Used to be that if you wanted to get a bead on how the economic future of America was holding up, you could jump over to the U.S. Treasury website that offered (updated often) the U.S. Public Debt to the Penny.
If you go to that site these days, you’ll be politely informed:
No. This is about as blatant “hide the sausage from the vics” as possible.
Because, dear Reader, if you go there, what you get is a grand tour of government DataLand. And a chance to download the data.
Of course, you’ll have to make a decision first: Do you want the .CSV version of the data? The JSON version? Or, how about the XML version? It’s on the right side of the page and looks like this:
The Problems are just beginning for the hapless (attempting to be) Well Informed Citizen. Because not everyone on the planet (well, except Ure and a handful of former colleagues) have ever masterminded SQL migrations in a “can’t fail” setting.
In fact, to folks like us, .CSV (comma-separated value) files, or a chance to play with XML (extensible mark-up language) files offers the rare chance to actually think.
And that’s the whole trick of it. It “Hides the Sausage in Plain Sight.”
Hardly Dinner Table or Bar Talk
The government has, now, embarked on a massive scheme – pioneered by sausage slinger Alan Greenspan, who axed the Fed’s reporting of M3 years ago. Because it was getting too easy to see how money was being “made-up.
Then, several month’s back, Jerome Powell executed the “next step” in hiding the facts of America’s economic collapse by halting the weekly revelation of how fast M1 and M2 (measures of how much cash was being “pumped” into the economy. Such that it’s now on a wholly USELESS couple of months DELAYED basis.
When the economy is sucking hind (you know what), the best way to help ensure the papering over with printing presses works is to ensure the facts are only available to the “Expert Class.”
Let’s head for the dinner table and I’ll show you what I mean…
“Say, Aunt Matilda…”
“Did you do like that nice old geezer in the woods – George something – said and go download the latest “Up to our Asses in Debt with no prospects of Economic Salvation Report” that he says reveals all about our future?
“Why no, dear. I did like you said. Bought a copy of Office365 and downloaded the .CSV file just like you said, but all I got looked like this – I printed it out for you…because to me, it doesn’t make any sense!”
About here, you gotta start nodding in Agreement: Old Aunt Matilda doesn’t have a clue as to the nuances of data formatting in Excel. I mean, after all, she worked in retail sales and took a retirement. Lives in a house going up in value that she refi’s every 7-years or so to pay back taxes and such.
Foolish old biddy doesn’t even realize that by doing so, she’s screwing her heirs out of an intergenerational wealth transfer – right before her eyes. Then her words come back to you, though: “What else could I do? Taxes had to be paid and my taxes are over $8,000 a year on the House now…”
Money Slosh Uglies
The fact of the matter is that the Fed (on its runaway own) and Treasury (which operates at the pleasure of crooked office holders) have begun to change an American Ideal that has its roots in those of us from the “Halt and Catch Fire” days in computationally competent places like the South Bay and the Eastside of Seattle.
My Key Point?
We have lost the notion of a Digital Democracy and we have enter the era of Digital Disenfranchising.
To prove the point, I want you to ask everyone you know today three simple questions:
- “Do you think it matters that America owes a lot more than our GDP – that is, what the whole country produces every year?” Most people (*with half a brain, which is less than 50% already) will say “Well sure!”
- “Do you know how to download a .CSV file and reformat it for a useable display in a spreadsheet on the fly?” About here, most people – even people who fancy themselves well-informed voters, will look you bang in the eye and say “Huh?”
- “Do you think there’s a data-privileged class of people and everyone else is being screwed by the government?”
The answer to this one doesn’t matter. The “digital revolution” a/k/a Digital Uprising is being run by controlling the data. Because Aunt Matilda and the vast majority of Americans don’t work at their lives.
They’re joy riders. Unwilling to put out anything beyond minimal effort, join the closest convenient mob that appeals to their gender, race, national origin, or similar self-delimiters.
And that’s how America’s lost it.
The Quest for Transparency is over. The Data is going away. Mere “little people” are the flock of sheep, periodically sheered by a rising Data and Financial Engineering class who have taken over.
Sucks to be you.
Oh! And Aunt Matilda!
Here’s what the data looks like reformatted:
And for God’s sake, learn about hiding of data and what’s really going on with the Nation’s Monetary base. Because as John Williams notes over on his (brilliant) ShadowStats website, as of this morning (Fed efforts to hide data, or not) smart people really know why the market goes up: There’s too much “slosh” for it to go anywhere else!
See any problem on the right, there, Matilda?
(Chart courtesy of John William’s ShadowStats. You can get a damn close estimate of what the Fed is hiding by clicking over here: Money Supply Charts (shadowstats.com). Williams is, in our view, a fine Digital Patriot. Thank you for your service.
“Distracto News” Lives!
OK, just because we’re all locked in a country heading for a brick wall, no reason to let on to the sheep, is there? Hell no! News pigs deserve the slop they get. For example?
Let’s see who can connect the dots from this morning’s rant to the following headlines, shall we? ““Oil About The Benjamin”: Oil Hits 3 Year High As BofA Now Sees Spike To $100 | ZeroHedge.
Must Pay to Know Hunter, huh? DOJ Nominee Worked with Hunter Biden at Law Firm Tied To Ukrainian Energy Giant (freebeacon.com). Nothing to see here, Citizen, just move along…
Hey…long as we’re at it, let’s excuse Crime, too, shall we? Clarence Page on Chicago weekend of violence: ‘A lot of the problems are internal’. On track for 800 murders in Chicago? I told you when we “went to ground out here in the sticks” 20-years ago “Flee the City while you can!!” Better to be early than late, right Aunt Matilda?
Not enough idiocy on crime? MSNBC contributor: Recent New York City crime wave ‘is actually the fault of the police’. We have to ask, why does the MSM give people like this tube-time? So you won’t read about the blowing up of value and money stocks?
Yes. It was likely a bioweapon. (Rand Paul: Coronavirus “In All Likelihood, Came From The Lab”) And sure, Trump was maybe right on that. But now it’s become mainly BS and theatrics as Republicans slam Biden’s ‘vague threats’ to China over COVID stonewall. Oh, wait, it always was. That and a population die-back.
Since America’s low on “juice” the Slo Joe infrastructure plans are far from a sure thing: Schumer faces Democratic divisions and skeptical Republicans as Biden agenda hangs in balance. In the end, though, who will not vote for “free money”, regardless of consequences?
Well, a little early for beer. So another day “in the chair” working on the new book – more chapters on Peoplenomics tomorrow.
Also tomorrow: Current account deficit. Lots of data Thursday morning, too, including GDP and such.
In the markets this morning: Futures are trying to rally a bit following the “Air Bubble Rally” Monday. Japan got in a good bounce, thanks to intervention and hype. On commodities Lumber rallied to $926’ish, but gold and silver hint at deflation to come, so we’ll see if this turns into a “turndown Tuesday” by the end.
BTC down to $29,830 and still heading toward our outlook of $28,000. Or less. Which is why we don’t play cryptos.
Write when you get rich,