Ten Questions That Really Matter Before Labor Day

1. Does Dorian Jump?

That is the big questions everyone in Florida is asking.  Here’s the latest projection for our cone-heads:

Elaine and I have cancelled plans to go wind surfing Lake Okachobee this weekend.  Gotta slow down when you get older,.. you know…we’ll leave those kind of things to the “Likes-deficient” on FB.

As you can see, there’s better than doped-horse odds that some remnants will make it into the Gulf of Mexico.  What’s not clear are the two follow-ons:  Will the storm reconstitute itself, thus becoming a “double ‘cane” or will it remain in tropical storm country?  Once that’s answered, the follow-up question is “Where will it come ashore.”

Skip the mind-numbing reportage on this and skip over to the Dorian alerts at https://nhc.noaa.gov and save putting up with a ba-zillion commercials between pictures of falling palm fronds…

Hurrican Trivia

Since it’s cloudy in most of Florida, or will be shortly, here’s a Wiki-snippy explaining “Dorian Gray” for our aspiring to be bright readers:

Dorian Gray syndrome (DGS) denotes a cultural and societal phenomenon characterized by a man’s extreme pride in his personal appearance and the fitness of his physique, which is accompanied by difficulties in coping with the requirements of psychological maturation and with the aging of his body.

The DGS is characterized by a triad of symptoms that overlap, and so combine diagnostic signs of dysmorphophobia, narcissistic character traits, and the immaturity of arrested development, which often are found in paraphilias.[1]

To preserve ephemeral youth, the man afflicted with DGS tends to consume cosmetic products and services, hair-restoration procedures, anti-impotence drugs, and cosmetic surgery; hence, he might resist the psychosomatic and psychodynamic explanations of the syndrome.[2] The term “Dorian Gray syndrome” refers to the protagonist of the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), an exceptionally handsome man whose hedonism and excessive self-love proved detrimental to the personal, social, and emotional aspects of his life, and who sought to escape the ravages of time and his own decadent lifestyle by having a supernatural portrait of himself age in his place.”

OK, so now that we know this, and since it’s about to get “Dorian Gray” in Florida, is there, you know, some kind of message in the NOAA naming conventions we’re missing?  Like all those future predictions that were packages in 15-times Simpsons episodes naioled future?  (Pre-roll to 1:21 to skip the lead-in crap…)

Next name up is Erin – should Ireland worry?  That’d be too freaky…where were we?

2. What’s the Personal Income Data?

That press release was just popped out of the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Today, let’s just roll with the picture and I’ll tell you how the decoder ring works:

Income is Blue, Spending is Red.

When the red one’s higher, consumer is dead.

They just can’t figure it out without help.  (I should have written Burma-Shave signs.)

3. Is the Stock Market in “Blow-Off Mode like ’29?”

Here’s our chart using an Aggregate of Multiple US markets in order to reflect the breadth of the economy “back then” and compare it with “tech-heavy” times now:

And, to keep the game of musical collapse going a bit longer, the latest Federal Reserve M1 money creation data puts the print rate at an even 10% annualized (see Money Stocks, H.6, Table 2 summary, 13 weeks ended August 19th here).

Why is the market going up?

Well, if the GDP is really going up (cough, ahem…) 4.6% (*claims this govt page) and CPI is going up ” Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.”  Then a genius in the East Texas Outback can estimate the correct rate of money supply growth ought to be what?  (4.6 +1.8 =) 6.4%.

Of course the money supply growth (even at M2) is Year-On-Year increasing at an 8.3% rate (latest 90-day window) which leaves almost 2% to drive up the stock market and the price of gold and….well, you know this.

BTW, see which BTCs were down to $9,600’ish?  Are people figuring out they have no intrinsic value other than not being copyable?  I have used toilet paper with the same virtue…

4. What’s the latest on the Trade War?

Well, supposedly talks will resume this coming Thursday at a ‘different level’ – but we don’t know whether that’s a higher or lower level.

But, our skepticism yesterday on the CNBC hyped-story about “calm talks” rhetoric may not have been misplaced.  Especially if you take the time to read a report in The Week (magazine) under the headline “Trump made up those ‘high-level’ Chinese trade-talk calls to boost markets, aides admit...”

