The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets
Logging in or registering will improve your experience here
Main Navigation
Full-Text Search & Archives
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions. For investment, legal or other professional advice specific to your situation contact a licensed professional in your jurisdiction.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.

Considering sending spam? Read this first.

2021-09-20 14:41 by Karl Denninger
in Market Musings , 481 references
[Comments enabled]  

You have to chuckle at this.

Evergrande, an alleged "investment vehicle" in China, appears to be detonating.

A primer: If it's financial and in China, it's a scam.  If you don't understand how it's a scam and who's going to get scammed, guess who is wearing the hat marked "Sucker"?  Uh huh.

The only difference?  This is a big-un.

The natto was especially bad overseas and it translated right over here, good for a nice big fat vomit on US markets.

Or was it?

Well, in point terms it was.  But in terms of real violence?  Not really.  Not yet anyway.

I do remind it's September.  Which has a history of being, well, sort of nasty when it comes to markets.  And October too.  In fact those are the two most-notorious months for market crashes -- but hardly the only ones.

This is rather.... orderly.  Where's the monster volume, for one?  Uh, nope.  Not yet.

I'd be careful here.  Washouts usually come on major volume.  Which means this may be a ripple or...... a warning.  Exactly none of the "aw crap!" indicators I have on my screen here are flashing "wash-out" or "panic."  Not yet.

Here's the challenge when it comes to China.  Yes, their economy is unstable.  Yes, they'd like to own the world.  Yes, they're Communists -- real ones, not the fake stuff some people talk about over here.  Yes, the CCP (or PLA) will make you "disappear" if they don't like you.  Yes, they have a whole crap-ton of political prisoners and more than a few religious ones too.  We'd never do anything like that, right?

But this also means that the CCP has a habit of "back door" protecting everyone they like and screwing everyone else.  Oh, nobody thought of that, did they?   How much leverage was on with these positions?  You expect honest answers out of the Chinese?  Certainly they'll be as "honest" as those out of Fauci, right?

What's interesting when I look at the board is who is getting hit on a differential basis.  Some names I'd expect, but others I would not.  Is it entirely the speculative cohort?   No.  Those linked to Chinese supply?  No.  Hmmm.....

I'm watching this carefully, but I'm sure not buying here.

There's the smell of smoke in the air, and I just saw a cockroach.

Bet that it isn't the only one.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2021-09-15 12:44 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 62 references


View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2021-09-14 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in States , 6421 references
[Comments enabled]  

WHEREAS the State of [Those-States-With-Balls] finds that there is a pre-existing right to bodily autonomy;

WHEREAS Covid-19 is a clear threat to the public, which must be balanced with that pre-existing right;

WHEREAS the actual risk from Covid-19 is highly-stratified and inconsistent from one person to another;

WHEREAS it is unjust and contrary to the public policy of this state to force one citizen to bear another's risk, whether their risk was acquired voluntarily or not;

WHEREAS The Federal Government has demanded that such risk be assumed by others in the form of an employer-based vaccine mandate;

WHEREAS The State, as a regulator of all businesses permitted to operate inside of its borders, has a duty to protect its citizens and, by extension, said employees of said firms;




1. COERCED MEDICAL PROCEDURE shall mean any invasive medical act, including but not limited to treatment, injection, vaccination, oral medication, medical test by means of any item or other invasive device which the employee objects to on personal, medical or religious grounds except that it shall not include an oral medication prescribed by a licensed physician to control a chronic condition that otherwise impairs employment such as blood pressure, sleep apnea or similar, nor shall it include non-invasive testing including but not limited to non-contact temperature testing provided it is required of all employees in similar circumstances (such as on-site work);

2. EMPLOYER shall mean any entity, irrespective of its legal domicile or organization, that employs a person to perform labor of any form within the boundaries of this State for economic benefit, whether payment is in money or by exchange;

3. DISMISSAL shall mean an act of being fired, placed on unpaid leave or leave during which the employees pay and/or benefits are reduced irrespective of the mechanism or internal naming used by the employer.  Dismissal shall not include leave, with or without pay, for any period during which a medical doctor has found that an employee has and can transmit a communicable disease of great public concern, including but not limited to Covid-19.



