Best Investor: Buffett or Trump?

Hmmm… not sure if the (lazy) mainstream media is willing to tackle some stories because they involve math, but this morning we run out some numbers to settle the question.

Depending on party, and whether you like the teach of Apprentice, or the Sage of Omaha, we’ll see who puts what kind of returns on the board.

After charts, a press release, and the morning’s overview of the world gone mad…

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The FedGov’s “Clean Hands” Problem

Please don’t take this as another attack on former president Obama, but the Federal government has a serious “clean hands problem” leftover from his time on Pennsylvania Avenue.

If it were only the matter of the FBI’s mishandling of the purported Russia story – which nearly a year on still has only produced irrelevant process charges – it would be one thing.

But it’s not.  Just yesterday in Nevada, the Fed gov was dressed down by a federal judge in another case.  The famous over-reach of the Bureau of Land Management in the Cliven Bundy case.

(Continues below)

 

A closer inspection of both stories is warranted because it gets to the heart of the American People’s assent to being governed.  We agree, only so long as the game isn’t rigged.

In the Russia case, the key story to focus on is this one on The Hill: “FBI agents’ text messages spur congressional probe into possible news leaks.”

To quote a key paragraph on point, because it effectively reveals that high levels of the US “Justice” system were “feeding” information to outlets for blatant political purposes, goes like this:

““I can get it like I do every other article that hits any Google News alerts, seriously,” Strzok wrote, adding he didn’t want his team hearing about the article “from someone else.”

“…like I do every other article”???  This is extraordinarily troubling because it fits the notion that the Obama administration either condoned (or mismanaged) a runaway federal bureaucracy that was itself effectively attempting to “rig” the presidential election outcome.

Dirty Hands, II

The other case that gravely concerns us is the Federal mishandling of the Cliven Bundy case.

Monday, after 700 days being a “political prisoner” (as Bundy himself put it), the Feds were slapped down by a federal judge in Nevada.

The issue was the government’s failure to share (and in a timely manner) ALL the data in the case.  What the federal prosecutors effectively did was “sanitize” the data.

The L.A, Times coverage of the case in “Judge dismisses case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his sons” is especially disturbing here:

“[Judge] Navarro rebuked federal prosecutors — using the words “flagrant” and “reckless” to describe how they withheld evidence from the defense — before saying “that the universal sense of justice has been violated” and dismissing the charges.” [against Cliven Bundy]

Both withholding evidence and seeing feds exerting “influence” in an election process, in our view constitutes breach under contract law.

Moreover, Cliven Bundy is likely right arguing that his county in Nevada is the rightful manager of the land in dispute, not the federal Bureau of Land Management.

Again, it’s a case of finding “dirty hands” while an agency was allegedely carrying out duties of a federal office.

Both of these stories are appalling, and distasteful.  It’s an affront to Americans that a “special prosecutor” has failed to turn up (and jail) the leakers in the Russian Dossier case, even after the democrats role in it was revealed. And in Nevada “stacking the deck” with regard to Bundy case evidence appears crooked, as well.

We also noted another “reveal” press ignorance in much of the Bundy case as “environmental groups”  were widely quoted as being unhappy with the judicial outcome.

You’ll recall, I hope, that several times in the past month, I have directed you to responsible environmentalists (like Allan Savory’s fine work).  The reason should now be coming into focus.

This morning, with the environmental left decrying the proper administration of justice, we must again point out that there are working solutions to improving range lands. They won’t raise as much money from the gullible, of course.

But seriously?  I expect ranchers like Cliven Bundy would have no problem with high-intensity herd management of the sort Savory describes. He was already going down that road…moving the herd around.  Who in BLM could be so ignorant?

Environmentalists, and the right / left extremes for that matter, have a hard time staking focused on “management by objective.”  Exceptional people, thoughl. constantly ask “What are after, here?

We wonder about the prosecutors in the Bundy case and about the Mueller fishing expedition, on precisely this basis.

As important as economic news is, being our bread and butter, all markets are predicated on the “Honest Playing Field” and “fair discovery of price.”

Every time bias in the FBI surfaces – now hinting at efforts to rig the news, or prosecutors failing to completely disclose named persons in a case for political reasons, we hear the ripping of the social contract.

I think you’d agree: There’s has been a slow-motion destruction of America core values that once made this a Great Nation.

Frankly, it pisses me off.  It should you, as well.  Unless, this is a joke:

“…with Liberty and Justice for All.”

