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July 11, 2009 06:40 AM CDT
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Constant Dollar Saturday - Driving the Economy
As things economic go, this hasn't been much of a week - a sort
of 'week treading water' since the market is trying to figure
out if the 'green shoots' are going to come up, or whether we
will see the 'green' all withered up as the heat of summer
Take the Dow Jones Industrials, for example (please!).
Last week the Dow
closed at 8,280.74 and as folks headed for The Hamptons this
weekend it was down to 8,146.52, a drop of almost 135-points,
but in the bigger scheme of things that's only a 1.6% move for
the week, and nowhere near the 'two standard deviations' range
where things even begin to get interesting.
It's on trading weeks like this that I'm thankful I invested in
my stylish hammock and some umbrellas for the new deck, but the
truth is I haven't been able to use them much since
got a heat advisory out for this part of East Texas that will
run through Sunday. Laying in a hammock is no fund
when the comfort-temperature is north of 100º.
Not so hot this week was the
Consumer Debt report from the Fed. It showed that people
are still reluctant to pile on debt - and with good reason,
since unemployment is high and may head higher. What's
overlooked in the Fed data is that there's no mention of
constant dollars in the Fed's numbers. So (here goes
too much coffee George with his whiteboard markers) if you have
inflation going along at let's say a nominal 4%...and you have
the Consumer Debt (mislabeled credit) as declining 1.5%, then
the real drop in effective spending is something much
worse than most folks think about.
The Fed numbers for Q3 '08 show,
for example that back then, consumer debt was 2582.8 billion
and the most recent month (May) it was 2,519.6 billion.
But to take inflation into account (our 4%) we can
multiply the most recent number by .96 (meaning only 96% of last
year's purchasing power remains) such that on a constant dollar
basis, Consumer Debt is somewhere around 2,418.8. Now,
let's do this: Take that and divide 2,582.8 into it (last
year's Q3 level) and you'll see consumer debt is running
93.65% of last year. Subtract that from 100% and it means
Consumer Debt is down about 6.349 percent - on a constant
Of course this also applies to
other things - like the recently refigured Dow Jones
Industrials. If one looks to this historical data, you see
that last year's Dow closed the second Friday of July (July 11th
last year) at 11,100.54 and so if we discount this week's Dow by
4% to account for annual inflation of 4% that means our 8,146.52
close this week had purchasing power equivalent to what 7,820.66
would have purchased last year, so dividing that by 11,100.54
means the Dow has retained only 70.45% of its value....having
dropped 29.55% on a purchasing power basis over the past
I realize that this could be easily
labeled a "pessimistic perspective" but here in George Land,
there's no pessimism or optimism: There's just
'getting aheader" or "getting behinder."
To those who would label such a
view as 'Negative" and "Doomster" or "Gloomster" I'd just offer
that great Jack Nicholson line delivered in the movie "A Few
Good Men" "You can't handle the truth."
Reports following the G-8 meetings
this week show us pretty clearly how the Obama administration is
about to get backed into something I call 'stimulus lag.'
Just like certain cars have noticeable 'turbo lag' when you get
your foot into them when coming out of a corner while the turbo
spools up, the same kind of thing can happen to the economy.
Now that we're reading headlines where "Obama
rejects 2nd stimulus: Give recovery time to work" the
economic equivalent ought to be the 'turbo lag' equivalent of
something like this...
Time to step on gas (second
stimulus) with more emphasis on home saving and lower/middle
income job creation is now.
The economy continues through
the corner and falters seriously starting late August and
At which time the need for the
'second stimulus' will become overwhelming obvious (along
with a bunch of withered 'shoots'.
The rest of the world will pass
us by from November onward until the next argued-to-death
stimulus gains traction my March of next year...
However, in the Spring of '10
the economy will be over-stimulated thanks to
Stimulus #1 and Stimulus #2 kicking in at the same time....
Which means, to anyone who has read
Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving
(by Carl Lopez and which lays out a fair chunk of
what you can learn at Skip Barber's Racing School, that if
you overpower coming out of a turn you can get messed up and
spin out. Which is where I'd expect the economy to be by
late next spring.
It's always easier to apply a
little extra fuel early in the turn, keep the turbo spooled up,
even if you get a little high of the line you can always dial it
back a bit, rather than overpower and stay on 'the line'. Unless
you go way 'inside' so that when the power comes on, you'd be
able to harness all that energy.
Unfortunately, however, that would
require sounder money and a national focus on something that
coupled with an achievable national purpose would cause people
to all 'sign on' to a vision...thus 'getting traction' for
Sorry, but 'rolling up your sleeve'
for not one, but two flu shots which will apparently
contain autism-risking mercury-based preservatives is not
going to do it, but those headlines will be along later on in
the year, so stay patient.
.Although I believe that the
economy will experience this 'turbo' (stimulus) lag that risks
spinning out the whole country by this time next year
(necessitating another LIHOP/MIHOP, perhaps in spring '10) I
seriously hope to be wrong. Consequently the Peoplenomics
report this weekend will be dealing with design of a personal
risk-allocation model using readily available data that we'll
update in the ChartPack every so often as the year moves along.
There's always a chance that
runaway deflation could occur, but doesn't seem
likely...still the intellectually honest thing is to measure,
measure, and then measure again, before cutting and fleeing any
This time it's for real as
Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland says the taxpayers
oughta get all that dough we've piled into AIG back before execs
get bonus money.
Story Catching On
More headlines about the adventures of Goldman Sachs adventures
in court this week such as "Can
Goldman Sach’s Stolen Code Be Used to Manipulate the Markets?"
Great Story Idea
Speaking of which: If I were a financial fiction
writer, I'd be looking at a novel where the plot line involved
the Plunge Protection Team, a/k/a the government's
"Working Group on Financial Markets" needing a big
player whom they could trust (or so they'd think) in order to
keep the markets from cratering in the event of Black Swan
things like terrorist attacks or investor panic that would make
a Second Depression instantly recognizable. So, they
approached a Big Wall Street firm, help them install a
financial version of
WOPR, but that gave huge leverage to those at the top of the
firm who because knew what the deal was, were recruited as a
succession of insiders to hold key government positions
(at the secretary level, for instance) in order to keep the
market manipulation efforts of the government under-wraps.
All fictional of course. But it would make a
fine plot in fiction and there are surely a few factual matters
to support the plot. Especially if a screenwriter could
get hold of the underlying code from the WAREZ crowd and show it
had front-running capability.
For further plot ideas in this proposed fictional account
- turn to the headline "DKos
Diary Reverberates Throughout Wall St." or the headline "Proprietary
Program used to Manipulate Markets Stolen from Goldman Sachs".
It all sounds oh - next to impossible - except that about
2/3'rd's of the way through the plot line, guess what happens?
Cuts Order-Execution Time to 5 Milliseconds from 105
" is issued as a press release...which in my proposed novel
results not from technical improvements in the "Super Display
Book system (SDBK) for processing orders" being implemented, but
from a front-running system coming offline before being
And then, because there's risk to the market as things unwind
here and the government-backed market-saving system comes
offline, the "NYSE
Extends Temporary Suspension of Price Standard Through July 31
" and (in this proposed novel) without a press
announces the end of daily program trading reports in a memo to
members. Kinda like M3 disappeared fromt he Fed, don'tcha think?
Oh what fun fiction is!
Think I'll send a copy to author Michael Panzner (When Giants Fall: An Economic Roadmap for the End of the American Era
) and see if
he wants to use the plot line in a novel...pieces all seem to be
If you thought the situation in Gaza has calmed anyone down,
Fox News has video of one of their reporters being gassed
near a fence. Started as a peaceful demonstration.
And about those relief ships that have been turned back?
MSM seems to have gone deaf dumb and blind on that issue.
Around the Ranch:
Got about 2/3'rd of the knotty pine-look ceiling up in what will
be the 'San Francisco' room done this week. heading for
Lowes this morning for more lumber and then a ham radio
breakfast. From there, it's spreadsheet festival time
working on how to build a personal econometric model to drive
fund allocation for this weekend's report.
Have a great weekend...see you Monday morning....
Send comments to
The UrbanSurvival Mall:
a Personal Constitution
Two great warnings about 'rights' in America have
stuck with me over the years. The first was that "Rights are
usually taken away from those least able to defend them first..."
Something I expect First People on this continent would have no
reservations about endorsing. The second thing to strike me is
the 'extensibility' of the phrase "When guns are outlawed, only
outlaws will have guns." It extends to thoughts like "When
only special interests have access, only special interests have
laws." I'm worried that with the recent blatant ignoring of
the Will of the People expressed on bailouts and such to congress,
that our beloved Constitution is in great peril. I hear the
social contract tearing. Is it time to flag Old Glory upside
down - as we're certainly in 'distress'. Enough so that
I've started working on my own "Personal Constitution" as a portable
back-up should the one that keeps the States 'united" fail in
the midst of economic turmoil in the next year or two. Should
that arrive, whether by terrorism, economic collapse, or an electric
grid-killing solar flare, the relevance of the Constitution may
disappear as the central government can only exists so long as it
can exact tribute from We the People. I love the Constitution,
but since it's being hacked up by fits and starts, it may be time to
think the once unthinkable....write our own.
More For Subscribers
"This is your
best since I have been a member. The result is what you
should aim for each Sunday, and that is to make us really
think, not just an article to read and then forget about. We
need to come back and read this each day next week so it
will stick with us longer than Sunday's sermon.
You have written very helpful
advice before and several saved my 401 but this one makes me
proud of you."
My commodity broker JB Slear has
nailed a great solution for people who living in apartments and
condos who want to become at least partially self-reliant when
it comes to raising food: An ultra-high efficiency
micro-hydroponics system using readily available local parts.
25-pages and plenty of pictures to turn you into a farmer no
matter where you live (Great if you have back problems,
too...)...or if you just want to fill up the back yard with
MyGroPonics trees and feed the neighborhood... $10 bucks here...
The newest version of Maxa-Tools Cookie Manager (MCM) is
available. Existing users of MAXA Cookie Manager Pro use
the update button in the about window, all others can download
the Standard version here:
Once you try it out, click the
upgrade button (!) on the upper right hand side for the $35
unlock to get it to remove even those pesky 'non-browser
specific' cookies. Bonus: You computer may run
faster. I took over 1,000 cookies off my son's machine
that he swore was clean. It ran much faster.
