See Something Say Something


From USA Today:

An armed school deputy rushed to the Florida high school building where terrified students ran from a killer with an assault rifle, but then sat outside for about four minutes and never went inside.

The school resource deputy for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Scot Peterson, was under investigation for his response to the shooting but then decided to resign his post, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Thursday……..

Israel said surveillance footage captured Peterson responding to the building where the shooting was unfolding. He said the deputy got there within a minute and a half of when the gunfire started. He positioned himself outside the building but never went in, Israel said.

The shooting lasted a total of six minutes. Peterson sat outside the building for four of those minutes, Israel said. In the end, 17 people were killed.

Peterson, 54, started working for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in 1985 and since 2009 has been a school resource officer at the high school, appointed to keep the school and its students safe. In 2016, his annual salary was more than $75,600.

Apparently Peterson will be eligible for full retirement benefits. This is why government does not keep your children safe. This is why government employees do not give a damn about you or your children – there is no accountability and their pay and benefits far exceed those of the private sector.

They’re Back

OK I give up. According to this report from zero hedge, the Beanie Baby bubble is back. Apparently the supply of Beanie Babies has been somewhat depleted during a 20-year hiatus on speculation, leading to new opportunities.

You really cannot make this stuff up.

Fed Minutes

Another day, more blather from the Fed. Risk is “on” with a vengeance as the Fed continues to demonstrate its unwillingness to “take away the punch bowl” as Fed Chairman Martin put it.  Apparently there is no such thing, in their minds, as too much stimulus. We’ll see about that. In my view, a financial catastrophe is almost inevitable at this point. Overpriced stocks and the fear of inflation have always been a toxic mixture. Add in the overhang of aggregate debt somewhere in the neighborhood of 350-400% of GDP and you have a recipe for a protracted decline to well below fair value, unlike 1987’s brief shock.


Look Out Below

The volatility shorts are back with a vengeance, slamming the VIX at the open this morning. Rebuilding these positions at this point virtually guarantees a serious crash.

Tragedy In Florida

I cannot help but be angered by the political response to the tragic school shooting here in Florida. “We must control guns” is the cry. This, when the shooter did just about everything he could to call attention to his plans, is beyond shameful.

This shooting was the direct result of several government agencies’s failure to do anything about a mentally ill young man who publicly threatened to do what he eventually did.

The FBI, the local police and the school were all made aware of his intentions. None of them took any notice except the school, which prohibited him from entering the campus with a bag. But this prohibition was not enforced when it mattered. It is the responsibility of these agencies to keep these children – and others – safe. The deaths of 17 schoolchildren are directly attributable to their indifference, incompetence and irresponsibility. The call for futile prohibitions on guns is a diversion to draw attention away from these government agencies’ failure to provide the security which they claim as a primary rationale for their existence, their lavish lifestyle and their tireless spying.

The individuals in these agencies who were involved should be prosecuted for at least negligent homicide. So far the only concession is that the FBI will “review its protocols.” Seriously?

I Spoke Too Soon

I thought the massive crush of the short VIX ETFs and serious losses for anyone short volatility would have discouraged the VIX sellers.

Well, no. They’re back, using VIX slams to pump the market today and yesterday. Sigh.

Why are we wasting money on a do-nothing SEC and CFTC who are allowing this kind of conduct?

Inflation Is About To Disappear

The main factor is U.S. oil production,” the IEA said. “In just three months to November, crude output increased by a colossal 846 kb/d, and will soon overtake that of Saudi Arabia. By the end of this year, it might also overtake Russia to become the global leader.

The Train Stops Here

A piece on Bloomberg brought out a thought that had not occurred to me – that self-driving cars will change the nature of commuting and make it more convenient – like having the train pick you up at your front door.

That would upend real estate values, surely?

VIX Shorts Crater Stocks

Well the bad news is I covered my shorts way too early.

The good news is that we seem to be rid of these inverse volatility products that have been plaguing the market. As I have mentioned before, authorizing securitization of the VIX was a really, really bad idea.