PBT and the News Filters

You mean PTB as in powers that be, right?”

No, actually, I meant PBT as in pass-band tuning.

Please note the concept of “passbands” – lifted from Wikipedia over here:  You’re looking at the intermediate frequency amplifier passband of a receiver:

Does this, by chance, have anything remotely connected to the stock market, investing, long wave economics, and making a killing in the market?  Otherwise I’m out of here…”

Well, yes, it has EVERYTHING to do with all the above, and move.

The first drawing shows the analogy (in radio receiver design) to how 95% (or more) of people read the news.  It just flows in, unrestricted, and swamps the senses.  Once “in” it charges emotions, causes people to join persuasion blocks and do all kinds of stupid things – like joining the Ready for Hillary drive to raise money for political purposes while (straight faced) telling people in Iowa that she’s still thinking about running. Yeah, right, you bet-cha.

The installation of passband filters, as an adjunct to our normal senses, allows us to exact deeper meaning because within the passband, the signal to noise ratio improves.  There’s effectively less background noise.

With the right set of “filters” installed, we can get a very good zoom-in on the actual meaning of news, at least relative to our “filters.”

OK, half interestingAn example or two, maybe?”

Sure, no problem!

Let’s dial up my favorite passband filter (money, specifically money impacting on that cheaper Scrooge Mr. Ure.).  And to demonstrate, how about we pick one of the largest headlines making news-splash this morning:

House expected to vote on training Syrian rebels to fight ISIS” says the NY Times headline.

Now we apply the “money filter” and stick that in the word-search tool of the browser.  The word “money” brings us directly to:

“It includes no additional money for the training effort, but does allow the administration to accept contributions from foreign powers, in cash or in kind.”

Of course, we can broaden the filter a bit by applying a synonym list:  A political use of money might be the word funding:

“But Republican leaders, eager to get their candidates back on the campaign trail, rebuffed their conservative colleagues. They argued that Senate Democratic leaders would have rolled the authorization for the Syrian rebels into the funding and Export-Import Bank bill anyway, then sent the package back to the House for yet another vote.”

Doesn’t the Ex-Im Bank Charter have to be renewed in the next month, or three?

Aha, you’re beginning to grasp it!  Filters show us “the way…”

imageSo we can pretty much skip the attention-grabber, and following the “money” we find that the Ex-Im Bank reauthorization is contentious even among companies up here in the Northwest, where people have been calling the Import-Export Bank “Boeing’s Bank” for years.

The Seattle Times piece over here and the Wall St. Journal notes here, tell us how the hands of money are moving in the background off to the side of the ISIS story.

(I’d use the “wrap a turd in apple pie” analogy, but that would be unnecessarily crude, even for me.) Still, it make the Ex-Im reauth. inevitable, you see?

How much of ISIS-fighting is really a proxy for Ex-Im Bank reauthorization?  I personally think it’s a smallish (but non-zero) consideration.  Boeing needs “friendly” banking.

I won’t go into who all the Ex-Im Bank customers are, but it should be sufficient to just mention that you can turn on the “money” filter any time you want to follow around the edges of a story where you will sometimes find interesting linkages.  Linkages to the real agendas in play.

Determining the importance of those linkages depends on another concept in receiver design, but you can sharpen up the passband a lot by just adding additional words to filter (effectively zoom-in) on the concepts that motivate people.  Sex, money, and drugs are frequently used filters around here.

There are plenty of analogs to news analysis to be found in a good book on receiver design…depends how important coming up with specifically useful output from your news-junkie habit really is.  Most people are too lazy to “tune in” using filters.

In my case, it’s the ONLY reason to read news or pay attention to what’s going on: personal benefit or gain.

Depending on how arcane you wish to go, the concepts of passbands apply to news, economics, but mainly in radio (RF) and optical design contexts.  But we’ve never felt especially awe-struck by things like domain constraints on useful thinking tools… hence, electronic analogies to economics has proven a useful construct over the years.

