SSDY: Same Stuff, Different Year

A short course in how to be an international banker is on tap today.  Although it would be wonderful to announce that science has experienced a breakthrough and we’re all immediately destined for a world without want, instant gratification and fulfillment, where calories don’t count, and such. Regrettably, that’s not on the breakfast menu.  Try back at lunch.

Instead, we have nearly the same spreads as going into the Santa Week, except the Santa Rally is possibly over and we will get back into the swing of hard numbers tomorrow.  From there the week moves to the ADP and Challenger foreplay job numbers ahead of Friday’s big deal, the “offishul” government employment report.

For now, the futures are up modestly in US markets, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a weak ending to the day.  It’s a foregone conclusion the Big Traders may try this month to drive down prices in order to buy on the cheap for bonus calculations for the year.

(Continues below)


The dollar is on the move, though, and it’s worth a mention:  When the dollar weakens, it takes move weak dollars to “buy the Dow.”

Naturally, to the Great Unwashed it looks like a rally.  But, alas, it’s a simple change of inter-market arbitrage sorely missed by average investors.

The tip-off as to whether a move in the futures is driven by FOREX changes may be found in the price of metals.  They go UP (generally) as the purchasing power of the buck craters.

Think of it this way:  If you were going to buy an ounce of gold for $100, but suddenly the purchasing power of the dollar were halved, the seller of the gold would demand twice as much paper – $200 – to do the deal.

By the way, if you find someone who will sell gold coins for $100, I’d like to talk to them…

Same thing happens with other hard commodities: Oil was up a few cents, too.  Notice, though, that this is noisy business.  Nothing goes straight up, down, or sideways.

The long-term USD move is still underway against the Euro.  As of this morning, a buck only buys about 0.83 Euro.  Last fall, when readers were asking me to comment on the “strengthening dollar” (and I was pretty quiet) it was because what we’re really seeing is a game between Central Banks.

Although you have to look around for the numbers, the US is still in deflation.  This is why gold is not somewhere north of $2,500 an ounce and why silver languishes around $17.  Last year, the stronger dollar would buy almost a whole Euro (or at least 0.95 Euro) so percentage-wise, it could be said that the dollar is down 14% relative to the Euro.

But it’s likely not to last too long.  Perhaps a few more months.  At the longer timeline, if you click over to Xe and click the 10-year, you will see that once upon a time it took $1.40 to buy a Euro.  Now, it’s on the order of $1.20.

As a RICH American tourist (which you aspire to be, anyway) the most ‘bang for you buck’ would have been visiting Europe early in 2015, or late in 2016 when the dollar was strongest against the Euro.  Compared to those windows, the costs are likely up (denominated in dollars) by 10-15%.

Point is?  If you like things made in Europe, start thinking of items from elsewhere – at least for now.  And if you think the study of comparative exchange rates is for dorks and nerds, you’d be sadly mistaken.

A lot of people don’t understand how to make pretty good money by simply saving in a foreign bank.

Take Canada, for example.  Say you invested $10,000 in Canada when a Dollar would by $1.45 CA in 2015.  A Canadian passbook would show $14,500 at that point.

Fast-forward to this morning at the Looney is about $1.26.  If you were to move the money out of Canada and back to the US today, you would get about $11,507 in US dollars.

Now think about this:  A (very roughly) 15% gain in what, 2-1/2 years?  And with fairly small risk.  Oh, and that’s just using a foreign bank – we’re not talking interest.  Royal Bank of Canada pays about what Bank of America pays (as of this morning): 0.75% which doesn’t even keep up with inflation.

But, like I said, people don’t ask the easy questions much these days, like “WIIFM?”  (What’s in it for me?”

If you do use a foreign bank this way, don’t forget to check the little box on your IRS returns if you have $10,000 (*usd) overseas.  Consider thing quadruple-important if you have anything other than an Anglo surname.

Sometimes, you can make pretty good money putting up a “spec house” in a hot market.  I mention this because CoreLogic Reports Fourth Consecutive Month with More Than 6 Percent Year-Over-Year Home Price Growth in November.  With housing kicking-it in some markets, there’s another way to play.  All depends on how muchg confidence you have in your ability to organize and put up a home in 120 days, doesn’t it?

Didn’t mean to roll out the white board and start our usual scheming to make a buck this early in the new year, but we have to get to it sometime.  Getting ahead, where your savings keep ahead of inflation, is as much a problem now as it was last week.

Some things never change.

Damn it.

One New Year housekeeping issue:  If you don’t have it yet, quickly flip overs to Amazon for your copy of the Stock Trader’s Almanac 2018.  There are key dates all overs the place. We prefer the spiral-bound to the e-version.

Things like the FOMC minutes tomorrow afternoon – that might move things along. But for now, as a variant of SSDD (same sh*t, different day) we are in SSDY this morning, though you’d be hard-pressed to tell.

Macro Trend Warning

This sure caught out eye: Autonomous Vehicle Sales to Surpass 33 Million Annually in 2040, Enabling New Autonomous Mobility in More Than 26 Percent of New Car Sales, IHS Markit…..

