Quick market note first: Not much in the way of news to drive things, so the Elliott count (*by a genuine first-class idiot) at the close last night looked like this:
Aggregate Index is slightly positive, but not worth firing up Excel over.
We still think this could break either way, though I stepped in and pulled a 1.48 percent gain in a 2-hour day trade Monday. Volatility is my pal. Made lunch money for the week. In fact, rest of the month.
Russia is ramping up in Eastern Ukraine, but the real damage is being done by our own government’s policies. Meantime, tracking copper – a traditional “war marker” (shell casings and all) – we noticed LME copper, zinc climb on supply woes, China stimulus hopes. I must be the only one aware of all that Russian steel cased 7.62-39.
Engineering Food Collapse?
You should realize that Nasim Taleb may have been wrong (in Antifragile), right? Taleb argued that there are many things that benefit from disorder. What he missed though is the likely upper limits of complexity at which anti-fragility as a pet theory still works.
In an agrarian society, for example, the addition of a new foodstuff provides a degree of anti-fragility. Two crops failing is less likely than one. Complexity works better avoiding famine.
At the industrial level, redundancy is key. Keeps airplanes flying and from running into one-another. We all run back-ups.
To us, though, Taleb didn’t place enough emphasis, on the idea that when complexity rises above an upper usability boundary, Complexity Speeds Collapse. Back-up systems bump into one-another at unworkable levels. Non-linear collapse follows. Like an MCHVE in economics. (A massively correlated hyper-volatility event. AKA financial meltdown.)
Following such a boundary breakdown, humans will revist the 1800’s even without the nuclear winter cover-up (being worked by the neocons driving war ahead in Ukraine). The ownership class needs their scapegoats, so Vlad the Bad and iterations of blamesmanship follow.
A Hat Tip to Ray
Reader Ray H. flagged the Biggy of Food Collapse in the overnight news flow:
“Now, devastating news from CF Industries — one of the largest fertilizer producers in the world — confirms the engineered food collapse plan is being expanded to include fertilizer shipments. According to an April 14th announcement from CF Industries, Union Pacific is halting the delivery of fertilizer shipments right in the middle of peak planting season for farmers.
Well, I’ll be darned — the story checks:
So, yes, we tracked it to the CF Industries presser which reads:
“(NYSE: CF), a leading global manufacturer of hydrogen and nitrogen products, today informed customers it serves by Union Pacific rail lines that railroad-mandated shipping reductions would result in nitrogen fertilizer shipment delays during the spring application season and that it would be unable to accept new rail sales involving Union Pacific for the foreseeable future. The Company understands that it is one of only 30 companies to face these restrictions.
CF Industries ships to customers via Union Pacific rail lines primarily from its Donaldsonville Complex in Louisiana and its Port Neal Complex in Iowa. The rail lines serve key agricultural areas such as Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and California. Products that will be affected include nitrogen fertilizers such as urea and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) as well as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), an emissions control product required for diesel trucks. CF Industries is the largest producer of urea, UAN and DEF in North America, and its Donaldsonville Complex is the largest single production facility for the products in North America.
“The timing of this action by Union Pacific could not come at a worse time for farmers,” said Tony Will, president and chief executive officer, CF Industries Holdings, Inc. “Not only will fertilizer be delayed by these shipping restrictions, but additional fertilizer needed to complete spring applications may be unable to reach farmers at all. By placing this arbitrary restriction on just a handful of shippers, Union Pacific is jeopardizing farmers’ harvests and increasing the cost of food for consumers.”
The Answer Void
What’s missing – because America’s media has been asleep and complicit for years in taking down America – is the WHY part.
C/F says it is railroad mandated. Say what? I asked UP what’s up, so to speak…
I sent a press inquiry to Union Pacific seeking an explanation of just what the hell they’ve mandated and above all WHY.
I daresay most people don’t know who owns UP, but a dime’s worth of research discovers this screen snag from a Google Search… (holder, percent, shares):
The usual suspects? Could it be that we’re seeing someone’s financialization in play? (This could be a tough PR week at Vanguard. Sometimes, even $8 trillion in assets isn’t enough when the pitchforks come out with the townsfolk. Whee!)
This should be interesting – tracking back to see who’s pulling the levers at Union Pacific driving this critical change which is likely to accelerate the coming take-down of cheap, abundant, American grown agriculture.
(*Which, do we need to remind you? Is why we have been urging readers since DECEMBER 2021 to get rolling on home-based supplemental gardening while seed stocks are still available.)
No UP response as of click-time.
Systemic collapse inbound – thanks to bad policies at every turn – from the same system that broke America’s supply chain.
This much we have pieced together from an article in Trains. UP supposedly is starting to “meter traffic” because they claim there is (essentially) too much rolling stock. Clogging things up in their yards and such. UP also then reportedly rambled into tight crew conditions, training, and so forth.
While it’s too early to be sure, we’re standing by for an amorphous kluge of excusifications and dueling finger-pointing all around to cover the arriving take down of food production.
