Near as we can figure it, there’s no more sensible way to consider the week ahead than to close your eyes (have your computer or phone read the column to you) and imagine the GlobalSit (“h” optional) as a scatter plot. We’re all over the place save two reasonably firm data points.
The CFNAI Out
The Chicago Fed National Activity Indicator is closely watched as one of the leading indicators of “What’s next?” Last month’s mantra was “Growth moderated in August.” Today’s answer is…
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was unchanged at +0.10 in September. Two of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made positive contributions in September, but two categories deteriorated from August. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, moved up to +0.17 in September from +0.04 in August.
The second pending bit of news will come tomorrow morning when we rollout the Case-Shiller/S&P/CoreLogic Housing Price report. This could lead to something of a “buy the rumor, sell the news” for the markets to process today. It’s clear that “net cash to sellers at closing” is not what it was a few months back. Mainly because of higher mortgage rates. Let’s save that tea leaf for tomorrow, though.
For now – after the number, Dow futures were up 157 – which based on world events, consolidation of Xi, nuke threats and Kherson up for grabs, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Except that the world’s still crazy after another weekend.
Little Changes in Big China
What we’re hearing goes something like this:
“Premier Li Keqiang, whom Hu Jintao patted (goodbye?) on the shoulder on his way out as he was being removed, has been voted off the Standing Committee of the Politburo. As Premier, Li was officially the number two man in China. Li was a known moderate liberalizer of the economy and was closely linked to Hu. (Who?) So, it’s possible that Xi has decided that Hu and Li will be the fall guys for the impending/ongoing financial crisis/collapse. “
Fits with “Blame who?” (Ever grande insights around here…)
In the meantime, though, analysts are attempting to figure out what the “maroon ties” will be up to, next. We assume you noticed the senior dudes at the Party Congress did not have to wear the flashier red ties? Imperial Purple is your visual clue as to who the shakers and hitters are.
It may mean a lot.
The Hang Seng market fell more than 6-percent in the wake of the changes because China may be “chilling it with the West” a bit: Alibaba, Tencent plunge as Hang Seng sinks below 16,000-mark after China’s leadership reshuffle leaves no market reformists on board. We are now held by the nuts economically.
With Li and Hu in the dunking chair politically, Xi is arguably becoming as powerful (more?) than Mao. He’s got a leash around America’s future that Mao could only have dreamt of.
And probably did.
Asia has not been a settled place this weekend – besides the washout in the Hang Seng. For example, North Korea and South Korea exchanged shelling.
But the main focus of the ordnance fallout continues to be the Middle East and Ukraine. Iranian drones ring a bell from last week? Israeli Strike Targeted Iranian Drone Assembly Site Near Damascus, Syrian Rights Monitor Says.
In center ring today? Wwe have an interesting series of phone calls to consider: Russian defense minister held phone talks with his counterparts from USA, UK, France and Turkey. This was quickly sent packing by Western media (look surprised!) in analysis like Kremlin unlikely to be preparing imminent false-flag dirty bomb attack or non-strategic nuclear weapon strike.
There are any number of things the Russian defense boss might have said, but we’re thinking “Cross this line/coordinate set and we go tactical nukes” – meaning the gloves come off. Putin’s attacks on infrastructure have been slowly putting the CivPop of UKR in play giving the West plenty of chances to de-escalate. But the War Party is not interested. Which we read as “nukes likely” on the path now, given the Ukrainians want Kherson and to regain their (up the road a ways) nuclear power plant. Hence our thinking of a “line” call.
About all we can do with this part of the scatter plot in the headlines is to watch a continuously evolving Rorschatat blob and wonder when we’ll need the flash goggles. Prevailing winds, the depletion of European energy stocks, and the pending onset of winter weather all figure in the musical chairs of nukes in-theater.
Energy and Idiots
For some unknown (and f*cked up) reason, the Bidenista’s – operating as partisans in the Davos Vs. Red Shield Banker War for the World – set up the idiotic game of “Sancsmanship.” No, sanctions on energy, fertilizer, and so forth, is not thinly disguised war; it’s about as In Your Face as it gets.
