rah rah rah…

    • Redwilldanaher November 19, 2013, 5:38 am

      http://nypost.com/2013/11/18/census-faked-2012-election-jobs-report/

      In a forum where some incredulously insist all conspiracy talk is phooey, I present not twice-baked but thriced faked material just in front of an election.

      This will be ignored or laughed off once again proving that they’ve conditioned and beaten down Dick and Jane to the point where they’d consider a banana republic an uptick if they knew what one was…

      • mario cavolo November 19, 2013, 10:45 am

        The reality is that the sheeples have given up, they absolutely and correctly know that their is absolutely nothing they can do about any of the shenanigans going on. Frankly, Chinese citizens and those of other centrally run govts are and always have been passive that way. The running of the govt is none of their business or involvement. More importantly, they have no illusion that they “can make a difference” and that’s the part about the American situation which is most irksome. They can only hope that the govt does a good job. If they do, they will be fine, if not, they will be screwed. That is the simplest dose of reality one could ask. Well, that is the same situation in today’s America, no matter how hard the illusionists try to make people believe otherwise.

        Cheers, Mario

    • Troll November 21, 2013, 3:59 am

      That’s because the 93% get sucked-in by well-spoken, know-nothing people like you.

      • Troll November 21, 2013, 4:13 am

        And that comment wasn’t directed at you, Mario. It was directed at this phenomenon:

        It is far easier to believe the negative than the positive.

        This is why people gather at their TV’s to watch bad news.

        Negativity fuels the fire.

        I have no explanation for it, except to say people think they are so hard done by that even though the vast majority of us have food and are eating every day we are somehow of the belief there is something more in life.

        I don’t have a seven car garage and vehicles that will fill it, but I maintain, I wouldn’t trade places with anyone who was here before me.

        I am a fortunate person. I’m not rich, some here might even consider me poor.

        But I am thankful for what I have.

      • mario cavolo November 21, 2013, 6:16 am

        I know Troll. The older I get the more I insist on seeing all sides of a situation ugly and pretty, societal and personal. I supposed that’s called learning balance and I consistently find myself noticing extremism and rejecting it. I suppose I’m not much of a radical. My truest happiness in the daily moments with my family and what is going on inside myself, makes absolutely no true difference whether the roof over my head is a 1 bedroom with a old car in the garage or a mansion with a BMW in the garage; and whether I’m eating street dumplings for $1 or ravioli for $20, which are in fact, really the same thing 🙂 I like having a bit of both and glad I can.

        Cheers, Mario

  • dst November 18, 2013, 8:07 pm

    Reminds me of the ostrich crazy (1990’s)here ( west Canada), where breeding pairs sold for at least $40,000 a pair. Then the market collapsed and the birds became worthless. Story goes (true), at an auction the pair sold for $100.00 the owner snapped?! Jumped into the auction ring and clubbed the birds to death!! He was charged with cruelty to animals. Same with elk and buffalo, breeding bulls (1990’s)sold for 50,000 to 75,000 each now worth 3000-5000 max. Cows sold for 25,000 each now fetch 500-600 for meat only. 1990′ to early to 2000’s.

    • Cam Fitzgerald November 20, 2013, 6:59 am

      I recall it, dst. I knew people who bought breeding pairs only to end up with them as family pets lounging on the deck, crapping all over the lawns and being fawned over by the local kids. Everyone loves Ostriches….don’t they?

      You might apprecate this story on the topic from back a few years. It will bring tears to your eyes if you were amongst those who foolishly bought any of those big birds for yourself. It is called the “Louisiana ostrich bubble”……just when you thought you had heard it all before.

      America – A Pyramid of Ostriches
      http://takimag.com/article/america_a_pyramid_of_ostriches/#axzz2l9mmu0fV

  • John Jay November 18, 2013, 6:06 pm

    I do not think the market will deflate until the Fed stops QE/ZIRP.
    And if they do that the system implodes.
    So they won’t do that.
    The game is rigged to the upside and the guys pulling Bernanke’s strings always know where the Red Queen is going to be, that’s how 3 Card Monte works.
    That’s why they never have a losing day trading.

