Is the Rally for Real? Or, Just 1929 Redux?

We will get to this morning’s import and export price data in a minute.  But, the most important issue on my plate today is how to play this market.  Not an easy decision…but waiting could become even more costly.

Based on  the early futures today (about 5:30 AM Central) our favored “Replay of 1929” track was about to blow-up.  If future’s prices are any indication of what to expect when the trade talks wind up in D.C., our “rhyme of ’29” will hit the rocks:

As you can see, the close yesterday was “uncomfortable” and yet a down market close today would maintain the idea of a replay.  However, in order for that to occur, here’s what we’d want to see out of the news flow today:

In our Aggregate view of the market, let me mention a few other items that cause me to remain skeptical that this morning’s firmness will hold through the close.  (I’m invariably wrong!)

First, there is a possible Elliott count that would from the peak at “V” count as a 1-down, 2-up, 3-(i) down, and (until 2 is bettered) it might count as a 3-(ii) rally.  3-(iii) down might follow.

Second, it looks like a classic “head and shoulders” formation across the top.  That’s the bar with the left, head, and right shoulder above highlights.

Third is the trend channel, which looks very broken to the downside.  But, we could be coming up for a “kiss of death” before heading back down…

Fourth is the large Ascending Triangle broke (we’ll show that for subscribers tomorrow) which has broken.

And fifth, there is a red trend line which is one of our long-term gauges of the market and if we close above that, then a change of trend could be at hand.

Another thing that has us doing some head-scratching is commodity prices which have soared – like a tradce deal is done, and it’s not.

Should the trade talks wrap up on anything less than a signed deal that is super-good for America, I think there’s still significant downside ahead.

And, while the market took the president tweets Thursday as positive/constructive, there’s another way to read it:  It Trump hinting the US still needs to contain China, still needs to get basic “self-sufficiency” on-shored?  Is that why he says of the trade deal “But do I?” (want one)?

If that’s the larger picture, no trade deal, especially shomething like China going home without “signatures” the motivation for the Kudlow and Trump stock-pimping would fall into place as “If the market’s going to come down a lot, let’s run up it while we can” on the theory it won’t go down as far that way when the decline resumes.

Other background factors to thinking of include these:

  • While its true that the absolute number of people working in America is up 1.4 percent compared with September of 2018, the population is up, too: only about 1/2 of 1%.
  • There’s another ponder of jobs to roll around:  The line in the data that refers to “job leavers” which is up more than 13% year-on-year.  Re-entries are down, too.
  • And this story has been bouncing around for a couple of days now “Mental Health cited as the primary reason why millennials leave their jobs

We’ve raised this question before:  Absent a big national motivatgor (go to the moon, then Mars, then the Stars…) people can get cranky and lazy and wonder “Why bother?”  If you’re going to eat, anyway, WTF, right?

But, more than anything, the country today suffers from terribly divided leadership and that, more than any trade talk hype, is of growing concern.  Throw in Wall Street Week Ahead: Bruised U.S. banks expected to report third quarter earnings decline and you have the idea that things are pretty-much same-o same-o.  Reason to rally?  Not in one old man’s view.

The high points of this morning?

With our 1929 track certainly looking like it’s inb trouble today, I’m reminded it was Alan Greenspan who famously said words to the effect that “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”  Tell me about it.

We’ll have more tomorrow on the Peoplenomics side…but take a look at the NY Times “Stocks Have Reached a Turning Point, but in Which Direction?

Or, as I have pasted on the screen here:

“No Guts, No Glory.  But No Guts, No Gory, Either.”

Partial market closure ahead Monday in observance of Columbus Day: US bond markets and the Fed will be closed, but stocks, options, and futures markets will be open. 

Also on the calendar, next week is options expiration.  Last month, our Aggregate Index was at 25,290 and with it at 25,075, it’s only a small decline (less than 1%).

If there was ever a market trying to “climb a wall of worry” this is the poster-child.

