There is a problem common to all investing pursuits: Which side of the Inflation Monster to play.
It’s important in the very short-term, like today. And in the longer-term, as well. But it’s the middle ground where the art and science of living kicks in.
Take this morning, for example. From a low of 0.9330 (that is, 93.3-cents worth of Euro for a Dollar) we have traded as high as 0.9363 today. While this may not seem like a very Big Deal, in fact the Dollar went up 0.35 percent.
Since it will now take fewer dollars to buy the same asset value (internationally) there may be some downward pressure on stock indexes over the day. It’s also the flip side of inflation.
However, reality is not evenly distributed. The stronger dollar should bring down rates. Thus, when we look at bond prices on the futures board, we see the rate is coming down as we would expect (4.64 on the 30 early, versus 4.84 Wednesday) which means bond prices firming a bit.
The see-saw is in play. Bond rates began to come down as the stock market began its manic rise last week. That’s because stocks (like home prices if you want to think of it that way) are more (or less) directly reflecting anticipated inflation.
As bond prices come down, though, the return on bonds (especially the higher rate bonds) will go up (as their price is discounted less with lower interest, if you follow).
But what is REALLY interesting is how all this works out on the National Debt. Which at the most recent from Treasury was $33,723,125,002,884.23. Which, if you want to look at compound woes of government finance, pencils out to a little over $1.6 trillion of annual interest alone on our phony-money scam. Well, $1,632,199,250,139.597 if you value precision. Based on the 30-year rate.
The risk is precision versus accuracy in our thinking, however. The calculation is precise but it’s not accurate in that the whole pile of public debt is not commanding 4.84 percent. We still have the piles of shorter-term notes and bills such that accurate thinking is closer to a trillion.
Of course, it will never all be paid off, so it might as well be $2-trillion since over time, ongoing irresponsible finance (which rules the District of Deception) will continue slowly scamming and indicators like the Fed’s “higher for longer” (HFL) is merely the counterpoise to “lower for longer” (LFL) which was touted just a few years back.
For me, the scary part is not the rate declining so much as it is the turmoil that will result when people like me point out the number of people “officially working” this month is 161.222 million people. (BLS data Series Id: LNS12000000.) Making our increased share as individuals each at the 30-year rate, pencils out to $10,123.92.
Living on our sailboat in San Francisco (2001) we bought some gold. And then in Burbank, 2005 we bought some silver. Both were spectacular. Because we saw then the very same game as now (plus or minus a middle east LIHOP war): Government is addicted to long-term ruin of money’s purchasing power and substitution thereof with debt.
Effectively, no one can even own a home “free and clear” in today’s world. You either pay the vig (protection) to the government (in the form of property, income, and sales taxes) or Uncle and local siblings will steal it all away from you. They require your participation to keep scamming us. But for now, it’s still the best place to live in the world, so we put up with it.
With an occasional bitch note and calls for ethical behavior, now and then. Which is answered with more budget stupidity and let’s toss in some wars to really jack shit up.
The War Party is doing its work, inflation is here. Only unresolved question is whether they drive America’s remnants into a Germany-style hyperinflation, or whether China – which has the same over-built manufacturing problem we experienced in our Great Depression back in ’29, will roll over first.
I keep test-fitting Taiwan as the Sudetenland and wonder if that shoe might be along next. We remain sniping at short positions and wondering about how overblown this rally can remain.
The 1500 Mile Front
We’ve decided to provide war coverage as a travelog because ‘News overload’: how a constant stream of violent images affects your brain. Picturing it as a History Channel show might make it ever so slightly less urgent. Not that WW3 isn’t mind you.
Starting today’s travelog in Ukraine, and working south to Egypt, we’d like to point out the following sights and spectacles along our route this morning.
That said, the Ukraine leadership is in crisis because it’s clear the war is not going well at all. Yeah, in spite of Free spender Houseplant and string-pulled corporate media: V.Zelensky-V.Zaluzhny fierce clash over Avdivka: End the “No. 2” of the Ukrainian General Staff – Pogroms of persecution in the armed forces – Fears of a coup.
We should mention that someone in the White House can still read and understand people don’t like writing checks for losing wars: White House delivers bad news on Ukraine aid (newsweek.com).
Off to the eastern side of the front, Georgia in the throes of war: Armed incidents in South Ossetia and Abkhazia – “Invaded by a group of saboteurs with NATO weapons” says Moscow! – Which is a “duh” because we all know the neocons need another front to distract from the leveling of Gaza which we’ll get to.
