Here’s how today ought to roll: The market should pop up a hundred, or so, but today’s daily dart lands on some selling starting around 10:43 Eastern/9:43 Central time as the market gets ready to wind up Q1. A drop of a bit today and maybe a further drop next week (to drive prices down for the Q2 buys) would make sense if we rally into May. Not a prediction, just where our darts have been landing.
We do have a lot of faith in darts, as Paul Samuelson’s work seemed to show. As amplified in Burton Malkiel’s classic book “A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (12th Edition). Malkiel, BTW, spent a very successful 28-years at the Vanguard Group. I wish I had 1-10th of his brains…then again, maybe that’s a fair estimate. But, I digress.
There is a bit of “hard economic news” just out from the Bureau of Economic Analysis which has been ever-so-slowly recovering from GovDown earlier this year. In this morning’s chapter of “Belated Economic Data” we read two month’s worth of data…
“Personal Income and Outlays, January 2019
Personal income decreased $22.9 billion (-0.1 percent) in January according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income decreased $34.9 billion (-0.2 percent), and personal consumption expenditures increased $8.6 billion (0.1 percent).
Real DPI decreased 0.2 percent in January, and real PCE increased 0.1 percent. The PCE price index decreased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1 percent.
The decrease in January personal income primarily reflected decreases in personal dividend income, farm proprietors’ income, and personal interest income that were partially offset by increases in social security benefit payments (related to cost of living adjustments) and other government social benefits to persons, which includes the Child Tax Credit and the Affordable Care Act refundable tax credit.
In January, real PCE increased $15.6 billion which reflected a $20.8 billion increase in spending for services that was partially offset by a decrease of $7.7 billion in spending for goods (table 7). Within services, the largest contributor to the increase was spending for financial services and insurance. Within goods, new motor vehicles was the leading contributor to the decrease.
Personal outlays increased $6.3 billion in January (table 3). Personal saving was $1.19 trillion in January and the personal saving rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, was 7.5 percent.
Personal Income, February 2019
Personal income increased $42.0 billion (0.2 percent) in February. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $31.3 billion (0.2 percent); Real DPI is unavailable for February.
The increase in personal income in February primarily reflected increases in wages and salaries, government social benefits to persons, and proprietors’ income that were partially offset by a decrease in personal interest income.”
As the US rushed to put some points on the board Thursday, we were much more interested in looking at the Fed Money Supply numbers which continue to reveal the mechanics of “lower for longer” as championed by Ben Bernanke. The new Fed H.6 money stocks report for the 13-weeks ending March 18 showed the M1 print run at 3.6 percent annualized and that’s the kind of range that will generally cause a market decline. But not always…
I might have mentioned this to you previously, but it bears repeating: America was blessed with Bernanke at the helm of the Fed and in his academic afterlife (where the L4L strategy came from) because he’s in the same league with Murray Rothbard in taking in the whole of the 1930’s Depression impacts.
The “starter kit” to understand current economic currents would include just two books: Murray Rothbard’s “America’s Great Depression” and Dr. Bernanke’s “Essays on the Great Depression.” Toss in Richard T. Ely’s later books and articles and you’d be smarter than me. (I’m still competing with the door knob…)
Since we “spun up” our home intel platform (with a side of Nostracodeus web-scanning software on an old server) we’ve been getting our fill of “trigger event” analysis to read about the coming Indo-Pak SloGloWar.
On the Brewminate site, an article by By Dr. Alyssa Ayres
Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia
Council on Foreign Relations, is worth a read: India and Pakistan at the Brink.
To even mention the CFR will no doubt set off alarm bells because conspiracists think the CFR runs the world. While we make no judgments of that sort, we believe the “steely-eyed” view of the future we hold should not be tainted by bias against any sources. Experience offers guidance that source-bias (as opposed to dispassionate data study) is a huge source of error when predicting the future.
Since the “Division of India” happened August 15, 1947, and since we know the 72-year war/massive political change cycle runs a bit short (71.916 years), we have circled 30.66 days before that as the time to have fallout prepping complete. Round it off to July 15 ought to be close enough, though I wouldn’t want to be in New Delhi after, oh, tomorrow, or so…
That’s because there is a lot of movement in the India-Pakistan arms race. You should have noted that India recently claimed it had shot down one of it’s own low-orbit satellites. This makes the case they can bring down the “national technical means” or other countries.
