Monday, January 11, 2016
History is a narrative about what happened, not a prediction.
One Seize Fits All: Everything's connected; if you can’t see that, you’re not going to understand what’s happening. Oil prices continue to fall. Chinese stocks continue to fall. Commodities continue to fall. US stocks continue to fall. Most Americans are but one paycheck from poverty. The 0.1% gets richer every day. Central bankers continue in their impotence to change things for the better. Any questions?
Noted: Sometimes stocks go down.
Bump: The UK's plan to collect nearly every electronic communication is not only totalitarian, it is pointless because 99% of the data is useless and simply clogs up the analytical process. So says a former NSA security chief, who ought to know. It is, however, handy to have once the state decides to go after you.
Lag Time: SoCal Gas insists that forcing 17,000 people from their homes “is not a catastrophe”. Besides, the well that is leaking immense quantities of methane into the atmosphere, causing as massive an environmental disaster as BP achieved in the Gulf has been leaking for 24 years. The company knew about it all along.
Original Sin: How strong would ISIS, al-Qeada or Boko Haram be if those young men got laid regularly?
Footnotes: The December 'Jobs Report' included a 281,000 'seasonal adjustment', which means there were only 11,000 actual jobs created. During 2015, American Factories added only 30,000 jobs in all, and since 2009 the real weekly earnings of the bottom quarter of the work force fell 3%. During the last nine months over 60% of the new jobs went to workers who have multiple jobs. It's all part of the game.
Explanation: Bernie Sanders is not so much running to be president as he is to be Bernie Sanders. That's a good thing.
Let's Make A Deal: Over 40% of US Millennials (the 1980 to mid-1990 crop of Americans) have turned to payday loan sharks in the past five years; over 80% of them have at least one long term debt, mostly student loans.
Dilemma: VW is a criminal enterprise, committing fraud against its customers and the countries in which it does business. In the US, forcing the company to recall and replace the defective vehicles would bankrupt it. Should we do this? Yes, but we won't; fraud and theft by executives of large firms is simply part of doing business. Ask Wall Street or a pharmaceutical CEO.
Enthusiasm: The Fed claims that US economic activity is expanding and that interest rates had to be raised to keep things in check. Things like construction spending, which fell 0.4% in November; imports, which fell 1.7% and exports, which fell 0.9% m/m in December. Deutsche Bank, which may have a clearer view of things, says US GDP in the last three months grew only 0.5% (down from a previously estimated 1.5%). The Dow lost $1.36 trillion (6.2%) of its value in one week. Yeah, recovery!
Porn O'Graph: Go away, but leave the checkbook.
The Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 8:31 AM