Reader Advisory First: Three changes in our operations here to be aware of.
First. I have made a few tweaks in appearance and performance of the various websites that keep me busy. As of this morning, our Google Page Speed ranking for Urban is 87/97 (mobile/desktop), Peoplenomics is 100/100, ComputationalFuture is 98/99 and Ultra-Make is turning in 98/99. The modest delay on Urban (mobile) is due to ad loading. Our other projects remain ad-free. At the suggestion of our graphics consultant (Chris Tyreman) we made links a little more pronounced in blue to make source links clearer.
Second: Peoplenomics report will only include charts (and news commentary) on (reader input welcome) Wednesday OR Saturday’s report. I often spend 4-5 hours (and often 9 or more) on the “Focus” pieces. Peoplenomics used to be a “once a week” publication and our zealousness allowed things to “creep” into much more detailed reports. A dozen charts is typical, too.
This decision is driven by the workload around here. Add up gardening, upkeep on 30 acres of land, and knocking out a sizeable punch-list of projects before Elaine’s second hip replacement in not too many weeks (May), and there’s just not enough hours in the day. Coming from a first-responder family, “take care of self, so you can take care of others” is hard-coded.
Third: The SatGourmet column is going on a diet until next fall. Spending time in the kitchen is something of an indoor sport to us. Now that summer is (partially) in sight, about half of main meals around here tend to come off the BBQ. The ShopTalk Sunday column may drift from more than cold-weather, indoor making projects. outside and garden are eating a lot of time now. My deepest thanks to all who have contributed, especially LOOB who’s advice on homemade rum can be beat. I’m still taking an occasions tiny sip arguing over how much citrus and the answer still changes daily.
At age 72, things like yesterday’s 2+ hours on a tractor, keeping the trails cleaned-up around the property, doesn’t get to one’s physical limits. But, I’d be lying if I said it was a pain-free experience. A little ibu along with the morning stack today is the result. Off like a herd of turtles to attack today’s punch list.
As always, or for almost 22-years now, the first thing is our take on economic matters.
Markets in Rally Or Die
Without giving away too much from the Peoplenomics side, the balance of this week (and perhaps the next month) will be critical to markets. Consider the following view of things based on early futures today:
This is NOT the Dow or the S&P: It’s our own Aggregate Index. Predicated on the idea of equal dollars being put in the Dow, the S&P 500, and the NASDAQ Composite before the Internet Bubble blew out in 2000. We started this view because the “financial services” industry did a fair job (via lies and omissions) of not reflecting techs $5-$8 trillion losses when that bubble popped. They shifted product sales to blue chips and just kept peddling.
We don’t like that approach: For one, the average investor actually DID lose money. And, for another, there’s insufficient disclosure when certifiable financial planners wheel out long-term charts and proclaim in the long run, you’ll never lose.
Facts tell a different story: If you have an index of stocks, you can make its performance in the long-term look perpetually cheerful by plugging in up-and-coming issues and taking the losers out back for a smoke in front of a concrete wall.
Eyes Versus Computations: If you look closely at the chart, there’s a tiny – what could be wave 1 – finished at the bottom near iv. If that is the basis for the present five step (Elliott-like) advance, than we just had a small one down and yesterday would be a possible small b wave. Depending on how it rolls out, we are likely to go higher into late May, or if lows are taken out, then the first decline over the past few sessions (and the rally) would be an “a” down, “b” up, and then a “c” down could be pending.
We’d sure like to see a drop to the supporting trend channel bottom.
Thing is, if that doesn’t hold, then we could get into a horrible pickle almost immediately. Consequently, we’re paying rapt attention to Big News that can screw up the future.
Well, take the possibility of war in Ukraine.
While the headlines are warning us of trouble to come. Take “Janes: Russia continues to strengthen its forces on the Ukrainian border What photos show.” for example.
But, it’s really worse – and more tense – than even this headline implies. We have mentioned that Russia and Belarus are about to “tie the knot” and thus, deny the power-mad European Union expansion eastward. This, as the A.P. report “Belarus leader heads to Moscow for talks on closer ties.”
When – after the meetings and a speech by Vlad Putin on Saturday- closer ties are announced (which will bring Belarus back into “buffer state” status) – that will leave Ukraine increasingly surrounded by Russian forces. Belarus on their north and Russia to their east.
Another angle is seen in failed attempt to “pre-emptively assassinate” the Belarus leader. We assume that when the White House denies something, the odds of it being true have increased. “Psaki denies allegation US backed plot to assassinate Belarus strongman Lukashenko.”
It will all be plausibly denied, of course, since “cut-outs” and such are used. But, sitting in Moscow, looks like the work of the U.S. regardless of Biden spin.
There’s one more thing that has our “spidey sense” dialed up: Two very good “seers of future” in our orbit have recently decided to “stand down.” G. A. Stewart hasn’t posted anything on the free part of The Age of Desolation site this month, yet.
