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Gold & Crypto Jump As Dollar Dumps After FedSpeak-Fest

Gold & Crypto Jump As Dollar Dumps After FedSpeak-Fest

From the European open, US futures accelerated higher after a quiet start, but…

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This article was originally published by Zero Hedge

Gold & Crypto Jump As Dollar Dumps After FedSpeak-Fest

From the European open, US futures accelerated higher after a quiet start, but once the initial chaos of the US cash open was over, stocks faded back to unchanged (or very modest gains). Nasdaq Composite closed higher but Nasdaq 100 ended lower – ending its win-streak at 10 days…

One thing of note today was the market’s behavior seemed a lot more skittish than recent days – far more higher frequency swings than has been typical recently.

The Nasdaq Composite is up 11 straight days (while Nasdaq 100 lost its win streak today). The composite has not had a longer win-streak since July 2009

Nasdaq was the weakest overnight, hit by selling pressure from TSLA shares after Musk’s Twitter poll. TSLA shares opened ugly but the standard deep OTM call buying did its best to ramp the stock… but failed to get it back to $1200…

Another day, another short-squeeze. That is 8 straight days of short-squeezing – the longest streak since Nov 2017…

Source: Bloomberg

Google parent Alphabet joined the $2 trillion market cap club today…

Source: Bloomberg

VIX rose back above 17 today, knee-jerking higher at the open for the 3rd straight day (which given the depths of Put-Call ratios, we suspect is actually levered buyers loading up on calls rather than hedgers loading up on protection)…

Also note that  Nasdaq 100 just rose along with the Cboe NDX Volatility Index for three straight weeks, the longest stretch since January 2018…

Today’s action in the US was dominated by a veritable FedSpeak extravaganza:

0830ET BULLARD HAWKISH: SEES GROWTH RETURNING IN Q4; WE’RE IN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH; NOT LOOKING FOR LABOR-FORCE PARTICIPATION IMPROVEMENT; SUPPLY-CHAIN BOTTLENECKS MAY EXTEND THROUGH 2022; MAY HAVE TO TAKE SOONER ACTION TO CONTROL INFLATION; I’VE GOT TWO RATE HIKES PENCILLED IN FOR 2022.

0900ET CLARIDA DOVISH/NEUTRAL: SEES JOB MARKET REACHING MAXIMUM EMPLOYMENT BY END-2022; EXPECTS SUPPLY IMBALANCES TO DISSIPATE OVER TIME; FED CLEARLY “A WAYS AWAY” FROM CONSIDERING LIFTOFF.

1030ET POWELL NEUTRAL: PANDEMIC HAS WIDENED DEEP-ROOTED INEQUITIES IN ECONOMY; DOESN’T COMMENT ON MONETARY POLICY.

1200ET HARKER NEUTRAL/HAWKISH: EXPECT INFLATION WILL COME DOWN NEXT YEAR; DON’T EXPECT RATE HIKES BEFORE TAPER IS COMPLETE; If Inflation Doesn’t Cool, Fed May Have to Move Forward Rate Hikes

1200ET BOWMAN NEUTRAL: CLOSELY MONITORING DEVELOPMENTS IN HOUSING MARKET; SEES SIGNS SUPPLY-DEMAND IMBALANCE RAISING HOUSING COSTS; U.S. HOUSE-PRICE GAINS HELPED BY LOW RATES, HIGH SAVING

1310ET EVANS NEUTRAL/HAWKISH: SEES SOME INDICATIONS OF INFLATION SPREADING MORE BROADLY, EXPECTS ELEVATED INFLATION WILL EVENTUALLY FADE, UNCLEAR HOW LONG SUPPLY IMBALANCES WILL TAKE TO EASE

Quarles quit – which likely biases the entire Fed more dovish as Biden now has 4 potential spots to fill.

Stop meddling!!

