Once again – I do this every month, or so – I am promising shorter columns because there is so much to do around here.
To the top of the inbox, post haste!
As we explained previously, when the economy is skittering along the effective lower bound (of interest rates) it’s not hard to see how shortages will cause price increases. Thus, government orchestrated shortages (like the miserable drop in Los Angeles container clearings due to runaway bureaucracy in the once Golden State) are an additional lever (besides direct Fed financial purchases, to “arb up” inflation.
With this in mind (that inflation may be more shortage-driven than demand driven) here’s today’s foisted-off data:
“The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.9 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, all items index increased 6.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The monthly all items seasonally adjusted increase was the result of broad increases in most component indexes, similar to last month. The indexes for gasoline, shelter, food, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles were among the larger contributors. The energy index rose 3.5 percent in November as the gasoline index increased 6.1 percent and the other major energy component indexes also rose. The food index increased 0.7 percent as the index for food at home rose 0.8 percent.
The sectorial drill-down is useful, too:
Highlights are those going up >- 25% annually now. Hyperinflation, anyone?
When we look at energy costs, remember who went out of his way to kill pipelines (and shovel favorites on the railroad-owning fellow). Slow energy deliveries and the prices will go up. The same way longshoremen can’t unload if the trucks are bottlenecked at the ports, or trains (somehow, conveniently) can’t be handled promptly, anymore.
Speaking of Rails
Let’s put this deliberate sand-in-the-gear box into clearer perspective by looking at some railroad data.
“Seven of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2020. They included nonmetallic minerals, up 4,198 carloads, to 32,916; coal, up 3,284 carloads, to 68,736; and metallic ores and metals, up 2,621 carloads, to 22,526. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2020 were motor vehicles and parts, down 1,696 carloads, to 14,751; petroleum and petroleum products, down 1,018 carloads, to 10,714; and miscellaneous carloads, down 903 carloads, to 10,428.”
By itself, this might be mistaken as OK performance. But look at the data baseline: 2020. Anyone in their right mind would delve back further into data and look at 2018 and 2019 data as comparable. Not the year of the lockdown, for crying out loud.
Here’s how 2019 rolled in the same week:
“Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 383 carloads, to 11,255; petroleum and petroleum products, up 300 carloads, to 13,595; and nonmetallic minerals, up 181 carloads, to 32,014. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included coal, down 16,385 carloads, to 72,402; metallic ores and metals, down 2,296 carloads, to 20,220; and motor vehicles and parts, down 674 carloads, to 17,175.”
Take coal: 72,402 in 2019, while this year coal was 68,736 this year. Or petroleum which was 13,595 carloads in 2019 and this year only 10,714. You can run the rest. I shouldn’t try to fix stupid. If you can’t see right through comparing with a plandemic year a baseline is statistical fraud, you’re past hope and lucky to have made it this far in life.
Notwithstanding, some analysis like, oh, Jim Cramer for one, as tossing about the term “juggernaut” this week to describe the American economy. I suggested to a reader we’re more like a buggernaut.
Reality is a bitch: De Nile runs deep. 2019 or 2018 as base years is more honest but doesn’t serve the interests of the Desperation Party fast approaching 2022. It’s only going to get worse. For now, the myth of “building back better” is being based on a national health condition when we were on life-support.
Not statistically honest, but statistical honesty is a non-starter in today’s world.
Tomorrow’s Peoplenomics report gets into the myth of “lossless compression” of facts. Communists have always been selective fact-pickers, and nothing has been changed up by their American insurgency.
Covid: Moving Goal Posts
As the honest healthcare providers will admit, Covid 19 is less about “doing no harm” and more about making money. That fire department in Washington state that lost a firefighter to cardiac/blot clot issues 3-days (it turned out digging deeper) after his booster jab, still isn’t out as a “press release.” Likely won’t be. We’re in a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” world.
Meantime, the latest UK Covid data is moving almost magically:
See how there are no under-18-year-old deaths in England in the reporting window? Even among the unvaxxed?
Answer me this: Why are they vaccinating children, then?
- Money. There are billions on the line. Politicians are for sale.
- Secret Agenda: There’s some other reason undisclosed to the public. (Is this like adding “bitter herbs” to the coming feast by aliens? Kidding…sort of…)
- Incompetence: This whole covid thing has been (and continues to be) a statistical shit-show from Day One…
See how the death risk for the age group Elaine and I are in has gone from under 3 times to now almost 4 times greater as purebloods in 5-weeks?
Believe me, in my corporate sales life I could sell ANYTHING based on statistics. Made ’em up and made millions for my employers and six figures for me when that has seven figure purchasing power today. Getting this, Bunkie?
Black is Not Enough
Somewhere – out on the pendulum swing of national insanity – the return of merit and honesty along with functioning Courts was sure to come along. We see this in the story Jussie Smollett Found Guilty By Jury In 2019 Assault Trial – Deadline. He’ll get off light at sentencing. Take that to the bank.
As the American Pendulum swing – back toward merit – picks up speed, not only will Black not be enough, neither will “special” gender allowances and all the rest. Yessir, all lives and souls weigh the same.
Well, except in Portland, Seattle…
ANY kind of racism is bad – but that doesn’t stop charlatans from trying to bring back “new and improved (reverse) racism” to make some money on it. Hence the whole CRT curriculum drive. Sheesh. Can we all stay on the results matter, nothing else, road please?
Courts for the Special: Smollett is small potatoes compared to the blow-up of the Epstein case. Because there are still two kinds of justice in America. Justice bought and paid for by the rich (The Prosecution Is Fumbling Its Case Against Ghislaine Maxwell | Vanity Fair) and things smaller like Smollett.