The Trade Price Data

Just out from Labor

“U.S. import prices increased 0.2 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today,
following a 0.2-percent decline the previous month. The advance in September was driven by higher fuel
prices; prices for nonfuel goods edged down 0.1 percent. The price index for U.S. exports fell 0.2 percent in
September, after decreasing 0.6 percent in August.

Imports

Prices for U.S. imports advanced 0.2 percent in September, after decreasing 0.2 percent in August and
unchanged in July. The price index for U.S. imports has not recorded an increase larger than 0.2 percent
since the index rose 0.6 percent in March. U.S. import prices declined 1.6 percent from September 2018 to
September 2019.

Exports

The price index for U.S. exports declined 0.2 percent in September following a 0.6-percent drop in August
and a 0.2-percent advance in July. Price declines for agricultural and nonagricultural exports each
contributed to the September decrease. U.S. export prices fell 1.6 percent from September 2018 to
September 2019.

The data took a bit of the hype out of futures prices.  Imports getting more expensive while exports command less is not good for the Balance of Trade Deficit…

Need to Know

More blackouts are expected as winds rise and “Wildfires rage across Southern California.”

A press conference with 500 questions?  See What Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Said About Russia During His Marathon Press Conference.  Zelenskiy is trying to keep Ukraine from getting into a deeper war with Russia over the Donbass region.  As we have reminded you, though, the long-term prize is the Dnieper-Donets petrolum basin.  Wars have been fought over less.  Which is one reason why the dems and the r’s here are so stinky on this whole Ukraine business.  Trump’s arguably peace-oriented and maybe others want a corporate war for Ukraine oil…  a kind of eastern Europe spin on Iraq, perhaps?

\This is an important sub-text to the Trump-Ukraine mess that people don’t think deeply on and seldom shows up in press coverage.  But trust me, petroleum people do.

The Muslim Reconquest of Europe is picking up steam, too.  And with the US backing-off Turkey, Russia’s Vladimir Putin Says Turkey’s Syria Operation May Allow Militants to Escape.”

Which will put more social pretty on the Brusselspricks who have, in the past, used immigration as economic stumulus.

Around The Ranch

Weather’s definitely changing:  At 4:30 AM when Zeus the Cat wander in for breakfast, it was 73 on the screen porch.  Down to 50 now and the low tonight will be into the bottom 40’s.  Makes working in the shop fun, however.  You move faster to keep body heat up (especially with a short-sleeved shirt on!)

Son G2 (who’s busy getting his firefighter 1 & 2 certs, EMT’ing, and Uber & Lyfting to make ends meet) tells me there’s fresh snow on the peaks around Seattle, already.  Up in the mountain passes, too. People in the PNW are worried about a super-cold winter ahead.

“Climate change, Dad” said one daughter.  “No, winter,” said an old dad. “You kids are suckers for anything on a phone.”

Despite the temp drop tonight, highs ought to be back into the mid 70’s to low 80’s next week.  Just about perfect working weather for household chores.

One of which is falling by the bushel-basket now.

Made the mistake of leaving some of that crap-gas (with ethanol) in the backpack leaf-blower, so another quick carb change on that is queued up at the workbench.  Carb change in 15 minutes.

So goes life as 71 quickly comes into view.

Enjoy the comment section, have a great weekend and write when you get rich!

george@ure.net

52 thoughts on “Is the Rally for Real? Or, Just 1929 Redux?”

  1. Can someone explain to me the ‘blackouts’ in CA? Is this incompetence, poor capacity planning, a deliberate plot to control people, or is there a factor that I am not seeing? I find it bizarre that a large portion of a state can suddenly go ‘dark’. My father worked as an engineer for an east coast power company and I always remember him saying there was always plenty of capacity in the ‘grid’ as utilities would always sell there excess capacity across the grid when needed.

    • Might it be ‘people control’as written in the UN agenda 21 – 31…to make people MOVE into areas where the UN wants them to ‘live’….

    • Some of the fires in CA were started by the lack of maintence of the PG and E power lines.

      Solutions are maintain the lines, remove the material that can burn, or shut off the power so the lines lack the energy to start a fire.

