Super short column today because we may be down to “short strokes” in terms of “How does all this work out?”
Data First: Inflation Shows
Labor’s out with Employment Costs – which are one of the price drivers when you go shopping:
“Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 1.0 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in December 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries increased 1.1 percent and benefit costs increased 0.9 percent from September 2021.
Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 4.0 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2021 and increased 2.5 percent in December 2020. Wages and salaries increased 4.5 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2021 and increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2020. Benefit costs increased 2.8 percent over the year and increased 2.3 percent for the 12-month period ending in December 2020.
The second report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis has to do with Personal Income and Outlays (which were once called expenses, but that was too simple…):
“Personal income increased $70.7 billion (0.3 percent) in December according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $39.9 billion (0.2 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $95.2 billion (0.6 percent).
Real DPI decreased 0.2 percent in December and Real PCE decreased 1.0 percent; goods decreased 3.1 percent and services increased 0.1 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.4 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.5 percent.
Personal Income is a statistical fiction. REAL DPI is what matters. Pass the Astroglide?
Next weekend gets off to a slow start with farm prices Monday afternoon and a purchasing manager’s report in the morning.
Weekend War Worries
German and French markets were down more than 2% earlier today while the UK was down one and a half percent. US futures down almost 1%, as well.
Been interesting watching the flow of news this week. Shorter running of the bears than we expected, but now a solid move lower is anticipated.
The Economic Fractalist’s comments from late Thursday warn of hard down potential today, as well. That said, Japan managed a 2% dead cat bounce going into today. Europe, though, plain old sucks. Even looks like desperation BTC buying to arb up markets. We shall see.
Radio and television have been covering the possibly pending war in Ukraine pretty well. But online coverage by the MSM majors has been someone muted. Could this be how both the Russians and the domestic socialists “shape” populations?
This sound like peace is about to break out? Biden admin warns that serious Russian combat forces have gathered near Ukraine in last 24 hours | Daily Mail Online. The 82nd Airborne reportedly is on hot standby; Russia’s been doing a “low key call-up” which is leaking on social media.
The report that three Russian landing craft (presumably loaded with Russian marines) transited the Strait of Gibraltar this week. Which is 2,000 statute miles, 1,740 nautical or 4-days steaming which will put them on site perhaps Sunday.
Three other Russian ships are presumably headed for Cuba and we wonder what kind of “surprises” they might have aboard. If yesterday’s column wasn’t enough of a hint.
Since we don’t watch wires like a hawk over the weekend, be sure to bookmark https://ukrinform.net as their coverage is pretty good – better than politicized ‘Merican slop. Two examples? Zelensky-Biden call: President’s Office reveals details (ukrinform.net) (which you may compare with White House drool on point. And with the UN Security Council jaw-flap due, Donbas update: Invaders violate truce twice Jan 27 (ukrinform.net) is worth noting.
Russia is likely – in our strategic view – more likely to do sooner than later. With the 82nd still here, and the US arms slow on the flow, plus the little matter of China’s snow-free winter games publicity, Putin has lots of reason to strike this weekend. Moreover, the Ukraine National Guard is in an uproar over a recent shooting incident that will likely cause a change of command. Again, more turbulence Putin could take advantage of.
The 1929 Comparison
Yep. Starting to look pretty fugly. The free-wheeling House spending plans and the easy-money Fed have wasted American resources that will be needed for recovery in a couple of years. More than $9-trillion in excess Fed funding, alone, so far.
The good news? The efforts to “paper over” a second Depression have at least slowed down its arrival.
Further bad news is apparent in the Elliott wave analysis of our Peoplenomics Aggregate Index. It shows us solidly into a Wave 5 down of the larger 3. Like so:
The main problem seen now is what?
It’s axiomatic that “Crashes don’t happen at TOPS – they happen at Bottoms and the light gray box in the lower right gives us an idea how far down Wave 3 must go to meet the Elliott rule “Wave 5’s can never be the smallest move – except in the rare instance of a fifth wave failure….” The daily news flow would have to feature the clouds parting, sun shining and a boatload of real good news to set up a failure here.
Kick-ass report in the NY Post today has us wondering if we have a president or a Crook in office: Chinese elite have paid some $31M to Hunter and the Bidens (nypost.com).
Why, it’s true! We live under the best government money can buy!
I gotta hand it to Joe…his timing is impeckerble: Pittsburgh bridge collapses on day Biden to visit city to talk infrastructure – The Washington Post.
Imagine the headline: Winter Storm Kenan to Hit East Coast With Heavy Snow and Strong Winds, Including Blizzard Conditions | The Weather Channel. My God, you’d think it was winter, or something.
Keep on Trucking…
Canadian truckers are furious with the (idiotic) crimeminister’s high-handed power grab of Covid powers. As a result Canada truckers’ vaccine protest spirals into calls to repeal all public health rules | The Guardian
Curiously, the Mainstream Media is trying to cast this as a dangerous parallel to the Jan. 6th (instigated) events in D.C. Opinion: Trucker convoy has evolved into something far more dangerous – The Globe and Mail.
Defenders of the Paradigm just don’t understand the world has changed and BS is out. No longer coin of the realm unless you’re really Looney.
Off to chow and a food run.
Write when you get rich,