Attn: Mac Drivers: MCM
does support the Safari Browser, but that does not mean it is
compatible with Mac OS. Maxa-Tools only support the Windows
Help US Go Viral
UrbanSurvival has a dandy growth rate, but sadly, it's nothing
like swine (hybrid) flu's growth rate. However, if you'd
like to sicken the PowersThatBe, just
click here for a tool that may help. (It'll pop up an
email window if you use Outlook (or a few other email programs)
then simply send a link to everyone on your distro list...
"Live on $10,000" Updated
What? You haven't
ordered the ebook "How to Live on $10,000 a year -- or less"?
Suit yourself. We're all going to live it shortly, anyway.
I just thought you might like a heads up by reading about how to
do it before you get pink-slipped. But, suit yourself OR
www.liveontenthousand.com or, click one of the following
Yep - still possible.
I also took a bit of additional material that was pertinent from
recent issues of Peoplenomics and included them. The whole
thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of how to
not only live on the aforementioned dollar amount, but also how
to migrate up the economic foodchain if you make a little more
than that and do some active savings...
Click here for the page with more details on it.
week's report is here. For
back issues of this site, click here. (Goes back to
Friday July 10, 2009
Good News - and Bad -
If you thought a Second Depression would be all bad, think
again. The US Balance of trade deficit is getting smaller
thanks to globalism imploding (for now). It's all in the
Census Bureau's International Trade in Goods and Services report
for May '09 out today:
"The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic
Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced
today that total
May exports of $123.3 billion and imports of $149.3 billion
resulted in a goods and services deficit of $26.0 billion,
down from $28.8 billion in April, revised.
May exports were $1.9 billon more than April exports of
$121.4 billion. May imports were $0.9 billion less than
April imports of $150.2 billion. In May, the goods deficit
decreased $2.6 billion from April to $37.3 billion, and the
services surplus increased $0.2 billion to $11.4 billion.
Exports of goods increased $2.0 billion to $82.1 billion,
and imports of goods decreased $0.5 billion to $119.4
billion. Exports of services decreased $0.1 billion to $41.3
billion, and imports of services decreased $0.4 billion to
In May, the goods and services deficit decreased $34.6
billion from May 2008. Exports were down $33.3 billion, or
21.3 percent, and imports were down $67.9 billion, or 31.3
The April to May increase in exports of goods reflected
increases in industrial supplies and materials ($2.1
billion); foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.3 billion);
consumer goods ($0.2 billion); and capital goods ($0.1
billion). A decrease occurred in automotive vehicles, parts,
and engines ($0.4 billion). Other goods were virtually
These numbers shouldn't be too surprising, however, since we've
been mentioning every so often how the West Coast container
ports are doing - and come next week, or so, we should start
seeing the TEU (ton equivalent unit) reports from the West Coast
docks and that should let us know if the collapse in global
trade is bottoming.
No, of course, it's not over yet, but we'll just wait for the
data to confirm... Meanwhile, stock futures are down.
Say, you don't suppose that the 'end of the line' for globalism
would be bad for markets, now, do you?
Government Motors Deal
WTF? I don't remember anything in the Constitution about
the government owning the means of production (say, that was
Karl Marx, wasn't it?). But times have changed and I'm a
reprobate, I suppose for mentioning it because today "GM
is said to complete bankruptcy asset sale to a new company"
and guess what? YOU and I own it!
Of course, that doesn't mean squat since we won't get
'shareholder discounts'. But the good news is that Bob
Lutz - who walks on water in my book - is being retained to have
creative oversight over the remaining GM product line.
Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GM and the surviving brands.
I'm still trying to find something American-made I want to
buy...but I keep going back to
the web site one of the
local once-Chrysler dealership sales fellows put up to keep
in touch with what is really going on with this stuff...
You are SO Generous
So lemme see here:
We put $180-billion into AIG and now the headline is that "AIG
Seeks Clearance for More Bonuses" to the tune of $2.4
million. Hey, after promising $588 for every man, woman,
and child in America (if my calculator is working right) to
these folks, this bonus is less than a penny a person in the
whole freakin country. Why, it's only $60,000 per bonus
recipient. Bone us is right...
While we've had some preliminary hits on the idea of mysterious
disappearances (the AF-447 crash, for example) there's a story
in process of going mainstream that is most curious because it
fits the kind of linguistic sets that have been in the data:
woman vanishes at NYC skyscraper" which has not only been
picked up at MSNBC, but
now more than 200-other reports on the net. How's that
for a meme appearing?
I spoke with Cliff at
www.halfpasthuman.com about it - and turns out that the
'yacht' with the famous/royal/celebrity types aboard being found
missing in Mary Celeste fashion is still ahead in our future -
only part of the linguistics were fulfilled by the AF-447 crash,
so we may still have that to look forward to. One reason?
Data seems to infer that the vessel would be headed a different
direction...but more when it happens.
One note about the upcoming "shape of things to come" so the
record is straight: There won't be any 'censorship' of the data
release in the next "Shape of things to come" report. It will all be in there. The idea I was
skirting was about not putting it all out there for your kids/young
people. Some of it's pretty dire/bummer/"What's the point
of living then" kind of stuff. If you want to bum out the
kids, guess that's your call and my bad for suggesting it.
One other meme thing to say: Yes,
we're aware of the 'new land' coming up in Alaska/
sguardo "indiscreto" di Obama" headlines an Italian web
Stories of a young woman catching the presidential eye like
"Tail to the Chief" in the NY Post seem to be popping up all
over the 'net this morning. But isn't the G-8 meeting
about international booty?
Oh I can see the chorus to 'roll up the sleeves' forming up now.
It's in stories that report
"London is days away from an epidemic with the West Midlands not
far behind." and "Obama
urges vigilance, not panic." Did you see in "Swine
flu shots at school: Bracing for fall return" that school
flu shots are planned for October? Got your exemption
paperwork started yet if you don't want your kids being 'shot'?
Might want to click here later today to see how much the flu
death rate has changed, but in last week's report it was 170
dead from 33,902 cases. That's about 1/2 of one percent.
We've been buying our Vitamin D-3 since you can read for
yourself a doctor's column on why you may wish to "Avoid
flu shots, take Vitamin D instead."
--- snip and save section ---
With Shark Saws and
There are many things I've been called, by friend and foe alike,
but one of the most accurate is that I'm a tool junkie.
Since most all of construction (including welding, masonry, tile
work, plumbing, electrical, and so forth) consists only of four
basic operations, making things 'out here' in the physical word
is not especially difficult - or even time consuming -
provided, of course, that you have the right tool for the
Since this is Friday, and since most people devote some part of
the weekend to general home maintenance, here's a little extract
from the ebook "How to Live on $10,000 a Year...or les..."
that's in the bonus sectioni "How to Build Anything" that
starts on page 54:
"There are only a handful of operations on metal, plastics,
wood, and what have you that can possibly be done.
• You start with a plan and measuring of things. Then...
• You can cut things
• You can form things and join them
• And you can cover things.
Many people who are otherwise good home handypersons don't
keep these skills 'front of mind' in this simple context,
and as a result, they waste a huge amount of time because
they get sidetracked with non-essential activity. And,
because they haven't started with a simple Big Picture (a
sort of construction order of battle), the helpers end up
getting yelled at and are told they're 'dumb' when that's
almost never the case. They just haven't learned the 'recipe
This might seem obvious to a thinking person, but I can't
begin to tell you how many times people look at me aghast when I
tell them about this project, or that, some of which people
would never think of doing themselves. Not that I've got
all my tools organized this way, but mentally, at least, things
are simple and straightforward. Measure, cut, join, paint.
So before I get to the point of my comments on Shark Saws, it
may help you to know that every tool ever built likely falls
into one of these categories. Something like a tape
measure falls into the planning and measuring department.
A miter box and fine finishing saw goes into cutting, while the
finishing nails, nail set and 12-ounce hammer fit under
'joining' (in this case cabinet trim for instance) to the
underlying cabinet or wall. And covering thing? Take
your choice of paint, powder coating, anodizing,
varnishing, of specialized outdoor meta-products like Sikkens'
Cetol. No, you don't powder coat or anodize cabinet trim
unless it's metal, of course.
So now we fast-forward to the discussion about Shark saws.
Cliff's been working on his sailboat building and we happened to
get to discussing saws and he mentioned his Japanese back
saws sometimes called "Shark Saws." He claimed that
for much of his fine joinery, the back saws invented by the
Japanese were vastly superior to the more Western conventional
The main difference is that the Asian/Asian-inspired saws are
different in two regards: First, they do the cutting on
the backstroke (pulling toward you) instead of while pushing
away, and secondly, since the saw can be thinner, which in
turn makes the kerf (the material removed) is much smaller
which implies my favorite reason for buying any tool: Less
Along the way, I found that Shark Saw also makes a 10" narrow
kerf table saw blade (don't worry, spins the same way as any
other) but what is cool about it is that the kerf is narrower
than a conventional table saw blade. Besides turning less
wood into sawdust, the cutting to a fine line when doing
cabinetry kinds of work becomes more precise. I need all
the help in this departmen5t I can.
So I have purchased a couple and sure enough, they work somewhat
better than their push-saw cousins and they seem to be faster in
addition to being more accurate. It cost a bit more, but
the Japanese-style wrapped handle (traditional) seemed a lot
more 'authentic' than the less expensive plastic-handled
versions. So I now have:
This was getting a bit spendy, so I bought the plastic-handled
versions of the dowel/dovetail saw and a back-up crosscut saw.
Amazon's also got a five-saw promotional pack here for the Shark
table saw blade: Shark Pro-series (5 Pack) 10 inch 40 Teeth Carbide 5/8" arbor hole Thin Kerf ATB Circular Saw Blade "PROMO"
Just under $40 for that one.
I don't know that this will make my carpentry any better, but
like I said, I can use all the help I can get. Besides,
even though I've got a decent-sized solar power setup that will
run everything in the shop for a day, or so, working with
traditional hand tools like the Japanese style saws and the set
of chisels/gouges is just plain old fun.
But don't tell Elaine. I've got her kind of halfway
believing that what I do in the shop is work. She's
a good sport about it, and if she really knows better, she's
been courteous enough not to let on.