The BIG player which could flip any day, as we figure it, is Turkey. After effectively door-slamming SecState Blinken’s overtures, Turkey is going soft on admitting the Swedes to NATO. Because the EU has been pulling back from representation that if Erdogan would just be a “good little soldier” Turkey could get into the EU. The EU is now dicking him around Turkey says EU is ‘unjust and biased’ on membership bid | Reuters which may belie plans of the neocons to get Turkey into their global war to dominate the leftovers, which seems to be the direction of play.
Next scenic layover is Syria on our morning tour where Syria: US carries out airstrikes in eastern Syria targeting IRGC and Iranian-backed groups’ weapons storage facility. If the jets came from Turkey, that would be another Muslim complaint about Erdogan’s choice of political allies. If from a carrier…we didn’t get a sense of it.
This gets us south to Lebanon, inshore from the huge oil and gas fields which Israel wants and there are rumors of more off Gaza. What to Know About Hezbollah and Fighting on the Israel-Lebanon Border.
Further south, we’re into the highlight of today’s tour: Gaza. To survive, people are trying to leave: Watch live: View of south Gaza as thousands flee Israeli-Hamas fighting in north.
Last stop is Egypt, which has shown a lot of restraint – so far – but who knows when that will fail: The Rafah crossing is being used as a political lever: Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt closed due to security -US State Dept. Which is trying to get a hostage exchange ginned up and to hornswoggle Egypt into a long-term role in After Gaza. Which got a simple AYFKM from who? Egypt rejects managing security in post-war Gaza: Senior Egyptian officials – Foreign Affairs – Egypt – Ahram Online.
We wrap up the tour with the good news (no nukes, bioweapon II, and no EMP) and the bad (still bloody awful hate and more warring to come). If we didn’t have neocons and instead could focus on our own borders…
Meanwhile, the neocon promoters have been outed again for fake propaganda on the web: Fact Check: Video of policeman set on fire is from 2020 Mexico protest, not London 2023 | Reuters. The Big Lie was about a supposed video of Palestinian supporters burning a bobbie.
Feeling like a drink, are you? Sweet tea is the choice at this hour. Is it 4 PM, yet?
Niki Pompoms and Others
Our favorite GOP cheerleader in the 2024 fiasco is still Haley, followed by Ramaswamy says right here in the after-action Drudge poll; **DRUDGE POLL* WHO WON 3RD REPUBLICAN DEBATE – Results.
DeSantis was judged third, but this is all a time sink since Orange Man hasn’t tossed support to anyone but himself.
Asleep at the switch dept: Texas grid regulator and watchdog set to resign.
Back to voiceovers: SAG-AFTRA Reaches Tentative Agreement to End Historic Strike.
Oh, by the way, aliens are real. Well, seems that way as Pentagon UFO boss steps down after explosive admission | Metro News. Spoiler: He said yeah, maybe there’s some truth to recent whistleblower claims. Beam me up! Or let’s go to Bonnybridge. UK’s UFO hotspot where councilors want a Government inquiry.
Humans are working hard at covering things up and improving automated killing systems. Watch an uncrewed Navy ‘ghost boat’ fire live missiles. I should have listened to Jack Browder, who lived down the street from me 65-years ago when I was in school. Dude thought there would be a future in radio-controlled models. Didn’t mention a whole freaking industry. His dad was an early whiz at fiberglass hydroplane models…
Around the Ranch: Daily Lists
12-days, or so, until our consigliere lands for our annual turkey fest. This year, we will have a couple of drones on hand, too. He’s a DJI mini owner and I love my Potensic. He won’t risk his higher-end ride putting up ham radio antennas, but we will likely get the new “linear capacitor super-antenna installed at 60-70 feet.
Wednesday’s project list for me didn’t get done because my Chinese diesel heater (in the lean-to) greenhouse dropped a fuel line. As a result, I pissed away most of the day putting in the new line. Wasn’t bad – half hour deal – but the priming? OMG.
I could NOT get the controller to do into prime-the-fuel-line mode to save my soul. Sat there and went through many cycles and then many more to get all the air out of the new line and filter…. finally got it working though. How to fix on ShopTalk Sunday this week.
We picked up one of those new (read: cheap!) indoor hydroponics planters. We got this one, but tomorrow is Black Friday for Walmart, I think so keep an eye on prices. Make a list today. Which gets us to…
Elaine and I have been diligent about making lists every day this week. A few things are actually getting done. This is pick-up day at Wally World where 2-1/2 weeks of chow tipped in at $754. Of course, that’s because $150 of that is a couple of prime rib roasts for the holidays, then there’s some wine… but let’s see what is actually in stock…
Write when you get rich,