Stormy Monday, Politicians Lie

I suppose this is an economic story.  I’ll explain how in a sec.

When this hits, other than a lot of rain – more than a foot in places – there’s the interesting notion that hurricanes and other natural disasters are actually good for the economy.

Short term, reading “Best’s Market Segment Report: Insurance-Linked Securities Market Could Bear Up To 20% of Insured Losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma & Marie” gets us to wondering how much insurance company selling will depress prices short-term?  Dow futures up 90…am I the only one reading the forecast, or what?

Seems counter-intuitive, but while there is bound to be an initial loss, that’s followed by rebuilding and that drives an economy.  To be sure, there’s a cost to governments (taxes) and insurance (rates) but that’s offset (how much is arguable) by the replacement activity.

Lying Politicians Department

Who you gonna believe?

On the one hand, the Trump administration is proclaiming how the economy is doing oh, so well…so well.  On the other, former president Obama is trying to take credit.

We have a slightly different take:

How about “None of the above?”

Here’s why:  When the economy has done its best – that is provided the most growth – is when the Employment to Population is at its highest levels.  And here’s the data that the Federal Reserve’s storehouse of numbers offers as guidance.

This, to our way of thinking, is pretty clear evidence that the employment to population ratio peaked in 1998-2000.

So, how can team Trump argue?  The secret is in who you count as making up the workforce.

In 2000, for example, there was a US population of 282.2 million and a labor force of 143-million.  50.67% of all people were considered labor force.  Today?    319.93 million people and 161.776 million means we’re still at 50.55% being in the labor force.

But, of the available labor force, who’s really working?  For this we turn to the long-term view of the labor participation rate:

What we is (at least for now) is that the civilian labor participation rate is nowhere near as high as it was when the Internet Bubble was building.

If you happen to be black, here’s another inconvenient chart that neither Trump nor Obama seems to haul out:

Pardon us for calling out BOTH political parties, but the Trump team is taking credit for what’s a recurring cyclical pattern of growth, while Obama is laying claim to “setting the stage” for it.  Wrong and Wrong.

Working – whether black, or white or female – we’re being fed short-term data to keep the public attention of the longer-term issues.

Sadly, the numbers say it pretty clearly:  Neither can take real “credit” for the “growth” since.  Basically, within one percent, there’s been no change in the fraction of people working for a couple of decades.  Stagployment

Meanwhile, America has been running out of things to monetize – so we’re monetizing weather, gender, sexual preference, and anything else that’s not nailed down.  Exporting America oil, now, too…  The resources view long term just keeps getting worse and worse…

The real story is that due to congressional negligence (and specifically the inability to balance a budget) we have been watering down our money pretending that’s growth.  Uh…not so fast…

With my latest book in the hands of proofreaders (Psychocartography, expected release October 1) I’m thinking about a real dirty-underwear economics book.  The title “Losernomics: Why You Can’t Get Ahead” came to mind.

In fact, I was thinking overnight about how to lay it all out.  Starting with America’s first steps on the road to Loserdom.  Collapsing values, mass medication use, soaring divorce rates, the end of parenting…well, you know the list.

On the money side, it begins with not calling out interest in general – and the effects of compounding in particular – as a critical fault in the American system.

My book note then get into how no one has an incentive to save, anymore.  Reason?  Banks pay less that 1/2 of one percent interest while the Federal Reserve is “making-up” money (via inflation of the money supply) at a 4.0 percent annualized (M2) rate.

People who put money in the bank are suckers.  Putting your money in the bank once meant after 10-years, or so, you’d be able to take out the principal and interest and actually make a little something on the interest.  Gone….poof!

The crooked financial system, taken root in America today, is rigged so you lose 2-3 percent (or more) in final purchasing power per year.  Oh, and it’s not even your money anymore.  You’ve been reduced to just another creditor status in modern banking’s current well-told screw.

Don’t mean to be a grouch, but it is crazy to read Trump laying claims and Obama laying counters.  Can we STFU and go big picture, please?

My consigliere and I talked about this again last week.

“Ever wonder how we had money in the mid-1970s to learn to fly airplanes and still have a social life, our own apartments and enough leftover to have a beer and hamburger out?

The good news and bad (in this preview of yet-another Georgebook):  We are still here as a country but our real disposable income has been stolen by the idiots of both parties.  Trump talks it, but the magic of compounding debt is burning our future before our eyes.

That’s the bad news (and more in Peoplenomics Wednesday):  Victimhood and government inefficiency have conspired to create a new form of synthetic growth…and blessedly, one that’s not too depending on resource.  Losernomics, indeed.

Like national Alzheimer’s, we have embarked on the financial version of a Long Good-bye.

Eyes on the Fed

We will get a sense of the economy this afternoon when the Fed releases the (misleadingly named) Consumer Credit report.  From their side of the table (they’re Creditors) but for America-at-large this is the “How deep a hole are we digging?” report.  More is good, less is bad…and that’s why we’re in the Long Good-bye.

