Did the Trade War MAKE Jobs?

Yeah.  Trade War.  Supposed to be the “end of the world” and would collapse consumerism as we knew it.  But, that’s  not what the data says.

Let’s start, though, with this morning’s federal jobs report.

“Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 266,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in health care and in professional and technical services. Employment rose in  manufacturing, reflecting the return of workers from a strike. ”

Our key data points:

  • Total number of people employed was +83,000
  • Employment/Population ratio held stable at 61%
  • Working part time for economic reasons dropped 116,000
  • While hourly wages were stable, 48,000 jobs were added under “Goods Producing”
  • All great?  Well….not so fast.
  • The CES Birth-Death Model over here reveals that all of the new jobs, and then some, 274,000 were “estimated” into existence.  That should concern you.
  • Biggest estimated gains were professional and business services (+95,000) and Ediucation and Health (+65,000).  If you work in those fields, a cubicle count is in order?

Just ahead of the report, this crossed on Business Wire: “Small Businesses Are Adding Staff, Showing Signs of Optimism Heading Into Holiday Shopping Season.”

How Trade War is Helping Trump

Going beyond the jobs report, though, other data makes us wonder  where are the impacts from what was going to be a “terrible trade war?”

  • In “January 22 2018: Trump announced tariffs on solar panels and washing machines.[80] About 8% of American solar panel imports in 2017 came from China.[81] Imports of residential washing machines from China totaled about $1.1 billion in 2015.” says  Wikipedia.  And yet, solar panel prices at large national outlets like  Sunelec.com have remained  about the same on a “cost per watt” basis.
  •  In April of last year, the Ministryy of Commerce of China responded by imposing tariffs on 128 products it imports from America, including aluminum, airplanes, cars, pork, and soybeans (which have a 25% tariff), as well as fruit, nuts, and steel piping (15%)  U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said that the planned Chinese tariffs only reflected 0.3% of U.S. gross domestic product, and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that the moves would have “short-term pain” but bring “long-term success”   It would be hard to argue the point.  While there are been some problem areas like airplane exports, that likely has more to do with the Boeing Max series grounding than direct impacts of the trade war.

August of this year was a biggie, too:

  • August 5: The central bank of China (PBOC) let the Renminbi fall over 2% in three days to the lowest point since 2008 as it was hit by strong sales due to the threat of tariffs.[152]
  • August 5: The U.S. Department of Treasury officially declared China as a Currency Manipulator, reportedly under personal pressure from Trump.[153] In July 2019 the IMF found the yuan to be correctly valued, while the dollar was overvalued, and some analysts found that market forces, rather than Chinese intervention, had recently caused the yuan to lose value.[152][154] China denied manipulating its currency, citing currency market reaction to Trump’s announcement of tariff increases days earlier.[155]
  • August 5: China ordered state-owned enterprises to stop buying US agricultural products,[156] totaling $20 billion per year before the trade war.

While it has been tough on farmers, we have seen some unexpected economic problems arise in China.  For example, just in the past week, the South China Post reported “Missed bond payment by China’s state-owned Peking University Founder Group shocks investors — Peking University Founder Group, controlled by China’s top university, misses payment on a 2 billion yuan (US$283 million) onshore bond, citing liquidity crunch/

Two facts are, we think, becoming undeniably clear.

  • First is the stock market is on a roll.  Using our proprietary Aggregate Index, since the 2018 trade skirmishing began, our Aggregate has soared from 23,823 on Jan 22, 2019 to a projected price for this morning’s open of 26,448.  If you are “math challenged” that’s an 11% gain over the last two years, call it about 5-1/2% per year.  Not bad for a “going to collapse trade” narrative, huh?
  • Another place we see no sign of impacts is in Retail Sales where, once again, almost shockingly, there has not been a single year-over-year decline since “trade warfare” broke out!   Here’s the data, right off the Census website:

The  point?  Idiots of both political parties are after Trump and continue to press forward with impeachment.  Some cite Ukraine, but occasionally there’s a subtext from a few about “trade concerns.”

Yet, here’s the data:  Retail is up, inflation is tame, and the stock market is averaging 5-1/2% annual index gains.

I’ve known a lot of people who have been narcissistic, and even arrogant.  Turns out, those really just have extreme self-confidence and mistakenly display it in front of weak people.  Those who have made tons of money have confidence.  Trump just might be one of those people.  Not as much as claimed, maybe, but he can afford to buy me lunch, for sure.

We find it interesting that as House democrats keep impeaching, the data keeps piling up.

What’s REALLY Going On?

