Two Big Adventure stories hold focus this morning: Where the markets go from here and how to deal with some remarkable healthcare issues. Since Urban is about economics and prepping (mainly) let’s start there.
Mo Money – Mo Money!
Yeah – after calling for a war-time-like effort at Job Creation, the Fed Boss this week seems to have missed one of the “current realities of contemporary life.”
People don’t need much more stuff. What’s worse? Well – backing up a bit – in order to increase jobs there needs to be some kind of new demand.
Therein lies the stuff of Depressions.
As tech runs its course, other than the social media bubble….
For now, the Fed is printing money like fools (with apologies to fools!):
For now, the Fed’s answer to “all that ails us” has been to print ever-more money in order to grease the skids of commerce. Thing is (putting on the marketing hat) you’ve actually got to be able to sell something.
Otherwise, America ‘ain’t buying’ and that’s why no new jobs. Fact is, and a point often repeated here – we need some innovation in Congress. Bring back something like the Civilian Conservation Corps, or the Works Progress Administration.
Absent that – we are now living in a country where out National Debt exceeds the Gross National Product. Which means, we are in the same position that led places like Cyprus to enact things like Bail-Ins. Looks to me like we’re getting close.
Balance of Trade…or Guillotine?
With the Senate presentation of the Trump Defense today, the end-of-the-line for the largest political monetization in history. It was made possible by social media which managed to de-platform opposition views. And which continued into the aftermath of the Capitol demonstration as we’re learning how Facebook helps the Feds go after people. We are wondering whether Facebook or Twitter has de-platformed and gone on a facial recognition binge against the violent uprisers in Portland and Seattle’s CHAZ…but no, they likely wouldn’t since there’s a radical left agenda being pulled over our eyes. But, I digress.
Data Matters, Guides
The latest report out this week from the Association of American Railroads fails to shed any light on where economic salvation will come from:
“For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 495,815 carloads and intermodal units, up 2.2 percent compared with the same week last year.
Total carloads for the week ending February 6 were 226,393 carloads, down 2.5 percent compared with the same week in 2020, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 269,422 containers and trailers, up 6.4 percent compared to 2020.
Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included grain, up 5,070 carloads, to 25,951; chemicals, up 909 carloads, to 33,581; and farm products excluding grain, and food, up 551 carloads, to 16,801. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2020 included coal, down 4,936 carloads, to 60,071; nonmetallic minerals, down 3,530 carloads, to 24,821; and miscellaneous carloads, down 1,546 carloads, to 9,321.
For the first five weeks of 2021, U.S. railroads reported cumulative volume of 1,156,696 carloads, down 2.2 percent from the same point last year; and 1,442,642 intermodal units, up 11 percent from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first five weeks of 2021 was 2,599,338 carloads and intermodal units, an increase of 4.7 percent compared to last year.”
The term intermodal may be thought of as “containers” which then parses in the economic lookup table to “China/Asia.”
America’s forthcoming problem with China is – and the numbers support this – holding America by her privates. Those intermodal numbers scream that China completely owns our “middle consumption” now. The 3 micro chips will come from Asia while the current best American is 14 microns. This is repeated in almost everything you look at.
America Buy Out Targets
Say you’re a denizen of the Middle Kingdom (China) and you believe it to be “China’s Century.” How do you “take-down America?”
Consider her dependencies:
- Technology (phones and droids)
- Housewares and appliances
- Energy and Food
Look at the US as China Might
What would your workplan be to take down such a country with minimal effort and at the same time offering the highest rates of return?
- In tech: Get American companies to use proprietary Asia parts. Make them realize that only South Korea and Taiwan can produce the products needed. And so, with manufacturing facilities in hand and parts under control, who really owns tech? No, not the folks in Cupertino. In fact, however, since they do have some savvy engineers, it becomes an acquisition target in the aftermath of the financial calamity to come.
- In Houseware and Appliances, what would the PLA’s business control strategy be? An acquisition of controlling interest in Wal-Mart would be a start. Then press (owning congress) for breaking up of big companies that offer an alternative – or acquire them at pennies on the dollar – which is I expect one of reasons Jeff Bezos opted out. What wou7ld you buy if control was the objective?
