Hot off the Press Release:

NEW YORK, MARCH 28, 2017 – S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for January 2017 shows that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. More than 27 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to Additional content on the housing market can also be found on S&P Dow Jones Indices’ housing blog:

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 5.9% annual gain in January, up from 5.7% last month and setting a 31-month high. The 10-City Composite posted a 5.1% annual increase, up from 4.8% the previous month. The 20-City Composite reported a year-over-year gain of 5.7%, up from 5.5% in December. 

Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over each of the last 12 months. In January, Seattle led the way with an 11.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with 9.7%, and Denver with a 9.2% increase. Twelve cities reported greater price increases in the year ending January 2017 versus the year ending December 2016.
The below charts compare year-over-year returns for Seattle and Portland with different ranges of housing prices (tiers). Tier level analysis from 2011 to present for both Seattle and Portland’s yearover-year returns show housing prices in the high tier to be the most stable, while housing prices in the low tier are the most volatile. 

Graphically, it looks like this:

So did it help the futures?  Nope.

Repeat after me:  “Roaring Twenties, late.

Other Than Housing

Ures truly is deep into three books on the Great Depression.  One deals with the bifurcation of the Energy markets due to American fracking technology.  The idea being the U.S. will pay less for energy than the RoW in the future.

Second book deals with the potential for regional Depression in Asia where the Tigers are running out of steam, resource, and markets, particularly with American reshoring of manufacturing.

The third book deals with how the British fared in the Great Depression.  Curiously, there was actually something of an economic boom from about 1934 on, and that’s just damned interesting.


Well, one geopolitical idea that’s been around the web for the past 20-years is that there is a cyclical rotation of “Depression “centers” as Depressions seem to rotate around the Globe. 

Since the U.S. was the nexus of the Great Depression, this next (Greater) depression should move part-way around the world to the East.  Hence the economic and energy future of “the Tigers” of Asia becomes a fascinating comparison.

But more on that tomorrow for our readers, who I think would largely agree, get a tremendous amount of alt-thinking for just $40-bucks a year.

China Takes Djibouti

While the U.S. stands at the verge of energy independence (About 1 mbpd off if you count heavy distillates in the mix,per  Zeihan 2016) and the global markets figure out how this two-tier world will work, our Military Affairs whiz (warhammer) notes that it’s game-on in North Africa:

Shake shake shake – shake shake shake – shake Djibouti, shake Djibouti! [nods to KC and the Sunshine Band]

The Red Dragon is stepping out! While the logistics tail for this base is a long one, it establishes a footprint for China in the volatile N. Africa regions, just across the straits from Yemen and the Middle East.


With the S. China Sea faux islands finished, I view the Djibouti base as a ‘bookend’ of sorts. All China need to establish a viable sea passage to Djibouti is sail the northern Indian Ocean via the Malacca Straits. Total distance: 5826 nautical miles, or around three weeks at sea. For a fair comparison, the U.S. Navy, departing from the Port of Norfolk in the S. Chesapeake Bay, would travel 7242 nm with four weeks at sea. Travel from Pearl Harbor is even longer – 14,332 nm and eight weeks at sea.

Air supply is the fastest approach for either nation, but aircraft carry far less and transport planes are very vulnerable to anti-aircraft artillery and ground-to-air launched missiles.

Chess pieces are falling into place, or, to use another gaming analogy, a real world version of Stratego is officially underway. Add Russia to this mix, with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel already stewing, and the game just got a lot more interesting.

As we explained to Peoplenomics readers last weekend, Zeihan sees Russia-Europe and Saudi-Iran as two of the major energy wars in the wings.

If you want to keep up with the grown-ups in the class, turn off the damn phone and read “The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America.”

Think of it as the Michelin Guide to how we get to WW III.

Too Many Column Inches

Hysteria sells newspapers, and pairs of eyeballs on the news channels at least equally good for the  corporate coffers.

Where once upon a time, newspapers ran news content incidental to advertising display ads, today it’s a different world.  Beset with too many good alt-news sites and tdoo many channels out of the “500-channel wasteland” we see stories that are often little more than repletion.

Ever-ready to make headlines, we notice how CNN is blaring how “There’s a Russian storm over Trump’s struggling presidency…”

Except for the fact we reported yesterday – as Brother Alexei (Navalny) was fined a whopping $350 for leading anti-government demonstrations last weekend – calling it a “storm” seems to us something of a stretch.

We do notice the term “struggling presidency,” though, and wonder if that wasn’t more their point. 

I trust you remember what CNN was called during the election cycle?  (Clinton News Network if the gingko biloba hasn’t kicked in for the day.)

To be sure, Gallup reports Trumps approval rating has dropped to 36 percent. But on the flip side while lower than Obama, it’s also higher than Reagans.  People so hate change, don’t they?

I don’t know what your definition is, but I usually save my label “struggling” for whoever is running D.F.L.

But I’m not the second-greatest land baron in the country, so what could I possibly know?

