This should be a reasonably straightforward column to cobble up because there are only three topics that matter. At least, for the moment. The rest of WW3 will be unwinding on us shortly.
Trade: Corona Bust?
Last week’s news that one of the major ocean shipping outfits was laying off 10 percent of its workforce seemed paradoxical on the surface. But when inspected closely, it’s probably a “wave harmonic” on the coming commercial real estate collapse that (while real, shhh!) isn’t quite here yet, is still coming.
Rube Goldberg Economics (the cartoonish insane machines notion) helps a good deal. See the Smithsonian article The Story Behind Rube Goldberg’s Complicated Contraptions for more background. I’ll lay out the build pieces for today’s kit:
- We begin with Bioweapon #1 going off. Covid. Don’t know for sure who did it (NGOs, uber-richchilds, or gubbermints, but does it matter?).
- The government coup’ed against the people. Told them rights were gone, under-disclosed on the medical risks and all that. Supported by co-conspirators in CorpMedia who had to toe-the-line on censorship or lose special section 230 tax treatment and all that goes with that.
- People stopped going to the office. Instead they would work from home.
- A HUGE change in life dynamics takes place. People at home order all kinds of tech gear, faster internet, office chairs, not to mention masks, fewer babysitting hours, less food away from home..criminee sakes, a ton of Life changed.
- Financial Dynamics reflected the change. Huge office complexes became ghost towns. And the nature of Big City Urban Cores rotted almost overnight. In fact, this morning see San Francisco worker posts terrifying walk past drug-addled homeless people passed out on the sidewalk in the city’s Tenderloin district.
- The sidebar to this story is that Housing affordability drops to the lowest level since 1984 – MarketWatch. But this is totally understandable. Because you’re not just buying a home anymore. You are buying your own office, for crying out loud.
- At some point, with the decline of paranoia about “getting the ‘Rona, the pendulum would swing back toward the middle.
- But three things are still moving forward with dreadful certainty, but an incalculable timeframe. These are:
- New and Improved variants to “modulate economic and social response” ought to be along. Oh lookie! New Covid Pirola strain warning as mysterious JN.1 variant ‘takes off’ in Europe. And we still don’t throttle international jet infections by grounding intercontinental flights. You can’t go to the office maybe, but you can still get a passport and go…wherever. Dandy. Peachy. (Have a mask.)
- Second thing is that even though “glacial speed” seems a fair descriptor, see the headlines like Commercial Real Estate Turnover: Why Pros Leave — and What Comes Next – Commercial Observer. The write-downs and confessions mostly haven’t been booked yet, but that will come and those Benjamins I’m down (failure get dump the rally when short soon enough) will come back. Just a matter of time. It you keep working hard, and live long enough, you will be rich. Of course, it’s not our fault you’re lazy and may not have the gene pool to live to 140….
- Last, but not least, is that having tasted power, it’s only a matter of time until Bioweapon 2 – the epicanthal outright – comes along. Which side will do it hardly matters.
To this delightful crock, we’re now tossing in a handful of feel-good numbers in the form of International Trade data just out. As always, however, we are appalled that the “spread and widget” data is not included. The (shallow) numbers look like this (but you can see the roll off after Covid):
“The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $61.5 billion in September, up $2.9 billion from $58.7 billion in August, revised.
September exports were $261.1 billion, $5.7 billion more than August exports. September imports were $322.7 billion, $8.6 billion more than August imports”
But the spread – where we could see shifts in office equipment, even chairs and desks, and home routers, and such – isn’t called out. Nor do we get actual containerful’s. Sure, we can get some of that by looking at the month SoCal Ports data (fresh nummies from the are 10 days ahead) but it’s hard. How do you compare containers of old technologies (say old big boxy televisions) with the barely-therely thin-frame marvies?
Like the residents of the Primate House (Woodland Park Zoo, socialist Seattle) we put on the happy face and stare at the Goldberg pieces and wonder what’s wrong with God that he lets us acquire a Goldberg-like table full of assorted junk and then expects us to “Assemble Heaven on Earth” from it? Maybe that’s how Dude works. Dunno.
