through Friday about 8 AM Central Time Except Holidays Depending
on my mood...
Saturday February 21,
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and Dices / Aspects and Attributes
While I was going to just title this morning's short (since it's
Saturday) note "Land of Bad Decisions", it occurred to me that a
bit of explanation of how I come up with such headlines
and concepts might be useful.
It's really quite simple: People think at a
symbological level. How we organize our internal
symbols are part personal programming and part of the
process of socialization. Thus, when I write something
that is emotionally or symbolically "hot" I can be pretty sure
that the concept that I'm passing along will be a good
approximation of the symbols I was processing when I was writing
Take, for instance, my writing about a "house on fire".
When you think about that concept there will no doubt be
specific small differences in the minor attributes, but the main
point ("house") and it's primary aspect ("on fire") will be
carried along. Minor differences in tertiary conditions
('attributes') such as "Was yours a single story or two
story house that was burning?" or "What were the colors of the
Minor attributes properly managed, shouldn't get in the way of
conveying information. Thus, if you want to be a
super-star writer, while spell-checkers and grammar cleaners are
nice, they're really of secondary importance to the 'heat' of
the message you're trying to convey.
Ergo, when I used to teach young journalists how to write, it
was always "Distill everything you write about down into a
single picture and then focus on the primary and secondary
conditions of the picture to distill what carries across as
Teaching broadcast journalism was fun because not only was there
the basics of condensation of concept into hot imagery, there
was also the artful application of inflection. Using just
that tool, youi can color or shade the primary,
secondary and tertiary imagery just so.
One exercise on getting control of inflection was to read a
simple sentence in such a way as to become an artful
word-painter, involved reading the same sentence five different
ways in order to put verbal emphasis on different words in order
to word-paint different meanings:
I went to the store.
went to the store.
to the store.
to the store.
to the store.
When read aloud, with heavy emphasis on the bold/italicized
word, the meaning shifts. It's a good exercise not only
for the speaker, but for the listener to be able to tune-in to
So that's aspects and attributes. Then there's the matter
of how we 'slice and dice' symbols in order to make sense of
An easy starting point here would be to slice for each of your
five senses and then some major concepts. A list of ways
to 'slice' reality (or its distant cousin 'news' stories) might
include slicing by:
So when I
look for a nice, simple way to sum up today's news events, I
look at a much longer version of this list (my personal grimoire
of how to slice and dice reality) and throw a dart at one that
easily encapsulates a universal way of looking at things.
how we get around to this morning's real headline using a
combination of Right/Wrong as one axis of our discussion and
Ideology (strictly Constitutional) along with Money/Values to
give us three coordinates from which to launch our present-time
discussion of contemporary events.
huh? So let's call this morning's ultra-short reports...
A Week in
the Land of Bad Decisions
sees no bottom for world financial 'collapse". Welcome
to my mat. I've been writing about/chronicling the Second
Depression since 1995, or so, when it became obvious to me that
there wasn't going to be a 'happy ending' to the Life of
Leverage. It's all been a matter of time and bad decisions
along the way. Lots, and lots, and lots of bad decisions.
Hell, we got 'bad decisions' coming out our ears.
An enterprising Associated Press writer, Tom Raum has been
putting a pencil to some of the more recent bad decisions
(bailing out the rich, etc.) and has conclude that the "Obama
plans eclipsing New Deal spending." Which is not
surprising, given that earlier this week, I shared one of
the things most people don't really think about:
Government only has a couple of three things
it can do and the easiest is write someone a check.
If you think there has been real change in Washington, one of
the harsh ways to 'slice and dice the data' is to compare
spending levels. Bush was spending like a wild man before
he left office and guess who is keeping up that fine tradition
of "writing money" to stave off economic collapse?
"Obama tries to halt talk of bank nationalization" may
seem to make sense, but only for a couple of minutes. If
anything happens to Citi and Bank of America, we are going into
a complete and total Second Depression because those are
clearing banks for a huge fraction of the global economy.
