With the success of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, and the coming apart of our financial bubble (this time, it SEEMS like the real deal, but we’ll see..), it feels like the perfect time for a song parody. I admit to being inspired by- and also “borrowing” liberally from- the creative “Crypto Karaoke” account on YouTube. Try this at a karaoke bar- for the 5% of the audience who get the joke, it will be worth it! Enjoy…
-Original Lyrics from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”
-Original Parody from Crypto Karaoke’s “Blockchainian Rhapsody”
Is this the real life?
Or is it fantasy?
Caught in a stock slide,
No escape from a bankruptcy.
Open your eyes,
CNBC lies, you see…
I’m just a poor boy,
But that will change instantly, because
Bull markets come, bull markets go.
Buy gold high, buy gold low.
Anywhere its price goes,
doesn’t really matter to me…to me.
Hold on…stick with the plan.
Don’t let the FED inside your head,
Though precious medals might seem dead.
Hold on, the gold bull’s just begun.
If you sell now you will throw it all away.
Hold on, ooo-woo-ooo!
The dips will make cry,
But the price will come right back this time tomorrow.
Hold on, hold on,
Because the price now doesn’t matter.
Nasdaq’s time is done.
For years tech stocks were all buys.
Now it’s time for them to die.
Goodbye fiat money.
I’ve got medals.
There’s no need for all the brokers who steal from you.
hold on, oo-woo-oo! (“any way the market goes”)
The fiat system’s gonna die.
Gold’s dips are your chance to go buy some more.
“I see The Federal Reserve’s brilliant plan!”
“Where’s The Proof?
Where’s The Proof?
Are They Even A Real Bank Though?”
“Markets Are All Crashing,
Trolls Are Really Bashing Me!”
“Bartiromo! Bartiromo! Bartiromo! Bartiromo Bartiromo let me go! (Manifico-o-o-o….)”
“I’m Just A Poor Boy,
Don’t Have Any Gold To See…”
“He’s Just A Poor Boy,
Bought Stocks For His Family.
Now He Will Pay For This Monstrosity!”
“Easy Come, Easy Go
Will You Keep Rates Low?”
“No! I will Not Keep Them Low!”
“Keep Them Low!”
“I will Not Keep Them Low!”
“Keep Them Low!”
“I Will Not Keep Them Low!”
“Keep Them Low!”
“Will Not Keep Them Low!”
“Keep Them Low!”
“Will Not Keep Them Low!”
“Keep Them Low-ow-ow!”
“No no no no no no no no!”
“Oh, my Maria
My Maria Bartiro(mo)…
The bubble popped, now why won’t you start listening to me, to me, to meeee!”
(guitar kicks in)
“So you think you can mock me, just give it a try…
as you bought all your stocks near their all time highs!
Oh, baby, get out of your stocks, baby!
Just got to get out, just got to get out of stocks here!”
“The stock price doesn’t matter,
All of you will see
The stock price doesn’t matter…
the stock price doesn’t matter…to me.”
(“Your money should go into gold.”)
…not to mention a few thousand points on the Dow??
(disclaimer- I didn’t create the image on the right, so whoever actually did is free to take the credit. Everyone on the Internet already knows that I didn’t create the image on the left.)
With all the many topics that get debated these days- some of which are so trivial- it amazes me that one of the most important issues of our time goes untouched- Why do we allow one single person to control interest rates for the entire U.S. financial system? (Woodrow Wilson could not be reached for comment, on account of being dead for 94 years.)
Anyway, what the so-called “permabears” have been warning about for years, even decades, seems to finally be at hand. It’s still early, but that’s kind of the point- what happens when the wheels REALLY fall off this time? The Fed managed to put them back on twice already in this still-young century. Can they do it again, or has luck run out (FINALLY) for those who have put faith in this financial system’s ability to bounce back, from one Fed-induced crisis after another? As of now, current Fed chairman Jerome Powell doesn’t even seem interested in saving the system, but he likely doesn’t realize what danger it’s in, or just how fragile his predecessors- specifically Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and Janet Yellen- have set it up for him.
