While America’s attention is riveted on events in D.C. we have remained steadfastly focused on how our “1929 Replay Tracking” chart has been evolving.
Here’s how it looked this morning; prior to the federal jobs report and using early futures pricing:
It’s axiomatic in comparative economic cycles work that “waveforms” are usually similar. The question is whether they are usefully predictive.
More for our Peoplenomics.com subscribers tomorrow (as the chart will be updated to reflect today’s closing prices and worldwide comparisons). But, the main thing to be aware of is the general comparison.
The time-series does not match-up well for many reasons: Foremost of these is Saturday trading in the 1920’s before the Great Crash.
However – and this is paradoxical – the speed of communications also fits into our thinking.
You see, there is what may be thought of as an “information dispersal rate.”
In the 1920’s, most investors were only able to get market prices after the close in the evening newspaper, or before the following day in morning editions. Today, however, the speed at which information travels is nearly instantaneous.
One of the largest contributing factors to economic collapses seems to be information asymmetry. In other words, when a group of “stock operators” and “pool funds” (analogous to hedge funds today) have certain
When the information dispersal rate is slow, the magnitude of the asymmetry grows at an outsized rate compared to widely-discounted information. When the information dispersal is extremely fast, the asymmetries result in a slowing of market change. In digital signal processing, this would extend the time-domain (or timebase).
However, it seems NOT to change the outcome.
Important Historical Contexts
The Gears of History are, in turn, worthy of study, as well.
You can take a general awareness of the modern period in history and catch snippets of behaviors from past historical figures. Lincoln and Hitler are of interest to our studies of late.
Because Trump has cast himself in a role (from his perspective) of trying to save the Nation and keep it whole. In some ways seeing a growing socialist/communist threat (as McCarthy did – and not entirely wrongly). While bringing the Nation to the brink of a civil uprising. That’s how strong emotions are running, as we see them.
On the other side, Trump is sometimes compared to Hitler: Both exhibit strong beliefs in their architectural prowess. On deeper inspection, before rising in the D.A.P. party, Hitler had remained in the German army. Called the “Red army” for training with Bolshevik forces, Hitler protected the Bavarian Socialist Republic, for a time. Radicalism came later.
Does that rhyme with NYC Trump? Who was friendly to ultra-liberals during his heyday in his NYC days?.
Data and Detachment
The question – given these two personality historical analogs – with a third being how Depressions tend to terminate in warfare on a massive scaled – how does one decide “who to throw-in with?”
Here, the answer is simple: “Don’t throw-in with anyone.”
To use the line floating around our Comments section this week, the scene from the closing scenes of the 1980’s movie War Games:
” A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”
And so, going into a terribly uncertain period of history, we have been doing our reportorial best NOT to become partisan. It has been an interesting adventure in thread-the-needle because the Truth is not clear:
- Donald Trump was obstructed from the outset by untruthful allegations and “opposition research” and obstructed from achieving his vision for America.
- Joe Biden, however you view the election’s integrity – a huge issue going forward – was nevertheless confirmed. So he’s “set to sit” in the Oval January 20. A week from this coming Wednesday.
- The reality of an “economy” where cryptocurrencies have become a trillion-dollar factor (in a blow-off even more violent than stocks) has also been – in our view – suspect, indeed. Reminiscent of 1634 Tulips.
Freud was Right – Bush Wrong
As reading “the news” reveals every day” Human character is fundamentally flawed by socialization and education. Much traces to strong religious training afoot in the world today.
One of the cornerstones of virtually ALL western religions is the principle of “Duality.” Right-Wrong. Good- Bad, and of course, Heaven-Hell.
As famously claimed by former president Bush, “You’re either with us, or against us!” Duality at its finest?
Where does Duality come from? There is obvious physical evidence of Duality: Dark – Light, for example in Genesis. Up – Down in physics. And my personal favorite: High and Low tides.
The False Part
Exclusive Duality gives rise to “false choice.” Used to justify extremism. The trick is to look beyond simple dualistic evidence:
- Between Day and Night are transitional states of sunrise and sunset.
- Between High and Low tides is the (sometimes elusive) sea level.
- And between Life and Death, Good and Bad lives Mercy.
- Between Profit and Loss lives break-even.
I don’t mean to bore you. But the Fate of the Nation is not a (false) Binary Choice. It’s a negotiation.
Have a Milk Stool
Reality – as we have paraphrased Freud recently – is experienced as a troika. Id, Super-Ego, and Ego.
It’s tempting to instantly seize upon troika as revealing some deep socialist leanings. Because of the troika conceptualization in Soviet politics.
