And You’re Stressed?

The Federal Reserve is out with it’s Dodd-Frank required 2014 Stress Test results, and if your idea of a good time is poring over 162 pages of financial minutia, this is a real page-turner.  In fairness, reading about how horrific things could be in a worst-case is not exactly boring, but it doesn’t rank with Friday date-night or sushi, for example.

Still, the bottom line is that in a “worst case” scenario for the economy, the losses at the largest banks would be in the area of $500 billion, or about 3.13% of the GDP if we were in the $16-trillion range going into things.

And it’s under this kind of scenario that the US could seer stocks slip back down toward the 2009 levels if the decline were to begin shortly.

Which is not to say that it will…these are just estimates and financial models which people with heavy math degrees generate while they wait for the next release of CoD or whatever.

Markets: Waffling and Wobbling

There was a decent rally in China overnight (+1.2%) but balancing that off was another loss in Japan (-1.65%)

Europe, where I think clinical trials on a new stupidity drug are going poorly, continues to rally going into the US open (of markets, not golf, of course). 

The US futures are likely to tack on another 25 at the open, but it may not hold late in the day since the weekend arrival could be news when markets are closed and only the most ballsy traders would hang though things.

Technically, the S&P is only about 10-points from a new 52-week high and that could happen quickly.  But it it doesn’t, then a further decline will be “game on.”

SocialRev Defense?  Turning Off Tweets

We are closely watching events in Turkey this morning because the government there has pulled the plug on Twitter because there were so many people commenting on the government’s internal corruption which is going viral.

Given the role of Social in Revolution of late, it’s probably a justified fear, but the net being what it is (with millions of very clever people) the workarounds should come shortly.  And then we’ll see if the SocialRev texting leads to the expected outcome.  (Friday’s musical hint is here)

Done Deal

Vlad Putin signed the Duma resolution taking back Crimea.

Lesson:  Their congress is faster than our congress, maybe?

Police State Notes

“Hawaii law lets police have sex with prostitutes.”   Dat’s sum recruiting program, yah got der bud…

And I know you’re going to find the Jonathan Turley column “Kansas Legislation Would Allow Police To Charge Citizens Who Bring Abuse Charges Against Officers When The Charges Are Dismissed . . . By The Police” interesting… even if you don’t live in Kansas anymore.

Spring, Huh?

By tomorrow afternoon, a fairly good-size chunk of America will be under an inch or more of snow, as you can see by this forecast map from the National Weather Service, which you can update by clicking here.

Officially, it showed up here in East Texas about noon Thursday and it was clear and low 70’s – just about ideal weather.

But the rest of the country hasn’t been so lucky.

Our friends out in the San Francisco area are looking at the possibility of mandatory water cutbacks after the driest winter of record.

The good news, such as it is, for the Bay area is there’s about a 70% chance of rain next weekend when…hold on, here….what movie do you think will be opening nationally?

Gotta wonder how the big water movie will do in California’s inland empire, though… Massive tumbleweeds getting press down south of the Air Force Academy near Fountain Colorado…

And on the cold side of things, the costs are pegged at $55 billion dollars.

Travel & Tourism Up, Some

That from the Bureau of Economic Analysis:

Real spending on travel and tourism accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2013, increasing at an annual rate of 4.2 percent after increasing 3.1 percent (revised) in the third quarter of 2013. In contrast, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) decelerated, increasing 2.4 percent (second estimate) in the fourth quarter after increasing 4.1 percent in the third quarter. For the year, real spending on travel and tourism increased 3.6 percent in 2013 after increasing 2.8 percent in 2012. By comparison, real GDP increased 1.9 percent in 2013 after increasing 2.8 percent in 2012.

Been tooling up a new tourism slogan:  Visit the world before it blows up.

Next Week’s News

Looking at the data runs from our project, the word frequency blip today is “epidemic” which has popped up.  It doesn’t seem to have landed/taken root in a major singular story, unless you consider streaking the ruins at Machu Pichu, Peru major.

A check of the CDC website reveals a measles watch in the Philippines, but that shouldn’t drive things like this.  So we will be in the “unsurprised” category if the CDC or other agency announces something next week about an “epidemic” of something. 

These are low probabilities, but they seem to be peeking out of the noise.

Next week also has a number of fine structure constant harmonics of previous news stories coming up.

For example, the March 24 to 29 window is the harmonic off the “Syria gas attack” so another action like that may come to light.

Additionally, we have a whole cluster of items that could hit nicely into the March 25-30 window including:

    • An attack on Israel “from the north” which might be Syria or Lebanon
    • Another aircraft accident/headline
    • And the Taliban are due to smash back into headlines with something big next week.

    Not to be too repetitive here, but when we watch word frequencies, there seems to be a kind of “ebb and flow” to things around fine structure constant harmonics and one could suppose that this kind of “harmonization” may be one of the underlying principles behind astrology.

    I won’t burden you with the longer version of the idea, since the short one is about all I have room for this morning.  But that’s what we’re looking at withy rudimentary word frequency analysis. 

    If you want to build up something more grand like using a machine learning engine and feeding it huge data bites, then your results will likely be better. Let the learning engine do the heavy scatter plot inferences…Try to have that done before lunch, too, while you’re at it…

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    George Ure
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