Instead of firing all the paper-game trading desks and keeping
the core business of the banks alive, it hasn't occurred to
anyone yet that it was the removal of limits
imposed by the Glass-Steagall Act that allowed banks to open on
Saturdays, and then allowed them to get into the investment
business that soiled the works.
If you want a point after which a Second Depression became
inevitable, the guy holding the pen on that disastrous decision
bill that ultimately repealed the Act was introduced in the
Senate by Phil Gramm (Republican of Texas) and in the
House of Representatives by Jim Leach (R-Iowa) in 1999. The
bills were passed by Republican majorities on party lines by
a 54-44 vote in the Senate and by a 343-86 vote in the
House of Representatives. After passing both the Senate
and House the bill was moved to a conference committee to
work out the differences between the Senate and House
versions. The final bipartisan bill resolving the
differences was passed in the Senate 90-8 (1 not voting) and
in the House: 362-57 (15 not voting). Having majorities
large enough to override any possible Presidential veto, the
legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on
November 12, 1999."
Yeah, that's right....the same Phil Gramm who's wife had a hand
in the Enron trading loophole that set up the rest of it.
Oh, what a fine bubble it's been, too. And I suppose I
should give appropriate credit to Bill Clinton for setting it
all in motion.
While the AFL-CIO is correctly pointing out that "Buy
American is about Building Jobs, Not Protectionism", the big
bait and switch by most pseudo-liberal formula-slinging
"me-too" economists is that protection is what caused this
depression we're now in.
That there has been virtually "No Walls" trading hasn't slowed
the apologists for global pillaging from trying to start up
their switcheroo to blame 'protectionism" as they did in the
early 1930's when Smoot-Hawley was banished by the corpgov
rewrite of history into a position of scorn and derision.
The real story is that well-financed (by banking interests)
politicians removed Glass-Steagall and that set up all kinds of
unintended consequences...or were they really 'unintended'?
While Mrs. Bill is still choreographing the globalist agenda as
secretary of state, it's almost laughable to see headlines like
and U.S. must have positive relationship." Why of
course! Without the U.S. buying all that stuff from China,
and without China sopping up our runaway monetary printing press
outputs, how are all those ex-president's gonna make money on
their business dealings in China? It all fits with
delicious precision; well-hidden from the public's awareness.
Shoots TV Over Converter Confusion." Fortunately,
since there's nothing on worth watching on the 2,000 channel
wasteland, he didn't miss anything.
Sea Ice underestimated for weeks due to faulty sensor." So
the size of the arctic ice is really 193,000 square miles
larger than had been previously reported. Don't b
other calling Al Gore, these are just inconvenient facts.
No need bothering the folks who come up with conclusions and
then go hunting for supporting evidence. Besides, lots of
money might still be made in the carbon trading scheme, which
I've told you before is like trading wife-beating credits.
Around the Ranch:
A couple of high school kids will be over on Sunday working
overs the garden which has been fallow since last year. A
bit of urgency to our gardening plans (and this should scare the
hell out of you and get you off your butt to do something
in the way of small-scale gardening this year):
to cut off federal water to California farms."
Just put on your thinking cap for about 20-seconds: If
farms have no water, they produce what? No crops, maybe?
If there are no crops from many farms, what happens to the
prices of crops that do survive? What happens to any
efforts to close or limit traffic into the US from Mexico?
File this all under using "Use of natural disasters/droughts and
policy reinforcing agents."
Well, off to work on Peoplenomics for subscribers...See you back
here around 8 AM Central time Monday. I've arranged for a
modest bounced on Monday and then a further collapse to new lows
by the end of next week. You'll find it amusing, provided
you've already fled paper assets.
