Pull up a coffee, boys and girls, old cynical George is gonna read you the latest fairytale hot off the press and full of data mumbo…

“Personal income increased $59.4 billion, or 0.4 percent, and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $48.8 billion, or 0.4 percent, in April, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $2.6 billion, or less than 0.1 percent. In March, personal income increased $4.0 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, DPI increased $0.5 billion, or less than 0.1 percent, and PCE increased $65.6 billion, or 0.5 percent, based on revised estimates.

Proprietors’ income increased $2.5 billion in April, in contrast to a decrease of $0.5 billion in March. Farm proprietors’ income increased $2.9 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $8.0 billion.

Nonfarm proprietors’ income decreased $0.4 billion, in contrast to an increase of $7.5 billion. Rental income of persons increased $3.9 billion in April, compared with an increase of $3.3 billion in March. Personal income receipts on assets (personal interest income plus personal dividend income) increased $26.6 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $30.9 billion.

Personal current transfer receipts increased $6.5 billion, compared with an increase of $19.7 billion. Contributions for government social insurance — a subtraction in calculating personal income — increased $2.2 billion in April, compared with an increase of $0.8 billion in March.

Personal outlays — PCE, personal interest payments, and personal current transfer payments — decreased $2.7 billion in April, in contrast to an increase of $69.9 billion in March. PCE decreased $2.6 billion, in contrast to an increase of $65.6 billion.

And may we have a drum roll, please, for this part?

“Personal saving — DPI less personal outlays — was $744.0 billion in April, compared with $692.5 billion in March. The personal saving rate — personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income — was 5.6 percent in April, compared with 5.2 percent in March. For a comparison of personal saving in BEA’s national income and product accounts with personal saving in the Federal Reserve Board’s financial accounts of the United States and data on changes in net worth, go to www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/nipa-frb.asp.

OK, a reality check here.

Let’s say there are 320-million people in America…just for poos and grins.

And then let’s assume that $744 billion in savings is right and not a crack-head number pulled out of someone’s butt number.  How much should every man woman and child have saved last month?  (744/0.312=???)


Every man, woman, child, pensioner…..

Right then, and I’m the Pope.

Doesn’t anyone test such numbers to see if they conform to reality?  Are contributions to Social Security (made as gunpoint) being counted, or WTF?

The problem with such reports is they don’t touch the reality of the planet real people live on.  No one, in our circle of friends (it’s admittedly a small circle – people think I’m too opinionated and they might be right) has anywhere need the kind of personal savings alluded to.

The problem comes down to this:  There are two ways you can figure personal savings.  The “old fashioned” way:  Net income after taxes, less expenses, and if anything is left over (say $50-bucks a week) then that is personal savings.

But in Fairytale land, where government has switched to “Full Use of Credit” as a means of measurement, the new formula might (and we can’t be sure) go something like this:

Take the income (Gross) and then deduct expenses.  Now, add back in something for payments on credit cards, because that debt represents real disposable income, at some point.  As long as we’re at it, let’s also adjust for tax consequences. 

IN this way, if property taxes go up, then, then it increases the write downs on the federal tax side…and say, isn’t that a savings?

As you can see, when government looks are regular people who look at their finances as a cash-basis, money in, money out proposition, it’s a whole different kettle of fish than applying what amounts to accrual-based accounting on looking at your total indebtedness as an asset.

In other words, instead of just having plain income, you have income defined as the total debt that income can support….two vastly different views.

Oh, and one that falls apart when rates begin to rise significantly…that’s when we might get back to plain speaking.  EBITDA never was honest accounting.  From a public policy standpoint, any variant of it sure shifts “the narrative”. 

And narrative is another word for story.  So is fairytale.

The Dow is set to open up nearly 80 points.  Fairytales, or not, greed is the steed in the lead.

Domestic Spy Act Expires

On paper, the domestic spying provisions of the (mis-named) Patriot Act may have expired, but I assure you, government is very likely doing everything it did before.  It’s just being rerouted.

To refresh your memory:  The government was once upon a time barred from listening in on conversations between law abiding Americans without a warrant.  How was the government going to “work around” that problem?

Simple:  Leased lines (dirt cheap with fiber) simply piped the calls of interest to foreign telecom places where citizens of other countries are NOT barred from listening in.  This is what Menwith Hill (England) and Alice Springs (Oztralia) are all about.

The tactic summarized to:  If it is illegal here, ship it there.   Then the NSA types can p[ass a lie detector about “shutting it down” while at the same time, the feeds pipe to (wherever) and the same surveillance takes place.

It’s a lot like taking money out of the left pocket instead of the right pocket, but the True Believers in surveillance aren’t going to give up that much data (and the power it brings).

Anyone who believes there isn’t a workaround is either a simpleton, fool, or brain-dead American who still believes the fairytale.

Of course we won’t hear about it….ever…but if you know what you’re doing with TRACE ROUTE…and if you have any anti-government history, then you should be able to see things for yourself even after the Patriot Act is gone.

For now, though, headlines like “Free to Chat Without NSA Tracking” could sucker those who don’t know how adamant our true believers are compared with their true believers.

Yes, there are still some Americans who are that bright and crafty.  4 at last count.

MERS Outbreak

More than 700 people have been isolated in South Korea with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Not to ask an embarrassing question here, BUT is it possibly a bioweapon that is genetically selective that has gotten into the wild?

From our news analyst fellow in Winnipeg:

Dear Mr. Ure,

The German molecular biologist and journalist Kai Kupferschmidt has expressed surprise on social media at the so far thankfully zero mortality rate of the current MERS outbreak in South Korea.

Curiously, The WHO still does not recommend travel restrictions or screening.


The Weekend Movie Plot

Yes, yes, sorry to hear about the death this weekend of Beau Biden.  A “memorial page” sounds a bit maudlin, but hey.  (Maybe this is the future of grief counseling.)

But it struck me as movie plot material when we read just about at the same moment about how John Kerry was injured in a cycling accident in France.  And then, instead of being treated in France (socialized medicine there?) he instead gets airlifted to a different country.

No, I am not saying there is/was any link whatsoever.  But when statistical bumps like this occur I tend to put on my fiction-writer’s hat.

Yeah, So?

Kathleen Willey calls the apparent high bidder for the White House a “Money-Hungry Hypocrite.”

Got news for you, darling, that label covers just about the whole district of corruption.  Money hungry hypocrites are the main denizens of that alley.

Let me share the complete, unabridged version of Chapter 17 of Ure’s Infallible Guide to Crooked Politics:

Sticks and stones may break their bones

But cash gets them elected….

I do keep the 22 Biggest Hillary Scandals close at hand, though.  Not that it will help… I mean America would buy Hitler or Genghis Kahn today with a big enough ad budget.  Dead, injured, and serial lying?  All part of the job description, I’m afraid.

Update Your Software

From Warhammer:

Who says software isn’t important?

From Defense Industry Daily

·” Analysis of the blackbox of the Airbus A400M which crashed on 9th May has revealed that engine software is the likely cause of the accident. “

Better update the firewall, while they’re at it.