- Clothing? Same thing: Limits to fashion mean less variance in product, less flair – and here’s the critical part: Less individuation. People who are forced to dress the same, live in the same locations, buy the same cars, vote for the same (effing) idiots?
They tends to be manageable because of their lack of variability. Penned in sheep. Which is why Paris and NY used to be fashion centers. Now, we all look Beijing and Russian. Only the few in power have anything approaching access.
- Last, you would control food and energy. On the food side, any of the big meat producers. China would have to lust after control of Tyson’s, P&G, and others. And on the energy side, only the companies with the most proven – recoverable reserves in ground – would be worth it. Anything that looks like it would slow America’s fall – like completing the Keystone pipeline? All handle by Joe Bribem’s cut-outs both in family and on the Hill.
A sick survival strategy may be to look at companies who are China’s biggest partners in the American market now and invest in those. Thinking they may be more likely to survive a post-collapse “great reset” – which is nothing more than a final beat-down by the rich to steal what little real working people have.
China is used to long, drawn-out wars, more so than use. Countries with thousands of years of history look at periodic upstarts like the West has weak wannabe’s.
And the hell of it is? They are probably right.
One option for when the media monetizations of Trump end, is for mainstream media to come up with New Monetizations to increase hate levels and therefore play the great game, again. Go ahead…name that game!
The Great American Sucker-fest.
Go head – read some of these headlines and let’s see it works out. Ready?
And, we should be able to make out who’s on the in and who’s on the outs in politics to come. Just keep an eye open stories like “Cuomo aide’s admission on nursing home coverup sparks calls for probe.”
Against this dismal excuse for a country – one lacking unity that comes from shared goals not divided monetizations – we see the Dow futures were only down 27 with 50 minutes to the open.
Three day weekend? Crazies taking over…yeah, we continue to be short because the future isn’t calling, yet.
Adventure Story #2
Elaine’s ongoing recovery from hip surgery ought to speed up a bit today, since I’m going to take her up 2 1/2 steps into the studio entrance to the house and get her out of the guest room.
Not that it’s a bad place in the guest room. Just that the weather here in East Texas is about to go to shit and in event of power failures, we have backup propane heat in the house. Solar enough to run the office, but the new panels aren’t mounted yet…
So in our strategic picture here? We have:
- Elaine still bedbound with escorted exercise breaks. I run the “escort service.”
- George still suffering horrible gout in right kneed from the parking lot fall 10-days back. Banged it again Wednesday in parking garage…d’oh!
- Low temps of 5 down to zero in the forecast for Monday. Likely power will go out…
- 8+ inches of snow forecast from Sunday-Wednesday. With near zero break pipes?
- Insurance has delayed the assignment of a Home Health physical therapist…
This last if of interest: We have a national “Medicare Advantage” plan (AARP/UHC). But, when sent to the healthcare agency (primary) they said No due to the outfit that does the “plan administration” in Texas – outfit from Austin. (Sounded like a cut-out in a flim-flam, to me.)
So today, the doc’s staff will be trying to get that ironed out. They have to send the order in to the home health people, who then have to be signed off by the plan administrators in Austin…and if I don’t have something nailed down by noonish, I’ll have to “ring the lawyer bell” and see if they hear it.
Oh…look: A Microsoft update also this morning swiped 10-minutes of task time, too.
Been up since 4:30- changing bedding, running laundry, getting hot-set PVC glue ordered to come in tomorrow before the crappy zero temps. Going through the plumbing and getting pipe caps and the PVC pipe cutters out, too. Plan for the worst, so water in advance and so forth…
Don’t mean to bitch, though. I figure that folks like Jack London and Robert Service all had episodes where “Universe throws all the shit it can at you...” This mine? Easy (though busy) so far…. just a pain with the gout flaring…
Who knows? With enough such “pressure-testing” maybe I will improve as a writer. You think?
Hand me my cane…off and running again. Peoplenomics on schedule for tomorrow…interesting project there, too.
Blizzard II in a place where snow it a once-a-decade event? Global Warming, huh? (Bullshit! it’s weather!)
Pray for warmer weather and write when you get rich,