(26’30”N x 89’ 60”W or about 420 miles south of Houston)
The Consumer Price Index numbers Thursday didn’t wiggle the markets much. Neither did the FCC decision, which we’ll get to in a sec. Today, however, the market may turn tail for a while, depending on if anyone figures the punchbowl has been spiked.
There’s the selection of headlines that are deflationary in tone:
- Consumer prices are dropping in Spain, which means the ECB will likely have to pony up for another print money using the plausible deniability of Quantitative Easing.
- China keeps moving towards deflation, too.
Our first major breaking news today is the GDP report, a nearly incomprehensible mish-mash of self-referential mumbo-jumbo, sounds pretty good:
Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 5.0 percent. The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was 2.6 percent. With the second estimate for the fourth quarter, private inventory investment increased less than previously estimated, while nonresidential fixed investment increased more (see "Revisions" on page 3). The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, state and local government spending, private inventory investment, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased. The deceleration in real GDP growth in the fourth quarter primarily reflected an upturn in imports, a downturn in federal government spending, and decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and in exports that were partly offset by an acceleration in PCE, an upturn in private inventory investment, and an acceleration in state and local government spending.
The Baltic Dry Index was up 7 points to 540 this morning, still 2009 levels, impacted with shipping company bankruptcies in the last couple of weeks.
When I looked, stock futures were about flat.
Eventually, the shopkeeper economy will run out of customers and, when it does, things should turn ugly quick. Already this week, we’ve seen JP Morgan/Chase begin moving toward charging for some deposits (which is what negative interest rates are) and that’s how “money in the mattress” became a popular phrase in the last Depression.
Today, in the “new and improved” US economy, you’re only good to maybe $2-thousand dollars of bed money. After that, it will be assumed that you are a drug dealer and the money is IGG – ill-gotten gains, and that will be that.
I assume you have have your receipts for the gold and silver you bought? Because as we continue the deflationary slide, one of the future problems to be considering now is how you’re going to explain having more gold than Scrooge McDuck without a paper trail.
Not to ruin your Friday morning, but it is something to think about.
Echoes of the Communications Act of 1934
The ruling by the FCC yesterday really is a good thing, and regardless of how one thinks of the Obama administration on other issues, this one they got right.
The decision is similar in timing to the major sea-state change in 1934, during the last Depression when government moved to regulate then fledgling radio.
Essentially, the decision says cell phone carriers must as in the public interest and can’t set up special “high speed lanes” for higher paying users and thus, the idea that all bits are created equal is still alive.
At least mostly.
There’s already a special set of lanes for the military. What the ISPs were after was another way to screw consumers out of additional revenue…and thanks to a well-reasoned decision, that’s off the table now.
Verizon went so far as to put out a press release in Morse Code to underscore how they thought it was an anti-progress move.
Of course, phone companies would like to pick your pocket for additional fees, for things like connecting to your private music server or your home surveillance system. So look for the greedsters to head to court next in attempts to fatten their take.
The greedsters were looking to charge for different bit rates, so you could be driven to an Amazon Video over Netflix, depending on connection fee (bribes) would have been paid to the carriers for preferential bit rates.
So yes, Obama’s regime did get something right and it’s in the public’s interest. No matter how the corporate hucksters try to paint it the other way.
Still, as a reader in Idaho puts it:
Just finished your posting, the part about the 1934 communications act and gov’t power struck home….remember what else happened in 1934? Like the NFA, which prohibited Americans from possession of many types of smoke poles and mufflers? I now understand the reasoning behind it: The control of the power base the gov’t has and wants to keep in place……
On the Other Hand: Lynch
The Senate has approved Loretta Lynch for Attorney General. Good attorney, perhaps, but I’ve gotta side with the GOP worries about her support of unilateral executive action on illegal immigration. Can’t these people read law? Blame Bush six years on? GMAFB
The Rest of Washington Goes to Pot, Too
Details here, vape it up.
having missed the snow/sleet at the ranch this week, I was pleased to see the video of Senator Inhofe throwing a snowball while poking fun at the global climate change (new tax) supporters.
Make no mistake, CO2 levels are going up. Yes, it causes greenhouse effect.
But where’s the work on ocean dead zones where fertilizer runoff has killed off the ocean’s natural ability to create oxygenation? When the global climate change people start sounding the alarm on that and impact of sun cycles (which is why other planets were warming) then maybe I will listen more closely.
For now, if it looks like a global tax scam, smells like a global tax scam, then it’s likely a what?
Speaking of which, did you know wheat was grown in England 8,000 years ago? And now that you know it, does it really matter?
Health: Eye Openers
This Google headline is one more reason to drink coffee: Coffee intake linked to reduced risk of MS
Another report (google it) says too much sleep can increase your risk of a stroke.
And, as long as we’re passing out medical notes, here’s a report on an Ebola virus pill.
Take it with coffee when it comes out.
Which won’t be in time for a possible Ebola case in Virginia.