But overall, rate-hike expectations shifted hawkishly after all that Fed chatter…

Source: Bloomberg

But, despite the hawkish shift, the dollar dived back to FOMC taper lows…

Source: Bloomberg

And as the dollar dived, gold extended its recent gains, back up near $1830…

Cryptos were also bid as the dollar faded, with the aggregate market cap topping $3 trillion for the first time…

And Bitcoin’s market cap is now bigger than TSLA’s…

As Bitcoin topped $66,000…

Source: Bloomberg

And Ethereum tested up toward $4800 – a new record high…

Source: Bloomberg

Oil prices rallied today with WTI back above $82…

Treasuries were very mixed today with the belly battered worst, as the long-end flatlined

Source: Bloomberg

The bad news is that this dramatic flattening once again revives the ‘policy error panic’ fears that The Fed will blow it…

Source: Bloomberg

The long-end of the curve continues to be inverted. This is the 8th straight day the curve has been inverted.

Source: Bloomberg

The 30Y US Real Yield plunged below -50bps today – a new record low…

Source: Bloomberg

Finally, Greed just keeps getting extremer and extremerer…

What could go wrong?

Tyler Durden
Mon, 11/08/2021 – 16:01







Author: Tyler Durden

Precious Metals

Hedge Funds Are Driving Price Action In The Gold Market

Hedge Funds Are Driving Price Action In The Gold Market

Via SchiffGold.com,

Looking at the data, it appears hedge funds are currently driving…

Hedge Funds Are Driving Price Action In The Gold Market

Via SchiffGold.com,

Looking at the data, it appears hedge funds are currently driving price action in the gold market

Please note: the COTs report was published 12/3/2021 for the period ending 11/30/2021. “Managed Money” and “Hedge Funds” are used interchangeably.

The Commitment of Traders analysis last month showed that selling had been exhausted and hedge funds were going long again. It highlighted the trouble gold faced at the $1,800 level. After the October Jobs and Inflation data, hedge funds went big into the market driving prices solidly through $1,800 before the market ran out of steam at $1,870.

The multiple attempts on $1,870 in rapid succession looked like another resistance would fall and send gold up through $1,900, especially if Brainard was nominated as Fed chair. Unfortunately, resistance held strong and a Powell nomination sent gold back through newly established support, which proved much more fragile on the way down vs the way up.

Gold is trapped below $1,800 again. A very weak jobs report provided only enough fuel to keep gold flat on the week. Will a hot inflation report next week be perceived as a “hawkish fed trade” or a “wealth preservation trade?” It all depends on managed money. The hedge funds are in complete control of this market at the moment as the data below shows.

Gold

Current Trends

Managed Money/Hedge Funds Net Longs increased slightly since last month, from 86k to 92k in November. On Nov 16, net longs peaked at 142k. This positioning accounts for the round trip gold took during November.

As the chart below shows, the November peak in longs did not see the same price appreciation as earlier this year. For example, in June of 2021 aggregate Net Longs were reaching 250k and the price of gold was at $1898. November saw net longs peak at 287k vs a price peak of $1853 on the same day (note: the price did reach $1879 but not on the same day as CFTC reporting).

Figure: 1 Net Notional Position

While “Other” has stayed relatively flat over the last several weeks with healthy long positions, Hedge Funds have been in and out. To see the strength of the correlation, the chart below zooms in on only Hedge Funds but extends back to Jan 2018. Hedge Funds have taken back control of the market. Their positioning is driving the price action each week. The peaks and valleys are perfectly aligned.

Figure: 2 Managed Money Net Notional Position

Putting actual numbers shows the true effect. Below lists the year and the Hedge Fund correlation vs “Other” correlation:

  • 2017 .87 vs -.73

  • 2018 .94 vs -.74

  • 2019 .96 vs .57

  • 2020 -.8 vs .64

  • 2021 .82 vs -.02 (YTD)

  • 2021 .85 vs -.43 (July – Nov)

The Hedge Funds lost control of the market in 2020. This is when Other actually drove the market higher. The group was helped by strong ETF flows and record delivery requests at the Comex. 2020 created a new baseline price in the metal. For example, in April 2019 Managed Money Net longs stood at 37k with a gold price of $1,303. On Sept 28, 2021, gold net longs reached 30k vs a price of $1735. At the moment $1750 is showing as strong support just as $1800 proves hard resistance.

Correlation does not prove causation, but the data makes a compelling case for Hedge Funds driving price action. Bottom line: the “weak hands” of Hedge Funds are dominating the short-term price movements of gold, but the physical demand keeps the market trending upwards.

