A One Man Economic Daily Newspaper about the Second Depression in near real-time...
Powered by subscribers to Peoplenomics.com
Published Monday - Friday about 8 AM Central Time ....some typos are fixed by 8:30 (in theory)
December 31, 2010 07:55 AM CST
This site is supported by subscriptions: For additional content, please subscribe to Peoplenomics. .
It's a Wrap
Wall Street is opening on schedule to wrap-up the 2010 trading year and it will do so with a decent return for the year. The S&P 500 closed out 2009 at 1,115.10 so unless the whole market steps in front of a bus before the close, the broader market will close up around 12.8% for the year.
Not bad. Just not as good as gold or silver, although depending on entry points and tax rates, your results may differ, this is not a recommendation to buy or sell securities, and yada, yada, yada. Operators are standing bye, this is a free call.
I used to think of the Dow as the 'fluff number' but this year the Dow looks to head into 2011 after posting a gain of about 10.95% - well below the broader market. Unless, like I say, the Dow were to get pushed in front of a bus.
Looking ahead, things are going to be very interesting over the coming few weeks. Robin Landry sent our a note to his colleagues in the investment community on Thursday and he sees it, too:
If you are a Peoplenomics subscriber, this is exactly the P3b turning to P3c that we talked about in last Sunday's report, so you can follow along.
As Robin noted, in a conversation we had yesterday, the last time sentiment levels were this extreme was 1987. I've got a big red circle around January 7th & 11th due to the predictive linguistics of www.halfpasthuman.com as well as my own simplistic 'when does it cross the trend line" analysis which in turn leads to a mass recognition point.
GlobalRev and 2011
There's a good article out in this week's online report from Foreign Policy in which they list 16 wars to watch in 2011.
So here's our first ponder of the morning: How many wars - in how many
places and killing how many people - does it take to be considered a World War?
The homeland hype about terrorism sure seems to have the same 'feel' of a nation on a war footing, and thus the question: Are we in some kind of next-to-invisible "world war" and the media's just not packaging it that way in the 2-minute stand-up packages from the various hot spots?
No, the tour guides are not skiing to work in Rome yet- while we await the arrival of skiing the seven hills as an important temporal marker. But, just as weird is the snowfall in Phoenix on Thursday.
Not a lot - mostly mixed flakes in Scottsdale, but up in the hills just north of town it's awful today. I called my commodity broker (JB Slear) to ask him why he didn't mention the snow in his daily write-up of markets (here).
He tells me in Prescott this morning they've got an honest foot of snow and the temperature drop yesterday was like the worst of Chicago, nasty wind and all. Near phoenix? ViseGrips, please. Feeling the need for a pinch coming along.
Lows at night this coming week in Rome oughta be around freezing by late in the week.
Who - & On What?
Someone sent me a note that I should check out the Salon article "Ashton Kutcher schools us on the coming apocalypse" and said I should read it.
I sent 'em a note back that it would be a ways down the list however, since I'm really quite busy trying to transform myself into the human pork rind until I put new batteries in the digital scale and that's not on my list till well after New Years.
Interesting story floating along over at recombinoics about the rash of deaths from H1N1 that are popping up in the UK.
The one thing that caught my eye was their mention that...
You damn sure bet'cha that raises concerns, alright: Like how is it that H1N1 develops a Tamiflu resistance without a little death-lab help?
This is hot: I won't give away the details, but you have to read the story at The Smoking Gun about the "Flier blames Tabasco spill for lewd act" on an airplane this week. So much for flying security,...
Passings: The "We Can Do It!" Gal
Geraldine Hoff Doyle has passed on, according to the LA Times obit section.
A lot of people think the "We Can Do It!" poster which was based on Doyle working at a Michigan factory during WW II was where "Rosie the Riveter" came from. But that's not the case. A couple of paragraphs from Wikipedia to set things straight:
Harks back to a time when we really could do it. Here lately, I begin to wonder.
Last, but certainly the Maraschino cherry on this morning's report is the report in the UK's Mail Online that "New Year's resolutions 'barely last longer than a week."
As I sit around looking at stories that didn't make it into today's report, like he various war stories and what have you - I find it remarkable the amount New Years resolution and politic promises have in common.
They all seem to expire nearly as soon as made. A fact that should be 'transparent' to those waiting for troops to come home from the sandbox or from guard duty in Cuba.
The fine thing about a year like the one winding up today is: Just about anything we do in 2011 is bound to be an improvement. Or so we sincerely hope.
(continues below ad)
Coping: Annual Reviews Time
Working on an in-depth investigation of how it is that people accomplish really useful lives - in some cases - but really wasted lives - in others - as a Peoplenomics report for Sunday. Working title of the piece is "Planning, Prayer, or Something Else?" and it springs from a whole pile of reading with more to come today and tomorrow...anyway that's coming up Sunday for subscribers.
This is the time of the year when a lot of companies go through the motions of HR reviews so they can have something other than a W-9 form and a photocopy of the drivers license to show the labor lawyers when you finally get around to suing your company for the one thing that might actually stick in today's world: Stupidity.
Seems to be the time, though, that people go into "plan, pray, or something else mode" either as the final hours of this year, or the first couple of days of next, get trotted by on the calendar which seems to be moving at an ever-faster rate.
The reason for this is simple: When a child is five years old, the preceding yet represents 20 percent of their lifetime.
When you get to be an old fart (OF) like me, a year is down to 1.63% of a lifetime and by the time someone gets to be 100, it's down to one percent.
I figure this explains why people are always trying to do more, bigger, and better, the older they get.
And, as much as people bitch & moan about aging, the way I figure: It beats the alternative.
I've always taken this 'falling proportion' math as something of a challenge. My biggest accomplishment - at age 8 - was nearly setting a nearby church on fire when a fire in an underground camp a lifelong friend and I had built nearly caught an overgrown field on fire.
This year's biggest accomplishments including an addition onto the office building, a modest increase in net worth, and the loss compared with last year of about 2½ pounds, which might get up to 3-pounds if I don't eat or drink anything until dinner time.
Fat chance of that, however. New Year's Eve dinners are designed to end one year on a happy note - and if you've got the table muscle for it - start the next year off on a pleasantly plumped note, too.
I got a kind of wild hair up my...well...so I started penciling up a couple of 'dream projects' for around the ranch in 2011. While we are likely to get the rest of the horrible economic news splashing across the headlines in January as we're tipping into them (and have been since November). we've done about all that a reasonable person can be expected to do, other than put in an underground storm shelter' which could be used for either tornado or fallout.
So the construction this coming year will involve useful square footage like a guest room, a "music" room, and maybe putting in another deck. I get the urge to build a large deck every so often and I've put in three of them so far, but there are plans for at least three more, and at least one of them will have living additional enclosed living space on it.
