Data Intensive Week – Maybe….

This week would normally be full of reports from various federal agencies.  But, with the shutdown “just over” we don’t know what the lag times will be in getting out delayed data.

Some of scheduled economic news – like the Chicago Fed outlook, which we’ll get to in a second –  hasn’t been impacted by the FedGov shutdown.  Things like tomorrow morning’s Case-Shiller, S&P/CoreLogic housing data.

But there’s a ton of backed up data from the Commerce folks & Census.  We would expect an update on when “which data” will arrive to be one of the first meeting topics for the reconstituted departments.

With the delay and restart issues, no telling whether the advance international trade data will be out tomorrow morning.  Nor can we be too sure about Wednesday’s GDP.  Or, for that matter, Consumer Spending and Inflation data Thursday.  Unemployment data is due to come out Friday, but once again, we’ll just see how that goes.

One of the best “old sayings” from years of reporting is that bureaucracies tend “never to waste a good crisis.”  There’s always someone working an angle on something.

While we’re glad to have the FedGov back up and running at full bureaucratic speed (one of the few measures slower than glacial), there is still the federal vacation matter that’s “stuck in our craw.”

Take the case of a federal worker who had planned for a vacation during the shutdown.  Would they have been paid?  Or, did the shutdown put planned vacations (with pay) on hold?  Haven’t seen the answer to that one.  But seems to me that if I were a federal worker and burned vacation time while the other 800-thousand odd workers got the time off and will get back pay….well, I’m sure you see the point.

As a taxpayer, we don’t like that we got stuck on the hook and will now “pay federal workers for not working” while they continue to accrue seniority and vacation time.  This whole thing smacks as though the federal powers just gave Deep-Staters-in-Training an additional month of paid vacation because that’s how it looks from an accounting standpoint.

And if a deal isn’t forthcoming by mid February?  Will it be another shutdown OR will Trump roll with the National Emergency, which is clearly what democrats are trying to pull-off as a 2020 presidential marketing tool.

Not that there’s anything thinking people can do about it.  Other than another warm-up on the coffee and listening closely for the sound of the next shoe to drop.


Chicago Fed National Activity Index is out.

“Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) moved up slightly to +0.27 in December from +0.21 in November. Two of the four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from November, and two of the four categories made positive contributions to the index in December. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, edged up to +0.16 in December from +0.12 in November.”

We’ll leave it to your judgment to infer how much impact the federal shutdown really had, but we’re thinking none because this is December data.  Next month could be a different tale.

Tearing Down the Wires

Long ago, on a planet saner than this one, reporters would go into work early – we’re talking 5 AM or earlier early – to “tear down the wires.”

The teletypes were distinguished by their paper and ribbon colors.  Yellow pager and blue-inked ribbons went on the United Press International (UPI) machines while the Associated Press was off-white paper and black ink.

We miss that tactile relationship with the news, much as there’s just something different about reading a good book, or newspaper, as opposed to a reader…

Standing in front of a machine, tearing the stories off, ripping them on the open plexiglass panel (sharpened up to make tearing even), a journo could “test-fit” ideas.  Every day there was a new way to sort-out the state of the world:  International, nation, local, sports, weather (and the odd “kicker” story…  Other times things logically grouped.

Today, such organized approaches are few and far between and trends rule what we read.  Still….there was a time.

But, enough of nostalgia.  Let ‘er rip…

The Trump Administration Has Warned Europe Not to Try Evading Sanctions on Iran.  Which we might pair with EU to challenge U.S. duties on Spanish olives and offer it as “tit-for-pit…”

Or, we might notice that “Facebook tightens paid ads rules ahead of EU elections.”  Which gets us to thinking if EU elections might result in witch hunting such as we’ve been through here, if we can get someone to make up opposition research.  Hmm… Facebook to set up two regional centers for monitoring election content.

Caterpillar forecasts 2019 profit below estimates sends us looking at where out market indicators are.  Using the early futures prices, our Aggregate was holding about 22.570.

Here’s the point:  January 2, of 2018, our index closed at 22,574.  In terms of the “Trump Bump” we have gone exactly nowhere in the last year.  Oh, big ups, big downs, but on average?  Nowhere.