CCW Permit Question
Reader writes this About getting a CCW (concealed carry weapon)
or CCL (concealed carry license):
"Do you have any thoughts one
way or the other regarding applying for a concealed carry
license? I live close to the ground economically
("retired"?) after a "professional" career, since it
maximizes freedom of action for me. I'm wondering if you
figure it would be better to get a CCL or just buy what I
need and let it be. Open carry is legal, as is CC on my own
property, but reading Dmitri Orlov's experience (and others)
indicates that necessary excursions to town, etc., may be
more safely done in the future if carrying. On the other
hand, a CCL raises your profile and may put you in the
category of "undesirable" to some among TPTB. Carrying
concealed without (or even with) the permit may be
troublesome in an era of checkpoints, etc., and open carry
in town may just be stupid. We can't all be permanent
I was wondering if you could
share your perspective on this one, or toss it to your
I don't personally hold a CCW. Not that I couldn't pass
the test on the range, or know the laws, but like you, I have
concerns about putting my name in some registry or other that
would identify me as a handgun owner. While I'm already in
a registry for owning an AK-47, that's not an unreasonable thing
to have in the cougar, wild hog, and deer-infested East Texas
For example, if a CCW holder is pulled over for a routine
traffic stop, say speeding for example, my understanding is that
you're supposed to say "I am a concealed permit holder and I am
(or am not) carrying at this time." The idea being that
this exchange of information means to the officer that "Ah, this
fellow is armed, but since he has a CCW he is probably not a
felon on the lamb..." Makes sense.
At least it makes sense as long as there is civil order and life
as we know/knew it goes on as it has in a nice orderly way.
However, fast-forward into the future where things are socially
so out-of-control that there won't be traffic stops and police
will be deployed to protect banks and food outlets. That's
when open carry starts to make sense. A CCW in my mind
hides a possible deterrent. Of course, it may also
make you a target, too, so time and circumstances will vary all
over the place.
My simple answer is reread Orlov and try to picture how a
Soviet-style breakdown would 'feel' and work out here in the
One thing to keep an eye is the "Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing
and Record of Sale Act of 2009" which would (if I read it right)
require every gun to be registered and no, I'm dead-set against
that. My copy of the Consti0tution may be outdated
but is still has a 'right to bear arms' provision in it.
By the way, speaking of things, sometime go read the
letter' that was sent to congress on HR 45 because it contains
some very interesting points about whether gun control really
works - or not.
portion of the GovTrack group letter project reads:
"* In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From
1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend
themselves were rounded up and exterminated. This doesn't
include the 30 million "Uncle Joe" starved to death in the
* In 1911, Turkey established
gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians,
unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
* Germany established gun
control in 1928. In 1938, the Nazis extended that control to
ban the possession of military style weapons and to outlaw
the sale of any weapons without government approval. (This
sounds a lot like some of the current gun control efforts
being pushed for in our country today.) From 1939 to 1945,
the Gestapo & SS killed millions of people unable to defend
* China established gun control
in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents,
unable to defend themselves, were rounded up & exterminated.
* Guatemala established gun
control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians,
unable to defend themselves, were rounded up & exterminated.
* Uganda established gun control
in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to
defend themselves, were rounded up & exterminated. The total
dead are said to be 2-3 million.
* Cambodia established gun
control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, 1-2 million "educated"
people unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and
* Defenseless people rounded up
& exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control:
56 million at a bare minimum.
* During W.W. II the Japanese
decided not to invade America because they knew most
Americans were ARMED.
Note: Admiral Yamamoto, who
crafted the attack on Pearl Harbor, had attended Harvard
University from 1919 to 1921 and was a Naval Attaché to the
U.S. from 1925-28. Most of our Navy was destroyed at Pearl
Harbor, and our Army had been deprived of funding and was
ill prepared to defend the country. It was reported that
when asked why Japan did not follow up the Pearl Harbor
attack with an invasion of the U.S. Mainland, his reply was
that he had lived in the U.S. and knew that almost all
households had guns.
* Gun owners in Australia were
forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to
be destroyed by their own government, a program costing
Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The
first year results: Australia-wide, homicides went up 3.2
percent; Australia-wide, assaults went up 8.6 percent;
Australia-wide, armed robberies went up 44 percent (yes, 44
percent). While figures over the previous 25 years showed a
steady DECREASE in armed robbery with firearms, that changed
drastically upward in the first year after gun
confiscation... since criminals now are guaranteed that
their prey is unarmed; There has also been a dramatic
increase in break-ins and assaults on the Elderly.
Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public
safety has decreased, after such monumental effort & expense
was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of
guns. The Australian experience and the other historical
facts above prove it.
With guns.... We are "citizens".
Without Them.... We are
more at the GovTrack page here, and while I can't vouch for
the historical accuracy of the 'group letter', I have heard from
plenty of readers in Australia that crime is still an ongoing
issue. And even with some of the toughest handgun laws on
the books, folks in Honolulu are considering outlawing even
pocket knives because the meth-head problem is so bad.
In terms of my personal life: I plan to keep a low
profile, support law, order, and the Constitution, but should
that ever fail - or its underlying tenets including the right to
keep and bear arms be subverted - then I'd like as much
anonymity as possible while fellow patriots figure out how to
restore Constitutional America. You know, the one which
doesn't have signing statements and lobbyists buying votes, or
elected representatives buying automakers, insurance companies,
and private banks because they caused those very problems
by failing to maintain a level playing field for American
workers while the globalists were busy offshoring our jobs and
flooding Our Nation with cheap foreign goods to fatten the purse
of those at the top under the treasonous cloak of 'free trade.'
We now all know that 'free trade' is a buzzword for worker
exploitation to phatten the fat.
Yeah, that America is worth defending. The one where
Congress doesn't abdicate its fiduciary responsibility and
outsource monetary policy to the foxes who were supposed to be
guarding our nest eggs....
The newest version of Maxa-Tools Cookie Manager (MCM) is
available. Existing users of MAXA Cookie Manager Pro use
the update button in the about window, all others can download
the Standard version here:
There's no charge for the update to Cookie Manager 3+ users and
the upgrades are as follows:
- Added Web bug recognition to cookie evaluation and makes
separate manual deletion of those possible
- Option to automatically delete all Cookies except those
explicitly allowed in the white list
- Support of real time cookie management for Firefox 3.5
- Further minor extensions and improvements
- Owners of MCM Pro >= V 3.X (meaning: V3.0 or
higher) can update for no charge (just click the update
button in the ABOUT window of your existing MCM product.)
Of all of the features the 'web bug' function is the most
interesting because that's how some sites track people by
putting a nearly invisible 1-byte call of an image source file
(img_src) on some IP sniffing server... tricky stuff this cookie
and tracking field...
Thursday July 9, 2009
Trading Range Bound
Had a nice chat with Robin Landry on Wednesday after the close.
As I suspected, he's watching the market in its trading range
between an upside breakout and a battle for 7,800 on the Dow.
He'd sent me a chart on the 30th along with an explanation of
his current view:
The channel you see is a 2 standard deviation trend channel.
This channel usually contains the decline until a change in
direction. The wave count I show is , we are in a wave 4
bounce, with a wave 5 down still ahead of us. The target for
wave 5 is the (Dow) 4400 area. That would then be the end of
wave 1 in my count, and the largest rally we have seen so
far would occur over the next year. I have been saying the
target for the wave 4 top is the 9700 area and so far we
have failed to reach that level. If this decline shows
itself to be corrective and does not decline much below the
7800 then a rally to the 9700 area is still possible. My
concern now is we may not reach that level, and could
already be heading down in the 5th wave. If so then the
decline that started from the 6/11/09 top will turn out to
be impulsive over the next week or so. I will monitor it
very closely and let you know if it appears that the wave 4
top is already in. I am aware that many Elliott Wave
technicians have the wave count as having finished a large
wave 1 down at the March 09 low, but the indicators I use to
confirm the wave count do not agree. Every time the wave
count from others, disagrees with the count I have using the
indicators I have used since 1974, my count has turned out
to be the correct one. Could this time be different? Of
course, but until I know it is wrong, I am not going to
deviate from the count that they confirm. The main thing I
want to convey to all my readers is that I believe the lows
are not in, and appropriate action should be taken to
prepare for further decline in the markets and the economy.
So that brings us to the past couple of days of trading which
continue that slow downward move, although the market promises a
bounce (at least at the open) today.
Will it last?
Retailers are reporting a generally weak June and
yesterday's decline in the Consumer Debt number from the Fed
suggests that consumers are still hanging on to what little
dough they have.
The real story of the day may be the latest developments in the
Goldman Sachs computer code case. The story
out today in the mainstream, like the Bloomberg article "Goldman
Sachs Loses Grip on Its Doomsday Machine" only touches the
tip of the iceberg.
If you're a programmer type (or technically savvy) read the
Daily Kos report titled ""Incredibly
Shrinking Liquidity" as Goldman Flushed Quant Trading "
I don't think the term front-running is in the Kos report.
InformationWeek is reporting that "Goldman's
Alleged Code Thief Makes Bail" so we will watch his health
with more than passing interest.
And we've asked our time monk friends to keep a few spiders out
for the code - some 32 MB worth. I hear that has popped up for
sale and is stashed on 18-servers mostly in Russia. I
f you're not aware of the
organized as WAREZ you haven't been hanging with the right
script kiddies. Rumor has it that not only are there sales
brochures for the code making the rounds (helps to read
Russian/Cyrillic a bit here) but that tout it as a 4GL program,
although no mention of front-running (which would imply some
datastream hooks into the front end. I've also heard up
the rumor channels that some would-be buyers have been stiffed
with things like video and.MP3 files strung together to make up
32 MB and renamed with different file extensions. Seems
when you're buying 'hot code' its pretty easy to get screwed if
you don't get some serious samples of source and know what
you're looking at.
Still, should a good copy of the code surface and make it into
the hands of a Goldman competitor (or a super-sized individual
investor who's been soured) we may see a lot more legal
fireworks around this. Just depends on whether the code
ever shows up and then, what is does - or does not - really do.
Oh...would make a helluva plot for a novel, wouldn't it?
