imageA point and to-the-short discussion this morning.

First is the Leading Economic Index, released by the Thursday which work the bears up for the last hour or two of trading:

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index® (LEI) for the U.S. declined 0.2 percent in January to 123.2 (2010 = 100), following a 0.3 percent decrease in December and a 0.5 percent increase in November.

“The U.S. LEI fell slightly in January, driven primarily by large declines in stock prices and further weakness in initial claims for unemployment insurance,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board. “Despite back-to-back monthly declines, the index doesn’t signal a significant increase in the risk of recession, and its six-month growth rate remains consistent with a modest economic expansion through early 2016.”

Moving into this morning’s data, the Consumer Price Index is out:  (Believe it if you will, but check your checkbook and reality peers out from those entries sometimes…)

“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.4 percent before seasonal adjustment. An increase in the index for all items less food and energy offset a decline in the energy index to lead to the seasonally adjusted all items index being unchanged.

The energy index fell 2.8 percent as all of its major component indexes declined. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in January. The increase was broad-based, with most of the major components rising, but increases in the indexes for shelter and medical care were the largest contributors.

The food index was unchanged in January. The index for food away from home increased, but the food at home index declined for the third consecutive month, as five of the six major grocery store food group indexes decreased.

The all items index rose 1.4 percent over the last 12 months, compared to the 0.7-percent 12-month increase for the period ending December. The energy index fell 6.5 percent over the past year; this was its smallest 12-month decrease since November 2014.

The food index rose 0.8 percent over the last 12 months, with the food at home index declining 0.5 percent. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.2 percent over the last 12 months, a figure that has been gradually rising over the last several months.

You know, it would be a REAL SERVICE if the BLS could publish a list of the stores where there was only a 0.8% increase in prices because Elaine and I sure as hell haven’t been able to find it in this part of Texas.

But it helps, I suppose if you can buy hamburger in Kansas, lettuce Fresno, and orange juice in Florida, lol.

And medical care led the field up 3.3%.  While that doesn’t sound too bad, the reality is that if you didn’t get a raise this year, the Affordable Care Act isn’t.

This is where I could leap into a long discussion about how the CPI is habitually under-stated, but there’s a good reason for it:  Namely that if the government were to come clean on the real, experiential model of Life, we would see that even a small annual fudge-factor reduces long-term government obligations to things like Social Security dramatically.

Later on this morning the Baker-Hughes rig count will be out and that should give markets more to ponder, specifically as relates to oil which is down a bit this morning again, but still around $32 on the West Texas.

Gold is up, and Kitco was reporting $1,231 earlier which is a tad confusing.  If this is really the End of the World Abyss that we’re about to fall into, the gold should be plummeting.  But, it’s not. 

So we conclude that one of two things is happening:  Either people have figured out that paper is n ot based on anything but cellulose contend and ink anymore (a fair to partly true statement, except that Uncle is in the wings to bail everything) OR people can’t find anything worth investing in these days except for gold and silver.

The fundamental problem is that $ in 1913 when the Fed showed up now requires $23.95 (through 2015) and we can take the year-on-year increase in the CPI on top of that to come up with a very accurate picture of how the purchasing power of the dollar has been hollowed-out.

As I told Peoplenomics subscribers in Wednesday’s report:  The last Depression got everyone out of convertibility of paper into gold (by calling gold and silver). 

The economy purposes of the power-crazed at the top this time will be to stampede the masses into giving up on privately held money entirely by claiming that unauditable cash outside the system is evidence of criminal intent.  And if it’s not that, it’s terrorism and we can’t have that///

Now, obviously, having money outside ”the system” is neither criminal, nor a sign of terror, except that the government won’t stand for disobedience because this is all part of the road to Mark of the Beast down the road a short piece. 

But the laws to come about anything more than $2,000 or so being criminal won’t be here until just past the bottom of the Second Depression and that’s not here yet.  But patience.

If we don’t see a weekly close well above our 1,940.23 line in the sand for several weeks running, then it will be here sooner than later and you’ll rue the day when you voted in the current cast of clowns in Washington.

