(Gig Harbor, WA) It was a marvelous weekend up here in the Pacific Northwest. Not a care in the world since the sun was out, all the relatives were in marvelous form, and daughter Allison (the award-winning chef) whipped up apple sauce/cream cheese French toast Saturday that was incredible.
Dinner at the golf club with the other side of the family was great, too, especially the blow-torched prime rib. Toss in a sci-fi movie festival and laundry for a lazy Sunday and it is such a drag looking at numbers again, I can’t stand it.
But look we must and right out of the box the main thing to consider is that deflation is still running full steam. The price of oil on the futures market was down in the $92 range – and that may explain why the seismic outfit that has been itching to get on our ranch to set some test charges hasn’t shown up yet.
Oil prices being down means a) ISIS isn’t going to turn off oil, b) demand follow-though has been seriously muted by better fuel efficiency auto sales, and c) industrial consumption is more or less flat.
Toss in last week’s employment data and the Fed better not be too quick to raise rates because that might set up a secondary recession. So they’re back in the policy penalty box until the signs of recovery strengthen.
Which gets me to the first question of the week: What IF the economy NEVER pulls out of the doldrums it is now in?
It’s more than just a theoretical answer:
As I’ve been muttering (under my breath) for a while: The Fed may have all the levers in the world and they may be able to print-on-demand and keep the very rich in their chairs, but how about the little people that Senator Bernie Sanders was talking about over the weekend?
The question on the table in coming months will be “Is America at some risk of going Anasazi and just walking out of the game because we’re working harder and paying more, only to lose ground (in terms of lifestyle and prospects generally) anyway?”
A week from Thursday, we’ll head back to the ranch and ponder that one deeply. I can’t help but wonder, though, if some of the reason why Ferguson, Mo. was such a flashpoint was because it was a rallying point for a lot of pent-up socioeconomic dissatisfaction. as much as a wrongful death protest.
If it was, will Eric Holder or the National Guard’s leadership be able to see it and tell it like it is?
California Remnants, Drought Ramping
The west coast drought isn’t just a problem in southern California. It is so dry in Nicaragua now that people may end up eating more iguanas because of it
On our return to Texas, we may wander through NorCal a bit – if for no other reason than to see those lakes (or what used to be lakes) around Mount Shasta.. We flew over them about two years ago in our plane and the pictures at that link show things are even worse now.
We’ve been concerned watching this story develop, but it’s no surprise since we reported this to our Peoplenomics subscribers back in January of this year (Peoplenomics 644-B):
That 2013 was a record dry year is not enough to get people to thinking about relocation. But another year, a serous lack of water continuing, and that could all change.
But the big picture is already shifting. In a report this summer for the Hoover Institute at Stanford, Carson Bruno wrote that there was already a 2% net out migration in the 2004-2012 data:
“Looking at age, we see the red flag: individuals are coming to California in their early 20’s and not sticking around. We find that only college-age individuals see a net in-migration into California; all other groups witness a net out-migration, with the 40-to-54 age group — those in the prime of their professional careers — having the highest level of net out-migration. Despite college age individuals experiencing a net in-migration, the drop-off in the 25-to-39 age group suggests that these individuals are not staying within the state, likely due to the high cost of living in California and/or the lack of employment. ”
With more “grays” looking for a hassle-free life, and with the threat of drought building, could that rate dramatically increase?
We are still looking at the data and will update it as available, but weather patterns do go through periodic oscillations. As the Anasazi people know well. It kicked them out of their lands and pueblos centuries ago and no, that was not due to global warming of the Gore sort.
Taxing “carbon” may be ridiculous, but a tax to help people relocate to more sustainable locations? That makes sense, although I doubt truth in advertising will be the chosen approach on this. It certainly hasn’t been so far.
The period ahead will be interesting, for sure. Especially with NOAA’s latest Solar Weather Prediction Center’s newest report on the sunspot numbers for August just out this morning. The data shows that the sunspot numbers are returning to their very low levels…
Some experts argue that when the sunspot count is low, the Sun’s output is reduced. And that in turn should lead to a cooler earth.
Sure enough, that part is working out well: Summer snow is set to arrive in southern Alberta this week and elsewhere on the net, there is much discussion about how snowfall in the northern USA may come almost a month earlier than average.
Now let me show you something interesting:
What we have off to the right, there, is a list of how many pages of Wikipedia listings (2P means 2 pages of floods, 18P means 18 pages of floods) going back to 2000.
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to connect the dots and make some intelligent guesses as to what’s ahead in our shared global future.
Note that the flooding events were broadly peaking in 2007-2013.
But with almost 3/4ths of 2014 down the tube, we have only six pages of floods. Inference? Drought (or lack of floods) may be a “backside of solar cycle peak”phenomena.
When the Sun’s output is fairly stable, the weather normalizes. But when we get a big “top” in sunspots (solar output) that drives a lot of water into the air which is held there until the cooling period arrives in earnest (2007-2013) and the sunspot minima only to continue up the next cycle’s sunspot ramp-up.
This isn’t science, but it’s an interesting pet crackpot theory of mine. If you live in California it’s hardly a moot point, since when this cycle bottoms out in 2019 to 2025, we might be seeing major floods again returning to the headlines.
More after this…
Active Trading? Ha!
With Dow futures down 27 points when I looked, this is hardly a go-get-em kind of Monday. The only big news out today will be the Consumer Debt Report from the Federal Reserve an hour before the close today. If enough people put on the yoke of debt (repression) then the market could rally. Otherwise, look for the post-mortem tomorrow right here.
The EU says it has more sanctions in the works for Russia for their role in Ukraine. Of course the Russians don’t want the EU ‘effing up their country, so there are two sides to this.
In this fine game of tit-for-tat, it’s sad to hear, though, that the EU has another “tat-in-the-wringer” so to speak.
(That was a fine piece of literary restraint, if I do say so, me-self)
We’re Not Choking
…as we pass on reports of a new respiratory virus in several states.
Say, is it legal to grow belladonna?
This respiratory thing could be the “tip of an iceberg” says this CNN report.
(Or could end up a pile of dirty Kleenex, which I think would have been more colorful, but maybe that’s why I don’t get high-paying job offers to write headlines.)
Speaking of Drugs
New emails are starting to his featuring cannabinoid oil extracts with CBD only – claiming to be legal in all 50-states, as an e-smoke.
The ads claim that when denatured of their THC (the high part of weed) that the CBD part (from natural hemp) is both calming and may have some anti-inflammatory properties.
Reports welcome if you’ve tried ‘em…or if you have sources I can site on this legal question.
Maybe I should stick with trying to milk magnesias.
It’s….It’s….It’s a Baby!
Yes, some royal, or other, is splashing large by fathering a child. (Trust me, I’m a three-time loser of the world’s favorite pastime: Birth Canal Roulette…it ain’t that hard to do…)
For the 99.6% who aren’t in that income category, maybe it’s just another indication of how we’re royally screwed, methinks. Message in the headlines, anyone?
But then again, I’m cynical…
The thing that’s British and more worthy of your focus is the ‘Scotland vote on secession.