As much as we'd like to move back to the Northwest to be closer to the kids, there's been a noticeable lack of people lined up with $400K cash and despite housing prices coming down in the Northwest, it'd be hard (or downright dumb) to sell a home which has an annual tax rate under $1,000 and move back to a nice citified home and pay the typical $6,000 to $7,000 per year in a nice area public officials demand as protection money in such realms.
Our continuing objective is to build as near as we can to a self-sustaining living space which will have - as near as possible - zero operating cost. $82 a month for taxes and maybe another $100 for water & power once I finish the second solar panel array.
Been working on another chapter for my ebook "How to Live on $10,000 a year, or less...." which I update periodically as I discover this, or that.
So here's hoping your weekend goes well and that you set aside a little time to make plans for 2011 that will meet your needs. Our criteria comes down to a very short list: If something doesn't increase our health, wealth, or happiness, it won't be on the 2011 list, and it's a simple metric you're welcome to borrow as you weed through your dreams for 2011.
The challenge, as always, is how to do that while the world around us continues to deteriorate.
The first item on the agenda for New Years is to participate in ham radio's
Straight Key Night. I will likely be on 80 meters tonight and 20 meters tomorrow working on my old Nye-Viking hand key.
Even though Morse code is not required to get a ham radio ticket these days, it's still an art form and as a member of the International Morse Preservation Society (member #13106).
I hold that someone who can copy 30- words per minute or higher - in their head without paper or pencil likely has a decent IQ.
There are just certain hobbies where warmer than room temperature IQ seem to congregate: Flying, ham radio, and competitive sailing are a few that come to mind. We don't mention things like hacking, but......
My explanation this week of why I pay my income taxes regularly as clockwork and don't complain much, apparently didn't sink in. Since I'm not willing to lead a tax revolution, I suppose that makes me something less than respectable in the eyes of some readers. Like this fellow for example:
I was going to write back a long note explaining that I didn't "allow America to get into this mess in the first place."
I simply got outbid, that's all. And so did you.
As so often happens, a few emails further into the inbox, a different reader sent along this dandy note which sums up my outlook better than any 20-pages of writing I could do:
The Dental Dodge
Speaking of taxes - which I'm loathe to do because it always lead from one thing to another - but a reader says he's found and 'honest' way to avoid the 28% gains rate on 'collectible' gold...see what you think:
Hmmm... problem is that without real sales, the IRS would almost certainly disallow such a thing. On the other hand, sticking a chain on a $20 gold piece is something even I might be able to do. But, then again, I'm not looking to sell either of our gold coins in the foreseeable future, so I'll skip ordering the book of jewelry-making.
Reading List: Speed-reading the Mahabharata
My friendly retired .mil war-gamer sent a follow-up note to our discussion of how ancient Indian literature may actually be a 'look-ahead' to what's coming:
There was a related email from a reader who claimed that the use of psychedelics is too recent a phenomena for the notion that the book is a look-ahead.
All I can say is "Dude: you obviously haven't read the science or Hancock's book. Humans have been doing drugs since day one! Why do you think the Power Elite struggles to make them illegal and/or make piles of money off them? Good grief....that's the whole point of power: control the population and turning off the activation of DMT is necessary to support the ruling paradigm.
One more 'connected' email?
Let us know.... [CR/LF] (Hmmm...Nothing seems to be changing...)
A couple of readers have actually discovered there is an urbansurvival Facebook page. OK, so I'm a late adopter on social media; but it makes denying being a 'socialist' easy enough. Use the UrbanSurvival FB page for feedback if you care...
Useful Lingo Dept.
Gotta hand it to the Urban Dictionary people for coming up with the perfectly timed peach:
Speaking of clever writing, several readers have sent me a note about another site's "Writing Contest" and suggested I submit an article to them.
I sent a polite note back, gently declining, on the basis that to enter a writing contest I'd actually have to learn to write and I have enough going on in my life without having to remember that the punctuation goes inside the quote marks and proper rules of capitalization, and all that.
Worse, I'd have to write 1,500 words and that might conceivably involve three or more coherent thoughts in a row. That's asking far too much!
So, no, I won't upset the delicate balance in Universe in pursuit of such foolishness, but thanks for thinking of me.
I'm much too busy anyway. Although right after breakfast, I'm taking the rest of the year off.
Send your comments to email@example.com
Reader Action Department:
Now on our premium content site: Peoplenomics.com
Some "Day Off": Trading 2011
Although I wasn't going to post a report this week, enough readers have been asking about what's ahead for 2011 that I thought I'd take a stab at it and lay out some of the charts which I think will help guide my personal investment decisions in the New Year. Even if you don't have a stock trading account, it might be an interest discussion so you can do things like move retirement money into the 'right' place to be for each of the events which are possible as we move into what should be very volatile trading. As usual, this is NOT TRADING ADVICE - just one man's view of how the future shapes up. Also - an important look at long-term weather conditions...
Places to Go, Things to do...
Looking to read some interesting items? Try out the National Dream Center site - which I cooked up to see if there's another way to peek into the future that would reinforce some of the predictive linguistics expectations. Free - here.
Up this week for the first time: JB Slear's site www.mygroponics.com where you can buy his popular ebook on backyard (scrounged together) vertical hydroponics which is way cool - life sustaining pastimes are useful, know what I mean?
The folks at Maxa Research have put together a short video (sound track by guess who?) that shows the Maxa Cookie Manager. You can see it here.
I don't usually get all whipped up about software, but this is one of those dandy tools that just simply works great. First thing I put on my new computer when I got it was Avira Anti-virus and Maxa Cookie Manager (MCM). Either follow the on-screen download instructions of simply click:
Once you try it out, to upgrade to the fully functioning version, just click the upgrade button (!) on the upper right hand side for the $35 unlock to get it to remove even those nasty and highly intrusive 'non-browser specific' cookies. Bonus: You computer may run faster. Version 5 is in the works...it's expected to be the first product on the market to fight 'super-cookies'...
"Live on $10,000" A Year
Having a hard time making ends meet? (Like who isn't, right?) A good starting point to better match up income with outgo is our $10 e-book "How to Live on #10,000 a Year...or less!"
It's an automatic download. It's written in an information dense style: The whole thing runs about 65 pages, but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the cheap, but also how to migrate up the economic foodchain if you have a little hustle left. A bonus section called "How to Build Anything" should instill confidence if you've never taken on a home improvement/home creation project before, too..... Click here for the index and details.
Pass It On
A different take on things - that's what you'll find here most mornings. If you know of anyone who might also like our content, simply click here and send a link to them. Or, if you hated what you read, send the link to all your 'worst enemies'. Like they say in Burbank, "Ain't no such thing as bad press..."