Syria, OTOH, is Going Faster

Bye-bye’s and body counts time:  We keep waiting for the regional war in Syria to catch fire.  Not that Russia accusing the US of using white phosphorous ordnance isn ‘t fanning the flames of war.

The US is stepping up air strikes as we’re charging the Syrians are planning to use nerve gas next on rebel strongholdsGermany, which has seen its markets dropping of late, may be talked into getting involved…Anything for the DAXI, huh?

For now, this is a small shit-storm in an outhouse.  We expect it to grow to sewage treatment facility-size in the next week, or three.

Read the maps of the Leviathan oil and gas field off Lebanon, see how Russia wants a lock of European energy and things will begin to make sense because?  (*repeat after me!)

Everything’s a Business Model!!

War, particularly and especially.

Speaking of a Head….

CPI comes out Thursday.  Wednesday Producer Prices.  Bunch of talking Fedspeakers who will hype raising rates at their next meeting.

We’ll take a chill pill on this because when we hit Yahoo Finance and the 10-year Treasury Note (^TNX) looks to us like a rate hike’s a non-starter unless the 10-year heads over 3 percent.

Friday, sit-by and wait for retail sales figures…

Dubious Distractions

Loved these…anything to keep out of touch with the D2DS (day 2 day stuff):

Fishermen haul in monstrous skull and antlers of extinct Irish elk.  Umm…coral maybe?

CBS CEO Moonves resigns, company settles Shari Redstone, NAI lawsuit.  Didn’t matter last month who ran CBS…not sure why it matters now…

Human Rights Watch Warns of ‘Massive Crackdown’ on China’s Muslims.  Which may explain continuity of the Chinese culture over centuries, perhaps?

Correctness killed the eye-candy dept: New Miss America is glad she didn’t have to wear swimsuit to win.  Trying to pencil out the impact of all this genderism stuff on the future Playboy earnings is madness in today’s world.

And, if you’re thinking about buying us a little something as a thankyou for two decades of hard work on the web, how about this?  “Luxury cruise line Seabourn launches 146-day world cruise.”  We’ll pick up our own Internet charges…split the bar tab?

Bad Pun of the Day

Aston Martin adds FTSE experience to its board ahead of IPO.”

Poor show, this Aston stock IPO rubbish, old chap.  We say they should have stayed with Bonds….

As pun police surround the ranch, we threaten ‘Moron the ‘morrow…

21 thoughts on “Stormy Monday, Politicians Lie”

  1. And behind all of these stories are matters of purely “personal” interests. That’s how it’s been all thru history. ‘-). Taking care of one’s own affairs is still the best policy, IMHO.

  2. For me I like to compare the condition of the country when the president takes office versus when he leaves office.

    Obama took office on 1/20/2009 left on 1/20/2017. All reasonable adults can compare the economy on 1/2009 and 1/2017. You can accept the facts unless you have an axe to grind with Obama.

    Trump took office on 1/20/2017. Let’s wait and see the shape of the economy when he leaves office.

    • FDR took the reins after the collapse in 1929 – didn’t make him any less a socialist. Just a lucky socialist.

  3. George, Even now as you lambaste “congressional negligence” for “watering down our money” supply, nothing, dead silence, about Trump and the Republicans JUST increasing the national debt by another 10% for the Unfunded Tax Cuts.

    Hmm. I bet you didn’t go quite so quietly into that good night. You couldn’t help yourself, could you? Brutal honesty. Those fingers just typed it out on their own. It was all so cathartic. Calling out the Republicans for race baiting the Rubes to ruin all the economic progress we had finally made. Then you had to go back and delete it all. Ouch. Ha, ha.

    BTW, have I mentioned that Reagan nearly tripled the national debt? Best, Mike.

  4. There was a “Miss America” show this year? FMTT! I had no idea, and without the swimsuit(or less), there’s really no point in even knowing. The contest is supposed to be a BEAUTY contest, not a PC virtue signal.

    It’s fascinating that in America, we monetize everything including violence, gambling and the promise of sex, yet we refuse to legally monetize loving sex. That would be real value for value.

  5. Best column in a while. I concur with everything you said! Now, if I could only get you to admit were have a mind of a third grader as President…

  6. Losernomics?!? Why you can’t get ahead…
    The ONLY reason a person can’t ahead in MERICAH is due to LAZINESS. Every human being alive in the world today with a desire to work for $,wants to come to America.
    The “follks” already here expecting a hand up = assistance from Govt. and the elected officials encouraging this behavior (see Leftists) are the anchor around Mericahs throat.
    G – no mention of Senator John Kasic saying on live talk show “it’s been 24 hrs since John McCain was put to death”. Might want ask Warhammer about which crime under military code of justice calls for DEATH. Those were some pretty angery people speaking at the Traitors funeral, why so angry Hussein, Dubyah &Bubba and daughter Meghan. IMHO it would have been a great honor to have COMPLETED that particular mission….
    “Were we go one, we go all” -Q

  7. Anyone that thinks natural disasters are good for the economy should set off a hand grenade in their house. Let me know how that works out for you.

