Slip-Sliding Away

The recent election victory of Shinzo Abe in Japan seems to be blowing up as the Japanese market, which has rallied for a while at the prospect of more Abe-nomics promptly fell on its butt last night, down 168 points in overnight trading, but the futures are hinting at a further 400-points, or more, to go.

 

While we’ll just have to wait until this evening to see how much of that actually materialized, the mood in Europe is somber and we expect the US market to open down 50 and close down a hundred and something.

 

Just for example, the land of “new royal diapers” was down 0.84% (when I checked earlier) which – if it carried over into the market here – would mean a decline of something like 130 Dow points, so that’s our dart for this morning.

 

As always, this is not trading advice, unless you’re an imbecile or fool.  But then again, judging by how things are going lately, I may be way off in my population estimates of imbeciles and fools at a planetary level and certain national capitols.

 

As always, I think Mark Twain said it best…but I I’ll be damned if I can remember where exactly, so you go read his complete works (listed over here) and I’m sure it will jump out at you.

 

The Train In Spain Is Mainly a Pain

…at least for the 140-odd people injured.  Likely not for the 78 (and climbing) dead.

 

Durable Goods

Press release just out (I highlighted the weasl-words):

 

New orders for manufactured durable goods in June increased $9.9 billion or 4.2 percent to $244.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 5.2 percent May increase and was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992. Excluding transportation, new orders increased slightly. “

 

Excluding defense, new orders increased 3.0 percent. Transportation equipment, also up four of the last five months, led the increase, $9.9 billion or 12.8 percent to $87.1 billion. This was led by nondefense aircraft and parts, which increased $6.5 billion.

 

Shipments

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in June, down two of the last three months, decreased slightly to to $229.8 billion. This followed a 1.3 percent May increase. Machinery, also down two of the last three months, drove the decrease, $0.4 billion or 1.2 percent to $34.2 billion. This followed a 1.1 percent May increase.

 

Unfilled Orders

Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in June, up four of the last five months, increased $21.4 billion or 2.1 percent to $1,029.4 billion. This was at the highest level since the series was first published on a NAICS basis and followed a 1.1 percent May increase.

 

Here’s how our “magic decoder ring” works on this one:  Money supply is up  6.8% (M2, latest H.6 money stocks report).  So if an increase of only 3% on a dollar basis is reported, that still smells like no growth.  But it makes a nice fairytale or doobie-time story.

 

Nothing changes in our “saved by wars and automakers” paradigm.  Market still looks to drop at the open.  Yada, yada, yada…

 

Weiners and Losers

It’s getting hard to tell ’em apart in the NY Mayor’s race.

 

I trust you remember who told you Monday was National Hog Dog (weiner) day?

 

Today is another particularly auspicious day:

  • This is National Culinarian’s Day

  • National Threading the Needle Day  (sew what?)

  • National Merry Go Round Day

  • National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

I’m be the guy looking perplexed at how to have a Sundae on Thursday.

 

More After This…

 

 

 

Round Up

I don’t know if you have seen the story about how almost a thousand people have been arrested now as part of the Moral Monday in North Carolina but it’s certainly an interesting story to follow.

 

Whether you agree with the position or politics of the demonstrators is not the point so much as is the basic freedom to complain about perceived injustice.  As Wikipedia sums up: “The United States Constitution explicitly provides for ‘the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances'” in the First Amendment.”

 

Since when?  My concern is that governments at many levels are in the process of trashing Constitutional rights (like peaceful assembly, even if not “convenient”) at an ever-increasing rate.

 

Fourth Amendment Dead, Too

And then, while paradoxically most of America had been lulled into sleeping like (royal) babies by the over-hyped new king in the wings story, we are sad to report the House voted to keep in place the NSA spying on Americans plans which means the $2-billion federal data center will be collecting all kinds of stuff on you, like it or not.

 

The list of the 217 promoters of excessive surveillance can be found over here at TechDirt.  these are the folks who gotta get voted out.

 

I’m embarrassed to report that local Texas congressman Jeb Hensarling was one of those voting to promote NSA surveillance.  One more reason to move, I suppose. 

Seems to me what America desperately needs is a Promise Versus Performance law which would immediately remove people from office who don’t vote as they promised when elected to office. 

 

Too many of these slipperies get elected to office only to find out they are moral turncoats once they get back to Washington.  There should be a mechanism to keep our representatives on the straight and narrow despite temptations of cash or (leverage from spy agencies and interstate corporate election buying).

So great is the loss of Constitutional freedoms, so weak is our defense of what’s just simply right, that I’d suggest other journalists join me in refusing to call this “America” anymore.    It’s not. 

 

I like the substitute term ‘Merica because is is still almost America…but just not quite.  Terms like ‘Mericans is a lot more accurate since we’ve become an abbreviated democracy of late.

 

So here’s to the United States of ‘Merica, formerly the land of the free and home of the brave.  No telling where they went.

 

We Knew This Would Happen

Ever read Michael Chrichton’s The Andromeda Strain?  Well, here comes a HazMat report about some kind of nanoscale research goo that has reader Michael wonder “Is this how it all ends?”

 

Wouldn’t that be a fine joke to play on humanity?  A billion years of crawling up from the muck only to be all killed off in a lab accident.  Oh well, sh*t happens, I ‘spose.

 

Tales of Hoarding & More

New York’s Daily News had a pretty good article about Kimberly Rae Miller’s new book and her background growing up in abysmal conditions.  Her book Coming Clean: A Memoir is available from Amazon…and some gritty reading about life on the wrong side of the tracks.

 

Yeah, we read more than economics books, but this really is about how the rubber meets the road when it comes to lifestyle disparities in ‘Merica.

 

More after this….

 

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