We now return to the train wreck in progress.  Help me with this soap box, would you?

A Bit Disappeared

Bitcoins were back down into the $14,500 range in overnight trading.  The decline comes as the technical indicators are duking it out over whether BTC will go to $35,000 or $350 in the longer view.

The overnight was also tainted by these items:

Boss of ‘Bitcoin for porn’ cryptocurrency Fantasy Market accused of ‘disappearing’ with investor’s money.

And if that’s not gangland enough for you, try Powerful Forces Keep Mt. Gox Heist Shrouded in Mystery, Alleges Bitcoin Entrepreneur.

Then there’s this CNBC story: “Fund managers say bitcoin ETF proposals withdrawn due to SEC concern.”

We trust you’re also aware that Harvard Professors Predict Bitcoin Collapse Due to Government Regulation?

How long have we been warning you government will NOT tolerate competition?  Now we will see the swell to regulate.  And, in a way, w’re also sensing the change in the news flow to more negative toward cryptos and that begins to blow the winds of change toward the breaking lower outcome.

Too early to be sure though, so keep the popcorn coming.  Bear in mind, our cold, hard, assessments on financial fads usually play out as we call ’em in the longer-term.

Speaking of “Made Up Money”

We will be very closely following what Neel Kashkari has to say when he speaks as a Fed Governor today.

Of all the Fed’s Board, Kashkari is the one saying no to hikes and who’s also effectively questioning the “TBTF” (too big to fail) paradigm that has led to serial hold-ups of the government by the Bankster Class.

Major Reverse Discrimination Case

Goolge this? James Damore sues Google for allegedly discriminating against conservative white men.

Keep an eye on Alphabet stock prices, but likely little if any impact.

The (rest of the) Day Ahead

2-hours befor the open looked like +50 for the Dow.  There was another “rising market could spell trouble ahead” article in the Journal this morning.  We love to see markets climb the wall of worry.

Remember:  Every day of new highs pushes the closest likely crash date out 55 days.

A report from the National Federal of Independentd Business is out and sounds like more good times are ahead, worry-warts aside:  “Average Monthly Optimism Sets All-Time Record in 2017.”

Out at CES we are seeing more job woes downstream as robotics come to steal jobs from us lowly humans.  Go read how LG showcases robots that could replace workers in hotels, airports and supermarkets and it will make your hair stand on end.

We will (pointlessly) repeat that machines replacing humans should pay income tax in order to support the displaced workers.  But, as always, our forward-thinking will only become clear in 10-20 years.

Peoplenomics tomorrow will look at some “silver spoon” people…thanks in advance for sending in the surveys on our website upgrade plans.  See the Coping section that follows…

5R Monday: Recent Rallies Raise Real Reservations

We are fast approaching that part January where we have been eyeing a confluence of events in our charts, channels, technical indicators, and entrails of small animals, where a change of winds will be worked out.

Specifically, now that Bitcoin has reached our $16,279 target level (and then some), we could be set for a re-test of recent lows.  There was some weakness overnight in the lead crypto, which a couple of hours before click-time (used to be press time, lol) Bitcoins were down to the $15,360 range.

We are academically interested because as my friend and commodity & crypto friend JB Slear (www.fortwealth.com) observed over the weekend “Technical analysis sure works well on cryptos…” Which we heartily agreed with.  Still, it’s like watching a train wreck in slo-mo.

(Continues below)

 

What will be interesting is the resolution of the technicals from here.

There is a case for the $35,000 outcome with a break to even marginally higher highs than the all-time $19,500 area.  But there’s also the “lights out” notion if Bitcoin breaks below $11,000.

This is just the first of our Recent Rallies Raise Real Reservations view this week.

Then we have the stock market.  There are multiple theories of “bluer skies and free money for all” ascribed to market performance during the first week of January in any particular year.

A little deeper into the fine print is the asterisk:  *Provided the month closes higher.

Then – if this major tripwire is avoided – there’s another asterisk that says *Provided Q1 is positive..

On-balance volume has begun to suckify, but pretenders in no limits don’t cotton to such antiquated measures of sentiment.  It’s a New World, after all.  And it always is.

As usual, the market offers all-comers a chance to kiss its asterisks.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell:

We know – at least based on historical data – that we shouldn’t begin a crash for at least 37-days (*which was a one-time outlier) and most commonly 55-days from an all-time market high.