1. There shall be laid a supplemental unemployment tax called COTAX on all employers of one or more employees in this state;

2. Said tax shall be in addition to and not in replacement of the existing SUI levy placed on all firms, with registration for SUI being considered registration for COTAX;

3. The amount of said tax shall be established as a base rate of 0.1% of all actual gross pay and benefits, including but not limited to those deductible above the line by the employer, such as health premiums and similar, and shall include any employee "contributions" deducted from an employee's paycheck.  Said base rate shall be designated by the State Treasury to defray operating expenses of the COTAX fund;

4. The amount of such tax shall be adjusted quarterly such as to increase by the amount equal to 75% of all actual former gross pay and benefits for any person subject to dismissal due to refusing a coerced medical procedure, retroactive to the date of such dismissal and continuing for each day said dismissal remains in effect, except as terminated by an act of the employee below;

5. All employers shall report, by electronic means, any such dismissal within seven (7) calendar days.  Failure to so-report shall subject employer to a fine of 100% of the covered and due funds, due and payable immediately;

6. Amounts due for COTAX shall be due thirty (30) days after the close of each calendar quarter.  A late payment penalty of 10% shall be assessed for each thirty (30) day period beyond the close of the quarter that the full amount remains unpaid.  Unpaid balances overdue by more than sixty (60) days shall result in a levy against all assets owned by the employer first within the State and then beyond it.  Unpaid balances overdue by more than one hundred twenty (120) days shall result in a writ of seizure against the assets of said employer, wherever located, to satisfy said debt.



1. Any person dismissed due to their refusal to comply with a coerced medical procedure may file a COTAX claim;

2. Upon substantiation that said dismissal was for a covered reason under this act said person shall be entitled to the 75% of their former pay and benefits, in cash, remitted from the State;

3. Said right to recover funds by an employee under COTAX shall terminate when (1) the individual is re-employed within or beyond the State, (2) moves their residence beyond the boundaries of the State, (3) qualifies under SSDI or other long-term disability federal program, (4) qualifies for Social Security at their full retirement age or (5) is incarcerated or involuntarily committed, in which case their payments shall be tolled during that period or (6) dies;

4. No right to disbursement may be assigned, hypothecated, pledged, loaned against or otherwise irrespective of the reason, purpose or justification.



1. No employer shall enact or enforce a policy by which an employee is subjected to differential treatment in the workplace due to their medical status, irrespective of whether that policy relates to dress, items to be worn or not (such as masks) or non-invasive testing except an employer may, upon clear and convincing evidence that an employee is actually ill or carrying a contagious disease, dismiss said employee from their duties and order them to leave the premises;

2. No employer shall enact or enforce a policy by which the type or conditions of leave from duties as a result of illness varies due to the specifics of the illness or the employee's medical status;

3. No employer shall use sequential actions such as placing an employee on paid leave due to refusal of a coerced medical procedure which is then converted, at a later date, to unpaid leave or dismissal in order to circumvent the protections of this act;

4. An employer who violates these policies shall be deemed to have dismissed each employee to which said prohibited act is applied to, and said employee shall be entitled to recovery, and the employer shall be liable for sums due under the COTAX act for each day said policy remains in place.