    • In a nut shell,

      The power utility commission (PUC) placed mandates on PGE to initiate the Public Safety Power Shut-off (PSPS) in certain weather conditions due to past fires. They also placed mandates on how to restore power once it’s been off. There will be 45 helicopters and hundreds of trucks inspecting every inch of power line the next 3 days. Then I may have power again!

      Also, PGE is moving towards every customer being on a time of use (TOU) rate/billing structure. This means power costs up to 4 times as much in mid afternoon to evening than morning or night. They hope this extortion makes people not use power when they have troubles supplying the grid with enough juice. PGE claims they need to make infrastructure upgrades, and can’t afford it, so this is their work around.

      This will spur a lithium ion battery back up, grid independent wave of sales and technology boom as rolling brown-outs are threatened. Now that everyone has a smart meter, tart can push a button and entire neighborhoods go dark.

      Yup, it’s getting thick and sticky in CA.

      -solar dude

    • “Is this incompetence, poor capacity planning, a deliberate plot to control people”

      Perhaps, all of the ones you’ve listed ;-((.

      My son, who runs a business, complains to me all too often that there are too many people who just don’t care about their work, and we all suffer from that particular attitude; It has spread nationwide, sorry to report.

      P.s. Folks that build the B-29s have died!

      • I am lucky to live in an area of the country where hard work and pride in what they do go hand in hand. Although I can see the changes coming even here.
        I will never forget the trip to Oklahoma to take my grandson back home to his mother.. my god I made it a mission to try and convince the landlord to put in a light bulb lol lol ..and they lived in a good neighborhood..lol lol ..
        I’m not sure why but it was an eye opener for me. I’ll never go back..( they do make the best damned beans you’ve ever eaten though)
        We went to eat.. going to a national chain .. and I look over theres a waffle house packed with semi trucks and utility vehicles.. I said hey let’s eat there.. that was fine dining at its best..
        So I have to agree with you.. they got rid of the pride of american manufacturing outsourced our companies and made our laborers dependent on social programs.

    • I suspect that PG&E is attempting to limit their exposure to lawsuits after the wildfires there last year, I think it was. Power lines have a habit of falling and starting fires during high winds. So, no power, no fires. The residents don’t have a real choice in who they get their power from unless they go off-grid. So, other than a little revenue, what does PG&E have to lose?

    • It’s a money grab masked as security.

      Now the state could let PGE inflate its rates, so the for-profit company can grow and reward their shareholders.

      PGE is 60+ billion on the hole. Any guess who’s going to bail them out, and make them profit again?

    • It’s not a grid problem. Investigations found that PG&E powerline failures during high winds caused many of the fires:

      Redwood Fire, Mendocino County
      Sulphur Fire in Lake County
      Cherokee Fire, Butte County
      37 Fire, Sonoma County
      Blue Fire, Humboldt County
      Pocket Fire, Sonoma County,
      Atlas Fire, Napa County
      Norrbom, Adobe, Partrick, Pythian and Nuns fires of Sonoma and Napa County
      Cascade Fire, Yuba County

      They faced a $2.5 billion with a B penalty as a result.

      So now they cut the power in high winds.

    • It’s my understanding the blackouts are so wildfires will not be created by arcing transmission lines. PGE is on the verge of bankruptcy due to fires created last year.

    • The power company is broke and can no longer maintain itself. The money is gone. They are angling for a bailout.

      And they’ll get it. That’s what I was mentioning in my other post.

    • [Pure opinion based on observation]

      It’s growing pains of Socialism/Communism. The power company is constrained on all sides, so the easiest answer is to stop doing their job. They’re forbidden from doing certain cleanup activities to prevent fires, and they don’t have the money/manpower/will to do so anyway.

      They’re likely already on the hook for billion[s] in damages from the last fire. Their stockholders and employees hate them, their host (CA) hates them even more. Management seems to be generally incompetent. Atlas Shrugged was not supposed to be how-to manual for running a country (or in this case, a State).