So if Trump manipulates the market up, and I’m in a short position, is he liable for my losses if he’s not telling the whole truth and nothing but?  Hypothetical but an interesting, question…

And Trump’s HR problems are about to get goosed into headlines by the clown posse of socialists vying to take down America from the top as “Trump’s Personal Assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, Steps Down.”  If you hurry, there’s maybe a half-hour left before his staff becomes a major issue.

Along with the economic decline to come...When Warren Buffett holds mega-bucks ($122-billion quals as mega)  in cash, we tend to pay attention.  Spare a brother a new house?

Just to help in scaling that in your cerebral cortex projection room, that’s more than half of the annual GDP of New Zealand ($205B last year).  Four bedroom rambler with a pool in a low property tax setting would be fine…

5. Is Trump Trade Screwing Farmers?

One of the answers to this will be issued this afternoon (2 PM Central) when new farm price data comes out.  But, it’s been a tough year to be a farmer.

As you may know, it has been a bear of a year weather-wise.  No tying that tin-can on Trump, either.  As Bob Streit writes over at Farm-News, what will matter for millions of acres is how September rolls out.  If Ma Nature pushes in adequate moisture, might not be too bad (if temps remain up), but low temps and a lack of rain this coming month and all bets are off.

6. Is Trade Through American Ports Collapsing?

Reader Andy busted my chops earlier this week for not talking enough about hard port data.  He was concerned with a -9.8% move in exports out of Long Beach.

This is, as I explained in an email to him, you can’t look at one month, nor can you look at just one west coast port.  Like in the airline business, you have to think in terms of city-airs.  Los Angeles – Long Beach, San Francisco-Oakland, and Seattle-Tacoma.  Here’s how they’re stacking up:

  • Los Angeles Y0Y (year-on-year…you sure you should be reading this grown up stuff?)  is showing exports up 8.73% while exports are -3.96%.
  • Long Beach imports are down 4.8% and their exports are down 9.8% YoY.
  • Port of Oakland has gone a bit silly on “phone-face” oriented stats – unless you want to spend hours with a 2018 spreadsheet and manually entering data, YoY data is MIA but have at it yourself over here.
  • Seattle-Tacoma is calling itself the “Northwest Seaport Alliance” (for God-knows-what reason) at least has readable stats:  YoY change on loaded exports is down 3.7% while loaded inbound is up 2.4%

Remember when you are reading these things that…

Rather than get too excited about “trade war” impacts, we have to look at this stuff with a jaundiced eye:  Electronics keep getting smaller (and higher priced) and a lot of old, heavy things *(5,200 rpm 2-TB hard drives) are being replaced with light (1TB SSDs).  Might not seem like a big deal, but it is in statistics.  Needless to say, UHD sales are holding, but with Retina and better screens, people are streaming everywhere so the bloom may be off that “heavy iron” for the living room.  Hand the kids a phone and tell ’em to get lost.

Oh, one other thing (or three):  We don’t know what impact the Max grounding has on exports, but doesn’t Boeing sell parts?  Also, remember that clever (Asian) traders can possibly work-around tariffs:  Ship into a Canadian or Mexican port, then reship into the US.  As a result, we don’t lose too much sleep over trade.

If you insist, though, the internal cargo is holding up as you can read in the Association of American Railroads summary cargo stats with the latest snapshot being the August 24th report:

“For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 532,483 carloads and intermodal units, down 5.9 percent compared with the same week last year.

Total carloads for the week ending August 24 were 261,031 carloads, down 5.3 percent compared with the same week in 2018, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 271,452 containers and trailers, down 6.5 percent compared to 2018.

Four of the 10 carload commodity groups posted an increase compared with the same week in 2018. They included miscellaneous carloads, up 961 carloads, to 10,973; petroleum and petroleum products, up 888 carloads, to 12,212; and motor vehicles and parts, up 609 carloads, to 17,422. Commodity groups that posted decreases compared with the same week in 2018 included coal, down 10,166 carloads, to 81,319; metallic ores and metals, down 4,003 carloads, to 21,435; and forest products, down 1,093 carloads, to 9,743.