Unemployment Down a Tad
In this morning's report:
the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally
adjusted initial claims was 565,000, a decrease of 52,000
from the previous week's revised figure of 617,000. The
4-week moving average was 606,000, a decrease of 10,000 from
the previous week's revised average of 616,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted
insured unemployment rate was 5.1 percent for the week
ending June 27, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the
prior week's unrevised rate of 5.0 percent.
The advance number for
seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week
ending June 27 was 6,883,000, an increase of 159,000 from
the preceding week's revised level of 6,724,000. The 4-week
moving average was 6,769,000, an increase of 12,000 from the
preceding week's revised average of 6,757,000. "
Flat's better than an increase -
Hold Them Rates
Bank of Inkland has held at 1/2% - no point rocking the boat
with he G-8 meeting, huh?
A reader raises this very interesting (and difficult) problem
for the Obama administration now that California is going down
the IOU road, since these could be interpreted as emitting bills
The California state government
is now printing IOUs to pay its bills. Word on the street is
that they will later be accepting these IOUs for funds owed
to the state. The issuance and acceptance of IOUs
effectively turns them into an alternative state-currency in
violation of the US constitution. Do you think the FBI will
swoop down and confiscate the IOUs like they did the Ron
Paul coins? Of course not, because it’s not alternative
currencies they’re worried about. Escaping “the system” is
the danger and the difference."
You mean because the state has emitted bills of credit?
Well...er..... Meantime, "Budget
Crisis "Embarrassing," But Businesses Aren't Fleeing California,
Meantime reports of "The
great California exodus is mostly a myth" headlines an
article. yeah, but with no water, for how long?
As talk about a second stimulus bill grows, investment legend
Warren Buffett compares the first to half a Viagra mixed with
candy. Wonder if Candy's offended? Oh....the
high-fructose corn sugar kinda candy...now I get it...
Speaking of Candy
died by falling into a chocolate melting vat in New Jersey
Second Place in Autos
China has now passed the US market in auto sales. Bet
theirs are cheaper is one reason, huh? This having a
well-equipped car costing 25% of what a house costs is crazy!
Not Exactly Over
dead in the latest bombings in Iraq. Not to mention 25
an explosion in Afghanistan.
--- snip and save section ---
Once Upon A Time in GD2
Since 1995, or so, this site has been harping on a common theme:
"Look out - we're heading into a second great depression!" has
been the thrust of it. Then, in 2000, and less than
6-months after I published "Death
by Dot Coms: When Barriers to Entry Fall" that
explained in detailed how when there are no barriers to entry,
no one makes any money, along came the beginning of the internet
collapse in early 2000 which was busily picking up steam until
the conveniently times 'terrorism' of 9/11 which overnight
created of three news industries: The new and improved
"War Industry" which has been rolling through places like Iraq
and Afsmackistan, the 'security industry' which has secured &
snarled airports and gives Gestapo-like powers to government -
which for all the powers still wasn't able to even put a dent in
the border traffic with Mexico, and speaking of which I guess
fence building has been a good side-business, too. Not as
neat as the Works Progress Administration or the Civilian
Conservation Corp, but it saved the Western corpgov paradigm and
sold a bunch of homes, so what the hey.
However, after a short attempt to rekindle good times with a
housing bubble orchestrated by the easy money policies of former
fed deity Alan Greenspan, (and look where that landed
us!) we now find ourselves in the present situation where the
Obama administration is trying to pick up an even bigger mess
than the Clinton administration left the Bush administration,
which in turn was trying to pick up the mess after the....well,
you get the picture". And the wheels go round, round,
Still, it's a significant turning point to students of the
public consciousness that
the Urban Dictionary today as unveiled the abbreviation for all
this which I've been writing about as simply GD2. I don't
think they'd mind my sharing the definition here (since it's
very much on point):
"July 9, 2009 Urban Word of the Day
This acronym stands for "Great Depression #2." It's
shorthand for the seemingly imminent collapse of the global
economic system starting in late 2008 and continuing into
2009. Some professional economists, as well as ordinary
working people, are fearful that the spiraling financial
meltdown will lead to a decade-long repeat of the 1930s,
complete with bread lines, soup kitchens, radical uprisings
and the possibility of global violence. "Happy times are
"The collapse of AIG is just one more sign that GD2 is here,
In Michael Crichton's
novel "Timeline" a group of historians time travel back to the
Middle Ages to 'save a friend of their who already traveled back
in time before them." A fine novel, but it was based
on the notion that time-travel was somehow possible through
manipulation of something called 'the quantum foam'.
It's a little early to get down to manipulating the quantum foam
at a level that makes time travel possible, although
superluminal [faster than light] computing seems just around the
corner. But for those who go broad in their acquisition of
knowledge, the parallels between the 'quantum foam' and the
materiality: "Particles" (kalapas)" seems perhaps just past
Twilight Zone line between coincidence and the larger
tapestry of reality... Could it be that humans working on
the 'path of enlightenment' really can manipulate matter at the
gross level and actually become co-creators of reality along
Why, if that were rally the case, you'd think that everyone
on the planet would be excited about it and the Human Potential
Movement would have advanced to manuals covering topics like
"How to Create Unlimited Personal Abundance" and such. But
alas, it doesn't work out quite that way, since man of those who
grasp (to some extent) that manipulation of things is possible
miss the distinction between being 'magicians' - those who would
genuinely co-Create along with Universe - and those who would
resort to trickery/sorcery since being of lesser skill, their
only route to getting their particular grand dreams achieved is
by the subjugation and exploitation of others.
All of which makes the Urban Dictionary entry so interesting,
since thanks to the internet, millions of people globally are
starting to wake up and become aware that even though the
'digital curtain' may be coming down in some places (and
threatens to here if enough 'cyber-attacks' come along - in the
name of 'security, of course') it also can bring a mass raising
It's here that headlines like "Pope
Weighs in on Financial Crisis" can be examined. Yes,
while it make sound good on the surface, I seem to recall the
looping of South America's first peoples a few hundred years
back, and find myself wondering "How does that behavior figure
into this current position?" Or, "What about those
Crusades?" Ah, the mysteries that a little thought
Going even more deeply, my study of religion seems to come back
to language and concept changes that few scholars really get
down to: The
First Council's decisions to retool dogma on everything from
reincarnation, to whether salvation/spiritual elevation was
personally achievable or could only be achieved by
Wikipedia of (Christian) Gnostic Gospels: "Furthermore, the
gnostic path does not require the intermediation of a church for
salvation. Some scholars, such as Edward Conze and Elaine Pagels,
have suggested that Gnosticism blends teachings like those
attributed to Jesus Christ with teachings found in Eastern
Could it be that there really is a "collective
unconscious mind" that Carl Jung referred to, yet his
colleague Freud didn't believe in? And may that space be
at the core of many religious 'systems'?
I often wonder if I could just find a way to put the greatest
religious teachers of all-time - and all religions into a
room whether they'd all come together as a team and
really be the best there is deep down inside all of
us...lighting a unified path toward a greater future.
Or - as headlines make me fear - would they end up fighting and
bickering amongst one another - beating each other senseless
until only one survived and had struck down the others?
Where's the love in that? And isn't love
what this is supposed to be all about?
Heady and difficult questions, these, but there is definitely a
global transformation in progress. The lead-in has
been years in the making and has been presaged by popular song
titled like (Buying a) "Stairway to Heaven" and "Does Anyone
Really Know What Time It is?"
Looking at the predictive linguistics work, and then scanning
the news readers that run in background here (when I'm up for
it) the question comes up whether the whole world isn't trying
to arrange itself so that followers of this belief system - or
that - aren't forming up for a global version of my simpler
'Lock the 10- great religious leaders of all time in a room and
see if universal peace or universal war breaks out.'
I don't give voice to this kind of thinking very often though,
since it invariably floods my inbox with insults and and dire
warnings for daring to ask reasonable questions in what are
increasingly unreasonable times. Seems people are more
interested in differences than similarities. Market
segmentation at the personal level.
But there's more going on here than meets the eye and it's
'time' we all got down to it. Starting with questions like
those Archons in the
Nag Hammadi texts, and what's
relationship with Demiurge?
Whatever that relationship is, it seems that among all
religions, there's something of a common thread that
works out to a metaphysical roadmap where
Buddhist 'bardo' seems analagous in some aspects to the
Deep and ponderous musings, to be sure. But economics
arises not in a vacuum, but as a result of how people interact
with one another. Seems to me that the more we can
understand one another across even cultural, economic,
religious, racial, and ancestral lines, the less war-like both
our economics and physical world would be.
And then maybe we could get on with saving all of it. To
do otherwise leaves us all locked in that room waiting for the
fighting to break out. We shouldn't have long to wait.
A reader in the Czech Republic takes me to task for yesterday's
article on 12:34:56 7/9/09:
Is anyone Awake? Guess what
happens about half past noon today? It will be 12:34:56
07/08/09 notes a reader who obviously missed a pill.
I have refrained from hitting
you with minor corrections.
But in the Adult World (which is
NOT your country, the USA) 07/08/09 is next month.
What is it going to take to
teach you Americans to respect other people's boundaries? (I
would suggest the Swiss disclose the accounts of every
American to the press; I am sure that it would reveal many,
The the earlier discussion of sorcerers: We can afford
the other paradigm now, we've gone too far in debt to this one.
The Mogambo Writes
Just a quick note to say how
much I appreciate your occasionally mentioning the Mogambo
Guru in your terrific UrbanSurvival site (love the new
masthead, by the way!). I am very flattered and pleased!
And now I am wondering how you
get so much done Every Freaking Day (EFD) when you do
everything that I do and so, so, so much more, such that I
figure you must be on drugs (which is not important to me)
and how can I get some of them (which IS important to me) so
that I can have such a massive output of work, too, and then
people won't say to me "This is all you've done all day?
Hell, George Ure gets that much done before breakfast, ya
So, keep up the good work! There
are lots of us behind you all the way!
With deepest humility and
How much caffeine can you handle, Mogambo, Fount of all Economic
Truth? Seriously, I'll have my dealer call your dealer...