    • Everybody in CA is running scared to be politically correct. Expect burglaries & murder to rise in CA. So great to be a sanctuary state. Reality is about to set in. Ask, & you will receive.

    • It’s NOT a capacity problem. 75 mph winds can knock trees down which hit power lines that then spark and cause fires that, with 75 mph winds, turn into fire storms. The fire storms go up and down hills and burn up houses and and everything in their way. The electric company is then targeted by insurance companies as being responsible since they cannot prevent low level brush and tall trees to be in proximity to some power lines and they can be forced into bankruptcy.

      Since they cannot keep all power lines everywhere from having fireproof material under them or next to them, the solution is to not have electricity going through power lines when winds get above a certain strength. The solution is no power delivered. Currently (play on words) the high winds have created downed power lines, therefore, before the power can be turned on, all shut off power lines have to be checked visually before being turned on again.

      Power lines on – Fire created lawsuits. Power lines off – Upset customers Hobson’s choice. Lawyer’s dream!

      • There were no 75 mile an hour winds. In fact, there were no winds at all except above 3,000 ft….which is normal during this tune of year and there is not a lot of population living at that altitude

    • Northern California’s utility company has neglected to maintain their infrastructure which has resulted in whole communities and thousands of structures being destroyed by fires there equipment has started including Paradise California where I lived until November 8th 2018. This utility company is currently in bankruptcy and would like to exit in the summer of 2020 to take advantage of state-subsidized funds to cover future fire-related liabilities. The utility company is shutting down power in excessive wind events because if they are responsible for another fire while in bankruptcy they will be insolvent and stockholders, bondholders, the state of California and the fire victims don’t want that. It would be nice to think they were doing it for safety reasons but as George always says, everything’s a business model.

  2. Looking at the 1929 comparison chart…sometimes a picture is just a picture. Sentiment is very bearish which is not what you usually see in a major top, 17 trillion in negative interest rates globally with the US 30 yr at 2.19%…gosh…one doesn’t have to speculate about where capital is flowing and will continue to flow as things worsen in Europe. I would bet that any correction is just that…not a crash…just a correction. Very similar circumstances to what happened in 1927-1929 and Japan 1987 to 1989 when capital flowed into the US in the late 20’s and back to Japan in the late 1980’s. Perhaps the big move is yet to unfold….eyes open to all possibilities.

  3. Stephen,
    It is PGE wanting to control the people. Gov. Newsom and PGE are in a fight right now over who should pay for clear cutting and pole maintenance in the rural areas, where many of these fires start. The Governor says it’s PGE’s responsibility and doesn’t want the California tax payers bearing the cost of PGE’s maintenance negligence. PGE says it wants the state to pay for it, because it would hurt profits if they paid for it…in other words, PGE is all of a sudden a supporter of socialism of the corporate variety.

    To make matters more complicated, PGE is in bankruptcy over their last fire debacle. So…to avoid another round of lawsuits, PGE is taking it out on all California citizens…even those communities that are never in fire danger, for really no reason at all. In Sonoma and Napa counties, they are in the middle of Crush/Octoberfest season…a huge tourist attraction for wine lovers and wineries have had to shut down because of no power… and this is coming in on one of their busiest Columbus Day weekends. Billions of dollars in lost revenue.

    Yesterday, PGE came out with a statement that said they will not reimburse any businesses lost revenue over their grid shutdowns…and people are up in arms over their hubris. The entire shutdown is senseless. Corporate greed “Trumps” customer need. This is where I as a Republican draw the line.

  4. George,

    I’ve been pondering this Trump/Ukraine situation for a few days. The more this thing plays out the more odd it seems to become. For one thing, when was the last time the Intelligence Community protected a real whistle blower? I’d say never. True whistle blowers usually end up fleeing the country to avoid prison or worse. So, since this person seems to be protected what does that mean? Is it indicative of true patriots trying to defend the Republic against wrongdoing? Maybe. I’d be more inclined to believe that if I hadn’t seen the transcript of the call, which does not show a clear crime, or at least as it’s been presented by the would-be impeachers.