Friday Deep-Think: Winds o War
Great insights from military affairs contrib and former oak leafy flyboy warhammer. Especially pertinent in light of how China Vows To Open Fire on US Troops That Come to Taiwan’s Aid.
“I put on my strategic planner hat and thought long and hard about the simmering tension between the U.S. and China. My key points from this intellectual exercise follow:
1) China is not a global military peer competitor to America . . . not yet. China’s military strength and influence lies primarily in the Western Pacific. It looms over Taiwan and it sponsors it’s communist pawn, N. Korea. It can militarily inflict much pain and suffering in this region, but in the long run, it would lose an armed conflict against a united West, united that is behind America. “United” is the key word here. Divide the West, pit on nation against another, or sow doubt within the alliance and the power equation changes dramatically.
2) China most certainly ‘is’ a global economic peer competitor to America, Japan and the EU. The nation holds a strong technological anchor in all global economies. Her true strength lies here. Unlike the Soviet/US Cold War, where the USSR had no capitalist equivalent to the NATO alliances powerful economies, China’s economy is thriving and Western economies are tightly bonded together with Beijing. Each competitively tries to best the other in a salvo of what distills down to pointed technological warfare excursions. This is classic capitalist competition elevated to an entirely new level. China understands that taking economic warfare to a technologically competitive level gives them strategic economic equality, lacking an outright military advantage over the West. Should China’s technological edge begin to fade, traditional nation/state conflict resolution (i.e. kinetic war) could well ensue in key geographic areas as China struggles to maintain regional military and global economic power. The key to peace is profit – on both sides.
3) Chinese President Xi has taken a personal stake in China’s global technology/economic status. His position reflects a common one in history, that of a leader who wishes to be respected and remembered by history for his contributions to his nation’s legacy of success and his own willingness to take risks to cement that legacy. Xi’s values fundamentally embody Chinese values, winning him widespread support throughout the homeland. Xi is the heart beat of modern 21st Century China.
4) When all is said and done, diplomacy will be the determining factor as to whether kinetic war will eventually break out between China and America or if a tenuous peace remains in place. Two vast oceans lies between America and China. One comprised of thousands of miles of water. The other consisting of divergent and competing economies and intense distrust.
To wrap it all up, I defer to the ancient Greek historian Thucydides, who summed it up perfectly [paraphrased]: War is caused not merely by the rise of one power, but by the fear which that power engenders in another. The West seems to fear China as much ir not more than China fears the West. This mindset currently plays to Xi’s advantage. He exploits perceived weaknesses to China’s advantage while the West huddles in circles of uncertainty over potential financial loss and economic downturn. Advantage, Xi. For now.
Having Brandon and Kam in the White House will not play well for America in the next three years. Xi will surely move boldly and decisively to exploit this major leadership advantage. Barring Xi’s death or a coup, I expect China to keep on rising on the world stage as America’s star gradually dims. Will there be war? Perhaps, but only if Taiwan is targeted by Beijing or their pawn, N. Korea, decides to reignite the long dormant war with the South.
This all said, if the West stays cool and plays its cards right, a booming, competitive global economy could be birthed from what is now a very tense and volatile strategic friction. If xenophobia rules in both the East and the West, and disagreements overwhelm agreements, then not only economic but armed conflict seems unavoidable.”
Of course, I also value the incredible insights of a higher-up (as in leading scunion-bringer):
“Any conflict with China may be lost at sea but will be won within the halls of Zhongnanhai.”
Which means that China is now a very mercantilist power. Making and trading is what they do. And in the “banana peel trading world, this means it is subject to having its supply lines cut, both incoming and outgoing. Like we’re allowing to be done to us.
It’s possible this could cause China to lose a conflict, but the longer-term victory will come when Xi and about 29 others see peace as a better investment than missile silos and biolabs.
Decoding UrbanSurvival: Zongnanhai is “often used as a metonym for the Chinese leadership at large (in the same sense that the term “White House” refers to the U.S. executive branch). Which you may not fathom depending on how many global ops you’ve run, capeesh?
Rotting from within? Is there a business model in building “back-up cities?” Maybe not. What’s Next for China Evergrande, Crushed by Debt – WaPo.
First wars, first, though: Russia says Ukraine could turn into re-run of Cuban missile crisis. A given.
More like “news drool” then?
Irish Adventure: Criminal Charge For Breaking Sink During Sex | The Smoking Gun. (You do remember the Leon Uris distinction, right?)
Seen any? Aliens may have already VISITED Earth, bombshell Nasa report reveals as Pentagon ramps up hunt for UFOs (the-sun.com). This is more likely what a pool hustler would call a “money ball shot.”
Debt Going Higher: Republicans help clear the way for Senate vote on bipartisan deal to avert debt ceiling crisis. The American Free Lunch government is $28,908,031,211,073.83 in debt, as of today.
Shaky Data: 432 earthquakes off the Oregon coast in the past 7-days if we count 2.5 magnitude and above. The RV seers looking at Sept 2022 off Japan have a building case, in our view.
Stranger than strange: ALL our animals have now wandered off. Ate, wandered down the road…haven’t seen ’em since.
Maybe we weren’t serving the right kibble or the owners who dumped ’em out here saw the ads online we put up.
Zeus – the Cat – enjoying amazing warm weather here – didn’t come in last night, either. The brutally harsh winter here will see 80F for a high today. It held almost 70 overnight.
Write when you get rich,