The simplest answers are more often right.
Still, I was totally impressed with Chris Tyreman’s news tip today:
“I noticed you were wondering why bitcoin went up.
Answer to consider. A week or so ago, the Phillipines air control went down. Last week, USA went down. The next day, Canada went down. None of these systems are connected.
Hackers get paid in bitcoin.”
Upon reading this, my “extensibility neurons” fired. “Say, wouldn’t the mercs/mercenaries on multiple war fronts be paid the same way?”
About here, we can see how demand for crypto could scream higher; Ukraine is not a cheap war to run. Did you see where, by the way, U.S. Army general Mark Milley visits training site for Ukrainian soldiers? And with the Brits now supplying tanks, the Russians are saying the UK is now a belligerent and now a fair target for them?
Sidebar: People look at things like sea level rise and often can’t wrap their heads around alternative simple explanations. Like global land subsidence which is a real deal. Land can “sink” for a lot of reasons. Drawing aquifers down is a big one out west. Land Subsidence | U.S. Geological Survey (usgs.gov). Other places where the “rising oceans” club meets, the data offers other views. Even from NASA: Subsidence in New Orleans (nasa.gov). So, before you hitch your ideology to one side of a discussion, flip it upside down. Many times it will then make a lot more sense. And a better Occam/Ockham fit.
Know what else gets used a LOT during wars and criminal assaults? Precious metals. So, the price of gold and silver going up does not surprise, either. Want one more to keep an eye on? Dr. Copper, it’s called by some: Price of copper going up over, oh, bullets and transformers, maybe?
To be sure, partisan reports are sounding a bit over-the-top. Like the story Great “massacre” in Germany – General “shoots” USA, Zelensky & A.Berbok: “Ukraine will disappear – To escape WWII” It’s highly speculative.
Less speculative is the story Russian crushing blow – Ukraine: “Energy infrastructure destroyed – We need thousands of high-power transformers” because it reminds us of a similar problem in the USA. Virtually ALL medium-sized and larger power transformers are made in China.
And that rolls us into the second topic of the day…
Declina of China? Nope
The story came out Monday about how China records first population decline in 60 years.
That’s being played up in the MSM (mainstream media) because China also reported its GDP was up. More reputably, CNBC says China reports 3% GDP growth for 2022 as December retail sales, industrial production beat estimates. The (vastly) simplified math goes something like Population down, GDP UP equals Huge-ish increases in GDP per capita.
The Way Forward?
New York Fed’s Empire State Manufacturing report is just out today and this is the bummer part – listen up:
Manufacturing activity fell steeply in New York State, according to the January survey. The general business conditions index fell twenty-two points to -32.9, its lowest level since mid-2020 and the fifth worst reading in the survey’s history. Eleven percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, and forty-four percent
reported that conditions had worsened.
The new orders index dropped twenty-eight points to -31.1, and the shipments index also declined twenty-eight points to -22.4, pointing to a steep decline in both orders and shipments. The unfilled orders index edged down to -14.3, a sign that unfilled orders were lower.
The delivery times index came in at 0.0, indicating that delivery times were unchanged. The inventories index held steady at 4.5, pointing to a small increase in inventories.”
Train crash or plane wreck? You make the call.,
We will wait and see how much of the $2.180 trillion in reverse repo’s rolls over this afternoon. If it’s up a good bit, might that spell more money be coming into the market? Vee shall zee!
With a little more than an hour to the open, Dow futures were down about 140. After the miserable Empire State report only down 106. Which we file in the “It feels so good when the Fed stops beating us with rate hikes” relief column.
Hard to get more various than Joe Biden: Biden bungles singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to wife of MLK descendant as Twitter users cringe.
But seriously, how could anyone possibly be surprised: Biden classified documents: No visitors logs at Delaware home, counsel says. Oh, duh.
Seriously right: How long ago did I tell you (years) that reparations would turn into a monetization? San Francisco Reparations Committee Recommends Paying $5 Million to Black Residents, Supplementing Income for 250 Years. Looks like the left finally has an issue that could touch off CW II.
Meanwhile, republicans are going out of their way to prove how crazy they are: GOP Candidate Masterminded Shooting of Democrats’ Homes: Albuquerque Police.
Trials of Trump meets Motions of Musk on editor desks all over this fine country: Elon Musk Goes on Trial, Accused of Defrauding Tesla Investors.
Speaking of things electric, this was cool: Scientists use laser beam to guide lightning strike in a first. Sadly, I’m just not seeing a consumer application out of this. Maybe you have some ideas? A handheld blow your neighbor’s house apart tool might be of interest. But, if you checked UKR this weekend, there’s already plenty of blow-up electric plants equipment out there…
Aridzona, we call it for a damn good reason: Scottsdale, Arizona Cuts Off Neighborhood’s Water Supply, Citing Extreme Drought.
At least now we know: Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc steps down — Radio Free Asia. Yes, that’s right: Who gives a Phuc?
ATR: Joys of Excel? NOT!
Today’s Nightmare on Software Street is MS Excel (64-bit) Office 365 which is now eating my charts. When I opened a key chart this morning it looked like this:
When I shut down the Excel program Saturday, the chart looked like this on the Peoplenomics site:
So, this is where my day is going – into recovering this effing MSFT-based disaster.
The upside is I feel more kinship now with a former Vietnam President.
Write when I get rich,