    So, where does that leave us? We know the whistle blower rules were changed to allow for second hand testimony just before the complaint and that the whistle blower got their info second hand. That rule change seems purposeful, but to who’s purpose? This thing seems to be a game, but which game and who are the players? I think we have a case here of some people believe that they’re playing checkers when they’re really playing chess.

    Here’s my working theory: I think that it’s growing more likely that what this situation is is a sting operation instigated by the White House. Imagine, if you will, that the whistle blower was identified as a potential leaker and a mole(s) fed this person innuendo and rumors about the phone call, encouraged them to become a whistle blower and to contact certain individuals in the House. The operators of the sting would know full well that the opposing party would seize on this information and run with it, which they did. Once the opposing party had fully committed themselves to public impeachment talk, making up ‘parodies’ of the call before the world, etc, the trap is sprung and the White House released the transcript of the call. The opposing party never saw that coming. They thought the White House would never release the transcript of the call. Now the opposing party is stuck in a bad situation. They know that they’ve been played and have no choice but to continue on even though they know there’s no way they can follow through with impeachment. They haven’t called for a vote because that would be the end of it. Check Mate.

    So, there you have my working theory. Happy Friday.

    MAJ13

      • You may be missing the real tragedy in this; more CA businesses may pick up and move to Texas, with their leftist camp followers trailing along in tow.

      • I think it is real close George… I haven’t been to the grocery store in almost three months now..
        the increases this year really topped the cake.. and I know I am not the only one.. I hear it from all over.. still trying to get it under control so I can keep what I have without changing anything it is just a lot harder to do that it even was last year.
        right now I have real world issues like house taxes and utilities to get figured out along with the insurance increases..
        and lets face it … a catfish income doesn’t pay for much.. and there are more catfish out there than there are frogs on the lilly pads..

    • check mate
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHydkEARVKE
      it is like ,,you can see the ocean receding,, far out, more than normal, the tsunami is coming and all efforts to stop it are in vain,,,run for the hills, check and mate is coming for all that have drank the blood of the innocent, and mark my words, there will be hell to pay
      these are historical times and I get to witness the change

    • I think your theory is right on Maj….
      I only wonder what the puppeteers have up their sleeves for the next round… you know its coming.. I can see something happening.. they have been trying to get DJT to get us into a war for some time now.. Pulling people to Saudi Arabia.. I wonder if that isn’t just playing into their hands. instead of the arabs spending the money.. let good old john the garbage man down the street pay the tab and get us in a war that will finally bring abut the predicted war at armageddon.. Oh hey isn’t that where he sent our troops or at least close by..
      http://christinprophecy.org/wp-content/uploads/armageddon_jezreelmap.jpg
      https://i.pinimg.com/originals/20/29/fe/2029fe6b87f7a06382da40512055eb51.jpg
      which has me seriously curious.. Did the Democrats crying to let the illegals enter the usa finally let enough of the trojan horse warriors get through to set up what they were planning.. remember they said they would attack on our home grounds and ( ahem) cross the borders posing as refugee’s.. all those refugee’s running from their own radical religious enemys..
      in a land that has been fighting tribe against tribe since the beginning of time..

  5. Blackouts are a legal recourse for action to fix court blame on PG&E for power line fires resulting in billions in damages.

  6. Stephen, the blackouts are not due to inadequate capacity. They are intentional, targeted, precautionary shutdowns during high wind events to prevent transmission lines from becoming a potential ignition source of wildfire. And the current high winds are affecting the entire state, so the blackouts may seem statewide. But where I am in SoCal, however, the shutdowns are affecting numerous localized neighborhoods, but not large contiguous areas.

  7. With Bernie out, Warren is the deal for us. We get financial relief. And why shouldn’t we?

    We know Boeing will get their pension plans tax payer bailed, like GM back there. The folks who ruined the companies still get the trophies.

    The key to Warren is she’ll bump-up SS payments. That’s the lure for capturing the Baby Boomers. The SS crowd is getting hammered by the tariffs.

    Generation X gets the Medicare for all.

    The Millennials get the student loan debt relief.

