PM Daily Market Commentary - 11/20/2013

davefairtex
By davefairtex on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 - 10:27pm

Gold closed down -32.40 to 1242.00 on very heavy volume, while silver closed down -0.49 to 19.84 on very heavy volume also.  The gold silver ratio dropped -0.07 to 62.60.  Gold smashed through two support levels (1260, 1250) and made a new cycle low today. 

The rebound off the day low of 1240 was almost nonexistent.  The second (and largest) part of the move was driven by relatively hawkish-sounding Fed minutes at 1400 EDT, implying that tapering may well come soon. 

Silver followed gold, making a new cycle low also.  The heavy volume and the big price move and the drop through support for gold is all quite bearish.  Next support level I see is around 1200.  That doesn't mean it will automatically go there, but worst case I expect buying to show up at that point.

The dollar rose +0.36 [+0.45%] to 81.06, the combined threat of tapering in December mixed with the ECB setting short term rates negative caused the euro to sell off moving the dollar higher.  The rising buck didn't help gold.

GDX closed down -3.55% on heavy volume, breaking out of its consolidation pattern, and setting up for a test of the June 2013 lows.  GDXJ was off -4.63% on extremely heavy volume, dropping more or less to its June 2013 low.  A move below the low will likely set off a further flurry of selling.

No buyers showed up when gold sold off, same with silver, same with GDX.  On the charts, nothing in PM looks good right now, no buyers are showing up, and no catalyst has appeared.  The shorts are firmly in control.

Remember a few days ago when we all imagined that gold was cheap?  Until the market shows us evidence, where COMEX buyers appear and bid the price back above its drop-off point, it is extremely dangerous just to buy something because it seems cheap.

Cheap gets cheaper...then it gets really cheap, and then it drops some more.

Nobody can predict the future.  All we can do is wait for the buyers to show up.  They will, someday, when the price gets low enough to entice them into the market once again.  Then this down cycle will end, and gold will rebound - but we should most probably wait for the evidence before backing up the truck.

 

33 Comments

Hrunner's picture
Hrunner
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Posts: 256
The Other PM Report

 

For the PPers who are trying to survive the completely corrupt and reality-defying PM markets, and keep their and families from killing them (figuratively) for buying gold and silver, I provide today's alternative PM market report.

Despicable, dishonest, immoral and sociopathic commercial banking entities dumped 1500 contracts in the dark of night on the Globex in a manner only the mentally ill or the corrupt would do, with two objectives: 

1) to make illegal profits, in a style akin to Chicagoland gangsters, by dumping massive numbers of contracts for paper gold that don't exist in the real world or in free, fair, reality-based and transparent markets, but exist rather in a completely and intentionally unregulated market, only to buy back the same thousands of fraudulent, illegally-produced contracts after bid price has reached the level that the corrupt banking entities decide is sufficient for them to make $100-200 million of increasing leveraged and devalued money for short term profits.

2) to actively collaborate with the corrupt federal government and central banking system to manage gold price to a sufficiently low level that will keep the general public's and useful idiot mainstream media's attention away from the frightening amount of fiat money and leveraged credit that is being created, and the increase in asset prices, namely stocks and homes, based on zero fundamentals.   The short term objective is to destroy and transfer wealth to the banking and privileged class, who still have significant paper and tangible wealth and lines of credit, and who produce nothing of value, from those who labor using hard-earned skills and generally produce things that society finds useful. 

Quoted without comment from zerohedge:

"What do the following dates have in common: September 12, October 11 and now, November 20? These are all days in which there was a forced gold slamdown so furious, it triggered a "stop logic" event on the CME resulting in a trading halt of the precious commodity. In today's case gold trading was halted for a whopping 20 seconds as the market tried to "reliquify" itself following what was a clear attempt to reprice the gold (and silver) complex lower. Needless to say, there was absolutely no news once again to drive the move. Ironically, this comes just as the London regulator is launching an investigation into London gold benchmark manipulation - we are, however, confident that all these glaringly obvious manipulative events that take places just around the London AM fix will be routinely ignored. After all it is perfectly normal for someone to dump 1500 GC contracts in one trade and suck up all the liquidity from the market with zero regard slippage costs, or getting the best execution price possible. Well, it's normal if that someone is the Bank of International Settlements."

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-20/furious-gold-slamdown-leads-third-consecutive-20-second-gold-market-halt

H is buying more physical gold and silver at these nominal prices.  He would suggest you do the same as you are willing and able.

Does this "get inside the market's head" sufficiently, Davefairtex?

Enjoy the 'going out of business' sale while you can.

H

 

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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Posts: 5455
getting inside the market's head

Hrunner-

Does this "get inside the market's head" sufficiently, Davefairtex?

No it doesn't get inside anything.  It just tells me you're upset and angry at what is going on.  You are inside zero hedge's head, if anywhere.  Does the anger help you to figure out what the market will do next?  I don't think so.  It clouds your mind so that if and when the bounce happens, when a clear bullish signal occurs, you run the risk of being too scared of the "evil bankers" to buy it.

You are simply reusing a tactic for gold holders that was popularized both in ZH and KWN: blaming a scapegoat for the downtrend - in order to avoid the wrath of (the family) shareholders.  "See, I didn't make the wrong choice honey, it's just the evil bankers doing their dirty deeds in the dark of night.  I was right, and I still am.  Let's all get angry together, shall we?"

We're in a downtrend.  Shorts get all excited in a downtrend.  Stuff like this happens.

If you didn't know, the rest of the commodity complex is doing poorly too.

So when the COMEX buyers reappear, which will happen after some catalyst, or after the price gets cheap enough, this sort of move will be bought, hard.  And then all the boys and girls that sold so hard to cause this effect will end up with a loss for the day, and they'll stop doing it.

But COMEX buyers have to show up for the beatings to stop.

And FWIW I agree with you, it seems to be a reasonable price/time to buy some more physical gold, if you have an interest to do so.

So if you want to blame someone, blame the (COMEX) buyers for not appearing.  They're the real problem.  Shorts will continue shorting until the price gets so cheap buyers will appear.  And this includes buyers in Shanghai, Mumbai, and London too.  For whatever reason, they aren't doing so right now.

Here's the thing.  If "the evil shorts" took out the GC bidstack with only 1500 contracts, that just tells me the bidstack wasn't that deep - because there aren't that many buyers!

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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gold: FWIW

It does appear that the buyers are actually showing up today.  I'm not sure if they are enthusiastic enough to push prices higher, and we won't know conclusively until EOD but at least at the moment, volume is high, yet price hasn't gone anywhere - thats a sign of accumulation, when it happens after a long downtrend.

It wouldn't be the worst idea in the world to buy at this point, put a stop below today's low, and see what happens.  Its a bit premature ... but I did it.  :-)

Again the idea is to buy alongside the big money.  You wait for them to show up, and then you jump in.  (And have a stop in case it doesn't work out)

EDIT: and another bit of evidence: silver is doing substantially better than gold.  Apparently silver < $20 is seen as a good deal...

Jim H's picture
Jim H
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Of Useful Idiots...

Well... I just have to jump in here and break my rule of acknowledging the existence of this fetid little corner of the CM website, where we pretend that anything useful can be divined via what I would term, "anti-manipulationist TA".  Where we try to talk the less informed into believing that Gold price contains information.  Why Chris and Adam allow this to happen on their website is beyond me, and I will continue to make these statements when I stick my toes into this swamp as an act of protest.      

