How Enlightened Consumerism Is Shaping a New Capitalism

October 28, 2023

Considering the extremely painful and disturbing series of events that have occurred throughout the world over the last few weeks, let us entertain something a little lighter, though no less transcendent in nature in regards to our often slow, sluggish push toward a more enlightened evolution.

In our ongoing exploration of the post-Peak Capitalism world, see photo 1, an innocent enough looking collection of ostensibly family-sized snacks (for the context of size only — no relation to one another).

An average assortment of family-sized American snacks

Photo 2 shows a seemingly decent sized bag of Snax Sational Brands Butterfinger flavored popcorn. Surely enough for a a small family or couple to share…

A seemingly family-sized bag of Snax Sational Butterfinger flavored popcorn
What you actually get when you open said family sized Snax Sational bag of Butterfinger flavored popcorn

Photo 3 shows the actual contents of the bag just after opening, without one item yet removed. An environment-killing glazed and inked plastic-foil bag that measures 12 inches high by 5 inches wide contains less than 4 inches of actual product. The rest is pumped in air; empty space.

Clearly this deception does not equate to any sort of Capitalist Crime or what we’ve been calling Criminal Capitalism or Weaponized Capitalism, the most heinous & harmful aspects of the Post-Capitalism world.

But off the top of our heads, what does this blatant trickery & thievery do to the unsuspecting consumer? Definitely disappoints. Makes them feel like a mark, like they got duped and ripped off by @snax_sationalbrands Definitely uninspires & dissuades loyalty to & trust in the brand.

It also is an extreme waste of resources & that much more poison garbage buried in the Earth’s limited landfills.

See.., Post-Capitalism doesn’t always have to be overtly harmful or dangerous to suck. Sometimes it just shows what a**holes people can be & how little respect they have for their customers or people in general.

But the GOOD that will come, IS coming, from all this is that companies & brands who commit to being honest, trustworthy, respecting their customers, their employees AND the environment will continue to take more & more marketshare away from tired old legacy brands like this one (even tho they’re pretending to be “new”) by inspiring trust and loyalty. Admiration even.

In the 21st century, as we continue to define what we want out of New Capitalism, enlightened consumers are making it very clear that we are no longer just buying a product, a brand or a company anymore. What we’re really buying now is an ethos that aligns with our values; a knowing that our money is a powerful force, that can be used to make us feel good or make us feel bad and ripped off.

When we spend OUR money, on something, on anything, be it product, service, donation, we recognize that we can help make the world a better place, or perpetuate just more of the same, or truly destroy the world outright. That choice is one we make every single day, in every single purchase, whether we’re aware of it or not.

Enlightened Consumerism is what we’ve been calling it lately. Conscious Capitalism is an older term and refers more to how we do business. Conscientious Investing, older still, refers to how we invest, as in how we generate Alpha from our own capital, or how we generate a profit from any money we’ve set aside; and it’s all about WHAT we invest in. That’s the “how”. In the simplest terms, Big Oil, Big Pharma and weapons manufacturers are OUT. Electric vehicles and environmentally sound companies are IN. One often hears the term ESG associated with this brand of investing.

Enlightened Consumerism is the same principle. But it levels the playing field. Whether we hurt the world and our fellow man, or help is no longer just for the wealthy. It’s a process that everyone can partake in.

Enlightened Consumerism isn’t a fad. Its not liberal or conservative; not gay or straight. It has no color, no ethnicity, no religion. What it is is the future. Our future. Our children and grandchildren’s future. It’s everybody’s future. And yours truly predicts it’s already one of the fastest growing & hottest trends of the new millennium.

The Current State Of the U.S. Financial Markets – A Few Thoughts

October 25, 2023

Hey brother, I obviously can’t cover it all, and lest we forget, this is a 55/45 game at best. Despite our best Fundamental AND Technical analysis, there is still no better way to make and more importantly save money than forgetting the short term and just adding in and keeping it in LONGterm. Because NObody gets it right all or even most of the time.

But here are Some Notes as of today…. Bearing in mind this is of course all due to change.

