Yes, fame and fortune could be yours, if you learn to sew.
Human flesh that is. Says here in this morning’s NY Times that a each stitch is now over $500-bucks.
Of course the $10- aspirin is a pretty good racket, too. Learn to sew and push pills is my new reincarnation plan. Now if I can only dream up a way to do it without $150K in student loan debt…$5 per stitch for the doc, balance on loans?
Market Takes a Pause
Worrywarts are back in control on the Street this morning with the futures sagging after a little pullback yesterday. When I looked (over here), the Dow was looking down 60 points or so.
There’s also be a decline in the POG (price of gold for newbies)…it’s down to a five-month low.
Much of the (so-called) economic recover has been related to falling interest rates. As the yield on bonds (and bank accounts) have plummeted, the small earnings turned in by stocks have looked (comparatively) pretty good. Ergo, up, up, and away on the indices.
But when the Fed sends everyone into rehab (by easing their money-printing festival, also know as financial crack) that’s going to drive up rates and, as you can see in the five-year chart of the 10-year Treasury note over here, it’s starting to look like the bottom may be in for rates.
As I pointed out in yesterday’s report, Greenspansonian logic aside, Robert Shiller’s concerns about an overvalued market make even more sense today. And a reasonable Dow (13,000 or lower) makes perfect sense.
If auto sales, which will be released later today, fall to the darker side of forecasts, the market might be down 100 or more by the close. Or, this could be turnaround Tuesday…we’ll just wait and see.
In the Co9nstruction Spending report, we see that:
he U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during October 2013 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $908.4 billion, 0.8 percent (±1.8%)* above the September estimate of $901.2 billion. The October figure is 5.3 percent (±2.1%) above the October 2012 estimate of $863.1 billion.
And while a 5.3% increase in spending sounds good, remember that there’s been a huge increase in the money supply (printing). M2 is up 6.5% compared with a year ago, so anything less than 6.5% increases in construction bucks seems to me like no growth at all.
Hand me some of them meds, and I’ll try to look at it a little more optimistically. Or pass the pipe…
Talk is Cheap
Veep Joe Biden is heading to Asia shortly to see what can be done to hand out chill pills to the Japanese and Chinese who are slowly upping the ante over the Senkaku Islands area.
The islands are about 190 air miles from China’s coast, about 110 miles from Taiwan, and 95 miles, or so, from Okinawa which the Japanese claim.
While this may not seem like a big deal (rocks in ocean, who cares?) as always under our “Everything’s a Business Model” thinking, a quick read of Wikipedia reveals what?
After it was discovered in 1968 that oil reserves might be found under the sea near the islands, Japan’s sovereignty over them has been disputed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC, commonly known as Taiwan) following the transfer of administration from the United States to Japan in 1971.
So there you have it: Another front opens in the Manufacturer’s Resource Wars which, although it’s not apparent till you think about it, is what has been driving globaltics for the past dozen years plus…
More after this…
No Luck, Yingluck
The prime minister of Thailand has dismissed calls for her resignation. But with police allowed demonstrators to get close to the seat of government, in what’s called an “easing of tensions.” Which, as these things go, should last only a few days before crap lights up again.
Middle East “Lets Make a Deal” Time
To some, the idea of praying at a particular wall wouldn’t be such a big deal. But, to Jewish activists who want to pray at Jerusalem’s Temple Mountain, it’s a very big deal, especially to the Muslim world which considers it their space.
Our resident war gamer picks it up from there:
Know what I think? This could potentially be a part of any ‘compromise’ Netanyahu demands from Sunni led Saudi Arabia for doing what will surely be the lion’s share of the dirty work against their Shi’ite rival Iran. Minimalizing Iran will also likely stabilize Syria and marginalize Hezbollah, as both are sponsored by the Iranians.
Yes, the Saudi’s could rather easily import nukes ‘on loan’ from Pakistan to counter Iran and the long suspected Israeli arsenal, but that runs entirely counter to the Saudi monarchy’s goal of a nuclear free Middle East. If Iran is actually taken down by Israel with help from the Saudis, quid-pro-quo tradeoffs could be a large part of any agreement once the dust settles. You can let your imagination run free as to what other trade-offs could be possible if some semblance of security ever truly settles over the area – never mind that any such security would have resulted from what would surely be a very costly war in terms of regional blood and treasure.
Oh, and in the midst of some of the major parties trying to work things out, looks more and more like our president will soon announce a trip to Tehran. Oh, sure, the WH denies such a think is in the wings, but the more they deny, the more it seems likely. So just when some of the parties figure out a deal along with come the peacemaker……you can probably sketch out how well this will work out.
China We Have Heard On High
Gently drifting in from the Winnipeg bureau and our snooze analyst there…
Dear Mr. Ure,
Is the Chang’e-3 mission more of an international alliance than first thought? I was not aware that the Chinese spacecraft tracking is assisted by the European Space Operations Centre in Germany. Underneath the cacaphony of launch, the November 22 Beijing kick off of Horizon 2020 to a select 250 attendees was released to a wider audience on December 2. Someone may wish to commence a Wiki page. Be advised that the Chinese version of the CISTC homepage has fewer pictures to read than the English version.
Several readers like the “Chinese hold US hostage for faking the moon landing” (fictional) story in yesterday’s report (Coping section)t. But with this involvement of the Europeans in this, one has to wonder if there’s not something akin to a global gang-up in the making, depending on what’s found. Will an EU flag get planted on the Moon, side by side with China?
And most important (uber alles) how soon will the warring on Earth over the burned out rock be starting up? Intelligent bipeds want to know…so we can duck.
This morning’s server score: Obamacare site: 3.59 seconds. UrbanSurvival: 1.73 seconds.
It’s hardly a fair match-up, though, there is, after all, one of me. And they do have a few more users.
Find the Good Bankers
Community bankers have launched a new website to the smaller banks can keep from all getting sucked up or put out of business by the megabanks. Local bank locator tool is here.
Tis the Season
I would be remiss not to mention the story of the 11-year old Oregon girl who is trying to raise money for braces. She’s been told she can’t sell mistletoe on the streets of Portland, but she can beg.
America’s lost her way, I’m afraid. Any time you punish inventiveness and initiative you know our foundations are crumbling.
Now, I ask you: Have you ever heard of anything so stupid? And if not, be sure and drop by again Thursday because we’re confident that the Great Decline will be ever-increasing numbers of such tales.