Consigliere figures bioweapon 2 will cull 80-percent more. If we get that far.
I’m thinkin’ they’re sinkin’ Blinken. Door in the face to Joe on the Israel jaunt. And now, Erdogan in Turkey is on a domestic road show and can’t be bothered with Team Buy’ed ’em’s emmisary. “Wait here and talk to this guy” is what it sounds like: U.S.-Turkish relations at rock bottom: Fidan and R.T. Erdogan threw three “doors” to A. Blinken – Incirlik base under siege (vid).
For us, the Future Hinges on Turkey. And we ain’t talking Butterball here. For now, NATO will keep sending arms to Turkey (because last week Nato ends deadlock over Turkey).
And Turkey had to go along with the charade in advance by greenlighting the Swedes getting into NATO which was the “strongarm” on NATO to twist them into expanding NATO membership.
Now, however, there’s Israel embarking on explosive urban redevelopment of Palestine, using arguably questionable means. Like Israel to deploy ferocious attack dogs to maul Hamas tunnel terrorists as training vid shows hound on rampage.
But in Washington, it’s even worse. As the Senate passes a resolution to allow a US first strike on Iran? And at houseplant central Biden Confronts the Limits of U.S. Leverage in Two Conflicts – DNyuz. Is one of those limits a term limit? Ask me after/if 2024 elections…
We’ve also had our first American death on home soil from this neocon orchestrated shit-show: Westlake Village, California: Officials investigating death of Paul Kessler after injury during pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
“Brothers and sisters put’cher hands on your monitors.” Are people really sure Biden’s leading opponent would be an improvement? ‘I’m not a windmill person’: Trump takes the witness stand and doesn’t break character. Or is he? Judge Engoron Scolds Trump, Threatens to Throw Him Off Stand (mediaite.com).
My consigliere and I have some “block time with a bottle of single malt planned for Thanksgiving this year. One topic is “How can someone get so much policy right. Yet, have driven (presumably) honest contractors into bankruptcy as a developer?” Aren’t there any good guys (or gals) left?
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says Trump can’t win in 2024 as she endorses Ron DeSantis. Thing is, can DeSantis, either?
We will go over the latest “Broken democrazy voting results” on Peoplenomics tomorrow. Voting today on issues that, near as I can remember, have been on the ballot in some form for over half a century and we’re still a divided country on. Like Abortion rights at center of Tuesday’s Ohio, Virginia elections. How many times do the People have to vote to be heard, anyway?
Through the Wringer
Here’s another one where Constitutional rights have fogged up: Supreme Court hears major test of 2nd Amendment gun rights. Can government claim a right to take your guns, if for example, you’re violent and maybe nuts? Not simple questions.
Blockchain hype of the day: Cardano and Polkadot Announce Groundbreaking Partnership. We, too, have a scheme to make up secret numbers – clear them quickly – and become whales. Economic reality? Barrier to Entry and convertibility seem completely missing in blockhead think.
Investing is Dead, II
We recently may have pissed off a few people (oh, well…) by explaining that what used to be rational investing (based on earnings, new products, growth, and other antiquated concepts) had changed “investing into Gambling.”
Well, sure enough, here comes Buffett colleague Charlie Munger: Investing is ‘like a poker game’. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. All comes down to “knowing when to fold ’em” – meaning a Kenny Rogers’ song might be more useful than a $100,000 education in business.
Common sense, I guess, is getting up there.
Oh, it does look like the manic run to the upside may be about to soften and roll down.
Not investment advice, but the dollar was climbing and gold was down as we clicked into this.
Around the Ranch: Prepping Over Time
Long ramble on the Peoplenomics site tomorrow on how the right prepping plan (for you and your kin) changes as your age begins to creep up there. (3,600 words in draft).
Been eyeing actual retirement from the public side of writing again. I’d like to get to where a good Peoplenomics report a week would be enough work. Keep thinking about this “75th birthday retirement from web” idea a lot, lately. I’ll keep you posted.
Love the people, the Comments, and the exchange of ideas on this site. Tough one to sort through. Writing isn’t really that hard, but I’d like to limit my computer time. Less day trading is another option. We shall see.
Write when you get rich,