Again, notice where the decline is:  Commodity groups…and that may speak more to the Chinese economy slowing its growth rate and maybe the farm picture ripple-through.  We shall see as the fall wears on…

7. How Much is Gas Costing?

Depends where you gas up.  Triple A (Fuel Gauge Report) calls it $2.58 a gallon nationally to regular.  GasBuddy.com says the cheapest gas in Texas today is a buck-89 in McAllen – which is 482-miles away from us – we’d have to fill up somewhere else along the way…so we’ll just pass…I can have gas at home….er…

8. Still Think There’s an Indo-Pak War Ahead?

Get thee over to the Gulf News website and watch the “Video: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan leads nationwide protests over Kashmir” and figure it out for yourself.

Not a big enough hint?  Try Nature.com rolling with “India–Pakistan nuclear escalation: where could it lead? India says its ‘no first use’ nuclear policy could change. Nature examines what that means for the country’s fraught relationship with Pakistan.

Spoiler alert:  Flash goggles.

9. What’s Labor Day About?

If you’re bright enough to read UrbanSurvival, you probably could wiki it yourself:

” It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the development, growth, endurance, strength, security, prosperity, productivity, laws, sustainability, persistence, structure, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday.”

On the other hand, what you may not have time for is to root out the Labor Department stats on union membership (from January of this year) which is where you can read how unions are really faring…

Help on the interp?  Sure…

From 2017 through 2018, total union representation was down 2-10ths of one percent.  Down 2-10ths under 24 and 3-10ths over.  Interestingly, seniors (over 65) union membership rose.

Thing that has something to do with employers screwing older workers out of things like, oh, benefits and such?  We tend to think along those lines…  More for the folks in the loge seats tomorrow (Peoplenomics.com).

On that note, have a spendiforous shopping spree and thank the Retail Clerks for working this weekend.

10, What’s for Breakfast?

Off to corral some calories and work on PN for tomorrow…With Dow Futures +146, the real question is who’s got the balls to stay long over a holiday weekend? US markets are closed Monday…then next on Nov. 28 for the turkey…  Corned beef hash and three eggs over easy sound OK?

Send a link to this page to everyone you know to help get ’em in the mood to labor again next week…

Write when you get rich,


45 thoughts on “Ten Questions That Really Matter Before Labor Day”

    • Simpson’s cartoons dont “predict” the future silly. Its called “front loading”. Kill your TV!!!!!

      They are using your subconscious to manifest reality!!!!

      Eveyone knows, “we create our own reality”.

      Tele-pathy = tele empathy.

      Dont ya know??? The eyes are the windows of the soul!!!

      “When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
      That split the night
      And touched the sound of silence”

  1. Yo Elmer – still beating that dead horse I see..lovely. No intrinsic value..really? I would be willing to take any & all of your BTC’s at current price for CASH- cept U dont have any, at any price.So here we go again ..”Paper Bet”. I’ll take BTC’s at current price for $10,000 =1.04 BTC, U can have Gold at $1526/oz = 6.53oz. Personally I would invest in Silver before Gold as the % gains should be greater..Silver @18.43/oz or 542.50 oz per $10k.Or U name the investment for $10k.
    3 Months/90days says here BTC’s will be the BIG winner.

    No Intrinsic Value..spread Ure FUDd all day everyday, still can’t stop this “train”. As the G.D. said in CaseyJones..train hundred and two, is on the wrong wrong track and headed for U..
    BTC’s will be on the main track soonly..

    • Its called Quantitative easing!!!!!!

      Bitcoin and other Alt coins are Quantitative easing, cupcake!!!

      Quantitove Easing: The introduction of new money into the money supply by a central bank.

      NEW MONEY. —-> Bitcoin, Ethereum et. Etc. Etc.

      Doesnt matter the shape or form for Christs sake!!!

      • They cant fricken run negative 5 to 10% interest rates or it would create a stampede!!!!!! We are still contacting faster than light speed. So they introduce an alternative to prop up the Jenga game!

        This stuff isnt rocket science.


