(With apologies to Edward Everett Horton of Fractured Fairytales fame):

Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away, there lived a little girl named Fed.

She lived in a small cottage, deep in the woods with a strange old woman who called herself Lady Liberty.  Often, this kind old lady would stand in a pond of water, holding a burning torch, where she would  welcome immigrants new to the deep, dark, woods.. 

In her later years, she became tired, and a touch of dementia took hold.  Seeing this,an evil stepson dramatically increased the number of arriving immigrants so that Lady Liberty, became terrible confused and overworked.

Little Fed Riding Hood – living in this dysfunctional fanu8kt situation –  was charged with the job of bringing bread to a pack of wild dogs every month. 

Called trader dogs, this pack of pooches were left behind in the deep woods by an early explorer of the territory, Adam Smith.

“Oh Grandma Liberty, what should I bring the trader dogs when I go out tomorrow to feed them?  We have no bread and we ate the last of Hansel and Gretel last week?”

Little Fed Riding Hood turned to the evil stepson, who was hanging with Lady Liberty, trying to embezzle her savings, and thanked him.  “Hansel and Gretel were simply delish!”

The evil stepson had just returned from a trip to Europe where he met with the Old Queen in her castle. 

“I’ve been away, trying to convince people in Europe that there really is a free lunch,he explained.  “But she’d got out back on the kid case.”

Little Fed Riding Hood laughed.  She knew there was no such thing as a free lunch. But until recently, it had been a kind of family secret, never to be written of, or spoken about.

Evil stepson,” she suggested, “We must find some way to feed the trader dogs or they will follow me home, and then they will eat us all,  If we perish, there will be no one left to look after the trader dogs of the deep woods, except Donald and his magic beans or the Wicked Witch.  Whatever shall we do?”

“Well, Fed Riding Hood, there is not much we can do.  Except to talk them down.  You need to explain the situation to them and ask them to understand.  Use a new phrase or two on them and surely they will understand.  I will cook up a distraction here to keep their attention off the free bread they have been enjoying.”

And so the next morning, which happens to be tomorrow, Little Fed Riding Hood went out into the deep forest to feed the pack of trader dogs…nothing.

The biggest and meanest of the trader dogs, a breed called a Goldweiler, snapped at Little Fed Riding Hood.  “Vaht’s dis?  You brink us no bread and you offer us no relief…vee are goink to follow you home and eat you, the evil stepson, and your crazy old Lady Liberty.”

“Oh, no, you won’t!” screamed Little Fed Riding Hood.  “I know what you’re doing and I have a plan!”

“And what is that, exactly?” snarled the Goldweiler.

“You are trying to become top dog that the whole public can own, so when comes time to put you down after you’re eaten people, you’ll be called To Big To Kill.

“And what are you going to do about it?” laughed the Goldweiler, while gnashing his teeth and counting a roll of $1,000 bills.

“Why, I’m going to regulate you out of your Public Ploy!”

Suddenly, they were all surprised by the sound of snapping twigs on the ground behind them and who should show up but The Three Bears.

One Bear was name Elliott, the mama Bear was named Flow, and the third Bear was named Velocity.

D’uh…Little Fed Riding Hood ain’t gonna do nuttin’” said Velocity, who was known to be a little slow, lately.

And so it was:  Little Fed Riding Hood returned home from her tense encounter with the Goldweiler and the rest of the trader dogs, assured that the Bears would eat the Goldweiler deep in the woods.

But even as they were returned home, the Goldweiler was sharpening his game.  “All you other trader dogs, sign up with me and I will give you a free high-yield savings account” he said, while still counting thousand dollar bills.

While the Goldweiler was talking, a Chinese pug at the back of the pack was quietly whispering into his cell phone.

“When the next highs come, we re-rice the Yuan, and not only will the trader dogs overpower the Little Fed Riding Hood, but when we re-price the gold to $50,000 an ounce, it will be discovered that crazy old Lady Liberty has cooked the books on Ft. Knox gold.  And  in turn will bring down her Dollars as the international reserve currency,  Yu-anna bet on it?” he asked the head of Pug’s Financial Army.

Join us some other morning for the popular Donald and the Beanstalk versus the not-so-popular Wicked Witch.  In the meantime, be sure at follow the manhunt for the killers of Hansel and Gretel – the last known employed American taxpayers not employed by government.  We think we know who got ‘em, of course.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled column….

Markets:  Yin, Yang, and Yuck

No motion to speak of in the futures this morning, at least going into the latest frenzy over data just out.  That’d be the Durable Goods Report…

New Orders  
   New orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased $1.8 billion or 0.8 percent to $230.7 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.  This increase, up two of the last three months, followed a 3.1 percent February decrease.  Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.2 percent.  Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.0 percent.       Transportation equipment, also up two of the last three months, drove the increase, $2.2 billion or 2.9 percent to $76.0 billion.   

Shipments 
   Shipments of manufactured durable goods in March, down three of the last four months, decreased $1.1 billion or 0.5 percent to $237.0 billion. This followed a 1.0 percent February decrease.  
   Transportation equipment, also down three of the last four months, drove the decrease, $1.4 billion or 1.8 percent to $77.5 billion.     

Unfilled Orders  
   Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in March, down three of the last four months, decreased $1.3 billion or 0.1 percent to $1,182.5 billion.  This followed a 0.4 percent February decrease.  
Transportation equipment, down four consecutive months, drove the decrease, $1.6 billion or 0.2 percent to $787.3 billion.

Futures haven’t budged much as of press time.  So down yesterday, up today, trading noise range pending the adventures of Little Fed Riding Hood who is in a meeting this morning.

The Folly of Voting

Five states expected to help Trump and Clinton widen their leads if you believe the press reports. 

We shall see how it all works out tomorrow, but in the meantime, this has to be the most ever=hyped election EVER.

April Showers

Should be about over, and the May flowers might want to take refuge as the Eastern US is also at risk for storms on Tuesday, after the earlier storms.

No remarks about watching April’s showers, please.  All in the name of science, of course.

Shock and Ratings

We can’t help but notice the ratings game as Samantha Bee Shuts Down The ‘Bigots’ And ‘Assholes’ Hating On Harriet Tubman,

Just like stocks are “adjusted” for splits, when is media going to offer “adjusted ratings” based on good language and respect?

Not So Happy Anniversaries

A Year After the Earthquake, Nepal Is a Man-Made Disaster

Another? 

Recalling Chernobyl, 3 Decades Later

Standing by the the Fed Decision
Coping: UrbanSurvival Bug-out Vehicles