Broadsword calling Danny Boy: March Madness -- Silicon Valley Bank shuts their door, Duke is going to the Final Four! | Eastern North Carolina Now

Hot August night
And the leaves hanging down
And the grass on the ground smelling sweet

Move up the road
To the outside of town
And the sound of that good gospel beat

Sits a ragged tent
Where there ain't no trees
And that gospel group
Telling you and me

It's love, Brother Love say
Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show
Pack up the babies
And grab the old ladies
And everyone goes
'Cause everyone knows
Brother Love's show

Room gets suddenly still
And when you'd almost bet
You could hear yourself sweat, he walks in

Eyes black as coal
And when he lifts his face
Every ear in the place is on him

Starting soft and slow
Like a small earthquake
And when he lets go
Half the valley shakes
- Neil Diamond

The Correspondent and the Old Trench Fighter retrace Princip's journey through the back streets of Sarajevo on that fateful June day in 1914 - nineteen-ninety something: Above.     Click image to enlarge.

    The crash and burn looting of Silicon Valley Bank during the last month should be seen as a flashing red light signal of the impending global financial meltdown approaching at flank speed. This event leaves the Fed with, ultimately, only one option to restore liquidity quickly -- massive creation of newly printed/keystroked United States Government currency units that will decimate middle class savings and purchasing power.

    Welcome to the western-gulag nightmare of cascading institutional failure. This time it is not Creditanstalt in 1931 tipping the dominoes toward the Great Depression but, instead, a high-end fashionable bank; where the Silicon Valley whiz kids deposit their western confetti while taking a flute of champagne and displaying an indifferent air toward due diligence.

    There was a reason we posted the ten-year yield in the header so often last year. The blowout in interest rates and subsequent dive below par has generated a capital decline across a wide-spectrum of supposedly too big to fail (tbtf) banks. Throw in hundreds of millions of dollars in phony corporate stimulus payments laundered through these institutions as a liquidity lifeline during the covid mass psychosis event -- while bolstered on paper by New World Order mark to maturity accounting dodges and, well...

    These financial instruments are worth one hundred cents on the dollar in accounting terms until you need the liquidity -- then they are worth whatever the market will (and in a crisis, can) pay. The crisis is here and all the usual looters will be screaming for a government bailout -- as when they gamble risk-free and win it is so-called capitalism; but when they lose they beg for middle-class crushing socialism.

    If you don't know the 2011 movie Margin Call, you had better ask somebody. This below could be the scene in ten days if the usual wrong moves are made this week:

    John Tuld: So, what you're telling me, is that the music is about to stop, and we're going to be left holding the biggest bag of odorous excrement ever assembled in the history of capitalism.

    Peter Sullivan: Sir, I'm not sure that I would put it that way, but let me clarify using your analogy. What this model shows is the music, so to speak, just slowing. If the music were to stop, as you put it, then this model wouldn't even be close to that scenario. It would be considerably worse.

    John Tuld: Let me tell you something, Mr. Sullivan. Do you care to know why I'm in this chair with you all? I mean, why I earn the big bucks.

    Peter Sullivan: Yes.

    John Tuld: I'm here for one reason and one reason alone. I'm here to guess what the music might do a week, a month, a year from now. That's it. Nothing more. And standing here tonight, I'm afraid that I don't hear - a - thing. Just... silence.


    March Madness is gearing toward the tip with Selection Sunday revealing the Big Dance card that will reshape the wallets of the world. With the bankroll fattened by a plethora of hedges and a huge middle with those Dreamin' Deacons versus the Miami futures ticket, we prepare to do battle.

    Each of our conference futures tickets died a noble death on the battlefield as they took down more of the opposition than the price of their respective move. MIAMI, CLEMSON, PITT, USC and KANSAS all took the gas for a negative five units in this space. However, hopefully, peeps hedged these out and with that one middle and the counter moves early (State College vs VPI before the Clemson match-up and Duke vs Pitt and Miami as hedges at the short price), well, it went most shume mire we suspect.

    Thus we are down five units in this space. The Big Dance tickets updated below all went for two units with Miami going for four.

    Duke's ACC Tourney performance has us grooving on our +6000 position to win it all as the current price now +3500. The hedges on that will bring home the bacon and any middle at that level will mean New York strip for the duration. Our Baylor +2000 ticket is not doing as well since injuries have dropped them to +2500, while our initial position there has fallen like Silicon Valley Bank paper over the weekend.