Wednesday June 8, 2009
Consumer Credit Still
Although it's a somewhat 'noisy' number, consumer credit
continued to decline in the latest5 report out from the 'Fed'
today with total credit receding at a 1.5% rate, resolving
credit dropping at a 3.7% annualized rate and nonrevolving
While my degree happens to be in business (not statistics) I
have to look at the numbers and wonder how anyone could infer
that this is an improvement. The Q1 '09 overall decline
was running down 3.5% annualized, the most recent three quarters
were down 7.3% (march), 7.8% (April), and now 1.5% (May) just
out. My guess is that the overall decrease for Q2 ought to
be somewhere between -5 and -6% annualized, but we will have to
wait a while to see how it 'offishully' pencils out. The
emphasis being on 'fish'.
Somehow, this continues to leave me with a state of cognitive
dissonance: The 'dollar stores' closing due to a lack of
product from China, the reports of 'green shoots' being a little
more than offset by the weak auto sales, docked and anchored
ship reports, falling Baltic Dry Index, cratering long shoring
reports and oh, did
I mention that the American Trucking Association tonnage index
showed a sign of life - up 3.2% in May?
I'm not the only recovery skeptic out there.
The IMF report is weighing on stock as we head into the final
half hour of trading. At least that's what some media
are reporting. Easier to report than "Green shoots may be
mirages and here are some ammonia salts to sniff - with TV ad
budgets sucking wind, the MSM is doing everything it can to
prevent going 'Corilolis
Effect" itself - the closest thing to flush they'll be for
quiet a spell.
At least the plane is crashing...well....slower....
The Digital Curtain:
Tax Evasion Showdown
UBS and the US government over people and entities that live
in the US and have secret/numbered accounts in Gnome-land.
then wire transfer in tax-free money and claim they don't have
jobs here and skate on taxes.
The fun part is that the
Swiss say they will stop UBS from handing over data, but of
course, readers around here remember the Scotia Bank line of
suits that went after drug dealers in the early 1980's and the
US courts held (if memory serves) something to the effect that
'If a foreign bank has a branch on US soil, then the ALL
branches of that bank ANYWHERE can be compelled to comply, or
get kicked out of the US.
All of which brings down Mr. Ure's long-awaited "Digital
Curtain". It's going to be like the Iron Curtain back when
we still had commies to kick around, but the 'new and improved'
version of the curtain technology is that the US will
kick out banks that don't fess up, go after some high profile
folks that didn't report their overseas TD-F's this year and
then the foreign banks will pull out of the US and go with
online banking. And then the US will impose server access
restrictions to foreign banks from within the US and we will all
go the route of China and Australia where this kind of
technology is incubating right now.
There, feeling better?
Boring Trading Range
haven't talked to Robin Landry for a while about his take on the
markets, but as I've said before, Landry's been eyeing the line
in the sand at 7,800 and a new high (8,800 and up) in order to
call the trading range 'over'.
But not likely to happen today. A solid penetration of
7,800 for a few days would set up the retest of 6,626 or on the
upside, we get one last load-the-boat on the short side chance.
CFTC is planning to hold ostensibly public hearings around the
country to get input on rules which would effectively limit
speculation in energy, but it's a move that feels to me more
like a ploy to get the little guys (like me) out of commodities
speculation. Hey, I get to hedge by 10 barrels of farm
diesel, don't I?
Did you catch the quote this week in the story that the "Goldman
Trading-Code investment put at risk by theft" story where it
said...pay attention here to the highlighted part here...
“The bank has raised the
there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this
program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways,”
(*Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph ) Facciponti said,
according to a recording of the hearing made public today.
“The copy in Germany is still out there, and we at this time
do not know who else has access to it.”
The prosecutor added, “Once it
is out there, anybody will be able to use this, and their
market share will be adversely affected.”
The proprietary code lets the
firm do “sophisticated, high- speed and high-volume trades
on various stock and commodities markets,” prosecutors said
in court papers. The trades generate “many millions of
dollars” each year.
Manipulate markets in unfair ways? WFT? So what assurance
is there that Goldman alone can be trusted with such? Just
wondering out loud here but do I catch an odor of something?
When US Attorneys start talking about unfair manipulation of
markets, Mr. Ure listens up.
The mind reels. What would happen if someone threw this
into an Open Source folder? Picture the global trading
meltdown that would ensue...oh, not for a month or two? It
will take that long to load and test before turning on the
production copy? We'll be watching...from the sidelines,
By the way, the Gold Antitrust Action Committee (GATA) also
reads this with some concern having sent
the following letter to
the CFTC (from the GATA website):
"Gary Gensler, Chairman
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
3 Lafayette Centre 1155 21st St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20581
Mary L. Schapiro, Chairman U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission 100 F St. N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20549
Dear Chairman Gensler / Dear
I'm enclosing a copy of a report
distributed July 6 by Bloomberg News Service about the U.S.
government's prosecution of a former employee of Goldman
Sachs Group Inc. involving the purported theft of a Goldman
Sachs computer trading program. The report quotes Assistant
U.S. Attorney Joseph Faccipointi as saying in U.S. District
Court in New York City: "The bank has raised the possibility
that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use
this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair
If the report quotes the
assistant U.S. attorney correctly, and if he was
characterizing Goldman Sachs' position correctly, then
Goldman Sachs claims to have possession of a computer
trading program that can manipulate markets. The assistant
U.S. attorney's comment can be construed to suggest Goldman
Sachs considers its own manipulation of markets to be fair,
while such manipulation by others would be unfair.
The court proceeding described
in the Bloomberg News story would seem to impugn all markets
in which Goldman Sachs trades. On behalf of the Gold
Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc., I ask your commission to
investigate Goldman Sachs' trading program urgently and
report its findings publicly.
Thanks for your consideration.
With good wishes.
CHRIS POWELL Secretary/Treasurer
We'll be waiting to hear if Chris (or Bill Murphy) hear anything
back of substance besides the Washington two-step.
Speaking of Code Wars: Here's something to keep an eye one:
Google is looking to bring out a new operating system that would
browser-based and might give Microsoft (not to mention Mac and
Linux) a run for their money. Lots of open-source in it and
based on the Chrome browser - and should be available in mid
If there's still power and an internet, of course. Depends
how those dueling trading programs do - that story could be the
US government and South Korean web sites were attacked over the
4Th of July, which points to North Korea say sources.
Sure it wasn't just script-kiddies?
Is anyone Awake?
Guess what happens about half past noon today? It will be
12:34:56 07/08/09 notes a reader who obviously
missed a pill.
Velocity and Debt
Now that the world hasn't ended (yet, not that things don't get
dire over the next couple of years, don't get me wrong) we can
proceed with our focus on economics; namely how to make an
honest buck - or maybe hang on to the few we have - before it
becomes time to do a 100% bailout on the paper money system late
this year...something we'll get to one of these days.
The predictive linguistics are pretty clear - the one's that
www.halfpasthuman.com - and a new set will be issued
probably in a week to 10-days. So much so, in fact, that
Cliff's worried about whether the discussion of its content
shouldn't be accompanied by a parental warning along the lines
of "Don't let your kids listen..." Not hype, either.
Things are gonna get that bad that there's a discussion
yet to come amongst time monks as to whether all the
cards are laid on the table, or whether certain blanks are left
such that young people today will have something worth hanging
Consider - if it's not too early in the day - whether you'd want
to live in a world where the oceans are polluted, starvation is
more or less chronic, exploitation for crass political purposes
is done by a ruling class centered only on its own survival and
position at the top, and while you're at it, steal the fresh
water, have dozens of earthquakes and terra changes going while
grabbing your plutonium filter. Nice place, huh?
Fortunately, we have two things going for us. First is
that it won't be happening overnight and second is that the
markets will be open again today, arguably waiting for the
release of the 'fed's' Consumer Debt report which some wise
market watcher, like my friend Jas Jain, have pointed to as the
essence of where the economy is going next. Since we live
in a dren driven (infested?) economy where your savings
is actively under attack through whatever schemes 'the street'
can come up with, the best measure of how well the "consumer
debt's OK" fraud is working is by summing up the amount of
revolving (credit card) and non-revolving debt (like mortgages)
and see how we're doing.
Not well, is my sense of it. Although I expect to heard
headlines this afternoon that 'the implosion of consumer credit
(really debt) has slowed, it would take a refi and easy money
festival like none ever before in history to pull this economy
back from the disaster that looms this fall. Simple:
The odds are infinitesimally small. Our focus will remain
on seat belts, Dramamine, barf bags, denial, decaf, and Prozac
as a result.
No doubt the falling global velocity of money will be one of the
the G-8 which president Obama will be attending in Italy today.
You know things are bad when you read headlines that the "Pope
prays for G-8 Summit." Why his holiness wasn't paying
for an end to credit card extortionists to be gone back at the
'disaster could be prevented' stage escapes me. But I know
he's onboard with that "New World Economic Order" crowd, at
least if I read the NY Times piece right.
When I talk about velocity of money dropping (like a free
falling piano) what I'm really talking about is the dramatic
drop in global(ist) trade. You know that has to scare the
pants off some of the PowersThatBe - why, without trade control,
people living within their means, saving a bit, and thinking
independent-like, what's a good team of financial despots to do?
Just as a couple of data points, let me share this: Behind
the scenes "The
Baltic Dry Index .BADI which measures changes in the cost of
shipping key commodities fell 4.7 percent overnight."
Put on your unofficial "Mogambo Ranger Hat" and repeat softly
(so as your boss won't hear you and have you carted off...)
"We're all freakin' doomed." Well, we are...welcome to our
World from the VOA that the "UN
halts food aid in southern Philippines after bombings" has
me wondering. When I watch the wildlife around the ranch,
seems they get more cantankerous - not less - when their bellies
are empty. Guess that's why the State Department doesn't
call for advice. Stuff's just too damn simple, most times.
Just find the item or service that's being used as leverage and
delever it. Pretty simple, really.
Joe, Meet Barak
Well, one morning I'm telling you that veep Joe says Israel is
free to steer its own course on Iran and then this morning, BO
green light to Iran attack." Do you guys ever - you
know - talk?
Are You Kidding? Department:
Blame African Leaders
Let me see if I have this right: Western corporations come
into Africa, exploit the resources and people, sell guns and
ammo wholesale to whoever's armies, turn a blind eye at criminal
governments and then flood the region with consumerist imagery
and oh, look here's where AIDS breaks out. And then
President O says "African
leaders must take responsibility for failures..." Oh?
Then everyone gets to look amazed down on Wall Street when "Nigeria:
The economy loses N2.2 billion daily to attack on Chevron's
Maybe I live in La-la-land, but I don't see people fighting or
rioting much when everyone gets a square deal.