I don’t think the Trump Gambit on Trade would have paid off in a “normal” economy.  But, what’s going on, in  my view, is very similar to what happened in America in the late 1920’s leading into the Crash of 1929.  Think of it as Ure’s Discontinuity (it’s well-described somewhere in the Peoplenomics archives) and it goes like this:

In “normal” times when interest rates decrease, consumption is encouraged.  However, just above the “zero lower bound” an interesting  reversal of control authority takes place.

As the Discontinuity begins, the appreciation of bonds begins to falter.  That’s because the USFed has made it abundantly clear we will not go to zero (or negative) interest rates.  Thing is, the  potential appreciation for bonds then halts.  What happens (as a result) is lots of former bond money goes looking for greater returns.  The only place where there’s much left is stock price appreciation, particularly when stock prices seem on a reliable trajectory and there are still some stocks paying modest  dividends to boot.

Since the Bond Market is larger than the Stock Market, the month migration continues.  With the markets around record highs, we can make a case (and do on the subscriber side) that a further 10-20% upside is possible, even from these lofty levels.  That’s because there is so much money on the sidelines.

We live in a time of digital tulips, as well.  As my  consigliere noted on his recent visit, the average person doesn’t realize that the main driver for Bitcoin and the 2,000-odd wannabes and clones (remember, no barriers to entry in digital tulips!) all arose because the US demanded, and got, the Swiss to rat our “Secret Accounts.”   Which, if you’ve got enough coffee load to follow, simply means the Secret Swiss Bank Accounts (discrete and dirty money deals that people don’t want reported) has been succeeded by digital secrecy.

It’s an article of faith that at some point, USGov will do the same thing China’s doing – cracking down on digital money to reduce corruption and drug dealing, human trafficking, and other high-payoff, but not particularly moral, operations.

Just in the past week, if you’ve been paying attention to  Bloomberg, “China’s Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies Claims First Victims.”

If you want a good “thinking model” consider that the “flight controls of the economy are stuck in  Ure’s Discontinuity.”  While, at the same time, various “capital camps” are at war over how to conduct their illicit businesses while governments  are trying to crack down on corruption and impose taxes, as applicable.  With this in mind, the report this morning about Jeffrey Epstein supposedly blackmailing high profile people is hardly surprising.  Importantly, we have to wonder if “foundations” and “donations” was being used in lieu of digital tulips, in a major way, since “donations” can be wrapped up in flags, while cartel ledger transfers are a little harder to salute.

With almost everyone in Washington having “skeletons in their closet” (copies of which make it into Intel agency “control files”) you’ll have to pardon our skepticism of things like the Impeachment Hoax and wonder what the ultimate number of “wicked witches” in the democrat party will rise to?  We’re starting to lose count…

Three Takeaways from this jumbled, though factual) ramble:

  • Trade War is Helping Trump (data sez, not me)
  • Cryptos exploded because Swiss Bank secrecy was busted
  • Foundations are an alternative funds movement channel for routing crooked money by wrapping it up in flags.  Many members of congress have “foundations.”
  • If you want to bring up quid pro quo’s, we’d direct you to the Washington Examiner story “Tax records show the Clinton Foundation lost $16.8 million in 2018.”  Nothing to pro quo for, perhaps?  We can’t be sure.  But could Hil run to bail out the Foundation?

Congratulations!  You no “get” more than 99.95% of your fellow countrymen.  We now return you to the Daily Distraction Digest..3D.

Viewing Askance

As you know, we’ve been following the rocky relations between India and Pakistan expecting a flash any old time.  Just this morning, a report from the  Brookings Institution lays out “India and the Mistrust Economy.”  Read and think:  When government control falters, what’s the usual prescription?  (Start a war!)

Good read in  the  Marijuana Business Daily, too: Marijuana has its ‘fingers in everything’: Q&A with cannabis investor and ‘Big Short’ subject Danny Moses.

Holding nearer the  middle of the road can be costly.  Our latest example is Immigration rights groups call on Buttigieg to return donations. A dandy exercise in playing “follow the money…” an d “How long are the strings on contributions?”

Another useful CBS report isMike Bloomberg denies “buying” the 2020 Democratic primary.”  OK, what do you call it?  “Better Marketing?” Bwaa-ha-ha-ha…hell yeah, you bet. Sure…uh-huh. (Stockyard stench running high, today!)

Naval Gazing: Singapore Arrests Sanctioned Russian Vessel.

Well, there you go – half my wit and wisdom in one column.  Moron the morrow on the grown-up’s side ( Peoplenomics.com) and a piece here Sunday for the great unsubscribed.  Keep your eyes out for Earthquakes. and…

Write when you get rich,


40 thoughts on “Did the Trade War MAKE Jobs?”