Turd Ferguson has called Dan Norcini and the like, "useful idiots" for their tendency to play along with the forces doing the manipulation, and giving them cover for their deeds.  Turd, who's real name is Craig Hemke, said in a recent post;

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/5234/sick-lies-and-liars?page=5 

You see, gold manipulation is not a "conspiracy theory", it is a HISTORICAL FACT. Those that deny this FACT can only do so under the following conditions:

  • That person is underinformed and/or naive.
  • That person is an ardent believer in the status quo (see bullet point above).
  • That person has an agenda and is purposefully trying to mislead you.

It is predictable I think that, rather than addressing the data HRunner presented, DaveF would make the discussion into one about the Zen of trading, and emotions.  In my book, it is OK to get mad about manipulation, because it is part of the big pretend ponzi propaganda lie that we are all living in the US (and some other countries as well) .. and if that does not piss you off, nothing will.  

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Jim H
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For those new to these kinds of conversations....

Realize this;

When DaveF talks about, "buyers", and "sellers" he is talking about the traders of Gold futures contracts.  The real buyers and sellers of physical are those transacting through London's spot market, and this is what William Kaye is talking about here,

http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/11/21_War_In_Gold_Intensifies_As_Massive_Battle_Rages_In_London.html

I’m not sure what we are going to see next, but one thing is for sure, the prosecution of this scam is still ongoing.  I can tell you that based on the data we have on yesterday’s AM and PM fixes in London, an enormous amount of gold changed hands.  I would assume China was a big part of that. I can also tell you that at this $1,240 area there is immense sovereign wealth fund and central bank interest for physical gold.  I strongly believe they will continue to demand spot allocation.  So the war in gold is now becoming frenetic.  The paper gold smash, which can be totally controlled by the Western central banks, and the agent bullion banks, is now being met front and center by enormous physical demand from my area of the world.  At the end of the day, the bet I’ve made, and it’s a major bet, is that the forces of good will win.  But at the moment, the forces of darkness are still ruling the paper market.  I can assure you that even though these dark forces are winning some battles, they will definitely lose the war, and as they are defeated the price of gold will experience an enormous re-pricing to the upside.  We are talking about a move higher that will shock the world.”

To learn more about the history of the Comex as a means of price control, read this;  http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/5151/gold-wars

Closing the gold window had the additional impact of making gold price manipulation even more important. The survival of the entire global currency system now relied upon trust and confidence. A sharply rising gold price was, and still is, a reflection of a general lack of confidence and trust in the viability of paper money.And did you know this? In an attempt to spur Americans to re-acquire gold from the global market, President Chevy Chase signed a bill in 1974 making it legal once again for American citizens to own physical gold. The law went into effect on January 1, 1975. Do you know your history well enough to know when The Comex began trading paper gold futures? (It's OK. I didn't know this, either.) Trading in Comex gold futures was launched on December 31, 1974. Isn't that handy? Well, anyway, Mr. Lips' book is chock full of nuggets such as this one and it's why I'm so emphatically recommending it to you today.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
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More "other" PM reporting

This was too good not to link to.  First off, Rubino wrote a piece today calling out a bubble apologist, which ZH quickly picked up on;

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-21/guest-post-money-bubble-gets-it...

But the best line of all came in one of the comments to the piece on Rubino's own website;

Every country is holding some other countries bonds, creating a dam of money. With currency war, this dam of money is getting BIGGER and BIGGER. If I am a sensible Central Banker, I will want to buy insurance on these foreign bonds. This insurance must have no counter party risk. It must be highly liquid and the Chinese and Russians already had the answer, gold. They bought their insurance and they are buying more. We do not know the magic moment when the wind up in asset prices will suddenly snap and wind down commence. Japan will be the first country to trigger the wind down. When the dam breaks, the money will be heading home, US bonds go back to US and Japanese bonds go back to Japan, as asset prices will go down accordingly. Now money is used only to prop up asset prices and that is why we have zero interest rate, unproductive money......

I love this analogy... that for the Chinese and Russians, Gold is the ultimate CDS on Western currency. 

Graphic evidence of this trend can be found here... and remember... central bankers are not idiots, no matter how much Ben B and Yellen Keller pretend to not understand Gold while talking on the record to Congress ;

http://koosjansen.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-biggest-central-bank-gold-buy...

gillbilly's picture
gillbilly
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Posts: 423
Be mad but face reality

Jim and HRunner, I still don't understand the logic. Dave provides a TA of the market as it exists in reality now, not what it should be, or ought to be, but rather as it is. You might not like that reality or even think it's a false reality, but he is merely analyzing what he sees with the TA tools he has. Is it manipulated? Probably (okay even definitely), but it's the only market there is. I guess manipulation is a part of free markets, at least, so I've discovered on the bitcoin thread. If you think you can sell gold to someone for $2k or $10k an ounce because that is the true value, then by all means do it.

Maybe Dave agrees that the true value of gold is much higher, but why would he bring this to his TA? It has no bearing on what is actually happening. We can all be mad that all the markets are manipulated (and I'm sure they are), but where does that leave us?...I guess yelling at each other here in the blogosphere. Lol I'm sure there is truth in what you say that the PM market is manipulated, but it doesn't negate Dave's truth that it is the only market there is. Why is this so difficult?

Jim H's picture
Jim H
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Gillbilly - it is very simple.

You can do TA while acknowledging manipulation, or you can be a useful idiot and do it without acknowledging manipulation.  If you don't acknowledge manipulation, you are effectively, in my mind, reinforcing the propaganda that is the Gold price.  Do you get that?  The Gold price is a very powerful form of propaganda.  

And by the way, the price that Dave is TA'ing does not reflect the reality of the physical Gold supply vs. demand.. it reflects the supply vs. demand for Gold futures contracts.  Which is the reality.. the physical market, or the paper futures market which trades contracts, only a small percentage of which ever get delivered as physical?  Do you see how the whole thing is actually a farce?  

Why do you call the Bitcoin market manipulated?  Why would you say that free markets are manipulated?  Manipulation of metals markets happens because;

a.  price is, for now, determined in a leveraged futures market

b.  the main players, the foxes watching the hen houses, are the bullion banks

c.  Thanks to no enforcement of any logical position limits, the bullion banks can move price around at will.  No position limits means leverage, on leverage... leverageEE2... this is not how free markets should work. 

Where does this leave us?  It leaves me in a position of being much more interested in the signals coming from the physical market.  How much physical Gold does the Comex have left?  Well, Jesse follows this intently, and will show you that the ratio of the number of contracts being held, vs. the number of deliverable ounces, has never been higher;

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2013/11/gold-daily-and-silver-w...

The physical movement of Gold from West to East has been monitored intently by Koos Jansen;

http://koosjansen.blogspot.com/2013/11/west-to-east-gold-distribution-up...

Interestingly, in the real physical Gold market, even Sprott's PHYS has started to see redemption, suggesting that real physical Gold is in very, very short supply;

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2013/11/nav-premiums-of-preciou...

When I did my update today I noticed that the number of ounces held in the Sprott Gold Trust has declined by 17,256 ounces. I believe this is a very recent development. That is over $21.5M in gold bullion that has been redeemed which is a fairly large amount. I don't think it's for Hanukkah gelt.

With these paper price raids on gold, the redemption terms at PHYS must look good compared to the premium one can obtain to physical gold in Asia. Given the integrity of PHYS and the cost and bother of a redemption, it must be due to some significant price differentials. Or someone just sees something coming, and wants to have their gold very close to home, wherever that might be.

There were no changes at the Sprott Silver Trust, except for the usual reduction in cash on hand. The cash levels there are getting down to the point where I suspect that Sprott will consider another shelf offering sometime within the next six months at most.

