Sunday, February 27, 2011

Your Usury Becomes My Dividend Payments

I’m an arguably affluent investor.  And these tickers describe the kind of publicly traded stocks and funds I buy:
  • Communications: Q, VZ, HIT
  • Energy: PPL, APL, UTF, TRP
  • Non Cyclical Consumption: MO, SVU
  • Healthcare:  BMY, PFE. IYR
  • Banking/Finance: CIM, MFA
  • Insurance: PRU, HUM
I buy shares in amounts sufficient to generate dividend income to cover basic household expenses – i.e. gas, water, electric, cable, phone, internet, mobile.
I do so because, at age 49, I’ve come to understand certain realities about money:
  • Money can’t buy happiness!
  • Money is not to spend.  Materialism is a psychological and economic trap, except to address physical, social and cultural needs (food, shelter, communications, media).
  • Capital can collateralize greater liquidity (loans) if or when that’s needed (hopefully never).
  • Capital is a form of self-insurance that generally precludes paying corporations for insurance against catastrophic (Black Swan) events.
  • Basically money buys freedom.  At least a significant measure of freedom from neo fascism in the form of wage, fee and debt slavery under hegemonic, meta corporate capitalism.  Though, objectively, investing inflicts this slavery on others.
But until society changes; until humanity’s gaping existential consumption void is more widely understood and ameliorated, money represents one of scant few objective freedoms (free-will) there are.  (Another being psychology, mind liberation.  But that’s a non empirical pursuit forever prone to delusion.)
Alternatives to having and minimally spending money include:
  • Martyrdom: Hang on a Cross of physical and material deprivation as the “normal world scoffs and ridicules you.
  • Idealism: Tilt endlessly at myriad Windmills of social and economic injustice.
  • Normalcy: Embrace, or worse eroticize, capitalist subjugation through empty, consumptive acts, like high end shopping, gluttony and travel.
Like anyone reading this, I’ve struggled with pursuing all of the above at various times in varying degrees.
But what I don’t understand is how anyone could unapologetically celebrate consumerism amid the larger contradiction of global suffering and resource scarcity, and especially, repetitively vote (or not) essentially for more, more and more of the same?
Possible reasons include:
  • Bad religion?
  • Mis-education as regards money and finance skills?
  • Corrupt, “Wall Street” government and economic hegemony?
  • Bad teaching as regards classical, pseudo scientific, Voodoo economics?
Undoubtedly, our Broken Machine redounds from all of the above.
It isn’t just!  It’s just the way it is!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

There Are No Triple Tops…

As they often do, ZeroHedge gets it right in my opinion.

Then I check a max duration S&P 500 chart (click "All" once the .INX chart renders).  And my Technical Analysis (TA) perspective sends ripples of acidic apprehension along my esophageal tract.

Isn’t .INX headed for another collapse, technically (as ZeroHedge ponders) when the S&P index fails to take out 1550 over the next couple of years?   The basic TA tenet being: "There are no triple tops!"

Moreover, today Ameritrade (my eBroker) announced a new debt issue from Goldman Sachs -- "negative outlook" 6% bonds with thirty year duration.  If my five percent CDs redeemed today, I would take that bet for 20-40% of the portfolio.  Just suspecting that during the next couple of years that inflation (er... I mean “GDP growth”) spurts may create ideal timing to lock-in relatively high, stable debt yields -- to hopefully ride out a 2-3 decade Japan/deflation/stagflation collapse scenario.  If less orderly, “The Ben Bernanke” free money sugar high collapse is going to get ugly, very ugly!

Then I check the headlines -- e.g. Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Egypt, Libya – and ask myself: “Will unemployed and average working people sit still for QE #9, for #27?  Will today dominant BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) economies, with lower per capita GDP, accept the inflation QE essentially guarantees?”  I know I don’t want to!  Already in the U.S., some 99ers are killing themselves…  The dichotomy and displacement QE is causing is gruesome!  Already it’s creating major social unrest.

Thus, as equity bears and economic critiques of meta corporate capitalism have surmised for at least a decade, hasn’t "peak everything" finally capped exploitation capitalism?  Has GDP pie, after swelling steadily since 1600 AD, exceeded its natural shelf life?  And who chases market alpha (price appreciation) under such a scenario?  The same too-big-to-fail banks and funds that created the housing collapse!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We, the Citizens of Earth…

We, the citizens of planet Earth, in order to secure a sustainable life for ourselves and our children, must repair and renew democracy and economics.  First, this requires removal of every dictatorship and politburo, then second the undoing and removal of  hyper-corrupt “representative” republican democracy, such as exists today in the United States of America.

There is no reason, for example, for any citizen to turn to media on a Sunday morning only to suffer the meaningless voices of the same tired, old, mostly white, mostly male elites who, having failed both humanity and democracy for decades, have never failed to line their pockets, again and again and again, even while supposedly “representing” the economic interests of average citizen voters in the United States of America.

Today, across the globe, “top down”  republics, unions, churches, schools and “democracies” have failed us.  Massive unemployment, poverty, disease, wealth dichotomy and environmental catastrophe reveal little more than an increasingly bleak, at best unstable future for all Earth's citizenry and diverse but ever diminishing species.

As demonstrated most recently by historic political upheaval in Egypt, those most responsible, those most highly compensated and empowered to “lead,” must be held accountable for failure, then disempowered.

Third and finally, Earth’s citizens should proceed to legally dismantle “too big to fail” corporations. 

Having been granted both “citizen” and “too-big-to-fail” status, meta-corporations constitute the primary catalyst to the rot undermining political, social and economic advancement of humankind and environment on this planet.  Somehow people must be reendowed with freedom from lifetimes of stifling economic subjugation to corporate interests, with little respite but to eroticize their slavery through meaningless, destructive acts of material consumption.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Superbowl XLV

When we watch innocents suffer, starve or die from our collective inability or unwillingness to provide financial resources, nourishment, education or essential medical care, then argue (as millions of “believers” seemingly do) that it's "God's Plan," (que sera sera...) we are not espousing an "opinion" on suffering so much as perpetrating a cruel hoax (an “organized religion” but certainly  not Christ's theology), while providing an empirically lame excuse for selfishness and abdication of social responsibility -- something the human race "once upon a time" knew as -- Guilt.

I mean, even if there is No God (see Nietzsche), it seems perfectly justifiable and correct, if success versus failure is any measure (as an engineer I believe in success), for human beings to contrive working, successful morality, "God" or no!

Thus I find myself at a loss to fully justify our newfound inability to feel actual, life changing, guilt any longer -- or arguably to feel much of anything, short of the basest, most obese, grunting, Freudian, genital, consumptive impulses.

Despite that modernity has devolved to an all-too-real "jungle," even for “rich” people (i.e. TARP, unemployment, poverty, collapse, unending psychological stress), surely there at least remains an argument for caring.  Yes, we are doomed.  But we have always been doomed!  It’s just that now, seemingly in my lifetime of merely forty-nine years, the difference is we just don’t give a fuck anymore!

Enjoy Superbowl XLV