Waiting for News, Adios Egypt

The market was set to open a tad higher this morning as last week’s frenzy has had a weekend to wear off or sober up.  The first news out this morning will be existing home sales at 10 AM but nothing exciting until later in the week when Durable Goods come out and that ain’t exactly a heart-stopper.


The reality is that genuine news takes a little time to work its way through the system:  We told Peoplenomics readers this weekend that monthly West Coast Port data for June showed a 3% slowing of imports, which is not the kind of thing to see if there’s a major recovery underway.


Moreover the price of oil is apparently not coming down. It was over $108 this morning and that means prices are starting to move upward slightly but the full impact won’t be felt until the 60-months of propagation/knock-on effects have time to develop systemically.


Behind the scenes?  Oil goes up, and this enables the Saudis to put $2-billion into Egypt to help keep that country from imploding.


What’s going on?  You might want to read the George Packer piece in The New Yorker magazine this morning before I tell you.


But the short answer is?  The Saudis have just out-bid us while we’re arguing internally.


If you consider international relations just like you’d assess a leveraged buy-out, many of the same dynamics are in play.  Power of the First offer, for example.


When the US talked but then dawdled, the Saudis were patient but in the end, faced with indecision from the Obama crowd, they stepped up, placed a $2-billion dollar down payment and now have incredible street creds for helping keep Egypt from imploding.


Like I said:  Outbid.  Signs of crumbling empire, my fellow Roman.


Meantime, gold senses this price action and has firmed back over $1,300 and the strong showing by prime minister Shinzo Abe’s part in Japanese elections this weekend mean a continuation of Abe-nomics.


Even this little glimmer quickly faded in Europe this morning when things are mixed and so in the interlocking world of linked markets a flat to down day by the end may be expected.


The Big Picture problem, the decline of 10-year bond yields since July of 1981 is still the same.  And there’s still plenty of time to  buy inflation hedges for when the long term trend reverses, but patience of a year to three may be required.


For now, the velocity of money has remained in collapse so all that new paper being printing up is not yet out chasing goods and services.  When it does sneak out, we look for the kind of inflation such as has never been seen before.


It’s just a matter of preserving your lone coin or two and waiting…hardly exciting, but it is what it is.


More After This…




ODA: Observations, Departments, and Analysis


Quakes Are Back

After leaving our monthly earthquake reports looking lame of late, earthquake have come roaring back this weekend with lots of activity including:

Given that the Sun’s output is undershooting estimates for where it should be for the point in Solar Cycle 25, could the earth’s crust not staying warm/expanded have anything to do with these?  I’m sure the journals will get to this…just given them a year or two.


Graphic Evidence

A reader (Anthony) spotted a fine article which I neglected to mention last week called “The Punctuated collapse of the Roman Empire” over here.


“I thought I would send this along, just for the hell of it.  Cassandra’s legacy is the name of the blog.  Don’t understand why the study of collapses is not a discipline by this time – with its own math, catastrophe theory? Fame awaits – Ure’s Precipice?”


Well, that sure seems an attractive thing, although I’m more interested in a living wage and a few minutes to enjoy it.  Still, I made a note for Peoplenomics readers Wednesday to look at how a shorter-term matchup of the 2007 peak with the 1929 peak would fit, especially given that we have just had new all-time highs in the market.


Except, well, of course they weren’t all-time highs on an inflation-adjusted basis (with a string of footnotes half a mile long…) since “the Dow” would have bought you a lot more food in 2000 than it would have a couple of weeks back.  Ditto booze, too (the Pickled Price Parity Postulate).


There are a lot of headlines that support the notion of a latter-day Roman fall either in progress, or being down step-wise:

Concurrently, there’s a kind of global revolution in violence going on, driven in part by more fanatical leadership (more rabid means more money raised) and due in part to social media which makes organizing gangs and such simple as #.  Some examples?  You bet!

All of which, taken as individual brush strokes paints a picture of a highly stressed Western world which hasn’t quite come to terms with social media and flash-mobs. Nor, has the West come to terms with how these tools allow gangs and fanatics to whip up people to go out and act badly faster and faster.


Societies are based on orderly processes.  If the public can act faster than processes can react, then we end up with a world that looks a lot like the one that greets you this morning when you step out into the world…


Can You Really Trust Government?

This is only a hypothetical question, of course.  Unless you had happened to have been an aboriginal child in Canada during the 1940’s in which case you may have been subjected to nutrition “experiments” by the Canadian government.


Fools on the Hill:  Better Late Than...

A bill which would require warrants for email searches is in the works in Washington.  But, before you go celebrating, remember these things are usually reworked with trap doors to allow what’s gong on now to continues.  Remain skeptical, however, until something real happens besides hype and press releases.


Republicorp Implosion

You know, for a party which you’d think would be working on unity ahead of elections in 2014, the announcement by veep Dick’s daughter Liz Cheney that she’s taking on an old-line republican is really dividing the party nicely.  Why, I doubt the demos could have engineered anything so graceful.


Take for example The Atlantic piece “Angling for Senate:  Keep America Safe from Liz Cheney.”


Kneeler Notes

We’ve been beset with social notes from the royals here piling up over the weekend.

  • Prince William’s a dad…or will be shortly.  (I probably didn’t make the cigar list)  Just one more royal mouth for the kneelers of the unemployed kingdom to feed…

  • Prince Philippe was sworn in as king of Belgium this weekend.  His dad, age 79, retired rather than die in office which is the more normal route of succession.  May give him time to hit some bingo games, ya think?

  •  King David’s palace has been found, or at least some claims are being made that way, west of Jerusalem at Khirbet Qeiyafa.  But whether it’s the real kneel deal is debated.

Just to show you how nutty the kneelers are:  A piece of queen Liz’s wedding cake which is…uh…66-years old…will be going on sales for 1,200 pounds.  But won’t that spark discussion that it was maybe a Twinkie in the first place?  Bet they could have gotten more by eBaying it….juss sayin’


UK’s Self-Incrimination Plans

Oh, kneel some more:  UK officials plan on having people declare they want to view porn when they click a naughty Url.


Did the Soviets unleash some kind of brain-eating disease that attacks people in power when the wall came down?


UK:  Double Meds Monday?

If you haven’t see it yet, seems like the UK has known about illegal private use of personal data for a long time but hasn’t seen fit to do anything about it per this article over here.


There’s still time to escape to the colonies (if you’re a news anchor…)



Helen Thomas, outspoken reporter on the White House circuit for years.


And if you have the ghoul on this morning, there’s also the Boston Magazine report which portrays what it called “The Real Face of Terror” in response to the picture of the Marathon bomber suspect in Rolling Stone last week…


Just the stuff to go with the Cheerios, huh?


More after this….