It’s hard to imagine now, but at the beginning of the current decade, Colin Kaepernick was primarily known for being a promising young quarterback. Even then, he seemed to relish an image as something of an antihero, emerging from the ignorant noise of his loudmouth, no-nothing detractors. This goes back at least as far as his first commercial, when a younger, much shorter-haired Kaepernick starred in a three-minute (!) spot for headphones, of all things. (Just imagine him trying to put those things on now.) We see Kaepernick getting off a bus, as thousands of feral-like fans try to viciously shout him down. Kaepernick, with a sense of cool not seen since The Fonz, ignores them all, stoically listening to a song titled, “I’m The Man.” Of COURSE you are, Colin.
At the time, this was a curious ad. Who in the ACTUAL world hated Colin Kaepernick? He was an emerging star, helping to lead his 49ers to the Superbowl in a rookie season- very marketable, and hardly the polarizing figure that this ad portrayed. Perhaps disappointed by his LACK of notoriety as his star began to fade in 2013, Kaepernick was spotted in public wearing a Miami Dolphins hat- something kind of weird for a quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers to do. Though somewhat obnoxious, it was far from the stuff of full-blown outrage. Still, there were a few 49ers diehards that took the bait, complaining about Kaepernick’s disloyalty- and, in an act of foreshadowing of much bigger things to come, disrespect. Finally, Kaepernick had his real life targets to ridicule, and ridicule them he did, posting a very sarcastic looking picture of himself holding up a Dolphins hat. Making less headlines on the field, Kaepernick seemed to relish the notoriety off the field.
Fast forward another three years to 2016. Barely on the public radar by this point, Kaepernick grew his hair out, generating his off-field persona as a social justice warrior for a community that, quite honestly, he was never part of. That’s not to say he doesn’t actually care about this community, as only he knows his true intentions- and to be fair, he has donated lots of money to causes he advocates. (This is something ALL successful pro-athletes, entertainers, and multi-millionaires in general should do, but that’s for another discussion.) But regardless of his intentions, the methods Kaepernick used were not exactly constructive towards advancing his newly adopted cause(s). Rather than bring people together to try working on practical solutions, Kaepernick deliberately stirred the pot, preaching to the choir of people who already believed what he was saying, while deeply alienating those who didn’t, with an incendiary press statement about the United States. While there are certainly plenty of issues to discuss regarding this country, including that of the troubling relationships between the police and the inner-city communities which they serve, Kaepernick’s initial statement- and this is for those who say Kaepernick’s protest is “only” about police brutality- was a far more sweeping condemnation about the country that made him a rich man, stating that he refused to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” (I suppose it’s also too oppressive for him to vote, as he skipped the 2016 election altogether.) And while we’ve all spent WAY too much time already “debating” (actually, screaming at each other) about the merits and liabilities of kneeling, how about the fact that Kaepernick actually started his protest by sitting on the bench throughout the anthem?! (It wasn’t enough for him that he’d spend the next three hours doing that?) It was only after realizing it would be better PR for him to kneel, and the rest is history.
And what about the socks controversy? Before becoming the world’s most famous shoe salesman, Kaepernick sported some rather nifty socks, showing pigs wearing police hats. Kaepernick responded with his usual eloquence- seriously, he’s a smart man- along with his typical faux indignation, lamenting this distraction from “the real issues”. But come on- does someone as intelligent as Colin Kaepernick really not know that these socks would generate a “distraction”? It seems like a reasonable assumption that he went out of his way to purchase these statement-making socks- it’s not like they sell them at Walmart!
And hey, speaking of big, heartless corporations, enter Nike into the picture. Not afraid of exploiting controversies any more than they’re afraid to exploit third world workers- this is a company that once cynically used Tiger Woods’ infidelity to sell their products– they recruited Kaepernick to be the new face of their marketing campaign, under one of the most ironic marketing slogans in American history, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” For the sake of argument, let’s assume that everything Kaepernick stands for is pure and just, as are his motives. What exactly is he sacrificing? Already worth more than he’ll ever be able to spend in his life, Kaepernick’s unremarkable talent was simply not enough to justify the PR headache that any NFL owner surely would have had to deal with, had they signed him. Instead, he was signed by Nike, making far more than he ever would have as an (AT BEST) run-of-the-mill quarterback. And for this, he’s being compared to Muhammed Ali refusing to serve in Vietnam- or even ROSA PARKS?! Only in today’s America can this be done with a straight face, just as only in today’s America can this be consider “sacrificing everything”.
