# MH-17: Ferdinand’s Airplane?

Tensions between the US and Russia haven’t been this high since the Cold War and, with reports of crash scene tampering floating about from eastern Ukraine, the question of “Who shot it down” is echoing around the international community.

Against this background, reader TJ wonders:

Hey George, do you think the plane could be a Ferdinand moment like the one that started WW1?

That’s a pretty interesting question. The Wikipedia entry on point offers this:

On Sunday, 28 June 1914, at approximately 10:45 am, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were killed in Sarajevo, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Gavrilo Princip, 19 at the time, a member of Young Bosnia and one of a group of assassins organized by the Black Hand.[4] The event led to a chain of events that eventually triggered World War I.

Notice, however, that World War I did not start quite instantly.  We have a selection of candidate dates to calculate from:

On 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians fired the first shots in preparation for the invasion of Serbia

August 1, Germany declares war on Russia

August 3, German declares war on France

August 4, German declares war on  Belgium (a neutral country).

August 6, Austria-Hungary declares ward on Russia.

Austria invaded and fought the Serbian army at the Battle of Cer and Battle of Kolubara beginning on 12 August.

January 19, 1915 Zeppelins bombed Yarmouth and England enters Total War.

From these events, if this does, indeed, turn into something that’s an analog to the events that swirled in World War I from the outbreak of hostilities over summer, to the entry of England into the Total War in January 1915, we can do the following simple date math

It’s interesting to me to notice that the lag between the Austrian invasion date (Aug 12) and the entry of England due to Zeppelin bombings was 160-days, which approaches our Fine Structure Constant day.

With this in mind, we should have a very clear picture of historical import of the July 17th event this year by December 10.

The good news (I mean, such as it is) is that the economic long wave is not yet to its complete, utter bottom yet.  In fact, with the rise in employment figures and with global markets near peaks and not that far globally from the rollicking good times of 2007, collapse from here is unlikely.

It’s axiomatic that crashes happen from market bottoms, not tops.

Thus, a much better candidate event would be events to unfold later this year in the Middle East in general, and specifically, in the area where ISIS/ISIL has set up shop.  The fall of additional territory that those forces seems likely, especially given reports this morning of more than 700 killed in Syria as ISIS continues to press from the east.

Of course, the death toll in the Gaza fighting is now around the 500 level, but there’s a much higher media profile to this part of the region.  The rioting in France, for example, tends to keep people in the West focused on the Gaza Strip and not what’s going on up north in Syria.

Meantime, the Middle East is still where global war should come from since so many people are invested psychologically in the religions of the region.  Headlines like this one (real or fake, makes no difference) prove the psychological warfare levels involved…and there are times it’s easy to confuse Iron Dome with divine intervention, perhaps.

Meandering back to point, for now, odds seem (to me) to remain high that the MH17 disaster will (in time, but maybe not in our lifetimes) be found to be high-level “signaling” between Washington and Moscow.  As our Winnipeg news analyst admits…

Dear Mr. Ure,

I thought you were reaching when you suggested that the tragic airliner downing could be construed as a message traveling from western to easterly power centres. Then I read this.

Yep, it’s “getting thick” out there on the net.

And you need to ask why I’m such a PITA about social media?

More after this…

## “Sell the Rumor” Day?

The Dow dart this morning landed on the “Down 50” ring, but there is a chance that we are in the midst of a “sell the rumor” event more than a collapse off the highs of last week.

Reason?  Tomorrow the Consumer Price report will be released.  And it’s likely to continue showing modest inflation of less than 3% at the consumer level.  We may see a bit of a rise, since (as we pointed out in last week’s update on the US import figures) there is a ton of goods coming into the US from Asia and someone is going to be buying all that crap.

As there is something less than euphoria going around (as a national mood) it is a fine time to expect high supply levels and decent prices.

If we get the expected report tomorrow, the market could rally, gold and silver could take a hit, and we get one more month of climbing the walls of worry that seem to drive this market ever onward and upward.

The bad news?  (*And I admit I’m thinking about clearing my long position now…) is that the Baltic Dry Index is showing an exceptionally weak 732 reading this morning and when it gets down into the 600’s, I like to be short.

So if there is a rally tomorrow, we’ll have to look over the playing field and see if it’s time for a little well-executed cowardice.

Besides, this from my buddy Roger Reynolds (who has a dandy free email commentary, said in a Sunday update that…

There are lots of arguments today—-will the dow go up or will it go down??? Will gold/silver go up or will it go down??? My answer—–the dow has made new highs but the \$rut—-russell 2000 is breaking down. Next—the \$nasi—nasdaq a/d line—cumulative–has already turned down. SO—–broad market is high risk.

So we’ll look (in part) to the NASDAQ as our canary in the coal mine…

## Love Gun Control?

At least 40-shootings in Chicago this weekend, says The Wire.

Now, what was the old saying?  Lemme see…Oh yes, when guns are “controlled” only criminals will have guns” or something like that, wasn’t it?

(My idea of “gun control” is a 6” grouping at 10-meters with a pistol.)

## 2016 Roulette

Good article in the WaPo about how senator Elizabeth Warren may have here eyes on the White House.  Of course others do, too, like Jerry Brown.

Wouldn’t it be a fine bit of signifying to humans if we went from our first Black President to our first Brown President?  I’m not sure what I’d make of that…just an observation about language, I ‘spose…

## Perry Cowboys Up

Word’s floating around the net that Texas may deploy National Guard to close down parts of the Texas border.

Gee, someone musta read the email I sent the guv’s office last week…

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