Something in the Punch Bowl

Yes, this morning we’ve about to pick up the scent of something – and it ain’t Everclear – in the big punch bowl of markets.  This as the Chinese market dropped 0.71% overnight, Japan was down  1.22% (a glowing performance, huh?) while in Europe this morning, the free lunchers are down 1% in France, 1.11% in Germany, and 0.86% in the Unemployed Kingdom.

As I outlined in my wild-ass trade report for Peoplenomics readers last week, this could all get whipped up since today is when our 148-day (+/- 2 days) “murder” cycle hits, so don’t get all worked up if some kind of public outrage pops later today, too.

The good news, such as any of this is, might be that we have see a way ahead which could declaw the corporate tigers, return the world to something approaching financial  sanity, as well as allow the US a graceful exit from debt burdens.  The bad news is that it’s going to hurt – a lot – and the average lifestyle in America will suffer a bit…oh, a lot then, but at least there is a way forward which will be outlined Wednesday for Peoplenomics readers.

For now, my wild trade is looking less wild, and with every hour of downtime for the Obamacare online systems, confidence in the ability of government to do things right is waning.

Which means an “attention-shifter” would be just what the doctor ordered, so expect that to wander along and take center stage any old time now. 

Governments, as a rule, don’t like it when large numbers of people starting pointing and yelling things about the Emperor’s clothes, as such, and so – just to remind us who’s in charge – we need some drama to come in and make that point, again, and again.  So it’s now due.

Showtime in Libya, Mideast

Indeed, government does claim it’s getting things right, now and then, as might be posited to have been the case this weekend as a Libyan al Qaeda perp was busted out of country and renditioned by US Special Forces.

Of course, down in the fine print we read how this fellow, Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, is wanted for his alleged involvement in embassy attacks in Tanzania and Kenya that date back to 1998 which happened (check me on this, it’s early) 15-freaking years ago.

The little matter of sending US forces into Libya, a country with whom we are not presently at war, has SecState John Kerry preemptively saying it’s all right and legal and such, which – as you’d expect – Libya ain’t swallowing.

Then there’s the tarnish of SEAL Team Six street creds with a raid gone badly in Somalia.

Meantime, once-upon-a-time tourism destination Egypt is back in the blender this morning (on frappé by the look of it) as more than 50-people are reported dead amid rival demonstrations.

Laughably, the headline “Russia, U.S. Push Forward on Syria Meeting” sounds oddly hollow…like everyone who matters hasn’t heard the reports that a “Saudi black op team behind Damascus chem weapons attack – diplomatic sources…

Like the government pseudo-shutdown in the US, the global geopolitick this morning is just more theater.  Not good theater, mind you…just theater that seems to be trying to present the longest play in world history.  It’s already outrun the 30-Years War.  We’re at 46-years, if we start the performance from the 1967 war…

Somewhere along in here, you’re no doubt wondering “Gee, G, how come you didn’t lead with the latest on the government shutdown crap that’s all over the MSM this morning?

Well, Iron Butterfly, or Grasslicker, or whatever you call yourself, the real story of the day is likely that the whole Mideast brouhaha is heading toward a MuBro grab of the Suez Canal if you look closely.  When you start to read stories on Al Jazeera like “Sinai on the brink “
Can stability be brought to the volatile region that is home to one of the world’s most important waterways
?”  — we already know what the answer is:


The West has a nappy-habit of seriously misreading and underestimating our enemies going back to Yamamoto.

If you think the folks that invented algebra don’t know the Canal is the Prize, I’d suggest that would be more of a game-changer than even our [momentary] budget woes, and thus, becomes the nail biter’s lead item this morning.

More After This…

Shutdown Theater

Well, let’s see here:  Treasury Boss Jack Lew was making the rounds sounding the the warnings about all kinds of dire things to come if the budget ceiling is hit (like it hasn’t been already).  And Goldman Sachs has been worrying.

But more important, methinks, is how the Chinese are taking all this in; after all they are swimming in US debt paper, so a close read of their take on things (here) is definitely in order.

Meantime, although 83% of government is still working at the federal level, we expect to see huge layoffs beginning this week as contractors run out of dough.  More on point, the House and Senate agreed and passed the Pay our Military bill in no time at all…which means some furloughed .mil folks will be back today.

President Obama and John Boehner are still deadlocked, although there is now shortage of speculation as to “How the government shutdown could end” although my money is still on “badly.”

As president Obama is stuck in Washington, SecState Kerry is at the Asian APEC Summit which gives China the driver’s seat.

Something to be tossed into the mix on our thinking about shutdowns, US government debt, and so on, and this is big picture stuff, so let me give you the bullet points:

    So here’s the odd bit of calculus to ponder as we roll into the week:  One of the major issues which has led to the US being a major debtor nation has been our continued reliance on imported energy from places like Venezuela and Mexico. 

    What happens to our national balance sheet over the next few years as that begins to improve – dramatically as new domestic digs and drills come online?

    It’s a touchy one…but one obvious impact would be deflationary and even this morning we see the price of oil is falling and – given the work up in the Williston/Bakken and now reports of possible doublers in size under that – would it be a radical game-changer for the US to roll back toward energy independence and maybe even back out of some of our Middle East intrigues?

    Nothing firm, here, but a passing thought and some data to ponder while we look at the shutdown and wonder about its impacts and might there be a card up our sleeve here which is not being played publicly, but which could have huge impacts when it comes to swinging our balance of payments going forward?

    Meantime, Reality:

    Of course it isn’t going to be a straight line, getting to that kind of a future.  Since this morning, Boeing lost out on a $9.5-billion jet deal to Airbus which got the nod from Japan Airlines.  I’d love to see the glowing deal terms in this one…

    Remember “Transparency”?

    It’s a bad joke lately in the Obama administration, and in particular with a report out that ATF is trying to silence a whistleblower’s account how how US guns made it into Mexican drug armories with the support of the US government.

    While their claim (might hurt moral, no kidding?) is likely true, the point of a free press and getting the details out is so policy wankers will have maybe (oh please, God, let them) think a little more before pulling off such dumb-shit crap in the future.

    Not that it will, of course, but we like to give the benefit of the doubt here on magnanimous Mondays like this.

    Gravity Rock(et)s

    Clooney and Bullock may not have pulled all the right moves in the film, but the special effects are wowing millions as this one looks like the box office topper of the year  (or at least an October opening)  as first receipts come in.

    “Shut Up, Kid, Yah Bother Me” Dept.

    North Korea threatens pre-emptive strike against South Korea and the US.”

    Still, I’ve learned never to entirely discount the ravings of crazy people, since you never know when they will bring some of their old Russian MIRV warheads, presumably squirreled -away during the Soviet Union’s collapse, out for use against us.

    Just when we’re seeing light at the end of the tunnel, too…