Using this logical basis, and remembering that another old saying is “sell in May and go away” we can plug in the date math from Excel to offer some modeled futures.

Not that the market is “long in the tooth” but here’s the statistical “Box Canyon” we’re riding into:

In the Strange Land of Ure this suggests three scenarios:  We “go soft from here” which we can might label the “Running out of Viagra” scenario.  The tax cuts are done, the dems are coming up with more hype than expected with Oprah lining up to be their Obama II.  And there is still not global peace and what about Mueller, et al?  Side of Korean flash-bang?

This scenario looks pretty good to us:  Oprah has a solid middle-class base, has a net worth of $2.8 billion reported (Trump is reported $3.1) so it’s a good financial showdown.  And with all the press and name familiarity, what could be better than to see a Winfrey-Kardashian ticket in 2020?  It’d be a no brainer for the dopes of social who, in case you missed it, are The Force everyone’s fighting with for control of the light saber…

Meantime, back in the Box Canyon, Scenario 2 is the “Ides of March.”  This is the one where we keep setting a tiny new high every few weeks as the very last of the gullible are sucked into the market.

Last, but not least, we will see if Scenario 3 shows up.  We call this one “April Showers.”  This is the genuine nightmare because the way it could play would be a left field event in April (Mueller???) and then a massive sell-off as the world eyes Vice President Milqtoast.

My read of Milqtoast is he’s a “consensus player.” That’s what people lacking leadership and vision seem to run with. Gives ’em plausible deniability when the consensus fails.  Actions speak louder than words…so where are his actions?

That could certainly lead to a major Wave 1 down, perhaps several hundred S&P points, then a retracement rally to August/September.  The the Bigliest Awefulest blow-down in history would be on for October.

The prospect of Daddy Warbucks versus Lady Warbucks would be an ad agency’s wet dream.  Already Time says “Read Oprah’s Powerful Golden Globes Speech.”

Reservations about recent rallies?  You bet’cher ass.

Meanwhile, we may have to resume our Street-Level Economics reports.  (We’re thinking of bringing back the SLE feature because we’re coming to the ALL TIME HIGH zone.

For example: My consigliere was shopping recently at a big-box electronics store somewhere int he Midwest and he noticed the help-staff was looking down in the mouth.

Say, you’re not in cryptos, are you?”  he asked.  And sure enough…this was on a day BTC has fallen out of bed.

Yet, the help-staffer maintained, as all True Believers do  “BTFD!” [buy the frigging dips‘] That’s the advice he was offered.

Shocked, he called to report, “Remember the shoe shine boys offering tips in ’29?”

It cements our belief that the world has gone completely and socially mad when a 20-something clerk offers sincere investment advice to a man north of 50, a JD/tax attorney and CPA at that, whose forecast of how the long wave of economics would roll has been very close to the mark since 1979.

The asylum has been fallen, though and it won’t be until the last Crypto Tulip has been bid, that history will follow by rolling out the financial guillotine.

I’ll have the stand selling head baskets.  Elaine plans flower stand, wanting nothing to do with the financial gore.

Sun’s Gone Out

Speaking of “financial Gore” please observe that the Sun has effective “gone out.”

I like to think, being a simpleton and all, that the August bump was why the nice fall here in Texas.  Delusion land is warmer than the Northeast, though.

There isn’t a day goes by we don’t pray that someone besides us will look at real long-term change and begin to tax glaciers which haven’t been punished enough since the end of the Maunder Minimum.

People Will be Talking About…

Fire breaks out at Trump Tower in New York City, FDNY says.

This Roy Moore Accuser’s Home Burned Down. Then Donors Raised $170,000 So She Can Rebuild.

Hot stories to some, perhaps, but not around here.  Where we’re more interested in stories…

People Will Miss…

Oil approaches 2015 highs on fewer U.S. rigs, OPEC which is meaningful because that will drive gas prices and then food prices because you know food is really made from oil, in a sense, right?

Here’s another way to end the oil glut, though we don’t endorse it: An Oil Tanker Burning off the Coast of China May Be About to Explode.  (Accident or secret message?)  How’s Ure stock of SE Asian seafood?

MDGA?

Make Dubai Great Again? Dubai to build new record-breaking skyscraper.  Hmmm…wonder what the Developer-in-Chief here thinks…

CES: MAGA or Machines Taking Over?

