Celebrate while you can.
Financial markets are closed today in faux Americana. But they’ll be along tomorrow. In the meantime, the Big Predicament has not changed.
Let’s begin with the Labor and Income ledger. Raise your hand if you are making more – on a real purchasing power parity basis – than you were a year ago. Or, has that nonexistent inflation gobbled up any small increase in after-tax take home?
At the close of the short trading session Monday, our Peoplenomics Aggregate Index stood at 38,001.81. To put that in perspective, when the markets (and cryptos) peaked November 8,, 2021, the Aggregate was up at 41,953.86. Forty-tw0 into thirty-eight? Still roughly 10-percent shy of breaking even.
Pardon a Ron Popiel moment. “But Wait! There’s More!”
Experiential Economics doesn’t mention the underlying inflation rate. Which means, even though you may still have 90 percent of your “paper assets” of two-years ago, there’s the matter of two years of 5.7 percent inflation compounding. (11.72 some percent.)
Paper assets, it could be argued, retain about 81-percent of their purchasing power compared with the all-time high.
“But Wait, There’s More!”
There are two bigger pictures to hold in your thinking here. The first being how long wave cyclical economics works. While you’re welcome to be skeptical of Nicholas Kondratiev (né Kondratieff) it’s hard to piss on Clément Juglar’s work.
“He was one of the first to develop an economic theory of business cycles.” reminds Wikipedia.
“He identified the fixed investment cycle of six to ten years that is now associated with his name. Within the Juglar cycle one can observe oscillations of investments into fixed capital and not just changes in the level of employment of the fixed capital (and respective changes in inventories), as is observed with respect to Kitchin cycles.”
It occurs to us that two Juglar Cycles is a very useful metric for comparing decade (and longer) periods of economic expansion.
American liberal economists are absolutely in love with MMT (modern monetary theory) which is the non-Mugabe labeled “Making Up Money” which is behind the massive fail of Venezuela more recently. I keep a few trillion in Zimbabwe special agricultural notes on the wall to remind me how this works.
In the end? Only the market matters, so going into the period of head, plenty of reason why economics is the “dismal science.”
As you look at this, remember R.N. Elliott’s work (plus Prechter and Frost): Markets advance in 3 or 5-wave moments.
Since we “walked the line” from the Friday high, and I’m short the market now, it will be instructive to see how coming weeks evolve. Still, we never play with “money we can’t afford to lose.” Pappy didn’t raise no fool. And I don’t trust Stephanie Kelton’s very Marxist sounding “The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy” one bit.
In the “normal” read of such things, our Aggregate could rally as high as 39,585. Just remember we are 265-days into Wave 2 Euphoria. At the tops of Wave 2’s, that’s to be expected. But fade the hype of a New Bull Market until we’re at least 10-percent above 2021’s high.
Other Dawns, Other Con’s
Speaking fools and their gold soon parting: Bitcoin has clawed back over $31,000. Not to be a gdog-in-the-manger here, but am I the only one who looks at settlement times?
A couple of weeks back (getting little mainstream notice): Bitcoin Policy Institute Rejects Science Behind ‘Limited Adoption Problem – InsideBitcoins.com.
We continue to believe that either BTC has gone up because of government funding of Wagner Group flip-flops on Moscow (“show me the money!”) OR: CME plans to introduce ethereum-to-bitcoin ratio futures end-July.
“Ya’ll come jump in the pool – room for all the fools in the world…”
Yet even now, peels of distant thunder are heard in Rich crypto traders to face IRS scrutiny after judge rules against Kraken.
(It’s a word now; I just added it to my dictionary…)
Ah. The Biblical bittering of “the waters” is on schedule: Japan Discharge of Fukushima Radioactive Water Into Pacific Gets Green Light – WSJ
Starting a new “Joe Blow” file: Secret Service investigating suspicious substance found in White House. Some “lines of defense?”
No let-up in attacks on recent US Supreme Court decisions: Legitimacy of ‘customer’ in Supreme Court gay rights case raises ethical and legal flags | AP News
And, if you missed the X-Files reruns (or Skinwalker) Italian researcher shares evidence files of secret ‘first’ UFO crash in Italy. Went to U.S. forces, huh?
Around the Ranch: Holiday Chores
The major “chores” around here?
- Get the prime rib out of the fridge to come up to room temp. 10 AM.
- Roast in at 3 PM.
- 3:01 PM: Mix V-8, hot sauces, and two shots of clear flammable liquids into a bloody something-or-other.
Elaine likes the Bloody Cesar (with gin) while I’m still agnostic, however drawiug the line at Jim Beam and tomato juice. That’s just sacrilege.
Woo-Woo: Mercury Nearing
Spent literally all day Monday working on the computer at the electronics workstation. It’s an older (recycled) Win 10 machine. Needed for a USB oscilloscope and SDR spectrum analyzer, etc.