Hell, we could have all taken the year off, for what the stock Aggregate did.  And with the next outbreak of Dividing America in the gearing-up mode…

Speaking of which:  We liked Howard Schultz (ex-CEO of Starbucks) calling BS on both political parties.

And speaking of national aspirations, the East Bay Times coverage of Kamala Harris kicks off presidential campaign with Oakland rally
We are here because the American Dream and our American democracy are under attack … like never before.” is a useful read.

The real question is when “the dividing” will start-up.  Right now we’re in the “gathering of sheep” mode.  The “us-against-them” period follows the conventions, if I’m remembering right.

Almost time for a warm-up as Fox is rolling “Trump skeptical about future wall deal as possibility of another shutdown looms.”

So does another war: Venezuela crisis: White House ‘will respond to threats against diplomats’

With the futures down almost 200 when I looked, and Bitcoin down to $3,418, seems to me that “just another Monday” may not be as reality comes into focus…

Moron the ‘morrow… (I’ll play the moron part…)

29 thoughts on “Data Intensive Week – Maybe….”

  1. What about the laid off employees who received unemployment compensation. Will they have to repay that or will they Triple-dip?

      • I would let them keep it and label it SEVERANCE PAY…as in you are fired..goes for most federal ‘CONtractors’ also…downsizing this bloated federal government is a must. ALSO, get rid of most of the CONgress’s ‘staff’…limit them to 2 staff members each…Shutter the EPA, EDUCATION COMMERCE,ENERGY departments. And REMOVE the first 10 layers of Management at DOJ,FBI, and State Department.
        Most of the work done by the above mentioned can be done at the STATE levels, where it was intended to be done.

  2. The democratic party needs a centrist candidate who can win over enough independents and GOP Obama voters to defeat Trump. Harris is not that candidate. She is popular in a very progressive state, a viable Trump ‘attacker,’ but outside of California and New York her appeal will likely fail to translate to sufficient effect. In fact, Harris may well motivate those who voted for Trump in 2016 to either support the President again or seek out a worthy moderate-to-conservative independent candidate. With Trump fluctuating in the 38-48% approval (i.e. his core voters) rating, he would likely hold a plurality should the 2020 race turn into a three way contest. So the Dems cannot afford for a viable 3rd party candidate of any merit to enter the race, someone who for all intents and purposes looks and smells like a moderate or conservative democrat (oxymoron?). With the Dem voters leaning increasingly left, the road to the nomination already looking crowded, and candidates sure to shred their most formidable primary opponents, Trump could well be handed all the ammunition he needs to pull off an almost unimaginable (to liberals) 2nd term. I’m already eagerly anticipating all the nicknames Trump will bestow on the Democrat and Independent front runners.

    • I like Howard Shultz as an option…but he can’t run as an independent. Most Democrats think that as well. If he ran as a Democrat, I think he would easily win the party…for the simple reason as being the only viable and sure alternative to eviscerate Trump in an election.

      If he won the Democratic nomination, it would be a total and maybe record breaking landslide in Shultz’s favor over Trump in the General Election. A real appointed and hard working and hard earned CEO of a real public corporation vs. a self appointed, entitled brat CEO of a shady, 6x bankrupted family business. Kind of a no brainer for the fence sitters

      • Deep-ending on events between now and then, yeah, I could vote for President Barista…oddly, Schultz even with coffee may not be insomniac enough to tweet in the wee hours… Some Seattle’s Best,. perhaps?

      • “CEO of a shady, 6x bankrupted family business.”

        He was young and learning.
        I think he Seen that the USA was headed in the same direction ,by making the exact same mistakes he had made, and thought he could help guide them through the quagmire.
        What he wasn’t expecting that the herd in congress would rather jump off the cliff.

