About those Personal Income Numbers

Not Everyone will be talking about the BoSox this morning, and since we don’t care about sports much (other than the sports of job-keeping and face-feeding), we wanted to gloss over all that baseball talk and get right to the nitty-gritty just out from the Bureau of Economic Amazement…except that ain’t happening until a week from tomorrow.

What’s more, some economic reports, which people actually read in order to figure who’s telling which version of economic truth will still be delayed in December.  The BEA schedule is over here, if you’re interested, but it bring up an interesting economic point.

If you had a government which has, oh, 83% of its workers around, don’tcha think the delays are a little, oh, you know, freaking absurd?  At the present “recovery rate” we may see ripples of our near-encounter with economic reality blubbering out into 2014.

Since we already know government can’t roll out software on schedule, and since they’re taking so long to play catch-up (which would never has been permitted in private industry), what say we make it three for three?

How about government spying on Google and Yahoo and putting a nail in the coffin of the arguments that “terrorism” (quick!  bow down and prostrate yourself before Authority) made ‘em do it.  The EU is planning payback…and you know what they say about payback is a…what?

The US, I’m becoming quite embarrassed to say, as lost its ever-loving mind.  And like they say, fish rot from the head.

Meantime, what we know about employment is from the Labor Department weeklies:

In the week ending October 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 340,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 350,000. The 4-week moving average was 356,250, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 348,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2 percent for the week ending October 19, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 19 was 2,881,000, an increase of 31,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 2,850,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,878,750, a decrease of 10,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 2,888,750.

And the waiting resumes around here for something we can sink our teeth into besides the typical month-end beat down on gold and silver, which ought to be along any old time.

Flooding in Central Texas (Updated)

We will update this morning’s outlook as the morning wears on toward our regular publishing time ( 8 AM’ish Central) but a few notes early on (4:30 AM ) since our part of Texas has some widespread power outages and momentous rains coming down.  6” in the past say here in the East Texas Outback.

Boy, did it ever rain overnight here.  We have now had 11-inches of rain since we got back from our travels last weekend and an amazing 10.5 inches of that fell overnight.

In fact, it’s starting to make the regional (overnight) news with stories like “Flash floods swamp cars, homes in Central Texas…”  Other reporting is available here.

Are there many economic stories to cover?  Well, yes…and no.

For one, the Social Security increase this year will be a lousy 1.5% and while this is going on, there’s a “bum’s rush” starting to try and convert the benefit basis to chained dollars, which would shrink benefits even further.

A little logic will show clearly what’s going on.

First, we assume that government would never raise a benefit without overwhelming public outage.  And even then – like bankster and Detroit bailouts – they simply hang up on the calls from back in the home district.

Secondly, they would never change something unless it would have some effect.

Which gets us to curtain #3:  It’s another screw-job in the wings.  Grab your ankles, they’ve gone death in Washington once again.

Oh, speaking of bailouts gone bad, Your Tax Dollars At Work lost $9.7 BILLION on the GM bailout?

It sure feels like having bailed Detroit, the screwing of Social Security beneficiaries is part of the plan to paper things over.  And no, 1.5% isn’t keeping up with the grocery bills, since hedonic adjustments to BLS numbers understate apples to apples grocer costs over time.

This an ultra-slow-motion screwing.  How slow?  Well, the late Senator Robert Byrd wrote about it in his “Bird’s Eye View” report back in May of 1978.

And things have only gotten more-so since. 35-years is a lot of slowly screwing the numbers around.  Unanswered is the question what the 1967 market basket survey would cost today with no adjustments – just item-for-item.

What Washington policymakers seem to forget, when they are trying to minimize the cost of Social Security, is that a) every dime that seniors make is spent somewhere, thus every dime given in Social Security is spent.  And b) everyone leaves life broke.

So the common sense of it is that by trying “to cheap” on Social Security, government is actually trying to put the brakes on a key segment of the economy.  Which is NOT how to end a recession, just thinking out loud.

Dow futures down 40 and gold down $7.80 at 4:37 AM…maybe someone else gets it?

More when it get some coffee…power’s still out… and…

45-minutes before the open, gold was down almost $15-bucks, and the Dow was about flat, but that sure smells of some taping painting, since the NASDAQ and S&P were down more.  A nickel on the side says down another 50 (or more) on the Dow today, but there’s no money on it. 