    • See Kellenberg and Mobarak, Yale, 2011 that says in part (to the point I was making…)
      Natural disasters also affect labor markets. Using a panel data set on floods across the United States, Sarmiento (2007) shows that on average, aggregate local employment falls by 3.4% following a flood event as workers flee the area. Income levels, however, increase following a disaster, according to Belasen & Polachek (2009). In their study of the impact of a hurricane in Florida on income in affected relative to indirectly affected counties, income grew by 4.35% in directly affected areas as a result of the decrease in the labor supply and the simultaneous increase in posthurricane labor demand, particularly in construction and building.
      That’s in a LOT of data, though none involving grenades which are usually political, not natural

      “Kahn (2005) also finds that richer nations suffer fewer deaths from natural disasters. Such nations are expected to be more capable of protecting against the devastating effects of natural disasters by designing and enforcing building codes, developing early warning systems, and providing effective and timely postdisaster emergency care and assistance. These predictions are confirmed by Kahn’s empirical results, as GDP per capita has a negative and significant effect on the number of people killed by natural disasters for most of the specifications reported. Escaleras & Register (2008), in a study of 146 earthquake-generated tsunamis between 1966 and 2004, similarly find that wealthier countries also suffer less from natural disasters because of the advanced technologies they employ to predict disaster events and to better disseminate warnings to the general public. .”

      • The Black Death that killed (by some estimates) 3/4’s or so of Europe was good for the economy too….if all you care about is money. I mean all sorts of jobs opened up for those few lucky enough to survive.

  8. “The Golden Wave” is what they now call the tsunami from the Sumatra quake because of the money that flowed in and all that was rebuilt and improved.

  9. Ahhhh the weight of the world. I think snoop dog said it best, “Laid back (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind)”

    I dont know. Dont ya have any faith george? I mean the universe is such a vast thing…..

    I have been working for 2 weeks with bronchial pneumonia every day. Like 12’s.. Pretty much slept all day sunday.. watched a little football, but mostly slept. Im out here grabbing gears.. thinking about things. Tired…

    Going to see a friend and i will ask him what he thinks. I rememeber when he was a 15 year old punk skateboarder kid from down the road, from a broken home, who used to come crash on my couch back when i was like 26. because there was an all night drunken brawl at his house fueled by drugs and broken brains. Now he is a successful entrepreneur owns several buisness’s that are doing over a million a year each. 33 years old, now. Took a chance and well.. its paid dividends in his life.

    I once bet all i owned and my entire life on love. I got the shaft, lost everything i owned and it shattered my heart and soul into a million pieces.. But Im still here and its just stuff.

    Me thinks, im getting to damn old for this sh!t george. Dirty old camouflage hat from the tractor supply store and worn out levi jeans and romeo boots..

    I had several pretty girls appologosed to me today for nothing that they did wrong. I always find that peculiar.

    Well, i best go get some smokes and gas and not be late for my appointment… who knows what the world may bring tomorrow…

    No rest for the wicked.

    Catch ya on the flip side.

  10. Looserdoom, So right on the head, George. Your first thought family and values. Where the hell has that gone to? No one can wake up to why we have such a immoral society. Second point you made, the f’in meds. After I rant thankfully I can take my bp meds

  11. Dear Mr. Ure,

    Fasten our seatbelts? Does the Aston Martin “drive by wire”? One hopes it’s a bit more secure than the allegedly flawed Tesla S software update process. I had opportunity tonight during laundry time to peruse this past weekend’s pair of elected official auto crashes in Eastern Europe where a vehicle crossed the centerline in both cases. The PM of Abkhazia died Saturday in such an accident while returning from Syria. Sunday, the President of Moldova was injured in a similar accident while accompanying his mother home.

    The media coverage in Moldova appears partisan according to Russian, Romanian, or Western ownership respectively. The Romanians infer the government motorcade was a funeral procession. The Russians are blaming the CIA. One of the fascinating elements of the broadcast coverage is that the dashcam video of the Moldovan accident sequence came from the channel owned by an American billionaire with offspring ties to the Fed, Bilderberg group, and the WH.

    Perhaps Brussels is hoping for a Moldovan President’s first state visit to Athens to calm Poseidon after the poke in the eye religious pilgrimage to Mount Athos that was made last month? Female cats, songbirds and insects are permitted entry there. Human males require permission. Does Brussels speak “Limba Noastra”? Who knows, maybe Mr. Putin will extend invitation for a thirteenth visit to the Motherland?

    “Like sands through the hourglass…” this soap episode like our laundry is complete. Dealer, let the folding begin!

  12. Err, George–
    I believe that Losernomics was published in France about 5 years before the French Revolution. If memory serves, the title was something like, “Merde! Perdant-nomiques – La raison pour laquelle vous ne pouvez jamais reussir dans la vie.” Author “Georges C’est-a-toi” had practical chapters including “How to keep the pigs and chickens away from the Rentier Class,” “Home-brewing and Beaujolais for Beginners.” I hope your new book has practical suggestions as well.
    The other book also had chapters on sharpening guillotine blades and “How to Know When to Storm the Bastille.” Hopefully we won’t need that information in the next few years…

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