Tag Archives: Market Oracle

The time to short Apple, as in $AAPL, is nigh

11/29/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Here at The Mint, we don’t generally comment on individual stocks.  In general, we see equity prices as subject to monetary policy whims and HFT (High Frequency Trading) bots.  As such, it is rare that the perceived fundamentals of a stock match its bid in the markets at any given time, no matter how perfect the market’s knowledge may be.

Add to this the fact the Corporations are, at their base, socialist enterprises, and you too, fellow taxpayer, will begin to see equities in a whole new light.

That said, sometimes things come to us so clearly and are of such significance that we can ignore the fact that we are talking about an equity and simply study the phenomenon which it represents.  In the case of Apple, the brainchild of Steve Jobs that has given the world the IIe, the Macintosh, and the Ipod-phone-pad craze, among other things, the phenomenon we are witnessing demands a response.

In summary, we believe that about the time that Santa Claus makes his annual jaunt around the world, dropping Apples I-whatevers in the stockings of children, both young and old, of well heeled parents all over the world, it will be time for wise investors to short Apple, big time.

Why such a bold call?  Other than a hunch, confirmed by a recent analysis we were fortunate to read, we will attempt to articulate our reasoning for this prediction as follows:

1.  Reliance on patents as a business plan is equivalent to capitulation in the technological sector.  A short time ago, we wrote briefly regarding the lawsuits which Apple has launched against Samsung and others who have dared to “imitate” its mobile technology:

Apple’s use of Patent Law indicative of an inferior product offering

Relying on litigation either for revenues or to protect revenue streams is a losing strategy.  It not only hurts your competitors, but the public in general.  Since innovation got Apple to where it was, why not continue?  It shouldn’t be difficult with the largest cash hoard in corporate history at their disposal.

We once “got in” on an IPO for a company called “Caldera Systems,” and hung on for dear life, waiting for them to profit from the rising tide of Linux Operating Systems.  We then watched helplessly as their strategy degenerated from trying to profit from open source software to changing their name via an acquisition to SCO Group and initiating a lawsuit against IBM which boiled down to a few lines of code that SCO claimed was theirs.

As far as a business strategy, pursuing Intellectual Property claims is last ditch effort to save face.

2.  Steve Jobs is gone.  Mr. Jobs was a rare creative genius as well as the gravitational center of Apple.  Without him, Apple was bound to turn into the technological equivalent of the break up of the Roman Empire, or any Empire for that matter, with brutal wars for territory and resources, no matter how abundant they may be, which will eventually leave the Empire a shadow of its former self.

3.  Fund Manager window dressing.  Apple stock has minted a 44% return year to date at the time of this writing.  It has also become a big part of the Nasdaq and S&P 500.  As a consequence, many institutional investors have large direct or indirect stakes in Apple which has a juicy return that is begging to be booked before year end.  Sell.

4.  The moronic Fiscal Cliff.  This is crushing business confidence and by extension, the US Consumer.  The combination of the unprecedented uncertainty surrounding legislation with wide ranging economic consequences, such as Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank act, coupled with the debt ceiling, spending sequester, and sun setting tax provisions has utterly paralyzed American businesses as some 1,000 in Washington bicker over numbers they do not understand.  Washington will get a deal done and it will be bad for all involved.  Unless the payroll tax holiday gets extended, the US consumer is toast.

This is why we think Apple is ripe for the picking.  However, we learned long ago to ignore our gut feeling until it is confirmed.
Enter Chris Vermeulen.  In a recent post over at the Market Oracle, Mr. Vermeulen defines the terms for the upcoming demise of Apple’s stock price in terms of the psychology of market swings.  For specifics on the phenomenon at hand and a possible short signal (which, as near as we can tell, will be when $AAPL touches $640 in late December), we refer you to his insightful article:

Apple, How Market Booms Turn to Busts, Trading from New Paradigm to Despair

In our humble assessment, which should be taken with the same grain of salt which all free advice must be taken, we believe that Mr. Vermeulen has put into numbers and graphs what we have felt, generally, ever since we purchased our first Android:  Apple’s days as king of the mobile computing realm are numbered.  People will not pay for things that they can have for free, and, as the commercials from Designer Imposters long ago reminded us.

“You can patent a mix of chemicals, but you can’t patent a smell.”

Two words:  Short Apple

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for November 29 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.52
Oil Price per Barrel:  $86.62
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.60
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.62%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,719 THE GOLD RUSH IS ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.9%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.1%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  12,985
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,329,700,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,303,600,000,000

Full Disclosure and friendly warning:  We do not own any shares of $AAPL, nor do we plan on shorting them with our own money, as stock market speculation is a great way to lose a ton of dough if one doesn’t know what they are doing!  Furthermore, we are hardly qualified to give specific stock or portfolio advice to persons we do not know or do know but do not have intimate knowledge of their finances and tax situation.  If you choose to do so as a result of reading this article, you do it completely at your own risk or reward.

