Saturday, January 16, 2016
For Your Consideration: Is there any reason to suspect that any central banker anywhere in the world, now or in the last twenty years or more, had or now has the faintest idea what was going on? On what evidence?
Shadow Boxing: US transportation of goods by truck, rail, pipeline, waterways and air has fallen y/y to the lowest since before the 2009 disturbance in the force, and the Baltic Dry index has simply collapsed. One of the reasons for the lack of freight might be that US industrial production fell nearly 2% y/y and is collapsing at the fastest rate since May of 2008 and only 76% of US industrial capacity is being utilized.
Throat Clearing: The President of the NY Fed (speaking more or less for Yellen) now says that instead of further increases in the prime rate the Fed may have to cut interest rates. Which should raise the question of negative rates someday soon.
Advise & Consent: The Saudi foreign minister has confirmed that US and British military are present in the Saudi command and control center that does the targeting for Saudi airstrikes on women, children, schools and hospitals in Yemen. But, he claims, they are only observers and do not get to pick the targets.
Asked & Equivocated: What degree of privacy will Americans give up for 'security'? For convenience? Would they answer the same way if the question were “How much government snooping in your private life...?” The willingness to give up one's privacy seems directly related to how realistic understanding one has of actual threats.
Report Of The Commissioners: The National Association of Counties reports that over 90% of the counties in the US have not fully recovered from the recession.
Heel: Mike Huckabee says that poor Americans should be trained like dogs are, with reqards for good behavior and punishment for bad behavior. And being poor is bad behavior, shame, shame. The punishment would be his proposed national 10% sales tax, which would hurt the poor and shift the rich's share of taxes to the middle class. Down boy.
Ground Rules: Paul Ryan Ryan says that President Obama “degraded” his office by denouncing bigotry and those who encourage bigotry because that is an attack on each of the Republican primary candidates.
Correlation: There are now almost twice as many hedge funds as there are Taco Bells, and Taco Bell may be a better investment.
Making America Great Again: “America achieved its most rapid growth and technological progress ever during the 1950s and 1960s, despite much higher top tax rates and much lower inequality than it has today.”
Clear Sailing: The US Navy is buying ships that sail pretty well in good weather and fair seas. Less salubrious conditions lead to the the bow collapsing or the ship rolling over.
Dewey Wins! The one group that backs Bernie Sanders very strongly is voters. That should worry Hillary and embarrass the pundits who can't seem to accept that the Sanders candidacy is serious and strong. She's also feeling grumpy because Bernie's not being nice to her Wall Street friends – who've given her $5.8 million so far. She also doesn't want to be 'divisive' by talking about single-payer, attacking Sanders for caring about those who Obama left behined.
The Parting Shot:
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:56 AM