Thursday December 30, 2010
Stand Up Thursday
Seeing as so many people will be taking tomorrow off, it struck me we should try and be (best we can) a warm-up act for tomorrow night's celebrations. So we'll report today's events in 'fluff first' fashion and then work up to the most serious stuff. this way, you can click out as soon as you're adequately depressed, which is a fine way of doing things; it'll allow you to scale your own wailing.
Friday will not be a day off for Wall Street. The NYSE's website explains that:
On the other hand, we notice that the Federal government will be taking the day off tomorrow, so if you were going to send something by mail and expect it to be postmarked this year, time to toddle off to the mailbox this morning.
Why this means tomorrow Wall Street will be even less supervised than usual, LOL.
Various States and Municipalities will be up to their usual 'parking meter roulette' - where you live matters. Unless you go right to the mall, which millions will, in order to pick off year-end deals.
Leave It To Richardson
Word that Billy the Kid may get a gubernatorial pardon some 130-years after his exploits hits me wrong, not so much because of the 'facts' so much as it's another example of the Nanny State promoting the notion down at the archetype level that everybody gets "do-overs", regardless of the crime.
I ask myself, why would a fellow consider a pardon for Billy? The reason is in the story, but I get to thinking: Is it Richardson's fascination with the Wild West, a desire to make governor's promises mean something, or is it just a ploy to keep his name out in the public eye?
Maybe, since he's leaving office, this is resume-building.
Or, maybe - just maybe - it's a coded message to the sheeple that we really can trust government, although said help may arrive 130-years after it matters.
Word that some engineers have cooked up a way to stream lambda-speed data from light fixtures certainly puts a whole new spin on the internet's direction.
I guess this means that in the future, those without the Internet really will be in the dark? (rimshot)
OK, so much for the light-hearted stuff. Grab the tranks and read slow as they take effect so your blood level concentration of 'em can come up a bit. Ready?
IP Phone Troubles
Snap! Presto!! Solution!!!
Make VoIP illegal...how's that? Who would do that? Not doable, you say?
Think again: The People's Daily reports that Skype is now illegal in China and that unless the voice services come from China Telecom of China Unicom, they are illegal. No word of enforcement timing, so call us from Beijing and let us know if it's still working.
Disposable People & Gold
Weekly Job Number
The last weekly jobs report of 2010 is out...
Still, the Unemployment rate in December of 2009 was 10.0 and we will get the December rate for this year next Friday. But to go through all the work we collectively - as a country - did this year and to face the prospect of an unemployment rate that's essentially unchanged, sure seems like the jobjackers and 'free traders' are having their way with us.
Like we're not supposed to notice the declining standard of living? Moving to a better homeless shelter is not what I'd call progress.
Quakes Over New Years...
Our consulting earthquake sensitive sends this:
If we get a 7.7 or larger between now and Tuesday, then I'll have to issue another gold star.
Some people are just sensitive to such things. I've noticed that a day ahead of the only big quakes I've been through that the day or two ahead of time I feel horribly lethargic - almost like time gets that syrupy quality to it. Day of the quakes I feel fine - and quite rested.
That said, I keep looking at the USGS website and found the quake on what I guess to be the northern rise leading south to the Himalayas in western Xizang China to be pretty interesting. Bonin Islands, Aleutians, and Vanuatu being somewhat passé after some much recent activity.
We'll watch over New Years, but if you get the shakes while waiting, think back to the previous night's liquid intakes first.
A 2011 Look Ahead:
I wasn't going to strain the brain, at least too much, this morning because so many people are in a holiday-building mood. But as I look at all the talk about what's ahead for 2011, there's a topic which keeps floating around the email inbox which deserves some serious discussion, so make sure the coffee is warm for this because this is almost news-magazine length here.
We start with an informational note from a well-placed, but retired military source, who sends along some interesting background about the direction and possible outcomes for nuclear weapons use in southwest Asia.
All of which would make a mighty fine "ponder with adequate scotch" until we come along to the headline on the Debka site this morning. This is where the news edges over toward scary:
Gather round the poker table, we need to talk about this latest hand that's been dealt.
One line of thinking might be that one of the root causes for the war in the 'eastern' sandbox' (now playing in a 'Stan' near them) has been to set up a war within Pakistan (remember, Benazir Bhutto was killed by assassins in 2007 perhaps partly for outing the murder of Osama bin Laden as reported, and perhaps as destabilizing effort). Properly choreographed, this would set up the West seizing the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. "For your own good" in Nanny State-ese.
Fast forward to today's headline from Debka: Their article reports that the actual weapons promised the Saudis "...are most probably held in Pakistan's nuclear air base at Kamra in the northern district of Attock. Pakistan has already sent the desert kingdom its latest version of the Ghauri-II missile after extending its range to 2,300 kilometers. "
My point being that although the weapons are promised they are held in Pakistan.
I think what may be in play here is that the Pakistanis, by promising the Saudis a couple of nukes - have in a sense taken out an 'insurance policy' which would make it very difficult for the US/West to go in and seize the Pakistani nuclear arsenal as things on the ground deteriorate in the region.
Where up until this latest move was revealed, the US might have been able to mount force and take nukes away from the Pakistanis, but to do so now - with this latest deal - would be viewed by the Saudis (read: big oil source) as a move to disarm them and since they have oil, they have leverage.
Let me jump around for a moment now:
SpaceWeather.com is reporting only two sunspots this morning. If we're worried about 2012 - kill shots from the sun as one fellow postulated - and all that, we're going to need to see Solar Cycle 24 'grow some balls really quick' or we're not going to be in the position where the peak probability of solar ejecta would be likely until 2013-2014. So maybe we can set that aside.
Another possibility is that looking at the earthquake data, maybe the large amount of activity we're seeing around the Pacific Plate won't break it unleashing a horrible sequence of oceanic disaster.
But, what IF much of the 2012 speculation now building has been misread and may actually be warnings from our drug-using ancestors who had a much higher proficiency in use of psychedelics than current major societies allow because they enable large numbers of people to slip out of the "control" mode and go slipping around 'the Stream" , do out of body experiences and the like. (Ref: Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, Graham Hancock)
That's mighty dangerous stuff to let loose and so the "controller" groups under the banner of religion, politics, and "idealism of government" may be selling their own prepackaged version laying things out as they'd like to see.
Which gets us to a rather startling thought: That those Mayan calendars and ancient writings from India may not be about some random thing coming in from space like the Niburu warnings and what have you.
Maybe there's a whole past part of human culture that has done drugs, surfed the Stream and written down the future for us in Jules Verne-like fashion.
So its with some seriousness that I've put The Mahabharata (Penguin Classics) on my reading list. But I'll be reading it for hints toward present times.
Because what IF the story wasn't about a mythical conflict "back when" and is instead a Leary-like tale about an future that's "almost now?"
