BarroeMetrics Views: The Snowden Affair

The Edward Snowden affair does not seem to be creating headlines in papers like the International Herald Tribune, and Financial Times. But, in our local papers e.g. South China Morning Post (HK), the affair is creating frequent headlines.

The latest headline suggests that the US Government has been spying on the privileged communications between Haldanes, a local legal firm, and Dotcom.  Dotcom (a company) is a New Zealand based Hong Kong resident that has been charged by US authorities with copyright infringement, racketeering and money laudering in relation to the file-sharing website, Megaupload.

All charges have been denied.

What is important to note is, if true, the matters have little to do with the issues raised by Obama in the defense of the intrusive programs. In his TV interviews, Obama has made the point that the snoop programs have been restricted to matters linked to terrorism, weapons and hacking. There is no suggestion that Dotcom was involved in these activities.

And, the next question to be asked, if Obama did mislead (deliberately or inadvertently) on the Dotcom issue, then how much can we trust his word on the other statements e.g.

that ‘if you are a US person, the NSA cannot listen to your phone calls, the NSA cannot target your emails. On this telephone program, you’ve got a federal court….overseeing the entire program’

And speaking of the Federal Court to which Obama refers: Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst said  of it “It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp”.

Why the harsh comment?

Well,  perhap it has something to do with approval rate……of  the total warrants applied for, 18,761 warrants were granted, while just five were rejected. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Court).

Statistically this suggests a ‘rubber stamp’ mentally.

Interesting, you may say. But, does this have anything to do with trading and investing?

It provides me with a context…..As readers know, I am a fan of Blood in the Streets by Lord Ress-Mogg and Davidson, and I am student of history. Based on Rees-Mogg’s thesis, and history, economically, politically and socially we are at a once in a lifetime inflection point that will see a bear (price) market in bonds, and the start of a collapse in US stocks.

Ideally, in September 2013, we’ll the S&P (cash) have a monthly close below 1546…that close will be the first indication my view is correct. A S&P (cash) monthly, bearish-conviction close below 1448 will confirm the sell signal. A monthly, bullish conviction-close above 1776 will negate this scenario.


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