Half Full? Half Empty? Or all Crazy?

I’m thinking the latter – but as the week unwinds with jobs data starting tomorrow through Friday, we ought to get a better bead on things.

Driving markets to the upside, we know that the Federal Reserve has been pumping up the H.6 money stock lately at a 9.5% annualized rate (Table 2, H.6 here).  Some of this – and maybe a great deal – has been “leaking into the market” because there’s little else that’s attractive.

Bitcoins this morning will fetch $2,805 paper dollars and our target of $3,000 by eclipse time should work out.

(Continues below)

 

Still, we have to acknowledge one of the big downsides revealed in a careful study of the MSM (mainstream media, eh?) lately.

Specifically, it seems that with more border enforcement – and stuffing people into semi-trucks aside – there’s far less prospect for population growth based on immigrant arrivals in the coming few years.

Immigration has been a huge economic driver for Europe.

This is the kind of fundamental demographic shifting that impacts markets.  As you’ll notice in today’s “Redfin Housing Demand Index Slipped in June from May’s All-Time High.”

There’s also a problem because we have a lot of “grays” starting to sell off their big homes, living off stock market sales, 401k plans, and defined benefit pension programs, so there will be a LOT of downward pressure as the sale of stocks picks up in order to fund retirements.

With a big downside in the market this fall (or maybe in the Spring) possible, we expect the bailout beneficiary du jour will be Pension Funds.

Another possible “topping” indicator?  Seed funding slows in Silicon Valley.

With oldsters cashing in and human inputs decreasing, a reasonable person might wonder “Where’s all the growth going to come from?”

Some of it will come from mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity.  An example is how “Discovery’s merger with Scripps makes them ‘bigger than Viacom.”

One of the acquisitions that caught our eye this morning was MSA’s acquisition of Globe Manufacturing.

My first exposure to MSA (which I seem to remember was “Mine Safety Appliance” back in the day) came in 1957, or so, when my dad took me to the MSA showroom in the Seattle industrial area and bought me a helmet to wear while riding bikes.  “Too many head injuries from bike accidents and the trend will grow” he quite correctly forecast.

For the next half dozen years my buddy (the retired major up in Gig Harbor, WA), took endless delight yelling “Look!  It’s the Flash!  Flash Urine!”  Helmet envy?

In today’s world, that would have been called “bullying” and counsel would be retained to sue the parents.  Back then?  We called it “Growing up.”  And since we’re still friends 64-years on, I’m pleased to report such an approach actually worked.  However, in a world with too many lawyers, it could never have been allowed to continue.

Back then, of course, we didn’t have phones to encourage teen suicide on social media, either.  Instead, we got ham radio licenses and talked to the world that way.  If you think a social media cheering section urging someone toward the coward’s way out is “progress” we’d have to disagree.

Where were we?

Oh, yeah…M&A.  It’s one way to grow.  So is government regulation.  Although MSA wasn’t real heavy into it, we have to remember the remarkable growth of Bell Helmets…as the country became safety-conscious.  Dare-devils like Craig Breedlove made helmets fashionable.

Eventually, though, the Nanny State took possession of “common sense” and put it into laws.  MUST wear a helmet. It’s a process still underway today.

Middle America knows what makes “sense” but it gets bolloxed up when government tries to write down what “common sense” is – and then issues penalties for disagreeing with the conclusion of a bunch of generally bought & paid-for (through “contributions”) politicians, who are climbers.

Most of ’em will sell Grandma for a big enough campaign contribution from an unaccountable, untraceable, out-of-state source.

We are thus hardly surprised when the healthcare “reform of reform” crashes and burns.  There hasn’t been much discussion of the principles involved.  Only the politicking and much of that is the buy-off of lawmakers through re-election support and campaign donations to come.

If you begin to sense that it sound like the world is crazy, we’d caution you to think in more defensible terms.

The United States of America is the most effectively-monetized system of government in History.”

A simple Truth we hold self-evident but seldom admit to.

How High is Up?

With the Dow Futures up another 100 points in the early pre-opening action today, we can see Dow 22,000 coming into view today or perhaps tomorrow.

As usual, I got a little too far ahead of the curve on this so my $29,000 short side experiment hasn’t paid off – yet.

You know the old saying, right? “The Stock Market can remain irrational longer than Ure can remain solvent.”

Around the open today, we will make our third bump against the upper trend channel of our Peoplenomics Aggregate Index.  While we should come down, the market may continue straight on up through our August 21 – August 24 target  date with no pullback, though we had expected a short decline this week. It’s not Friday yet, however and hope springs eternal…

Fake News or An Idiot?

We are intrigued by the media reports going to the idea that “Trump ‘dictated’ son’s statement on Russian lawyer meeting.”

This being a serious matter, we looked at the BBC version of the story to find a source.  “..US media report….” is followed with “…first emerged in the Washington Post. It cited multiple sources….”

Hmmm…

So we wonder who the “multiple sources” might be?

Since we have a  number of recently-departed leak candidates, we won’t go through all the possibilities. Backstabbing is one of the main job requirements in DC, near as we can figure.

It’s a safe bet that Gen. Kelly will be working this as his first priority this morning:  Who leaked?