A Steely-eyed Survey of
In one of those 'great minds tracking' kind of things, Cliff over at
www.halfpasthuman.com and I have both been putting in time last
week looking at prospects for 2012. His approach is to use the
telescope afforded by his proprietary predictive linguistics work,
while mine is much more conventional, using trend forecasting
techniques. As you'd expect, our results are somewhat
different, but there's enough 'buzz' coming off language shift, and
enough in-your-face trends that could culminate in 2012, that it
seems like a good investment of effort to sort out how the
dénouement of the 2012 could work out and then develop at least a
framework for personal action
should coming events present a hedging opportunity. So we
being by defining...
More For Subscribers
What is better than a
Christmas New Years
Why, sending an email to everyone in your 'contact' file and
tell them about
www.urbansurvival.com of course!
"Live on $10,000" Updated
What? You haven't ordered the ebook "How to Live on
$10,000 a year -- or less"? Suit yourself. We're all
going to live it shortly, anyway. I just thought you might
like a heads up by reading about how to do it before you get
pink-slipped. But, suit yourself OR visit
www.liveontenthousand.com or, click one of the following
Yep - still possible. I also took a bit of additional
material that was pertinent from recent issues of Peoplenomics
and included them. The whole thing runs about 65 pages,
but it gives you a vision of how to not only live on the
aforementioned dollar amount, but also how to migrate up the
economic foodchain if you make a little more than that and do
some active savings...
Click here for the page with more details on it.
week's report is here. For
back issues of this site, click here. (Goes back to
Friday February 20, 2009
Nails it, Panic Optional
Several readers were busy scolding me in the early going on
Thursday for my pessimistic outlook on the market. Their
emails went to the idea that "Jeez, George, there's no way the
market can have a significant decline in the middle of an
also-ran options expiration...it's not even a triple witch..."
And the market promptly turned lower and while the lunch-hour
event I was expecting Thursday didn't come anywhere near
closing the markets, it was, nevertheless, a pretty
interesting story - and it's bound to grow going forward:
USA Today headlines it as "IRS
unlocks UBS vault hiding Americans evading taxes."
While the Washington Post's take on it is that
"UBS Revealed Far Less than U.S. Sought in Tax Case" the
mere allegation that there are 52,000 mostly US citizens hiding
taxes from Uncle Sam should be enough to have shaken the
markets. It wasn't.
But, let's not overlook that
Santelli on CNBC Thursday did a major league rant about
government subsidizing 'bad behavior'
and asking how is it that those of us who have keep up our house
payments (90-95%) are going to have to pick up the tab for
people who lived beyond their means (5-10%)?
93% of those
responding to the CNBC poll when I looked say they would join
the Santelli "Chicago Tea Party."
Santelli's idea for a Chicago Tea Party certainly has some
merit, especially when you consider how one of his colleagues on
CNBC Thursday (Mark Haines) was trying to ask a slippery-wording
CONgresswoman in effect "If the taxpayers bail out someone who
is upside down in their home, and the home can later be sold for
a large profit, is there any way the taxpayers can get their
The answer, which the member of CONgress was not able to give is
simple: Of course the taxpayer's gonna get screwed. But,
she wasn't about to admit that in front of CNBC's audience.
But, at least Haines was trying to get someone from
CONgress to admit it...five bonus points.
So here are my top reasons why the market should drop at least
100 and maybe as many as a thousand points today:
UBS disclosures are only starting and as many as 52,000 tax
cheats could have to raise dough.
Between Santelli and Haines on CNBC there's revolutionary
talk about how taxpayers are getting screwed; someone
besides me has noticed there were only three reading copies
of the latest panic-driven BOHICA bill available for all of
CONgress to read. Just like the 'Patriot' Act
stampede. Wonder how long this one was sitting in the
wings ready to spring?
my birthday, so trading should be stopped for an hour out of
Futures are down more than 100 points on the Dow and gold is
up more than $10-bucks when I checked.
we're headed for hyper-stagflation which is where things you
need go sky-high and things you don't need plummet in price
such that the CPI looks like you should be living OK, but
you'll be noticing that your standard of living which
statistically should be unchanged is in reality
deteriorating. More on that in a sec.
seems to have written off Saab and thrown it to the
another investor rip-off is coming to light as an offshore
bank seems to have failed. So is this the last of
the rip-offs which will be surfacing? LOL, you're
joking, right? This is the tip of the Ponzi-berg...
