OK, the big worry on Wall St. is that inflation is going to come along and blow over the first domino.
In case you haven’t followed UrbanSurvival often (you fool!) the game works like this:
There are huge piles of (made up, QE’ed) money laying around in bonds. This is because there is almost zero risk. Unless you had bankrupt city bonds, but everyone knew that was a bit risky.
In the meantime, as the rate of interest keeps going lower (which is why the Fed hasn’t raised rates) that means stocks can keep going moonward because a Penny of Dividend is worth a dollar of stock price when the interest rate is 1%.
The first big gust of wind that comes along is going to collapse the bond market and the stock market for losses that could be 50% or greater. It’s baked in the cake of longwave economics which is our forte around here (along with practical economics in all areas of life).
So this morning, with word that durable goods was up (better than what had been expected by some) the stock futures turned only slightly weak and it looks like the markets will continue to be more or less range-bound this week.
New orders for manufactured durable goods in January
decreased $2.2 billion or 1.0 percent to $225.0 billion,
the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. This
decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a
5.3 percent December decrease. Excluding
transportation, new orders increased 1.1 percent.
Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.8 percent.
Transportation equipment, also down three of the last
four months, drove the decrease, $4.0 billion or 5.6
percent to $67.3 billion. This was led by nondefense
aircraft and parts, which decreased $3.4 billion.
Shipments of manufactured durable goods in January,
down two consecutive months, decreased $0.9 billion or
0.4 percent to $232.3 billion. This followed a 1.8
percent December decrease.
Machinery, down following five consecutive monthly
increases, drove the decrease, $0.9 billion or 2.6 percent
to $34.5 billion.
Bad news: December numbers were revised downward…and they were bad already.
Comments to come from Janet Yellen and the fluid situation in Ukraine could change that, however, so we shall see. The worms of inflation hasn’t turned into golden butterflies just yet though but this week’s Triple A Fuel Gauge Report shows gas is up 4.7% in the past month and so at some point, the soaring prices at the store and gas pump are going to start hurting other areas of the economy. Just not this morning – yet.
Ukraine: The Dance
Step 1: Protesters storm Crimea parliament building. No, wait, the Russian flag went up so the mainstream is calling these guys “armed gunmen” in lieu or protesters. See how this plays?
Step 2: Russia docks warship in Havana, Cuba. (Remember my references to Cuba Missile rhymes? Close, huh?)
We shall see what the day brings…but the biggest risks will be over the weekend. I may go to cash for the weekend or short….just thinking out loud here…
By this account Germany’s Angela Merkel looks like she’s selling the EU brand of soap to Brits who are skeptical of joining the EU and giving up local governance.
The EU reminds me of the old Yellow Pages ads: “Never stop selling…”
Crapping in Your Food (A rant about “Change”)
Government apologists (a/k/a/ corpmedia) are all over the story this morning about how the Fooled and Drugged Administration is about to change food labeling laws so that they reflect what Americans actually eat, rather than the fictional 12 potato chips that some fool thought was an “average serving.”
Whoever that doof was must not drink beer.
Here are two HUGE problems that the government is not addressing in their labeling reform dance because it involves big corporations that, in turn, give megabucks to the people who go to Washington to get rich:
1. The proposed FDA Rules do not out genetically modified content as part of their labeling reform. I noted this week how Forbes is labeling GMO as a pseudo-controversy. Not around here, bubba. I’ll explain in a sec, but I don’t do poison-laced foods my body was never designed to process….
2. The second second level of crapping in your food comes as a tip from a friend who runs a consumer cooperative in the Northeast:
A big issue that’s under the radar is that the USDA is asking for comments on a proposed policy of coexistence between farmers growing sustainably and conventional farmers. Basically, the policy will put the burden of contamination from GMOs or pesticide spray on the sustainable farmer who was damaged, not the farmer who sprayed or used GMOs.
And, if you’re in Pittsburgh, this press release from the East End Food Coop will be of interest:
“Right now there’s already a burden placed on organic growers operating in close proximity to fields containing GMOs,” explains East End Food Co-op’s Marketing & Member Services Manager, Heather Hackett. “They often lose acres of their land by leaving it empty to provide a buffer between the genetically engineered crops on their neighbor’s farm and the natural crops
on their own. This is to avoid drift, or cross-contamination, which would result in GMOs unintentionally growing on their land.”
“These farmers already pay extra fees for organic certifications and testing. In the instance their field does become contaminated they will take a financial hit at the market where they can no longer fetch organic prices, not to mention the duration of time they would spend clearing out the contamination and being tested to restore their certification. It simply does not make sense to tell these farmers it’s their responsibility to pay an additional operational cost for insurance to compensate them in instances when contamination does occur when clearly it was never their doing, and certainly not their intention or hope.”