The problem we have here today is multi-fold:

  • In this kind of sell it all environment we have today, it doesn’t really matter what earnings are compared to normal. A Beat could still be met with a lukewarm reception. Which would fry the shit out of all those overpriced High IV Calls people bought.
    Look at MSFT as a perfect example. A BIG beat. But it’s DOWN 7 from the days high and down 6-7 from its Open. I.E. all the action was in extended hours. Options holders got screwed.
  • META. It’s been in and still is an admitted restructuring phase where it warned shareholders they’d be spending a lot more to build and grow over the next 4-6 quarters as it fully transitions into META from FB. If they Miss in any way, it’s going to drag this market down tomorrow in a way that makes today look like a day at the beach.
    If it Beats, it could really help bring some life back to the DAQ. But a 2%+ reversal from today? No way. AMZN is next tomorrow. No one is expecting much. Because AMZN earnings are always a wash. A traditionally notoriously unprofitable company except for its AWS cloud services. BUT if GOOG’s massive Cloud services Miss was any indication, and businesses are truly moving away from Cloud, AWS could also decline, pushing AMZN down. And Putting even more downward pressure on the NAZ. And then there's AAPL the most heavily weighted stock on the 3 Indices. Where AAPL goes so goes the NAZ. And this is why we've seen such ugly action in what's usually a great month, October. No one is expecting a Beat from AAPL this time. Too many problems. Too few new products that excite. Declining sales in China and the US advance notice already given. And a fully over-saturated market. (Hence perhaps todays announcement they're raising the price of AppleTV+. The one saving grace for AAPL and us all... It's burgeoning Services dept. If they can continue to show growing demand and revenue from Services, it might squeak by and save the day. My prediction: Services will show good steady growth. But it won't be enough to rally the stock. I am praying I am wrong on this and that AAPL absolutely blows the roof off of its release. Truly. Nobody wants a losing 4th quarter in the mkts. Except the hardcore Shorts. Markets in general. All four indices are now in clear downtrends. The Russell is actually down -5.7% on the year. This normally is a bearish indicator. The DJIA is only up 6% on the year. Ouch! For "the Index of Indexes" that ostensibly holds only the strongest healthiest and profitable 30 companies money can buy of all Sectors, this does not bode well. The S&P is still holding a decent 11%+. But it's sitting right on top of both it's 50 and 100 Day MAs. That needs to change. Fast. And then there's the beloved NASDAQ. Still up a whopping 26%! It has now almost transcended being an index of stocks and is more akin to a roulette wheel, with more and more mkt participants, and algos, trading solely off the NAZ itself with no knowledge or concern for what actual stocks comprise it. The 10 Day has now dipped below the 20, and the price is now below both. But it's got a LONG way to go to reach the 50 or 100 Day. So it's still far from worrisome. In fact a 26% return in a year is downright mouth watering. Of course META AMZN and AAPL could and will impact the index considerably. We just aren't sure which way.... One bright spot to note: although the VIX is up over 25% in the last month, it's still hovering around $20. That’s elevated to be sure, but it doesn't show massive protection buying going on. Not yet at least. We'll know more tonight. And next week. Inflation and Rates Simply put, Inflation is still too hot. Ask consumers. Ask Hedge Fund managers. Or Big Company CEOs (privately). As investors, fund managers and CEOs, of course we all want rates to come down. But nobody is kidding themselves. The Fed made a mistake by pausing too soon. Maybe it was the pressure from markets. Maybe it's an honest mistake. But the bond mkt -- some say THE leading indicator, is flashing rates need to go higher still if we're ever going to get inflation truly under control again. Sure it'll hurt. Again. Even more. But what we have here is just prolonged pain caused by this never ending feeling of indecision and distrust that inflation isn't going to come rallying back in 3-6 months. One might say that, frustrated with the Pollyanna style of the current Fed, the Bond Market is doing the Federal Reserve's job at the moment.