I wouldn’t be planning a roll-up of truck driving schools any time soon….

Also have a gander at Enterprise Virtual Digital Assistant Users to Surpass 1 Billion by 2025, According to Tractica.  (“You mean those ‘chat now people’ aren’t  people?”  D’uh….)

Revolutions are Good for Prices?

You might draw that conclusion after reading Oil trades near strongest levels since mid-2015 on Iranian unrest.

Someone should put together a daily “death index” which would include arms makers and the defense sector.  Oh, wait…guess that would be irreverent, huh?

Meantime, Ayatollah Khamenei Blames Protests on ‘Enemies of Iran’ as 9 Are Killed in Latest Unrest… Care to guess who that might include?

Real-Life Flying Adventure

F-16s intercept small plane that violated Trump’s airspace.  How’d you like that for an experience…out for a holiday sight-seeing and suddenly there’s F-16’s on you.

About the only thing scarier will be the FAA fines…after alll, preflight checks are supposed to include checks for TFR’s (temporary flight restrictions).  Big oopy….

Climate Change to End Chocolate?

Chocolate could run out within 30 years because of climate change… at least so claims the story.

As we’ve long held, climate change is from desertification and that’s from killing off large wild herds and animals and have you any frigging idea how stupid most people are on this point?  Go watch this TED-Talk video.  Or, better, go get the book Holistic Management, Third Edition: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore Our Environment.

These are the real-deal answers, not the socio-political SJW globalist-scrambled thinking.  But to each their own, I ‘spose…

21 thoughts on “SSDY: Same Stuff, Different Year”

  1. I have heard you comment on the politicization of Climate change before. It’s not political. It is real. The acceleration of what used to be natural Climate change is in fast forward mode due to man-made depletion, burning and haravesting of natural resources.

    CO2 and CO are part of the problem and because we are mostly a capatilistic society, carbon exchanges/taxes are a way to at least give corporation CFO’s a reason to embrace the concept. But, the Paris Accord and Other initiatives are also focused on deforestation, water pollution, poverty and it’s affect on increased population, stress on government and human waste infrastructure and the affects it has on our overall environment. One has to look no further than China and India, the two largest and most polluted countries on our planet to understand the impact that humanity has on our environment. Without, laws and regulations in place, humans will pillage and plunder. Then, where will we be? A Mad Max type of world in a hundred years or so, is not so far fetched.

      • Indeed – the 2nd to last Space Shuttle mission was modified to launch the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. One of the particles the AMS measures is cosmic rays, which originate outside the solar system. Why preempt the planned mission to deploy the AMS? One reason – interest in the effects of the heliosphere’s outward edge, or heliosheath, which is retracting due to decreased activity/emissions by our sun. What drives most weather on our planet, and all the other planets in our solar system? Our sun. According to Royal Astronomical Society (RAS): “A new model of the Sun’s solar cycle is producing unprecedentedly accurate predictions of irregularities within the Sun’s 11-year heartbeat. The model draws on dynamo effects in two layers of the Sun, one close to the surface and one deep within its convection zone. Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645.” In 2016, Greenland’s snowfall was double a normal winter’s. Ice packs in the Antarctic are increasing steadily during the past 15 years, according to a NASA study. Antarctic ice shelf cleaving is now thought to be ‘largely’ caused by geologically thermal activity under the ice, measured by fresh water runoff under the ice sheets. There is some data indicating ocean temperatures are rising slightly, but only in certain latitudes. This may be partially the fault of of aforementioned declines in solar output, partially due to human activity. So while man is having an impact, it is far less than the impact of natural forces. We can all do our part to give future generations a liveable planet. But the climate zealots are largely political pawns to the likes of Al Gore (climate credit man) and politicians who want to tax anything with carbon in it (including us). Want to quickly reduce methane/carbon emissions? Kill a herd of cattle.

  2. “Think of it this way: If you were going to buy an ounce of gold for $100, but suddenly the purchasing power of the dollar were halved, the seller of the gold would demand twice as much paper – $200 – to do the deal.”

    That’s what seems to be ignored when it comes to (depreciating!) real estate pricing. ;-)

    • Some mornings I point this out (and the commissions, too, which get ignored) – but sometimes it’s like talking to the wind. Between over-printing money, tax indexing and commissions, world ain’t what it seemed to once be.

      • An acre is 43,800 sf…going from memory – it’s early. so $160,000 per acre?
        But remember, use what the farmer gets – 20 cents on the retail dollar…

  3. Trump has changed the world to the Angelic side and my purpose here on Earth has been fulfilled may all beings be lovingly fulfills so be it.

    I can leave this Dimension knowing the timeline here has been left in better hands.

    Be careful what you wish for because thoughts have wings.

    The light has purposes.

    (1) it’s a healing Force.
    (2) it leads to the Shocker treatment when you dye that wipes out your memory of your spirit soul and your sins and your Deeds.