Coping: What I Don't Talk Taxes
The short version of this morning's report: The long-term capital gains rate on gold appears to be 28% not the 15% referred to in yesterday's column. IRS Publication 550. A CPA (one of several who issued the corrections to my thinking) sent in this thumbnail which - I have to toss in - is NOT TAX ADVICE! - GET SOME REAL TAX ADVICE AND DON'T RELY ON ANYTHING ON THE WEB! These are his thoughts and you may have a different CPA with a different read, but here's the deal:
I say the 'short' version because there are a lot of opinions floating around - and a pending bill in congress, too, which would change that (I knew I'd seen it somewhere, but it's stuck in 'we need the money land) - and besides, anyone who would sell gold at these prices is not a fool; just a damned idiot.
I haven't looked at the tax on selling gold because I acquired that lone gold coin of ours back in 2001 and I wasn't looking to sell it then, now, and maybe never.
Still, point learned, of should I say relearned: Don't take on tax matters like this because the government hates competition.
There are times when something like this comes up, when I just sit back and survey the social landscape. The dominant feature seems to be government hates competition in the value-setting department. Which is why there's even a business called counterfeiting.
Printing up money out of thin air is only done by the government itself - and large Wall Street firms.
So, making the best of it, and without trying to start a revolutionary movement, I've decided to play along with the 'authorities' on this. But a number of readers think we should all 'rise up' and cast off the chains of taxes. Her'es a typical note which calls me out on this:
Yes! On this last point, yes, actually, in today's world, it is.
If you want to take off down that road, have fun, but without me since I'm not going there with you. I'm a Constitutionalist in hopes of peaceful change at the ballot box. Write from jail, though, and I'll pass along your PO Box info.
So where did I get the idea of 15% gains tax from in the first place? Well, that came from my confusing the bill which was introduced into the 111th Congress called the Fair Treatment for Precious Metals Investors Act, which is what?
All of which seemed simple enough.
Except it was referred to the Senate Finance Committee where...if I follow the bill history right...it's in the process of dying.
I suppose we could all pick up the phone and call said committee members, and demand some action be taken, but near as I can figure, everyone in Washington has serious hearing impairment since the public outrage over bailouts for 'too big to fail' institutions was so easily over-ridden.
No reason to expect the financial lobby to cut any quarter to people who want to invest in non-paper assets; the finance lobby having more power over our future than the very government itself. And why people aren't hounding such lobbyists out of Washington escapes me. It's largely due to their efforts that pay-day loans have such high interest charges and the credit card reforms haven't really changed much for the average Joe (or Josette).
Wait, forget I said any of this: Let's just pretend that this morning's column was all about stocking up on anesthetic (champagne and such) with which to welcome another tax year.
Free Checking Out?
Last time I checked, a mattress didn't come with a monthly service charge. Depending who's on it, I suppose, LOL
Wednesday December 29, 2010
A couple of readers have pointed out the long-term gain on gold is 28% since IRS
calls it a collectible, not 15% as noted in the column earlier today.
Remember - I don't do tax advice, I'm not selling my gold coin, so it's a
non-issue for me - but 28% is what to keep in mind if you do have sales.
Got a couple of CPA/readers coming up with the rhyme & verse on this so drop by
The Return of Housing Jitters
Yesterday's release of the Case-Shiller/S&P Home Price Index got me to thinking once again about just how precariously perched the US economy is. On the one hand, we have seen the Fed pressing on the gas pedal through creation of, what passes in this economy for, easy money. Last week's H.6 Federal Reserve H.6 Report (Money Stocks) not only showed that the broader M2 rate was climbing at a three-months-annualized rate of 7.2%, but even more 'transparent' was the note that the M1 (cash & equivalents) was screaming up at a 20.5% annualized rate.
Meantime, the most recent Labor Department report on Consumer Prices showed a 12-month increase of 1.1% (unadjusted, CPI-U) and 1.3% (unadjusted, CPI-W).
The way I figure what's going on goes like this:
Naturally, this is a dangerously misleading calculation, since that's the natural inclination of a number-cruncher to think about such things.
It would likely be more accurate is I used M3, but since Alan Greenspan took that off the table at the Fed (as they were playing hide the sausage as housing collapsed) not too many people would have found Trader Bart's M3b Reconstructed page.
It shows most recently that M3b is going up somewhere around 14% annualized on a reconstructed basis with his methodology for the reconstruction over here.
The ugly part of the M3b calculation is the when applied to my hypothetical $98.90 I come up with purchasing power of around $112.85.
Now toss in yesterday's Case-Shiller/S&P Housing Price Index
With both the S-H/S&P indices (10 city and 20 city) back to mid 2003 levels, we'd expect that interesting in buy a home would be dropping as the bubble appears to be continuing its deflation and may (if Elliott Wave theories are applicable to housing, be head down for another halving of present prices which could take the 10-city numbers from the president 150 range down to the 1991-1998 basing period level which was between (eyeballing this) 75-80.
If you've had enough caffeine to hold all this in your head, just one more item to toss on the discussion this morning and that would be the just-out weekly Mortgage Bankers Association activity report:
A couple of weeks back in a Peoplenomics report I speculated as to when might be a good time to buy a rental home or two. I think the data is starting to tilt seriously in the 'Hold off - don't do anything hasty" direction.
Toss in Tuesday word from The Conference Board on consumer confidence, too, why don't we?
And somewhere in here I should mention that there's more legal maneuvering going on with regard to leftovers of the Housing Bubble: You saw yesterday where Allstate has filed suit against Countrywide and parent BofA over so-called toxic investments?
It's either me coming down from too many chocolate-covered cherries, or its something else: A return of the Housing Jitters.
If the worries about housing aren't enough to shake you awake today, perhaps all the earthquakes down in the Vanuatu region will do something for you. The biggest, as of press time, was a 6.6 overnight which fuels our concerns about the long-term integrity of the Pacific Tectonic Plate and its surrounding "ring of fire."
It was while reading up on this that a situation report popped in from Bernard Grover, our Indonesia Bureau Chief:
No fair suggesting members of our congress be 'volunteered'.
Southwest Asia Arms Race?
With the US almost assuredly holding plans to help subdue any use of nuclear weapons by Pakistan, we find it interesting to see the report that India and Russia have signed a big arms deal.
Putting aside the count of high tech aircraft and nuclear reactors - all interesting stuff - the real question I have is unanswered: What currency was used as the basis of the deal?
Leading Edge of Hunger
You may have missed the Greely Colorado Tribune story this weekend, but worth a ponder: "Lack of moisture threatens winter wheat crop."
All of which gets us to wondering "If this is going to be an especially bad winter, will that mean an especially bad spring and will that in turn ruin crop production and set us on the road to famine in 2011?"
