Tuesday, May 21, 2013

If We Don't Know How the Story Ends, How Do We Live On?

CHS has a hard-on for "narratives."  We needs us some narratives, or we're lost:
If the causal chains of history and narrative are disrupted, then how can anyone fashion a meaningful context for actions and narratives, and effectively frame problems and solutions? If everything is equally valid in a non-linear flood of data, then what roles can authenticity, experience and knowledge play in making sense of our world?
The reality is that narratives are the beginning of the end, the cause of all conflicts that prove the theory of entropy.  Our demand to force reality to fit our narrative is precisely what creates all the strife and suffering in the world.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Bend Over.  Here It Comes Again.

I have a huge problem with the "Fourth Turning" argument.  I think it is nonsense, primarily because it is rife with cognitive biases and unrecognized anachronisms that neutralize any real insight into the patterns of history, which patterns I cannot, and therefore do not, deny.  The problem is that Fourth Turners appear to have no real understanding of history so the patterns they see don't mean what they think they mean, if they are even there (or meaningful, if they are there).

On the bright side, Fourth Turning fatalists/nihilists have found a reason to live, i.e, to preserve themselves and their loved ones.  That's better than just sitting there and whining.  It is also better than standing on a street corner preaching to strangers that the end of the world is near.  Not much better, but better.  To his credit, Eric A. admits that such preaching is useless and, thus, he and other Fourth Turning nihilists save us all from that kind of embarrassment.

Monday, May 6, 2013

What Should Be Obvious Is There Is No Market

Free thinker Charles Hugh Smith asks "What Is Obvious About This Market?"

He then goes on to say everything an Austrian-inspired person can be expected to say.  Indeed, several other members of the Austrian "cargo cult" said much the same thing on the same day, on the same sites.  Central banks are blowing bubbles that have caused a "disconnect between the real economy and the stock market [that] is widening [and] obvious."

The problem with laying everything at the feet of central banks is that doing so ignores how private actions have completely destroyed any semblance of a "market" in the so-called stock market.  Between dark pools and HFT, there is no possibility of price discovery and, hence, no market.  The relatively small positions of retail investors that are traded out in the open of "light pools" such as the NYSE are used as a proxy to set the prices of secret trades in dark pools, and if the retail investor gets weak-kneed, HFT can be counted on to supply the illusion of demand to prop up the proxy pricing.

Private parties are using dark pools and HFT to create and enforce the decoupling between the "market" and the "real economy," and there is little chance of a true collapse of the stock market unless and until there is a true solvency crisis of a major player.