8 amazing new AI innovations at CES 2018.  Meantime, 2018 Tech Industry Revenue to Reach Record $351 Billion, Says CTA.

Like an Android camera makes 3D spinnable selfies matters?  Confession:  I’m suffering from SOMD (skeptical old man disease).  It’s marked by Tourette’s like screams of “WHAT’S THE POINT???”

I’m not hearing answers, either.  Maybe my hearing is going, too… what?

Still, Headphones made from recycled firearms could be a blast….(rim shot as the gaff comes out)…

Moron the ‘morrow…piece out.

[Explanatory note:  If you are going to sent a note correcting this last to “peace, out” don’t bother.  It’s an embedded IQ connectivity test to see if you can remember the “recycled firearms” part in the previous paragraph.  Recycle firearms, piece out, capiche? You see, we like people who can connect data in a different (than spoon-fed) way.  Thank you.  Member FDIC.]  Fine desert ice cream?

Thinking About a Retirement Commune?

We’ve been trying to figure out what our “Next Adventure” will be and honestly, it turns out to be a lot harder to nail down than we ever thought.

We can live virtually anywhere, but that doesn’t help.  Because we have a very specific set of criteria…and it makes for an interesting exploration asking “What is the PERFECT Retirement?”

After a few headlines, charts, and our weekly look-ahead.

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Coins, Jobs, Climate & a Pot-Based Lecture

What we have today is the “target-rich environment” for investigation, introspection, and investment.  There are so many pieces in play, it’s hard to know where to start.

This being Friday, though, let’s get the little (but important) items off the list first:

You will recall our target level from our Elliott Wave spreadsheet modeler for a possible Wave 2 bounce of Bitcoins from their top was $16,297.  This morning it was $16,000 so definitely zeroing-iu on that objective.  We could go as high as $19,500, though, since under Elliott, a retracement of up to 100 percent of the initial decline is possible.  Rare, but possible.

(Continues below)

 

Of course, above and we go to the $35,000 range – in theory – while a drop below $11,000 spells the end of the Mania and the return to “normal”  – if your idea of normal is texting instead of speaking.

Gotta say, I’d think that with phone calls so easy – and withj voice-driven dialers – if people had something to say to one-another, they’d use the fastest and least intrusive means available.  They don’t.  So our label of the Phone-ee people as “button-pressing apes” remains vaild.

Oh,, sure, people argue “Security!” as a justo for texting.  But even here, there are alternatives.  Learn to speak an obscure foreign language.  Works faster than texting and is quite secure, unless you run in circles that speak Swahili or Aztec dialects of Peru. And then there’s high-speed Morse, of course.

Of course those options actually involve learning and thinking, so I can understand how the Lazy99 stupid people roll.  It’s also why there is a one-percent.

Next up, we have the stock market: We’re halfway to our 2,750 region on the S&P, and don’t be surprised to see the Dow pop another hundred today…which gets us to the Jobs Report just out from the Labor Department:

“In December, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the third consecutive month. The
number of unemployed persons, at 6.6 million, was essentially unchanged over the month.
Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down by
0.6 percentage point and 926,000, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers declined to 13.6
percent in December, offsetting an increase in November. In December, the unemployment
rates for adult men (3.8 percent), adult women (3.7 percent), Whites (3.7 percent),
Blacks (6.8 percent), Asians (2.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) showed little
or no change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of new entrants decreased by 116,000 in December. New
entrants are unemployed persons who never previously worked.”

Our nickel worth of notes:

The Labor Participation Rate was unchanged @ 62.7%

The portion of the population working hasn’t changed.

Importantly, the U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force was up 1/10th to 8.1% long-term unemployed.

And the CES Birth-Death model month-on-month estimate of new jobs actually took away 180,000 jobs.

Where’d Climate Change Go?

Sounds like something out of a sci-fi book:  “Quietly, overhead, the Sun was going out…

While it does, and we ought to have the new solar cycle progression tomorrow or Monday, the media’s stupid, shrill, scream to draw ad money continues.  For example?

Winter Storm Grayson’s Bombogenesis Brought Whiteout Conditions From Virginia to New England, Coastal Flooding …

BombogenesisYHGTBSM!

Sessions is Wrong

With the US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, trying to stuff the pot genie back in the hookah, the keen observer of Economic Cycles will be laughing at how the present-day parody of the 1920’s blow-off top is working out.