Gold is flowing from West to East. It is a somewhat unique phenomenon, seen markedly in the ETFs and Funds that hold physical gold. I have not seen anything like it before in my memory.

This drawdown in physical gold inventories in the West is remarkable, especially when compared to the other precious metals and silver.

It seems to me to be a fairly strong indication of a mispricing in the market, most likely caused by the blatant price manipulation we see almost every day on the Comex.

 

 

gillbilly's picture
gillbilly
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Posts: 423
It's not that simple

Jim, unfortunately it's not that simple. I don't think Dave ignores manipulation, I think he lumps all of human behavior, including manipulation, into his analyses because he chooses to accept it as a part of the marketplace... because in fact that is the reality. You seem to want the concept of a "free market" to exist where it doesn't. Yes, the physical and paper gold markets don't correlate...and so? What markets are correlating to our models right now? If that's the reality, well what do you do?

Gold price being used as propaganda?  Price being used as propaganda can be found in any number of markets. How about large corporations gouging markets with below market prices to drive smaller ones out of business to secure their market share? What is advertising and marketing if not manipulation and propaganda? You might want to explain these away as something different, but that is in fact what they are and operate the same way. Large corporations can flood the market with advertising (by way of their size/money) to manipulate entire masses to buy things they don't need or want. I completely understand the frustration with the fact that size matters, but unfortunately it does. We don't want it to, I certainly don't like it, but it does, so we tend to vilify it.

But if those who own large amounts of gold or even gold paper decide they want to manipulate the price, then that's what they're going to do because they have enough power to do it, and the market exists. Yes, I know, they manipulate it with fiat money that they printed, but again, that's the reality. I'm not saying it's right or wrong or even fair, that's just the way it is (at least for now). Dave, in my opinion, like most traders, accepts this and also points out that there is also the power that resides in the collective of small and medium size investors to counteract some of the bigger players. If the price does get low enough, many of these traders/investors will step in. These investors haven't been shut out of the process have they? I know, we can't print our own money so we are at a disadvantage (it's Robbery!), well then, don't play the game of trading. Sit and enjoy your gold at home, knowing that eventually you'll have the last laugh.

If the physical gold market makes more sense to you, so be it, but the reality is that the paper market is tied to it and has its own mechanisms for establishing price. To me, your argument is equivalent to arguing what the real value or price of the dollar is...but the size of our military matters! Our military power manipulates the rest of the world into accepting our dollar as the reserve currency and petrodollar. Is it fair? Well, I'm sure we'd get an earful from the rest of the world, but it sure works in our favor here in the US doesn't it? Anyway to reply to what you wrote:

You wrote:

a.  price is, for now, determined in a leveraged futures market

b.  the main players, the foxes watching the hen houses, are the bullion banks

c.  Thanks to no enforcement of any logical position limits, the bullion banks can move price around at will.  No position limits means leverage, on leverage... leverageEE2... this is not how free markets should work.

My interpretation:

a = a reality

b = some of the reality, other players have been omitted

c = not reality...your opinion, the key word is "should"

Dave doesn't live in the land of "should" as he has said over and over. He satisfies a niche here at this site that I'm sure Chris, Adam, and many others (including me) appreciate. I'm sure C&A probably don't have the time to do the TA themselves, and Dave seems to enjoy it, not to mention he is damn good at it. We're lucky to have him give his expertise. Just as we are lucky to have you here challenging him. Seriously, I've read some great posts from you when you are challenging him on his analysis in a respectful way, or how he has explained himself. To call him a useful idiot just makes you look bad.

As for bitcoin, can you honestly look at the chart and say that in its speculative nature it doesn't have any manipulation built into it? What about those documentaries on bitcoin that aired in China? Were they merely spreading information to the people? or is it propaganda? Remember we are talking China with state controlled TV. Also, please give me an example of a currency in history that has a price chart like bitcoin over the past 10 months? I can think of currencies that lost value pretty quickly, but a currency that went exponential? Maybe tulips?  Then, in that context, ask yourself if bitcoin reflects a "free market" currency of people?

 

 

Rector's picture
Rector
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 8 2010
Posts: 509
Uh huh.

Did something happen to the Gold price today?  It went down?  Oh.

Long view.  Keep the long view.  Anyone making their car payment from the gold stash this month?  I thought not.  

We're long term investors trading on the inevitable implosion and meltdown of the bullshit system we live in. 

Rector

 

Hrunner's picture
Hrunner
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Joined: Dec 28 2010
Posts: 256
I am angry

Let's clear up some things.

Dave, I am angry.  If you wish to criticize me for that as an emotion, as a fault, then so be it.

Stealing makes me angry.

Injustice makes me angry.

Dumping 1500 contracts on the Globex in dark of night to drive gold to ever lower nominal prices, to make illicit gains and prevent gold from serving as the barometer and warning sign for the wider population to stop the reckless destruction of the dollar, is stealing.

A government, who, in a representative republic, is supposed to be a representative of the people, and even more so as a decent, moral agent, is supposed to look out for the powerless and the weak and the poor, that routinely ignores mountains of evidence that markets are manipulated, is not just.

If you see injustice and do nothing, you are part of the problem.

If you aid criminals, then you are a criminal.

Dave, I have said before and say again I value your contributions.  By everything I know, you are one of the good guys.  I use your information with other inputs to decide opportune times to make larger PM purchases. I agree with you that there is an overlay of 'regular' traders in the market.  I'm cool with you being a trader.  I don't understand how anyone can reasonably trade markets when some market participants can drop thousands of contracts of fake paper gold at any time, but being libertarian-minded, I support and defend your right to do it.

Gillbilly, sales and marketing is an activity that is emphasizing true, positive facts about a product or service, and minimizing negative facts.

Propaganda is lying to a group of people to achieve a hidden agenda, usually an agenda that is nefarious and against the best interests of the majority of the people.

Telling someone that your car goes 0 to 60 in 7.5 seconds, while failing to mention that your competitors sell five cars that faster is sales and marketing.

Telling your country's citizens that it's a good thing to keep increasing the debt limit, that the economy is in good shape, that "if you like your health plan, you can keep your health plan", that we had to "abandon free-market principles to save the free market" is propaganda.

Hitler was telling his citizens that Germany was invading Poland and France because Germany needed room to grow for prosperity and was reclaiming rightful property, when in truth it was because of Hitler's sociopathic desires.  Hitler was telling the citizens that the Jews were a root cause of Germany's social ills, instead of the misadventure of WWI and the reckless debt management and money-printing in the post-WWI era.  And he was of course not telling the country that he was executing and incinerating 6 million Jews.

"Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (...) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (...) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (...) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning...."

Mein Kampf, via Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_propaganda

Examples of propaganda "through an appeal to their feelings... rather than by sober reasoning"

"The government must take away all the guns from the people, look at all the children that are dying"

"Those preppers are crazy aren't they, hording food and all that stuff.  They look like extremists, like crazy hermits"

"If the government doesn't take over healthcare, we can't give healthcare to everyone, and look at all the poor women who can't get contraception or abortions and be penalized with babies"

"The government must spy on everyone.  You don't want one of those crazy terrorists flying another plane into another building, killing thousands of people, do you."

"We must invade other countries to establish democracy and save them from those horrible dictators.  Look at those poor, repressed, miserable Iraqis"

"We have to give citizenship to illegal immigrants.  Look at how poor and miserable they are.  We can't separate mothers and children. Giving them citizenship will solve all the socio-economic problems of Mexico."

"If we fail to raise the debt ceiling and make budget cuts, it will be a crisis for the country and its world standing.  People will lose jobs, there will be great economic pain and suffering.  The world will end"

Failing to identify and oppose propaganda has very bad consequences.