    I will once again say, all you can do is make more money because the Inflation in basic life support prices will spiral upwards until there is no disposable income left to the 95%.
    SCE out here is raising electricity rates 20% next year.
    Health Insurance rates have gone ballistic.
    Property taxes, always up.
    Candy prices, my favorite check out stand indicator, have gone up 20% in the last two weeks.
    The average person only has so much money left after taxes to live on.

    I think the auto companies are feeling the effects of that.
    I am seeing insanely low lease rates for new cars, as low as $36 a month!
    They have got to move the iron/plastic off the lot, and everyone is broke or close to it.
    And Joe 6 Pack only cares about “Low Payments”, he’ll worry about the fine print in that lease in 36 months!
    Just like the housing market, just like student loans, just like everything, “Kick the Can”!

    The Federal Government won’t shut down superfluous Post Offices, NASA facilities, or stop Medicare ripoffs.
    DC is half zoo, half psychiatric ward where they keep giving the inmates more checks!

    I just hopes the system staggers on as long as possible, I am amazed it has lasted this long!

    • mario cavolo November 25, 2013, 3:03 am

      Brother JJ!! The game is rigged to the upside globally so I do think there’s a fine chance it could and will stagger on warts and all for many years. Its extremely important to be mindful of the global picture and connections both societally and economically. Meanwhile, enjoy buying all the cheap retail goods in America, there are many reasons to suspect that is also a trend that will firmly stay in place as America has created a new lower wage flat wage lower/middle class that the world is now starting to take advantage of. America’s model clearly now looks more and more a two class socialist system that is now going to increase productivity in industrial, energy and manufacturing. The tech party has pretty much run its curve. If they can make it work, that is her future.

      Cheers, Mario

      Cheers, Mario

  • Darkstar November 18, 2013, 9:12 am

    Hey Rick:

    I agree with you…

    BUT for those who don’t have teenagers around the house – THIS is their favorite app. Not Tumblr, not Instagram, certainly not Facebook, which they think is for oldsters. Snapchat also is completely in the mobile space. FB is losing their young audience rapidly, and can’t get a foothold on mobile. So perhaps the $3 billion offer is more of an indication of FB’s desperation than a market top, and the likelihood that ten years from now it will be another MySpace (or Friendster). But yeah, the kid turning down $3 billion is nuts. Reminds me of a friend who turned down $300 million for his website building company during dot com bubble 1. He was like, it’ll be worth $3 billion in a year, why should I sell? I’m having fun! Of course, you know how the story ends… We’ll see what happens with Snapchat…

    &&&&&

    Interesting observations, Darkstar. Thanks for weighing in. RA

  • mava November 18, 2013, 8:58 am

    Completely agree, RA. What a fool. At least he will be able to tell his future girlfriend that he is never to be bought.

    [My post on twitter, earlier, was not to say that I disagree with your contention that Twitter (and now this) signifies major top is near.]

    With idiocy such as this in plain sight, this can’t hold for too long. Twitts, Snaps… Who cares for plain old un-poetic stainless steel bearings?

  • Troll November 18, 2013, 8:45 am

    Redwilldanaher, I’m throwing down the gauntlet.

    Please re-visit Rick’s last article.

    If you want to tell me I don’t know what I am talking about . . .

    Have I got an offer for you.

    Let’s see what you’re made of.

    • redwilldanaher November 18, 2013, 5:47 pm

      Lay off the DMT and just take another blue pill.

      “The U.S. economy cannot survive on sound investments alone,” Carlisle added.

      “What America needs right now is not more talk and long-term strategy, but a concrete way to create more imaginary wealth in the very immediate future,” said Thomas Jenkins, CFO of the Boston-area Jenkins Financial Group, a bubble-based investment firm.

      Those are a couple of highlights from this:

      http://www.theonion.com/articles/recessionplagued-nation-demands-new-bubble-to-inve,2486/?ref=auto

      The Onion and Rolling Stone understand what many refuse to see.

      You have the worst of situations. Destruction of your homestead, you’re still a captive of criminal enterprises posing as governments, which will also bring about an inevitable collapse of the system that they have you and many others addicted to. My sympathies.