Out Of Control Healthcare Cost As Weaponized Capitalism

October 22, 2023

And then there’s this:

“The price of the lifesaving Covid-19 medication #Paxlovid will more than double in the coming months, drugmaker #Pfizer announced Wednesday. The change in list price comes as the US transitions from a system in which the government purchased the medication and provided it free to everyone to a more traditional commercial marketplace.
“The list price, before insurance, will be $1,390 for a five-day course, Pfizer said. That’s 2.6 times higher than the $530-per-course price paid by the US government, which provided Paxlovid free to patients during the pandemic.
“Covid-19 vaccines also increased in price as they went through a similar transition to a commercial market, rising about fourfold to between $115 to $130 per dose.

Some call it Peak Capitalism. But we’re way beyond that now. Others term it Capitalism Run Amuck. But again, way beyond that. I’ve heard Post Capitalism. Maybe…, but that could be too easily confusing.

I had it the other day…, the perfect term for where we are at this very moment (United States only, for lest we forget, being a new country, we are BEHIND the rest of the Western World in these matters i.e. Free Market Capitalism Versus Social Welfare…) Alas I forgot to make a note of the term I’d concocted. For now, let’s settle on Out Of Control Capitalism, and/or Weaponized Capitalism.

One thing we know for sure from history. It is only a matter of time before the masses that comprise 99% of any nation state’s population, unable to live even the most basic existences of dignity, rise up, revolt and tear the whole corrupt system crumbling down, murdering many a number of the 1% along the way. That’s History 101. This is the WHY behind Europe being so far ahead of us on the Social Welfare and Happiness scales. They’ve already been through this. Many of them multiple times. Let us hope there is something that be done in the form of a compromise between true democracy, social welfare, equality, basic human rights to lives of dignity and our more capitalist leanings.

