Sunday, January 31, 2021

UPDATED: The New Normal In Light Of Gamestop

Yesterday evening/night and much of today I've spent digging out from a massive snowstorm, and I'm still not done. In between bouts of shoveling I've also been spending time tweaking new privacy measures--just because. Not that I don't trust Uncle but, well, just because, as I say. In fact, the measures, so far, are really directed at my ISP.

Along those lines, by the way, I've seen commenters discussing various supposedly more private browsers. During the last couple of weeks I've experimented with several additional browsers--additional to the several that I already use (at any given time I always have at least two different browsers open). Those additional browsers have included Brave and Iridium. While I like them well enough I'll probably be sticking with my two default browsers, the main one being Slimjet. Slimjet has, for quite a long time, simply worked for me--it doesn't call back to Google and it's builtin adblocker is very efficient (more so than most extensions). Slimjet is cross platform and based on Chromium, so it uses the Blink rendering engine. There's also a Slimbrowser, which is a Windows only product and is based on Firefox (Gecko rendering engine). I assume it's every bit as good as Slimjet. If you're looking for an excellent browser, one of those two may well fit the bill for you.

With that said, I've seen virtually no news today, but I did just read what I thought was an excellent article by Edward Ring:

Robinhood, Reddit, and the Cram Down of Economic Populism

This is what we can expect from Biden’s financialized economy, ascendant now over Trump’s productivity economy.

Ring first provides what I thought was a very lucid overview of short selling and what happened this past week with regard to GameSpot. He then moves on to what it means in the overall Big Picture. In particular, he punctures the narratival balloon that tells us what noble things the short sellers do for us all, but preventing over valuation of stocks. Here's how he concludes--I really like the way he wraps it all up and ties it in to things like the Green New Deal, the Great Reset, Big Tech, etc.

But there’s a larger issue.

If short-sellers keep the market honest by preventing overvalued stocks, why are stocks so overvalued? Consider the Big Tech stocks, since they’ve become so concerned about eliminating competitors in the name of protecting us from hate speech and misinformation:

Amazon shares have a price-to-sales ratio of 4.8 and a trailing price-to-earnings ratio of 96.3. 

Google has a P/S ratio of 7.6 and a P/E of 36.7. 

Apple has a P/S ratio of 9.1 and a P/E of 43.3. 

Facebook has a P/S ratio of 9.9 and a P/E of 31.0, and 

Twitter has a P/S of 11.0 and a P/E of 21.9.

A “normal” price/sales ratio for a stock is between 1 and 2. A “normal” price/earnings ratio for a stock is around 15. If Big Tech stocks were trading at normal, historically sustainable sales and earnings ratios, they would collectively lose trillions in value. They are not alone. The so-called superbubble in asset prices has never been bigger, and “short-sellers” aren’t doing a thing to counter it. There’s a reason for this.

Short sellers don’t necessarily target overvalued companies. They can’t. The market is not rational enough to permit short sellers to do the job they claim they have a moral mandate to do. Short sellers target companies that they think will go down in value, for whatever reason. Those reasons can be based on deliberately spread rumors as easily as financial metrics.


As I said the other day, it's patently obvious that short sellers aren't in this to perform a public service--they're in this game to make a killing. Duh!


What’s really happening is investors are terrified of a deflationary spiral, which can only be triggered by one thing—a massive crash in the value of collateral. Overvalued stocks, bonds, and real estate are the assets that collateralize what has become the biggest borrowing binge in the history of the world. As long as asset values don’t crash, the party will go on. Keeping asset values rising, no matter what, is the motivation behind policies ranging from the Green New Deal to immigration to foreign entanglements [also the Great Reset]. Examine these policies through that filter and much will be revealed.

Online innovation and online freedom has just run into another wall. On this new front, the financial front, expect new regulations, periodic shutdowns, and more censorship. It will be to keep us safe. It will be to protect unsophisticated investors. It will be another part of the “new normal.”

