Someone’s Lying About the Economy

Either the US Treasury is lying, or the Congressional Budget office is lying.  You see, the Treasury Debt to the Penny makes it look like the Debt Ceiling is being nicely observed. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, spending in August (as quoted in this article over here) was $331 billion and the income to pay for that was a mere $185 billion.  You can’t have it both ways.

You have exactly three choices here:

  1. Treasury is lying about the public debt and has opened a second set of books to cover up the accounting lie.  This would be a felonious act in private industry, but since this ain’t private, it’s the most likely answer I can come up with.
  2. The second choice is that the Congressional Budget Office could screw up and misplace $146 billion dollars.  In my book, the odds of this are close to zero.
  3. The third choice is “depends what you mean by lying” since government is losing its grip on reality, the concept of truth and lie have been tossed out the window and no longer apply.  Except to you and me, of course.  Since if we tried to file a tax return on this kind of accounting back-up,  care to guess what would happen?

As long as we’re hanging out the dirty laundry this morning, the Fed’s Consumer Debt (credit if you’re a member of the banker class) came out Thursday and it shows revolving credit use (yeah, plastic) was down 5.2 percent in June, but non-revolving debt (like student loans and mobile home loans) were up 9.5%. 

Psychographic implications?  We live in a land of thrifty dreamers. (Which is more proper-like that crack-headed voting monkeys.)

Still, the “Peace Rally” should be off and running this morning for another triple digit effort.  We might see some cooling later in the day, but the 1,685 range in the S&P seems like a slam dunk in here.  Then we’ll have to reassess matters if the world doesn’t blow up unexpectedly over the weekend, or something. Holding over S&P 1,686 clears the way to 1,721 in Robin Landry’s work and 1,735 in mine, but more tomorrow for Peoplenomics subscribers.

In the background:  The CFTC’s doing more than jaw-boning on new HFT regs coming down the pike.  Someday…

Syria Skates

If this were a boxing match, the scantily-clad hottie would be walking around the ring this morning holding up a sign that reads “Round Seven” which is about where drama is this weekend.  We have the French promising a toughly worded proposal to the UN

Since it will likely be in French, I will have to rely on machine translations and news reports, but I assume the West will try to stick in some punitive lingo somewhere, which the Russians will argue (along with the Chinese) and then we can have the scantily-clad ring-girl run around  with a “Round Eight” sign sometime next week, or so, as a UN vote comes along.

The boxing analogy could go a bit further, since it looks like Syria has retired it its corner for a while, accepting the Russian cornerman’s advice, with the cornerman being played by Vlad Putin and the corner’s doc being Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

John Kerry is still parading around in the ring, refusing to go back to his corner, while waving…what’s that?  A calendar?  Oh, yes, fright fans, if you’re just joining us, Kerry’s cornerman is Barack Obama, a well-known trainer from Chicago. His fighter, John Kerry doesn’t think Syria is “cornered.”

Like a good boxing match, it’s looking like none of the major figures will actually die in this one, but the ritual death game is good sport and amusement for all.  In the end, come “Round Ten” [Where’d that ring girl go?] this one looks to be scored a draw, unless a new challenger climbs in the ring with Syria sitting in the corner.

Oh, look, Israel is eyeing the ropes now…will they slide in and have a go at Syria while it’s being treated by cornerman Vlad?  Not till Kerry’s done chest-thumping  back to his corner, I expect.  So we look for the market’s “peace rally” can last into next week or 1,685 and maybe 1,721 above that.

After options expire on the 20th, all bets are off and we’ll be listening for the bell.  As our resident war gamer notes:

“Credit will be taken on all sides for the best possible diplomatic solution to this authentic ‘Gordian Knot’ situation.”

More after this…

Mexico, Oil, and Taxes

Since Oilman2 is off shortly to manage another offshore rig, we pay attention when he points things out in that part of the world:

Here is an example of holding on to the old paradigm at everyone’s expense. New Mexican prez is trying to increase oil output by taxing their middle class.

Even if it works, it will only be temporary…

Yes, dealing with Peak Oil, as long as we’re in the short-term high payoff zone front fracking (if you don’t mind the odd injection well earthquake) has turned Peak Oil into a myth and people who thing we’ll all be saved by abiotic oil apparently don’t know how to run calculators very well.  It took how long for that oil to accrue and the withdrawal rates are what, again?

Also, did you see where “China Snatched away the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan-Indian pipeline from the USA.”  And as OM2, who was in China last month on oil matters, notes:

“This is typically the way China prefers to move, as easterners know that war should be last resort due to what it leaves in its wake…”

While peace just leaves a bunch of broke capitalists…

All in the [‘Merican] Aristocracy

Jeb Bush just fell to a new low in my book with the report out this morning on the  Christian Science Monitor’s DC-Decoder column asking “Why is Jeb Bush giving Hillary Clinton an Award?”

OK, OK, Jeb is chairman of the board of the National Constitution Center, but didn’t Hil slide out of answering questions on Benghazi?  And what about that other Bush-fellow who was green-lighting more NSA snoops?

Naw…the whole thing is so convoluted and wrapped up in earwigs that I’m driven to invent a new word to describe my heightened levels of perplexitude.  I think this word is “Pissplexification.”  It means pissed, perplexed, and mystified. WTF are they thinking?  (If at all?) 

(I just gave myself a green star for not calling it a self-serving aristocratic circle-jerk, but the disintegration of corporate control does seem to breed discontinuous behaviors like this…)

Higher Idiots

One of Madison Avenue Mike’s picks for this morning is the NYT Op-ed this morning  explaining the “Great Stagnation of American Education.”  After gong through the article, it’s a pretty good recitation of the economic (and social) implications of the failings of the Nanny State lower-ed system (no one can lose, everyone finishes first pabulum) but it missed the one thing that should scare any right-thinking person to death.

They vote.

Gun Rights

Look, I’m a strong Second Amendment guy and all, but have you been following the reports out of Iowa about blind  people getting gun permits?

Near as I can figure, it’s OK if you can’t hit the broad side of a barn, but you ought to at least be able to point out the barn if you pick up a gun.

Congress and Ganj

We ought to see if the booze lobby has picked up enough property and plants to begin rolling into marijuana production, as have often been rumored in places like Colorado and Washington.  This as the Senate lights up marijuana legalization this morning.

Spy vs. Spy

Shades of the Mad Magazine series…Germany pops up a low-level helo photo-recon of the US consulate in Frankfurt this week.

I’m starting rumored that US spy agencies will retaliate by doing a low-level flyover of Heidi Klum… Is everyone crazy?  Has the world gone absolutely nuts? Yes?

Or is there more to this?  Are the German’s signaling how pissed they are that we won’t give them their gold back yet?  Neener, neener, neener doesn’t play well in Munich.

Philippines Fighting

Oh-oh…now we’ve got Muslim rebels mixing it up with government troops in the southern Philippine’s Zamboanga City area.