    This part of the Galaxy Shaka treatment is breaking down the counterfeit follow the light abuse upon death.

    These come from the office of remembering all your past lives and remembering your part in the creation of the universe.

    Why did a man named Elmer dissect over 3,000 different ET types species from his post here on Earth.

    Without knowing why this knowledge can and will haunt you.

    To the point when you wake up in the morning you question.

    And your day takes a different path.

    And remember whatever path you choose thoughts have wings and your windup where those thoughts lead to.

    It’s not good it’s not bad it’s simply you will be,
    Like a van with cargo.

    And if all above is not your cup of tea go into a room with a radio close the door and turn the volume up and just dance your ever-loving as

  4. Thanks for the book recommendation. That’s my kind of thing. I did notice They have a “rent” option on Amazon now. What the heck? When I want to borrow a book I will go to the library!

  5. George, I read your daily website every day for reasons other than profit. Thanks so much for the Allan Savory TedX talk! I’m downloading it, and recommending it for my kids to see as they’ll, one day soon I hope, take over management of the ranch. I’ll also forward it to the local A&M Extension Agent to see what his take on it is. It should be interesting.

    I have always had a great distrust of the theories behind burn management as many ranchers around us have done this. I haven’t been able to put my finger on reasons why, however, without being able to closely inspect their places for years afterward. Now I have good reason to not do it.

    Burning is pushed (marketed) so forcefully there’s no arguing with its advocates. Sure the land looks great by the time it rains in the next growing season but what has really been done by this “reset” in the long run? Sure, it helps get rid of cactus and scrubby plants but the biological breakdown of old growth of previous seasons is almost completely eradicated. It took years for our pastures that have experienced “accidental” burns to recover after those burns happened.

    Our ranch was cleared of cedar and mesquite back in the late 60s, leaving the various oaks, and now has more grassy areas than any other ranch around it. We’ve had some call us begging for a lease in the dry years but had to turn them down as our goats were stressed at the time, too. We needed to keep their numbers up but we pulled through with a little feeding. Glad that last drought didn’t last another year!

    While a good 3″ rain can make things soggy, though, I’ve been amazed at the ground’s ability to soak up such large amounts of water in those events. The dry creek bed that runs through the middle usually only runs a good torrent when a good dump of rain hits the head area where it starts in the hills on our neighbor’s place. For a good rain on our place, though, it usually just soaks it up for anything up to 3-plus inches at a time. The big 6-incher we got a couple of years ago had me repairing fences, however. I’ve finally converted all of the main fences crossing the creek to swinging gates rather than rebuilding them as previous generations did. I’ll never understand why they didn’t do this.

    Anyway, thanks again. Your site is still the best 40 bucks I’ve spent in a long time. Real news, real fast all the time.

    • Your ‘burn, no-burn’ problem is the opposite of what is happening up in the PNW (and in California). The Powers-that-be pushed the idea that the natural fires that occur up here are bad, so that when there is a fire, such as the Columbia Gorge fire it is very destructive as all the fuel is built up and it is almost unstoppable.

      • That’s always the case if you don’t burn. For residential and other non-ag areas a different approach needs to be taken and TPTB can’t see past their colon. There HAS to be some kind of brush control in your areas and to heck with the “endangered species”. They can and do go live elsewhere. I honestly think eugenics is involved in most of the brush control decisions out there.

  6. George on your DNA quest. About 2 years ago sent off for a DNA kit on recommendation of friend. Got their kit back did their program sent back and heard from many times but just might need to order another $20 or $30 option. Kept turning down their add ons and finally Zilch. Guess they lost my address. They were so consistent on sending me new product information that didnt bother to write their name down so be aware. After this happened have heard here and there that their info might just be good scam bait.

  7. George I read somewhere that China has a facial recognition system in effect that can identify any one of their citizens in either 3 seconds or 3 minutes. Believe was seconds. It has been hard for a Texas and NM raised boy to understand the Chinese group thinking. Couldnt understand all those 20 to 30 million population new ghost towns. Yet they have around half a billion still living in caves. Read day before yesterday about the Trillion or so dollars they are spending on putting railroads in Africa. They will control that large group of people in africa by giving them access to transportation for their goods that the cave people will be manufacturing and then they will have new cities for them to live in. Just takes time to develop. Noticed yesterday the developmental interest in the artic and antaractic. The chinese are getting into this play by loaning money to the players. On and on they will eventually control everything. Building bunches and bunches of barges to build islands where they need them seems some strange to our way of doing things. Suppose should start teaching northern and southern Mandarin in schools.

  8. Blpg, money to be made in the service industry of Earthship (ing) a place.

    The government underground bunkers have the ability to survive the Terminator that they send out to destroy most of mankind

    The underground bunkers are on every planet and our government is the one that tells us we have to have a building code that puts our families in danger of extinction by building homes made of wood.

    Your device has been previously pre-planned unless you step out of the box like many of us have by building an underground shelter against heat ,cold ,fire and Etc.etc.etc.

Comments are closed.