It’s just not a bad expectation in a country which seems to have lost its hustle, ability to put out hard work, oh, and lost its way at the same time.  Splendid!  Wucking funderful.

Constitution’s Going, Going, Gone…

…at least so the headlines keep hinting.  And about the only one to notice is Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who is now being critical of Eric Holder;s DOJ for arguing that an international treaty can trump the Constitution!

I can hardly wait to hear how my central government apologist liberal friends defend this one. Might as well turn every local cop into a Fed and be done with it, eh?  That’s the track and that’s the push, near as I can see it.  (But then again, I’ve been up all night, so don’t mind me…)

More after this…

No Change from Fed

Not that it came as any surprise (NoDoz, please) but the Fed left rates unchanged yesterday.  And from the sound of this, it’ll continue being print-to-win for many months to come:

To support continued progress toward maximum employment and price stability, the Committee today reaffirmed its view that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy will remain appropriate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends and the economic recovery strengthens. In particular, the Committee decided to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that this exceptionally low range for the federal funds rate will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored. In determining how long to maintain a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy, the Committee will also consider other information, including additional measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments. When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.

And yes, Janet Yellen voted for it, too.  Voting against it was…

…Esther L. George, who was concerned that the continued high level of monetary accommodation increased the risks of future economic and financial imbalances and, over time, could cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations.

But one vote doesn’t change anything, so look for easy money and we’ll deal with the blowback later.

Permanent Money Shuffles

Say:  If there’s no crisis pending, why did…

The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank announced on Thursday that their existing temporary bilateral liquidity swap arrangements are being converted to standing arrangements, that is, arrangements that will remain in place until further notice. 

The standing arrangements will constitute a network of bilateral swap lines among the six central banks. These arrangements allow for the provision of liquidity in each jurisdiction in any of the five currencies foreign to that jurisdiction, should the two central banks in a particular bilateral swap arrangement judge that market conditions warrant such action in one of their currencies.

The existing temporary swap arrangements have helped to ease strains in financial markets and mitigate their effects on economic conditions. The standing arrangements will continue to serve as a prudent liquidity backstop. 

Information on the actions taken by other central banks is available at the following websites:

Bank of Canada Leaving the Board

Bank of England Leaving the Board

Bank of Japan Leaving the Board

European Central Bank Leaving the Board

Swiss National Bank Leaving the Board

Just seems to me that either a) they just like to hold meetings and this seems like good policy OR there’s something out there that they’re getting ready for…

My bet would be the latter, but looks like collapse may be pushed back to fall 2014.

Five Years On…

…you’d thin that JP Morgan would have sorted out exactly what it got back in the 2008 Washington Mutual deal.  But, says this report over here, things are not going well.

Can you imagine buying something and then not opening the shopping bag for five years?

Is “Sorry” Enough?

Vice president Biden and HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius are both “sorry” for the Obamacare website debacle.  But the real questions (like who’s going to pay, how much, and so forth) are not being asked.

If this was retail software, it’s go back and you’d fight the bankcard charge, right?  With this one, we’re just tax-chattel and SOL.

Iran Oddsmaking

One of our more astute readers noticed that there was a post on one of the discussion/conspiracy sites about the high probability of Israel popping Iran this weekend in order to prevent then from getting The Bomb.  There were even something like 13-replies to the post, says our source.

But then it mysterious….POOF!…just disappeared.

So we have to sit back and wonder if the disappearing post means there really is something to it, or whether there was some kind of anti-Semitic tripwire crossed?  We ought to know next Monday/Tuesday for this moonlight-night-fighting cycle.  But we’re keeping an eye on everything that moves and will have more for subscribers in Peoplenomics Saturday.  Updates over the weekend, too, on the UrbanSurvival side, if warranted, too.

This morning, the Iranian state media service is going on about US drone statistics in Pakistan and how Israel is now pushing for another 3,500 settlement homes.

Bitter Divorce

OK, lots of us have been through one of these, but the NY Post has an article this morning about a dude to threw away half a million in gold – into a dumpster – to keep the EX from getting it.

So here’s the deal:  If you EVER want to throw out gold, just drop me an email and I’ll arrange for its shipping to our little place in the Outback.  Please!