Did I mention that world markets have been falling
how about this: "Gone
in 60 days: Citi and Bank of America won't live to see May"
says one posting out Thursday.
that's not the real reason for panic. Nor is the
revolutionary tone that will be leading into what the
linguistics team figures to be the 'summer of hell' as the
people who really do the work (and make things) try to figure
out how 99.9% of everything has ended up in the hands of the
banksters/PTB/uber klassen which are little more than the
capitalistic equivalent of slave owners.
The real problem is the the week which ended October 1,
2007...when the Dow hit 14,066.01 on a closing basis.
(I can hear you asking that all the way out here in East
my logic here - I'll put it up as bullet points:
October 2007 the Dow closed at 14,066.01
Since it's now
2009 and the Minneapolis Fed's inflation calculator has been
updated, we can see that in order to just stay even with
inflation, the Dow would need to be at 14,820.13 today.
Which means: When we cross 7,410.065 this morning, on
an inflation-adjusted basis the...
DOW WILL HAVE LOST
HALF ITS VALUE FROM OCTOBER OF 2007!!!
Come on! Do I have to do all the thinking about
this stuff? The way I got it figured is this: At
some point more than just ol' George is gonna figure out that
half their retirement dream has collapsed in the past year and a
half. When that happens, people will be hopping
mad. Take to the streets, "Where's my torch and
pitchfork?" mad. Zero-out debt and end spending mad.
Fortunately, there are a lot of sane people who read this site
daily who can see through the BS on the MSM (exceptions being
Santelli and Haines, but I figure they'll get reined in at some
point byt he folks upstairs...):
"If I hear one more talking head tell the TV listeners that
we are going to miss a big move up, I will wet my pants
laughing. These folks have been saying that for 6000
freaking points. Buy, Buy, Buy... They don't get it... They
have killed their golden goose... What am I doing with my
Two words Mrs. Robinson: Can Goods"
Yep. Garden, gold, groceries.
folks who think ahead of the mob, panic is (as usual) optional.
Watch for a stampede over the next week or two as we test that
Landry 6,500-4,400 area on the Dow. Popcorn?
Thousand-Dollar Gold's Back?
Watch the chart at the top of the page over the next week:
Seems gold is close to popping back over $1,000 an ounce.
Related: 8:54 this morning (Eastern) Dennis Gartman is
supposed to be on Bloomberg, I hear...and he's bullish on guess
what else might drive markets today? Howzzabout the
Consumer Price Index report?
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U)
increased 0.4 percent in January, before seasonal
adjustment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S.
Department of Labor reported today. The January level of
211.143 (1982-84=100) was virtually unchanged from January
The Consumer Price Index for
Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased
0.4 percent in January, prior to seasonal adjustment. The
January level of 205.700 (1982-84=100) was 0.5 percent lower
than in January 2008.
The Chained Consumer Price Index
for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in
January on a not seasonally adjusted basis. The January
level of 121.208 (December 1999=100) was 0.5 percent lower
than in January 2008. Please note that the indexes for the
post-2007 period are subject to revision.
CPI for All Urban Consumers
On a seasonally adjusted basis,
the CPI-U increased 0.3 percent in January after declining
in each of the three previous months. The energy index
climbed 1.7 percent in January, its first increase in six
months, but it was still 31.4 percent below its July 2008
peak level. Within energy, the gasoline index rose 6.0
percent in January after a 19.3 percent decline in December.