The East End Food Co-op supports the arguments of the National Organic Coalition and Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) that while the USDA is exploring these coexistence strategies, which greatly favor GMO growers and patent-holders over non- GMO/organic growers, they’re overlooking the most important question: how do we prevent GMO contamination? This question has become all the more relevant since this summer’s contamination incident in Oregon, when genetically modified wheat not approved for growth or sale made its way into a conventional farmer’s crop from a Monsanto test field.”
As a result of that, some grain purchases were scuttled.
If you check out the details of the GMO controversy in Wikipedia, you’ll find the EU (for all their other faults) are light-years ahead of the US:
Genetic modification has been the subject of international trade disputes, one of which arose between the United States and Europe in the early 2000s. Until the 1990s, Europe’s regulation was less strict than in the U.S. In 1998, however, the use of MON810, a Bt expressing maize conferring resistance to the European corn borer, was approved for commercial cultivation in Europe. Moreover, in the 1990s a series of unrelated food crises created consumer apprehension about food safety in general and eroded public trust in government oversight of the food industry – most importantly, the infection of cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy and the mishandling of food safety by European authorities. In 1998, a de facto moratorium led to the suspension of approvals of new genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the European Union pending the adoption of revised rules to govern the approval, marketing and labeling of biotech products.
The approval of genetically modified crops in the United States in the mid-1990s precipitated strong public concern in Europe and led to a dramatic decrease in American exports to Europe. “Prior to 1997, corn exports to Europe represented about 4% of total U.S. corn exports, generating about $300 million in sales. Starting in 1997, however, the U.S. largely stopped shipping bulk commodity corn to the EU because such shipments typically commingled corn from many farms, including genetically modified varieties not approved by the EU. The change was dramatic. For example, before 1997, the U.S. sold about 1.75 million tons of corn annually to Spain and Portugal, the two largest importers of U.S. corn in the EU. But in the 1998–99 crop year, Spain bought less than a tenth of the previous year’s amount and Portugal bought none at all.”
All of which gets me to thinking back on the StarLink Corn debacle which I know very well because I had severe allergic reaction to guess what? One of those was from taco shells and you know what? Despite enjoying the effects of 100 mg of diphenhydramine hydrochloride at 4 AM in a Seattle hospital to suppress hives and breathing difficulties, and the mood swings that go with prednisone follow-up, my case – like others – was not even listed. Pricks.
Go ahead, ask me what my real feelings are about this… No reports, no compensation, and I was out $400 bucks of ER charges. Yeah, I’m not an unbiased reporter on this one.
Still, I’ll give the FDA 1/10th of a point but they’ve missed the other 90% of what needs to happen. Just like they’ve been consistently be caught double-talking on mercury content of vaccines while autism increases.
They haven’t come to terms with the fact that the Internet puts it ALL out there so reasonable people can make reasonable judgments. This wrapping themselves up in peer-reviewed horse petute doesn’t work anymore. I’ve got more statistical processing power than the first moon missions…and that’s on my phone before I even spin up the big servers here.
And the reason they turn a blind eye? Well, captive regulators. Work for the FDA, get to know your way around, and a lifetime of cushy follows – working for the fat checkbook boyz who are buying the right to keep on poisoning people for profit. You see, there’s not as money to be made in crop rotations, field management, and so forth….and it’s the same with vaccines and all the rest. Treat the symptoms and pretend that’s health.
Is symptom treatment the answer? Well no. Treating disease and getting nutrition going is the answer..but not when the markets are dominated by pharmacheckical interests.
If the people at Forbes call it a “pseudo controversy” they’re welcome to have my next helping of Son of StarLink that comes along. Until then, I pack an EpiPen and Benadryl because you know what? I can’t trust these pricks and I don’t think you should either until they square up with honest.
GMO’s and fluoride pseudo-science only works when the checkbook is big enough and the peeps are dumb enough. But back to this morning’s point, for now, the K-Street Mafia is firmly in control and captive regulators are offering minimal helpings of the same old shit from the folks who pimped their way into Washington promising “Change.”
And you wonder why Ukraine happened? WTF? An outfit publishes stuff like this may not represent my best interests:
That’s why we need to grow out own food – and GMO free.
One bright spot? How about this: The best diet book out there may be the FDA’s Food Defect Levels Handbook.
OK, on to other items…sorry for the rant. Or not.
Speaking of Which
With the drought seemingly back here in Texas, lately, we notice that the city of Wichita Falls is looking to turn sewage water into drinking water. That might work on the ISS but for breakfast? Theory is nice….rain is better, though.
Brewer’s Right Call
the governor of Arizona made a tough, but I think right call in turning down a proposed law which would have basically allowed discrimination on religious grounds. Not popular, but legally right.