Friday, December 18, 2015
The rich, too, are permanent fixtures.
The Doctors Said: The Fed has decided to hike interest rates in order to put a brake on economic growth. Really. And to ward off fuller employment and out of control wage demands (those without a job are doing their part to boost the economy, really. Ask Janet.). It seems the Fed doesn't read the Wall Street Journal's commodity price reports. Or Yellen and company are sure that the current world-wide depressed commodities prices are not signaling a general collapse of demand, precursor to another deep recession. "The rate hikes will continue until morale improves."
Memo: Last month was the warmest November on record, 1.05ºC above the 1951-1980 average, and halfway to the 'magic' 2ºC the politicians are going to ward off with chants and pronouncements. That makes two in a row, for October was also 1ºC above the baseline average.
Exhibit A: Martin Shkreli, who has just been arrested for doing what every investment banker on Wall Street does, has pissed everyone off again, this time by raising the price of benznidazole, a treatment for Chagas disease (which mostly affects Latin Americans) by about 100,000 percent. Hey, he's just being a good capitalist. If he's overpriced his goods he won't make a profit. Let the boy be. Or do something about capitalism's crimes.
Asked & Answered: Is the Great Recession gone for good? Nah.
Sublimation: Back in 2012, Colombia's Ecopetrol was valued at $136.7 billion. Today it is worth (?) perhaps $14.5 billion. That's what'll happen if the price of oil drops dramatically and you don't find any anyway. Question: Where did the $100 billion or so go, or did it ever exist and how much is your retirement fund worth?
Leaning Indicators: The Philadelphia Fed's Business Outlook for December notes that “price data are beginning to turn deeply negative, at minus 9.8 for inputs and minus 8.7 for final goods — the latter an indication of weakening demand.” “The data for [sea shipping containers] remains soft with the rolling averages remaining in contraction...” It goes on to note that “contracting imports historically is a recession marker.” And the Baltic Dry Index has reached another record low.
Scrooge: Denmark is looking to hire several thousand former Auscwitz guards to search through refugees' belongings and confiscate any jewelry and other valuables they may find - iPhones, pictures of Donald Trump and the like. Women may keep up to 5 pair of underpants and three bras, as long as they didn't come from Victoria's Secret.
Porn O'Graph: We're making history.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:23 AM