Dave, I don't like to lose money, but let me be clear, I am quite diversified and can afford to lose 100% of my PM investments. Not happily, but I can absorb it.

I have a diversity of productive skills.  I am healthy.  My family is healthy.  I have a walk with my God.  We are truly blessed.

I am speaking out not just for my own family but for my community.   I am angry because of the coming harm and consequences that these manipulations and cover-ups are harbingers of. 

By harm I mean poverty, misery, social fabric tearing, destruction of families, sickness, violence and death.

I choose to oppose propaganda, fraud and criminality.  Because it is wrong.

Because not doing so leads to very bad consequences and great harm and misery.

Choose your path.

H

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gillbilly
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2012
Posts: 423
HRunner, true but...

HRunner, 

I am disgusted with the amount of corruption as well. My post was not to minimize anyone's anger. 

You wrote: Gillbilly, sales and marketing is an activity that is emphasizing true, positive facts about a product or service, and minimizing negative facts.

Propaganda is lying to a group of people to achieve a hidden agenda, usually an agenda that is nefarious and against the best interests of the majority of the people.

There is truth in these statements, but they are not all encompassing. Can you honestly say that advertising as it exists now is equivalent to the definition you supplied? So the half naked woman on  top of the car hood has something to do with the true facts about the car? Or is it that over a hundred years of PR research, costing billions, has found that it easier to manipulate people by tapping into their unconscious impulses? Can you honestly say that when the masses see an advertisement fifteen times during one day that they will remember it as much as the the ad they saw once? (i.e. size/money matters in markets) I just had a conversation with a friend who is a high level ad/marketing exec., and as she put it..."marketing and advertising is in one sense trying to put your best foot forward (some truth in that for sure), and in another sense the complete art of bullshit (seems to be a whole lot more truth to that now)." Where is the line between lying and artfully stretching the truth to the point of obscurity? Snake oil salesmen have always existed in the private and public sector, because in the end they are composed of human beings. Propaganda is just the tails side of the advertising coin...just merely trying to get people to think a certain way. 

I agree that propaganda is sickening, but at some point you have to pick your battles. You can't fight the entire world, and being mad all the time about every act of propaganda or illegality will probably just make you physically ill. 

Here's another way of thinking about what Dave does: 

The world is unpredictable right? So, things happen to people that are out of their control. Maybe your spouse dies, maybe a friend needs money to survive, maybe one of your employee embezzles cash from you, and you need to sell your gold or silver right away, or at least in the next month or so, because of one of these unforeseen incidences. This is the same gold and silver that was bought as a long-term investment, but hey, shit happens. Dave becomes someone who can give you some TA to help you navigate when to sell. Is that so bad? The reality is that the person needs to sell, the reality is the PM is the market in which to sell it. Dave likes to trade the ups and downs of this market. He didn't create the market or how it operates, he is merely acting on the reality of it. Does trading tap into the speculation that a lot of us don't like? Yes, but again, he didn't create the market. We all participate in a system that is full of contradictions. 

I have to own an SUV for my business. Do I like it? No, but it is a necessary thing to own for me to survive right now. Am I looking for alternatives? Absolutely! Maybe that's a bad analogy, but you get the idea. We're all hypocrites in the end...there's pros and cons to everything, so we keep doing the best we can with the knowledge and wisdom we have. 

I wish there were easy answers to poverty, misery, the social fabric tearing, and violence. And you're right we should act to alleviate these things. I don't see death as a problem, but an absolute truth. I'm guessing you meant violence leading to death. 

Anyway, it's apparent you care deeply for the human condition, and that's wonderful!

Peace!

 
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Jim H
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Gillbilly

You are defending a guy on the internet...  you are a man who has more faith in his fellow (anonymous) man than I.  As I have stated before, I don't care if you or anyone else thinks I , "look bad", am mean, or am otherwise out of line.  The times today demand I think that we raise our voices.  I will simply continue speaking truth as I see it until I get kicked off the airwaves here or decide the benefits of putting myself out there via my thoughts no longer outweighs the angst of doing so.  I have only respect for you Gillbilly.

Although I think it is obvious, I will say that I agree with HRunner that there is an overlay of real market action on top of the manipulation... and this goes for so many instances.  Sometimes Gold moves up or down on news, and this is normal.  Sometimes though it is capped, or attacked in the quiet hours of trading, and this is not.  

I see you stretching so hard to show that manipulation exists all the time, using your advertising analogy.. but I think you are simply wrong to put this under the same banner as the, "big lies" like the false economic numbers our Gov't provides, and the Gold price itself.  To quote Hitler's written word;  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Lie

"...and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters.."

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davefairtex
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he's back

Ah Jim, I see you're once again claiming that I'm some anonymous guy on the internet.  To your Beloved Founders, I'm not anonymous, and I've offered repeatedly to meet with you so that I'm no longer anonymous, but you have shown no interest in doing so.  Its clear to me you'd prefer to sling mud than get at even this simple truth - who I am.  That's likely because once you did meet me, you'd no longer be able to sling that particular bit of mud, and you would much prefer to have as much mud as possible in your bucket in order to discredit my viewpoint through any means necessary.

Ends justify the means and all that.

But you have said before that your objective is to suppress my viewpoint by any means necessary, so this should come as a surprise to nobody.

Its too bad we can't disagree and still remain civil - you know, the way Hrunner manages to do.  Even though he's angry, he still keeps it within the bounds of rational discourse.  And I understand and sympathise with his anger, even though I don't think its productive for a trader to "go there".

The market is bigger than we are.  One guy getting angry at price action won't change anything, except perhaps to cause that one guy to buy at the wrong point for the wrong reason, and then as a reward that one guy has to endure the stress of seeing all that red in the monthly portfolio statement until the market turns.

Keeping cool, and picking your moment seems like a better strategy to me.

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Jim H
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Beers at the White House

Dave,  I am not aware of any offers you may have made to meet in person with me in the NY area, nor am I aware of your having met with either Chris or Adam... as of a conversation I had with both of them early this Summer, neither had met you in person at that time and your, "resume" consisted of having captured the fancy of CHS.  You were a friend of a friend.  Maybe you have met with them since.. you can tell us about it if so.  I would be glad to meet with you in NY sometime in a neutral, public location where you can't use your martial arts skills on me  : )   

 

 

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westcoastjan
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thoughts...

Hrunner, 10 thumbs up for your post #11.

I claim no market expertise whatsoever. I follow these conversations to assess the various viewpoints and try to learn something about (to me) a very complex subject. All too often things fly over my head, but I keep trying...

The one thing that continuously vexes me is the ongoing duplicitnous that is present in the markets, and those who cheerlead on the markets behalf, traders like Dave. I am not knocking his expertise or who he is but rather the fact that he is an eager participant who, like untold millions, perpetuates the dupliciousness via ongoing participation. In essence, it seems like a "if you can't beat em', join em'" kind of thinking.

On a scale of doing damage to humanity, which the financial system implosion is most certainly going to do on a widespread scale, how is this any different than looking the other way on matters where political deception, and the accompanying apathy in the populace, lead to things like the extermination of millions of Jews, or the more recent history of genocides and ethnic cleansings in Rwanda or Serbia/Croatia? How about currently in Syria?

This is not a debate about whether the markets are right or wrong. It is a philisophical debate about ethics. Assertions have been made that the markets "just are". That advertising and propaganda "just are". That these things are a fact of life, and therefore something to be accepted, irrespective of our feelings.  If you don't like it, don't participate.