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The Ex-Tex Ex-Pat
I get very interesting emails from time to time from our once
Houston Bureau chief, who found life enjoyable there as long as
most everything wasn't being offshored. But, sensing the
winds of change as he did, he had to take a cut at a new land:
Indonesia. Periodically, he files reports on what life is
like there...and his latest report is especially worth sharing:
"I knew at the DNC in 2000 that Barak was coming. (Others
saw it, too - link - G) They made an unknown black
senator from Illinois the keynote speaker? That was his
coming out. The general response led me to believe that he
would be prez when the time was right. Even then, the Barky
infatuation could be felt. Someone texted me an observation
after he was installed in the White House, to the effect
that a black man would be president when pigs flew, and
right on queue, swine flu.
It's a national past-time here
to be a childhood friend of Barky. At last count, he had
something like 4,000 close, personal friends in school.
During the recent elections, everyone had ad photos of them
with Barky and GOLKAR (a
local Indo political party - g) even went as far
as ripping off the whole Hope/Change marketing campaign. It
was rather disgusting, I thought. GOLKAR got 11% of the vote
for second place, with the National Democrats (PRI) keeping
first place, with 20%. Barky's home here in Memang was
bought for a million bux (most nice houses in Jakarta go
around 50k, with the average home price 25k). It is now a
museum/tourist trap/Barky worship center.
I am quickly reaching the point
of reacting violently to anyone who smiles and says "Obama"
when I say I am from Texas. I make a point of saying I am
Texan and NOT American. Confuses the shit out of everyone.
You can see them searching their high school geography files
for some data point that they may have missed. Fortunately,
most people do not associate Shrub with Texas here, so I
don't have to put up with that [expletive deleted],
too. It's not unlike all the "who shot JR" crap back when we
lived in Ireland. Two places I predict Barky will NOT go in
the near future are Jakarta and Kenya. Don't want to put too
fine a point on his foreign backgrounds. That's why Hillary,
God help us, was sent to glad-hand the Indos.
Pick up a flick called (I
believe) Point of No Return, with Kevin Costner. He is a
Commie agent planted in the States as a boy who rises
quickly through political/military circles. Interesting
little flick, in light of the Barky phenom. Not that I
believe the whole left/right, Commie/Capitalist bullshit
either. Just bread n circuses for us unwashed masses. Like
Sunday afternoon football.
People here really hate politics
and don't get very worked up about the whole thing. A
protest here is most often a bunch of people paid $5 each to
go carry banners and chant. I could form a protest here with
$500 and some quick print jobs. Today is the presidential
election though, and sometimes the passions do boil over.
Monday, a taxi driver made a
point of taking me by the muster grounds for the national
police, where several hundred bodies and a bunch of
equipment were being prepared for "unrest." There has been a
lot of noise made about the voter registration process
because several million people were not allowed to vote in
the Parliamentary elections in April. The high court ruled
Monday that a national ID was good enough for the election
Anyway, I can see the stage
being set for one of the CIA's "color revolutions," should
Indonesia prove to be strategically valuable and the PRI not
pliable enough. Given events in Iran and China recently, my
eyes are peeled. GOLKAR's colors are gold and red, so pick
one. PRI's colors are blue and white, neither of which
engenders much passion, unlike green, pink, orange, and so
forth. Of course, in Indonesia, a bag of money buys any
public official. They even have a platitude for it: Uang
Rokok...cigarette money. Just like the whores. You don't pay
them for sex, you give them uang taksi/taxi money.
Friday is a national holiday for
the inauguration, so I expect the long holiday to be as good
a time as any for "unrest." I plan on being in the
Hope all is well on the home
front and Mom is OK. Had my MRI and MRA on Saturday, and
contrary to popular belief, I DO have a brain. Waiting to
meet with the doc again to get the results, if any. I
personally don't see anything on the images that just
screams out "problem," but my minimal radiology background
and lack of clear vision don't make it easy. I will let you
know what comes of it. Give my love to Mom and keep the home
Will do...and we'll hope to keep the home fires contained to the
hearth, but the summer is only a few weeks along.
The fact that "MSN
gets record traffic during Jackson memorial" isn't as
bothersome as it was 50% more than watched the inauguration.
There was another memorial yesterday - to
the late father of North Korea's Jong-Il...who, BTW hasn't
returned my email yet. I still want to know what the
fascination is with building nuclear weapons. No use I can
see for them unless he's planning to nuke something, in which
case I'm sure readers would appreciate his 'top 10' target list
so we can be conveniently dis-invested or out of town that week.
Also passing: One-time SECDEF turned banker
Robert McNamara who eventually said of his Vietnam War
"We were wrong." I lost number of friends who I
expect will look him up in the afterlife.
The Disappearances Meme
Curious email about the 'disappearances meme' that we've been
tracking for a couple of months:
George, As a daily Urban Survival reader and a Peoplenomics
subscriber, I have become more aware to watch for events you
predict. At first it was to see if you were hot air as most
all internet scribes are, but I have found you to be very
accurate. Especially, when I quit looking for the extremes
in events and started to watch the signs of the universe. I
happened to be shopping at a store outside of Nashville, Tn
on July 4th when news was spreading word of mouth about the
death of former ex football quarterback Steve McNair. As the
saleslady was ringing up my sale, we were discussing the
news. Out of the blue she said, "They are all
disappearing. They are all leaving and leaving fast."
I asked her who was leaving and leaving fast. She said,
"Celebrities. famous people...there getting out of here.
Just look at the last week. Farrah, Michael Jackson, Billy
May, now McNair. They are smart. They are getting out of
here'" Rather like a lightning bolt striking me, I lost
track of anything else exchanging between the saleslady and
i. I became focused on how much the words relayed your
predictions. I decided to watch and wait to see if anyone
else famous is "leaving and leaving fast". Do you think
these deaths could be form of your prediction of
disappearance of celebrities during the summer of chaos?
Just interested in your thoughts. I am sure I am not the
first one to ask. I look forward to your writing everyday
and have worked hard on finding my own self reliance.
Cliff decided (as chief time monk and it's his project) that we
wouldn't try to 'keep score' on just how good or bad our batting
average was/is. That would lead to endless debates.
One person would score a 'hit' this way, while another would
score it that. Nope, not interested. The work is
there for what it is - the shape of things to come as
reflected down at the archetype level.
If it was down to the precise "Don't trade XYZ shares until they
hit a bottom at 10:29 AM on the 25th of July (this is an
example, that's Sunday and the market is closed, get it?) we
would be putting ourselves at huge risk because that
would represent just too damn much of a threat to the
So we've been quietly publishing the highlights of what's coming
for almost 10-years now (as of next June, anyway) and I think we're
both getting a good laugh out of stories like the one just
published in New Scientist that claim "Email patterns can
predict impending doom."
Why, we're in the company of geniuses. If they think
emails can foretell an implosion like Enron, perhaps an
extension of the concept to the whole web fora and some
past hits like the
Power Outage, the China Quake, Banda Aceh, and the list goes
on would qualify us as non-nutters.
We do take some of the model outputs seriously - which is one
reason Elaine and I returned to our ranch in East Texas from the
LA area in early October of 2005. The model had been going
on about a major loss of life in a quake at around 34º
North and we were living in Burbank which is where?
As I left the LA area more than a
few 'friends' thought I was nuts. Even when I emailed them
the location of the Kashmir/Pakistan quake three weeks late at
34°29′35″N 73°37′44″E and the eventual toll of 74,500
dead, most I'm sure thought "Coincidence." Haven't heard
from most since. Their loss, I figure.
So yeah, we're into the 'disappearances' part of the linguistics
now...and it should rag on if I'm reading it right for a couple
of more months with so many large (>6) earthquakes are to be too
much work to note, although I have to ask Cliff to look a little
more at the 7+; one's due before year end. In
fairness, though, he asked me "to what end? People aren't
going to alter their behavior..." Sadly, that's true.
Meantime, save your solar flare worries for 2013 if we're still
Tuesday July 7, 2009
World NOT Ending Today
A surprising number of people sent me emails over the past week
telling me things like "Did you know that the latest crop circle
is forecasting a major solar flare to damage earth on July 7th?"
Well, not to throw too much cold water on the idea, but
the little bit of sunspot
activity which was reported was only capable of causing B and C
class solar flares. From a practical standpoint, the
amount of energy from such flares is miniscule and the impact of
these on earthy are about negligible. Now, you get to
talking M class and X class flares, you begin to get my
But, the sites which have been nattering about crop circles
forecast big doings today, are at least in my estimate, not
being realistic. If we get a flare that wipes out the
national (or even a local) power grid, I will be willing to eat
my words, but for now, get out from under the bed and get to
If you want to worry about something which will end life on
earth, worry about the long-term increase in seismic activity or
the coming second round of the derivatives meltdown. Worry
about the release tomorrow of Consumer Debt numbers. But B
&C class flares? Pah-leeze.
Energy levels of x times 10-6 watts per square
meter from a B flare means you'd need hundreds of miles of
wire to light a cheap 3-watt LED. If you're holding a
500-mile hunk of #22 wire...maybe you could like a small LED,
but I'd have to do the calcs.
Fact is the HVAC distribution system gets switching spikes on it
that dwarf that kinda power level. Your surge suppresser is
going to get more workout from a lightning storm 5-10-miles off
than this B & C class stuff. Out from under the bed....really.
Buy a bonehead physics refresher.
Is the word "gullible' In the dictionary?
With Friends Like This
US, Russia not destined to be adversaries." He's
right. More like clones so far, just based on the spending,
central government power grabbing, and money printing.
Reuters has a new report out that says, among other things, that
richest emit about half the earth's carbon." So, how
many po folks does that corporate jet equal?
Not that it matters after the lobbyists start throwing their
weight and money around, mind you. Nice thought, though.
File with Easter Bunny.
Summer of Hell
Our riot du jour "Swine
flue worries spark Cambridge Jail Riot."
Curfew in effect in China where 140 died in rioting this
weekend. These are
the worst in 40-years.
calmed down? Nope.
Riot squads at the ready at Staples Center in downtown LA for
the Jacko memorial.