However, some energy components continued to decline; the
fuel oil index fell 3.7 percent in January and the index for
natural gas declined 3.6 percent. The food index, which rose
sharply during the summer and moderated through the fall,
increased 0.1 percent in January after being virtually
unchanged in December. The food index has risen 5.3 percent
over the past year.
we have a sanity check, please? I know this isn't
popular but here goes:
main reason the CPI is collapsing is that energy has gotten dirt
cheap and as a result, so has transportation and cheap energy
ripples and sloshed about. Energy is down as a 65.4%
annualized rate in today's report, which is 10% less than last
month's number (-75%). So guess what? When energy
stops dropping (on average) we're all screwed.
that means indices like transportation, down more the previous
month, and heading down at 43% annualized now, will also turn
around. That will shove up food prices...which are going
up a modest 1.4% annualized now.. and look at education (+3.3%)
and medical care (+3.9%) and tell me what happens when energy
prices rebound this spring... Is this so hard to figure
Want another bummer? How about this one:
220-thousand retail stores are going to close in the US this
year says Howard Davidowitz... Wanna bet on 800-thousand
jobs being lost when next month's figures come out?
Notice the AP Impact headline: "Jobless
hit with Bank Fees on Benefits." There you have it!
One more reason I want to see those over-leveraged, high-falutin
banksters bailed out. NOT! Here, let's write them another
Putting on my marketing hat, how's this for a positioning
statement for the money-center banks (soon to be nationalized)?
"We'll let no pooch go unscrewed!"
Maybe a little too honest, perhaps?
Happy birthday to me.....here, have a shot of el Don... Hey!
At 60, my IQ and age and freeway speed limits will cross in
er....a decade or less...
Nouriel Roubini is warning that a 'sovereign bank' could fail.
Wonder if he means all those Crown banks in trouble? Would
put some poetry behind the phrase 'royally screwed' wouldn't it?
Shuck, and Nukes
know how you can tell when the financial markets are in a
serious world of hurt? Stories start popping up about how
(just to pick a fer-instance here) "Iran
holds enough uranium for bomb."
OMG...ramp up more defense spending! Quick! Stampede
'em again! Yee Haw!
Texas Takes a Stand
Say: Speaking of yee haws: The State of Texas may be about
to put the Washingcrats on notice with H.C.R. 50 being
circulated in Austin. It says in part:
Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as
agents of the federal government; and
WHEREAS, Many federal laws are directly in violation of the
Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States;
WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of
the United States of America and each sovereign state in the
Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the
federal government may not usurp; and
WHEREAS, Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says,
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this
Union a Republican Form of Government," and the Ninth
Amendment states that "The enumeration in the Constitution,
of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or
disparage others retained by the people"; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New
York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that congress
may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory
processes of the states; and
WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations
and some now pending from the present administration and
from congress may further violate the Constitution of the
United States; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas
hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the
Constitution of the United States over all powers not
otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government
by the Constitution of the United States; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the
federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist,
effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of
these constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that
directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal
penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass
legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or
repealed; and, be it further
RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
copies of this resolution to the president of the United
States, to the speaker of the house of representatives and
the president of the senate of the United States Congress,
and to all the members of the Texas delegation to the
congress with the request that this resolution be officially
entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the
Congress of the United States of America."
I hear a chorus from the Hallelujah Choir, please?
Meantime, with reports that drug cartels are arming with
bazookas and such, not to mention
violence against the police in Ciudad Juarez (just a bridge
walk from El Paso on the American side), there are lots of folks
here in the Lone Star State who are wondering why we can defend
Afghan and Iraqi citizens and not those here in the
Republic...(Want me to ask why Gaza has tighter borders than we
have with Mexico, while I'm at it?)
you're trying to figure out what texting "RFO" means, here's a
hint: "Right F____ On." Fill in the missing as you
will. Need more coffee?
