At last! We arrive in a week which is just about perfect. I have a birthday, the Presidents have an event in my honor (well, sort of) and we don’t have to work “five for the Man.” Oh, and as a bonus we get all kinds of economic data, which is interesting because we will again see how audacious the hype about “recovery” is.
There are plenty of reasons for it: More stay at home moms, the LBGT movement, job-jacking and offshoring, and the BIG ONE that no one is ready for: Massive workplace automation and the replacement of humans by machines.
Against this backdrop “White House touts stimulus as Americans see ‘unemployment’ as nation’s new top challenge…”
The reason this is so HUGE is that all modern democracies are based on the idea of people “must do things” in order to “get paid” and this is what the worldview is based on. We don’t reward good…we reward…well….work product.
Unfortunately, most people are sleeping through the coming “End of Work” that I’ve been writing about for years for Peoplenomics readers. And it’s starting to spread. Kick-ass article over at ReadWrite this morning talks about the revolution coming in 3D printing that will allow a super-sized machine to “print” a 2500 square foot home in just 24-hours.
So much for the remnants of the building trades, huh?
Still, there are few people who grok the whole disruptive technology thing. In fact the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA, the folks where the Internet came from, not Al Gore, remember then?) has set up a Disruptive Technology Office because people in the intelligence community at least have the inkling of massive change.
The problem at least so far is that most companies and almost no people have no plan how to deal.
Let’s roll back the clock and pretend it was 1990. How many companies outside of silly-con valley had a long-term strategy for web dominance? Oh, about zero, give or take.
Inertia and change-resistance kills. Except if you thought change from networked computing was something, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait till I can email you a steak to be printed and eaten. Then you’ll maybe get the idea. Ever think through what happens when every grocery store in American just ‘prints’ your order? Stockers, clerks…oh my head hurts!
While we wait…and it shouldn’t take more than 10-20 years for the 3D wave to crush everything in its path…we will have lots of research to ponder this week.
The Consumer Prices are due on Thursday. In case you haven’t noticed, groceries are going up. It’s become so obvious that outfits like CBS are noticing how grocery costs go up as incomes stand still.
Tomorrow, there are Producer Prices, which used to give a pretty good indication of what kind of inflation was in the pipeline. However, most economic press releases have been jiggered, corrected, seasonally adjusted, and basted with a creamy lemon-pepper marinade, that they don’t mean much of anything anymore.
Even the stalwart Consumer Prices don’t use the same meats, the same veggies or any of that so our food prices today are very much like comparing apples and oranges. The statisticians will tell you that is because hedonic pricing is real, people change their consumption based on new information (fad diets, high veggies, low carb, low veggie high protein…you see them come and go) and so the statistician can make up damn near anything and sell it.
Which gets us around to this morning’s first dart: The NY Fed Empire Manufacturing report.
A few words from it….
“The February 2014 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business conditions improved marginally for New York manufacturers. The general business conditions index fell eight points, but remained positive at 4.5. The new orders index fell to about zero, indicating that orders were flat, and the shipments index declined thirteen points to 2.1. The unfilled orders index remained negative at -6.3. The prices paid index fell twelve points to 25.0, pointing to a slowing pace of input price increases, while the prices received index climbed two points to 15.0, suggesting a faster pace of selling price increases. Employment indexes were little changed, indicating a modest increase in employment levels and slightly longer workweeks. Indexes for the six-month outlook continued to convey fairly robust optimism about future conditions, even as the capital spending index fell ten points to 2.5, a multiyear low.”
So with this to look forward to, the market is expected to be cautious, though it’s not this week we’re worried about.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how the Japanese Yen dropped overnight and how this means Japan is in the same “print at all costs most” to keep deflation at bay.
What the central bankster class doesn’t want you to know is that global synchronized inflation to offset pernicious deflation and Global Depression is the only game in play that matters. It’s why the metals have been strengthening. Still, one more good leg down is likely later on this year when deflation kicks up as housing softens again, but one day, one month, one year and one report at a time.
Dow is about flat…metals too….looks like a Monday but it’s really a Tuesday…
Dead Banker Tracking
Report of a jumper off the roof (18 stories up) off a building in Hong Kong this morning where a bank is located. Another banker death? Don’t know that yet…
More after this…
7 Days to ????
It’s NEXT WEEK when the Sochi Games wrap up and Russia can begin to flex its muscles against the Western bid to steal Ukraine from the Russian fold. And, since a good offense is one fine defense, look for blow ups in places like Iran or Syria.
And, in case you didn’t notice, Iran is now saying that Russia could build (another) reactor in exchange for yet more oil.
This is something that will leave the EU fit to be tied because Russia is already within sprinting distance of achieving energy independence. It’s Europe which has been pretty well cleaned out of energy resources and they, in turn, have been talking very much an aggressive line against Russia of late.
When you read headlines like “Two former members of Pussy Riot detained in Sochi, Russia” just remember it’s not about rock & roll with a message.
Greed – and the demands of the Manufacturer’s Resource Wars – demand that the US/West go hard after Russia because there are only so many places where there are resources worth fighting over. One of those places is Russia and the megalomaniacs of the EU have (*stupidly) tipped their hand early.
Putin gets it…and busting Pussy Riot (and some ex’es now) is a clue about how serious he’s going to play.
By the way, in light of the failed Syria peace talks in Geneva, pay attention when Israel’s prime minister says Iran is the only winner from nuke talks with Russia. The fates of Syria and Iran are tightly bound, since Syria is a forward aircraft radar post for Iran and Israel is always looking to the north-northeast…
Waiting for the World To End?
A bunch of minor earthquakes…including one in the Southern Caribbean area… 6.5 down off Barbados. But after that you’re down into the 5.6 and lower noise floor. So, if you were expecting a report that the world is about to end to keep you from having to head in to work today, time to shower and get a move on.
Sorry…but there was one glimmer this weekend as a huge asteroid zipped by. But only a near miss so it doesn’t get you out of getting your taxes filed, either, does it?
And so, yes, it is still snowing some places. 79F here at the ranch yesterday. Here come the bugs and snakes… I’d take cold weather, a hot drink, and whatever’s behind curtain #2 any damn time.
Get Al Gore on the Line!
Global charlatans, you think? How about a website charlatans.gov? Gimme a break…
New York Rebellion?
Gee, I thought the Texas independence movement was an outlier. Here comes a secessionist movement in New York.
It does get us to thinking about city-states….and other candidates might include Rahm’s Chicago and whatever you want to call that area south of the Grape Vine. Lost Angles or something like that…
Air Traffic Hiring
Scary headline at WorldNetDaily this morning “FAA: ‘No Experience Necessary’ for air traffic control” isn’t exactly how it works.
Yes, anyone can apply and many will get hired, but the real deal is that the FAA has warmed to the idea of flight following for private aircraft and it enhances safety of the whole system. And Houston departure is not putting someone on a radar who just walked in off the street on a console.
The training is rigorous and very demanding. The story is true, but the impression if might leave? Well, that’s something else again.
“November 7912 Lima, radar contact 4 miles northeast of the Palestine airport, Squawk 6723 and ident. Traffic your 3 o’clock 3-miles a Cessna 182 descending into Athens at 3,800. Additional traffic a twin Comanche at 5,000 overtaking you….”
“1-2-Lima tally ho the 182…”
…don’t just walk in off the street, last time I checked…
On t’other hand, I could be walking really dumb streets, I s’pose….