But give credit where it’s due- Colin Kaepernick has achieved the outlaw, antihero status he longed for, probably beyond his wildest dreams, while Nike’s sales have spiked upwards. By hitching itself to his wagon, Nike made a bold but savvy move- alienating Trump’s MAGA crowd, but becoming the hero of the left- a group normally associated with being AGAINST big corporations. Any boycott Nike will see from this PR stunt will likely be far outweighed by the sales they will generate, as early indicators seem to suggest. At the end of it all, the only “sacrifice” made will be of the Nike products that are being burned to a crisp by the misguided counter-protesters, thinking they’re making some sort of statement besides, “We’re not very intelligent.” They’d have been far better served donating those clothes to charity, and simply stating that they’re never buying Nike again. But that’s just not how things are done these days, in a highly politicized environment filled with venom, rancor, and silliness.
As for “The Man” Colin Kaepernick, we’ll likely never see him take another snap in the NFL again. That’s too bad, because had he done so, he’d likely remind us of the REAL primary reason why he’s not in the NFL anymore- quite simply, he’s just not all that good. Instead, he gets to be the martyr for a cause that he didn’t even expand beyond the base of people who already agreed with him in the first place. No matter. This whole thing is making Colin Kaepernick a rich(er) man, to the point where even HE will have to say, “God Bless America.”
Nothing else worth saying here, as a picture is worth a thousand words.
I’d also highly recommend this podcast, featuring legendary permabear* Bill Fleckenstein- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-NCBtqzFk4.
*In the interest of full disclosure, I use the label of “permabear” a compliment.
Happy trading, and check your 401K before they wreck your 401K. Be careful out there….
“When I began posting the CBB almost twenty years ago, my focus was on “money,” Credit and the U.S. boom. I didn’t anticipate geopolitical developments would some day play a role in my analysis. But I also never contemplated a global Bubble of today’s dimensions and characteristics.
I never imagined how an explosion of government debt and central bank Credit would be used so recklessly to inflate intertwined Bubbles spanning the globe. Never did I contemplate how this new age global “system” (already highly unstable two decades ago) would be nurtured, backstopped and resuscitated into today’s monstrosity. I never could have envisioned how the U.S. would run huge Current Account Deficits for another 20 years and still maintain such command over a dollar-based global financial apparatus. Who would have believed a global financial arms race was even possible – especially amidst such escalating animosity and hostility?
This is a strange period. It’s strange here at home – in society, in politics and in the markets. It is strange globally. The unprecedented nature of what we see at home, abroad and in the markets provides a lot of leeway with interpretation and analysis. Somehow, there’s a dominant contingent that believes the U.S. is on the right course – that the economic boom will accelerate, markets will, as they always do, continue to rise. The future is bright, all the polarization and social angst notwithstanding. Markets offer unassailable confirmation.
It would be great if the optimists were right. But this was a week that corroborated a much darker interpretation of developments. A decade of unrelenting easy “money” and booming finance has masked a metastasis of festering issues – financial, economic, social and geopolitical. And we’re now only a more general bursting of the global financial Bubble away from having to simultaneously face a bevy of very serious issues. As they tend to do, developments can seem to move at glacial pace – and then, rather suddenly, they can be more akin to lava.
As I have posited repeatedly and expounded in more detail last week, the global Bubble has been pierced at the “periphery.” I also believe the backdrop is now conducive to contagion at the “periphery” (finally) gravitating toward the “core.” The Turkey-induced risk aversion that erupted this week in European equities (bank shares!) is an important escalation in “Periphery to Core Crisis Dynamics.” “Risk off” is gaining a firm foothold, and global financial conditions now tighten by the week. Market pundits expect cooler heads in Ankara and Washington to prevail over the weekend. If not, it could intensify what was already a particularly long and hot summer. ”