      Don’t let me get in the way of your boot licking. If you like to be kept, penned in, dictated to, forcibly coerced, extorted and so on, then by all means…

      As for visiting you, aerial photographs and use of the Internet seem much more efficient, cost-effective and better suited. Though, if you are just hankering to buy me a plane ticket then I’ll kindly ask for one to Paris so that I can visit my friend and his wife.

      Just to be clear, you prefer to be deceived and accept what the psychopathic lying criminals are willing to give you, the role of an expendable pawn that can be bought off with dumbed-down and cheapened everything, as opposed to being a free man living a humble life?

      Since you’re a master trader, I’d assume that you believe in accountability, as the markets hold everyone accountable accept for those that control them and the puppets that oversee them. With that being the case, why do you not hold the government accountable? They’ve failed miserably in every conceivable way to a degree that requires raised exponents for accurate description. Worse they’ve failed by design and surely a savvy trader such as yourself must know that they aren’t trustworthy, not in the least.

      It can’t be made any clearer than this plain wonder:

      http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/11/20131117_itsallshit.jpg

      • DK November 20, 2013, 10:31 am
      • Troll November 21, 2013, 3:35 am

        Red, I’d actually consider buying you a ticket to Paris if you could stop complaining for a couple of weeks. But I know that’s not in your make-up, so it’s an offer you couldn’t make good on and an offer in which I won’t have to hand over my air miles (which are substantial).

        My offer stands.

        If you want to see what a collapse is all about, I will welcome you (with open arms) to my little corner of the world.

        Now, we all have our own definitions of what constitutes, “a collapse.”

        911 was a collapse, wasn’t it? Terrorism is one (and I am not going to get into it with anyone here as to who or what was behind it).

        The tsunami in Japan was another.

        How about Katrina? There was a collapse.

        Most recently, the Philippines and even Indiana.

        Now, you, and others like you, seem to relish the idea of an economic maelstrom.

        Why is that?

        It certainly couldn’t be because those of you champing at the bit for such an event aren’t more prepared for such an event than your less fortunate counterparts, could it?

        After all, what do all those poor, minimum wage people working at Walmart or MacDonald’s offer someone like you, anyway? They aren’t buying any gold, as they struggle between paying the rent or having something to eat. They’ll just be part of the inconvenient, hungry masses you’ll have to ping off with your shot gun as they riot in the streets and gradually make their way to your home.

        Who says I don’t hold the government accountable? You?

        You and the people like you are equally accountable.

        The government, because they got us in a mess, and you, because you think anarchy is the only way out of it.

        &&&&&&

        We are rooting for economic collapse, Steve, because it would offer a fresh start for an economic system that has become too putrefied with lies and corruption to be worth saving. RA

      • Troll November 21, 2013, 4:28 am

        95% of the people on this site hoping for some kind of economic collapse are sitting on a pile of shot gun shells and an equivalent pile of gold.

        The remaining 5% don’t know any better. They don’t realize an economic collapse means they will have less than they already have, once the poop hits the fan.

      • gary leibowitz November 22, 2013, 3:57 am

        Troll, I couldn’t have expressed my thoughts any better. While everyone is waiting for a total collapse of this economic system I wonder if they thought what or how the new one would replace it? it’s not as if we can replace a brick and mortar company with Amazon and do away with all the wasted overhead. There is no standing model to replace that we have been living with. Anarchy gets more anarchy. Who is naïve enough to think the survival element in the aftermath would be a good one? The Great Depression didn’t replace our government structure, it rebalanced what was in the frameworks all along.

      • Troll November 22, 2013, 6:19 am

        Well, Rick, I don’t disagree with you entirely, I’m just saying there are millions of people (the elderly, the sick, the invalids, the poor . . . among many) who cannot possibly survive such a situation. They can’t, because it will take far too long for any semblance of normalcy to reoccur.

        So what are these people?

        The weak link?

        Do we toss them aside in the same manner the herd leaves its weakest to the lions?

        Sounds good in practice, but I thought that was what separated us from all the other other species on the planet.

      • DK November 22, 2013, 7:49 am

        Why do I revisit these posts, I know what to expect.

        I’m going to go back to just reading the commentary and articles, some of the comments here are just inane and delusional.

        Rick, your response is precisely on point for so many.