Soft revolution meme elsewhere? How about: "NYU
Student protest takes violent turn overnight" - this as the
students want some back and forth of financial transparency...
snip and save section ---
Housing Drops Hit Rentals
Good article in the latest BusinessWeek online reports: "Metro
areas with Biggest Rent Drops" sounds like it might be worth
taking a look at.
wait! How can Salt Lake City have a larger rent drop than
Las Vegas? I have to go off and meditate on that one for a
More on the disappearing ammo from sporting goods stores:
"George, Regarding ammo shortages, I have am aware that the
shortage in popular rounds is quite severe. I heard a
comment by a local gun shop owner that he might these days
only receive one of four cases of a given caliber, which
makes me think it is not just that the end consumer is
buying fast, but that at the top of the distribution channel
a certain amount may be being redirected away from the
civilian market. Perhaps to the FEMA or military? And why do
I not see local or internet dealers receiving their lot and
then selling fast. It seems that they are not even getting
any even for an hour. I think we need an investigation."
gosh, come on. We need all kinds of investigations:
What happened to all that Iraq money that's missing? How
did those private security contractors get all that dough?
Why didn't the government just let some bad banks fail?
Why are the greedy being bailed by the needy? No way it's
gonna happen, sorry. Congress abdicated during the Bush
term and with Obama off talking about 'protectionism' and other
nonsense in Canada, the only change in Washington is the
rotation from Clintonistas to Obamanistas for a whole class of
shadow government/ pol-appoint types.
then when I read Chinese media promoting the same idea ("Trade
protectionism no spur for world economic recovery") I have
to wonder "Gee, you think a faltering communist government in
China maybe has a vested interest in keeping its workers slaving
away instead of questioning the shadow government within
government? Shadow governments are everywhere, LOL.
Yeah, there's a need for investigations, alright. But with
most members of CONgress effectively neutered by lobbyists of
this stripe or that, about the only way to get performance will
be a huge number of recall elections for misfeasance/breach of
the public trust by those who are supposed to be looking out for
the rest of us...
Federal Computer Week has an interesting story about
the Department of Homeland Security is using a Google Earth
application for 'infrastructure protection."
reason I mention this is that there's been some talk that Google
Earth was purportedly used by those armed terror squads in
Mumbai a while back...and now I'm reading how the feds are using
a Google Earth ap (part classified, part not).
must be terribly dense on some of this stuff. When I read
that DHS Earth will allow "geospatial data to be exchanged in
real time" I find myself asking "What geospatial data?"
hear it now: "SpecOps 3, this is control: That nuclear
power plant hasn't moved yet and is still located at grid
the alphabet agencies in Langley and under 'the Fort' have
access to vastly better resolution that anything on Google
Earth, I) mean like read large newspaper headlines on a good day
better) I have to scratch my head and wonder "Whatzzup with the
DHS Earth project that a little inter-agency cooperation
couldn't save the taxpayers oodles and bundles on?"
must be very dense. But then again, it is my
birthday... wonder if there will be anything left in Social
Security when I get there?
snip and save items to
end snip and save section ---
Thursday February 19, 2009
Clues on Inflation
Before we get into the actual PPI numbers, a couple of notes on
what's going on at the Big Picture level. As I've
explained many times, the US is in a period very much like the
first Great Depression. The key difference this time is
that the Federal Reserve and Treasury are trying to print enough
money to keep things from collapsing into a deflationary
So how do you pull off this economic Hallelujah? Answer:
Print up a lot of money. Lots and lots, and lots more.
Which is why Ben Bernanke can get up in front of the National
Press Club on Wednesday and say (straight-faced):
observers have expressed the concern that, by expanding its
balance sheet, the Federal Reserve will ultimately stoke
inflation. The Fed's lending activities have indeed
resulted in a large increase in the reserves held by banks
and thus in the narrowest definition of the money supply,
the monetary base. However, banks are choosing to leave the
great bulk of their excess reserves idle, in most cases on
deposit with the Fed. Consequently, the rates of growth of
broader monetary aggregates, such as M1 and M2, have been
much lower than that of the monetary base.2 At this point,
with global economic activity weak and commodity prices at
low levels, we see little risk of unacceptably high
inflation in the near term; indeed, we expect inflation to
be quite low for some time. "
The reason he holds that expectation is that as a student of the
previous Depression, Bernanke is well aware of the powers of
deflation. The theory - and remember it's only that - a
theory - is that if we can print enough money to
counter-balance the powerful deflationary forces at work with
inflation via watering down the purchasing power of money
(wild-eyed printing) then maybe we can
As if to support that view, John Williams work at Shadow Stats
Trader Bart's site here) shows that the broadest measure of
the money supply is indeed falling. And, over on Williams'
site there's some evidence that the various ways of measuring
the consumer price index
are also collapsing. Or, are they?