This is what we can expect from Biden’s financialized economy, ascendant now over Trump’s productivity economy. Biden’s model consolidates wealth at the top, while flirting with a catastrophic economic crash. Trump’s model offered a sustainable way out, rewarding productive enterprise at every scale.

Of course, the joke of it all--which, as usual, is on We The People--is that "Biden's model" isn't his at all. Biden isn't smart enough to dream this up. He's only just smart enough to say, Uh, yeah, me too! when someone tells him there's money in it for him. This is all about the Ruling Class ueber alles. The Uniparty that guards the interests of the Establishment.

Read it all!

UPDATE: Also at American Greatness:

Hijacking the Clown Car

The GameStop revolt should serve as a message to those in charge: you are loathed by ordinary Americans who are struggling to get ahead.

What I like about this article is the way the author ties these events in to politics as it has been in America for decades now--metastasizing since Reagan:

Politicians are on the other side of the ruling class coin. They are pimped out by their friends in big business in exchange for campaign donation kickbacks, and they pull out all the stops to ensure their pimps get paid. Wall Street, which publicly trades behemoths like Walmart, is the biggest, baddest pimp on the block. Along with securities, Wall Street has been buying and selling our politicians for decades, and everybody knows it. The only time the peasant class—you and I—have a say in any of this, is when the politicians and the plutocrats nearly crash the world economy, and we’re forced to say “yes” to a massive taxpayer-funded bailout to keep their scheme afloat.

What he leaves out, obviously, is Trump: Trump getting elected was like the proverbial skunk at the garden party--although what goes on on Wall St. is more like an orgy than a garden party. That puts me in mind of what Don Surber wrote a few days ago about Trump:

The elitists gutted our Midwest in the 1970s and shipped the jobs to Mexico and Japan. Reagan tried to reverse that, but he was hobbled by the Republican Party. The Bushes, Clinton, and Obama followed, and the jobs moved to Red China because slave labor is cheaper than paying a worker $13.50 an hour to make widgets.

The American economy lost trillions. We know that because Red China's economy gained trillions.

We elected Donald Trump president and Washington went into open rebellion. Federal employees sabotaged his administration. The elitist insurrection shut down the economy, printed money to keep Wall Street's fortunes rising, and still had to rig the election to get him out.

They got rid of Trump. How galling to be brought low by a gang of day traders! Wanna bet whether Trump is laughing his ass off right now, down at Mar-a-Lago?


  1. I don’t see how this will be avoided with what Biden is doing. Congress keeps on kicking the can down the street, but how much longer can this keep on going?

    QE5 to flood the market with more money is/will happen.

    I expect higher inflation, unemployment, and bubbles popping. The only question is when.

    >flirting with a catastrophic economic crash

    1. I think it's going to keep going until $ loses reserve currency status.

      And I think the big reset is exactly that.

      I even have a date: 2030 latest.

  2. Trump ... an extremely rich man, born rich, but so friggin clean they had to make things up and focus on his lack of political manners.

    The reddit folks, of which some, it appears, are rather well off themselves, but most are not.

    Both are now enemies. We have effectively been told to shut up, sit down, and be grateful for whatever the powers that be allow us to have.

    1. Call it American Exceptionalism. About Trump--isn't that so incredible? You wonder about the idiots who can work up hate for him and luv for his enemies.

  3. Oh forgot to add, my Dem friends who are rabid anti-Trumpers love the fact the “man” got their comeuppance by the rabble redditers.

    I take whatever commonality I can with them, it’s just too bad they refuse to see Trump as fighting the “man” also.

  4. What was left out, of the wealthsimple article D'Abrosca linked to, was the role of derivatives in the scale of the '08 crisis.
    The housing market, in itself, no matter how much it crashed, wasn't big enough to affect the whole system, unless the derivatives made for system-crashing levels of leverage.