Weak Hands at Work

The chart below shows the week-over-week change by holder. The Hedge Funds spent 4 weeks building long positions followed by two weeks of hard selling. The traders are not in the market because of the fundamental reasons supporting the case for gold. They are jumping in and out, trading the news to make quick money in highly levered positions.

True investors should ignore this short-term movement and recognize the power of physical metal as insurance against government ineptitude.

Figure: 3 Silver 50/200 DMA

Still, for investors frustrated by the price movement, looking at the Hedge Fund trading provides a clear explanation. The table below has detailed positioning information. A few things to highlight:

  • The Managed Money Net Long monthly increase was driven primarily by shorts

    • Shorts have moved lower from 55k to 45k

    • Longs fell over the month from 141k to 137k

  • Other the past week, the move was primarily long liquidation from 152k to 137k

  • “Other”, which still represents the biggest Net Longs, was also driven by shorts closing

    • Longs were flat over the month at 172k

    • Shorts decreased from 44k to 39k, all of which came in the most recent week

It looks like there is “dry powder” on both sides of the equation. The monthly move was driven by shorts closing, but the weekly move was driven by longs closing.

Figure: 4 Gold Summary Table

Historical Perspective

Looking over the full history of the COTs data by month produces the chart below (please note values are in dollar/notional amounts, not contracts). The chart shows the last run-up in price in 2011, followed by the slow fall into 2015 until the new bull market started in 2016. The response to the Trump election (gold sold off hard) can be seen clearly in the sharp drop-off in late 2016.

This chart also shows how big the “Other” category has become on the long side. In 2011, Other Long had $8.6B in gross long vs $30.6B in the most recent period.

Figure: 5 Gross Open Interest

The CFTC also provides Options data. This has mainly been dominated by Producers, but recently Managed Money has played a larger role within the market. The current period shows a similar trend with Managed Money Longs decreasing from $2.8B to $2.4B during November.

Figure: 6 Options Positions

Finally, looking at historical net positioning shows the correlation of Managed Money positioning with price. The peaks and valleys in price are mirrored in the open interest. The correlation did strongly diverge last year after the March 2020 sell-off. Hedge Funds continued reducing net long positions even while the price rose dramatically. This was probably due to strong ETF buying which won’t show up in the futures.

Note: The correlation will look stronger because price is half of the Notional value equation

Figure: 7 Net Notional Position

Silver

Current Trends

The most recent move in silver was actually driven by Non-Reportables rather than Managed Money. While Hedge Funds were responsible for the drubbing silver took in September, their current net longs stayed relatively stable compared to Non-Reportables.

Figure: 8 Net Notional Position

This can be seen more clearly in the weekly chart. While Hedge Funds did liquidate the last two weeks, they only unwound some of their recent positions. Non-Reportables unwound their entire new position and then some.

Figure: 9 Net Change in Positioning

The table below shows a series of snapshots in time. This data does NOT include options or hedging positions. Important data points to note:

  • Within Managed Money, the monthly change was a modest 1600 decrease and was even positive last week

    • Longs drove most of the move, going from 52k to 54k last week and down to 48k this week

  • As of last week, NonRep had increased net longs by 3k contracts, 4x the movement of Hedge Funds

    • Longs went from 13.9k to 16.9k and down to 13.5k

Figure: 10 Silver Summary Table

Historical Perspective

Looking over the full history of the COTs data by month produces the chart below. The chart shows the last run-up in price in 2011, followed by the slow fall into 2015. The price collapse in silver in 2020 is clearly visible in this chart. As can be seen, gross longs are still well above the 2020 lows.

Figure: 11 Gross Open Interest

The CFTC also provides Options data. This has mainly been dominated by Non-Reportables, exceeding even Producers. Options have fallen off significantly from the spike last July and is still well below the peak in 2011.

Figure: 12 Options Positions

Finally, looking at historical Net positioning shows the correlation of positioning with price. Similar to gold, the peaks and valleys in price are mirrored in the open interest. Again, the latest pop did not generate the price increase that would have been expected given the magnitude of the move.