But troika is generalized. Only one example needed here: European troika, the decision group formed by the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But, if you need another example: The U.S. Courts, Legislative, and Executive branches.
I shamelessly use troika to satisfy erudite academics. They’d be appalled referencing Freudian psychology as simply a “three-legged milk stool.”
Life on the “Milk Stool”
- We have a “Reality” out there. (Delimiter: which way the data leans).
- We all have “Screaming Voices in our Heads” (Screaming when Reality conflicts with deeply held Values).
- Rational Experience is seen through the eyes of our “Judge-self.” Trying to make the best decisions from our “heart of hearts” and “seat of the soul” place.
In chaotic times, be wary of “false choices.” The prevailing worldview is Dualistic; easily used to manipulate outcomes. Bounded by “false choices.” Appealing to those “screaming voices” and inflexible “values.”
For Investors? Dualistically, the choices are “long the market” (betting on higher to come). Or, “short the market” betting on lower prices ahead.
Yet the third way is Cash or Neutral. With a Neutral stance, you’re still subject to the corruption of Money – a whole other discussion – but you will at least be able to see the data and make better-informed judgements when you don’t have a vested interest in the outcome.
Didn’t mean to start writing tomorrow’s Peoplenomics report. Just seems like an important and useful series of contexts to hold near. As we now beam back down to the surface of the Planet of Fools and Idiots.
Federal Job Report: More Bad News
The headline part first:
“Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The decline in payroll employment reflects the recent increase in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases
and efforts to contain the pandemic. In December, job losses in leisure and hospitality and in private education were partially offset by gains in professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.”
The crooked (taxpayer funded) markets were still showing a +100 after the number which is amazing – nothing short of Copperfield level magic.
OK, how did they hide the sausage?
For one thing, in the Household Data, the U.S. workforce was reduced by 4-million. A year ago we had a workforce of? 164,579,000 and this year it’s down to 160,567,000.
When you just “disappear” 4-million workers, OF COURSE things won’t look as bad as they likely are at the street level. Let me diddle with denominator and numerator enough and I’ll deliver any number you want….just saying!
Now, look at the number employed this year in December 149,830,000 which is down from last December’s 158,735,000. 9-million fewer people working!
And – as a maraschino for having the patience to read this website often – let me lay the shocker on you since we have been looking at “crooked numbers via seasonal adjustments” as our whine of the week.
Turns out the Jobs picture is even worse when you throw out seasonal adjustments as revealed in the CES Birth-Death model throw-away data:
So while the headline number is jobs down 140,000 you might argue they’re really down somewhere north of twice that…
Crack pipes on Wall St? +92 at the open… Buy’ed ’em’s gonna save us all, comrades! (seriously?)
Should Social Media have liability exemption is they can Censor at will? Trump Is Losing His Online Platforms.
“How an Internet lie about the Capitol Invasion turned into an instant Conspiracy Theory” in the MIT Technology Review is very informative.
TechCrunch article “Social media allowed a shocked nation to watch a coup attempt in real time” is worth a read, too.
It’s the American Way
So, like a big jay-walking ticket? Boeing to pay $2.5 billion to settle 737 Max jet criminal charges.”
Need a “quick fiddy large?” FBI Offers $50,000 Reward Information Leading To D.C. Pipe Bomb Suspects.
No reactions from either of my two children (40’s) who have now had the Moderna vaccine. As Moderna becomes third Covid vaccine approved in the UK.
And China relight starting? China Fights New Virus Clusters As US Death Toll Soars.
Around the Ranch – Things Ahead
A note or two from the Saturday Gourmet tomorrow. Reveling in Cointreau chicken.
More 3D printing adventures in ShopTalk Sunday.
Working title of Peoplenomics tomorrow: A game show and host “Jack D. Future” is introduced. Along with charts updating where we are in the Blow-Off. America may have lost its values, but by God, we have our prices, don’t we?
What the Hell is THIS?
We moved here in 2003 – due in large part – to the delightful setting rural East Texas offers for seniors – which we figured to become (at some point, though being in our 70’s doesn’t really qualify in today’s world) vital.
Imagine our surprise this morning when the Sunday outlook for the local area included….well…this:
Frankly, we were so upset, we immediately started calling Climate Change websites and demanding they send in strike teams to deal with it.
Only get snow here to any appreciable amount about every 10-15 years. But, if there’s climate change, we’re asking ourselves the obvious: Why is the Texas Snow Cycle still alive?
Write when you get rich and pray for the Nation,