But here's the kind of linguistic fill I've been waiting for -
terms like 'digging
trenches, building barricades" as rioting continues outside
of Athens Greece. This is the kind of spark-meme that
could light up more of Europe...at least seems to be that in the
model outputs I've read.
And we're seeing reference to uses of riot police as headlines
have been coming in this week about how "Migrants
are going to Britain, come hell or high water."
A little popcorn while we watch the news slick spread out from
these kinds of beginnings.
Claire Wolfe piece "11 Ways to prepare for Civil Unrest" over at
LewRockwell.com is worth reading, although I think we've
covered much of it over the past 6-months.
150 down with norovirus on a Germany-based cruise ship in
Meantime, Back in the
Washington Post publisher Katherine Weymouth is reportedly
launching an internal review of the planned invite at
$25-grand a pop to have lobbyists come to her place and have
off-the-record dinner/ access to WaPo editors and even some
Obama administration officials.
Since it's the WaPo general counsel that's doing the
investigating, what do you suppose they will find, hmmmm?
I'm ready to be NOT surprised.
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SEO and Digital
A friend (and one-time client) sent me a nice note the other day
and advised me that the latest 'hot thing' in SEO (search engine
optimization) was effective use of Twitter in order to boost web
I didn't point out to him, but I will to you, that the 'latest'
and 'greatest' in SEO is always being rediscovered. SEO is
something of a high art (a black art, if you're not in the white
hat SEO camp), but SEO started off innocent enough when the web
was young (once upon a time) and people who had web sites were
jockeying for position. That's because on the web, the
higher your search engine ranking, the more traffic
(readers) your site will have, and therefore if it's a business
site, the more money you will make.
So SEO started off innocently enough.
It started with use of 'meta tags' - the keywords and such
used by search engines to know where to list your site.
In the early going, people would list huge shovels full of
'keywords' and hope that would lead to a high listing.
The Search Engines (like Google, et al) caught on, however,
and started to give preference to sites that weren't keyword
loading. So a new rule emerged that each page
on a site should only have 10-12 keywords, but that page
names and content should be heavily focused on that keyword.
All of which was fine, until
'doorway' pages came along - pages that beat keyword use
This was followed - after a period of abuse - by Google et
al figuring out that what was going on was 'spamdexing'
- and they wrote code to sniff out that kind of abuse.
Along about in here, 'articles' came into vogue. The
SEO folks discovered that the more 'news releases' they
could crank out, the higher their search engine rankings
would get. This led to a generation of 'article
submission software,' which you can still find today.
The Goog's et al wrote code around this.
Then we went through a phase of syndication - where people
who had the RSS and ATOM feeds were getting highest ranks.
Also in here, we had a period where how your site used
'tags' was considered; such that if your keywords and your
embedded tags (like the <H1> , <H2>, <H3> headline strength
tags along with the bold and italic tags <B> & <I>, has a
high level of congruence with keywords, content, and title,
then you'd get a high page rank.
So SEO guru's got web teams busy on that which led to the
indexing services tuning to eliminate abuse as best they
This is not to overlook the importance of inbound page
links, which also plays in all this. It was assumed
that if a site had relatively few outbound links and more
inbound links that it was a 'source' as opposed to a
leaching operation, and would therefore be ranked higher.
But even that has changed. New blogging software
(which I don't use) has much of the SEO work done and
included in the code. But at some point, I have to
wonder if super-optimized blogging won't be penalized a
stroke, or two, for not being as 'original'? I don't
know, but I expect to find out over time.
All this gets me to the note from my friend advising me that I
ought to consider using Twitter as part of my SEO strategy for
UrbanSurvival, IndependenceJournal, and Peoplenomics.
I likely won't.
I've run into a personal 'wall' - if I can call it that - when
it comes to SEO. A lot of the SEO guidelines make sense.
Should there, after all, be a high level of correspondence
between what a site writes about, how it's titled, what its
keywords and other meta data is, and the embedded tags?
You'd think so.
And sure, there's an
RSS (real simple syndication) feed for UrbanSurvival that
goes out to Feedburner and from there, who knows? But
that's a matter of good customer service.
When I went over to the Twitter site, I discovered that it all
seems to be based on the notion that everyone wants to know what
everyone else is "doing right now."
Me? I don't care what you're doing right now. Nor,
do I expect that you much care about what I'm doing right now,
beyond the obvious: I'm not spellchecking or proofreading
this page deeply enough.
But seriously there's a whole genre of software out there which
seems to have little purpose other than to defuse the Will of
the People - it's the modern high tech version of bread and
circuses. And it's called what?
To be sure, I have a LinkedIn account - but I don't make a big
deal about it, because most of the people I 'accept' links
to/from are people who I either know & like, or they are experts
in their fields. Not being a snob, but I look at LinkedIn
as a kind of toolbox where if I come up with a real 'stumper'
there may be someone I know and maybe haven't kept in touch with
closely, but who I hold in high regard.
For example, if I need some advice about a patent, I might have
a colleague who owns a law firm which does patent law and who
teaches patent/patent theory at a university. See how that
makes sense? C-level types and experts.
On the other hand, with the except of only a couple of people,
my FaceBook account has gone pretty much untouched. True, there
is a group of East Texas folks - which is interesting, because
the population out here in the outback is fairly sparse.
And there are some friends from my young (under 40) who I'd like
to keep in touch with a bit closer. But hundreds of people
wandering by to scribble some on 'my wall'? Sorry...life's
much too busy for that. Reading 'scribbles' is down there
with watching mislabeled 'reality TV'.
My operating theory here (and I can be dead wrong and a nutjob)
holds a couple of notions at its core:
General 'social networking' is an emotional waste of time
that could be used to do something productive in life.
Like garden, do carpentry (see next section) and spend in
the hammock reading a good book.
"Specific' social networking where it has some more tightly
defined purpose or possible use does make sense.
I wonder whether people would be more actively engaged with
their government if we weren't all jabbering on cell phones
(while driving) and tweeting our lives away?
That said, if you're confined to bed and can only manage a few
words at a time while you wait for the Grim Reaper, maybe short
message systems (SMS) make sense.
Wikipedia has a great selection of them here.
Long term? I figure the number of 'social networking'
sites that go belly up or just close because there are people
like me who are social Luddites will increase. In fact,
Wikipedia already offers a
"List of defunct social networking websites."
"Ah! George, didn't you notice that there are far more
active social networks than there are defunct ones?" you're
thinking to yourself.
Well, duh, of course I got that. But it will all, over
time, head for the scrap heap where all those BBS's went in the
Humans have a compulsion to communicate and in some of the
literature it's linked to obsessive-compulsive disorders.
To support this observation, simple goog "communication
obsession disorder" and you'll come up with papers (from
the government www.pubmed.gov
site) with titles like "Social
and communication difficulties and obsessive-compulsive disorder."
by Cullen B, Samuels J, Grados M, Landa R, Bienvenu OJ, Liang
KY, Riddle M, Hoehn-Saric R, Nestadt G.
"The relationship between pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has not been
extensively studied despite having some phenomenological
features in common. Abnormal social and communication
behaviors (pragmatic behaviors) are key components of PDD
and are also part of the broader autism phenotype (BAP). In
this study we sought to establish if there is any
association between the presence of abnormal pragmatic
behaviors and OCD and whether this association delineates a
familial subtype of OCD. "
There you have it! The link between OCD and
communications fadistry whether it's excessive CB radio use,
hours and hours on long distance, compulsive BBS/fora postings,
or more recently tweets, chirps, and all the rest of social
George the Luddite figures if your energy is being trained and
drained by tweets, you'll make fine fodder for manipulation as
tweeters in Iran were orchestrated recently. Which gets me
around to my tentative conclusion: Social networking is
social engineering. I prefer independence and mobbing
doesn't sit well with me. Reminds me too much of a
stampede and we all know how those end.
Assume that everyone you tweet and everyone you like will end up
in a Homeland Security 'social mapping'- system such that when
push comes to shove, instigators will be easily enough found.
We're seeing that in Iran and despite the stories wondering "Is
Twitter the news outlet for the 21st century? I expect the
answer will be no. Was CB radio or the BBS forums?
Think you could fit
a google of "computer addiction" into your schedule?
An analogy: Computers are tools - and powerful ones
at that because they are 'mind amplifiers." But I've
always tried to keep my computer in the same league with my
electronics test gear and the table saw out in the show.
If I put a saw blade in my table saw, it usually has something
to do with work product that I'm trying to build. A
frame for a particular piece of Chinese art or calligraphy in
the dining room, or a mounting for an original oil painting win
the 'Trader Vic's" room. Tool + time equals measurable
Social networking, to put it politely, is like getting the wood
and the table saw, and then turning everything you can grab into
sawdust, Endlessly amusing and it may even have a purpose
if you're planning to take all the sawdust and pulp it down into
cellulose and make custom paper out of it. But most people
don't think to do that.
Maybe I need another shot of coffee this morning so I can get
Microsoft has confirmed an attack against XP that hasn't been
upgraded to Explorer 8. Teach you to turn off
automatic upgrades, huh?
Ready for the
Still looking like Maxa-Tools (see following section) will be
ready for their latest upgrade which will handle not only
one-pixel snooping, but also something called 'data spills'.
"I know that a one-pixel tracker" is where a web page points to
an off-site 'img_source" tag and snags your IP address," you're
thinking, "But, what's a 'data spill' and why is no one but
UrbanSurvival and Maxa-Tools talking about it?
here for a short backgrounder. Takes some ingenious code,
Upgrade free for current license holders of MCM (Maxa Cookie
big German bank spied on one of its own after a reported sales
leak back in Q3 '01?
Compliance departments worry me. Just like police have
'criminalized' us all into 'suspect' status by just pointing a
radar gun at us, there are many a good/open/useful story I wish
I could tell you about what really goes on down on Wall
St., but the compliance departments have people who could rat
out the crooks all hamstrung tighter than underwear that's six
sizes too small.
No argument about advance non-public disclosure, insider trading
and all that, but what about talking about all the crookedness
and greed that's already under the bridge? I say
compliance should be told to FO once a bit of information
is in the public domain. Be nice to get all that 'company
review' and only 'official company spokesperson' language out,
too. That some compliance departments won't even let
people above a certain level (income bracket) post under their
own names to financial forums is absurd.
Unless, of course, they're still hiding stuff, right?