Figure: 13 Net Notional Position

Conclusion: How Will Hedge Funds Respond to the Fed?

Hedge Funds certainly trade using technical analysis, which is why Fib targets and round numbers (e.g. $1,800) prove to be such difficult resistance points. Over time, the physical market has pushed prices up, but the short-term move is dominated by hot money. How long until Hedge Funds call the Fed’s bluff? More importantly, how long until there isn’t any physical to back the paper contracts because it’s been delivered and then removed from the vault?

Astute investors should keep the long-term picture in mind. The short-term gyrations can be immensely frustrating, but gold and silver are not Bitcoin. They are not vehicles to get rich quick because that would disqualify them as safe-havens. Remember, what goes up quickly, can come down quickly. Stay the course, trust the fundamentals, use the CFTC analysis to explain the short-term price movements, and understand the protection provided by physical precious metals.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 12/05/2021 – 11:30






Author: Tyler Durden

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Economics

Berkshire’s Charlie Munger: Market “Even Crazier” Now Than During DotCom Boom

The Australian Financial Review reports that Munger said Friday that he believes the markets are wildly overvalued in places and that the current environment…

…[The Australian Financial Review reports that Munger said Friday that he believes the] markets are wildly overvalued in places and that the current environment is “even crazier” than the dotcom boom of the late 1990s that subsequently led to a bust. He is not wrong.

This post by Lorimer Wilson, Managing Editor of munKNEE.com, is an edited ([ ]) and abridged (…) excerpt from an article from zerohedge.com for the sake of clarity and brevity to provide you with a fast and easy read. Please note that this complete paragraph must be included in any re-posting to avoid copyright infringement.

1. Investor demand for U.S. technology stocks amid the pandemic has taken the Nasdaq 100 to a relative record against the Dow Jones Industrial Average…exceeding the peak set during the dot-com bubble.

2. On an absolute basis, US stocks have never been more expensive relative to sales.and never been more expensive relative to the nation’s GDP.

4. …Munger wishes cryptocurrencies had “never been invented,” and thinks the Chinesemade the correct decision, which was to simply ban them. In my country, English-speaking civilization has made the wrong decision, I just can’t stand participating in these insane booms, one way or another.”…

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The post Berkshire’s Charlie Munger: Market “Even Crazier” Now Than During DotCom Boom appeared first on munKNEE.com.




Author: Lorimer Wilson

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Economics

Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

A new wave of restrictions,…

Now Or Never: The Great ‘Transition’ Must Be Imposed

Authored by Alastair Crooke via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

A new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect…

Were you following the news this last week? Vaccine mandates are everywhere: one country, after another, is doubling-down, to try to force, or legally compel, full population vaccination. The mandates are coming because of the massive uptick in Covid – most of all in the places where the experimental mRNA gene therapies were deployed en masse. And (no coincidence), this ‘marker’ has come just as U.S. Covid deaths in 2021 have surpassed those of 2020. This has happened, despite the fact that last year, no Americans were vaccinated (and this year 59% are vaccinated). Clearly no panacea, this mRNA ‘surge’.

Of course, the Pharma-Establishment know that the vaccines are no panacea. There are ‘higher interests’ at play here. It is driven rather by fear that the window for implementing its series of ‘transitions’ in the U.S. and Europe is closing. Biden still struggles to move his ‘Go-Big’ social spending plan and green agenda transition through Congress by the midterm election in a year’s time. And the inflation spike may well sink Biden’s Build Back Better agenda (BBB) altogether.

Time is short. The midterm elections are but 12 months away, after which the legislative window shuts. The Green ‘transition’ is stuck too (by concerns that moving too fast to renewables is putting power grids at risk and elevating heating costs unduly), and the Pharma establishment will be aware that a new B.1.1.529 variant has made a big jump in evolution with 32 mutations to its spike protein. This makes it “clearly very different” from previous variants, which may drive further waves of infection evading ‘vaccine defences’.

Translation: a new wave of restrictions, more lockdowns, and – eventually – trillions of dollars in new stimmie cheques may be in prospect. And what of inflation then, we might ask.