I beg to differ. It goes well beyond simply not liking or declining to participate. I would go so far as to say we are standing by while bearing witness to financial genocide being committed against the middle and lower classes.

The international legal definition of the crime of genocide is found in Articles II and III of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide.

Article II describes two elements of the crime of genocide:

1) the mental element, meaning the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such", and

2) the physical element which includes five acts described in sections a, b, c, d and e. A crime must include both elements to be called "genocide."

"Article II:  In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Souce: http://www.preventgenocide.org/genocide/officialtext.htm

*bolded sections my emphasis

Strong words, and a controversial thought. But what else am I to think when I see blatant examples of the law being broken by financial institutions globally, via manipulation, lying, corruption and outright theft, resulting in millions upon millions having conditions inflicted on them deliberately, which will ultimately bring about physical destruction? I need only look at the wreakage that is Detroit to see with my own eyes that financial genocide is not only possible, it is happening before our very eyes in living colour.

And yes, it is deliberate. Well thought out decisions are made by business people every day, decisions that are made knowing the implications will be ruined lives, towns, cities. When the cities go, so too does the nation.

It is it not true that someone who continues to participate in something even though they know that something is unethical and will do untold harm to millions, is complicit in that harm?  Are we, those who participate in the markets, therefore also complicit?

There have been many monsters over time who have left their mark on humanity - the Hitler's, the Milosevic's...we have allowed a multi-faceted global monster with no one leader or personality to rise up. Like other charismatic monsters, it is working its charm, seductive and wily, presenting visions of prosperity, while stealthily covering up the rape and pillage from the sheeple - who are so easily pacified with the advertising propaganda. Will the populace stand idly by on this one too?

I believe each of us have very hard questions to ask ourselves about who we are, what we value, and how we contribute to this world. If there is enough real honesty, and enough integrity, there will be enough people to (finally) say to the monsters "no more".

Will we have the courage to stand up and be counted by letting our actions speak loud and clear?

Jan

 

 

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davefairtex
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meeting in NYC

Well I have offered to meet you many times, and received no response.  It is nice to see you have changed your mind.  I go to NYC every now and then, and I'm happy to spend lunch proving I exist to someone bent on suppressing what I have to say at all costs.  Next time I'm there, I'll drop you a message so we can plan it out.

Ok, maybe that was too snarky.  Just focus on the bits where I said I'm happy to meet.  :-)

As for meeting with Chris or Adam, your information is a bit out of date.  While I'm not going to kiss & tell, I have to say there are times when I feel I'm missing out by not being in the Bay Area any longer, and after a meeting with CHS and Adam the other day, I found us all to be entirely of one mind on some truly revolutionary subjects - far from the gold markets.  Perhaps someday there will be a new company formed, who can say?

 

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gillbilly
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Hitler? Really?

Jim, No offense but the Hitler quote is not impressive. Hitler was a sociopath, not some wise person. He didn't prey on the simplicity of the minds of the masses (he just thought he did), he preyed on their fear at a time when there was lots of it.

I have no problem with you speaking the truth as you see it, just acknowledge that other truths exist (and one does not necessarily negate another). And when I say it only makes you "look bad," sure you don't have to care, but going back to the art of rhetoric and building arguments, having credibility and general like-ability is as important as the arguments you present, at least from Aristotle's point of view. Just something to keep in mind.

Peace!

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thc0655
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Doug and Dave

I bet you need a chaperone. I'm in for lunch :)

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Arthur Robey
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On Money

Dmitri Orlov says that a brick wall is a patient teacher.

Context: My genetics are Slavic with deep roots in a primitive lifestyle. Therefore My instincts tend towards what my genes know. This whole "Civilization" thing has been a mistake.

There is no need to jump right in here and tell me we cannot support the current population on the lifestyles of my ancestors. I know.

If you want civilization and its sweet fruits you will need to expand:- Off World. Stop whingeing Muggins, that is what it will take. And even then you will have to take the rest of your body along for support. You will have to take your ecology.

Maybe then your indifferent teacher, The Brick Wall, will have succeeded in installing wisdom.

The rest is cockamamie.

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gillbilly
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Jan, I'm confused

Jan, as you know I'm a big fan of your posts, but I'm confused as it seems you are passing judgment on DaveF because he participates as a trader in the market? ...

The one thing that continuously vexes me is the ongoing duplicitnous that is present in the markets, and those who cheerlead on the markets behalf, traders like Dave. I am not knocking his expertise or who he is but rather the fact that he is an eager participant who, like untold millions, perpetuates the dupliciousness via ongoing participation. In essence, it seems like a "if you can't beat em', join em'" kind of thinking.

Traders do fulfill a necessary function in markets. Let's not forget the markets in which Dave trades are not confined to the trading floor, the ECNs, or the algorithms. The grocery store you shop at, the internet you use, the car you drive, the house you live in, they are all tied to and are a part of the markets that you find duplicitous. So in fact, we all join in on this market whether we like it or not. In the end we are all hypocrites by pointing fingers.  Are there varying degrees? Absolutely, but it can often be deceiving as to how to judge a person.

My point is not to accept the financial markets as they "just are" and move on or join in, but rather that Dave is fulfilling a necessary role in reacting to the reality of the markets as they exist in real time. It doesn't mean he agrees with what's going on fully, or is a cheerleader for all of it. He does have an alternative perspective on them which is healthy for our dialogue. The markets are not all bad, and they are not all good. Some people have the stomach for trading, some don't, but trading by definition is not bad in and of itself. Again, it becomes a question of balance. Where are the limits going to be in in a finite world? How much speculation? How much leverage? How much population? How much greed is good, and when does it turn bad? How much competition in relation to cooperation? Maybe it's too late, but no, we should not stop acting in accordance with our conscience of what we think is right, but our concept of right and wrong can easily change with new information and contexts.

Things do seem out of balance, and so we look for those to blame, but just beware though, the monster you speak of may wind up being all of us just staring in the mirror.

Peace!

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troof
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Posts: 39
Know your enemies
gillbilly wrote:

Jim, No offense but the Hitler quote is not impressive. Hitler was a sociopath, not some wise person. He didn't prey on the simplicity of the minds of the masses (he just thought he did), he preyed on their fear at a time when there was lots of it.

I have no problem with you speaking the truth as you see it, just acknowledge that other truths exist (and one does not necessarily negate another). And when I say it only makes you "look bad," sure you don't have to care, but going back to the art of rhetoric and building arguments, having credibility and general like-ability is as important as the arguments you present, at least from Aristotle's point of view. Just something to keep in mind.

Peace!

I would disagree about the importance of the Hitler quote.  Hitler, like Stalin, and like Mao, understood better than most how people's hearts and minds function.  It's important to understand not only how the archetypes of goodness and wisdom think and function but also the archetypes of evil, deception, and counterfeit.  Knowing one's enemy and recognizing the fingerprints they leave is key to understanding how to resist and overcome them.
 
As far Jim's use of the term, "useful idiot", I don't get a sense that that particular phrase is a personal attack on Dave, but rather a reference to Lenin and how Jim feels that Dave is playing right into the hands of TPTB by what he is saying and also, what he isn't saying.  I think Jan explains very clearly how Dave is doing that.  Dave has useful TA information to offer but he also seems almost too willing to participate in the game.  As my daddy used to say, he who plays with the pigs, soon gets dirty.  Dave's barely concealed eagerness to participate in the game taints my opinion of him.  There've been people who've played this game before and wound up being badly burned in ways beyond anything they ever imagined.  Like moths to a flame ...
 
There comes a time when participation becomes tacit complicity and the moral man not only sheds all contaminating connections but needs to rise up and vehemently and vigorously oppose.  Standing by and doing nothing is not an option.
 