Hungary For Media Control
Hungary looks to be the first country in the EU to pass laws which will effective censor the media if it covers things in a way that's not according to how the ruling paradigm's PowersThatBe sees things. No problem if small media keep $120,000 Euros in the legal kitty, of course.
By summer the sound of jackboots on the net should be globally obvious.
This is what we'd call foreplay. The screwing follows shortly thereafter.
Resistance if Futile
I trust you're watching the case of a man who could face up to five years in prison for reading his wife's email. At least, she was at the time, says the Detroit Free Press coverage. Seems she's now divorced him...but with all the cost of government, soaring costs of housing, and so on, don't we have better things to do?
Besides, I'm confident that DHS and other three-letter agencies had already read that email if it had any 'trigger words' (or phrases) before he got to it; or is that the point of having a monopoly on email spying?
And the Good New Is?
A reader who signs off "Fighting poverty by working" sent along this fine observation:
Not sure if the SOU will really be on February 2nd, or not, but this has been kicking around the 'net for several weeks now.
One that hasn't gotten much traction is my observation that Punxsutawney Phil is a republican.
My logic? He'll come out just long enough to see democrats back in the house and will immediately retreat back into his tax shelter.
Gotta wonder how dyed-in-the-wool coffee slurpers managed to sit on the airport runways up in the northeast for upwards of 7-hours at times the past few days. Airlines are still playing catch-up today.
Several long-time Northeasters are miffed at people making such a big deal about the snow: One writing....
There are times in the summer when weeks of 95-100º heat in East Texas sounds just terrible. But the payoff is 61º and 71º tomorrow. Think I'll go work in the greenhouse a bit today and try to remember what snow is....
Coping: A Few More Tax Notes
The swarm of emails with comments on my end-o9f-year tax planning notes is all I needed to remind me why I don't try and cover too many tax items in detail: There are simply too many ways to be wrong.
Some readers were fairly gentle in their notes. like this one:
OK, fine, I can deal with that, although I will continue to doggedly hold to my current position until it's been reduced to half its initial value which may not be long unless the market gets sober and turns down in January - February.
Other readers were not quite so subtle in their remarks on my tax remarks:
I got all riled up and was on the verge of marching on the Anderson County courthouse to demand an end to taxation of property in the county. And then I remembered that the sheriffs come when called, the volunteer fire department gets some aid on its budget from the county, and the roads while not 10-lane marvels get patched up regular-like.
And then I got to thinking about how a private system of roads could possibly work without a governmental unit; where would the easements come from to even set up roads? And who at the concrete plant would turn out batch mix on spec?
No, government, I figure, does have a proper role; orchestrating some of the common needs for basics like fire, police, sewers, fresh water, and much of the rest. Private enterprise - nice as the notion is - usually benefits most from the government investment in major infrastructure whether you're talking Grand Coulee Dam and the TVA of the last Depression, or the reconstruction of the Internet into a fiber platform of near unlimited capacity which might be a good public action for this Depression.
There's a balance here: Yes, the balance has likely swung too far in certain social aspects, but not far enough in others; like fiscal responsibility, is one where we need to go further to balance the books and then take back money control to Congress where it should be, and not in the hands of the Federal Reserve which is neither and doesn't operate for the public benefit, so much as for the preservation of a very profitable banking enterprise as clearly delineated in G. Edward Griffin's classic The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve.
Would I personally mind paying an additional 5% on my long-term gains when I cash them in? No problem. My gains are only the profits and if government really wanted to do things right, they would index capital gains to the inflation rate and after making that adjustment they'd tax at 20%.
Let me run through an example:
Say I bought an ounce of gold in 2001 for $275.
And say that I sold it yesterday for $1,400.
My gain under current laws would be 15% on the $1,125 gain. The current 15% long term capital gains tax would be $168.75.
Now suppose, instead, we were to back out inflation. Using 2.0 percent for 2010 inflation YTD, we would calculate that the actual gain (after backing out the debasing of currency) would be about 78.5% of the $1,125 gain. This means the tax owed - using my 20% rate - $176.625. That's an increase of 4.66% over current tax rates.
The neat thing about this kind of a tax regimen would be that it would put the public and government on more 'equal' footing.
In other words, right now, government is, in effect, lying about money by not overtly stating that they are watering down the purchasing power by something like 2.3% per year, which has been going on since 1913 when you work it backwards.
The thing I'd feel better about is IF government were being honest about its watering down of money, I'd feel less inclined to be a tax-chiseler - which I'm not, but that's because I don't step on Tails of Beasts, not that I'm not a revolutionary change thinker.
Second thing this would do? It would put a penalty on the short term bond and option flippers.
I can almost see the emails flooding in now, but the key thing to consider is that if government expects its citizens to be honest about their money, then it should be more forthright in explaining its own actions. To argue that "all that's rolled into the tax rate" is like getting a lumber bill with just a total on it, not line items for the 2x4's the 2X12's, and so forth.
Even better would be a consumption tax, in lieu of income taxes - since that would really encourage thrift but I may be the last man on earth to remember the word and live well below my income - but the reality is that when an organization is as large as the combined size of all the nation's CPA firms and the IRS, not to mention probably hundreds of other legislative types and foundations raising money on different tax causes, you can quickly see that only a gradual change would make sense, because to institute a huge tax regimen change would beggar a lot of good people and leave them adding to the nation's woes.
Sound silly? I don't think so.
Oh, and I'm debating whether to send the roused up reader a note:
Yeah, sure, life may be a prison, but I'm got a 29 acre day room and the company's good.
You Boss is Tough?
I see where "Russians space officials fired over satellite crash." I'm not sure how over-fueling a rocket causes a crash....I thought a little more fuel if the rocket was headed up, would just add to an orbit. What can I say?
Dandy quote from Roll Call's coverage of former speaker Nancy doing fundraising to "protect the progress we have made"...whatever that is.
Wonder how much money from 'shadowy special interest front groups' she's taken over the years?
Reminds me of the old saying: An enemy is someone who doesn't agree with my view. Can we have the keys to the 757 now? I expect to see everyone in congress in the same TSA lines with the rest of us.
Tuesday December 28, 2010
Just What We Feared...
Case-Shiller/S&P Housing Data
The last time (late November) when the Case Shiller/S&P 20-city housing index came out, I expressed a fear that housing would slip down toward, and perhaps through the breakeven line after a recovery from the late 2008 into 2009 lows. Turns out, that fear was well-founded:
All of which boils down to one thing, in my view: The odds of the stock market putting on a major rally for at least the first half of 2011 has just fallen. And the other thing? Deflation is back on the front burner for the Fed, so look for even more QE's to come as they try to pump the market hard enough to hide the stealth Depression in plain sight.
Data Day, Golden Year
As one who lives, data-day, be sure to check back in half hour to an hour by which time I should have the new Case Shiller/S&P 20-city real estate figures sorted out. They should be out any minute.