It’s a race for the U.S. and Europe, where the pandemic is back in full force across Europe, to push through their re-set agendas, before variants seize up matters with hospitals crowded with the vaccinated and non-vaccinated; with riots in the streets, and mask mandates at Christmas markets (that’s if they open at all). A big reversal was foreshadowed by this week’s news: vaccine mandates and lockdowns, even in highly vaccinated areas, are returning. And people don’t like it.

The window for the Re-Set may be fast closing. One observer, noting all the frenetic Élite activity, has asked ‘have we finally reached peak Davos?’. Is the turn to authoritarianism in Europe a sign of desperation as fears grow that the various ‘transitions’ planned under the ‘re-set’ umbrella (financial, climate, vaccine and managerial expert technocracy) may never be implemented?

Cut short rather, as spending plans are hobbled by accelerating inflation; as the climate transition fails to find traction amongst poorer states (and at home, too); as technocracy is increasingly discredited by adverse pandemic outcomes; and Modern Monetary Theory hits a wall, because – well, inflation again.

Are you paying attention yet? The great ‘transition’ is conceived as a hugely expensive shift towards renewables, and to a new digitalised, roboticised corporatism. It requires Big (inflationary) funding to be voted through, and a huge parallel (inflationary) expenditure on social support to be approved by Congress as well. The social provision is required to mollify all those who subsequently will find themselves without jobs, because of the climate ‘transition’ and the shift to a digitalised corporate sphere. But – unexpectedly for some ‘experts’ – inflation has struck – the highest statistics in 30 years.

There are powerful oligarchic interests behind the Re-Set. They do not want to see it go down, nor see the West eclipsed by its ‘competitors’. So it seems that rather than back off, they will go full throttle and try to impose compliance on their electorates: tolerate no dissidence.

A 1978 essay “The Power of the Powerless” by then dissident and future Czech President Vaclav Havel begins mockingly that, “A SPECTRE is haunting Eastern Europe: the spectre of what in the West is called ‘dissent’”. “This spectre has not appeared out of thin air. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of the present historical phase of the system it is haunting.” Well, today, as Michael Every of Rabobank notes, “the West has polarisation, mass protests, riots, talk of obligatory vaccinations in Europe, and Yanis Varoufakis arguing capitalism is already dead; and that a techno-feudalism looms”. Now, prompting even greater urgency, are the looming U.S. midterms. Trump’s return (even if confined just to Congress), would cut the legs from under BBB, and ice-up Brussels too.

It was however, precisely this tech revolution, to which Varoufakis calls attention, that both re-defined the Democrat constituency, and turned tech oligarchs into billionaires. Through algorithmically creating a magnetism of like-minded content, cascaded out to its customers, it has both smothered intellectual curiosity, and created the ‘un-informed party’, which is the today’s Managerial Class – the party of the credentialed meritocracy; the party, above all, smugly seeing themselves as the coming era’s ‘winners’ – unwilling to risk a look behind the curtain; to put their ‘safe space’ to the test.

Perversely, this cadre of professionally-corralled academics, analysts, and central bankers, all insist that they completely believe in their memes: That their techno-approach is both effective, and of benefit to humanity – oblivious to the dissenting views, swirling around them, down in the interstices of the internet.

The main function then of such memes today, whether issued by the Pharma Vaccine ‘Command’; the MMT ‘transition’ Command; the energy ‘transition’ Command; or the global managerial technocracy ‘transition’, is to draw a ‘Maginot line’ – a defensive ideological boundary, a “Great Narrative” as it were – between ‘the truth’ as defined by the ruling classes, and with that of any other ‘truth’ that contradicts their narrative. That is to say, it is about compliance.

It was well understood that all these transitions would overturn long-standing human ways of life, that are ancient and deeply rooted and trigger dissidence – which is why new forms of social ‘discipline’ would be required. (Incidentally, the EU leadership already refer to their their official mandates as ‘Commands’). Such disciplines are now being trialled in Europe – with the vaccine mandates (even though scientists are telling them that vaccines cannot be the silver bullet for which they yearn). As one high ‘lodge’ member, favouring a form of global governance notes, to make people accept such reforms, you must frighten them.