        95% will do whatever it takes to make it through whatever comes at whatever cost. They can see it coming, but if they’re wrong, as others have suggested, then they readied themselves for nothing, yet they’ve lost nothing. When the SHTF, I wish I could see how you will deal with it, see if it’s any different than you criticize others for. Some are rooting for it for the very reason RA pointed out, some just know it is unavoidable no matter what they want; the exponential function will fail.

        I’m not sure about the other 5%, I guess they are just screwed. I don’t own any artillery or gold but I know full well what is coming, so I’m not sure where that leaves me. I have traded PMs a few times but I don’t own any physical. That could change very soon but not because I feel the same way, I’ve been wrong many times in the past, it’s probably better to err on that cautious side.
        Your “anarchy” is just one element, there is so much baked in. DHS is getting ready for it and have been for years, so is the IRS. How many drones in our skies by 2020? Unless you are legally blind there’s no way you don’t see this. Speaking of terrorists, you do know that you may be labeled a radical or extremist for having over 3 months of food on hand? What would your grandparents and great grandparents have to say about that? Ignorance is no excuse.
        On a side note, I know a few self proclaimed anarchists and it is such a misconstrued idea. Example, they do believe in law(s) – just not how it works in our system(s).
        You go on and on about people “complaining” and “b*tching,” yet you still haven’t answered my question – What do you do, aside from crying and pointing fingers on this board? What are your answers? How are you being the change you wish to see?
        You are one of the most bitter thankful persons I’ve ever seen.
        People don’t need the TV to fuel the negativity, it is reality, it is all around us. There is no real amount of well paying jobs available to fuel this farce we call an “economy.” You think that is the peoples’ fault? Taxes are constantly going up as is the cost of living, everywhere, yet people are getting fewer and fewer commensurate adjustments (unless you are employed in certain fields, hmmmm). Our disease care based health system is deteriorating rapidly for so many reasons and it’s 1/6th of our economy; as of next year we are subservient to the government, by law.

        How much of the majority (some 60M and growing), has become dependent on food stamps for their food? Our money is the joke, being backed by the faith in our pathetic excuse for a government, that cannot and will not pay it’s bills, which has been hijacked and held captive and sold out to special interests and/or crony corporatists, all of which have different players (politicians and lobbyists included) who do nothing but bleed us dry. We play guinea pigs to their mass social experiments and agendas – now drink up your fluoridated/chlorinated water, eat your roundup treated glyphosate GMOs and HFCS, contaminated seafood, rBGH antibiotic GMO fed factory farmed salmonella infested meat, your pink slime, and take your soon-to-be mandatory vaccinations like a good boy. Do you know how many shots a newborn gets now? The other superpowers simply laugh at our accounting & finances and foreign relations, ban our frankenfoods (a short lived victory?), and export their crap; particularly China. Our lives have been hijacked world wide and we are the roaches left to fights for crumbs, literally. The USA has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prison population, the number of laws continues to grow, as does the authority to design said laws and the tactics to enforce them. 4,000 new laws every year? How many drones in our skies by 2020? The omnipresent good ole NSA, the Patriot Act (I&II), the NDAA, HR347, etc. the continual loss of liberty and cracking down. Hell, there are people where I live and where I grew up being intimidated by police and harassed by “officials,” etc. for having a vegetable garden on their property. The Feds send SWAT teams to raid food Co-Ops in California and farms in PA. I don’t see them raiding the WH organic gardens. Sometimes they don’t bother with the harassment and arrests, they simply destroy the garden/farm and confiscate. Oh and you won’t be in their good graces if you record them. OBEY. All the while we are pissing off nearly every country world wide for not minding our business and drone bombing the crap out of their civilians. This is going on and it’s probably happening right now somewhere, like Yemen. Troops in Afghanistan until, perhaps, 2024 now? Troops heading back to Iraq? Can say I’m surprised there. I can name about 7 countries right now that I wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling to being an American, and that list is growing. So tell me, where do people need TV or media fueled negativity to realize this? They don’t. I do and I don’t watch TV. These are every day events and they are affecting real people’s lives, every day. But I guess that’s just people “complaining,” “b*tching,” or “whining.” Seriously? Just put your head back in sand.

        It’s not GOING to happen… it’s HAPPENING.

        Welcome to reality.