As always, more later,

HealthcareCosts #healthcare #healthcarecostsareinsane

The Agony and The Beauty Of Being Alive

October 19, 2023

There’s so much now, to pay attention to, attempt to discover, research and explore, debate and discuss. So many “hot” topics du jour. So much to chew on. Most of it utterly meaningless in the grander scheme of course. Especially when you add in the variable of time. Unless you habitually skip all the mainstream BS and jump right into the real meat, particle physics, ancient history, civilization theory, cosmology, ontology…all come to mind.
And yet… even then, with such tantalizing subjects to sink one’s teeth into with a few like minded individuals, when faced with the agonizing reality of the human condition, or bigger picture, all life, still just as much a random roll of the dice as it was tens of thousands of years ago, even conversations of that ilk seem unimportant.
Just got off the phone with one of my oldest friends. 30+ years we’ve been there for each other to laugh love party rave about the music we love and rage against the politics we hate. His cancer, though in and out of remission for years, has ravaged his body beyond the level of him being able to live a comfortable life anymore.
When he first told me a few days ago about the decision, I could not for the life of me feel the grief i knew should be there as he relayed his plans to me; could not bring it down into FEEL. I was too caught up in my head, in THINK, trying to find solutions. My mind racing around scrolling through decades of collected data searching for what would save the day and save my friend’a life.
As we’ve continued to talk everyday it’s become more and more real. My friend is going to leave his body behind soon. Very soon. Last night we really had to have the heart to heart. He needs and wants me to get to acceptance with him about his fate, for my own sanity and peace of mind, as much he needs me to be there for him whenever he wants to talk or vent or cry or rage at the cruel gods and soulless cycles that govern we the lowly and vulnerable.
When something wonderful happens to a human being who claims to believe in one god or another, they exclaim “thank god! God is good!” When something unimaginably tragic happens to that same human, they dishearteningly sigh “I guess it’s god’s plan”. They can’t square the 50/50 success rate of their preferred god. Because there’s no squaring it.
This problem with humanity’s various gods has been tossed around in theological and philosophy circles for thousands of years. The problem, or the philosophical exploration of it, is called Theodicy. If there’s a god he’s either all powerful and cruel as hell, or he’s all loving and just not very powerful. I lean toward the latter if we’re going to assume the existence of one purely for the sake of exploring this, one of the many Problems we debate in the field of Philosophy.
Last night as we talked and made plans for me to come up to his place to say a final goodbye, no easy feat for me still because I cannot walk for more than 5 minutes at a time and an hour and half car ride will be excruciating on my back, the reality finally, suddenly, profoundly hit me.
Last week as he was relaying this new information to me, it was through deep, low growling sobs and moans and cries out to a God or fate or the universe in the most raw vulnerable and painful manner I’ve ever heard or witnessed.
“Ed i don’t want to die! Bro why? Why bro?!?” he screamed between deep gurgly sobs and gags. “It’s so cruel bro! My wife! My mom! My daughter !” This was a human being begging for his life, wailing like a baby begging anybody or anything in the universe to let him live. Deep guttural sobbing, choking, wailing. Humanity at its purest core. To the f*^king bone.
I just kept listening. Appreciating. Flowing love. Kept saying “I know brother. I’m so sorry man. I know… I’m so sorry brother…”
Last night the tables were turned. He called to let me know it’s going to be sooner than later. And that I needed to find a way to get to acceptance and stop trying to solve it, and stop fighting it. “I’m worried about you man,” he said. “I’m going to die Ed.”
And then it hit me. This was real. This is happening. All the gods and prayer and avatar and meditation and affirmations and money in the world was not going to stop this reality. I burst into a primitive childlike sobbing that I’ve never experienced before.
I sounded like an animal. “Dude I don’t want you to go man!” I let out through garbled choking uncontrollable sobbing and tears… “I don’t want you to die bro! Please don’t go man! Please..! Please don’t leave man!” An unbearable and painful grief. Rage. Biblical level wailing.
Couldn’t catch my breath. Kept choking on my own throat and spit and sobbing. Huge inhales to prepare for the next wave.
This time he listened to me, appreciated me, flowed love to me and my pain. “I know bro. I know. But I’m never going to leave you Ed. I’m leaving this body. But I’m never gonna leave you bro. I would never do that to you Ed. I’ll always be here for you.” We both just sobbed, caught our breath, sobbed more.
What a man he is. What a man he was in that moment. To be that selfless. To be there for ME. Like that. When he’s the one suffering so much and dying. I’ve never respected anyone as much as I respect this beautiful man that I’ve called friend for the last 30 years.
How blessed we are to know friendship. To love and be loved. And as randomly tragic and tragically random as it is, to have and to know life. For even as brief and fleeting as it is, how blessed we are to have lived.

The Medications Lyrica and Gabapentin Cause Excessive Hair Loss, Hair Shedding & Change In Hair Texture

October 11, 2023

For me it started approximately 45 days after starting regular intake of the drug Lyrica. I was started on Lyrica, chemical name pregabalin, in the hospital 9 weeks ago after my spinal surgery. The surgeon has kept me on the drug twice daily ever since. Truth be told I notice no viable benefit from the drug except it does seem to help me sleep.

A few weeks back I started noticing my luscious locks of rock-n-roll hair taking on a new texture. Dry, frizzy and like straw. Like many who pride themselves on transcendent body and beauty care, I’ve got an amazing hair maintenance protocol and only use the finest products. Along with supplements. For a moment I actually started doubting my products.

And then I started noticing large amounts of hair coming out in the comb and brush. This made no sense. It was new. Not normal. Huge wads of hair stated just shedding from my scalp. II’ve been liking them into the garbage can in the bathroom.

Yesterday it occurred to me that it could be one of the drugs I’m taking. In case it helps others, the medications I’m taking post spinal fusion therapy are dilaudid, methocarbomal and Lyrica.

A quick google search revealed that both Lyrica and Gabapentin have been shown in clinical trials to cause alopecia (hair loss), hair texture changes and excessive hair shedding. They put this buried deep in the literature of Gabapentin. It’s on the leaflet but buried on the 4th page. For Lyrica they hide it on page 9 of the literature.

This is Big Pharma at work, full of lies and misinformation as always. I will never take Lyrica or Gabapentin again. I read about this 20 minutes ago. But that’s me. I will inform my doctor of this tomorrow and ask him why he didn’t advise me of it. I frankly doubt that he knows. They rarely do these days.