QQE – Quantum Physics meets Central Banking

10/4/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

There is much confusion amongst economists regarding the effects of the various programs which are currently being run by the largest of the Western Central Banking cartels known as Quantitative easing, better known by its keystroke saving acronym, QE.

For the uninitiated, QE involves the Central Bank issuing currency in exchange for government debt and all other manner of otherwise worthless financial assets provided to it by the banking class.  In the best of cases, it provides liquidity for what would be a temporary hiccup in an otherwise healthy economy.  In the worst of cases, which most who have taken a sober look at the financial industry would agree we are in, it serves as a backstop for financial asset prices, placing an artificial floor under the price of what passes as collateral in the financial system.

In any case, the Central Bank agrees to swap the wine of its currency for the sewage on bank balance sheets.  As anyone who has put this theory to the test will tell you, if you add a teaspoon of wine to barrel full of sewage, you get sewage, while if you add a teaspoon of sewage to a barrel full of wine, you get…sewage.

Wine barrels
QE – Sewage in disguise

Following this analogy, the existence of QE means that the currency of all of the Western world is now sewage.

While the pure, hard money Austrian school analyst sees it as a prelude to a hyperinflationary event, the Keynesian sees it as a necessary evil.  At this point, there is no real argument that QE, by definition, is inflationary.  However, the perverted feedback loop between the Central banks’ issuance of currency, the Governments’ issuance of debt, and the banking sector serving as an increasingly weak middleman, has managed to keep a large portion of the freshly created currency parked in either the Treasury or at the Central Bank in the form of excess bank reserves.

As the logic of the Central Bank goes, once the storm blows over, the stars will align and all of the sewage will turn back into wine.  The currency created as a part of QE will simply disappear, as it never really left the FED anyway.

Simple logic, right?  You can almost cut the naivety with a knife.  The fact is that the freshly minted currency is here to stay.  As long as the Governments, Central banks, and banking cartel exist in their present form, none of them can afford for even a cent of the sewage they have created to disappear.  It is there for the long haul.  All the average man or woman can hope for is that the sewage doesn’t spill off of their balance sheets or work its way to the water supply of the real economy.

All of this is old hat to fiat currency hounds and bond vigilantes.  The dangerous new twist which is just now in its infancy is the application of quantum theory to the mix.

Here, we must turn to the razor sharp intellect of Mr. Walayat, whose analysis over at The Market Oracle is on the cutting edge and generally spot on.

Walayat, along with Lee Adler of the Wall Street Examiner, are amongst the handful of analysts with a true understanding of the banking system and the motives and logical consequences of the actions of the Central banking cartel.

As the currency event in Iran unfolds, those of us in the “secure” West would do well to read up on what awaits as the Western Central banks throw their inflationary machines into overdrive, what Walayat refers to as “The Quantum of Quantitative Easing, or the keystroke saver: QQE.”

The operation of QQE is simple and predictable, yet unnecessarily mind-boggling.

As in a standard QE operation, it begins with the Government issuing debt which is purchased by members of the banking cartel in exchange for currency, which it then spends on any number of pet projects.  The Central Bank then buys the Government debt from the banks and receives the interest which is paid by the Government.  The Banks park the currency they have received from the Central Bank at the Central Bank and earn interest on it.

QQE ensues when the Central Bank then returns to the Government the difference between the interest paid by the Government on its own debt and the interest paid out to the Banks to keep them afloat.  As the Central Bank will never take a nominal loss on their debt holdings, and the Government will never default as long as QE remains in place, The Government is not borrowing at the implied interest rate that it auctions its debt at, rather, it is effectively borrowing at the rate that the banks earn on their reserves deposited at the Central bank, less the cost of the Central Bank’s operations!

Is your head spinning yet?  Stay with us, it gets better.  The longer that the policy of QE continues (and it will continue until the currencies of the world blow up, as the Iranian Rial is in the process of doing,) the Government is effectively swapping out its old debt, issued 30 years ago at anywhere between 11 and 14%, for new debt at an effective rate of 0.25%!  Those interest savings on the rollover are the rocket fuel of QQE.  They are what will allow the Governments to both ramp up spending and reduce the relative size of their balance sheet.

By the way, those “savings” come at the expense of every person and organization which holds the currency as a savings vehicle.

In order to gain a fuller understanding of just what is going on, read the articles linked in the above paragraphs at your leisure.  They will help to make sense of what is occurring as we begin to see the paradox of increased government spending and reduced or stable levels of national debt.

Oh yes, and double digit real inflation rates, despite the irrelevant claims of the BLS propaganda machine.  Plan accordingly, this is not a drill.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for October 4, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.77
Oil Price per Barrel:  $91.45
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.57
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.67%

FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,790 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,575  
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,355,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,070,300,000,000