“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”
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bowskill
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Posts: 78
Market participation

westcoastjan - I also struggle with this. In my simple mind, the equities market should be no different from a fruit and vegetable market. You go there because you want the veges. You don't usually go there to buy a cabbage from one stall holder and sell to another at a higher price. If you did, after a short time the market community would recognise you as a selfish shark and no one would sell to you at any price.

If you bought the cabbage and sold coleslaw then that is productive and fair.

In the equity markets we are all anonymous. If we profit from a buy and sell, we have no idea who took the loss. If we ripped off some pensioner or struggling mum & dad investor our conscience is unaffected. Then there is high frequency trading which is without doubt in my mind a selfish, parasitic, immoral theft on the markets - but I doubt any of us have anything to do with that.

Steve Keen proposed that shares should not be allowed to be bought and sold in short time frames. Fat chance that will ever get up. But the idea was noble. It prevents anyone profiting without their capital actually contributing to real work.

Nevertheless I find myself an occasional participant although I dont like it. Just saying I sympathise with your view.

I do enjoy immensely the banter between Dave and Jim and I hope neither opts out. I take from each what I think it is worth - but I will say that Jim has been a major influence on some of my decisions. So far they are working out well. Sure - he is abrupt and even grumpy and rude at times and I have the utmost admiration for Daves thick skin. But don't ever leave us - either of you!

PS - an audio recording of the lunch you too have would make the best off-the-cuff ever!!! Can just imagine Bruce Buffer doing the introductions UFC style.

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Jim H
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Good banter...

The times are difficult, and there is no way that any thinking person can be totally oriented .... some things are clear.. and some things are less clear.  Here is one thing that is clear, thanks to Paul Volcker.. he said;

The commentary in The Wall Street Journal, written by David Malpass, a Treasury Department official during the Reagan administration, quotes former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker as having repeatedly declared gold to be "the enemy,"

http://www.gata.org/node/10364

 

So either you believe that the current US central bankers are just kinda dumb, or you agree with me that they are being disingenuous.  As I have shown you all before through links, central bankers in all of the BRIC's countries are rapidly accumulating Gold.  So, the question becomes this;  Why does DaveF deny the reality of central bank Gold manipulation?  I wish I knew.. and I will ask him at lunch.  My contention, stated before several times over the last year, is that he is too smart, based on his writings, to not know this.  The cognitive dissonance remains.  Is he ex-military?  security clearances?  I am betting yes, but we shall see.  I am highly intuitive.. an in-person meeting will be very interesting.   

Gillbilly... you must have been the debate team captain... you are just that good.  If you don't think that the DHS is starting to look like the Stasi, then I think you need to re-read your history.  If you really care about people, and I think you do.. then you need to help them sheeple understand what is happening.  You may think we are on opposing sides, but I actually fight against the ideas DaveF promotes in protection of the sheeple...   maybe we are on the same team and you don't even realize it.

thc... I would love to have you as my wingman for the DaveF luncheon.  I am treating.  Just be careful not to bring your sidearm.. because this is NYC we are talking about.  I am absolutely open to this... maybe Luke Rudkowski would film it. 

Thank you for the other comments troof and Bowskill.

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westcoastjan
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Posts: 572
Gillbilly, you may be confused but I am not

With regard to your statement below,

Again, it becomes a question of balance. Where are the limits going to be in in a finite world? How much speculation? How much leverage? How much population? How much greed is good, and when does it turn bad? How much competition in relation to cooperation? Maybe it's too late, but no, we should not stop acting in accordance with our conscience of what we think is right, but our concept of right and wrong can easily change with new information and contexts.

This is the crux of the matter, in particular how much greed is good, and when does it turn bad? My take is that there is far too much that has turned bad. There are no shortage of examples, but here are two in the news this week that stuck out for me:

1) The Heinz plant in Leamington, Ontario, just across from Detroit, is being shuttered, throwing 740 out of work, and gobsmacking a community that has its entire history in growing tomatoes for this plant. In recent years plant owners encouraged tomato farmers to upgrade to the latest and greatest equipment so as to help the company compete better globally. Much of the equipment is specific to tomato growing. Now they are left with specialized equipment for a crop with no demand. The town build on tomatoes will experience extreme trickle down effect, and already realtors have been inundated with calls from panicky home owners.I  understand that Warren Buffet is one of the owners of the parent company... he and the other shareholders have just made a greedy decision, and in doing so will dramatically impact the lives of 1000's.

2) The typhoon in the Phillipines has been all the more devastating because off the rampant corruption of officials lining their pockets with funds earmarked for infrastructure and inspections of same. The poorest of poor suffer even further as a result of the greed of the very people they look to for health and safety. What's wrong with this picture?!?

I could go on with many more examples, but the point is, the capitalistic system, with its trading system, as it exists now, has no checks and balances to arrest out of control greed. Quite the opposite actually. It is an immoral greedfest that knows no bounds.

Everything changed with financialization. Totally obscene amounts of money are made using exotic products dreamed up by math whizzes trying to tweak everything tweakable to make a buck - often both sides of the trade. There is no room for a small retail investor in these so called markets. Everything is rigged. Financials are constantly re-stated. Penalties are becoming the norm. Oops, my bad, I shredded those incriminating documents (BP).  Guess I'll just pay that little fine they slap me with. Prices are manipulated to the point no one knows what anything is truly worth - there is no true and free supply and demand mechanism to determine true prices.

I am not criticizing Dave F personally. It is the idea, the concept of traders enthusiastically participating in something so morally corrupt. Obviously my morals are on a different planet from the traders and market players. But that is okay, I will never have to worry about looking myself in the mirror.

You say that traders are necessary. On a certain level they are. But tell me, how many would exist if there were no corruption, no manipulation? If the markets acted as true markets should, I hypothesize that 75% of the traders out there would be out of work, as they would have to make their money honestly.

If a trader made a killing on Heinz Shares on the news of the plant closure, is that good or bad? I guess it depends what side of the fence you are on, but from my standpoint, it is immoral. I have this vision in my head of a trader going home at the end of the day and he says to his wife "hey honey, guess what? I hit it out of the park today, made a hundred K on that Heinz announcement. Wife: I thought hundreds lost their jobs and the town is going to go down the toilet? Trader, ya, but I made us a 100K! Isn't that great!"

I guess that's why I'll always been just a regular person of limited financial means. I do not have it in me to make a living off the backs of my fellow human beings. Unlike many, I have achieved a level of contentment that does not have me chasing after more, more, more. Like Hrunner, I am angry at the injustices and the greed. Too many good people are being hurt in ways that they will never recover from. All in the name of desire for ever more fiat backed by an even more corrupt, immoral and bankrupt government.

Our concept of right and wrong may change in differing contexts, but the concept of integrity never changes. One either has it, or they don't. There is no half-measure.

Peace friend,

Jan

 

 

 

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davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 5455
overthinking everything

So look.  If I said to you, "hey, there's a sale on gold, 20% off, starting next Tuesday" would you buy now, or would you wait until Tuesday, and buy then?

Would the act of waiting until Tuesday be a corrupt act?  Would the act of advising another to wait until Tuesday be corrupt?

That's all I'm doing.  I'm choosing to wait until Tuesday.

Really guys, its not complicated.  I just prefer not to buy at the tops.  And I provide for you my thinking, so that you too, if you keep a clear head, might be able to avoid buying at the tops too.

How everything gets all twisted around to a place where I'm this horrible guy doing awful things - I can't quite follow it all.  I just want to buy gold on sale.  That's it.