    And I’d bet dollars to donuts if Warren says she’ll jail Trump, Trump will go to jail.

    • @ oow steve f

      this is the country you want to live in….FREE tuff for everyone….what makes YOU think YOU are included….a ‘political speech’ by a known liar running for office…you are easy peasy…might be all that ‘she’ is going to provide citizens…may require them to enter a ‘camp ready to provide memtioned benefits for them’….ain’t gona be me….have a good life…priceless….as the end is nigh

    • “Generation X gets the Medicare for all.”

      Oh come on steve.. I want some of what your smoking to.. granted medicare is cheaper.. but…
      lets say the average social security recipient is getting two thousand.. ( I know I know they are getting way less like half but for arguements sake)
      social security part b etc.. brings it down a couple of hundred a month.. then you need an insurance plan.. those range from twenty dollars ( that doesn’t cover anything.. ) to eight hundred and something and you still have a two hundred dollar deductible and a ten dollar co pay on drugs..
      do the math.. if your a common laborer that worked with a company that only thought about the management.. your screwed and a socialized country will happen..and it won’t be pretty..

    • When Mrs Pokahuntas Warren will make her political promises in writing under oath personally with recourse as a contract, and post a bond for $2K for each adult American citizen when she breaks such a promise, I’ll consider voting for her. Same with most other politicians. If I choose to believe that a candidate’s best interests are really aligned with mine, I might not need such assurance.

      Note that Mrs Warren’s “promises” are all predicated on either diluting the American dollar even further, or having us all involuntarily contributing taxes to pay for these things.

  8. With the ties between the Dems and the Chinese, could part of the harassment of Trump have been for the benefit of the Chinese in the trade war ?

  9. PG&E was bankrupt because of windblown power lines that started the Paradise fire (probably with a little help from someone shooting insulators in the area it started). The power shutdowns are purely defensive actions mandated by their insurance carriers. Yes, PG&E may have had tree trimming issues, but senior management has to have enough money for their generous fringe benefits. Power will be returned, after the wind stops, and every single mile of overhead lines has been inspected.
    I’m fortunate to be served by SMUD (Sacramento Utility District) & we don’t have much overhead electrical caused fires because it’s mostly developed. Our fire issues are mostly from the homeless encampments along the park areas.

  10. The overnighter everyone missed:

    Joe Biden worked with whistleblower when he was vice president, officials reveal
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/joe-biden-worked-with-whistleblower-when-he-was-vice-president-officials-reveal
    _______________________________

    The last 4-5 Ukraine Presidents were crooked as he!!, either in the bag for Putin or as disciples of Vicky Nuland. The current Prez, Zelensky, is the Ukraine equivalent of Pat Paulsen.

    For those not old enough to know about The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: It was a TV variety show, broadcast in the 1960s and hosted by comic/folksingers Tom and Dick Smothers. One of the show regulars was a political stand-up comic named Pat Paulsen. In 1968, Paulsen launched a satirical Presidential campaign on the show, because “there were no good choices” from the major Parties.

    Zelensky is a stand-up comic whose specialty is political satire. I won’t say he ran as a satirical candidate, but his campaign arguments closely paralleled Pat Paulsen’s SBCH skits from 1968… ‘cept sonofagun, the dude WON! (BTW, Paulsen actually received over 200k write-in votes in ’68.) Because of his background, and because I’ve yet to locate a relevant connection between Zelensky and any oligarch or political player from either NATO, the EU, or Russia, my impression of him is he’s honest.

  11. They, mostly (Harvard educated ;-(() will rather destroy our monetary system than let the stock market go down.
    And all of these schenanigans are perpetrated w/o any personal consequences for those responsible. This been going on for a some time. Are you still voting? JMHO

  12. Almost totally o/t, but I feel the need: I suffered an accident last Saturday — busted two ribs. I had a commitment on the table, so Wednesday I drove to Muncie (Indiana), Defiance and Toledo (Ohio), Bay City, Saginaw, and Ann Arbor (Michigan), then back to Roanoke (Indiana), then home — not fun, but I keep my word, period!