  1. We are at 131 days since Gilroy, and 134 since the LA spree. What’s with two navy bases in two days?

  2. The sun rises in the east – and yellow journalism is alive and well on Urbansurvival -2 truths.

    G – why dont U just title these postings FND – Fake News Dejour? has a nice ring to it, no?

    Yes – it is Ure dirty,filthy germ carrying money that is the “grease” in international crime syndicates. Silver and Gold are also used – specially in drug trade- but Crypto’s ..puulease. What big crime stories have a Cyrpto link?….still waiting..

    Thats old money in Swiss bank accounts – Caribbean is where the hot money goes to rest..grand cayman, belize..

    Demonrats have perfected the business model of delivering foreign aid for cash kick backs – cash – not Cryptos – US Dollars under obummer.
    All foreign aid was quid pro quo – this IS the #1 reason our DULY ELECTED President TRUMP killed all those deals like Paris Climate Accord – ever see any Accounting/Audit of where our Foreign Aid goes?

    Wonder how slappy maxi – palsi pelosi – schiff 4 brains- jerry nadless the Hutt et al got to be millionaires on Sen/Congressional salaries? Demonrats been feathering their own nests on OUR hard earned – taxpayer dollars -filthy scum – “just pass the dammed bill and figure it out later”..

    No Bitcoin 4 U!

    • I found an app called “$CASH APP” where you can buy stocks & bitcoin in $1.00 increments commission free. Things are a changing. How to turn a dollar into .$50. Buy bitcoin.

      • I sent $10 to the Cash App & bought $5 of Nivida & $5 of Alibaba for no particular reason, commission free. My $10 is now worth 10.02. I was going to buy $10 of bitcoin but there was a fifty cent commission or 5%. I don’t like bitcoin anyway.

    • Ever hear of the Silk Road web site? I believe it was the first place bitcoin was used to sell illegal narcotics.

  3. The broad stock market (VALUG) is still below the high of last year while the S&P 500 is at a new record high. The broad market is still 9% below its high of 2018.

    • I’m listening. If we only had 14,000 jobs being shipped offshore in November, then it would probably be a record monthly low for this century. Just don’t try to tell me it’s only the R’s. The worst corporate offenders all seem to be headquartered in both coastal D & R strongholds. This is about looting of the heartland by coastal middlemen. The partisans are all getting their cut, and all are equally guilty. Trump has at least publicly recognized that there is a real problem, even if it amounts to relieving himself into a tidal wave to date. The remainder of the partisans just bare their butts and keep on looting. The MF’s running the impeachment scam are some of the worst offenders, from the worst offending districts.
      I always figured you for a coastal looter cheerleader type. Did I just witness some sort of inadvertent spontaneous epiphany? Maybe this was the earthquake G___ was expecting.
      Darrell- give the man some encouragement. Maybe he can be turned. Wow. Imagine the implications of THAT ! And maybe while you’re at it, you can bring Mark back from the dark side too. You’d have all of G___’s readers in church Sunday peeling off 100’s into the collection plate, having just witnessed two public miracles of redemption. Maybe Tom Hanks would make a movie about it.

  4. “Well, there you go – half my wit and wisdom in one column.”

    Have you ever considered that you’re too damn smart for your own good? Folks with your knowledge ought to be swimming in dough.

      • “I chose long ago to have an honest life, lol.”

        I’m so glad for your decision, otherwise many of us would have missed a great deal. Fortunately, I was never tested to make a choic — but I agree that everyone has to make a living; And as such we used to say when we were younger: In 50 years everything will have changed. Happy Holidays!

      • A man has as much integrity as he can afford. We all bow to the almighty dollar. Look at the drug infested neighborhoods. There is more money their than in an upper middle class neighborhood.

  5. George, I thought we didn’t like Big Government.
    Imagine if Obama put 40% of the Farm Belt on welfare and ‘forced’ capital to flow into Brazil, permanently overcoming their market entry barriers?
    And just think if companies had to “apply” to Obama for tariff exemptions?
    And when the Democrats wise up and start selling out domestic interests to stay competitive in elections?
    You all will be crying like babies when the D’s start doing this.
    Best, Mike.

    • Since I don’t usually respond to clueless trolls, you should consider yourself lucky…

      “Imagine if Obama put 40% of the Farm Belt on welfare and ‘forced’ capital to flow into Brazil,”

      He did.

      “And just think if companies had to “apply” to Obama for tariff exemptions?”

