One of the joys of studying long-wave economics for as long as I have is you develop a deep appreciation for the cyclical nature of socioeconomic events.
People tend to gloss-over the social changes that swept across America going into the Crash of 1929.
On the sexual front, the flappers were all about shaking up the old sexual norms. Much as the LBGTQ-groups have banned together to replay.
What’s important to keep clear is the reversals of roles from one long-wave cycle to the next. So, as we read in headlines today about the massive adoption of LBGTQ-favoring policies in the corporate world, in the 1920’s case, the flappers had an almost exact reversal to deep with:
“According to a report in 1922, some banks across the United States started to regulate the dress and deportment of young female employees who were considered to be “flappers”. It began with a complaint of a mother in New Jersey who felt dissatisfied because her son did business only with a young female employee, whom she considered illegally attractive. The incident was duly reported to the officials of the bank, and rules adopted regarding requirements in dress for female employees. Those rules included that the dress should not have a pattern, it should be bought from a specific store, it must be worn in either black, blue or brown, its sleeves must not be shortened above the elbow, and its hem must not be worn higher than twelve inches from the ground. After that, the anti-flapper code soon spread to the Federal Reserve, where female employees were firmly told that there was no time for them to beautify themselves during office hours.”
Arguably, today’s pattern constitutes “social progress.”
Yet, as we consider cyclical economics and politics, we see there are half-cycle extremes that show up. As Wikipedia says, in part:
“The Socialist Party declined in the 1920s, but nonetheless often ran Norman Thomas for President. In the 1930s, the Communist Party USA took importance in labor and racial struggles while it suffered a split which converged in the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. In the 1950s, socialism was affected by McCarthyism and in the 1960s it was revived by the general radicalization brought by the New Left and other social struggles and revolts. In the 1960s,”
Ah! McCarthy! Political witch-hunting at its worst!
But, it’s all a rhyme, you see: Socialism/communism was busily agitating in the 1920’s, but there was the competing social cause called the “Bonus Army” that wanted its due from WW I service.
“The Bonus Army had been given certificates that the government was to redeem in 1945, but the Bonus Army wanted the money sooner than later. In fact, in the mass demonstration at the end of Jly, 1932, there was serious concern that the marchers might physically take-over government:
“On July 28, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two veterans were wounded and later died. President Herbert Hoover then ordered the Army to clear the marchers’ campsite.”
So, looking ahead a few years, once the reality of global bankruptcy becomes apparent, the calls for “Change!” (that horrible Obamaeque jingoism) will likely return as a coalition between self-described aggrieved parties, who should hold similar mass demonstrations. But enough of the look-ahead.
We’re on cycles this morning and McCarthyism. This was one economic half-cycle back. So, as these things go, we see conservatism reaching its zenith in the period just prior to Peak Prosperity (the 1950’s when one worker could support an entire family) whereas socialism strikes in the mass victimhood that ran rampant in the “Hoovervilles” and among the unemployed “riding the rails” as hobos.
Ure’s Substitute Method of Learning
I’ve told you about this before: There are certain templates that people use in order to understand current realityin ways that enable coping.
As an example, let’s take a conservative newspaper clipping from the McCarthy -era and substutue “Trump” for “Red” Oh, yes, and instead of driving “them” out, turn that into “he” and you can see the whole template revealed from the perpetual media storybook:
Now substitute your favorite collection of Modern Day Victims (MDV’s) which might include illegals, sexual minorities, and instead of making films, maybe it’s…well, I won’t do all the thinking for you.
The point is that McCarthyism was a reaction to the Red Peril and in just the same way, Trump is a threat to the Globalist Peril, but it’s slick how all the players get up and play musical chairs.
Still, the prosecution of the Rosenberg’s for leaking nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union might be considered a half-cycle ago’s baseline for “Russian Collusion” but as Mueller in historical terms is reprising the Rosenberg trial, he lacks only on thing: Evidence.
It doesn’t help his case that “collusion” doesn’t seem to be in federal law anywhere. The best that’s been kicked about seems to be “conspiracy to defraud the United States.”
Let’s look at the law, shall we?
923. 18 U.S.C. § 371—Conspiracy to Defraud the United States
The general conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, creates an offense “[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose. (emphasis added). See Project, Tenth Annual Survey of White Collar Crime, 32 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 137, 379-406 (1995)(generally discussing § 371).
The operative language is the so-called “defraud clause,” that prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States. This clause creates a separate offense from the “offense clause” in Section 371. Both offenses require the traditional elements of Section 371 conspiracy, including an illegal agreement, criminal intent, and proof of an overt act.