1. All filings made under this act shall be made under penalty of perjury;

2. Any person making a false statement or claim under the COTAX act shall be liable for 150% of all funds disbursed and a mandatory sentence upon conviction of not less than one nor more than ten years in the state penitentiary;

3. Any employer making a false statement or claim under the COTAX act shall be liable for 300% of the amount otherwise due under this act and any officer, director or other person executing, preparing or signing such a statement shall serve upon conviction not less than two nor more than ten years in the state penitentiary;

4. Criminal penalties under this subsection may not be reduced to misdemeanors, diverted or expunged.



1. The names of employers, numbers of employees dismissed due to a coerced medical procedure or which commit a prohibited act and the amount of tax due, payable, collected and disbursed, along with the number and type of prohibited act for any employer who has or does dismiss one or more employees or commit a prohibited act under this law are deemed public records and disclosed via conspicuous and free means.  Publication on the State's employment web page shall comply with this requirement;

2. To the extent a collective bargaining agreement affords superior or equal protection to employees from dismissal for a coerced medical procedure said collective bargaining agreement shall supersede this legislation.



1. Should any element of this legislation be found unenforceable by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction the remainder shall be construed to the maximum available extent to provide the same employee protections as outlined herein.


That ought to do it.  Let's see which state has the nuts to enact it; the cost of the State Treasury is very nearly zero as the base rate should cover operating expenses as the basic SUI structure is already present within the State machinery.

Governors Lee and DeSantis, where are you!

More to the point: Want to see every corporation force the Government to fold instantly?

Pass this in the red states and they will.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2021-09-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 806 references
[Comments enabled]  

That anyone would play the "20 year Anniversary" card for a murderous terrorist attack is flat-out insanity standing alone.

But then again, we live in an insane nation, and indeed an insane world.

Let us remember on 9/11 what actually happened.  Our own FBI ignored reports from multiple people, including flight schools and simulator owners, that a bunch of apparent devout Muslims (they brought prayer mats with them and used them) were paying for flight and simulator time (both of which are very expensive) in cash.  That's odd enough by itself but the ominous part -- that none of them wanted to learn how to land an aircraft -- should have set off every alarm bell there was and resulted in an immediate investigation.  If it had a large percentage of those people would have been found to have expired visas and thus would have been taken into custody and summarily expelled from the United States.  9/11, in short, would not have happened had the FBI and INS done their job.

The FBI and other federal authorities sat around with their fingers in their asses and as a direct result 9/11 did occur.

The only debate on that point is whether it was due to negligence or intentional misconduct.

Not one person was fired, say much less prosecuted, for the willful and intentional failure to follow that up.

The State of Florida issued driver licenses to a huge percentage of these nutjobs despite them not being citizens or green card holders.  Guess who was the Governor of Florida at the time?  Just the last name will do.  That's not the same family that had a dude in the left seat in Washington DC on 9/11, was it?

There was not one prohibited item brought onto an aircraft on 9/11.  Not one.  Boxcutters were permitted; due to the short length of the blade they were considered tools and not weapons.  I know because I used to travel pre-9/11 to do a lot of tech work and had one in my carry-on toolkit.  Nobody ever batted an eyelash at it, nor at the other tools in said bag.  I never checked that bag because despite being rather expensive to replace everything if the airline lost it, and they have a habit of doing that sort of thing, I couldn't do my job.  So on the plane with me it went, along with a small suitcase that had my clothing and such in it.

Today the TSA forbids you to bring a sealed can full of soda through their "checkpoint."  Yet they routinely miss loaded firearms and even fake bombs when challenged by "routine testing."  Who knows how many real loaded firearms are not caught; of course if not caught, well...... But again, not one prohibited item -- not one gun or bomb -- was brought on a plane back on 9/11/01.

Why did the TSA get set up and why does it persist?  Not to interdict the threat that happened on 9/11, since again there was no security breach at any of the airports.  No, that was a purely political and civil lawsuit rescue action by Congress.  Rather than let the civil courts sort out whether the airlines had adequate security Congress exempted them from that review and sexually assaulted you for the next 20 years -- and it's still going on every time you get felt up in the terminal.

You, for your part, have done nothing to put a stop to it.