Less opinion and more data?  Japan was down 1.4% overnight while the Hang Seng sung low down 0.4%.  In Ure Up, the Brits were up a stick of chewing gum while the Krauts were about even and the Frenchies were down 3/4’ths of a percent.

Next week the G-20 will be meeting as the Japanese are calling for “market coordination” rather than a free market rout.  As always, there are some who are cheering on this notion of international coordination, but to us it looks suspiciously like what?  Price-fixing.

So for that reason along, “Don’t Bet On A G20 Agreement: 5 Reasons – Credit Suisse” is a reasonable expectation.

The reality is that the New World Order already has a global currency…the problem is that its value is changing daily because the subunits are all over the board as evidenced by the foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

When you see things differently, as with our Aggregate Indices over on the Peoplenomics side of the house, it really does take on a more Shakespearian “Much ado about nothing” patina.   The real question is whether it will turn into something more like a 10-year bronc ride, likely to end when the Ure-a-pee’in Onion is recognized as broke and occupied.

Futures were down about 50…so we expect to take the rest of the day off and work on Peoplenomics for tomorrow which is all about Food in the Great Depression and what’s ahead here on the rock.

Polls Apart

GOPsters will South Carolina will be going to the polls tomorrow.  Demos gamble in Nevada. The NY Times in-depth is as good as any speculation out there.  Like you’re not sick of it already.

Never wrong as we are, we’ll merely predict that there will be a winner both places…But I will be holding up the “No YAB-YAC”  (Yet another Bush (unlikely) or Yet-Another-Clinton (still possible in Nevada).  We will be most interested in the Nevada demo “cactus” and none-to-secretly be rooting for Bernie and The Donald.

Which would make November a very clear choice.  With luck, the nation will by then be over the Hillary… The bad ideas that have screwed up the world so far demand fresh thinking to fix things, as we see it.

China’s Lead Brown-Noser

Time has a dandy piece on how the Deputy Director at Xinhau news agency – the house PR outfit of the country – has written a poem which has gone viral.

We’ll stick with Robert Service, thanks.  Any dude who receives “…warm bliss from mighty ships and high-speed trains…” needs from couch time or a shot of Viagra, know what I mean?

Watch for the 8th Step

Inspired by the report that 7 steps by Pope Francis to a 21st century Catholic church I’d like to offer an 8th step.

How about stay out of political discussions (like the border) or lose the tax-free status?  How about all religions be reined in on public policy including the presidency?  God goes in one box, government in another.

I’m leaning toward the idea that religions should stand wholly on the merit of its message and stop rolling out into civics to round up new recruits and to extract more from their adherents.

Isn’t it supposed to be about spiritual growth not cash flow and conversions?  (SG vs. CfC)

Where’s my pills, anyway?  “Aaauuuummmmmm…”

Back to the Cold War!

And quite literally so as  the US deploys tanks and equipment to classified Cold War-era caves in Norway.

Oh, wait, how terribly wrong of me.  With the global warming de-sanity, I guess we’ll have to call it the Lukewar.  But’cha get the idea. 

Replaying Lindbergh

In the great scheme of things, our view that we’re in the 1927-1928 period continues to be reinforced by current events.  You can go look up when Charles Lindbergh when off on his adventuring (hint: 1927).

And then we watch the billionaire’s boy’s clubs that are putting in the books the same kind of historical firsts.  Except instead of going around the worlds, they are leaving it.

With the latest being Richard Branson’$ $pace Plane Relaunch just ahead.

History never replays precisely, but the rhymes are loud enough that we have to mention the Crime of the Century – the kidnapping in 1932 of Lindbergh’s 20-month old child.

That didn’t happen until March of 1932, but it was coincident to the bottom of the Great Depression.

So, at things don’t rhyme well, we would expect there to be success in the billionaire’$ Boy$ Club to be followed by another Crime of the Century, perhaps in the 2018-2020 period.  Since it’s a rhyme, it might be a spousal unit or S.O. or a close and loved one.  But something to tuck away so if/when it does happen, we will be able to see the offset from the bottom of the Greater Depression.

Now, where was I?  Oh yes…Summer’s coming…

Staying Fed in the Second Depression
Coping: Life at 67 and Doing My Own "Employee Review"