WASHINGTON, July 2, 2012 – This will be a fairly unpredictable week after last week’s astoundingly Fast and Furious Obamacare action and reaction. Futures, as of this writing, are hovering around flatline, and who knows if Friday’s mighty rally—based primarily on more empty European promises and the subsequent massive short squeeze—will continue during this holiday-shortened week?
The 4th of July holiday, aka Independence Day—an increasingly quaint notion as America slouches toward total socialism—is one of the last remaining holidays on the calendar that hasn’t been conveniently rescheduled by K St. commercial lobbyists to coincide with a Monday. Thus, we have a split week rather than a short week, which is likely to increase Wall Street’s weirdness at least in the near term.
Unlike most of the rest of America, fat cats and, most particularly, Washington bureaucrats, are probably already out of town and having fun somewhere where it’s, well, fun. Like the French Riviera, where people once again can retire if they’re 60. (And if they’re French.) Or Bali. Anywhere but here. Government perps either got out of Dodge last Friday and won’t be back until next Thursday; or they booked the whole timeframe and won’t be back until July 9.
That means that the machines will doubtless be even more in control of this week’s trading action than is usually the case, since the human factor will be quite negligible. Trading will range from limp to volatile without much in between. Sound like an old broken record, though, doesn’t it?
Here in the Washington area, it’s possible that more than the usual number of people have split for the beach or elsewhere—anywhere that has electric power and network connectivity, that it. The nation’s capital was whacked last Friday evening by an amazingly destructive and rarely seem storm: a straight, over 100-mile freight train of hurricane-like serial thunderstorms that flattened everything it could touch from its origins in Lake Michigan around Chicago to the end of its East-Southeast path into the Chesapeake Bay.
Fancy-pantsers in weatherman-land called this storm a “súper derecho,” a term we’ve never heard before until now. We guess the intellectual weather class decided they needed a new fancy term to catch everybody’s attention. And making it derived from the Spanish may even swing a few more votes Barack Obama’s way this fall, courtesy of the Weather Channel. Hard to tell. (Then again, Mrs. Maven reminded the Maven that “tsunamis” always used to be called “tidal waves” back in the day. Creeping multiculturalism?)
Whatever this storm ends up being called, it was a super destruction-derby of wind, rain, and hail that, among other things, caused massive power outages that have yet to be repaired. Websites have been down. The local Netflix servers were down for roughly two days. Chunks of DC, suburban Maryland, and Northern Virginia have been without power, Internet, or sometimes even landline phone service—an amazing rarity for those who, like the Maven, actually still have a landline phone. (Although ours is still live.)
Consequently, there’s been relatively little new info going up on various websites (including this one) as one often can’t upload or download stuff with so much going on. The Maven isn’t really sure he can get this morning’s post up, but he’ll try. We lost power here for only about 3 minutes in total, although flickering and brownouts for the next several hours caused us to shut down our computers for a while. Most DC area residents have been far less lucky.
In a flight of fancy, we’d like to think that perhaps this storm was actually the wrath of God visited upon a stupid, feckless, cynical Washington, whose combined branches of government are now complicit in levying the greatest single tax increase ever known on the American people by putting the final stamp of approval on the fiscal disaster known as Obamacare—a super derecho all its own.
Apparently switching his vote at the last moment, Chief Justice Roberts allowed himself, in the end, to be intimidated by the Stalinist left which threatened to delegitimize the Supremes in the fall election if things didn’t go their way. These ruthless political thugs, stung by a Supreme Court decision in 2000 that didn’t exactly go their way, weren’t about to let a mere batch of judges stand in the way of the total victory of socialism in the U.S.
Rationalize away about the “brilliant sneakiness” of Judge Robert’s opinion. The fact is that middle Americans—the ones this Administration purports to be protecting—is going to get blindsided by a huge tax increase they never really saw coming. Roberts did at least lay down a challenge to the voters, telling them (correctly, alas) that the only way to guillotine this miserable law is to gut it at the polls by forcing politicians, for once, to defend their support for massively higher taxes, death panels, and a larger bureaucracy that will deliver worse health care than this country has ever seen.
We’ll see if and when enough heretofore uninformed voters wake up to make a difference in the November elections. But so far, the class struggle tactic of divide and conquer seems to be working just fine for the lefty elites. Score one for Saul Alinksy and Antonio Gramsci.
So far, the entirety of 2012, now half over, has been a stunning disappointment, behaving like a slow motion duper derecho of serial moral and fiscal disasters. The Arab Spring has been collapsing into Islamist anarchy; the world economy, after a brief January-February party, has resumed its downward slope; the press still refuses to fully report the truth on the hideous Fast and Furious gun walking scandal that exposes this Administration’s hideous, murderously dictatorial bent; the President parties with clueless, viciously lefty movie stars while American employment continues to tank; and now the Supreme Court, that last potential bastion against continued government destruction of what made this country great, has caved. How many more storm waves like these can we take?
All this will be on the backburner this week, percolating through the system. But we’re not likely to see a larger reaction until next week. We suspect the market’s tone will at least briefly be up this week, trading on the huge momentum it built last week. But we also expect this not to hold beyond July, with 2012 ending up strongly resembling last year, which, after much sturm und drang, ended up in December about flat with where it started in the previous January.
We leave you today with the following cheery thought, clipped from the June 30 offering at Jesse’s Café Americain. The café’s proprietor looks back on the intellectual, governmental, and banking-fat cat collusion that led to the Crash of 1929 and sees an obvious parallel to our current milieu. But he ends with a salient point, pinning the blame for this at least in part to a public that actually believed the crap that the elite class was peddling to them:
“The only mania and madness of the people was in trusting the words of demagogues and conmen, and their associated supporters and enablers. And even today people continue to mouth their false slogans and fatal prescriptions.
“The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustained growth and recovery.”
That’s true. But, starting in 2013, we’ll need a lot more adults in Washington to create an environment where this can actually happen.
Enjoy your week and hedge your bets. The rest of our daily columns will be short this week and we won’t be posting, of course, on Independence Day. We’ll be enjoying ours while there’s still time.
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