After uncountable updates to the OS I finally got the latest and greatest Logi Optimum+ and mouse/keyboard drivers installed. Right out of the box MK270 mouse and keyboard WOULD NOT WORK. Everything went by the book until the “cycle the device” part pairing. Here, the Unifying receiver reported the keyboard was “Not a supported device.”
So? Ure always has backups for everything. Got out a brand new Amazon Basics wireless KB/Mouse. Keyboard was fine but I got the 1-in-10,000 mouse with a manufacturing defect. Took the wired mouse off the CNC workstation’s computer and now using that. New mouse is on the way.
Which is all minutia until I get to the point. I’ve told you in the past that Mercury Going Retrograde is a very real thing. Mercury Retrograde Dates 2023 | What Is Mercury Retrograde? | The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Normally, I don’t have persistent/pernicious issues like this except for a period 3-4 weeks ahead of Mercury going retrograde. August 23rd is when we go “retro” next.
What’s interesting is that my “hot zone” ahead of retrograde is seven weeks from now, not the expected 3-4 weeks. Which gets me thinking there may be something out my “Retrograde Offset” (everyone has one) is either really changing, or this will be an exceptionally bad retrograde.
Sure hoping it’s not this…
It occurred to me I didn’t give you enough “starting points” in Sunday’s ShopTalk on the HF radio (ATS-25) to master antenna considerations. Here is a small collection of antennas to consider and some discussion on each.
1. Plain Wire of any length between 6-feet and 100 feet.
This will work inside the house, laying on the floor, but very poorly if your home has aluminum faced insulation and/or a metal roof. There’s a belief that “higher is better” but this applies less so pm HF bands. But height above average terrain (HAAT) rules the world from about 12-meters up. Longer is better…
2. And Even Longer Wire down low. One reason to use an even longer wire, down low, is that even unterminated (some other day) a long low wire will have low noise and be slightly directional.
We have a couple of down-low Beverage Antennas here for receiving. About 300-feet of twin lead each. Terminated by an imperfect ground at the far end, the antenna isn’t louder, but the signal to noise ratio is better. For home use? Total overkill.
3. Vertical Antenna. Something 33-60 feet (even at a high angle up) works great.
Antennas are subject to “polarization.” On HF (above roughly 5 MHz) a vertical wire antenna is popular for transmitting. Let’s look at the elevation pattern for a 33-foot piece of irrigation pipe that I used while still in high school. Think of the antenna going up and down and you’re standing off to the side:
Verticals have some major drawbacks, not the least of which is they have a higher noise floor than a comparable gain antenna horizontally polarized. Noise (HF) tends a bit more to be vertically polarized. Which is why purists often use a horizontal “beam” antenna. The Major – my pal of 71-years – likes a “quad” antenna. They’re a great choice if you have a tower, rotator, and an (ahem) erection crew. Not a popular choice with the Condo Nazis in the HOAs.
4. Loop antennas. These are reasonably easy to find or make. Depending on your maker genetics and time constraints.
5. Variations and Assortments. An article at Longwire antenna | The SWLing Post will cover more than we can here, but one more fine point of installation.
Basics of Common Mode Noise
Most people use coaxial cable to lead from the antenna feedpoint into their “shack.”
Problem is common mode noise. Which tends to be local noise from electronics in the home.
A good shortwave receiving station ought to have a good “radio ground” system. One, or more, grounding rods tied together with heavy copper wire. The outer part of the coax is connected to the ground system via the most direct route.
Now, let’s get rid of the local noise on signals. (Some of which I covered in Ham Radio Safety Chokes here.)
Not only do you need the radio end grounded, but if the top is open circuit (as most simple dipole antennas are), you can still get “common mode noise” induced on coax from the open circuit end.
This is one reason why hams are so nuts for Baluns. Devices which match balanced antennas to unbalanced feedlines, and such. Proper Baluns provide a DC short to noise. With both ends of the feedline shorted to ground, the common mode noise is reduced.
You may wish to add a 9:1 receiving balun to your HF antenna kit. Something like this $15-dollar unit on Amazon.
This doesn’t mean all noise going away, it just works on the feedline part. You will still hear local noise sources – but at reduced amp0litude.
There are some ways to reduce noise further. Such active measures include noise phasing equipment. Such as the recently arriving Chinese-made QRM eliminators which go for $50-ish on Amazon.
Neat little device: It uses a “noise sense” antenna which is then amplified and phased to offset locally generated noise. This kind of unit has come and gone around hear over the years. At one time in my life, a competition grade tube receiver and even more knobs to twist was the cat’s meow. Lately, depressing the DSP key has a similar effect with less wrist strain!
There – between the prime rib, drinks, radio projects, and pondering the charts, it’s beginning to look like another too short holiday weekend.
Have fun, don’t drink and drive, and write when you get rich,