Since things are on a fast simmer with Pakistan now, and since spy satellites are like fleas on a dog, we notice that in response.”
Remember, arms races have unpredictable outcomes. Although it’s popular “bubble head” to say the U.S. beat the Soviet Union, that’s because of militaria. It was because when VHS video tapes showed middle class workers in America living at hugely better lifestyles than central planning was delivering, revolution quickly followed.
The “bubble head” part is such boastful capitalists forget that the US-Soviet arms race almost went to flashing mushrooms over the Cuban Missile Crisis in October of 1962.
A genuinely dispassionate read of the data raises the question was President Kennedy killed over alleged plans to end the Federal Reserve (that conspiracists love to write about) OR (and this is one no one writes about) was his Dallas end because the global power cabal at the time actually wanted a nuclear exchange to ramp down global population.
Remember, sometimes the facts don’t emerge contemporaneous with events and maybe that’s why the Club of Rome – Limits to Growth – report on population went public in 1972?
It’s axiomatic in study of “future” that a “leadership cabal” is usually thinking 10-years ahead of events. So, we can find a fair body of work evolving in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis where population projections began to really matter.
I remember in 1966 reading an article in the old (Wall Street Journal weekly paper) The National Observer about the “crisis of pop growth” – which narrows the “think ahead” down to less than 5-years. Which is a pretty “normal” lead-time for (among others) military planners and tacticians.
The Observer article that so impressed me raised the newly-emergent question which I’ll paraphrase: “If we feed the Third World, they will breed with reckless abandon and overpower the First World. But, is it not the humanitarian thing to do?”
The post-Cuba crisis was also the birth of Zero Population Growth. “In the late 1960s ZPG became a prominent political movement in the U.S. and parts of Europe, with strong links to environmentalism and feminism. Yale University was a stronghold of the ZPG activists who believed “that a constantly increasing population is responsible for many of our problems: pollution, violence, loss of values and of individual privacy.”
If I were a betting man, I’d say while there’s some historical support for the Kennedy-Fed conspiracy, there may be a stronger case for a Kennedy vs. Military conspiracy, which would also draw in the intelligence community. Kennedy was killed just one year later (Cuba crisis Oct 1962, Kennedy was killed in Nov of 1963).
For that brief instant from Starfish Prime until the Cuban Crisis resolution, the US was in a “window” where we owned and understood the preemptive use of EMP. The unthinkable became doable and Kennedy likely disagreed.
Conspiracists also miss the point that the Fed (at least so far as we know) doesn’t have a “wet work” division. But the military? OMG it’s what they do for crying out loud.
If you like the conspiracy side of history, you might imagine that an alternative “conspiracy” might be to imagine that the U.S. military knew – from the July 9, 1962 explosion of Starfish Prime – that the U.S. was in a very short-lived window of military advantage where nuclear war could be thought to “winnable.”
Specifically, Starfish Prime’s 1.4 megatons blew out street lights in Hawaii some 800 miles from the blast and knowing this, the U.S. military would have realized their advantage. All that remained was an excuse. The Cuban Missile Crisis arrived 90-days later. Time was of the essence.
We will likely never know if such a hypothesis is valid. Military leaders would never tell. Any evidence is lost. Yet, a read of the Warren Commission and subsequent books falls short of proving the “lone gunman theory.” We expect there were several.
I mention all this detail, because we may be facing a similar “window” where India – with its newfound ability to pluck off LEO satellites – may sense a momentary “military lead” that could be prosecuted in a manner that could result in a “preemptive strike” on Pakistan this summer.
90-days (rounding) from Starfish Prime to the Cuban Missile Crisis and a likely (concurrent) showdown with the “military industrial complex” which owned the intelligence apparatchik of the US at the time. Same folks that Eisenhower warned of. Kennedy likely crossed them and their preemptive strike plans.
Using the Starfish Prime template, India going preemptive this summer is therefore not so far-fetched as headlines might suppose.
In the Shorts
And if the news drives you to drink, you’ll be thrilled to know there’s “Movement toward a poop test for liver cirrhosis.”
Tell the chickens and pigs to hide, Ure’s on his way to breakfast…moron the ‘morrow…