A little later on in the morning, the consumer confidence numbers from The Conference Board are due, but a quick check of the precious metals is what caught my eye first thing today.
We note that Gold seems likely to close the year very close to $1,400 per ounce, and a check of the charts over at www.kitco.com reveals that 2009 gold closed about $1,090 an ounce.
The Boyz down on Wall Street can throw rocks at us all day, but that little goin coin of ours was up 28.4 percent (plus or minus a couple of days of trading left) for the year.
We also note that our few ounces of silver did pretty well, compared to Wall Street. The silver which closed out 2009 at $17 will likely setting around $29.50 plus or minus the balance of the week.
I apologize if you only made 73.5%, but what can we say?
The longer term return has been to run from $7 which I told you in July 2005 that we were buying some silver to present is only 421 percent, but that's a whole 5½ years.
Oh, and for the sake of balance, our savings bonds still return roughly the same purchasing power, too, so overall it hasn't been a bad year for our net worth and we sincerely hope you've done even better.
With stock futures pointing higher, it's only fair to point out how the Dow and the S&P have done.
The Dow closed last year out at 10,428.05, and so a close at 11,600 this year would put Dow gains around 11.24 percent, less than half of what gold turned in.
And the S&P 500 closed 2009 at 1,115.1, and if the average can close out this week in the 1,260 range, then it would be up for the year just about 13 percent, outdoing the Dow.
For the wild West gambler types, the NASDAQ (composite) closed 2009 at 2,269.5 and may end the week around 2,670 (?) which would be a 17.65 percent gain, roughly.
Citizen Reporters/You Be the Reporter
Trouble of Florida
Have this interesting reader report - an 'eyes on' it report that I'm sure someone could debunk. but try these observations on for size...
Comments from readers in the Fort Walton beach area would be appreciated...
Orwell Does Climate
Fine article over at Robert Felix "Ice Age Now" website under the heading "A Blizzard of Lies in the New York Times" which I think I pointed to the other day: "Bundle Up, It's Global Warming". Not saying the Times lied, but it sure is an interesting debate.
Obviously, we need to apply caffeine liberally: First, the NY Times piece is an op-ed, not an article, per se. Secondly, the author of the article is described as the ",,,director of seasonal forecasting at an atmospheric and environmental research firm...." He's got skin in the game, as it were.
But the two views force us to return to the climate debate (will it ever end?) and look at the data. Yes, it's likely that (on average) the year 2010 will be among the top three hottest in the past ten years. Score one for the NY Times piece.
On the other hand, if you're only looking at 10-years, statistically speaking five years would have to be 'above average', wouldn't they?
And then, we have to award points to the Ice Age Now site for noticing that "It’s Orwellian when cold is declared warmth."
Orwell's sister is all over the place, including supermarket checkout stands, so why not?
Back to substance (although it's a lot more boring that bloviating): This morning, we notice that SpaceWeather is trumpeting the arrival of sunspot 1138.
Since CO2 on earth hasn't driven the climate changes on Mars, Saturn, or Jupiter, I'm just guessing that events on the Sun will do more to earth's climate over the next 20-years than all the COP2 sources of the world combined.
Seems to me, either way it goes, the winning hand to play will be the home gardening plans, since the world running short of food because it's too hoyt, or too cold, is not something I'm particularly anxious to participate in.
Oh, and it may have something to do with the big push to get a "food safety" bill passed. Government control of food, eh?
A reader offers this:
Sheesh! Don't mention that around our local ham radio club, because that might get a debate going whether sunspots cause good DX conditions, or maybe it's something more subtle; a background condition change to which sunspots are coincidental not necessarily causative of the changes in RF propagations in the HF spectrum just under the MUF.
There's not enough beer in Anderson County, Texas, to resolve that one!
Then we have the story out of the NY Daily News this morning that "Blizzard cleanup is high priority despite budget crisis, mayor Bloomberg says."
A cynical reader (been taking lessons, somewhere?) writes:
That's smacks a bit of "Don't pay the lifeguards unless they actually save someone" thanks. Overtime is overtime and all we have to bargain with in this lifetime is our time and our brains. Everything else, we need to trade for.
A few readers have corrected my thinking about this week's snows:
I sit corrected, with plenty of hot coffee...
Is there something going on with the Pacific tectonic plate that might be getting ready to, oh, you know...crack it?
More quakes down under (the equator) and now we read about the latest 6.3 quake down in Fiji. Is the mid-Pacific rise about to give rise to more than just the normal growth of the Pacific plate? That's in the area (great circle-wise) from the Bonin Islands of Japan down to Chile, right?
Or, to put the question in simpler form: How big can the Pacific Plate get before it breaks of its own internally generated stresses? I bet a magnitude 10 quake would really be something to tell the grandkids about - if there were any after such a thing.
Oh, and the California and Alaska shake maps continue active with lots of small quakes...
Interesting data to watch develop.
The first private online magazine in China has been shut down, with talk about the FCC having net control being the reason this is getting so much play.
Speaking of China
They are reported by the Washington Times to be fielding a new kind of carrier-killer naval weapon, so, says the FT, the US may move a bit farther offshore on exercises...
If you think the people are being conditioned into a kind of stuypor by too many drugs, check out the WSJ online piece about how 25% of kids and tends are taking prescription pills.
Hell, I thought I was a risk-taker sneaking a smoke on the 3-mile walk home from Jr. High back in the day.
Tranks a lot...
Coping: A Somewhat Angry Tax Note
My publishing a note from a reader who suggested a little different tax regimen than the one currently in place - as a means to equalize income distributions a bit in light of the amazing concentration of financial wealth in the hands of the very few - managed to garner some mail, some of which was skeptical of the reader position. Two especially; this one:
The second next email cited the same source:
All of which has some nice graphics to it, but (sadly) I find myself resigned to doing my own research based on available data to see what the condition of things really is.
This begins with a trip to the IRS Tax Stats website and this (the latest) 2008 filing season data located here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08in11si.xls
From Table 1.1 (Selected Income and Tax Items by Size and... I then pulled out the columns of interest. Notice that I have added a column "Inferred Tax Rate" which is simply the average tax paid, divided by the average AGI for the income level.
The two highlighted numbers (again, this is IRS' data) show that the majority of the income tax is pulled out of the people who fall in the $100-$200K income range, those where the AGI was $133,208 and the taxes paid was 12.69%.
Last year, my rate (falling into this bracket) was actually higher: about 28.5%.
Normally, I don't get upset about such things, and I'm not, but just as a reality check if you look at the bottom line, you'll see that I'm paying much more rate-wise than the $10-million plus income types, who on average, paid barely over 21% in 2008.
Oh, and the way they do that? It's easy. If you have lots of money, you put it into things like stocks (or options) which you hold for a year and then take as income at the ridiculously low long-term capital gains rate.
