As I was contemplating the pending arrival of the hurricane now bearing down on Hawaii, an odd possibility crossed my mind:  Could the hurricane have some impact on the geological activity of the Big Island now in progress?

Let’s take it from the top and see where things lead.  Starting with the NOAA SitRep as of early today:


A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Oahu
* Maui County…including the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and
* Hawaii County

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Kauai County…including the islands of Kauai and Niihau

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm- force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Preparations to protect life and property should be
rushed to completion.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Interests in the the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands should monitor the progress of Hurricane Lane.

So far, just the kind of thing that the MSM is covering, sans the rain jacket-wearing reporter breathlessly covering falling palm fronds.

Now to our odd slant on things:

We know that earthquakes and lava flows are the result of crustal movement of the big=old Earth.

We also know that the atmosphere weighs something.  As one site summarizes:

“…This means that if you took a column of air one square inch wide that went all the way up through the atmosphere, it would weigh 14.7 pounds. So in order to figure out how much the whole atmosphere weighs, all we need to do is figure out how many square inches make up the surface of the earth.”

Next, let’s assume that there will be a major drop in atmospheric pressure (a common feature of all cyclonic rotations) of 2-pounds per square in.  Further, let’s assume the area impacted in not terribly big…how about we toss 25-miles square up on the white board, shall we?

This gives us (25X25) or 625 square miles of major weight change in what’s weighing down on (local) Earth over there.

Next, we run the weight calculations:

There are 144 square inches to the foot.  So the weight reduction is 299 pounds per square foot as the storm rolls through.

Converted to weight on a single acre, for which there are 43,650 square feet each, the weight-change is 12571200 pounds per acre.

We all remember 640-acres per square mile, which pushed the weight-change to 8,045,568,000 pounds of atmospheric weight-change per square miles..  8-billion pounds.

And last, but not least, we multiply this times our area of weather (the 625 square miles of maximal low pressure) and Viola!

5,028,480,000,000 pounds.  Five Trillion Pounds!

We are sorry for the heavy rains now hitting the Big Island and, if I’m correctly oriented, the surf on the (mostly rocky so who’d try it) Kona Coast.

But it’s reading headlines and having numbers like those above come flooding into the brain that make me nervous.

As the UK’s Express is headlining today “Ring of Fire MAP: Earthquake BLITZ hits Pacific triangulation points – MEGAQUAKE fears.

I’m not predicting there will be any consequences of the passing low pressure system in the vicinity of Hawaii, but it may be a factor somewhere down in the noise-floor of natural events that sets off earth-changes.

That said, my intuition about Hawaii and current quake activity does indeed have some basis in fact as outlined in :”Earthquake Weather: Relationships between barometric pressure changes and seismicity...”  [West, J.D., Garnero, E.J., and Shirzaei, M., School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287  – 2015]

A short snip:

“t has been widely shown that seismic activity can be triggered by stress changes of a few kiloPascal s (kPa)
over periods of tens of seconds associated with passing surface wave trains from remote earthquakes. Less well
investigated is whether kPa range stress changes over periods of hours-to-days associated with changes in
barometric pressure can also influence seismicity.”

Also see the 2006 paper by Shingo Watada, Takashi Kunugi. Kenji Hirata, Hiroko Sugioka, Kiwamu Nishida, Shoji Sekiguchi, Jun Oikawa, Yoshinobu Tsuji. smfHiroo Kanamori, “Atmospheric pressure change associated with the 2003 Tokachi?Oki earthquake.”

With the literature checked, and Hurricane Lane rolling by, we felt rather than the usual feeding-frenzy of me-too-reporting of falling coconuts, we’d offer a science and data-based question or two.  Since that’s what we do.  This is not “alarmist” in the sense that the odds a relatively low.  It is a grand exercise in mindfulness given the recency of flows on east-southeast side of the Big Island.

Decrypting the Fed

Although the stock market has now moved into record territory on its (for now) present Bull Run, we would draw your attention to the economic modeling presented at the last Fed meeting centered around the problem that goes something like this:

If the crap hits the fan, does the Fed have enough maneuvering-room to lower rates enough to deal with any crisis from interest rates in their present range?

The Fed’s work (assuming you read their periodic economic papers) is exemplary.  They totally “get” something called the Effective Lower Bound – (ELB) the interest rate below which you can lower ad infinitum and not change the outcome.  In other words, when rates for to zero, or lower.

The co-opted press doesn’t focus on Big Problems like this, not when there are juicy porn star payoffs to sell papers.  It’s real work to think-ahead and it would actually sell fewer papers since we live in a country where critical-thinking and deep intuitive have been marched out back and shot by the Political Correctness Execution Teams.

