Normally about this time of the month, we’d be looking for a consumer price report.
And certainly we would expect on the first day of business next week, right?
Thanks to all those “productivity improvements” in government, we won’t get the data until February 26th this month. Used to be on the 15th like clockwork.
FEBRUARY 26TH? WTF? 2-freaking days before month end?
Am I saying this is inexcusable BS? Well now that you mention it…
With issues like a longshore strike floating around, current data (that might reveal price inflation) becomes incredibly important.
Someone (and not down at the worker-bee level) in the Labor Department needs to get on the stick and get the damn numbers out at mid-month (first business day after the 15th) otherwise it starts to look to Ure’s truly like “hide the sausage.”
If government really ran like a corporate entity, we would have the report on the second or third day after month-end. Where there’s smoke…wait, I smell bull… Let’s see if we can blame the government shutdown all the way to Eternity, shall we? No point getting our national shit together and getting on the stick, is there?
Look: In good management, you get the bad news as fast as possible so you can begin corrective action. By postponing the data ad infinitum (blame holidays, shutdown, anything but getting the work done) the country can be hoodwinked into believing data 60-days old.
So when inflation comes screaming along real-time, there will be basically 60-days of “political float.” I ain’t falling for it. Neither should you.
Airline pilots don’t wait to hit the ground to see if they’re going to crash. They don’t wait for a week after a crash to figure it out either: They get data early on (stall warning indicator, anyone?) and then do something about it when there’s still airspeed, altitude, and ideas.
Key point: Being a pilot requires a license. Being in government? Hahahaha…you’re kidding, right?
Markets Closed Monday
This should be a rip-snorter of a weekend (a bull fighting reference, not a drug term) with the stock and bond markets closed Monday.
The other economic indicator we follow on a nearly daily basis is the Baltic Dry Index although its hard to say whether it has dropped because of the lack of trade anticipated since America is sneaking up on being tapped out. Whatever is driving it, the index has crashed below 2009 levels down another 13 points this morning to 540. That’s half where it was.
Could it be how cheap bunker C oil is for shipping?
Or, is it because the corporate/management goon squad has decided to lock out the Longshoremen. Maybe it’s telling us the longshore strike will be long an ugly… Which gets us to…
Losing the Import Battle
Just out from the Bureau of Economic Analysis is this embarrassing trade report:
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $46.6 billion in December, up $6.8 billion from $39.8 billion in November, revised. December exports were $194.9 billion, down $1.5 billion from November.
December imports were $241.4 billion, up $5.3 billion from November. The December increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $6.9 billion to $66.0 billion and an increase in the services surplus of $0.1 billion to $19.5 billion.
For 2014, the goods and services deficit was $505.0 billion, up $28.7 billion or 6.0 percent from 2013.
Exports were $2,345.4 billion, up $65.2 billion or 2.9 percent. Imports were $2,850.5 billion, up $93.9 billion or 3.4 percent. Goods and Services Three-Month Moving Averages (Exhibit 2) The average goods and services deficit increased $1.1 billion to $42.7 billion for the three months ending in December.
* Average exports of goods and services decreased $0.2 billion to $196.6 billion in December.
* Average imports of goods and services increased $0.9 billion to $239.4 billion in December.
Year-over-year, the average goods and services deficit increased $5.2 billion from the three months ending in December 2013.
* Average exports of goods and services increased $2.7 billion from December 2013.
* Average imports of goods and services increased $8.0 billion from December 2013.
Let’s see: Exports are up less than $3 billion while imports are up $8 billion (and that’s not counting all the dirt weed brought in along the former Mexican border, so let me see…what do we find on Amazon that would be a fitting Valentine’s Day gift for the American Consumer?
Aha!!! Perfection! Learn Chinese: Rosetta Stone Chinese (Mandarin) – Level 1-5 Set $199.
Hmmm…wonder if that’s imported, too?
At any rate, corpgov has driven the country onto the rocks of free trade madness and we don’t have the leadership to do squat about it…just too many lobby groups and special interest cash floating around pre-2016 and everyone is placing bids for people in office.
How CorpGov Hates Longshoremen
If you go looking for Longshore stories, and you don’t use the right keyword in your search, you’ll find stories like this one which explains how members of congress are urging the Longshoremen to end their strike swiftly. Blah, blah, blah…
Let me see here: The people on the port/corporate side don’t want to pay the people who actually do the work of unloading+ ships. There’s more work now as the figures show.
But a much different perspective fades-in when you use the word “lockout” in your search.
To be sure, the place where you’ll find the real low-down on what jerks the Pacific Maritime Association is being might be the World Socialist website, but at least the truth comes through there…the employer side is locking out workers, which means even though the longshoremen have been willing to work to keep cargo moving, the corpgov side of this beef is trying to screw the Longshoremen into bending over…and nothing like ending weekend and holiday time to put pressure on.
West coast dockworkers have been regularly bent over by the employer side. And what is likely to happen (it’s a repeating dance) is that the additional wages the longshoremen want will likely be blamed for inflation all over Kingdom Come.
Well, it’s gonna be a lie to look forward to, once the beef is over. What WILL most assuredly happen is that goods that don’t even go through the Ports will be marked up and the strike will be blamed (along with the longshoremen).
That’s because under Compunism (the computerized/hollowed out carcass of capitalism and socialism) no good crisis will be left unexploited.
So look for prices you pay for a lot of things to be going up and the Longshoremen will be blamed. But then watch Q2 profits soar as the feeding frenzy of corporate greedsters pumps up what would otherwise be dead earnings.
But don’t take my word for it. Wait until we start seeing April or May consumer prices (May more likely) when the price increases ought to begin in earnest.
Who says the future isn’t predictable? Greed is…and who, I’d ask you, is at the wheel?:
Yessir, while the PMA is locking out workers out of spite and greed and fear of fair compensation, no reason to focus on how America really works.
No, sir. Let’s talk about how it’s going to snow again in Bean Town.
Hard to have price deflation when you’re printing up Monopoly Money at that kind of rate…and that’s what government has – a monopoly… so your purchasing power drops almost 10%…look surprised. Which gets me back to the Consumer Price complaint but let’s try to move past that.
I see $1.59 gas has pretty much gone. Fine five-minute story that was…
Say, That’s Some Peace Deal
After all the showmanship is done, the reality of what’s going on in the EUkraine pressing back on Russian loyalists in Maripol and elsewhere is coming to light.
I won’t start taking my anti-skepticism medicine (made in Scotland and sold by the bottle) until after we see how ineffective the “cease fire” is…as it doesn’t go into effect until the 15th.
Why, that’s just enough time for the financially collapsing EU to make a last minute grab for the oil under Donetsk. What closely for it…