Why, you’re wondering? 

Well, except for Orange Juice futures (up 0.88%) there’s little of interest going on publicly today.  A few bond numbers, but this week’s news will have to come with a data event like retail sales and import prices, but we’ll have to wait until Wednesday for those.

Instead, how about we talk about the weather? 

Spring turned fierce here in Tornado Alley overnight with twister touch-downs suspected in Van, Texas and in Nashville, Tennessee

Two dead in Arkansas and winter is back in parts of Colorado, too.

But the real story ‘round these parts isn’t that thunder (and tarnation) keep us up all night.  What really matters is the rain.  As of midnight, Tyler, Texas was reporting 29-inches of rain for the year to date.  By contrast Boeing Field in Seattle was stuck at 12.83 inches.

Even New Orleans, which one reader reminds us is generally a 60” of annual rainfall place, has just 20-inches year-to-date. 

But, meantime in the drought out West, the bottled water business continues to grow in California, although in fairness, Starbucks is planning to shut down its Ethos bottling operation in California.

O’s Summit Sours

Several of the biggies in the Middle East will not be showing up for presidential summit talks at Camp David.

I don’t want to be the one to break the news to the WH or State, but people in the middle of wars don’t wander off to ‘Merica for a long weekend – just not done.

Meantime, there’s talk in Israel that the Jewish state might back-stop the Saudis in a showdown with Iran.   The article, of course, doesn’t come right out with “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” but it seems to be where events are heading.  (Am I the only one reaching for the ViseGrips?)

Jade Jitters

I can’t help but notice the foreign financial press has now jumped on the Jade Helm is not a takeover of Texas story.

I have 100% confidence that the state flag will still be flying in the capitol when this is all done and over with.  The only question is about the price point.

Invasion from Mexico and mass relocation programs when California drinks its last drop are alternative realities.

Does Your Boss Love You?

Unless you’re in Nice, France, thanks to a Chinese CEO saying thank-you to his workers, the answer is maybe not.

Can you even in your wildest imaginings think a US publicly-traded company would share so generously?  No way.

Which is why China is kicking our butts in so many ways:  Government that talks more or less non-stop about harmony.  And bosses that actually demonstrate concern for their workers.

We used to be that place…but it has been fading since the New Deal.

The Real News…

…is that the Federal Reserve is about to be reined in by bi-partisan legislation which would prevent so-called backdoor bailouts of corporations.

The bill, which could be introduced in the Senate as early as tomorrow, would take away assurances of federal bailout dough.  Problem is, if you tell someone you “have their backs” if they collapse a company, what’s to keep managements from playing a little “faster and looser” than they would if it was purely their money at risk?

Note the bill is being co-sponsored by Elizabeth Warren….which gets me to:

Hill’s Brothers

Not the coffee:  That lady who’s got the budget to buy the White House – called old, rich, and white by one campaign opponent – now has a new problem.

The NY Times glommed-on to Tony Rodham’s career and is drawing some unwanted attention.

The Trouble With Robots

We’ve been hollering for all we’re worth (which isn’t much, by the way) about the dangers ahead as more software and robots come down the path, threatening to replace most workers and collapse the economy along the way.

Well, maybe not so fast, Bucko.

Seems that since September, four of 50 driverless cars in California have been in accidents, which is statistically worse than humans

Under the California testing law, there still has to be a human  behind the wheel so in fairness to the robots, only two were under control of the robots at the time.  But it’s still enough to shake our confidence in robotic vehicles taking over all transportation in the next 20-minutes.

Proof of the Roaring Teens

Meantime, my postulate that we’re in the financial-historical rhyme with the fall of 1927 continues to bear fruit.

Latest evidence of a rerun in present day of the pre-Depression Roaring Twenties is suggested when a Picasso painting could fetch north of $142-million.

Some of the people, all of the time…

Which gets us to our reading recommendations for the week: