Welcome to the “Showdown”

I feel like Prince BoCheesly, second in line to ascend to the throne as King of the Economic Universe and heir to the Fount of All Knowledge this morning as the S&P (which lately has been the S & P all over the place) arrives in the long-awaited showdown area.

To be sure, I have referred to this generally as the “1950” area of the S&P but to be more precise, it is 1,940.24 recorded on January 19th.

Here’s “the deal” – We can count a one down, two up, three down, four up, and five down to finish between January 29th and ending on February 11th.  From there, we have gone nearly straight up. 

It’s OK to take today off since we get inflation data tomorrow.  There is still deflation about, since a year ago gas was $2.27 and now it’s $1.72 nationally.  (We don’t do additional decimals points until noon if it can be avoided.)

Projecting the futures pricing onto the action today, we would expect a close (ideally) around 1,933.82… but that is asking a bit much since the real-deal here is 1,940 and change which could fall tomorrow – depending on how the Cost of Living data comes in.

For this morning, we will have to suffer through Philly Fed data and later on the most-favored economic anagram – the Leading Economic Indicators – which used to be the LEI and that’s all the help on the anagram I’ll give you.

Now, about this Philly Fed stuff:

“Firms responding to the Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey reported continued weakness in business conditions this month. The indicator for general activity remained slightly negative this month, edging up only marginally from its reading in January. Other indicators offered mixed signals: The shipments index remained positive, but new orders and employment indexes remained negative and declined modestly. The survey’s price indexes suggest that both input prices and selling prices fell this month. With respect to the manufacturers’ forecasts, the survey’s future indicators remained overall positive but showed continued weakening.

Looking at the rest of the world overnight:  Japan and Hong Kong were both up better than 2% overnight.  France was up 1 percent while the Germans were up 1 and 2/3rds percent, perhaps as something of a relief rally now that Deutsche Bank has spread oil on the waters.  The only laggard is England because (sad to say) other than contrived metals prices, remind me once again what is their big export again?

West Texas crude is back almost to $34, so you may have missed your chance to buy that mansion in the Woodlands for cheap.  Futures backed off a bit with the Philly report, but still up 50+ on the Dow and upload time.

How Disconnected is the White House?

We’re big into cognitive dissonances – and this whole Apple/Terrorist phone backdoor thing is beginning to be instructive for those who are not clear on how eff’ed with the public mindset is these days.

So let me give you two headlines that spell out how we can infer that someone is lying – but we’re not sure whom.  Headline #1 then:

White House says FBI isn’t asking Apple for an iPhone back door.”

OK, that story appears in ComputerWorld so very high creds, right?  But then we flip over to Fast Company and read how:

Time Cook opposes Court Order that Apple Must Help FBI unlock iPhone.”

How the phone…er…so to speak:  Where is the difference here and who’s lying?  Or, is this yet-another example of those terrible “depends what you mean by sex” kinds of White House jerk-arounds pioneered by former un-impeached who is married to the email princess guess who who is in trouble in Nevada?

American Reading Speeds

By the way:  Hats off to Fast Company for putting reading times of articles up on their site.  That’s very courteous.

After popping the Tim Cook article into Word, the count was 1,344 words so they are implying a 224 word per minute reading rate in that story.

Their story on “How Hudl’s Mobile-Video software is Transforming Sports” becomes a little more uncertain and is simply labeled “long read”.

Using the same word-counting tool we came up with 2,528 words which would be a little over 11-minutes.

Our last data point was the article on how “New technology brings finger-level precision to VR.”

That counted as 642 words and is tabbed as a three-minute read.  Which pencils to 214 words per minute.

And from this, we infer that Fast Company is timing their articles to about 200 words per minute.

The application here?  Well, this morning’s Coping Section (below) ran an even 3,200 words.  Which is 16-minutes at 200 which is too long.  Got it.

Speaking of Longish Articles

The Vogue piece on Hillary Clinton deserve special mention:  6,187 words (and I thought I was long-winded)..

OMG kids – that’s a 31-minute article which is far, far too long for a Clinton piece.  I wouldn’t give here the time of day, let alone 31 minutes out of the remainder of my life.

Alternatively, in 880 words – four and a half minutes – you can read the latest about what’s in some of those leaky emails that can’t seem to get an indictment out of the Just Us department.

But let’s all keep pretending, shall we?

Big Headline of the Day

Obama is going to Cuba.

Please Mr. Obama, feel free to stay for a while.  Maybe ICE could stop illegal Executive Orders at the border, perhaps?

I’ll even help with the math:  Leave today instead of March and come back in, oh, 337 days.  Just in time for the inauguration of the replacement.   Howzzat for helpful?  Great music in Cuba, sandy beaches, golf…you know I’d even come join in if invited….

There had been some speculation prior to the tip announcement that Obama would name his Scalia replacement rather than do the travel agent thing.  Not yet..still more polarizing to do..

Still, try this article on for size:  The number of white dudes becoming federal judges has plummeted under Obama.

Yes, this is the part where you’re supposed to look surprised.  But let’s keep pretending.

BitCrimes and Blockchains

Got to love this one:  After computer hack, LA hospital pays $17000 in bitcoin ransom to get back medical records.  bTC’s are 423 this morning, no doubt helped by hospital buying…

Meantime, IBM wants to move into blockchain space. On the other side of the blockchain debate is this piece in the MIT Technical Review which is worth thinking about.