    Miami +4000 and State College +18000 have held steady, while San Diego State +8000 has been recalculated to +7000 for latecomers. This piece being written Sunday before the brackets are up and we will be fortunate if State College makes the field as they are on the bubble now, but that risk element was a big part of the monster price. Needless to say they will be hedged to the moon every time if they are in -- since by just making the field at that price the ticket becomes a theoretical money-good position as soon as they are (hopefully) posted to the bracket.

    However that is all in the past, sort of like our lament last week for not getting UCLA early as it turned out that a crushing injury since then has knocked their season for a loop. The question now becomes what was learned during Championship Week, and what additional futures moves should be acquired with the ill-gotten lucre resulting from same.

    The most critical lesson learned from Margin Call is the importance of being first in the critical decision-tree moments of the specific dynamic. We saw the value in Duke a month ago and monkey-hammered the position and now will be riding those fat-priced hedges all the way to the Final Four. Hopefully, as the shots roll around the rim on the middle opportunities, a couple of them tickle the net.

    (Hey Man, this is working great and all the peeps grooving on this beaucoup dinky dau bonanza of quam but for real, could we maybe have less art and more meat? These prices are jumping now so who we be takin' Boss Man?)

    Gotta suffer for your art, Pal. The first lesson one learns at War College is to reinforce success on the battlefield. That means get more DUKE even at the lesser price (+3500) for two units. With UCLA's top defender out the distance and Houston's nagging injuries, there are only two teams Duke has no chance against -- Texas and Arizona.

    We were ready to hammer Texas (+1800) but waited too long and must take a pass now that the price has dropped to +1400. We love to give Texas football the business but Longhorns hoops is the real deal and they have a shot to go deep. However you don't risk the biscuit on teams but, instead, the number; discipline is required to let it go when the price works against you.

    Superior observation factored by correct action with Texas during the tourney run will be strong medicine for your portfolio. Most any Big 12 team has value and we are adding IOWA STATE (+5000) for two units to the futures positions. This team plays defense like Virginia but is tougher in the half-court than the Cavs. They can play with anybody and should be a tough out with strong prices against lower seeded ne'er do wells.

    Basketball is a crazy game and despite watching ARIZONA we can't claim to understand why they are any good. However, what is good is taking them (+1700) for two units. They are hot now and Farnell advises his numbers seem to indicate very strong hedging value and strong middle opportunities until they reach the Elite Eight. Keep in mind, their one point win over UCLA in the PAC 12 title game came against a Bruins squad without two starters.

    The two most overrated teams right now in the public's mind are Alabama and Tennessee and every reasonable opportunity to go against them should be hammered. Both Kansas State and West Virginia are strong teams that can go on a roll and will present powerful opportunities for the skillful purveyor of the pricing metier.

    By this time next week three-quarters of the field will be toast. The ensuing Sweet 16 round is where it gets very real and the public, unable to discern the nuance between first and second weekend pricing, gets fleeced every time. There will be tremendous opportunity on individual games where the public will steam a false favourite.

    Duke is going to the Final Four. With UCLA slipping faster than Silicon Valley Bank confetti -- and the Blue Devils getting better each week -- they might just go the distance.

    Don't fall in love with these teams but, instead, learn to make the numbers fall in love with your picks. Most single-digit underdogs that cash the ticket also win the game outright -- learn when to take the points and when to take the money line price to win the game outright.

    Master that form and you begin to see the middles as they develop long before The Man or the general public can fathom the dynamic. Using these futures positions as your righteous anvil of quam permits you to shape the battlefield before the fight begins.

    The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank should be viewed as a systemic event. It will degrade the foundation of a Western financial-wizardry sleight of hand that has been running on fumes since 2008; it will impact you in most severe terms down the line as this disaster plays out.

    Doesn't mean as much to those with a little separation between their existence and western confetti. After all, a nickel is still a nickel as, unlike paper, it does not burn.

    Ignore the doom and gloom and just hope it holds off until the National Title game. You can control your positions in the Big Dance and generate a boatload of quam while the system is still functioning. In terms of the final looting spree of the New World Order, you have no defence against that crime against humanity until you begin to understand what is going on.

    See the middle -- be the middle!
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