    • Oh I’m sure the dog and pony show will get on track on time as the media works the crowd like a barker at a circus,the orange clown will once again tickle his supporters with all his swamp stories and just elect him for another four years so he can hand the 1% another early Christmas with another large, large tax cut, while he adds another trillion a year to the debt while blaming China and Russia for all our homemade woe’s,and if that fails to work why I’m sure her can just pick other leaders for those two countries and maybe a new leader for France and Germany while he tries to start another war and he will for that’s the nature of the beast and he’s only the ringmaster…

  3. A friend of mine asked me if I had ever seen the series Homeland on Showtime. I had not, but thought I’d give it a try and started binge watching watching Season 1…And now Season 2. One thing that stands out…The lies…

    Trump reminds me so much of the lying and compromised Sgt Nicholas Brody in that show. Let’s take the wall. This entire wall saga and fear mongering began with Mexico’s “Murderers and Rapists” …When that couldn’t be corroborated and didn’t support facts, He changed it to Mexico’s drug dealers and the opioid crisis. Of course, American Big Pharma is the main supplier and even exporter of opioids…we produce and export our own meth, grow our own weed and coke and heroin come through our shipping ports. Ok…that didn’t work.

    Now, Trump is fear mongering that woman and children are being duct taped and dragged across the remote borders . That is not true either…Yes, human trafficking is a huge problem, but most are coming through our ports of entry using passports and disappear into the system and are controlled by The American gangs. Those human trafficking gangs are Americans, along with people of Russian, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thailand, and Mexican decent.

    And, just so we are clear…Drugs and crime are a huge issue too…but these dealers and criminals aren’t walking across a remote open field at our borders. They are traveling on planes and ships, just like you and I would when we travel abroad. Finding any threat whether it be drugs or dangerous humans is like finding a needle in a haystack, when it concerns our dozens and dozens of extremely busy and crowded international airports, shipping ports, and roads from Canada. How do we stop that? Technology is the only answer.

    As far as Trump and his rapidly declining poll numbers…your last story link mentions Venezuela. Like George W, Trump COULD cause a major distraction with a war or false flag event…Could a Venezuelan full scale war be next?

    • Mark you may have all the various facts there ,but you have to make a stand somewhere if you’re going to fight against those that are destroying the people around you.

      That is a vague statement so you have to Define what you want around you.

      So is it going to be a standoff or a standout.

    • Mark, you are missing the entire Democratic goal for President Trump. Democrats will not vote or move on anything Trump. The reason being is to demoralize deplorable voters so they will become non voters. Next election, they want deplorable voters to say “What’s the use” & stay home & not vote. Unfortunately PT, thru lack of leadership, is making this Democratic goal possible. Does PT think anything will change by 2/15, because it won’t. PT should be declaring a National Security Emergency & building a wall, in addition to cancelling the Mueller investigation witch hunt.

      Your constant bantering about PT’s shortfalls is just fluff that is part of the Democrats plan to agitate their liberal buffoon followers into a frenzy against PT. Once they get rid of the deplorable voters, the government will be theirs…If PT fails, SATAN will rule.

      • I hate the thought of PT claiming a state of national emergency happening ECS.

        I sometimes wonder if that isn’t what the puppeteers wanted all along. And is their motivation for having their lobbyists playing pin the tail on the donkey by sending congress on grand vacations.
        We all know that border security won’t be worked out especially in what the four or five actual days they will be addressing it. An issue that’s been a popular campaign platform for almost half of my life on this planet.
        I question what would happen IF we go into a state of emergency. We Build the wall and while in the NSE a new administration is elected into office.
        From my interpretation of what the congress has unwittingly passed into law. It could be a game changer for America

