Are you “ahead of the news” or are you “behind it?”

On trade, there are always Alt-Sources of supply…so why is the media getting yet-another story wrong?  China is convenient but not irreplaceable.  Think Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, Brazil…cheap labor is everywhere!

It’s not a trivial question.  There’s a tremendous sense of confusion that comes from failure to comprehend “the news.”  Particularly, when the mainstream media largely “gets it wrong” and has (sadly, predictably) what amounts to a “lobbying arm” of the People’s Republic of China.

First Some Basics:

The news you take in is often up to a day out of phase with reality.

Simple example today would be the Drudge Report headlines.  All about ‘woe is trade’ and all that.  One headline in particular that can mislead a novice investor:  “DOW -617.”

Don’t get me wrong, I mean Matt Drudge is a good guy and all, but that is only loosely “news.”  Anyone with significant skin in the game knew that number 14-hours ago.  In a sense, that’s history.   Because at the same time that headline was running today, Dow futures were up 150 and S&P futures were up 20.

BTW, here’s today’s NFIB press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 14, 2019) — Optimism among small business owners continued its steady climb in April, with the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increasing 1.7 points to 103.5. Sales improved in April, the inventory soft spot seen in last month’s report rebounded, and profit trends posted a very solid advance. Job creation plans gained, hiring remained strong, and expectations for sales, business conditions, and credit conditions all improved.

End of the freakin’ world?  Uh…not presactly…

Just out from Labor:

U.S. import prices advanced 0.2 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, after increasing 0.6 percent in March. The April advance was driven by higher fuel prices, which more than offset decreasing prices for nonfuel imports. Prices for U.S. exports rose 0.2 percent in April after a 0.6-percent rise in March.

import prices little changed

Some Background May Help

When I was young, my family subscribed to the Seattle Times.  Most of the news at city hall was done by noon so in the afternoon edition, there was 80% of local happenings.

Then along came television.  Ah.  They needed to get their film “to the lab” by 3:30 PM in order to give editors time to get something for the early show.  Even then, however, you could see “the gap” between local Event X and when it showed up on television or in the paper.

ENG – electronic news gathering – “Here live at the scene of the yada yada…” started its ascent in about 1975.  In many ways, “The News to Real-Time Gap” was closing.

It closed more with the advent of citizen newsing on the Internet via YouTube. and Vimeo with distro’s (alerts) going out on FB and Twitter.  Thing is, many sites are still human-parsed and that causes a time-delay.  Even our auto news parser over at https://computationalfuture.com has up to 15-minutes of delay due to the refresh sequencing as it collects RSS data – another gap-closer.

The second key fact:  Not everyone’s living in the “same time.”

  • Ure (and likely you) live from present to future; designing our inputs accordingly.  We don’t so much invest as gamble on probabilistic future outcomes.  To us, the future is a floating crap game and we’re addicts.
  • “Regular” people live on a delayed-basis of up to 24-hours.  (They may come up to the present for a big event like the WTC  [omg omg live live did you see that???], for example, but mostly they are 24-hour laggards. OK, except Oscars night or when a dress falls off…)
  • “Slow people” get around to news over time.  Maybe.  This is the low-stress path and makes sense because unless you have money in the game, you can’t impact much of anything.

People I hang with live anywhere from 1-minute to 2-days into the immediate future.  We’re future trading.  That is, when the Drudge headline was touting the China trade talks failing, those of us who play markets seriously already had seen (and factored in) not only the futures pricing the market up 150 points, but also before closing yesterday were tossing a dart toward this afternoon when a 200+ point rise is possible.  You getting how this works?

I’ve become very fond of using Bayesian News Analytics of late.  Essentially, Thomas Bayes “invented” conditional probabilities theory and since there are so many “If this, then that” pairs in financial news, it can be a real leg up on regular slow-newsers.

Most people live in a kind of rolling near-term history. Which is fine because most times it’s a lower stress way to live.  But, it also gives too much time for the “useful idiots in the newsroom” to get things terribly wrong.