More on This “Woo-Angle”
The other “missing seer” around here is frequent commenter Andy. Who told me in an email overnight that he, too, is “down” now. His reason and some woo-woo in an email I don’t think he’d mind my sharing a chunk of:
“It had occurred to me as well. I’m part of the problem. Because so much of what I say manifests. By walking away the problem or a portion of it is resolved. You know how I know. The maple tree in the front yard was dead yesterday morning. Not a single leaf on it. I sit in front of it every day. For the last month. Doing my prayer and meditation. The landlord was gonna have it removed and taken out because its just a dead old tree. Kinda an eye sore.
When I came out this morning the entire tree is covered in leaves. Red maple tree leaves. Even my roommate came out and said, “Holy Cow! Look at the Maple! It’s been dead for a couple years. When did it get like this?????”
I said, I think it grew over night. He said no way! That is crazy. I said yeah, yesterday not a leaf on it. Today it is a healthy grown tree covered in leaves. Every day for a month. I said softly to the tree, I love you, live! And now it is alive and not just alive, it thrives.
So I’m walking away.”
If this isn’t registering yet, consider:
- G.A. Stewart is worried and considering his bug-out options.
- Andy has checked out (for a while) realizing that looking at the future changes everything.
- And even around here, there’s a growing sense of “It’s almost time…“
My dreams are “going active” again out in the “dream realms” but beyond learning of how variable-geometry sailboat rigging is done (and a boat either named or going to Brisbane is involved) nothing particularly useful. Except that somehow, Borgorno-Karabakh will figure into things shortly, as well. That’s the war between Turkey and Armenia.
Bunch of BS and woo-woo? Perhaps. But, it could also be Universe whispering with “coincident indicators” and I should listen. Small mid-course corrections for us, larger, more drastic changes for others. Hopefully nothing, and we’ll just all wake up and “normal” will somehow resurect.
Hacks as an Indicator, Too?
Military affairs contributor “warhammer” has been pondering:
A key modern aspect of war which no one seems willing to talk about is the cyber one: virtual; no bombs, almost no carnage and little directly attributable death, but the gnashing of teeth certainly abounds.
First there was Solar Winds. Then the Microsoft Exchange server hack. Now remote office connection software, so vital for pandemic impacted work from home employees. Most worrisome is the above three are just the ones the government knows about and/or is willing to admit.
My spidey senses tell me that China and Russia have obtained the equivalent of network skeleton keys and each are systemically accessing government, industry and education systems at a frightening pace. Why is anyone’s guess, but the most likely reasons from where I sit is to close technological gaps, identify heavy traffic military-industrial complex networks and hack into them when possible, seeking out pathways to compromise classified networks (largely research and development) and access their encryption algorithms.
Wanna bet the hacks methodically extend to banks and other critical national infrastructures (transportation, comms, water, power), not to mention lucrative high tech corporations and unclassified DoD and Federal Gov’t networks? The reasons seem obvious. When the PRC eventually moves on Taiwan, as is surely will, it’s objective will be to have its virtual hands around the nether regions of ‘Merica and any other nation thinking of coming to the renegade province’s defense. It won’t be pretty, but it will be mercifully quick.”
One More Cyber Worry
Like this isn’t enough? Go read the Washington Monthly article “Is Facebook Buying Off The New York Times? Under the cover of launching a little-known feature, the social media giant has been funneling money to America’s biggest news organizations—and hanging the rest of the press out to dry.”
Which would sure dovetail with our view based on some basic A.I. work that there’s been a huge concentration of power in the “liberal northeast establishment press” that is now being foisted off on the more reasonable (and less radical) parts of the country by means of social media.
As we have argued, like search engines, social media (which by definition is sites that rely on reader contributed content as their main product) should be classed as public utilities and have no protections from libel and slander laws.
But, who listens, right? Social owns elections.
Chicago Fed National Activity Indicator is just out. Rose-colored glasses reader?
“Led by improvements in indicators related to production and personal consumption and housing, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) rose to +1.71 in March from –1.20 in February. All four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in March, and all four categories improved from February. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.54 in March from +0.07 in February
New Unemployment Claims
Also just out:
Strangely, after the numbers, the Dow futures turned down for a bit. But will it hold?
Changes to the Force today?
Will this trigger local changes in space? A “Record-breaking flare erupts from neighboring star.”
Push-back on the Belt & Road Initiative of China? “Deadly Blast At Pakistan Hotel Hosting China Ambassador: Official.”
Left leaning leaders of “wokeness” are being called out: “Left-leaning outlets publish ‘deliberately misleading’ videos about Columbus shooting.” (We’re not the only ones seeing it…)
Tell me how this works, again? “An unvaccinated worker set off an outbreak at a U.S. nursing home where most residents were immunized.” If immunized, why are they getting sick?
OK…breakfast and back to the punch list…
Write when you get rich,