For those of us remaining, though, the Fed minutes discussion of their in-house computer-modeling usefully guides our own researches.  Here’s what they’re reporting:

“The staff’s analysis indicated that under various policy rules, including those prescribing aggressive reductions in the federal funds rate in response to adverse economic shocks, there was a meaningful risk that the ELB could bind sometime during the next decade. That analysis also implied that threshold-based forward guidance and balance sheet actions could provide additional accommodation that could help support economic activity and mitigate disinflationary pressures in these episodes. In the model simulations, because of unanticipated shocks and lags in the transmission of the effects of monetary policy actions on economic activity and inflation, the effectiveness of monetary policy in general, including forward-guidance and balance sheet policies, was limited in mitigating the initial downturn in the economy. The staff noted that there was considerable uncertainty surrounding the estimated effects of those policies on the economy; in addition, estimates of how frequently the ELB could bind in the future differed across the models that the staff examined.

In the discussion that followed the staff’s briefing, participants generally agreed that their current toolkit could provide significant accommodation but expressed concern about the potential limits on policy effectiveness stemming from the ELB. They viewed it as a matter of prudent planning to evaluate potential policy options in advance of such ELB events.”

This got them onto the problem we’ve been pointing out lately, too, namely that REAL WORLD interest rates don’t seem to be swallowing the Fed’s “We’re gonna raise rates” tough-talk:

” Many participants commented on the monetary policy implications of the apparent secular decline in neutral real interest rates. That decline was viewed as likely driven by various factors, including slower trend growth of the labor force and productivity as well as increased demand for safe assets. In such circumstances, those participants saw monetary policy as having less scope than in the past to reduce the federal funds rate in response to negative shocks. Accordingly, in their view, spells at the ELB could become more frequent and protracted than in the past, consistent with the staff’s analysis. Moreover, the secular decline in interest rates was a global phenomenon, and a couple of participants emphasized that this decline increased the likelihood that the ELB could bind simultaneously in a number of countries….”

This last is important as hell.  What they’re talking about in polite, econometrician terms, is a Global Finance Crisis, which you can safely short-hand as “All the shit, hits the fan at once.”  (ATSHTFAO).

Here’s the thing around here:  We think there’s much to be understood in our own, small, tax-chattel, worker-bee lives when the people up the food-chain are talking about world-ending collapse.  You know, the kind where a crisis rekindled in Europe this fall, comes to America  – a country already sinking quickly into its (French Revolution cloning) Digital Uprising, Webolutionary Coup.

Where, we note with interest this morning that PJ Media has reached pretty much the same conclusions we have.  Go read their report “Social Media Companies the Most Dangerous Monopolies Ever” and tell me if it sounds familiar…

Webolutionaries To Crash Market?

We know who president Trump will blame if impeachment goes forward:  “Trump says the stock market would crash if he were impeached: ‘Everybody would be very poor’.”

What the rest of the media misses is that ever since Obama (and even George Bush) the US has been on a path of industrialization and monetization of hate and division.

Foreign leaders are beginning to exploit the Trump versus webolutionaries gap as they’re trying to maintain asymmetric trade relations that don’t benefit the US.  Example: President Trump Seriously Misunderstands Trade, Japan’s Trade Minister Says.  Gee, why would he say that, you think?  Japan has an aged workforce and social payment structure balanced on unbalanced trade deals.  They Yen for a great deal…for them.  For the record, the Nikkei 225 index is still at levels just over HALF of what it peaked at in 1989.  Just sayin’…

Which is how/why social media works and why this all ends badly in a 1929-style global crack-up as soon at the next year, perhaps.  And why we won’t recover quickly.  We will be at – and below – the Effective Lower Bound of rates…the story and Big Picture stuff the MSM can’t understand, let alone report on.

Notice how we’re talking a lot more about prepping now?

Meantime, see how Trump is warning the Fed and how dems are saying it’s Trump who will crash things.  You know the shit’s just ahead since already, the fancy footwork to place game is beginning to ratchet-up.

You don’t need the business degrees.  Just freaking read and think a bit.

On Tap

PMI data out later this morning – and then some new home sales.  Durable Goods tomorrow morning…so be sure and come back then.

Stocks are flat going into the open.

And, in Other “News”

U.S. economy expected to slow, damaged by trade war: Reuters poll.

And in a showing of corporate something-or-other Volkswagen to invest $4 billion to build digital businesses, software.  Ever hear of Microsoft, or meine freund?  App’s to sell cars?  ViseGrip me!

One Road to Coping with the “News”

Useful book came up on my reading list this week: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life.  Helps.

Off to breakfast…moron the ‘morrow…as moron the keyboard returns.