It should not be too hard for you to figure which faction has the Biden strings presently if you read Fact Check: Has Biden Sold Off More Oil Than Every Past President Combined?. Spoiler Alert: Yeah, sure he did.
And it isn’t working.
Triple-A hits today with $3.79 a gallon unleaded (down from $3.88 a week ago) while diesel is up around $5.326 nationally.
We see how the Red Shield Banker types are reading all this in the CFRs report The Saudis Need a Reality Check: Washington Should Pause Arms Sales to Rein in Riyadh (from foreignaffairs.com). Slow Joe already went that direction a ways, repurposing militaria from Saudi destinations to Ukraine. Didn’t help – which is what he’s become the poster child for.
Since we’re in “eyes closed” and “scatter plot” mode today, we can see the small moves of the CFR warring with the Davos crowd – with everyone being egged-on by the war-party neoliberals in the U.S. State Department who switch parties every time there’s a new president.
Having failed to gain a favor (so much for the knee pads) from the Saudi’s, old Slow Joe was busy this weekend re-earning his moniker (s l o w ): Watch: President Biden Very Long Pause When Asked If First Lady Supports Him Running In 2024 | Video.
Monday Money Cons
Bitcoin wasn’t able to drag its sorry ass out of the $19,000 trading range in the early going today. Which – when we back out 8.7 percent inflation would put its purchasing power into the $18,000-range somewhere. But it doesn’t slow the shrill of the shills, any.
Take a look at Hacktober Security Alert: Crypto Investors Lose Millions Via 3Commas API; Investigation Ongoing (ibtimes.com) and ask “Is this really something to put money into?”
Quite amazingly, there are still people buying it. (See how the South Sea bubble broke or the end of Tulipmania to work out who the eventual bag-holders will be.) Late is just ahead of Loser in our dictionary of finance.
Wide of the Mark
No Master-Blaster Monday Plaster would be complete with some completely wild shots to plot. (Or some plots to complete.)
California doesn’t need an Earthquake. Because Gruesome and the radical lefties are sending state into the Pacific on their own. As an example (it’s in slow motion, so stay focused): 93-year-old California bakery forced out of business by high rent, crime in Oakland. We keep reading accounts of how shoplifting isn’t even prosecuted anymore in the emboldened state – people walk in, take whatever, and walk out. No wonder Gruesome will only do one debate, huh? Hearing reality is hard on the lockstep lefties.
Notwithstanding, the Political Center of America may be San Jose and the South Bay. As evidenced by Republican National Committee Sues Google Over Spam Filters – Variety.
Make you want to take matters into your own hands? We would never recommend that, but interesting to note how Gun control laws fall at dizzying pace after Supreme Court ruling.
Still haven’t gotten a shipping date from Philips Respironics on my replacement CPAP machine. Despite my doc’s office faxing in the prescription weeks ago. My sense is it may never happen. A suspicion watered and fertilized by reading Healthcare tech giant Philips scraps 4,000 staff worldwide. Will the last person there please ship my replacement unit?
There are, despite the “scatter plot effect” still a few stories about how “things are looking up” somewhere: A Risky Solar Eclipse In Europe Sets-Up A ‘BloodMoon’ For America: The Naked Eye Sky This Week.
Just freaking great. Crash around the November full moon seems in order.
Around the Ranch
It’s pretty cool living on our own 30-acre wildlife preserve. Always something to watch if you have a sharp eye for detail.
For example, Sam (uel or antha – still don’t know which) – our feral Siamese food consumer – was down at a mud box used as a watering hole for the deer when the creek is dry. He was front legs up and face down drinking when the crows came by and decided to have some fun.
Full wingspread and feet out, the crow’s leader of the pack dived on Sam and pushed him into the water as a touch and go. Needless to say, Sam was pissed and embarrassed. But it was a first for us: Seeing about 12-pounds of cat dunked by the territorial crows who didn’t want him drinking their water, presumably.
Today, Sam has a pretty good idea of what Li and Hu just went through at the CCP. Global behavior clouds, seems like, sometimes make the rounds. That’s the only takeaway from the scatter plot that seems obvious. We’ll go back to watching.
There’s always the same amount of stuff going on – it’s just whether we’re in the right mindset to see it, or not.
Write when you get free…
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