As a former journo, I can find you three sources to confirm just about anything you want.

Unless the source is named, it’s often BS.  Because for me, one source (in the general inmate population) and the other two (in state institutions) will say anything.

When bash-anxious reporters  write of something  “confirmed by multiple sources,” the ravings of my axe-murderer source and the two psychopaths in State custody doesn’t sound half-bad.  People will believe most anything.  I think we’ve established that. Especially in Washington.

Besides:  it sells bundles of newspapers. And that’s gotta make the head of Amazon happy.  It’ll make Trump think deeply before uttering the words “anti-trust” again, too.

Practicing for War

The U.S. Military Has Detected ‘Highly Unusual’ North Korean Submarine Activity.

Here’s some analysis from our retired oak leaf cluster fellow we refer to only as warhammer:

“Korea is certainly pesky these days.  Now Kim Jong Un’s Navy is playing with their submarine missile launch systems:

Seoul and also Yongsan Army base and Osan air base are all within N. Korean conventional artillery range.  These weapons are rail mounted and stored within cave systems along the DMZ.   Telegraphing any strike against the North would light the fuse in the communist regime, likely resulting in the deaths of countless American military members and S. Koreans.

My opinion is N. Korea is nothing more than a proxy for Beijing.  China could have put an end to the Kim family insanity decades ago, but these congenital nut jobs have served a decided strategic purpose for the PRC, distracting the international community from the Dragon empire’s ambitions, military buildups, S. China Sea territorial annexations and numerous domestic atrocities.

If it were up to me, I’d permanently reactivate the U.S. bomb wing at Andersen, Guam and generate four bombers with heavy nuke payloads, keeping them on alert 24/7/365.  Of course, there would be 2-3 U.S. Navy boomers also quietly patrolling the W. Pacific every day of the year and a few attack subs patrolling off the coasts of N. Korea and S. China.  Singapore and Taiwan would receive a lot of increased conventional USAF attention, and more military emphasis and aid would be directed to the ANZUS allies.  “Peace through strength!”

Things are warming up in the East. “

And we notice the DPRK tweets this morning where they keep on selling communism and bashing Trump:

Idiotic Italian Stereotype Anthony Sacramucci fired as US Propaganda Minister due to being an Idiotic Italian Stereotype.

And:

Massive Venezuelan failure to vote on constituent assembly ascribed to people’s already immense satisfaction with existing socialism.

Venezuela’s Epic Fail

Due process?  I’m thinking notVenezuela’s Opposition Leaders Appear to Have Been Taken Away by Police.

Any word from the captain of this Titanic meantime?  Ah…here we go: Nicolas Maduro Says he Will Radically Overhaul Venezuela’s Political System.

Get your reforms today at “Death Squads to Go. Just the thing for Chile weather ahead.”

And Now: A Fairytale

From the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

“Personal income decreased $3.5 billion (less than -0.1 percent) in June according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) decreased $4.2 billion (less than -0.1 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $8.1 billion (0.1 percent).

Real DPI decreased 0.1 percent in June and Real PCE increased less than 0.1 percent. The PCE price index increased less than 0.1 percent. Excluding food and  energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1 percent.”

And the real shtick?

“Personal saving was $546.4 billion in June and the personal saving rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, was 3.8 percent (table 1).”

They also have more revisions over here than you can shake an IBM-360 at.

Climate Shames

Daily Caller is onto a hot one (so to speak, ahem): “Australia Weather Bureau Caught Tamping with Climate Numbers.”

This is from the Scientific Principal called “If you don’t like the data, just make something up…” technique.

OK, off to consider tax-loss carryforwards as the market is looking to pop up 100 at the open…

Comments

Half Full? Half Empty? Or all Crazy? — 8 Comments

  1. It is impossible for something to be half empty. Empty is equal to zero and it’s mathematically impossible to take half of zero.

  2. I was interested to see Personal Income is down this month since although I got a 10% raise last month from the department store where I’ve been working for 11 years (it was to keep up with Los Angeles city minimum requirements since we’re in the suburbs of that burg), but my hours have been cut by a third and are down nearly 50% compared to last year. I’ve read articles about this being the similar experience in Seattle where minimum went to $15. We’re only up to $12 so far here but plunging ahead with reckless abandon. . . .

  3. I get the impression that you are not exactly a fan of ‘helmet laws’ – so if someone has an accident and doesn’t die and they have brain damage due to getting their noggin slammed – who is probably going to have to pay for their care?
    Not everyone has insurance – especially bike riders . . .

    Yes, helmets aren’t foolproof – I read recently that All save one of the brains donated to a investigative group by the families of ex-NFL players showed damage relative to their exposure playing the ‘game’.(I’ve heard people complain about football players salaries being too high – I’d day it was cheap if you are going to spend your ‘golden years’, pretty much brain-damaged.)

    One of the saddest comments to be heard is, “I should have . . .” I think that wearing a helmet is just good sense.

  4. Mr. Ure,

    I look forward to your appearance 03 August on Coast to Coast AM. About 18 months ago working midnight shift I was first introduced to you on that program. I started reading UrbanSurvival and a few months later subscribed to Peoplenomics.