    Roanoke is where the “Fort Wayne” GM Truck Final Assembly Plant is actually located. It somehow galled me, to see several hundred vehicles lining Lafayette Center Road (old Route 469), most of which cost more than my house, while poor, underpaid GM employees lobbied for an uptick in healthcare bennies that’re already better than even Congress’, and a $26.80/hr pay raise (and yes, I’ve seen both the UAW’s confidential demands, and the Company’s counteroffers.) That’s why there are 400k UAW members today when there were several million 40 years ago, and why the auto manufacturers began offshoring, as soon as they could. I don’t consider the “rank & file” greedy. They’re just taking what the Union can get them. I consider the Unions greedy, because building gilded halls and private parks, and buying dozens of politicians, is more-important to them than the health and safety of the Nation which enables them to do so…

    • I’ve noticed that over the decades, strikes in large companies happen just before the bottom drops out of an economy. I’m not happy about the timing of this one.

      The workers will ultimately lose money. Unions are rarely helpful for the workers that are real hustlers. I was forced to join two in my lifetime to keep jobs, and ended up quitting and moving elsewhere.

  13. Crockett Farm & Fuel on the loop next to Valero carries ethanol free gas. It stores for a year without Stabil. Go wild and buy yourself 5 gallons!!

    • Not likely. At today’s spot price (~$114/ton) that’d mean there’s an average of 10500 pounds (more or less) of steel in every vehicle.

  14. Not all of the brush/tree issues are PG&Es fault. California has a ton of green, PC, noise, land use, environmental, and zoning restrictions that impact what they can do in right or way maintenance. Those restrictions coupled with the only “affordable” housing being in remote, high fire danger areas, and some of those residents being unwilling or unable to do a proper brush clearing process around their homes have created a perfect storm for wind driven wildfires. Many communities in California can no longer obtain fire insurance, at any cost, and the banks are starting to call loans in those areas because of no fire insurance.

    Other un PC causes for some fires is people (illegals??) camping and growing pot in remote areas, and homeless encampments in areas with uncleared vegetation.

    Solutions are underground power transmission and off grid home power, both of which are not cost effective for a large segment. The utility must attempt to make a profit for its stockholders, while the PUC limits what can be charged. The Utilities insurance is forcing them to assume a minimum risk posture, which is the driver for the blackouts. The people of California are in a Catch 22 situation, and I think it will continue to get worse.

  15. George,
    Do you have a buc-ee’s with ethanol free gas near you? Or would you more likely have to buy some pre-packaged gas from a hardware store to keep away from the ethanol blend?

  16. “Trump hinting the US still needs to contain China, still needs to get basic “self-sufficiency” on-shored?  I”

    My question is…. Is it china that needs to be contained?

    China is just doing what any manufacturers will do try and obtain orders support their local economy.
    Our corporate leaders are doing the same. Get products at a lower cost so they can make more money. Screw the local economy.. instead move their headquarters outside our borders to increase profits.
    The only logical thing to do is tariff incoming goods and tax corporations that use outsourced services. When was the last time you talked with an american on a company service call.
    Give tax breaks to companies hiring local people and bring pride back to the labor force. Tax people coming to america all the same taxes that citizens have to pay along with a non resident tax. Tax corporations that hire employees from outside our borders for hiring non residents. Make them search for skilled labor within our own citizens and communities

    • You’re right, and thanks for the clarification.

      That said, I can’t think of anywhere 18ga steel is used in a modern MV, except in exhaust pipes, and the frame gussets in cab mounts on trucks… maybe inner rockers. Except in selected Jeep and Hummer vehicles, body steel on “domestics” is typically 22ga or for some cheaper efforts (the Geo, or “ToyLet” comes to mind), 24ga and hot-dip galvanized. The weight in a MV is plastic, wiring, and the heavy steel bits of the chassis (frame & suspension on trucks, unibody support structure and suspension on cars.) There’s a reason a fender for a 1950 Chevy weighs 45 pounds and one for a 2020 Chevy weighs six…

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