Economics in a sec… Yes…it is 11-years after 9/11…and this morning’s lead story is about how events oddly “cluster” or “clump” ion this day. Reader Edwin in The Hague sent in this curious report:
“Hi George, The Hague, Netherlands Today two Public transport Trams collided with 36 injured. A rare occurrence here. The most bizarre was that is was line numbers 9 & 11 that collided. To take it one step further (maybe too far?). 36 injured 3+6=9 And it happened at 9:45 = 9+4+5 = 18 = 1+8 = 9 The 9:45 is also 4+5=9 = 9:9 “
Oh, it’s a real story, alright. Most will miss the subtlety of Universe doing numbers on it, but here’s a BBC report on the event.
Otherwise, fairly quiet in terms of observances of the date. Nicest part of the day may be the lack of president wannabe ads on the tube.
Markets Marking Time
Since this site is (nominally) about long wave economics, and since that’s the study of cycles in the economy lasting years at a time…..
And since I hold that the secular economy peaked in the spring of 2000 on a purchasing power (inflation adjusted basis) for markets….
We therefore arrive at today’s two “reality check” stories that you have to pay attention to if you’re not going to get sucked in to more (loser) group think.
First is the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Debt report (they erroniously call it “credit” but you and I go into debt in the process, so Debt is what it is…). Latest numbers out on Monday afternoon showed that (July) revolving debt was down 1.5%.
Which means what? Well, people are simply sitting on their wallets with their credit cards safely inside. Smart move, BTW.
“OK, sure, a 1.5% annualized decline isn’t a big thing, so why is Ure all worked up into a lather about this?” you’re wondering.
Ah…well what the Fed report DOESN’T SHOW is that this is against an inflation rate of somewhere between 1.5% (which you could maybe infer from some bond yields) or possibly 8.1% inflation in the last 12-months as measured by wild printing behind the M2 number in the Fed’s H.6 money stocks report.
I’m less troubled by the 6.8% annualized decline in non-revolving debt (like student loans) because there is little point to buying education for mythical jobs and people are figuring this out without too much prodding. Student loan horror stories are in an upswing, too. People ain’t dumb, present Washington residents aside.
BUT when credit card use is down 1.5% annualized and you’re in a 4-5% inflationary environment (see your grocery bills for proof) then the prevailing rate of DEFLATION is between 5.5% and 6.5%. Yes Virginia, this is why gold is not over $3,000 yet.
So is the economy healthy? Not no, but hell no. What we need are what?
Second Soap Box Issue
Both the presidential wannabes are trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear on the jobs picture. So I thought as a public service this morning we would look up how many Americans had jobs in the latest jobs report: 142,101,000 people had jobs in August – that report was out last week and I trust you’ve wolfed down enough Ginko pills to keep the memory sharp, right?
What to make of all this pollyticle spew? Thankfully, the Department of Labor keeps its old press releases around…not obvious, but around if you know where to look. So its easy for an outback curmudgeon (like Ures truly) look up the number of people working in August of 2008 (the whole archive is here):
The inconvenient truth is revealedt when we pull up that press release, and you can stare at it yourself by clicking here —> the absolute number of Americans working WAS 145,477.000.
This is an apples-to-apples and sure, someone is going to say “But wages went up!” to which I’d point out that so did inflation…and what’s your point? They do sort of offset but never quite enough to keep the standard of living going up much.
Worse, though, the population of America is up… a lot…in the period. Fence? Did I bring up pourous borders again?
How much is a lot? Well, in July of 2008, the population was 301,621,157 and the current population is showing around 314,351,000.
Roughly eyeballing that: We up about 13-million people, and down about 3.376 million available jobs…that’sa some swing!
Now, I could care how you vote…but if someone says “Ask yourself if you are better off than you were under Bush…” can we PLEASE have the intellectual honesty to admit the real numbers and then go vote your guilt. Pretty please? Sugar on it?
[Don't waste your time sending me emails screaming "You're a racist!" or those "You're anti-rich!" emails either. I know more people who have guilt about their being one percenters who skate on taxes...than hang onto guilt about racial matters...or, come to think of it, feel for having so much when the rest of the world is getting poorer and hungrier...My guilt list is long, since I was initially programmed a Lutheran. Point is that "Vote your guilt" is an open-ended remark and whatever you think I'm saying is 100% likely to be your egoic projection of self (and guilt) not mine. Save those keystrokes or send that email to your shrink. We all have guilt of different flavors which is why this is a large prison planet. Oh, it's also why there's such a big market in asking open-ended questions as of the pollyticians or members of the preacher class know.]
Speaking of which… I’ve got some pretty good sources (they feed the K-Street Mafia) and here’s what’s likely coming out of Washington.
Sometime in the next week or two the House will pass a CR – continuing resolution – to keep the US from imploding financially with sequestration. What I’m hearing is this is already a “done deal.”
The senate will get the CR on budget about the 19th – and it will be clean because even the Tea Partiers are onboard with it.
The vote on the CR will be on the 20th or 21st and we’re hearing that DeMint, Coburn and the like are onbopard with this.
Look for the first class tickets back home to be flown on September 22, or so which means your local paper will fill up with the faces of the pollytick types not being in Washington doing anything until after the election.
The marketing joke to all this is calling it (on the House side) a “District work period.”
Myt ass. They ought to stay in Washington, work, get some economic stimulus going and answer their damn phones. They don’t need to come home to figure out America is pissed and we want some of those jobjacked positions back.
See previous story for the employment decline in absolute numbers if you are out of ginko pills.
I do hearby generously offer to pay for a hearing test at the local hearing aid emporium for my congressman. My number’s in the phone book.
Bigger Worries than Pollyticks
Yes, even though there is a major outbreak of ticks that leach on wallets. we got bigger fish to fry as humans than keeping them pollyticks at bay. For example, one of the side-effects of global warming seems to be more water evaporating from the world’s oceans. “So, BFD,,,maybe it will rain more…“
Well, no, not exactly. If you remember from airplane ground school, warm air will hold a LOT more moisture than cold air…but there’s another side-effect as well: The world’s oceans will have less water in them and what will that water be? SALTIER.
Which is why NASA and a bunch of other science-types have their knickers all twisted up – high salt levels...because if the oceans die…care to guess what happens to us?
Let’s Have Duck Friday
Might want to keep your head down for the fly-by of QG42 Friday of this week.
All of which is just foreplay for the arrival/hysteria around DA14 which will be by just before my birthday in February of 2013. The worrisome videos are all over YT…like this one or this one or even this one.
Now, while DA14 is not particularly big, it certain fits into the area of concern in past web bot runs, and what’s more, comes mighty close to the December 2012 date. You can plug in your choice of 12,500 or 25,000 years (as a round-off) and figure what kind of error rate 28 days would be. (Hint: small.)
Just in Time for Christmas
Just in time to buy one for the spouse for Christmas.
No spouse? No worries! You might actually be able to afford it…
More after this…