  5. Short story version: Manias are created by too much liquidity, recessions always result from too much credit. The Fed has run a ZIRP, effectively, since the aftermath of the DotCom bubble bursting in March 2000. The policy has resulted in interest rate repression which causes distortions in the allocation of capital, credit, and risk-taking.

    Greenspan's coining of the term 'irrational exuberance' was made in a speech in December 1996. The DotCom mania was really just getting underway--lasting 3 more years. By October 2002, the market had fallen 78%.

    In June 2007, Bear Stearns has two subprime mortgage funds collapse, a full 9 months before the bank collapsed in March 2008. Three months later, in September, Lehman Brothers filed Chapter 11. The market low finally bottomed in March 2009.

    Nearly two decades of trillion dollar annual budget deficits financed with a 0% rate of interest has resulted in too much credit, too much liquidity, repressed interest rates, makes speculative excess easy. Until the price is paid.

    Unfortunately, one stock--Ganestop--blowing up won't change anyone's behavior. 1987 market crash didn't. 2000 didn't. 2007 didn't. 2021 won't change anything either.

    1. There certainly appears to be determination on the part of the Ruling Class to continue as before. I mean a damn the torpedoes type of determination.

    2. When the going is good, everyone wants to keep going--when the party is really good only a party-pooper removes the punch bowl. No one likes the party-pooper--no one wants to be the party-pooper. The adults left the room so long ago, they're all dead. No one knows what adult conduct is.

  6. On Slimjet, w/ a 64-bit machine, do you see any diff between Mirror 2 United States-hosted download, vs. SSL 2 United States-hosted download, vs.
    US Mirror #2 ?

    1. I haven't a clue. I simply click on

      Other linux distributions (SUSE, CentOS, Fedora, RHEL, Slackware, etc):

      64bit Zip Package(tar.xz)

      and away I go.

    2. Thanx for the thought.
      My machine is Windows.

  7. Hubris due to credentialed elite fools with the idea this time is different, due to technology who are focused on pushing social justice.

    >I mean a damn the torpedoes type of determination.

  8. Was just over at TCTH and Sundance spells out exactly how Barr was “planted” to deceive, misdirect and steer PDJT.
    Didn’t think I could get any more disgusted with things, I was wrong.
    Just don’t see how we fix such steaming pile of horse manure as DC has become. I don’t believe there is a a person in the entirety of the city that has any honor! Hell, they don’t even know how to spell the word.
    How in the world do we fix this ever growing mess?
    Sorry Mark, know it’s OT and if you choose not to post I understand. I’m having a lot of Howard Beale moments of late and even though I know I’m not alone, it seems like it sometimes.

    1. I read the Sundance article and a lot of it rings true.

      Personal recommendations are powerful.

      I’m am so disillusioned by the Bush family.

    2. I guess that explains why RR got such a nice sendoff from Barr.

      I wonder what happened when RR was on the plane with Trump, back when everyone was speculating whether or not RR was in trouble. How did he manage to pull the wool over Trump's eyes?


    3. Seems like the debate whether Barr was a Black Hat goes on.

      I'm inclined to believe that Sundance is right. Here's a link to his post yesterday, which I don't think has been pasted here yet:

      To me Sundance's argument is pretty convincing. While I was sucked in by some of Barr's early rhetoric, his track record doesn't support his rhetoric.

      Here's a link to one of Mark's posts from December 2020 where he and some of us wondered about Barr. Charles Z has a good comment at 6:09 PM summarizing all of the reasons to wonder about Barr. Here's a link: FWIW, it was in this post where I asked whether Barr was "a Deep State plant?"

      I guess I'm still asking.

      OT, in other news, apparently Ted Cruz threw a Hail Mary today to avoid cancellation by our new Masters:

      Note to Ted: It ain't gonna work...

  9. Let me offer advice from Snow Country: Buy an Ariens electric-start single-stage blower. You can get one self-propelled or typical 'push.' Tough as Hell, no fuel-mix problems, one of your chilluns will inherit it b/c they last longer than we do.

    Not cheap. WELL worth it.