Is that really so wrong?  You all like paying full price or something?

And regarding Jim bringing along a film crew and a collection of bodyguards to a lunch with - me - really?  You want this to be some sort of contest or performance?  My only goal was to show I'm a real person, not to engage in some sort of chest-beating win/lose exercise.  That's so mainstream media content-free talking-over-each-other ego contest crapfest.  Why on earth would that be something I'd be interested in participating in?  Total waste of time & energy.

How about this: Jim can do the Clint Eastwood trick, and have a debate with an empty chair instead.  He gets the easy win, I get to avoid the whole silly exercise, and everyone ends up feeling good.

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westcoastjan
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Posts: 572
think big picture

Hi Dave,

I can understand you feeling rather beat up. It is not about you personally. I think in its simplest form what some of us are trying to get at is that active participation in a corrupt market gives that market validation. If people reacted to the corruption by not participating, would that then not send a powerful message to those who oversee the markets (supply vs demand)?

You are right that we all have blood on our hands. Anyone who owns PM or other commodities has the blood of the mines on their hands; anyone owning stocks has the blood of the company they own, for instance a heavy polluter, as well as the corruption of the market on their hands. The nature of our modern economy will have very few people without blood on their hands. We can however actively choose how much blood is going to  be on our hands. We do this by minimizing participation in things that do not sit well with us from an ethical perspective. I choose not to validate corrupt markets by not participating in them. What you choose must be according to your own conscience.

Jan

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gillbilly
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Posts: 423
Sociopaths and Systems

Troof, have you ever had a sociopath target you? And I mean really target you? I have, for almost two years, and I can tell you first hand, they prey on your fear. They are only as smart as their ruthlessness. When there's no empathy or emotion, the ability to prey on others' fears has no limit. Again I know this first hand, and the possibility of losing your life is something that enters your mind every day when you're being targeted. It's devastating emotionally to the person being targeted, and to those close to him. Did I go to the police? Yes. Did I take all possible measures to protect myself? Yes, but this guy had A LOT of money and power. He had and still has high local and state officials in his pocket. My family and I had to give up a big part of our lives by completely disengaging from him. Disengaging is the only way to get rid of a sociopath, especially one with that much power. Those who suffered at the hands of Hitler were not sheeple, many were very smart people, smarter than Hitler for sure, but they were terrified, and had no where to go. I luckily could disengage, they could not. Even those who took the orders from Hitler must have been in fear. Fear has way of making people behave irrational, make them do things unimaginable. I can tell you from experience it took everything in me to keep my head on straight. We live in a world where the system we've created rewards sociopathic behavior, so a sociopath can have the appearance of being smarter, but really it's that they have no morals and are completely ruthless. I wouldn't wish it on you or anyone, and the book that changed/saved my life was The Sociopath Next Door.

Jim, I never thought we were on opposing sides (aren't we all here because of our core beliefs in the 3Es and resilience?). I have appreciated so many of your posts. It's just when you try to beat up on Dave it's painful for me to read because it just looks like you're beating up on yourself and taking it out on Dave. When you enter into a civil disagreement with him, you more than hold your own and the discussions bear fruit.  And yes, I care very deeply for all life, painfully so at times.

Jan, the things you mention make me angry and sick as well, but I don't exclude myself from the system that has created these types of events to happen. I don't think of people/ the masses as sheeple. When we kid ourselves is when we think we are smarter than others. Intellect and wisdom can be asymetrical and too broad to be adequately define, despite what our aptitude tests tell us as they usually only measure one type of cognition. I do think this global system we are creating has an inertia that can sway the masses of people in particular directions, and that inertia can create all kinds of disparity in wealth, health, environment, and living conditions. Your example of the Heinz factory is a good one. But to be the devil's advocate, according to our system, Buffet is merely acting as a prudent businessman in the way our system has defined prudent business practice. Profits should always be increased, efficiency should always be pursued, more productivity, costs should be externalized. Then the share price adjusts to the perceived value of the company in respect to that decision. It all has an inherent logic. The problem to me is that we have allowed the human condition to be subtracted out of this process. All that seems to matter is that the business practice is followed so that it adheres to this inherent logic. Logic has its limits, but we don't seem to want to admit that it. Data, polls, and statistics become the support structure for this logic, but fairness never enters the equations in any meaningful way.

But fairness is something we feel deep inside, to our core.

We allowed corporations to be defined as persons, persons that can live on forever as long as they continue to outdo the competition by any means. Those means are what I listed above (and more). We all allowed this to happen and have participated in the "game."  It's impossible not to, we're born into a continuum. The reason I have taken on more of a devil's advocate role here lately is to get people questioning everything and to try and see many perspectives. It is my belief that if we can try and put ourselves in the other's shoes, empathy grows, anger dissipates, and true dialogue begins. At least, that's my theory...I continue to question that too:-) I don't always do a great job at it, but I try nonetheless.

Like me, so many of us on this site are grappling with these issues and challenges, and we continue to learn from each other. Not a bad thing right?

Peace!

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troof
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 14 2013
Posts: 39
What then?
gillbilly wrote:

Troof, have you ever had a sociopath target you? And I mean really target you? I have, for almost two years, and I can tell you first hand, they prey on your fear. They are only as smart as their ruthlessness. When there's no empathy or emotion, the ability to prey on others' fears has no limit. Again I know this first hand, and the possibility of losing your life is something that enters your mind every day when you're being targeted. It's devastating emotionally to the person being targeted, and to those close to him. Did I go to the police? Yes. Did I take all possible measures to protect myself? Yes, but this guy had A LOT of money and power. He had and still has high local and state officials in his pocket. My family and I had to give up a big part of our lives by completely disengaging from him. Disengaging is the only way to get rid of a sociopath, especially one with that much power. Those who suffered at the hands of Hitler were not sheeple, many were very smart people, smarter than Hitler for sure, but they were terrified, and had no where to go. I luckily could disengage, they could not. Even those who took the orders from Hitler must have been in fear. Fear has way of making people behave irrational, make them do things unimaginable. I can tell you from experience it took everything in me to keep my head on straight. We live in a world where the system we've created rewards sociopathic behavior, so a sociopath can have the appearance of being smarter, but really it's that they have no morals and are completely ruthless. I wouldn't wish it on you or anyone, and the book that changed/saved my life was The Sociopath Next Door.

Gillbilly,

I'm not sure what your personal experience with a sociopath has to do with the comments I made but it sounds like it was a terrifying experience for you.  But since 5% of the population is sociopathic, the likelihood is that you'll could very well run into this situation again.  Under the constraints imposed by a civilized society, I would agree that disengagement is often the best choice, but then again, not always.  It's when those constraints begin to deteriorate, however, that a different game plan could very well be needed.  God forbid, there may be a time where disengagement is not feasible.  In preparation for that potential occurrence, you will need to plan for options other than disengagement.  You may want to read books such as Strong On Defense by Sanford Strong and The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker and integrate those thought and action patterns into your being.    Musashi and Sun Tzu, among others, also had much to say on such matters.

Also, I made no comment whatsoever about any sociopaths being smarter than anyone else although you make that reference repeatedly as if I did.  I'd venture that learning from such people is more a matter of perspective than of intelligence.  Although you said that disengaging is the only way to get rid of a sociopath, I would reply, with the force of history backing my words, that disengaging is not what made Hitler go away.  Disengagement can work for a while but with what we are facing, ultimately, there may very well come a time where there is no means of disengaging unscathed.  What then?

