The headlines are an odd assortment this morning:  One of the big ones features the Dow showing a 119 point rally in the works, per the futures, as we hit the pixels.

But beneath it all, we see some signs of weakness not to be under-estimated.  While it’s too early to talk about damage from Irma, the Harvey toll on the public side of the ledger is coming up on $200 billion.  I penciled out that the private insurance and un-insured losses will likely come close to that, so between the two storms perhaps $750-billion to $1-trillion which are is said and done.

At the macro-economic level, that’s like having 5-percent of the US GDP splatter.

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Short term, average news readers are still on “news flow overload” yet we see a few stories that are more thoughtfully economic in tone.

To be sure, some of it looks like silly/happy-talk.  Take this story, for example: Global shares return to record high as Irma loses strength.

The British Footsie, for example, trading 7,410 this morning is a good distance from the 52-week high at 7,599.  Germany’s DAX was 12,437’ish this morning vis a 52-week  12,951. The French CAC-40 was circling 5,170 today – a long shot from their 52-week high of 5,442.

Asia?  Well, down-range Japan was nibbling 19,546 against a 52-week high of 20,318.  This leaves the only major market we track that’s even close:  The Hang Seng (*Hong Kong) which was rolling 27,955 overnight against 28,128 for a 12-month high.

This is not to say that the Reuters story is wrong, after all they cite the ACWI-MSCI – an index measured by Morgan Stanley.

My point is simply that in our Aggregate Index view of things, we have a good bit of trading to the upside before we will get all “gushy” about global records.  In the meantime, if you like a 47 country index that includes places like Pakistan, Philippines, Columbia and several others we find less than inviting for any number of accountancy reason, and you want the Kool-Aid of “Happy days are here, again!”?

Then have at it.

As in sports, we’ll keep our eyes on the majors.  There’s a reason the farm clubs are called “the minors.”  Batting .350 in the minors is a little different than batting .350 in game 5 of the Series, right?

You tell us the number you want to hype, and let us pick the markets, we can deliver reports foretelling everything from the End of the World to the Second Coming.  Not free, however.

U.S. Department of Funny Money

Our Canadian  news analyst, who we hope we’ve not offended by failing to admit Winnipeg is the Center of the Universe, offered this on the comment side that is worthy of your attention, particularly if you have “miner league” syndrome:

Sir,

Chinese open internet thinkers are banding together in an effort to free us from global metadata oligarchs. Exodus has begun; the serfs are chafing at the chains.

https://tronlab.com/en.html

Speaking of which, Apple has reversed course and so far allowed the Bank of China to place a blockchain payment app on iTunes. Perhaps if the mandarin version is well received, an English version will follow for the Babel of indentured masses?

Always a polite people, we don’t usually ask our Canadian correspondents to use the formal “Sir” greeting.  “Your Ultimate Royal Highness and Prophetic Galactic Principal” will do fine.

Please note that our previous preferred method of address, Financial Deity Incarnate Composer was halted by counsel on the grounds FDIC sounded like it might infringe on another mark.

Blockhead’s Delight?

Not hardly:  Bitcoins were down to $4,181 when we looked this morning and that looks perilously close to the back-side of the hyper blow-off could be at hand.

We will see how this works out, but gold and silver were soft metals, rather than hard currencies in the early going as well.

Another reason we’re wondering how long the Irma’s gone buzz will last…

Trump-Bashing

What with the hurricanes receding onto back pages, or at least they will shortly, the U.S. Media Empires will need to resurrect their fave bogeyman.

Roll with the WaPo‘s “Bannon: Trump firing of Comey was the ‘biggest mistake in modern political history’.

America’s Nazi Clones?

If we are, as we hold, in a replay of the end of the Roaring Twenties in America and the early 1930’s of Germany, all rolled into a big knish, then here’s a story that will wrinkle your brown shirt a bit: Antifa throws smoke and projectiles at police at Portland rallies; 7 arrested.

Sounds more and more like a criminal tribe of wannabe-be revolutionaries, does it not? Got a better description of ’em?

Meantime, Portland PD is showing it’s led by idiots as Portland police reportedly scrap gang database over fear of labels.  WTF…whose side these ol’ boys on?

Football and Guns Don’t Mix

COWBOYS PARTY CHAOS 8 dead, including gunman, after shooting in Texas.  Time to register fans?

16-Years After

US commemorates 9/11; thousands expected at ground zero.

Why I am Not a Doctor

Docs are supposed to keep up on stuff, continuing ed units (CEU’s) and all that.  But sometimes you see stories that would leave you scratching your head, regardless of how many years of practice.

Take this pair of stories:

Respiratory tract infections in young children linked to asthma and worse lung function.

Versus Children with asthma are being prescribed unnecessary antibiotics.

So, don’t give them antibiotics and risk asthma and worse?  Huh?

Zeus, get me CDC on the phone…maybe they could explain. Zeus! No, the number is not 1-800-CYTOKINES…

Three Suckers a Minute?

No, P.T. Barnum didn’t really say “There’s a sucker born every minute…”

Besides, when the phrase was working its way around, the USPop was one-third of what it is now.

Updated for population, therefore, we project there are now three suckers born a minute.  And you know how we can prove this?  Open up the NYT this morning and behold:

With a $1,000 Price Tag, Apple’s iPhone Crosses a Threshold.”

If P.T. Barnum didn’t say it, could Tim Cook?

Seattle UFO?

Son G2 called me from Kirkland, Wa this morning to report a UFO out over the Redmond, Wa area.  Since he’s got almost 500 skydive jumps and has been around airplanes a lot, it isn’t like he doesn’t have some idea of what he’s looking at.

The screen snag off Skype didn’t come out good, but it was low to the horizon and sat there for 45 minutes spinning off small swirly things.  Police are looking into it…

Meantime, there are reports cropping up in the National UFO Reporting Center run by Peter Davenport of several very long duration sightings this month.

Winslow, Maine on the 2nd.  Then in Lewiston, Illinois for 52 minutes, same night.  A one-hour sighting in Billings, Montana on the 7th,  Stoney Creek, Tennessee for “hours” same night,

Lyons, Nebraska for 4.5 hours on the 8th.  And now today from my son in Kirkland, Washington visible for 30+ minutes.

Could be a “morning star” but doesn’t seem likely. One police officer said after checking his star app, “Likely Venus…” to which another cop said “Does it move like that?  Did you see it move? Planets don’t move left and right…”

We will go with Cop #1’s take.  Venus rose today at 3:59 AM and will hit transit at 11 AM.  Still, Seattle has been a hot spot for UFO sightings since 1947

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