As we explained in our January 21 discussion of How to Save Blockchains, the answer is simply to load-balance based on transaction amount.  But who listens, anymore?

I mean, beside Elaine and Alexa?

16 thoughts on “Welcome to the “Showdown””

  1. I am thinking that IF the banking/financial conglomerates get their way, and switch to cashless economy, then “OOPS! Your account was hacked and your money is gone, sorry….” sure becomes an easy sell.


    And I rarely link to Utube, but the above is just on point regarding big banks.

    • I wouldn’t worry about them stealing more from us! It’s simply a control mechanism for them, can’t hide a transaction, they’ll know your every move, tax every transaction etc etc.

      Welcome to the nwo your New name is no.213245, you consume this much, produce this much, your two credits have been placed into your account.

      Thank you come again…

  2. I was a pipelayer (mainline water, storm and sewer) for 10 years. When i learned the trade, i was told you only need to know 3 things when it comes to puting in sewer pipe. #1. Sh!t rolls down hill. #2. Payday is every friday. #3. Dont chew your nails.

    Flat Earth Theory doesn’t account for not chewing your nails. ;)

    Anyway, i am on vacation! Ding dang it! I’m not here to solve the worlds problems or even correct my karma. Already did all that.

    Happy 364 spins on the blue ball and another one rev around the yellow ball.

  3. wrt reading speed? Longish articles are not a bother . …but average reading speed of 200 wpm? That’s a bit slow, isn’t it? I read about 1,200 – 1,500wpm, if I’m at all familiar with the topic.

    otoh, acquiring new knowledge, as with the HAM radio wavey thingy stuff? That slows me down a bunch, if want to understand the least of it. :) Even then, I’m still reading several hundred wpm. Once I acquire basic knowledge of a topic, it becomes a well worn path and I can over it in a hurry.

    It’s one of those things I take for granted, I suppose. 200 wpm? It takes forever to read anything at that speed. I can’t even get my mind wrapped around that. I just don’t get it, I haven’t read that slowly since I was in grade school.

  4. George,

    Good thing they don’t count read speed as dwell time on a web page. Some days I load your page then the office phone rings and I slide to that desk and maybe an hour later I look over at the other desk where the personal computer is and remember I was reading your latest.

    At that pace it would be a word an hour. . hi . . hi.

  5. “But who listens, anymore?”

    … and that’s the point my friend ;-(((( I’ve
    been listening to ‘Savage’ on the radio for 20 years, or so. Borders, language, culture . etc.. Excellent stuff!
    What’s the effect? Just great entertainment for me. The master race has lost it’s touch. Live with it! There are NO issues and NO sides — it’s only YOU. (Credits to 3 days of the condor for the last sentence).

  6. two things —
    a. I’m noticing more frequent requirements to use email addresses as logins on websites. The other day, a utility company forced me to change my login to my email address. (Rhetorically) why would anyone want a homogenous online presence ID’d with a single user name?
    b. 16 min x 2 articles/day with a subscription pencils out to two bits an hour for “Ure” time, or less than a penny a minute. An excellent deal if ever there was one. PN and US are required daily reading. Thanks for the stimulus!

  7. Many of the Elders(Ahem) of the tribe have the time to read, reflect, read some more, and have tea/coffee and maybe toast. Just sayin’.

  8. I thought the Big Showdown you were talking about is the Upcoming G20 meeting next week. BoJ last Friday hinted about an Emergency Meeting if Yen kept moving up, which caused this stupid Central Bank Rally. Draghi threw Fire on it, along with China over hopes of QE/Stimulus.Now everyone seems to be backing away saying that the G20 needs to come up with a plan. We all know that they can’t cuz it’s just a Photo Op, but it looks like the central bankers want to pass the buck to them to take the blame.

  9. You talk all you want, we’ll read it, or not, as in the case of that intermainably long one by what’shername.

    By the way, had a thought: How many of the idiots who are supposed to be running our country have been in office since she sat her bottom in the WH the last time ? Not alot of encouraging results over that time period, surely people are starting to get that point ?

  10. I have a different take on the declining number of white dudes among the Supremes. Last I looked, a little over half the human race is female. And not all of us are white. Some of us like the idea of Supremes being a little more representative of the electorate, as long as they have the capabilities needed for the job.

  11. Oh Please George.. common. “””Please Mr. Obama, feel free to stay for a while. Maybe ICE could stop illegal Executive Orders at the border, perhaps?””

    It isn’t only the presidents fault for writing the executive orders.. congress already approved the legal issue of the executive orders by voting in those provisions without reading them first.. I have been saying for a long time.. special interest groups should not have the ability to persuade our congress to vote either way. Congress should be the ones writing the bills and reading the bills that authorize the executive orders before they vote them into law.. but if they aren’t even willing to go to work or read and write the bills how can they stop the executive orders..oh by far obama has written fewer than many presidents.. If I am not mistaken even this gun control issue started way back with SR’s administration..

    United States presidents issue executive orders to help officers and agencies of the executive branch manage the operations within the federal government itself. Executive orders have the full force of law when they take authority from a legislative power which grants its power directly to the Executive by the Constitution, or are made pursuant to Acts of Congress that explicitly delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power (delegated legislation)

    • its almost like we have two governments.. the one we think we vote in..
      and the one that is controlling the strings without the peoples knowledge..

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