First, as background, have a read of “New Pot Policy by Trump Administration Draws Bipartisan Fire” so you’ll follow our wryrony. (*wry irony, if the bean hasn’t kicked-it yet.)  Roast ’em kiddies, it’s time for the ever-popular…

Friday Potonomics Lecture

One upon a time, the US had a previous “war on drugs” and it ran the social underground during the run-up to the Great Depression.  In other words, during the 1920’s Prohibition.  Incept?  1920.  Terminus:  December 4, 1933.

Notice anything odd?

Garsh, Mickey…you mean that Prohibition finally ended just as the Great Depression was hitting its depths?  Giving people a legal course to get high and ease the woes of poverty?  Oh, and paying a tax,, too?

Exactamente!

Bingo, bongo, my hookah honeys.  Old Jeff Sessions – whether he realizes it, or not – is doing the same thing that happened just ahead of The Crash of ’29 – when the powersthatwere all doubled-down on the Prohibition.

And it follows: the S.A. gangs are walking in the same gang ruts that the Scicilians wore back then – along with the Irish mob, depending on city and century.

Point?

When you take a look at longer-term history, just like some states and municipalities  were harder (or looser) on alcohol in the 1920’s, the same is true today.

And just as the Flappers were the sexual revolutionaries of back in the day, we have the Hundred Genders Movement, as we like to call it, echoing the same macro socioeconomic wave today.  Wiki me, Alexa:

Flappers were a generation of young Western women in the 1920s who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.[1] Flappers had their origins in the liberal period of the Roaring Twenties, the social, political turbulence and increased transatlantic cultural exchange that followed the end of World War I, as well as the export of American jazz culture to Europe.”

Yep.  Gay and TG rights advocates of today may be portrayed by future historians as also being brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms.

Granted, the music is different, but it’s the new “sexual mores” are all part and parcel of the giant historical rhyme we are meandering through now.  Lik,e a maze, but with higher Uh……………………………taxes and shrill social.

The hard times will be here soon enough.  And when they do, the Great Hunger of the 1930’s will return, the money will become scare, and hard times will be upon the land again.  Like it, or not, that’s how history rolls.

Is Sessions an idiot, as many of our readers feel?

Ummm….The Truth in the Big Zoom Out is both Yes and No.

Yes, he’s trying to yell at a great social tide that runs a certain way every three generations,. or so.  That always ends with wet feet.

No, he is following his conservative leanings and what much of the Southern base holds to.  The same South that preaches temperance on Sunday but all hit the package stores Friday…  Maybe no has passed Jeff a good hand-rolled hogleg, yet…

It’s still not to late to read Strauss and Howe’s The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny.

Unlike many writers on contemporary events, I try to remember that being a reporter, writer, commentator is a three operation process:  There’s input, followed by cogitation and reflection, and this at some point results in output.

What makes this website different than the wasteland of social media is we try to spend as much time on inputs and information-gathering as spewing.  While we may not have a viral video, or 93,000 Likes, we do have a certain peace of mind and perspective that keeps the blood pressure in-check and our spirits and energy high.

Everyone – bar none – is locked in the Dance of Destiny at some level.

We hold to the view that President Warbucks is walking the same ruts as President Hoover.  In turn, Jeff Sessions’ attack on pot laws is his effort to turn back the tide of history.  Which, oh, by the way, always fails.

History is bigglier than Warbucks and Sessions combined.

Are we thrilled about having a real estate mogul on Pennsylvania Avenue when he’s off the links?  Frankly it doesn’t matter.  It’s the same as the successful mining engineer  (who was Hoover) the last time this cycle came around.

I know it’s crazy, but thanks to the mind-warping and spew that comes out of Social Media, people these days will glom on to something like Bitcoins, Hundred Genders and Social Justifiers and before that it was global coastal events that would sink us all in a grand cataclysm around, oh, December of 2012.

Those things work(ed) because people intuitively KNOW that cycles are REAL.

But they are also soft.

Rather than study the work and weritings of the great researchers, Chris Carolan, Peter Eliades, Steve Puetz, Jim Goulding (and maybe me) it’s easier to justr spew.  Even though there’s a bunch of us who have been “in the loop” on this for decades now…

Back in 2003, for example, my friend of mine (bond tradcer) Jim Goulding wrote a marvelous short book “Winter is Coming” in which he summarized some of the expectations for this period.  The link will get you to the Kindle version.  It’s a bond trader’s take on how the rubber of Strauss and Howe meets the economic road.