Unanswered:  What is the coupling factor between weekly beheadings and bank reauthorization, if any? And do the beheadings constitute, in some 3-degrees separated way, lobbying for the banking measure?

More after this…

    

PPI, Durables, and Market Futures

The release of the Industrial Product and Utilization data Monday was a kind of lead-in to today’s Fed meeting (rate decision tomorrow) that left markets schizophrenic.

The Dow managed to put on a “show” gain, while the tech sector was busy having its butt-kicked out back.

This morning’s dfata cluster involves Produce Prices:

The Producer Price Index for final demand was unchanged in August, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Final demand prices advanced 0.1 percent in July and 0.4 percent in June.

On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand increased 1.8 percent for the 12 months ended in August. (See table A.) In August, a 0.3-percent rise in prices for final demand services offset a 0.3-percent decrease in the index for final demand goods.

Within intermediate demand, prices for processed goods fell 0.3 percent, the index for unprocessed goods declined 3.3 percent, and prices for services moved up 0.2 percent.

Having producer prices up 1.8% from a year ago is a problem, since the M2 money supply printed for the Fed is up 6.5% in the past year. 

But here’s a (probably) tradable oddity:  In the past three months, the M2 growth rate has collapsed (three month basis extrapolated to an annual figure) down to 5.3%.

An armchair economist could wonder if the Fed is either a) trying to induce something of a stall in here so the economy doesn’t overheat or b) if the Fed has just encountered the “wet noodle” problem – that point beyond which they can’t push money into the economy?

Industrial production was up 4.1% year-on-year while business equipment was THE CATEGORY LEADER, UP 5.7% in the capacity and utilization report.  The techs ought to be soaring on this, but oddly, they are not.

Capacity utilization was up 2.8% YoY, but that’s a bit slippery:  If we close down all but one factory in America and outsourced everything else, we could have 100% utilization, but no jobs. 

And that’s the problem with statistics – how they roll and ripple through things, including your wallet.

We’ll  tear into the Fed decision impact on Thursday.

Dow futures down 28 in the pre-open.

Occupy Africa? No, but….

We have to wonder, what with all the energy coming out of places near the Ebola outbreak, what does it mean when the Washington Cartel sends 3,000 troops to help with Ebola?

I’m sure that it’s the humanitarian thing to do, but there are plenty of humanitarian needs around ther world (including shutting off the leaky Mexico border, which has been wiped from headlines lately).

At face value it’s the “right” thing to do, but in Washington, “Right” is so often the ‘flag of convenience” that we’ll ask the rude question anyway.

Note to Our Scottish Kin

Where were the promises of more British funding to Scotland prior to the threat of going Indy?

We have an old Scottish saying handed down in the Ure (formerly Ewar) clan: “If you can’t be generous when you’re poor, you won’t be generous when you’re rich…”

Seems to me that the kneeler’s deal and sudden generosity is a bit, how shall we say?  Self-serving and late?

EU Collapse?

We also have to point out that Scotland is not alone in resetting the value of independence.  The people of Catalonia (Spain) are setting an independence vote and that would really piss-off the royals of Spain, who have their hands into so much.

The tactical problem for the EU is simple:  If Catalonia goes Indy (and opts out of the EU) what is to stop other countries (Italy and Greece come to mind) from doing the same thing and then “Pulling a Mugabe” – stiffing the international banksters at the EU on their plans for total socioeconomic imperialism?

And you wonder why Russia is worried about Ukraine?

Speaking of which, military exercises are underway this morning.  Hut-two-three-four…

I reckon there wouldn’t be exercise unless there was a likely need coming down the pike…  I keep thinking about my next book idea:  “Joy of Cooking [News].  A take-off on the old recipe book.

“Simmer bluster and bullshit 6-month, or under one side is tender.

Attack by peppering the other side.

Broil with mushrooms.

Serve in place of the half-baked government from the Appetizer Menu.

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