Clearly, Mueller hasn’t been able to issue any findings yet for a number of reasons. Not the least of which now includes the firing of FBI Anti-Trumper Peter Strzok. Can you spell “T-A-I-N-T ?”
More interesting is the difficulty of “criminal intent.” How does one prove a criminal intent and differentiate it from a political intent? Moreover, how does one do so and remain logically consistent with the illegal manufacture of a “secret dossier” by federal government and intel agencies which demonstrably colluded with the Clinton campaign?
This will all come out in the wash, of course, as we have held from the get-go. But this morning I wanted to share the missing historical context to all this because history comes at us in cycles (where the major players have done musical-chairs) and because despite the continuation of obstructionism, the world hasn’t come to an end yet.
We won’t engage in the minutia or “he-said, she-said” nor will we bother with CNN and MSNBC commentary predicting the imminence of Trump’s fall. The data says that’s been 2-1/2 years of time sink and national distraction.
Been great for newzers, though. I often sit in my office and wonder “Without all the anti-Trump hype, what WOULD the news be today?”
But the rhyming history parts? THAT’s useful, especially when in our work we see the economy as dangerously close to the end of the 11-year cyclical recovery from the bottom of the Housing Collapse. March 2009, but who’s counting?
My consigliere left a message last night: “I want to remind you of our discussion of two or three years ago. The one where I told you that the collapse would likely begin in Europe and come to the United States in the fall. We’re about 10-days off my prediction, but we can accelerate when the propagation of fear begins…..”
A Fizzling “Island Top?”
If the S&P doesn’t move smartly to the upside for the rest of the week, what one colleague sees as potential for an “island top” may role into foreground.
“What’s an Island Top?”
Like Candlestick Charts? The “island reversals” can happen top, or bottom, like so:
If you are looking at simple “line charts” (or other forms) these may not be as apparent. They are usually seen as gap opens higher or lower. So, at a bottom, for example, you might have a gap open lower, trade for a day or three and then gap up. The gaps of islands don’t get filled quickly, oftentimes, so they are important.
This morning, the Dow was set to open 85-higher based on a turn-around of sorts in Asia.
While we hold to our dogged optimism about the replay of 1929 offering a huge short-term blow-off top, we had to burn one of our day-trades Monday when the “big money” came in and drop things down.
Our strategy for the day was not to remain in a long position and see losses take back gains. The better course would be flip to the short side, wait for a turn, and then go long again.
People have a hard time doing this with “real money” (anything over $10,000, for example). It’s got a “feel” of going to Vegas and betting the payroll. Over time, you get used to trading larger sums and then it’s possible to play the market like you would any other game of chance, except in this one, growth of the standard of living and GDP in the longer-term biases the casino to the player’s advantage. Unlike a regular casino, where the “house always wins in the long-term.”
Stocks make winners long-term but you have to practice money-management. Otherwise, you can lose your ass in the short term.
Data du Jour
A couple of press releases out:
The first from the National Federal of Independent Business is sobering:
“The Index of Small Business Optimism declined two-tenths of a point in August to 94.4, with owners refusing to expand; expecting worse business conditions; and unable to fill open positions, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)”
The backstory is that some of what’s driving it is the continued political (bad) soap opera is finally “getting-to people” as we read things. We can’t be the only ones sickened by the mess.
Oone other data point is import prices:
Later on today, Household Debt (which you should be studiously paying down as quickly as you can…)
In the meantime, Futures rise as Turkish lira rebounds, tech stocks gain.
Useful to Know:
“Net new brokerage assets were $0.5 billion in the month. During the month, customer security holdings increased by $7.8 billion, and brokerage-related cash decreased by $0.5 billion to $52.3 billion. Customer margin balances remained flat, ending the month at $11.0 billion. Customers were net buyers of approximately $0.9 billion in securities during the month.”
Global anarchy lurks: Swedish leader voices anger after dozens of cars are burned.
Yes, But…. Dept.
Census is making a great deal of “For the First Time, 90 Percent Completed High School or More.” Yes….
BUT we have to be clear that bureaucrats and academics tend to confuse grades and grads with “smart.” I’d argue we’ve managed as a country to get more educated and a lot less “smart.”
Selling Gay Sex to Kids, Dept.
Not surprisingly – from CNN – “The real reason we should care about Disney’s ‘gay’ character.” Let’s see, living in a world where we’re down to marketing…ummm..sex and weather dressed up as climate?
Well, there’s a reason for that, of course – which we will explore for subscribers tomorrow on our premium content site www.peoplenomics.com…
In the meantime, here on the free side, some pointers tomorrow on “tuning up your speech.”. Think “Abracadabra!” – which roughly translates to “I Speak and so Create.” Through “the veils” we precipitate into the Now. And in the beginning was what? A word, right?