To be clear: This has NOTHING to do with Ukraine. Despite half-cocked assertions from the Drooler in Chief.
(Back of the envelope, we’re wondering how the Diet Industry fares in such events…a side noodle, if you will…watching weight watching, as it were…)
Likely to roll out very similarly to how the PowersThatBe created – via made-up CARB regulations in SoCal with port complicity – rules effectively banning independent truckers from moving containers and such. Sure, as day follows night, the container port disaster on the West Coast fed into massive supply chain shortfalls. Try to order a Chevy Silverado lately?
Somewhere in this continuum, the brighter people (OK, both of us…) will figure out there’s a recurring template appearing in media.
One option is that it is human-driven. IF that’s the case, look for financializations orchestrated by the “usual suspects” on some corporate-government scheme to optimize shearing of the sheep.
OR – alternatively and equally weighted in our outlook – is that Taleb missed the upper boundary problem in Antifragile because at some point it’s all “sand in the gear box” and adding more complexity it only makes things worse. Ned Ludd’s revenge.
Regardless, what’s up next is the Collapse of Complexity is coming for your food.
Conspiracy or Collapse? Will it matter? Around here Einstein’s guidance hints toward the breakdown of complexity:
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.”
America’s leadership – notably absent (at virtually all levels) any semblance of genius or courage – will take the path of least resistance.
Which is why you need to move along with that garden plot or container gardening while there’s time.
The web and the grid will also bump up against Ure’s Upper Bound shortly. We’ll all get to watch as electric car demand craters the grid (which doesn’t have the capacity) and as political controls neuter the once open idea exploration on the web.
Once free, a larger band of prisoners spouting denial would be hard to find.
You won’t have to wear a mask anymore to fly. TSA Will No Longer Enforce Mask Mandate After Florida Judge Ruling – Times of San Diego.
Still, the backers of the power-grabbing elites making up “mandates” clearly illegal, manage to work Donald Trump into the equation in a snide way with headlines like A Trump-appointed federal judge in Florida just struck down the CDC’s mask mandate on planes and trains. Which we figure was a cheap shot and a good monetization. They don’t mention appointments if by Obama or Biden, or Clinton on the Dpack side. You know the motto here, right? Everything is a Business Model. Control the masks control the votes.
Where a business model is in trouble (government in Illinois, for example) we see spins on demasking like Federal judge strikes down travel mask mandate, but no change yet on CTA or Metra – CBS Chicago. Even more ridiculous are events in Votesylvania this week: Philadelphia mask mandate goes back into effect: What you should know – 6abc Philadelphia.
No idea how the dueling power grabbers and blamers in Philly will fare. We’ll keep hiding out here in the woods, thanks.
Philly, honestly, has gone to hell since Stu Bykofsky retired from the Inquirer in July. He continues to post commentary over on his site, and we hope to run into him again at an upcoming meeting of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Elaine and I always enjoyed our chats and his motto: “Reality determines my political positions, not vice versa.”
Ever tried eating tripe? Here’s the newsroom equivalent:
America has a censoring Easter Bunny, it seems: Easter bunny interrupts Biden as he takes selfies with kids and starts discussing Afghanistan | Daily Mail Online. Dumb bunny #1 meet….
Book Burning is likely returning: The culture wars’ next frontier: Public libraries (adn.com) Control the narrative and you can bleep the sheep.
Shameless climate pandering continues. International Day for Monuments and Sites spotlights climate change. Remember the ad rules: reach and frequency to embed in your head. Need another frequency? Add in Hollywood is ‘missing the drama in climate change’. Drama? YGTBFKM.
We have to ask the obvious after reading Puzzling outbreak of liver disease in kids spreads to EU, US – The Washington Post. Are the victims ones who are vaccinated?
Caught this on CNBC: Investors cautious on China markets amid growth concerns, delisting fears. Hang Seng was downb 2.28% overnight.
Double standards of War: Iraq condemns Turkey’s invasion. While reported by RT it will get zero play (and less sympathy) in the West because Turkey is a member of NATO (since 1952) so they must be angelic, right?
Around the Ranch
No sign of climate change; still waiting. Almost anxious to see Wall Street sink beneath the waves…not in our lifetimes, though. Yours either. OK, so we’re a little light on the rain – couple inches down, but life goes on. We’ve been through worse dry spells.
In the greenhouse addition, a dual LED grow light is perking up the tomatoes. Looks like the big trees between the house and shop will have to be trimmed after all. Tree crew is asking one kilobuck for that little chore. $500 a tree sounds high to me.
Trying to figure out the best way to get money back on this project. Looking at selling “wood turning blanks” (bark on or off) on eBay for the home woodworking crowd.
Still braced for that Left Field Event which is due in here. Stay centered and brush after every meal.
Write when we’re all fabulously rich, and not on made-up money. Zimbabwe and Venezuela already tested that. Socialists can’t read.