All of us have been plagued by the same issue, though:  Nailing the timing.  Like I said, the cycles are soft.  No one bangs a gong.

2018 should be it.  But. until we have that fateful morning when we wake up and the Dow has dropped four thousand points overnight, we can’t be sure.

Or, until the flash-bangs of nukes begin, or Taiwan falls, or Israel is vaporized… then you’ll know The End of the good times is here.  Depression follows.

Between now and whenever?

Each of us has evolved a “Way”.  Eliades has prodigious research.  Carolan has the Spiral Calendar, Arch Crawford is expert in astro-econ, I work on Aggregate Markets, while Puetz has a Grand Cycle theory – and his work on crashes is marvelous.

But there are mechanical aspects, too.  Which is why the Youssefmir, Huberman, and Hogg work on Bubbles and how they form proximate to news events is also useful.

For this weekend, though, you can relax.  We normally don’t see a BIG BAD-ASS CRASH for a couple of months from new market highs.  We expect the earliest for the collapse will be the “sell in May and go away” window this year.

But barring flash-bangs on the Peninsula, a summer market absolute high makes more sense with a horror Octoberish of this year.

After that? Depression.  That’s to be followed with the long wave trough war, which my consiglieri’s work has pegged (since 1979 BTW) in that 2023-2025 area..with 2024 the center of the data curves.

I have probably said too much, but then not enough… so more details for Peoplenomics subscribers tomorrow.\

We calls ’em like we sees ’em…and for now, Warbucks reprising Hoover pulled the bonus Congressional Election Cycle.  Which means instead of crash in the first year of his term, it’s counting more like the third year will be it.

Gosh, I bet this feels good, doesn’t it?  Our model has been long for more than a year…and we can see the way to another 9-months of upside and a Dow stretching toward 30,000.  Gold should hit its $2,500 target,  too.

We do recommend that you set aside $40 of Ure winnings for Peoplenomics because I won’t often be this clear in public.  Just a low-profile crank in the East Texas outback.

Hinting at the Jobs Report

Of course, the “offishul” job report doesn’t come until this time tomorrow.  But already, we have two indicators out to consider.  The first of which is the Challenger Job Cuts Report.  If you’ve been booing president Trump, might want to keep reading…

“CHICAGO, January 4, 2017 – U.S.-based employers announced 32,423 job cuts in the last month of the year, bringing the year-end total to 418,770. That is the lowest annual total since 1990*, when 316,047 cuts were recorded, according to a report released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

“The retail pivot that caused thousands of store closures and job cuts was not seen in any other industry this year,” said John Challenger, Chief Executive Officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  “While companies in the Pharmaceutical, Health Care, Construction, and Food industries did announce more job cuts than last year, it was nothing like the Energy cuts seen in the last two years or the Financial cuts seen during the recession,” added Challenger.

(Continues Below)

 

More from the job cuts report:

Employers announced 20.5 percent fewer cuts than the previous year, when 526,915 cuts were announced. Last month saw a 7.4 percent decrease from November’s total of 35,038, and a 3.6 percent decrease from the 33,627 cuts announced in the same month last year. “

Scream all you want about Trump and the so-far, mostly made-up by democrats “Russia probe”  the economy is doing just fine.

Backing up the trend is the second job report this morning – this one is the ADP data and it gives some insight into how many jobs were created in the most recent reporting period:

 “ROSELAND, N.J. – January 4, 2018 – Private sector employment increased by 250,000 jobs from November to December according to the December ADP National Employment Report®. Broadly distributed to the public each month, free of charge, the ADP National Employment Report is produced by the ADP Research Institute® in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics. The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

If Ure addicted to drill-downs, try this:

There will be a quiz on this data after lunch.

Tomorrow’s Labor Department report does have one implied problem:  Not a big one, but something to think about:  When the jobs picture gets too bright, it can rather quickly turn into an inflation problem.

Not says it’s entirely the case, but do look at the price of gold which has quietly crawled back from the dead and is over $1,300 per ounce.  Silver has a Lazarus act, too, peeking over $17 per ounce.

Neither of these is a humongous deal – yet.  And as long as the average starting wage is moving up toward the $15 per hour mark, we don’t think it is a bad thing.  But again, how long before rising labor costs will catch-up with the Quarter Pounder prices?  (Notice we didn’t go for the cheap pun ketchup with the hamburger prices?  That is pun-restraint at its finest!)