      • I know this guy that has a really good deal on some beach front property in Arizona! The veiw is amazing! You can actually see Japan with the naked eye. hmu, if your interested.

      • “Its called Quantitative easing!!!!!!”

        Gee Andy..

        And here I thought it was called…..

        ” Oh shizts here we go again down th he drain”

  2. You wrote…“Trump’s Personal Assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, Steps Down.” If you hurry, there’s maybe a half-hour left before his staff becomes a major issue.”

    Well, it is an issue. None of his original staff is left from January 20, 2017…63 people have left or were fired since the first day of his Presidency…unless you count Kellyanne Conway. And that is an interesting one. Her husband is Trumps Loudest and most voracious critic. Every single day…sometimes 4-5 times George Conway is tweeting stuff. His latest…

    One of Trump’s lawyers once told me that Trump could never be allowed to talk to Mueller’s team because Trump would “lie his ass off.” For the most part, Trump is virtually incapable of the truth.

    This isn’t Trump bashing…This is repeating what was said. Read excerpts from Mattis’s New book…listen to what Scaramucci is saying, what Rex Tillerson has said, John Kelly had some terse words as well, and many more to come. Mattis told reporters that he won’t pull his punches forever. “There is a period in which I owe my silence,” he says. “It’s not eternal.” So after Trump leaves office?

    Even the Simpsons episode where Lisa was President, cleaning up the mess of Donald Trump…even way back then, Trump was known as a loser and loose cannon. They were making fun of Trump way before he even thought of running because that was a completely far-fetched idea. He was a real life Biff Tannen from Back to the Future. Notice how Biff Tannen looks a lot like the present day Donald Trump? When did society go from Trump the Clown and butt of jokes to Trump as POTUS?

    What is in the water in Trump territory?

      • Neil Cavuto at Fox finally said something I wish all reporters would say.

        …”First of all, Mr. President, we don’t work for you. I don’t work for you,” he said on Thursday. “My job is to cover you, not fawn over you or rip you. Just report on you ? call balls and strikes on you.”

        Both Fox News and Fox Business feature numerous opinion shows where hosts routinely shower Trump with praise. But the networks also have news operations that report on his plunging poll numbers, his failure to keep campaign promises and his many lies.

        Cavuto shared some of those falsehoods on Thursday:

        “I’m not the one who said tariffs are a wonderful thing. You are. Just like I’m not the one who said Mexico would pay for the wall. You did. Just like I’m not the one who claimed that Russia didn’t meddle in the 2016 election. You did. I’m sorry if you don’t like these facts being brought up, but they are not fake because I did. What would be fake is if I never did.”

        Then, Cavuto told Trump that he was not going to get a free pass in the network’s news coverage.

        “Hard as it is to fathom, Mr. President, just because you’re the leader of the free world doesn’t entitle you to a free pass,” he said. “Unfortunately, just a free press.”

      • I’ll let this slide, as a one-time code, but please notice we don’t cite as source ANYTHING with a “reporter name” on it.

        Ergo, no Blitzer, no Cuomo, No Ingram, no Cavuto. No King, No anyone.

        Please observe that opinions are like butts and their take is no better than anyone else’s.

        Reporters listening to reporters is part of the runaway circular feedback that killed data based news.

      • @ Mark

        If President Trump…is all you say he is…since YOU are over 35 years old and a US citizen…why not run against him in 2020….ALL the points you make HERE could be included in your platform….and YOU are certainly adapt enough to make YOUR points clear..REPEATABLY….so why not ‘throw your hat in the ring’…and REALLY do something that according to YOU would benefit the ‘masses’….and REMOVE the ‘mentally unstable deity’…that seems to ‘unhinge’ you….into senseless retorts…again and again…as the old say goes….” put up or shad’up”….Voting in 2020…maybe for you

      • Yes it does Andy! It really does. I will evangelize this subject until I start to see more buy in to this truth. And George’s comment about news reporters…Cavuto is just stating facts. He is repeating the words of a President and correctly adding that he is not being truthful.

      • No. Facts are things like numbers, polling data, convictions, and so forth
        Cavuto is judge another self-appointed jury. If you have or offer an opinion, you’re not a reporter.
        Try to remember that.