Good-bye Climate Change

President Trump will begin the process today of taking apart the government’s climate change marketing program.

While it’s true that ice levels in Earth’s polar region have hit historic lows this year, it’s also true as reported in 2015 that “The Entire solar system is heating up! Scientists blame solar warming.”

In a way, we hate to see climate change going, but for the trillions of dollars spent so far, we don’t see any evidence of impact other than polarization and the monetization of a concept.

We think it’s questionable for governments to promote climate change, since it has been changing on its own – without government intervention and a global tax regimen – since before the Maunder Minimum.

We’ll update the Solar Cycle Progression in about 10 days when released.

Musk Ruins Our Novel

Elon Musk has wrecked plans for our next novel. “The Light Crown Project/CoDreamers” second in the David Shannon adventure series has been shelved for now. Thank you very much, Elon.

“”Musk is planning to connect brains with computers,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

Here is the problem:  You may remember reading – both in Peoplenomics first and then leaking over into one of our Coping Section reports (here), this is old news.

While we may have time to write the novel and bring it to market, the basic plot went like this:

Humans do “think” (process) by firing neurons in the brain.  This causes two things to occur. 

First is the generation of an electrical brainwave impulse – of the sort measured by EEG’s.  If you skipped med school, a short discussion of Electroencephalography is over here.

In the novel (on hold now) the brain’s ability to “generate light” as a by-product of Neuron firing is exploited.

Wired describes “The Unexpected Science of Manipulating Neurons with Light” in an article here.

Because I have some familiarity with instrumentation issues, I’ve always been partial to non-electrical channels for low-level signals. 

To explain the problem in radio terms (as the novel plot-line did) there is an innate ability to recover complex information that is absent from simple – relatively non-complex – wave forms.

Consider in the radio frequency (RF) world the case of a simple CW (continuous wave) keyed signal.  It may generally be recovered down to – but not below – the absolute noise floor.

On the other hand, a complex RF signal (such as FS-1045-FS-1051 ALE ) achieves an ability (via DSP in some iterations) to get below the nominal noise floor because Golay Interleaving is more robust.

Without Golay error correction, your wifi would suck.

Now let’s consider the Musk project:  If they go with a purely EEG approach to the brain, it may work in a well-shielded lab, but getting near noise-floor signals out of the lab environment and “onto the street” may be problematic.

For this reason, the novel (around the Light Crown Project theme) achieves “mind-to-mind connection using stimulus/response from the low level light from the trigeminal nerve package – which as you’ll remember is the bundle of trans-cranial nerves coming out of your temples.

In other words, making a “light proof hat” is easier in today’s world of electronica than making an electrically “noise proof EEG” for mobile use.

Even with a metal helmet (tin foil hat, lol) there is still a shielding issue with that spine and body that the interface sits on.  Light is much, much easier to control.

Sure, we’ll be watching for patent applications on the light channel (vs. electrical) thought recovery and we’ll jump in with prior art claims when time comes.  Sometimes our Peoplenomics reports serve as a nicely time-stamped “inventor’s notebook.”

Didn’t mean to get off into the weeds on this, but Musk does have some of the concept.  It will just come down to a matter of who can reduce things to practicum, since the hardware is 60% of the problem in brain-to-device or brain-to-brain work.

The rest is “only” software.

Engineers hate it when I say “only” about their brain-children, but libraries are so big, the art of programming anymore is calling the right code library as much as the genius algo development…

Note I didn’t even touch on the light-polarization correction problem associated with level-level detection and use…but it’s obvious that the “light” from your brain is not oriented the same as mine, so dynamic polarization correction is also required (and so disclosed becomes prior art as well).

Related, as long as we’ve done a magazine-length treatment of the topic, you did know that last year, this “light pumping” stuff that companies like are working on to reverse age-related macular degeneration was validated last year in “light pumping” experiments done by NIH?

“A study in mice funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows for the first time that high-contrast visual stimulation can help damaged retinal neurons regrow optic nerve fibers, otherwise known as retinal ganglion cell axons. In combination with chemically induced neural stimulation, axons grew further than in strategies tried previously. “ (Details here)

Said rewiring may involve polarization/re-orientation changes, of course.

Whether Musk is sincere in his brain-to-brain scheme is something of an open question to us.  “Tesla Model 3 Production Lower, Price Higher (A Lot(: Morgan Stanley Analyst,” reports Forbes.

Brain-Brain comms is a sexy what? 

A Sexy Distraction maybe?

Bottoming Now?

We note that the DAX in Germany is back over the 12,000 level.  Japan came back a bit overnight, too.

But the Dow futures 45-minutes before the open were down 27.

In my own trading account, I went to cash yesterday.  Subscribers who understand Elliott and use our “brainamp.xls” spreadsheet will find that there is still a path down to the 2,200-2,250 trading area of the S&P.

The spreadsheet is downloadable from the Master Index page and is password-protected.

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