To be sure, there are people who do occasionally stand up for
what they think is right in the world of finance, and a story
"Digital Doman to pay $2M in termination suit" is worth
reading, although the company seems likely to appeal.
I mention this because I know people with a whole bunch more tel
tell about how the derivatives bubble began to (and seems about
to resume) collapse. yet they can't talk to me - or even
email me. A small-time financial sheet, I've got no
powerful legal department to back up an inquiry and having staff
to file FOI requests with the SEC (long missing in action) is
only a pipe dream.
Seems like we ought to have something that would be the
equivalent of a 'whistleblowers' law in finance. Tell the
truth and you're fireproof. Instead, I still hear folks
talking about investing 'for the long term'. Where's the
drug-testing, not to mention truth in advertising?
Back in the old days, some PR friends at AT&T told me the best
policy they had ever come up with was "When in doubt tell the
truth - the whole truth." Invariably, when the fact
were on the table, most of what AT&T did made perfect sense from
both a business and consumer side. That was before the
break-up, of course.
Try selling that 'let everyone talk and tell the truth' to
the legal and HR directors in hifi who seem to think that after
two serious screwings (the internet crash and housing collapse -
maybe rapes is the more accurate term) the public doesn't smell
a rat - or whole colony of them - trying to make money at the
expense of everyone with an IRA or 401? Gag those who would
blog, those would would leak anything but greed-driven dogma.
It's really quite sickening.
Deutsche was looking for a leak - that passes my
reasonableness test. But most of high finance
hamstrings those of good moral character & high ethical
standards with rules that prevent blogging and sending emails to
more than one person (like no personal distro lists for
dissenting opinion) kind of thing? Well that's obviously
(to me at least) NOT in the public interest. And frankly,
it pisses me off.
Around the Ranch:
A couple of new tools to endorse. Down at Lowes a week, or
so, back I picked up a Stanley miter saw bench, so that I could
move my saw over to the deck for cutting lumber for the San
Francisco room remodel and then the master bath remodel.
Only $89 bucks and works great. Well worth it since the
chop saw without the stand ate up 12-feet of counter space in
the shop previously. has 'wings' long enough for a 2 by 4
Another tool I've been using (to cut plasterboard for rerouting
some wiring: The Rockwell RK5102K Sonicrafter Deluxe 72-pc Kit.
About $180. Get extra cutting blades. Don't
know how the knock-offs work, but this is really fun. Just
the trick for remodeling.
Monday July 6, 2009
First thing out of the box this morning is the problem of
whether we're going into stagflation, deflation, or
hyperinflation. My best guess remains that hyperinflation
will come along, but before we get there, my friend Robin Landry
has been expecting a drop in gold down to the u7nder $700 range
- briefly - before things go bonkers to the upside. And,
he might be right.
You noticed last week - or maybe you didn't - that while gold
was showing a bit of strength, silver was lagging. This
morning (chart above) it looks like silver might come down to
the $12 range this week. We're only a few cents from it as
I write this.
Not only that, but it looks like the oil futures are coming
down, as well.
Under $65, but the fall in oil futures can be interpreted any
number of ways. One school of thought offers that oil
was too high and was already threatening to choke off the little
bit of recovery that might have been possible. The other
school of thought is that oil wasn't driving, but was
just reacting to future expectations and it's now doing
little more than indicating that the decline in the global(ist)
economy is about to resume.
This is one of those "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
kinds of questions that given tenured professors in economics
something to write papers about, since the real issues in
economics (like nested cycles theories) are absolutely peer-review
What keeps leading me back to the 'here comes inflation'
conclusion are stories with headlines like "California's
nightmare will kill Obamanomics" and the piece by the UK
Telegraph's banking editor that figures "US
lurching towards 'debt explosion' with long-term interest rates
on course to double."
Don't miss the Ambrose Evans-Pritchard piece from Saturday about
unemployment timebomb is quietly ticking." Oh yeah, we
Here, Hold This Bag
I have good news and bad for you. The good news is that "China
won't press for new global currency at G8" summit ahead this
week. The bad news is that probably means they still have
more dollar-denominated paper to offload.
Rest of the Weak
Is this terrible pun Monday? Well....The biggie for folks
like me who are waiting for the inflation to show up will be the
Fed's Consumer Debt Report mislabeled repeatedly as Consumer
Credit. Like no one gets it. Then we get the balance
of trade report which will no doubt show a lesser outflow.
That's become not only can't we afford to buy much anymore, but
the ROW (rest of world) is getting skeptical of dollars.
(See Hold this bag story previous if you're not tracking yet.)
Bankruptcy Incentive Study
Hats off to Mike Baker of the Associated Press for his story
low in states that don't seize wages: States that prohibit
debt collectors from seizing wages have lower bankruptcy rates
This is all part and parcel of what I wrote about this weekend
in the report titled "Frustrated America - Monetizing Misery".
This is your 'monetizing misery" part.
I said it before, but it's worth remembering: When misery
is monetized, the whole country is on the brink. Or, is
that just too damn obvious?
Funny Or Documentary?
This week's from Rebecca Price of
Vet Checks Coming
$250 payments to eligible military veterans are hitting the mail
now. Don't spend it all in one place.
Summer of Hell Department
says 140 killed in riots in West" reports an AP story.
coup leaders block ousted president's return." It's
pronounced "two-goosey gal-pah" by the way, if you haven't hung
out in Central America much. And the airport there is
almost as much fun as the one-way marvel up at Cusco in Peru.
The headline in Rupert Murdoch's Times that the "Saudis
give nod to Israeli raid on Iran" when taken with the AP
story that veep Joe "Biden:
Israel; free to set own course on Iran" has me wondering if
this doesn't reinforce the possible attack in late October,
which would make a dandy distraction of market closings and bank
holidays in late September into mid October.
Yep, nothing like a good war/ terrorist attack to swing the
public's attention from the cratering economy...just like the
magic 'swing' and rally 'round the flag as the economy was on
the brink in 2001 - but which was subsequently saved by the
instantly spawned "security" and "anti-terrorism" industries.
Just coincidence, of course, rest assured. Isn't it
time for another pill?
Even though it has been dismissed as a work of fiction, and a
clever anti-war book during the Vietnam era, if you haven't read
and considered some of the issues Leonard Lewin raised in his
1967 Report From Iron Mountain
(on the accessibility and desirability of peace), especially the
thorny question of "Why do people accept the rule of
Before you read it, you should be aware that...
1972, Lewin claimed that the report has been a hoax. At
that time, he wrote that the Pentagon Papers, were "as
outrageous, morally and intellectually" as his own
invention: "The charade is over. Some of the documents read
like parodies of Iron Mountain, rather than the reverse."
(Times obit) Eventually, he sued to establish his copyright
over the work, since U.S. government documents are
inherently in the public domain. (Carvajal, 1996) Others,
such as John Kenneth Galbraith, have maintained the reports
My take? Real (Galbraith) or Hoax (the author), the
discussion of why people put on the yoke of government is just
dandy. And, (ready in the bad pun department?) the yoke's
President O is off to Moscow (and a Ritz Carlton on our bill no
less, but there's no HoJo or Motel Six there, perhaps)
to arm twist and arms deal a bit with the Russians.
Maybe he'll get a government discount - don't know how the Ritz
folks would handle a
GTR (government transportation request), if you've never
traveled on one).
I've been watching a bunch of videos on the Obama trip today,
trying to catch a glimpse of Vladimir Putin standing behind the
curtain pulling (nominal) president Medvedev's strings in
Palin Bailin, Redux
video is up
on YouTube of her resignation this weekend. It starts
off reasonable enough, but after a few minutes, it begins to
ramble...leaving me scratching my head.
Don't know if this is the first of the PTB disappearances or if
she'll be back with a presidential exploratory committee?
Thing is: If she were to run for president, could anyone
vote for someone who quits at mid-term? Hmmm...some things to
One school of thought supposed that there might be federal
indictments or some earth-shaking scandal about to pop, but "Palin
isn't facing investigation says FBI".
If she were going to run for president, wouldn't she have
dropped more hints? If there's no indictment, then what's
the deal? We're left to wonder, at least for now.
But if she goes ultra-low profile - to the point where no one
can find her and the family by mid fall, we'll just have to
underline this as another one of the 'odd disappearances' that's
been floating around predictive linguistic modelspace.
Speaking of the 'season of disappearances' it may be the other
way around since here's a headline that "Millions
face hunger as seasons disappear..." It's what
a seasoned reader would expect.
Speaking of Spices...
The story that one time Spice Girl "Victoria
and David Beckham in their underwear for Armani" makes a
fine counterpoint to the Zazzle T-shirt emblazoned with "Make
awkward sexual advances. Not war."
The NY Post has "Swimsuit Issues" in its biz section
--- Snip and Save Section ---
Signs of the Times
A reader offers:
"Not my idea George, I'm just
passing it along. Quote I read today.
"Stimulus is another word for
foreplay----and we all know what comes after foreplay".
(rim shot) OK, let me put on my 'insensitive male" hat.
"No, what's foreplay?"
Around the Ranch:
Drought? What Drought?
The local hay growers and rancherly types who have been going to
church to pray for rain finally got some on Sunday afternoon.
In fact, we've put about 2½-inches
into the rain gauge here since about 4 PM Sunday. Looks
more on the radar at least for the first half of the day.
I do have to wonder how 2+-inches is a '30 percent chance of
rain' that is referred to in the forecast. But, I suppose
we can't ask for better from a gazillion dollars of
super-computing horsepower, not to mention that we've got
thousands of monitor-sensors before this stuff shows up over
May even see some drought relief down San Antonio way, but we'll
just have to wait and see. Been drier than a dust bunny
down in the
Country and along the southwest part of the
Permian. Which makes me expect the conversation 'round
Arkey Blue's will be weather related this week.
Mean-nasty thunderstorms coming in this morning, so posting
early - see ya'll tomorrow morning.....
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for
'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on
the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in
the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept
several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet
Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely,
it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers
and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as
you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
So one of our
charts for Peoplenomics subscribers oughta be widely circulated - it
shows that if you line up the peak of the Dow in January 2000 with
the peak in early September of 1929, we're on a very very close
replay track. Much closer than even the chart shows if you
were to back out inflation, and put in the effects of 1929
deflation, but that'd be real work, and I'm sort of lazy if the
truth be told.