Macro-Investing and the Micro-Minds

Both the S&P and the NASDAQ hit new records Thursday and while not rich, my long-term out of the money call options on the S&P look less stupid this morning than they did two weeks ago.

Before we get into the Janet Yellen FedSpeak this morning in Jackson Ho Wyoming, where the Fedsters run to confab in the summer when it’s miserably hot in most of the rest of the country (48F and rain there this morning), I thought we would push back with a cuppa and do some serious thinking.

Biggest problem in the world today?  Lack of jobs.

Biggest cause of lack of jobs?  Oh, try machines and automation.

Biggest cause of machines and automation working?  The Internet.

Solution to all the above?  Beats hell out of us – we just sit in a dark fugue about it and wonder why the world continues on present course, but then we review antidepressant medication sales figures and everything sort of falls into place…

This morning, Fed Chiefette Yellen speaks on Labor Markets.

When you are in charge of ‘steering” the Great Ship of Economy” through difficult storms, it’s useful, methinks, to keep an eye on the eventual destination.

Since we’re in the midst of a great economic storm (all the time, seems) it would be key insight into the captain’s mindset to see what they talk about in the middle of the storm.

Since we’re big into language, we went looking for words that might matter in the long-term labor outlook for America.  Words like “outsource” and “robotics” and “automation.”

When the speech is released (check here for it after 10 AM Eastern), you can look for robotic references and outsourcing remarks, but I don’t expect much, if any.

On the other hand, terms like “Market expectations” and “economic growth” ought to be all over the place…

As of press time, the market seems to be swallowing the pre-comments about her comments with all the enthusiasm of a cough-syrup addict.  Futures were about flat.

I am a total worrywart about robotics eating what’s left of the economy. 3D printing and archived software code.  But I’m a whacked-out ex-corporate rainmaker who views everything with suspicion.

And Janet Yellen isn’t likely to mention it this morning.  Perhaps that’s a defining difference between a strategic outlook at a tactical outlook.    Strategically, though, we’re in a heap-o-trouble and the people at the top of the decision-making food chain aren’t exactly inspiring confidence that they have a grip.

Like passengers on an airplane – which has lost all its engines at altitude, having the captain come on an talk about how nice and quiet the ride is, it sort of misses the point that a soft landing becomes a very important problem if the pilots would just look ahead a little further.

How far ahead is the Fed looking?  2016 or 2025?  It’s not an impertinent question.

More after this…


Drone Scoping

The Los Angeles Police Department is taking some heat from plans to use a couple of drones they got from Seattle.

Russia’s Peaceful “Invasion”

Oh the press’ knickers will be twisted up on this one:  All those aid trucks are now crossing into what Ukraine says is its turf in eastern parts of the country.

You ever see a war before where the first “shot” was a delivery of food aid to people ravaged by their own governments?

Watch closely, this may be a tactical first…

Terror in the Wings, Politics of Terror

Speaking of which, Chuck Hagel is expecting an up-turn in terrorism. 

The Secretary of Defense says the threat posed by ISIS is way beyond anything seen to date

Of course, cynics may wonder how much ISIS has been helped by all that war materiel left behind in the sand box and all the aid given to AQ affiliates on the pre-text that they would help topple the (elected) government of Syria, which although we may not exactly love hasn’t declared war on us…We (the lobbied West) have been party to almost 200,000 killed on both sides in Syria’s ‘civil” war now.

The term “snookered” comes to mind and yes, I believe there’s some basis for federal criminal prosecution of US political organizations which have interfered with the orderly (non-political) operation of foreign policy development by Congress  under the Logan Act which says:

§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments.
Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.

1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 953 (2004).

I won’t name any particular Middle East country, but I don’t see any exceptions here and I don’t believe the people involved registered as agents of a foreign government despite multiple citizenships, if you follow.  But big political campaign donors are seldom prosecuted, in case you haven’t noticed.

See my earlier comments on the two kinds of justice in America:  Fast/Rich, slow/poor.

I believe we face peril as a nation when multiple citizenship holders are placed any elective or appointive office.  And the blowback from past lobbying around Syria is just a single current example.

Would we tolerate such influence from holders of dual-citizenship from Yemen, for example, or China?  Russia?  Oh-oh….there we go off on the egalitarian track, again.

Ah, but let’s spin up ISIS as having chemical weapons and hush-up the Western support for anti-Syrian efforts a year to three back…

As a nation we just awful memories.

Israel Losing Sources?

Hamas has executed 18-people accused of collaboration with Israel.

Date Night Note

ISIS has seen to a man being stoned to death for being an adulterer.

Science project question: Which is more painful: Stoning or American-style divorce?

Dear Al Gore, Dept.

Cause of global warming hiatus found deep in the Atlantic Ocean” reports the University of Washington.

But hey, don’t let cyclical dynamics of the thermohaline conveyor screw up the speech plans or the money-raising or the carbon-tax scam to grow government or the global tax designs of the NWO…really…it’s all just a business model, right?