Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Opinion polls create opinions.
Entrails: Anglo-American, one of the largest miners in the world - number 1 in platinum, along with copper, coal, diamonds, iron, nickel, niobium and phosphates - has announced it would skip a dividend payout in the second half of 2015 and all of 2016, cut its spending over the next three years by $3 billion, raise another $4 billion by selling off its niobium and phosphate operations, and lay off over 60% of its global workforce. Because real commodities in the real world are not in demand. Much like oil, which is cheap and cheapering because no one wants the stuff because basic, grass roots level economic activity is collapsing. Truck orders are down. Freight shipments are plunging. China's exports fell 6.8% last month y/y, for the 13th consecutive month, as imports fell 8.7%. Even the IMF has gotten around to noticing that global GDP is falling.
Teaching Point: A WTO trade suit has ruled that Mexico and Canada can impose more than $1 billion in new tariffs on US goods to balance the harm US requirements for point of origin labeling on meats may have done to their meat producers' profits. Welcome to the TPP/TiSP world of corporate profits before people.
Noted: The latest data show that growth in consumer credit continues to far outpace economic growth. Every bit of which is another paycheck from 2018 already spent. Or is it up to 2023 by now? Just how much of tomorrow can we spend today before the whole thing comes tumbling down?
Today In Xenophobia: France's turn further to the right is not just a reaction against Syrian and other refugees, it is a strong vote against the continued existence of the European Union as currently structured and the Euro as a common currency.
The Mirror: Trump claims that “Large segments of the Muslim population” are driven by blind hatred. Trump also called on Bill Gates to “close that Internet” to ISIS. Ted Cruz wants a bill that would let individual states reject refugees based on religion, place of origin or color of eyes or any other damned thing that will get him elected. Jeb! wants to lift all constraints on the government's ability to monitor and collect Americans' cellphone use. Like they do in Kazakhstan.
More Is More: The Clowns and Clinton agree, because the NSA's 24/7 total information awareness programs have not stopped terrorists, surveillance must be increased. It's a little like the GOP/NRA mantra that only guns can stop guns.
Transfer Payments: The administration is planning on canceling even more millions in student loans taken out by students of the fraudulent and now-defunct Rubio-supported Corinthian College – on top of the half billion already forgiven. Corinthian, like the bankers, gets to keep the money while the taxpayers foot the bill.
Quantum Entanglement: Hillary says the US and Israel should take their relationship "to the next level". Either statehood or marriage.
Arnold's Challenge: There are two doors in front of you. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast. You have to pick a room, then go in as stay for an hour. You do not get a gas mask and you cannot turn off the engine. I’m guessing you chose the Door Number Two.
Aliens: Picture this, or what the dolphin saw.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:37 AM