      They did.

      “And when the Democrats wise up and start selling out domestic interests to stay competitive in elections?”

      They have been doing so for a generation, and it’s not “wise,” but socially suicidal.

  6.  “(Marijuana) really has its fingers in everything.”

    It does.. I say it’s a miracle plant..there isnt an industry or facit of life it can’t affect in a positive way.
    That isnt even considering those that will use it for recreation or the life saving drugs that can be made from it.. and even though it’s illegal they are using it that way anyway.. regulate it like alcohol tax it ..

    Now on jobs. Headline news was governors cutting back expenses due to incoming revenue. Asking county government to cinch the belt. No planned increases in teacher salaries etc.

    That says exactly what I am experiencing.. the costs of essentials has outpaced income.. people are cutting back..

    Then after the nightmare revelation that the company where we depend on our subsistence is not at a sustainable level of income..the numbers may be in the seven digit range .. withought even seeing the books I can see that issue.. this is terrifying to me..since I know just like the time I was delivering puzzas… if you dont get enough to put gas in the tank you cant drive the car..
    Hopefully it will end up like how the pizza companies managed it.. they had to bribe the drivers to deliver to those neighboods..

  7. George – Ure “everything is a business model” once again hits a home run. In China, “People have figured out how to commodify affection,” said Chris K.K. Tan, an associate professor at Nanjing University who has researched the phenomenon. By day, 22-year-old Zhuansun Xu is a foreign exchange trader in Beijing but by night, he chats with female clients who pay him to be their virtual boyfriend. By day, 22-year-old Zhuansun Xu is a foreign exchange trader in Beijing but by night, he chats with female clients who pay him to be their virtual boyfriend” https://news.yahoo.com/virtual-boyfriends-match-chinas-single-women-034036508.html

    • OMG! I’m sure I could work out a better deal than that with one of those women and she’d have a real boyfriend! Of course, I’m a bit older than 22, but we could have real affection all night long. All she’d need would be to get me a work visa in China and I could just move in. We’d figure out the finances one way or another.


    White House National Economic Council Director, Larry Kudlow, appeared on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street this morning to talk about the U.S.-China trade deal.

    Kudlow reiterated that the two sides were “close,” a word we’ve heard ad nauseam for the past year. He also said that President Trump is prepared to walk away from a deal if it’s no good.

    The president has said many times if the deal is no good, if the assurances with respects to preventing future thefts, if the enforcement procedure is no good he has said we will not go for it. “We will walk away,” Kudlow told CNBC.

    Why is a White House official speaking on the U.S.-China trade war? I have long believed the Trade War is a scam to manipulate markets, & it has been very successful. He was prepping us for a downturn. The current rally is to make you fat & happy for the slaughter. For long term investors you can just wait it out because the Bull market is not over. It is all relative, or not.

  9. Sometimes a very simple potatoe salad (of which there are >1000 recipies in the internet!!) can be more tasty than the most elaborate conconction created by the most celebrated chef du jour, IMHO.

    With reference to finance it applies to the 200-DSMA, and I cannot figure out why, but it makes no difference. Had I followed this discipline religiously in my life I’d be among the top 1% of the population. However, I always thought I was smarter than that.

    Perhaps this is the most important message I’ve ever posted?!

    • It is. I love potato salad and I now have 1,000 reasons to live another day.

      I too have looked back on my life and can see the opportunities lost because I was careless or lazy. Still am. But I love the mental stimulation and I’m doing well and I sleep well at night. I’d rather be remembered as a kind and generous person than another Scrooge McDuck.

  10. The world changes, Bretton Woods,imposed by USA after WW2, USA protected Free trade, and The Free World,US Dollar became World Currency.. No one in the the World can replace it. Not CHINA,the EU, INDIA. All are financialy in worse Debt than the USA. None have the Energy, the Agriculture, the Military to project force like the USA. Many businesses left USA many are Coming Back. Much money fromChina, Europe, India, The Gulf States is coming HERE. Canada, Maybe Mexico. WHY.. We ,God Help us, Are the richest,with most oil and Gas energy,easy to get,cheap, Hard to attack or disrupt our Economy.. And we do not care about Trade, we do less are entangled less with the rest of the World,than anyone else. WE DON’T NEED THEM. RESEARCH IT ,READ GEOPOLITICS,. Will we have problems? Yes, But we will prevail against ALL ODDS.

  11. Trump renting the U.S. military to Saudi Arabia created direct jobs.

    Let’s hope Trump is renting them for more than their costs. Especially the long term costs of missing limbs and what-not.

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