A couple of this morning’s headlines to illustrate:

“FARMERS FEEL PAIN.”  Well, no, likely not so much.  Reason?  There are still 7.6 billion people in the world and they all like eat.  That demand ain’t going anywhere.  Farmers can be uptight for now, but eventually, everyone wants to eat.  Farmer’s real concern (growing trees in the Outback as we do) is getting crops in for all the damn cold and rain.  (The climate hoax.)

Rather than get whipped up by the “useful idiots in the news room” (UIITNR) try Ag Professional which covers “Planting Delayed? Here Are Your Prevent Plant Options.

Or, try TalkBusiness with their “Significant planting woes plague Arkansas farmers, especially those planting corn.”  My, how China trade hype keeps the cooling (and resultant rains) off the front page, huh?

Apple woes from China trade?  What a wonderful way to blame Trump for what we’ve told you would be along on its own (regardless of trade hype) anyway:  The phone world is super-saturated.  (Lately, we’ve beenb using our Kindle instead of the cell…)

Reality?  Despite all the “woe is me” from the China-hype-lobbying US mainstream, the reality is you can still get a 55″ UHD TV for under $300 bucks – which is still amazingly cheap.  How many do you want?  Free shipping…

I could go on, but when you read some of the hysterical coverage about “trade this” and “trade that” remember there are Alt-Sources and China doesn’t want to see that big-bad straw-man fail.  Lest they be found out to be a “paper tiger.”

Which doesn’t mean we can’t get paper cuts, of course.  Useful Bloomberg story in Inside the Close Naval Encounters in the South China Sea.

But, China needs those three-square, too and oh, quick, look surprised:  China says U.S. has agreed to keep talking over trade war. CBS, meantime, sees to be parroting China’s interests in ““Farmers are the ones that are taking it on the jaw.”

Remember where you heard it: Everyone needs to eat...We might make lunch money today, after all.

But ha e you noticed how stories all put Trump on the defensive?  Example from Reuters today with emphasis added:  “Trump defends China trade negotiations, says U.S. ‘in much better position’.”  Defends? from WHO?  “Explains” might be a less “basing” word choice.  Seeing how this works?

The Broader Context

…is Resource Depletion.  An unlikely source (Irish Tech News) offers “Resource-Light Business Models Are On The Rise.

Odds are no other media will point out The State of Manufacturing 2019: Thriving Manufacturers Must Do More with Less…

EU court: employers must measure working time in detail; which means maybe less social media time on the employer’s dime?

Progress.org suggests “Resource Taxation as an Alternative Method for Diversifying the Revenue of Developing Countries.”  Which we figure is wrong, since all “taxes” are simple theft that has been slowed-down, wrapped in officialdom, and smeared with lipstick before a greedy mob with the intent of screwing legal owners.

It’s why things like allodial title no longer exists.  Fee simple property still means government can steal it if you stop paying them off – which is what property taxes are at their core:  A shakedown wrapped in officialdom and smeared with lipstick before the angry mob.  (You know this already, we’re sure.)

Whenever you read the word “tax” substitute the word “theft” or “steal” and you’ll get to the heart of things.

But you get the idea.  That’s why Iran is so interesting.  OK, besides the editorial stance of the NY Times which (rather self-importantly) suggests “It’s Time for Saudi Arabia’s and Iran’s Leaders to Talk” which gets it wrong.  The time for the talk was before the explosions.  Not after.  Sheesh.

But that’s where the media is…walking a lag-time and reactive path in a world where Bayes rules not only in trading but in plotting our “computational future.”

(Whew!)

And in Other News

Fortune outs some corporate genius:  Bayer Has Now Lost Over 44% of Its Value Since Its Monsanto Merger.

And in the latest chapter of our “Barbarians at the Mall” series (Lex Luthor/Amazon against the Betonite Tribe) :Walmart is rolling out next-day delivery.”  They ready for Prime time?

And this note from Marijuana Business Daily, got us to thinking:  Chart: Denver-area cannabis sales up 10%-27% in advance of ‘bomb cyclone’ storm.  So maybe we should rename such storms “bong cyclones?”

Moron the morrow, then…

Prepping: Tweaking a Home for Aging
Markets: Evolving a Fall MOAC?