Sweet, huh? That's how the rich manage to pay (with good structuring) 15% income tax while the sheeple/sheeplic pay half again as much.
Oh, the gnashing of teeth it would cause, but to my simple way of thinking, the long-term capital gains tax ought to be 20%, not 15%.
All this is subject to change however, since when I win the lottery, I'll have it all paid offshore as stock options which, I'd argue have no present value until exercise day...but that's another tax topic for another day...but if options have no value until exercise, how can the receipt of options be a taxable event prior to their maturity? LOL, more coffee, Mrs. Olson!
One of the readers I've been passing this information back and forth with said "My takeaway is we all need to get into that $10-million plus income group..."
Amen, brother! TARP me, TARP me!
The 2012 Piece
Taxes may be an issue in 2011, and maybe 2012, but will they be pertinent in, oh 2013? A reader who's been doing a bit of TV watching on the /net sets this:
(If there's a big empty spot above, it's because you can't see previews with your current browser settings...)
Well, no, I hadn't seen this one, so I guess there goes 45-minutes worth of the day.
The Answer Man
...knows all, sees all, and is willing to share. People want to know what's ahead in the New Year (how the hell do I know?) and they ask...
Simple answer: May or June of 2011 is when the 'terrorist' attack might take place, because by then, there will be widespread concern about a Second Depression, after the spring market tumble, so someone has to take the fall to give government a reason to 'get hard' on dissent of any kind.
Another reader says we should all give thanks to Benazir Bhutto for her 2007 outing that Osama bin Laden was murdered, although it [apparently] cost her life to do do...sure you remember that video, right?
But, of course, people forget.
The Answer Man isn't a solo act. He gets emails with plenty of hints in them, like this one:
So, we can all enjoy the New Year - until May, or so...
Not too much planned here at the ranch for New Years. Maybe change out my tinfoil hat, have a bonfire and maybe do a Dutch Oven beef stew...something along those lines....
Monday December 27, 2010
Year-End Selling This Week?
Markets around the world are mixed this morning. In Shanghai was down 1.9% but the Hang Seng was off only 0.3% and the Nikkei was up about 3/4's of one percent. Go figure. Same kind of confounding inputs out of Europe, too, where the French and German markets were down more than one percent and some have noticed that it almost looked like a mini flash crash. But that was way early, so you might want to click here for some more recent data.
Of course some are bound to blame the Chinese rate hike over the weekend which seems to have rattled some markets, but I'm guessing seasonal selling may factor in, too.
This weekend, despite promises to myself to avoid obsessive-compulsive writing, I nevertheless cranked out Peoplenomics reports on Saturday and Sunday, too.
The main thing to think about is the relabeling of the long-term chart (which you can see here [bottom of this page]) and in it, you can see why there's a fair chance that as soon as the present rally falters (upper right small circle) which ought to happen when the gain is equal to the small lower circle, then we should be off to the races for some serious downside action.
More important, is that is my change in the numbering which shows P1 (primary wave one down) from the All Time Highs in 2000, dragging into 2003, and then P2 (the Housing Bubble Rally) lasting until 2007. It's there we begin - if my thinking isn't cockeyed - P3 down and under this scenario, the collapse from 2007 down to the March 2009 lows was only the first act of what should be three, but more likely five, big movements down in coming months and years.
Such a thing wouldn't be out of place, and as I told subscribers, it would set up a late winter to summer 'false flag' event of some kind in order to social engineer the public away from realizing that this is the Depression all over again, and that all the warring in the sandbox is just the CCC and Works Progress Administration with a rifle in lieu of a shovel?
Admittedly, that sounds pretty 'out there' but if you look at the available evidence, the facts sure could be lined up that way.
Not like it's just me, lining things up like this: My friend Gonzalo Lira asks the same thing in a column he posted last week "Has American Military Spending Really Been a Form of Keynesian Stimulus?"
Back to point, this is the time of year when a lot of investors scramble to get hold of IRS Publication 550, Chapter 4, which is arguably one of the more important publications IRS puts out because it handles things like the Cost Basis of investments and even more to the point are the "wash sale" rules, laid out here.
Once upon a time - in the ancient history, people would sell a stock that was down for the year and time things so that the transaction settled before year end. Then, having locked in a 'paper loss' they'd enter the same position again in the new year.
IRS - long ago seeing this as a dodge - plugged that loophole with its wash sale rules.
On the other hand, if you were short a particular index (like I am) that happened to be a 'triple bear ETF' could you exit that trade and move to a 'double bear ETF' instead and claim a loss? Not going to offer an opinion, because I don't do tax consulting, thank you.
Still, since a lot of stock transaction are three days to settlement I figure today and tomorrow could be interesting, to see if we get any spiking in volume in stocks, and similarly, since options are one-day settlement, on up through Thursday in options.
This isn't the item that will be driving the market. The Case-Schiller/S&P 20-market real estate report comes out tomorrow morning - and it's one of the key data items I'll be watching for the week, since 'as goes housing' so goes much of America's confidence and spending. Not to be confused with The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence numbers...they'll be out on Tuesday.
It's A LEI
Speaking of the Conference Board, they released their European Leading Economic Index this morning:
Long as we're on topic, their chart of EU LEI looks like this:
Which leaves me wondering this: If LEI-EU has been in such a glorious upswing, how come the rioters in (pick your favorites here) Italy, Greece, Belarus, Ireland, and who knows where else, aren't 'getting it'?
If you scrolled down to the US chart here, you'll also see that LEI (US) has been screaming ahead of both the Coincident Indicators and local economic reality, as well, so something's bound to catch up one of these days.
Blaming the Weather Reports
If you look at all the media coverage under the word "blizzard" in a Google News search this morning, you might be surprised. Almost 2,300 stories about the fact that it's snowing on the East Coast.
This is winter, right?
Still, rather than blame layoffs, ending unemployment, missing house payments and the like for the last minute drop in retailing, you guessed it: Blame the snow.
Warming Up Korea
The interesting part of the article quotes the JoongAng Daily says the US has decided to send the carrier USS Ronald Reagan into the region. The US Navy website shows only two carriers underway today and the Reagan is not among them.
Then there's president Lee Myung-bak who is promising 'relentless retaliation' if the North tries anything. I can hear your thinking already: "Surely, another Nobel Laureate in the making."
Speaking of Laureates...
Debka reports president "Obama no longer backs Palestinian state within 1967 borders". That's almost sure to touch off more violence in the region. Man of What?
Windy City Politics
Bill Clinton is planning to campaign for former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who's running for mayor in Chicago although his residency may questions persist with talk of an appeal of last week's decision allowing Rahm to run reportedly in the works...
Riot of the Day
Depending on report either 110 inmates, or 43. were involved in a riot at a private prison in Arizona. That's about 60-70 (not very exciting) miles southeast of Phoenix.