      • Mark, we do NOT need you to bull doze us with your politics! We do NOT need you to: “evangelize this subject until I start to see more buy in to this truth.” We would like you to STFU unless you get out there and run for Congress or the Senate with all your wealth AND put your money, mouth, family, AND all your assets on the line for your country!

      • I’d pop $100 as an out of state contribution if Mark runs for office. Way I figure it, in relative terms, he’d be labeled the hating, right-way nut job even though he’s liberal in the left of center metrix. Then he’d perhaps really change. Remember the old saying: A Conservative is a Liberal who’s spent a night in jail…

    • Thanks for posting, mark. For a couple of years I wanted so much for Trump to get it together and accomplish something, anything he had promised. But for the last six months or so I have had to admit that the man is genuinely mentally ill. Rationality simply does not enter into what he says or does. And just the other day I read an article by a psychiatrist with no ax to grind, simply that he was concerned that this is a person that really needs help.

      On the bright side, look at it this way. A mentally ill president governing a country of mentally ill people. A perfect match, what could go wrong? Reminds me of being a kid on the ranch. When we had a visitor that had never ridden a horse before, my dad would explain that we had a horse that had never been ridden before and that they would make a perfect match!

      And for those of you that don’t think you belong in the above category, why in the heck are you putting up with what you do, on a daily basis, from the rest of them?

      • unfortunately I don’t think he can accomplish much.. he has a congress that is pushing for the puppeteers.. and they have been very successful in accomplishing their goal of stalling any progress that he could have brought and discrediting him with other world leaders..( who by the way are under the same thumbs that DJT is) .. even with all that.. he has done more than any president in my lifetime..
        If I was him I wouldn’t put my family through any more of this punishment by mainstream media.. I would have caved a long time ago.. no one wants the changes that are needed.
        Its better to go with Bernie .. which is the absolute opposite of what they want as well.. that would take as much power and profit from them as making less profits through tariffs and bringing manufacturing home…

      • “But for the last six months or so I have had to admit that the man is genuinely mentally ill. ”

        No I don’t think he is mentally ill..

        He is trapped…

        I have seen it a thousand times.. even in myself.. he is a man of power .. in the past people came to him for everything.. donations .. advice.. the puppeteers have been very successful in their endeavors and he is now a man trapped in the gilded cage..
        He knows it to.. and is doing everything he can to try and gain control again.. but insane.. nope.. he may be narcissistic and vain but he isn’t crazy he just doesn’t know who he can trust.. he has been able to flash out at people before in the past to gain control and is using the same means now.. but it isn’t working.. He isnt’ sure who he can trust.. so he is getting rid of anyone that he thinks is bought out by the puppeteers ..

        I believe that the movie the game is based on the book the trial by kafka.. or the christmas carol.. anyway there are a lot of plot similarities..

  3. George, So what exactly is wrong with a man taking care of is body by staying physically fit and wanting to look good? Also, I see Mark is still on his Trump bashing. I thought you were going to put an end to his hate spewing?

    • Hi Ray… I did make the mistake of mentioning Trump…
      Where did I say something bad about keeping in shape? (I mean my corned beefs and eggs over easy?)

      • George,

        Just finished hurricane prep… This 63 year can still out perform those 40 something retirees. To preserve ephemeral youth, stay fit… face cream and hair restoration won’t help you carry a 100 lbs of tarp up a shaky ladder.

        Ever read Red Storm Rising, we’re third string baby!

        Unfortunately, that damn arrested adolescence thing keeps getting in the way.

      • lol. 100 pounds of tarps? When you his 70, young stud, you learn to make 2 trips.

        better? Buy an airplane ticket and head out on vacation as soon as the storm is named.

        More seriously, we are screwed and the commies going Lite and feeding converts like AoC and Bernie is just sickening.

      • PS. Sorry I’ve gone anti-Trump on you. It’s all a setup… blame Matt Groening, The Simpsons, Jeffrey Epstein, and William Barr… Comey should be in jail.