I’d you want to learn more about hair loss and Lyrica and Gabapentin, see this helpful link from Turkish scientists.

Reflections & Projections On the Fully Autonomous Self-Powered Self-Healing Mechanism Of the Human Body

October 6, 2023

It actually originated from watching a scene from the new Equalizer 3 movie, (only 10 minutes in; can’t say what i think yet ), seeing Denzel shot to hell, passed out and bloodied, recognizing that he “just needed time to heal”, and then suddenly it occurred to me, “just needs to rest and time to heal”, a phrase we hear and say so frequently throughout our lives that we completely take it for granted, not fully recognizing what it’s saying, the truly miraculous if not supernatural implications of the process.

My mind looked for a corollary in the outside world, something to compare it to. A self-powered, autonomous system that renders a process completely on its own without a need to be turned on or off or programmed. It only needs “time”.

I soon realized there was nothing in the outside world to compare it to. No outside corollaries. Only other life forms. Plants. Animals. Microscopic organisms even. But nothing existed outside of other living organisms that were capable of such a feat.

It has often been labeled a machine. But it’s a weak comparison. Machines need to be fabricated, programmed, turned on and off, told what to do; and they need to be powered, from the outside. The human body, even if left alone, just does. It acts on its own accord. It self powers. Where does this energy come from that powers the human body?

It self heals. Immediately starting the process within seconds. Just needs time. Left alone without any intervention it goes to work healing itself, and will complete the process of healing itself, completely, all on its own. As if given a directive. It must have been ons ago, it knows exactly what to do. And it won’t stop until it’s finished.

I stopped for a moment and began scanning “my body”, with feel. And imagination. It wouldn’t be possible without imagination. But it’s imagination closely tied to awareness. A razors edge difference. Eyes open. Feeling the inside of it, from a cellular level, picturing the cells in constant motion in a never ending process of self healing.

Amazement. Look at it go. Feel it. This microscopic pulsating self powered energy of millions of cells moving about, knowing exactly what to do.

8 weeks after an extremely invasive surgery, I was advised that all “I” needed to do — in this case “I” takes on an interesting characteristic, as in day to day speech we in human form split the “I” into two separate identities when talking to each other; “I” is consciousness — the incessant flow of self-awareness energy we call consciousness, the observer and the decision maker, the one being spoken to by another, distinct from the body that contains it — and “I” is also the total package labeled “I” that is both the body and consciousness together. What we all call “me”. And “you.”

I was told that all “I” needed to do is rest and give it time. Recovery. The process of “I” as consciousness deliberately doing nothing to allow the body portion of “I” to self heal. And what we were specifically referring to — what we all are always referring to re “recovery”— is doing nothing at all but relaxing in “the body” as it goes to work healing itself. The consciousness aspect of “I” doing nothing as a deeper level aspect of “I” goes to work to heal itself, as it naturally does without programming or provocation.

Just lie here and wait, i.e. “give it time”. And the body portion of “you” will heal. And the whole “you” will be healed. Until “you” no longer feels split into two; only one whole unit. Miraculously healed.

Yes of course, as I lie here now aware of this phenomenon, in week 8 of “recovery”, I have been trying to deliberately speed up the body’s healing mechanism, sending what feels like “energy” in the form of focused attention to my lower back and legs with the intention of standing up in a few minutes and feeling no pain whatsoever, even though just a few minutes ago even a shift in position caused me to wince and scream.

How much time does the body need for this self healing process..? Can it be altered or amended?

Was the initial programming of this organic material to self heal by intelligent design or a product of a slow meandering evolutionary process like that of the stars and planets?
Can it be altered by consciousness? Sped up or slowed down?

Are we, as consciousness, only passengers? Or are we the whole car? Both travelers and the vehicles themselves…

An implication that “we” are going “somewhere”. Though the vehicles in their entirety are strictly limited to earth, by forces greater than themselves, both gravity and the fact that there is no other place to go. Physically speaking.

An implication that there is the potential for other forms of travel besides just the physical, but only a potentiality. We can get to it, an exploration of this potential, by recognizing that 1, “I” is capable of splitting itself up, and 2, that the body has this capability of self healing already programmed.