See Spot? NO???
Another items out of this weekend's Peoplenomics that you need to be aware of especially with all this weather stuff:
"...there was this note from a ham radio friend in yesterday's column:
That promoted a reader to send this:
The link will take you to the "Virtual Philosophy Club" and a post titled "Sunspots - Prediction of new "Dalton Minimum". Space Weather reports only two small sunspots this morning, so things are getting quiet...
Toss in a few more volcanoes popping off and we could well be in a wholly different world than the one we're in now. Hope you've got food. Bring your own wooly mammoth.
Coping: Some Christmas, Huh?
This weekend on our premium content side, www.peoplenomics.com, one of the topics I remarked on the experience of a friend who had ridden a commuting van up in the Pacific Northwest a week, or so, back, and had been told by the driver about the number of former California families who are moving in with relatives up in the northwest.
A couple of readers followed up with notes like "Boy, bet that would make an eye opening statistic, if someone could just do the research on it..."
Unfortunately, seems unlikely that anyone will, since most of what gets done in serious economic studies is based on a business model because (repeating after me, please) "Everything is a business model." Even the measurement of unemployment just sort of falls out of the business model defining taxation, contributions, federal matching, and state unemployment.
Still, there's this report called "The Working Poor Families Project" which has, nevertheless pulled together some interesting stats, one of which gets back to an old refrain of mine, under their "Key findings from 2009" which is reported in their Winter 2010-2011 Policy Brief:
Another statistic that set (for me) the tone of this season:
I mention this because of a thoughtful email from a reader, who's been thinking about how to 'right some wrongs' in America without upsetting the whole apple cart. Here's his idea:
It's actually a pretty good idea - since the people at the top of the food chain seem to cause an inordinate impact on the world, via the private jets, monster-mega-mansions, and all the rest of it. So why not have a much more aggressive income tax which would scale in to a level of perhaps a 50% - 60% tax rate for all income earners over $1-million per year?
Oh, and drop the rate for people with $30,000 a year or less to zero.
Of course, the sad thing about our current level of societal complexity is that the really, really rich all operate out of a filing cabinet corporation outside the US with local nominees in tax havens 'officially' on the books. They might be paid in stock options, but those transfer (or were issued) offshore, and when sold, there's no income tax since the whole thing takes place outside the specific tax jurisdiction of the USA.
And then there's the little matter of how would that money be taxed when brought back into the USA? Oh, sure, anti-money laundering laws sound good, but as soon as they start to impact the high-end tax cheats (sorry, they call it legal minimization of taxes) then they scream bloody murder that the government's going "socialist" and so "We can't let those damn socialists run Washington."
Nope, instead, they write checks to keep themselves on top of the social order - we're talking the guys with the lobby firms and the smear campaigns against anyone, or any group, that would conceivably threaten the well-being of the power elite.
No, the world hasn't improved any over the holiday, near as I can tell. Same place, same problems, same power structure, same check-writing for law passing as before.
(Leaves me wondering everyone missed the point that Mary & Joseph DBA Miracle Genetics, LLc. was trying to make....)
Anyway, the SurvivalWoman article "Are multiple family households a modern day Diaspora" give more details and sure seems to fit with some long-term linguistic values.
Around the Ranch: Tractoring Through Christmas
Most of Christmas Day and Sunday was spent on the back of my tractor cleaning up the property and putting burn piles together.
A surprising amount of personal pain is being endured this morning as a result.
Nothing like a 30-foot high wall of fire to take the chill off a pasture area when it's 25 degrees outside. Still smoldering this morning with a half dozen, or more, piles to go before spring springs. Thinking about renting a dozen for a week, just because a 25 HP diesel tractor will beat a fellow senseless knocking over brush.
Speaking of which, I'm working on getting the kinks straightened out so the daily reports from UrbanSurvival can be delivered via Amazon Kindle. Picked up the new version of Nuance OmniPage 17 which promises to build Kindle-friendly output, so then it will be 9with luck) just a matter of figuring out how to get it down the delivery pipe smoothly.
Any hints would be appreciated.
Before the chart, a little background:
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.
No, it's not a perfect replay of 1929, but history doesn't repeat exactly, it only rhymes. So think of this as the rhymes and the crimes chart:
"George, that's only a coincidence!" your monkey-mind will protest.
Why sure it is...you bet. A 9½ year long coincidence...yessir....just a coincidence, we're like SO sure... (Shhh...don't tell anyone that major Depressions are two-part coupled affairs like the linkage between 1920-21 and 1929, OK? Damn, dude...don't spoil it for the sheep...)
Oh...don't forget to "Write when you get rich!"
George Ure, The People's Economist
Be Sure to See:
Bots: NE Power Outage
Our Favorite Tool:
Emergency Food Stores
This is a Free Financial News and economic information site updated daily except Sundays.
If you can not get to http://www.urbansurvival.com/ from your corpgov workstation, please try our mirror site: http://www.independencejournal.com/ . This site is also available at www2.urbansurvival.com and www3.urbansurvival.com which may not be blocked. Hey www.urbansurvival.co works, too!
· Bulletins are posted as our work schedule permits and as events warrant.
· I try to publish Monday-Saturday by 8 AM Central Time/ 9 AM Eastern with 7:55 Central pretty normal. If you're easily offended by the occasional typo, then check about 8:15 Central we usually proofread and spell check after the first post. We've had some amusing typos in the past... Sometimes a Saturday issue will be dropped due to projects & chores on our ranch.
· Financial and news judgments of the publisher are not to be considered "advice"
· Please read and understand our disclaimer
· All original content © 1997-2010 by George A. Ure except sources as linked. Very short extracts are occasionally used under 'fair use' but never entire articles without permission. That would be beyond 'fair use'.
· Copyright of all linked articles is cited under fair use as this is a topic specific site (long wave economics and humanistic economics, which we call "Peoplenomics"
Our premium service, which contains more in depth reports is available on a $40/year subscription basis. Details at www.peoplenomics.com/subscribe.htm.
The "web bot project" indicates a reference to the time predictive technology embodied in the "Asymmetric Language Trend Analysis Intelligence Reports" technology pioneered and operated by Tenax Software Engineering for http://www.halfpasthuman.com/. An intro to the technology is here. Extracts, when used, are with exclusive permission and any references on other web sites must contain a link to both this site and HalfPastHuman's main page: http://www.halfpasthuman.com/.
Site Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2010 Copyright Notice: The author(s) of this site requires that any links or use of material from this site include the author's name and a link to this site. All links included in our material must also be included in citations. Address questions to: email@example.com. Copyright infringers will be pursued, and please note that Fair Use requires identification of the author/source and we require a link which when you think about it is really minimal recognition of our works and the works of those who are quoted herein.