One air traffic controller during the 9/11 event made a command decision that could have easily cost him his job -- he initiated a ground-stop that was spread and, ultimately, was held for the next several days.  He likely saved thousands of lives; there is plenty of reason to believe (which I won't go into in detail) there were more planes full of hijackers that were stuck on the ground as a result of both that and bad weather.  The bad weather nobody can control but the ground stop prevented any of those other aircraft from taking off.  One smart man and one smart decision.

One group of passengers detected what was going on and said "Nope, we're not going to let you do it."  They died.  But they were going to die anyway, so rather than passively sit in their seats they spent their lives saving others.  They turned passive, American "follow instructions" into deliberate, violent action and a direct "**** you" to said orders and by doing so spent their lives in valor and chivalry protecting others.  They were heroes, every one of them.

Then, while there was no civilian air traffic allowed, Bush gave clearance for a whole bunch of Saudi citizens to leave this nation via private aircraft.  They did, and were never seen again.  Were they also terrorists and did Bush -- our President -- intentionally let them go?  We don't know and we'll never find out, will we?  But it is a fact that what was called a "stash house" in Sarasota was hastily abandoned and a decent number of Saudis did leave on said private airplanes.

Essentially every element of government, save that one ATC dude, has in fact been a zero.

In the years that followed we got even more stupidity.  The PREP Act was signed by..... Bush.  In the shadow of fear of anthrax and ricin attacks post-9/11 the decision was taken to shield health care providers during a "public health emergency" if and only if they followed whatever the official government line was.  This destroyed both the checks and balances along with incentives to actually use evidence-based medicine when faced with new and unknown threats.  Covid-19, an unknown threat at the beginning which we had to learn how to handle from a near-zero knowledge base, resulted in the medical system slaughtering tens of thousands of people in nursing homes by intentionally forcing infected seniors into said places -- using this law as a shield.  Not one governor has faced a single prosecution for that act, and not one hospital or doctor's office as been prosecuted for deliberately refusing to provide any early care to a single person infected with Covid-19.  Would Covid-19 have evolved differently absent the PREP Act?  Almost-certainly.  To what degree?  We do not know, since we can't do it over.  But this much is certain: If forced to confront the very real probability of negligence and malpractice lawsuits would a doctor refuse to let you use a safe, approved medication if infected?  How about the local hospital?  You do the math on that and how many of the 500,000+ dead Americans would still be alive.

Perhaps you can point to one bit of insanity post-9/11 that has been withdrawn?  I'd love to see your alleged list.  TSA?  Nope.  PREP Act?  Nope.  Patriot Act?  Nope.

Immunity from prosecution and suit always leads to people doing bad, even evil things as they are shielded from the just consequences of their actions, other than the general public deciding to take heads on their own initiative, which, I remind you, is a rather Taliban-style means of dispensing "justice."  So far we've not seen that happen in the US.

So far.

Let's ask another question 20 years on: Where are all the terrorists we were told existed?

Oh sure, there have been a few nutjobs.  A couple out in California, a couple of dudes at military basis and similar.  But where is the organized, dedicated set of terrorists that we were all told not only existed but were going to kill us all if we did not take all these crazy-faced actions post 9/11?  Are you really going to tell me that if such people really existed in size that they could not come up with fertilizer and diesel, plus a truck?  It's not like that is a novel idea, since one man did so on his own a while back.  Or even worse -- steal some enriched nuclear material from somewhere, do the machining and calculating, get some pipe and make a crude nuclear device, put it on a plane or boat and, well..... yeah.  Oh sure, it wouldn't be a very efficient bomb and the people who made it would probably die in the process of making it, say much less setting it off, but it would go boom.  With the millions of illegal invaders who we let cross into this nation while catching fewer than one in ten who try do you really think if this vast number of people who were willing to kill themselves in order to murder us in size that something like that wouldn't have happened by now and turned a decent chunk of DC, NYC, Atlanta or Chicago into a smoking hole 20 years on?