        You say a lot of nothing for a know-it-all.

      • DK November 22, 2013, 8:03 am

        The number of laws cited above is about to grow 5 fold.

      • Troll November 22, 2013, 8:18 am

        Thank you DK, for your exceptional insight. How’s the course been treating you?

        Oh, that’s right, you haven’t taken it.

        When you have figured out an A from a C, kindly let me know.

      • Troll November 22, 2013, 8:19 am

        I may be a Troll, but at least I paid for the course.

        What about you?

      • Troll November 22, 2013, 8:24 am

        And speaking of saying nothing . . .

        At least I say I generally say nothing in a few hundred words or less on most occasions.

        It takes you 75 paragraphs of nothingness to spit out what you want to say.

      • Troll November 22, 2013, 8:30 am

        So, what you’re telling me is, you come on this site and gather what you can for zero investment and spew a bunch of rhetoric.

      • Troll November 22, 2013, 8:48 am

        So, DK, just so we are clear.

        I think Rick has a GREAT course.

        No, not great.

        Exceptional.

        But I am supposed to toss it aside so I can listen to you rant about what an idiot I am?

        I am supposed to toss Hidden Pivots to the wind and accept your advice?

        Really?

        I think not.

        But I will take into account that you think I’m an idiot.

        I don’t care what you think. Take the course, and we can talk.

        Until then, what you have to say isn’t worth the time it takes for me to read it.

      • DK November 22, 2013, 8:49 am

        Actually, I have taken it Troll, Rick can confirm that. It takes that much writing to fit in the amount of crap that cannot seem to penetrate that concrete cranium of yours. Maybe I should just post 6 different times for 6 different foolish posts.

        By the way, I flagged a stock on this board 2 weeks ago, based on my own research along with Ricks teachings that took a 36% one day leap recently. I enjoyed 28% of that gain, took some off of the table and bought back in.

        Feel free to be more of a hypocrite some more now. Oh, and about that question I had for you…?

        Thanks for playing.

      • DK November 22, 2013, 8:59 am

        As far as I can tell, I took the course back in 2009, September more specifically. I think that’s accurate.

        You were saying?

      • DK November 22, 2013, 9:32 am

        Oh and obviously you haven’t read what I’ve written. I haven’t given you advice, I’ve asked you questions and given you a taste of yours. Questions that request insight into what you think gives you the right to come after people on this board that you know NOTHING about. Questions that ask about what YOU do. I’m still waiting….

        I’ve never once said to toss Rick’s teachings aside, so you can stop putting words in my mouth and the mouths of others.

        I’ve thanked him several times myself for what he has taught me. If you tossed it aside, you’ve simply tossed aside time, money, and the potential to perhaps gain some of both back.

        You are exhausting and increasingly you’re becoming a waste of words, like some others that frequent here.

        What Rick said above is worth a good deal of thought, especially in light of your petulant kicking and screaming re:Peter Schiff. You obviously don’t listen to what he’s saying.

      • mario cavolo November 25, 2013, 2:57 am

        Rick you know I am easy to agree with how egregious the state of economic and political affairs is in many ways. But I have to say for the record that the bitter medicine idea is far too extreme in reality by any measure. Why? Because despite the many nasty things going on, there are also many good things going on and those good things would be taken down with the bad. More so, the connections are global so the impact wouldn’t be isolated. Those without wealth, which is the majority globally as throughout history, would suffer the most. Someone for example with a $2 million might end up with that million being worth only $500,000. Well, good for them, they still have half a mil. They’ll have to downgrade their Mcmansion and give up their Mercedes payment, boo hoo. But the common citizens with far less savings and normal employment will be truly devastated. Overall economic collapse reset is a very bad idea if you look at it realistically and mercifully which I implore everyone here to do. The bigger problem is that the will simply does not exist to reign in the excesses of those in power but it could be done to a meaningful degree if someone, some group, someone with any sense at all steps up to the plate so to speak. In today’s world the negative radicalism or anarchy approach makes less and less sense as an alternative.

        Meanwhile, do we secretly wish we could figure out a way to twitter bomb a shocking financial rumor before I take a big short position? Sure, but it ain’t gonna happen. 🙂

        Cheers, Mario


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