What else has been programmed in to the body? What else has been programmed in to consciousness?

There is potential in this line of exploration.
More later. The body is tired. Consciousness is tired. They “need time”.

Band Of Brothers — After All Is Said & Done It Still Comes Down To Freedom

October 3, 2023

I’m finally watching BAND OF BROTHERS for the first time. Was waiting for the right moment. Yes it’s very good. Does it deserve to repeatedly be the highest rated show of all time (IMDB 9.4), I cant say either way with conviction. Rating art is so transitory. We see something that deeply moves us and we immediately want to rate it a 10 and exclaim “that’s the best show of all time!” Six months later we’re saying the same thing about another show.
I believe the long-standing hype over BOB is due to the fact that it isn’t just a piece of momentary fiction somebody penned and had filmed like the other contenders in the top 5, all fanboy extremism and fantasy experiences come to life (we all know their names… but for those who don’t, The Wire, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos all consistently fight for the top spots; none of them I even believe belong in the top 5 to be honest. I’m not a fan of glorifying gangsters liars and theives.
Don’t get me wrong. From an artistic point of view i get the temptation. And even the lure as an audience member. Breaking the laws, administrative or ethical, is an easier road for our protagonists to travel. Successes are easier to come by. That makes it an easy way out for authors and screenwriters, and a more extreme experience for the audience. If there are obstacles in the way for our anti-hero, just have them kill somebody. Easy. And that sums up the IMDB Top Five TV category except for the subject of this post. (I’m omitting nature docs for obvious reasons… but questioning the decision.)
Band Of Brothers is different. There is no imaginary depraved antihero. Only heroes. Heroes galore. The show is securely based on real life. And it feels like real life. It’s a history that gets farther and farther away from us. It feels so far away now.
We haven’t had a generation like The Great Generation since then. From my own Gen X on down, the world we live in has consistently produced generations weaker, more selfish and more disinterested in service to greater causes.
Some may disagree and tout the work we’ve done to fight climate change or MeToo or BLM through the years, but compare that to charging a battlefield full of angry Germans with guns grenades and tanks aimed at you with the full knowledge that you or ten others are surely going to die in the next ten minutes. Psh. I’ll say it. It’s easy to commit yourself to noble causes from the comfort of your own home or out in the streets. Compared to going to war.
The whole time I’m watching BOB I’m in awe of these men. My skin has goosebumps. Their heart and souls so courageous and single minded. And I’m filled with gratitude. Brought to tears with gratitude. For the sacrifices these men made for us, for Europe, for the world, for humanity.
World War II was in fact a battle of nations. And that’s how we frame it for contextual understanding. But from the top of the pyramid, one clearly sees WW II, as with many wars but not all, was a war for the ideologies that would rule and guide every almost human on earth for generations. It was very simply put a battle for freedom. A fight between autocratic imperialism and fascism versus democracy, and most likely free market capitalism.
And if it weren’t for these men, this generation, our lives would be very very different. Our kids… the horror… would we even have kids in a world ruled by an imperial Japan and a fascist Germany? Who knows. Glad we never had to test it.
It’s easy to see why Band Of Brothers has been so popular and well-rated for 20+ years. In my opinion it should be required viewing for everyone. Not just here — for surely we owe this generation a debt of gratitude we can never repay and need to know it, and to help sow a seed in the minds of everyone how far away we drifted from this level of commitment to the greater good that lasts beyond our own life, but also in places like China Iran Arabia Afghanistan Russia. The instinctive drive and passion for real freedom. The willingness to do anything to get it.
I am often taken to day-dreaming about our Iranian or Arabian brothers and sisters, anyone living in an Islamic led country really, and my thoughts often quickly land on “I do NOT understand why they subsist in such subhuman conditions for so long and don’t rise up to fight and topple that regime and demand freedom and democracy…”.
It’s something I ponder constantly. Of course that ideology has been bred into us here in the States. We cannot help but think that. It’s been hard-indoctrinated for 200+ years into us. I often wonder if we’ll abide by it when the time comes in our own country.
And we take freedom for granted. Not to say we aren’t thankful for it. We are. Those of us born into it. It’s a given. But our Iranian Chinese Russian et al brethren have never been free. God. Consider it.
The Russian people have never lived free. Just a consistent changing of the dictators in charge with anew name of the system. The Chinese people have never lived without a deep seeded, traumatizing fear of being thrown into a concentration camp if they “do something wrong”. And our Islamic brothers and sisters… well that’s nothing less than hell on earth. Still. After thousands of years. Never free for even one day. God that’s disturbing. I am moved to stillness now thinking of it. Their tragic plight. Simply because of where they were born. And how blessed we are. Simply because of where we were born.
Meantime… Band Of Brothers has got a hold on me. Dominating my thoughts, theses and theories for now. It provides a lot to chew on. It’s substantive. Not throw away. It’ll stay a long time. Grateful.