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gillbilly
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2012
Posts: 423
Thank you Troof

Thank you Troof for the suggested reading, I'm always open to new books. I would like to point out that you did write that:

Hitler, like Stalin, and like Mao, understood better than most how people's hearts and minds function.

My question to you is how can you understand how people's hearts function if you have no capacity to feel things like love, empathy, sympathy, regret, etc.? They have no emotions, they do have adrenaline rushes. Let that sink in.  I suspect by your reply and your advice you've never been targeted. I hope you never are. I lived through it, which does give me some experiential knowledge of knowing how recognize it and deal with it if it presents itself again. But thanks for the advice. I'm serious, I'm always interested. The experience did help me come to a place where I don't live in fear. I'm not saying ever, but I do all right.

I agree with you on Hitler, I don't adhere to being a pacifist in all situations if all other options have been exhausted. Peaceful means are always preferable, but they are not always available. Okay, I'm not sure what this has to do with PMs? Maybe nothing, maybe everything, but it's where we landed.

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troof
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 14 2013
Posts: 39
It's easy
gillbilly wrote:

My question to you is how can you understand how people's hearts function if you have no capacity to feel things like love, empathy, sympathy, regret, etc.? They have no emotions, they do have adrenaline rushes. Let that sink in.  I suspect by your reply and your advice you've never been targeted.

Gillbilly,

They understand how people's hearts function from the perspective of a cold, detached observer, like a scientist who doesn't necessarily have a personal emotional investment in a situation, but understands the details and intricacies of a situation nonetheless.  How does a scientist understand how a fish's gills function when the scientist has never had or used a set of gills himself?.  That's how a sociopath understands those emotions.  A prison psychologist will tell you that some of the very best "psychologists" are certain prison inmates who know how to read people, pick out weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and use those weaknesses and vulnerabilities to manipulate those people to their own selfish ends.  They very well understand how to use emotions of love, empathy, sympathy, regret, etc. against those who experience those emotions.

In response to your suspicions, you would be incorrect.  Everyone reacts differently under stress.  Some freeze, incapacitated by fear.  Some flee in fear.  Some fight as a means to overcome their fear.  Only those who are brain damaged, insane, or psychopathic have no fear.  But the key is having the courage to overcome one's fears  Dangerous sociopaths (and not all sociopaths are dangerous) smell fear and feed off of it and are seemingly strengthened by it, like one would be by an energy source.  Therefore, the key is not giving them the fuel that feeds them.  Easier said than done, for sure, but entirely possible.  There are various ways of doing this (none guaranteed, by the way) ranging from positive to neutral to negative and including unconditional love and forgiveness or disarming humor to complete neutrality in response (absolutely no fear expressed but no anger, malice, or counterthreat expressed either) to meeting them on their own level.  Much of it comes down to having nothing to lose.  A sociopath who has nothing to lose is potentially very dangerous.  Likewise, a potential victim who puts him or herself in the same mindset of having nothing to lose becomes equally dangerous to the sociopath, whether in the form of their existence or in the form of the memory of their existence.  Amoks, juramentadoes, kamikazes, jihadists, and others of that ilk were frightening to confront because of their willingness to die but die they did when confronted in like manner by those who were psychologically and physically prepared.

P.S. It's been a long time since I read Candace Pert's Molecules of Emotion but IIRC, there are additional insights to be gained there on the emotions people experience or don't experience.  We may be talking about different things her but I don't think they experience an adrenalin rush but rather that of another different biochemical.

And coming back to the issue at hand, I'm looking forward to hearing Dave's answers to the questions I posed.  I think those answers will help us make better choices with regards to PMs.

 

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gillbilly
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 22 2012
Posts: 423
To stand under

Interesting conversation. I hope others chime in. I would challenge your definition of "understand." To truly understand something to me implies one must "stand under." This gets to the heart of my point about society. There is truth that the sociopath has a cognitive understanding, which may actually be very acute to compensate for the lack of emotions. But they lack the capacity to "stand under" in any meaningful way, which to me is the essence of having a more complete understanding of the nature of someone or something.

This is the road we have traveled for centuries putting our emphasis on the scientific deductive empirical approach to "knowing." Using nature (or your fish gill) as an example,  we put it underneath us, or "under" a microscope if you will, thinking that by subtracting our relationship from it (which is impossible, but we ignore that reality and move on) we are in fact knowing it or getting a really good picture of it (probably a better analogy...to look at a picture is to stand apart from it), and then we overemphasize this kind of "understanding." We have put so much emphasis on it that we have built an entire system that perpetuate itself in that direction (pushing more of ourselves away from the reality of connection, emotion, and relational knowing). We become more alienated from ourselves and from our environment/nature. We see the destruction it causes in our communities, to our friends, to the environment, and we're disgusted or mad, but yet our remedy is to do what we've learned... detach ourselves from the reality and blame it on someone else, as if it's not us, but them.

So you are correct in one sense, and the prison inmate example fits that model nicely, but only if you use that example and argue within the psychology that has developed out of this system, a particular cognitive approach.

I agree with your statement about not giving a sociopath (same thing as psychopath for those reading) the fuel that feeds them. That was in fact what I had to do, and I had to do it within my particular context. What is impossible to do is to hypothesize in any meaningful way how someone else would have reacted in the same situation. We love to do this, especially in psychology, but in my opinion it's futile. I'm not saying it's a bad idea for an individual to reflect on past behavior and try to improve on it, but each individual reacts to his situation within the parameters of his experience (relationship), personality, and context of the present, which is dynamic and unique to the individual. We could sit down and have a conversation of what you might have done if you had been targeted by the guy who targeted me, and we both might learn from it, but it's futile to say you would have reacted "this way." I also agree with your assessment of when two adversaries confront each other and both have nothing to lose it. These are realities in the world and I am a realist, but it is also a reality that most people would prefer didn't exist. It is also a reality that has been caused by our own collective making, because we are in a dynamic world where everything is connected to everything else.

So how do we make decisions in a global system that to me seems to be moving more in a sociopathic direction? I think Jan is correct, we all need to take a hard look at ourselves, but that also means, to me, the first step is not to pass judgement on someone else and to try and stand under. Enter into a relation with those you don't understand or think are causing harm (in a safe way, not recommended for sociopaths) and try to stand under them. It's okay to disagree, but withhold judgement. Easier said than done for sure, but isn't that what we're doing here, albeit, in a two dimensional (somewhat alienated) way?

Peace!

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troof
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 14 2013
Posts: 39
It does not compute

Gillbilly,

With much respect for you and your point of view (which I mostly agree with), I think your logic goes astray when you begin getting into hair splitting semantics.  To take "understand" and change it into "stand under" is like taking "forget" and changing it into "get for" or taking "forgo" and changing it into "go for". 

It does not compute, lol.

Again, getting back to the subject at hand, we're still awaiting DaveF's reply to some of the questions I posed on another PM commentary thread. 

Gillybilly, do you think it's possible that JimH and a few others pick up something from DaveF's commentaries that the rest of the readership does not?  I'm not saying he's a bad person or he's giving us bad information but it is interesting that as an alleged friend of Chris's and Adam's and as a regularly contributing writer here on matters of much importance, whenever he's asked to reveal something substantial of his background, there's a decidedly spectral reluctance to do so.  He's certain entitled to anonymity as just a run-of-the-mill poster here but he has recently ascended to a level above that; one that, in my opinion, requires a bit higher level of transparency and accountability.

As an aside, do you understand how the entire culture is being groomed to not pass judgment?  It has become one of the major sins of our society.  Tell me though, if you want to refrain from passing judgment, then how do you prevent a criminal element from criminal action.  Who has the right to judge and what gives them that right?  And if there is no judgment, then what?

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