Because it hasn't happened, has it?

So exactly where, may I ask, are all these murderous terrorists?

Maybe the lesson of 9/11 isn't really about terrorism per-se -- that is, foreign or domestic actors unconnected with the government or other civil process who, in concert, wish to instill abject fear in the public for political ends.

Maybe the lesson is that a large part of the time governments are either the terrorists or their direct enablers and promoters, either funding them, looking the other way or excusing them after the fact.  And further, by doing so, they deliberately harm or even kill civilians -- including their own civilians.

Nothing like that has happened over the last 18 months, has it?

And maybe -- just maybe -- that includes our government.

It's not like Biden didn't issue exactly that sort of threat a couple of days ago, right?

Something to think about.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)

2021-09-10 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 5376 references
[Comments enabled]  

..... did I think I'd hear a President of the United States all but declare war on 1/4 of the citizens of the nation.

Yet that is what Joe Biden did yesterday.

That was worse than stupid; it was inciting an all-on rebellion.


Within hours approaching half the States had declared vehement opposition.

In the fantasy land wild imaginations of some on the left everyone will fold.  Uh, nope.

First, Biden reportedly exempted The Post Office.  That alone was likely enough to get his attempt ruled against on an injunctive basis.  You obviously aren't serious about public health when one of the agencies that the public has contact with every day is exempt, it is an essential agency and has something like 600,000 employees.

Why did he exempt them?  Because they're a union shop and a large percentage have refused vaccination.  Biden knows this and he knows that if they walk or strike he's instantly ****ed, and they both can and might.  A later update said oh no, they're included.  We'll see.

But then during his presser he let the truth out: "We're going to protect vaccinated workers against unvaccinated workers."


If the vaccines are in fact vaccines and work then..... what protection do those who choose to get them need?  None!  But if they don't work -- if you get vaccinated and are still at risk then why would someone take one?  It's stupid to take a jab that doesn't actually protect you.  More to the point why would those who haven't been vaccinated not tell you to go straight to Hell, and why would any court uphold this sort of order when you admit that a person who accepts the vaccine is not protected -- that is, it does not actually provide protection against disease?

Then there's the other problem: A quarter of all Americans have had Covid-19 and are immune.  They have actual protection.  12x or more better than a jab and they already took the risk because they got infected.  A huge percentage of them were essential workers and took the risk over the first nine or so months of this thing while making sure you had medical care, your grocery store was stocked and your mail got delivered.

In doing this they got infected, some died, nearly all recovered and all of those who recovered are presumptively immune.  They have no reason whatsoever to put up with any of this bull**** and if they all walk their employer is ****ed instantly, no matter who that employer might be.

Incidentally while that percentage was 20% in May it's obviously higher now.  And among health-care workers that level of prior infection is especially high because they worked for mine months with no access to vaccines at all but were repeatedly, usually on a daily basis, exposed to infection -- frequently with inadequate PPE.

Take a hospital, for example.  If 25% of the nurses walk out the place is destroyed.  They are instantly both unable to provide care and out of compliance with regulatory mandates that carry the force of law.  If and when people die as a result they will get sued and be bankrupted.  There's no way to cover that manpower shortage; it's impossible.

Nobody is a slave in this nation folks.  With very few exceptions any employee can quit and any group of employees can strike.  The few exceptions (railroads and airlines) are protected from unilateral changes in working conditions without going through collective bargaining and the penalties for doing so outside of that process are criminal, not just fines.  Further, they're must prosecute crimes, not discretionary.  So no, the airlines cannot mandate anything if the unions, pilots and such say "nuts" either -- nor can the railroads!  The ability to unilaterally change working conditions was given up by them in exchange for strike protection.  Violate that and it's game on.