All of which is one of the supporting reasons why we are still expecting the market to continue its advance for a while longer toward the next target we laid out in Peoplenomics Wednesday.

If you’re serious about finance, this is for-sure one of those “Let the good times roll…” periods.

Now, if someone would just keep Medicare from eating up all the annual Social Security adjustments, that would be nice.

Don’t Take the News Too Seriously

Because sometimes there’s humor when you look.

As caught our eye this morning when we spied this on the RSS feed summary that runs 24/7 on our www.computationalfuture.com news-scanner website:

One supposes it’s better to have the Fox following the deer tracks than the Wolf…

We now return you to the truly depressing crap…

Climate Change!  Warming!!!

Everyone!  Run from the street!!!  Women and Children First!

Really?  Yesterday while chipping away at the assorted intractable computer problems I was half-listening to a few Morse code ham operators up and down the eastern seaboard.  They kept referring to the current cool spell as “The Clipper…”  Was there a Packard car meet-up?  Hmmm…why were they going on about temperatures, so much?

Apparently, the early editions of the NY Times weren’t out yet.  Because their marketing-gone-mad-to-whip ’em-up is?

We’re waiting for some snowcaster in California, Colorado, or Washington, to misread it as a “Snow Bong” and this will be followed, almost certainly  by attaching a gender to the storms and with “Storm Dolls” sure to follow.  After that, we forecast a new industry called “Storm Cookware” suitable for the worst of Blizzards.  (Excluding those from the DQ.)

Meanwhile, we acknowledge CBS for a bit more factualizing: Massive winter storm roars into Northeast after dropping rare snow on South — live updates.  Maybe they need to hire some hypesters…

We are all crazy, I’m afraid.  Need more proof?

Speaking of Computers

Huge advocate Linux, are you?  Try this one: How to protect your PC against the major ‘Meltdown’ CPU security flaw.  Equal Opportunity bugs in Intel processors…

Windows and Linux detection tools are here.

After which I got: “Status: Detection Error: This system may be vulnerable, either the Intel(R) MEI/TXEI driver is not installed (available from your system manufacturer) or the system manufacturer does not permit access to the ME/TXE from the host driver.
Tool Stopped”

Oh crap… ‘nother one for the to-do list.

Social Disease Emerging

Every generation has its own take on what a “social disease” is.

For us oldsters, it was getting the syph or the clap…so much for the free love of the 60’s & 70’s, huh?  Later, it was AIDS/HIV… and then gender identification…which, when you think about it, figured in the previous cites.

Now guess what?  We have a real gem on the horizon:  Schools ‘should help children with social media risk’.

Yep…seems lil children may need some kind of “readiness” to engage in the sickly perverted time-waster called social media…a psycho-social disease.

At the risk of being harsh?  Take the “devices” away from the little darlings, slap em on the butt when they sass,l and hand them books.  Maybe they can learn to read…  But, oh, that meany on the website is bullying again.  FMTT.

Bitcoin on the Brink

Still waiting for the wave count to sort out:  Over $19,500 we start believing the touts proposing $35,000.  Below $11,000 and the fraidy-cats rumoring $2000 begin to make sense.

Creds, Creds, Who’s Got ‘Em?

Whether you like Trump, or not, the real question is who do you believe?  The Steve Bannon dude, or president Warbucks?  (I tend to follow the money as it was a good strategy with the Clintons, but that’s not the point.)

What is?  Stories like this in the Washington Post:

 Tweet disease seems to run in the family.  Donald Jr’s tweet on topic is here.
Also of note: Fire breaks out at Hillary and Bill Clinton’s compound in Chappaqua.  No word as to cause that we’ve seen, but it was in the guest (Secret Service) house…
Sourdough pancake time…moron the ‘morrow…

Prepping for the A.I. War

It will be here before you know it:  The millions displaced and unable to stay on the “social conveyor” we so proudly tout as an “American thing.”

The displaced?  Fast food workers, truck drivers…and the list is nearly endless.  Robotics is coming.

So is the A.I. war on humans.  The A.I. will defend the “rights” of machine owners not to pay the equivalent of income taxes on the work of machines.  Absent money to pay the social tab, the Masters of the Machines will turn their evil spawn on humans to remain in control. 

Not an especially chipper outlook, but you come here for the thinking, not the comfort.  So we stick a toe or two into those waters after coffee, headlines, and charts.

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