Markets searching for a shred of news

The news lull of August is in full swing. I have been looking for two hours for a shred of meaningful news to opine about.

A quick look at the financial headlines tells you everything you need to know about global markets. Currency devaluations in Turkey and China are making markets jittery for lack of any real news.

Now don’t get me wrong, China cutting the value of the yuan as a response to President Trump’s tariff threats has meaning to the backwater currency trading markets, but to make global markets move on the scale they have this morning is a bit of overkill and a result of lack of news on other fronts.

The same with the Turkish lira devaluation taking down the emerging markets. This is less than a blip on the screen any other time of the year. Today it’s leading the WSJ.com website.

So now we have big moves in currencies and sovereign bonds — two markets that most investors know very little about — driving overall stock markets.

Well perhaps later today we can get back to real market-driving news like Tesla’s Elon Musk on Twitter showing the check he received from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to take the electric automaker private.

If this continues tomorrow, I think I’ll give you an update on my honey bees and the honey I harvested. It’s a helluva more interesting than currencies and sovereign bonds.

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Twitter’s bullhorn used effectively by Trump and Musk

What does it mean when you have the means to distribute information without all the filters involved.

Well we see it first hand with President Trump on almost a daily basis. No need to have speechwriters and policy wonks craft each word and phrase to parse out a nebulous statement, which may mean all things to all people.

No, just tweet a gut punch to the offending party with no ambiguity, but sometimes it has little context.

Well the stock market was hit with one of the latter Tuesday by Tesla Founder Elon Musk.

With little¬†ambiguity and absolutely no context Musk tweeted: “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

Now you can see the similarities between Musk and the president and how they got to their positions. They don’t use focus groups or test marketing, they do it and will it into a success through bravado and showmanship. Whether it’s an electric car, a trip to space or constructing building across the globe with Trump on the top.

So the stock market did what it would do in the nineteenth or twentieth century when Musk tweeted — it halted trading to figure out what was going on.

After it was determined that Musk was not hacked and that the company may be exploring the idea of going private, shares were traded again. But the Street didn’t give Musk his $420 price upon re-opening.

No that will wait for another day when a more manageable news release comes out stating that the board is working with so and so to secure credit to take the company private.

While the means of mass communications is at the hands of these men and others, the reaction by the powers that be are still muddled in the last century.

I have a feeling that will change in the not too distant future with the President at least.

Trump & Thiel have high ground in Silicon Valley war

As I told you Mark Zuckerberg confessed Wednesday that 87 million users had their privacy violated in the Cambridge Analytics 2016 presidential election more than the initial reported 50 million users.

Interestingly, Cambridge Analytics claimed yesterday that they only “scraped” 30 million users. Continue reading

Climate on Wall St. over Trump nixing Paris Agreement

The US participation in the Paris Agreement, which is the United Nations-backed pact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming, was nixed last week, by the Trump Administration as it is written now.

First, let me say I do not agree that climate change is “settled science” since I am old enough to remember when climatologists said in the 1970’s that we were headed into an ice age due to human development .

Secondly, climates don’t change in decades, climate takes 10’s of centuries to work through its progressions. The climate science we are looking at now is similar to looking at one photograph of a marathon runner.

You have no context of how long the race is, or how the runner did in the race. It’s one step in a 26-mile race. And yet some scientist look at this photo and not only know who won the race, but also the time it took the runner to finish.

Thirdly, the climate cycles we have experienced over the last 50 years have all been attributed to man-made emissions whether it was drought or flooding, cold temperatures or warm temperatures, strong hurricanes or weaker storms.

It’s my belief that the sun and the reduction of sun spot activity over the last decade has more influence over our atmosphere than anything we are doing on Earth. However you don’t see that mentioned too much in this debate and I’ll get to why in a second.

So that’s my take on climate change and this is why I agree with the White House on not signing on to the pact as written.

One thing the Paris Agreement does do well is create one of the greatest wealth transfer in history. Through what’s called carbon credit trading the pact sets up an exchanged — run by Wall Street banks — to take cash from US firms and so they can by third-world carbon credits to offset the companies emissions.

It’s a tax on productivity, with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and other firms taking its piece. Why do you think Goldman’s chief Lloyd Blankfein broke onto Twitter for the first time to denounce Trump’s decision?

Not for fear of warming, but because Goldman is working with former Vice President Al Gore and David Blood, who is the former chief of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, to jump-start this trading platform through their firm Generation Investment Management. And if the largest buyer of your credits is not in the market, how do you make money?

Why would Tesla boss Elon Musk quit the White House advisory role? His whole company is created and funded by no emission vehicles. And if there’s no subsidies or future carbon credits for you and I for his cars than why buy them.

You see the Paris accord is not only aimed at US companies, it will get down to you and I and how we “manage our own carbon footprint”, through additional government fees and taxes.

So why is science not looking at the solar cycle as a cause? How can you tax the sun?

While the Paris Agreement is a feel good issue — who wants to destroy the planet — its mechanisms and funding structures are too one-sided against the US. China has very little restrictions on growth and emissions, despite being the No. 1 consumer of coal in the world.

So for the White House to say no we want a better deal than ex-President Obama agreed to is not out of the question. Besides if this is a treaty, Congress would have to approve it, before Trump could sign off on it.

Telsa will run out of juice to goose the stock price

I don’t normally do stock stories, but this one has come up on my radar a few times this week.

In two separate conversations with people they have touted Tesla as a great company and a good stock pick.

This was before Tuesday’s “product announcement” of tweaks to two existing models.

Tesla is a battery company — just like Duracell or Delco — they wrap their batteries in a bulkier package called an electric car.

why this company is not a screaming short position for activists is puzzling, but suffice it to say that it will be sooner or later. You just have to look behind the curtain Wall Street.

CEO Elon Musk is nothing more than a poor imitation of Steve Jobs, hyping this and that about the car, but fails to deliver the goods unlike Jobs.

Musk also takes hostages when something goes wrong. See how he personally denigrated the driver on social media who died in a driverless accident this summer. Releasing information on the man that was meant to question his abilities and motives and pretty much his whole reason for being.

At some point Musk may be able to develop a battery that ties into his Solar City product to power homes 24-7, but that’s in the future. For now, the car sales are the driver (pun intended).

Tesla and Musk will never have the scale to generate enough revenue to warrant paying the $225 share price for this firm, even if government subsidies are not pulled in the next year or so on both his companies, which they will must certainly will.

As I posted Tuesday on Twitter after the announcement: Investors in ludicrous mode to sell off after inane #TSLA “product announcement” via @12mgray Musk still made cash yesterday.

Tesla shares got a 4% charge in its stock price over a Musk tweet saying there is an a “product announcement” and then the news hits and the stock closes up 0.5%, Musk still wins — since he is the largest shareholder — but that cannot last for the long-term. This stock will run out of juice despite the batteries hitting the 300-mile threshold.