The Most Important Thing To Know When It Comes To Trading and Investing Markets

September 21, 2023

When it comes to trading and investing markets, I’ll tell you a secret. The most important piece of data you’ll ever hear about it.

As traders we go long and short. But markets, and the instruments that compose them i.e. stocks and ETFs, trade Long 90% of the time. (Meaning Calls) Because institutions, who do 99% of the investing in markets, always go long, i.e. they are always buying. Not selling or shorting. (Puts)

Think about it: young people go to their local institution and say we’d like to invest our small savings. Meaning BUY. Meaning LONG. Meaning Calls. They don’t go in and say we’d like to take our small savings and go short. Hah! So shorting is a precise skill. Because it can only succeed a mere 10% or less of the time in terms of general markets and their activities.

Of course one can become an expert in shorting (Puts) looking for opportunities to only short (puts) markets and stocks and ETFS. And they can do just as well. But this involves precision and daily attention and activity. Because markets traditionally and in general are always going up.

More later.

The United States National Debt Hits 33 Trillion Dollars

September 20, 2023

The United States National Debt Hits 33 Trillion Dollars for the first time. This is the highest national debt a country has ever had in human history. A staggering sum never fathomed or contemplated.

Read more here:

Of course this could be perfectly fine if the entity, in this case a country, has a strong economy and GDP — how much revenue it collectively produces per year — that could easily pay the debt off at any time. This is expressed as Debt to GDP. It’s a simple ratio that measures an entity’s debt compared to how much it produces in revenue per year if it were to start paying that debt off now. The smaller the number, the better. The larger the number the more difficult it will be for that entity to pay off this debt.

Traditionally when a country reaches a debt to GDP ratio of 50%, lenders start to take notice and become concerned. Greece and Italy are prime examples because they are consistently in the news for flying much higher than 50% and getting into trouble with the EU and their lenders. Germany being the economic powerhouse of the EU — just as the High Command of the Third Reich planned it once World War II started to turn toward an Allied Powers victory (study this; the information is out there — they meticulously planned out how to create a “Fourth Reich” thinly disguised as a unified Europe controlled by Germany. Of course they never foresaw the behemoth the United States would become post a nuclear world… ) — is always left to pick up the debt payments of Italy and Greece and any other European country who falls behind on their debt payments and agreements.

For some reason Japan is allowed to run a debt to GDP ratio of some 250% and nobody seems to mind. [research].

The United States’ debt to GDP is now 129%. The highest it’s ever been is 134% during the Covid Pandemic Recession. This corresponds with other periods when the federal government ran large budget deficits: the Reagan-Bush years of the 1980s and early 1990s; the G. W. Bush years during his “War On Terror” and the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession; and the pandemic-caused recession of 2020 during the Trump years when federal debt spiked to an all-time high of the aforementioned 134.8% of GDP.

In terms of the current fiscal year, the United States is as always addicted to spending, with no real feasible plan in place to bring down the debt.

“A Treasury Department report last week showed that the deficit — the gap between what the United States spends and what it collects through taxes and other revenue — was $1.5 trillion for the first 11 months of the fiscal year, a 61 percent increase from the same period a year ago.”