Yes, the collective of ‘transitions’ must have their ‘Big, overarching Narrative’ – however hollow, it rings (i.e. the struggle to defend democracy against authoritarianism). But it is the nature of today’s cultural-meme war that ultimately its content becomes little more than a rhetorical shell, lacking all sincerity at its core.

It serves principally, as decoration to a ‘higher order’ project: The preservation of global ‘rules of the road’, framed to reflect U.S. and allied interests, as the base from which the clutch of ‘transitions’ can be raised up into a globally managed order which preserves the Élite’s influence and command of major assets.

This politics of crafted, credentialised meme-politics is here to stay, and now is ‘everywhere’. It has long crossed the partisan divide. The wider point here – is that the mechanics of meme-mobilisation is being projected, not just in the western ‘home’ (at a micro-level), but abroad, into American ‘foreign policy’ too (i.e. at the macro-level).

And, just as in the domestic arena, where the notion of politics by suasion is lost (with vaccine mandates enforced by water-cannon, and riot police), so too, the notion of foreign policy managed through argument, or diplomacy, has been lost too.

Western foreign policy becomes less about geo-strategy, but rather is primordially focussed on the three ‘big iconic issues’ – China, Russia and Iran – that can be given an emotional ‘charge’ in order to profitably mobilise certain identified ‘constituencies’ in the U.S. domestic cultural war. All the various U.S. political strands play this game.

The aim is to ‘nudge’ domestic American psyches (and those of their allies) into mobilisation on some issue (such as more protectionism for business against Chinese competition), or alternatively, imagined darkly, in order to de-legitimise an opposition, or to justify failures. These mobilisations are geared to gaining relative domestic partisan advantage, rather than having strategic purpose.

When this credentialled meme-war took hold in the U.S., millions of people were already living a reality in which facts no longer mattered at all; where things that never happened officially, happened. And other things that obviously happened never happened: not officially, that is. Or, were “far-right extremist conspiracy theories,” “fake news,” or “disinformation,” or whatever, despite the fact that people knew that they weren’t.

Russia and China therefore face a reality in which European and U.S. élites are heading in the opposite direction to epistemological purity and well-founded argument. That is to suggest, the new ‘normal’ is about generating a lot of contradictory realities, not just contradictory ideologies, but actual mutually-exclusive ‘realities’, which could not possibly simultaneously exist … and which are intended to bemuse adversaries – and nudge them off-balance.

This is a highly risky game, for it forces a resistance stance on those targeted states – whether they seek it, or not. It underlines that politics is no more about considered strategy: It is about being willing for the U.S. to lose strategically (even militarily), in order to win politically. Which is to say gaining an ephemeral win of having prompted an favourable unconscious psychic response amongst American voters.

Russia, China, Iran are but ‘images’ prized mainly for their potential for being loaded with ‘nudge’ emotional-charge in this western cultural war, (of which these states are no part). The result is that these states become antagonists to the American presumption to define a global ‘rules of the road’ to which all must adhere.

These countries understand exactly the point of these value and rights-loaded ‘rules’. It is to force compliance on these states to acquiesce to the ‘transitions, or, to suffer isolation, boycott and sanction – in a similar way to the choices being forced on those in the West not wishing to vaccinate (i.e. no jab; no job).

This approach reflects an attempt by Team Biden to have it ‘both ways’ with these three ‘Iconic States’: To welcome compliance on ‘transition issues’, but to be adversarial over any dissidence to mounting a rules framework that can raise the ‘transitions’ from the national, to the supra-national plane.

But do the U.S. practitioners of meme-politics, absorb and comprehend that the stance by Russia-China – in riposte – is not some same-ilk counter-mobilisation done to ‘make a point’? That their vision does stand at variance with ‘the rules’? Do they see that their ‘red lines’ may indeed be ‘red lines’ literally? Is the West now so meme-addicted, it cannot any longer recognise real national interests?

This is key: When the West speaks, it is forever looking over its shoulder, at the domestic, and wider psychic impact when it is ‘making a point’ (such as practicing attacks by nuclear-capable bombers as close to Russia’s borders as they dare). And that when Russia and China say, ‘This is our Red Line’, it is no meme – they really mean it.

Tyler Durden
Sat, 12/04/2021 – 23:30







Author: Tyler Durden

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