    • Mark, if you only had an original thought in your head, you keep spouting CNN when you come on here. What are you going to do when CNN goes out of business? They are walking, swimming, jetskiing and paddling across the southern border in enough numbers for long enough and yes, they are trafficking women, and drugs, and it has been going on a long long time. Time to stop it. This BS about most of it coming through the ports is the latest DELAY TACTIC talking point, which, of course, demonstrates again, the corruption at the border, right? Nope, not for Mark, Mark thinks all democrat presidents are good…and all republican presidents are bad….and he can’t string anything else together. Those of us that care about this country, recognize that democrats and republicans have gleaned together to get us to where we are at. Without a change, nothing is going to change. We need that wall AND those resources, and we don’t care if it is a fence, has technology to support border agents, and is not paid directly by the Mexican government. US, citizens know that we will save BILLIONS a year alone just by stopping the flow and the drain on the taxpayers as these invaders eat up all resources and get in line ahead of the rest of us. Mark, all of us have patiently put up with your regurgitated backwash. The illegals are murdering, raping, slaughtering, robbing, running over, and hurting American citizens every single day. AND they get released! This is a fact! Go to Mexico and rape a Mexican woman, or kill one and see where you end up. You won’t end up back out on the streets in days or weeks. Wake up! Stick up for this country why don’t ya?

  4. Mostly lies in any government report…….no ‘waiting with baited breath’ here….just have to look at the ‘market manipulation’ to know that we live in a ‘economic fantasy world’ , controlled by the BANKSTERS…ie. THE FED….DEATH to the FED, and build the damn wall…imo

  5. Huh. So we are interfering in elections in Venezuela, while our so-called ally Saudi Arabia uses government resources to help its murderers and rapists escape US justice, and doesn’t even *have* elections.

    Maybe it really is all about the oil…..

  6. Proof of God. It you close your mind & visualize only space & silence, no forms or sounds, you will feel a sense of relaxation, happiness, & love. Every form is destined to dissolve, so nothing out there really matters that much. Only space & silence will remain. As Jesus said, “You have overcome the world.”

  7. Hey George, I remember those days of “rip & read” and it was always exciting to try and change the teletype ribbon when also trying to get back in the studio before your record ran out! That and changing the big reels on the automated beautiful music FM before you reached “dead air”.

  8. Hi, George,

    The Sunday edition, January 27, 2019, of the Albuquerque Journal led with a report on the ranchers who live in Animas, New Mexico in the “boot-heel” of the state. The report stated that the ranchers at the southern border with Mexico have had their homes invaded, trucks stolen, and a hired hand kidnapped. The border there is mostly marked with very old barbed wire fencing, hardly a deterrent. A representative from the governor’s office in Santa Fe visited a part of the southern border and stated that there was no issue with the border and also made inflammatory comments regarding Trump and the proposed wall. However, that representative did not visit Animas for his report. The people of Animas are furious with the lip service they are receiving from Santa Fe politicians. Several hundred illegals have been caught at that border area just recently. They cross there because it is so easy to get into the US. There still remains a lot of human and drug trafficking at places near the ports of entry that are actually far enough away from the official crossings to make crossing a success. Albuquerque lies at the crossroads where Interstates 40 and 25 intersect, and it is a short distance from Mexico to travel north on Interstate 25 and Interstate 40. Both roads are human and drug trafficking routes. Border crossing issues in New Mexico are not myths. I also read reports that relate how the Mexican cartels have been paying off top Democrats, just as they have done to President Nieto of Mexico and several of the heads of government in Central America.

    • Hi, Nancy, another reader here, we, who live in Texas, KNOW FULL WELL that our border is open and being invaded daily by the thousands. (AND this has been going on for years!) It is not a secret to those of us on the ground, and not of the bought off, paid off political and media hack classes. What is happening to this country is a criminal invasion permitted, funded, and approved by the globalists who have paid off and purchased our elected leaders. The fact that Trump ran on putting a stop to illegal immigration is proof enough that he was not one of them, in the beginning. But powerful forces have been aligned, and amassed against him from all corners of the world. This country must NOT stand, it must fall, illegal immigration and refugee resettlement per the UN cabel of globalists will not fail.

  9. I’ve noticed absolutely no difference between the government being “closed” and it being “open”. Nothing changed here at all, other than the weather being colder and nastier, but that’s because of “global warming”, I’m told. I thought it was just January. Perhaps we needed more gov’t hot air….., though I’ll take my chances without it.

    I’m all for firing anyone that was a “non-essential person” and didn’t report to their place of employment during the “shutdown”. IMHO, they’re pointless and a waste of space(and money). If they’re “non-essential”, then they’re simply gov’t bloat. Let them get a real job like most folks.

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