Declaring war on a quarter of the nation's population is not only stupid it's not enforceable without all of them eating a nation-ending upheaval -- and they know it.  What are you going to do?  Try to kill 80 million people?  Good luck.  Try to forcibly inject them?  When its a quarter of the population how do you do that and not get ambushed, never mind your families and homes while you're out on your jab patrol?  Try to starve people out?  Someone who has nothing to lose -- who you already declared dead when you did that -- suddenly has every single thing they might choose to do to you, and everyone you know and care about, never mind infrastructure and similar, become literally free.  Whether the left likes it or not you can't kill someone twice.  Again, those attempting to enforce this bull**** have to go to work and similar.  You can't be two places at once and they're short about 50 million cops for security purposes -- some 25x or more the cops they have.  Trying to put the mandate on employers is cute but that makes the problem 100x worse.  Not one corporate executive in a thousand, and zero middle managers, HR persons and similar have any effective security while at the same time you just created 80 million potential corporate saboteurs who may decide to act on their way out the door!

Oh, and as for all those federal law enforcement folks?  The union that represents 30,000 of them blasted this announcementWould you trust your security to those folks if you try to use force?

Let's say Biden and his minions succeed.  Whether through forced jabs or mass-murder, does it matter?  Nope.  Why would you work for an evil jackass beyond the bare minimum in the US after that event?  How long does a corporation survive with 20% of the workforce having every reason to **** them up to the maximum possible extent ?  Morale?  Ha!  Once that is destroyed you will never get it back.  Kill all 80 million whether economically or physically and suddenly there's 40 million unoccupied living units and both real estate prices and property tax receipts collapse.  The average operating margin of a corporation is such that whether you fire, murder or******off a quarter of the working population to the point they give you the finger all those firms go bankrupt and now all the commercial real estate plus the stock and bond markets are a smoking crater.  The cities go feral within weeks to months as nobody can be paid (will the cops and firefighters show up for their shift without a paycheck?) and their bond ratings all go to "D" (that's "default"), including said police and fire department.  Take 20% off any city or state budget on a forced basis and the gangs and illegal MI6 drug lords will own every single blue hive within weeks.  You think Portland or Minneapolis is bad now?  Ha!  That, times about five, is all of the blue cities.

So calm down folks.  This is going to get fought, and Biden will lose.  In fact, I suspect his handlers, whoever they are that put this asinine pile of dog squeeze together, intended that it lose.  They know damn well what the consequences are if they actually go to war on this issue whether they win or not.   The S&P 500 trades at 500 (if you're lucky) and your $500,000 house is worth $50,000 -- if it's not a smoking ruin.

Bottom line: He's full of bluster and bull**** and his handlers know it.  He probably doesn't because he's a demented old fool but those behind the scenes sure do.

You couldn't set up what he did more-clearly to fail than to exempt the Post Office.

Never mind Biden's chief of staff who admitted -- via retweet -- this is flagrantly illegal and the administration knows it.  Courts consider the intent behind policies and Klain publicly endorsed using OSHA as a "work around" to enact a flagrantly-illegal mandate.

So what was the goal?

That's simple: Given that map the USSC will be why it loses; diversity of the inbound lawsuits guarantees it.  They'll get the case on an emergency basis and will likely enjoin before anyone is forced to do anything as it's a loser for Biden.  He either loses in the Supreme Court or the Supreme Court destroys the economy, the markets and virtually every corporation in America.  The Supreme Court justices know this.  Biden's handlers know this too and after the CDC loss on the eviction moratorium they also have to fully expect this goes exactly nowhere with the make-up of the court.

But what's the wet dream of the left?

Packing the court.

They're crazy enough to risk a civil war to drum up more left-side support for it too.

Don't fall for it.

Make them shoot first, if that's really what they want.  They don't have the stomach for it and, more to the point, they know what happens if they set it off.

It's a bluff, a stupid bluff at that, and ultimately it ends this Administration either by expulsion or political neutering.

That's my prediction and I slept perfectly well last night.

View this entry with comments (opens new window)