      • We are all in jail, as Mic down in Excusador reminds me. Notwithstanding, Elaine and I are kicking around a week in one of his rentals this year or next…just to check it out, mind you.

      • Sadly George, I’m down to two hours of vacation… it’s been a rough year. But I hear ya on going in style when you’re on vacation… October is just around the bend though, chilling out someplace ostentatiously Trumpish and being catered to sounds like a plan.

      • I use to love reading clancy books.. G.A Stewart.. then he had a few that just seemed like every other page had a recipe in it.. I was so hungry I quit reading the books LOL

    • Ray, i dont know how old i am. I dont know how to act my age. Lol. I dont see many guys at any age, let alone my age doing sets of 10 reps on wide spread cable flys with 135lbs on each side. Thats 4 sets of 270 lbs 10 X each set.

      Im just a shade under 50. I dont care about pride. Fack pride! I just like being strong.

      I cant help it if I do bring a bunch handsome Urban Survival. Hahahhahhahahhahahhah!


    • Ray I did not bash Trump. I told the truth about stuff he said and what other people far smarter than us said about him. That’s not bashing. That’s called reporting

      • I have to admit Mark..
        I am beginning to understand where you are coming from and you do make a point I commend you for that..not to many of money think that way.. ..And yes they should be increasing taxes on the wealthy even the divide between the rich and the poor by reducing the taxes is only going to dig the hole deeper and you cannot take anymore from the poor…. they should be doing something about the run away rent and costs of basic necessities. Bring back regulations. ..
        but in all the countries that have gone that way liberally the people become slaves to the system and evil leaders get put in place…
        but I do see your point..
        there shouldn’t be any reason why someone in San fran should be paying millions in housing costs and living in their cars.. I shouldn’t have to be concerned over whether or not bankruptcy is an option for going to a clinic over a strep throat..


        I still think DJT has the right idea.. decrease the amount of profits for major companies that outsource production through tariffs.. give tax breaks for companies that hire and produce in the USA.. bring a little pride back to the working public.
        but seriously if you do have so much money and it is driving you insane that you need to give some of it away.
        Rather than higher taxes that you wish for you could just mail some out to the catfish on the site..
        please if you do this use plain paper packaging..
        I sure don’t want to draw any attention to it in the mail.. the other thing is fifties and hundreds are not acceptable around here.. so smaller bills.. companies won’t accept a fifty or hundred.. and thank you from the bottom of my heart..

        By the way I was Just kidding.. ( well maybe not if you really want to give some of that moldy money you keep buried in the back yard away.. but then I would say go down and give some of these kids with free rent that are making the poverty wages of a quarter million in San Fran rather than pay higher taxes or better yet.. someone working at a fast food restaurant a single mother etc. that are truly needing the help.. I could go on….. I would feel so much better if you did that and they would definitely be grateful.. you know you did right when you see the tear of gratitude..)
        But If it really bothers you do do that and you do send out a plain wrapper bag of cash I will make sure that someone deserving gets it its just how I am..I live comfortable it doesn’t hurt me to share what little I have with someone that truly needs a hand up….


  4. Cyrptos Herah..get your ice cold Cyrptos here..get em while their Chillin like Villians. Dam shame Uall can’t see the forest thru the trees – there will be regulations and then widemass adoption. No Cental Banks have not caught up to Bitcoin, and probably never will. CB’s are a1 trick pony, all they understand MMT – just keep adding ZEROS baby.
    Can we at least fathom Negative Interest as being rocket fuel for Gold? No Yield is obviously better than Negative Yield…whatever the heck Negative Yield is..

    And so – A precious metals streaming company like FNV or WPM pays a quarterly dividend(cash or reinvest) which is obviously a positive Yield..plus U get a ride on the Precious Metals price rising..like shooting fish in a wooden barrel. The coot has been doing some serious “shotgun fishing” recently..doubleO buckshot does a fine job – just blows em all to pieces.
    Beware the “dust that floats high in September, when movin thru Kashmir”
    Still think Hamas and friends will have something to say about new glass factory coming to desert in the M.E. before the Kashmir “flash” I wonder if the coot can find any “action” on that ? Know any wild eyed bookies?

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