We'll get the NEW CPI data tomorrow morning, but as of last
month, if you look at the few measures of consumer prices that
matter most, you'll see that
3 most recent months, compounded out for an annual rate were
dropping CPI at 12.7%, food was still going up (1.4%
annualized. So, where was the decline in consumer prices?
In transportation costs which were down 55.6% (annualized off
the 3 most recent months) we get a hint.
And what was driving down the transportation costs?
Collapse of oil prices. The special energy index in the
CPI was headed down at an annual rate of 76.6%. Just this
side of free gas.
Now comes the part which is key to understanding the future:
Given that the CPI has been coming down mainly due to oil
prices, which have gone from what? $145 down to $35 plus
or minus a cheeseburger? Ask yourself what happens to the
CPI when oil firms and heads back up! We will have
ourselves an inflation spectacle that will make those heady 18%
days of the early 1980's look like child's play. I think I
kept a Whip Inflation Now (WIN) pin from the era...
I do hope you noticed that
Venezuela said this week that the OPEC'ers are aiming for $70
oil? I reckon that we'll be an annualized inflation
rate back in the 20% range (or greater) by the time August
figures come out in September, or September's in October.
I point out that what Bernanke et all are trying is just a
theory and that gold seems to be telegraphing that at least
one of the major commodities will be going up thanks to the
This is really a titanic struggle - and many readers are
confused by it. Chatting with one fellow yesterday who
said he was getting 4½ on a good
quality CD. If deflation takes hold any more, that will be
a fine return. But, if inflation flips up, then he's
covered with some gold. Somewhat my approach - not
perfect, but a close approximation. Remember, the whole
deal here is that if you can just maintain your wealth through
this period you'll be doing better than probably 90% of the
public which is still enchanted with "buy and hold".
I was talking about where the stock
market seems to be right now with my friend Robin Landry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
because he's developed a very workable long-term investment
tool. "I think we're in 3 of 3 of 5 now..." he explained.
What's that mean? Go read up
Elliott Waves work and it will become clear.
Landry also had some good things to
say about CNBC's Jim Cramer; giving him credit for telling
people - in effect - that this was a trading market and
no longer a buy and hold market. Much like Landry's view.
Also thinks there's a chance we might have one more good price
break in gold ($700 or lower?) before things really break out to
the upside ($1,900 or $3,000 depending on what else goes wrong
in the economy...)
My latest polling of ex
contributors/participants in the old University of Colorado
Longwave Econ group from the mid through late 1990's) is that we
drop from here down to around 5,800 on the Dow (maybe as low as
4,400, or only 6,800 and then we get a real strong pop up to the
Dow 10,000 region, but then by 2010 the Dow could be down
testing under the 1,000 level.
So that's the BIG PICTURE of how
I'm looking at my meager investments today - and no, this is not
trading or investment advice- you're on your own and I haven't
been invited to be a network talking head and I'm not selling
books and software for a living.
So back on today's headline: One
way to get a sense of how things may play out in the future is
to look at the Producer Price Index. This is like looking
at a factory production line. At the very beginning of the
line you have raw goods/ crude goods. This is stuff like
iron ore, oil, and whatever else you need to make things in this
A little further along the
production line, you have 'intermediate goods' which is sort of
the half-way point of manufacturing.
Then you have 'finished goods'
which are set to ship out the door to distribution/retailers.
Now, with that all in mind, we can
pop over to the Producer Price Index report and make some sense
Producer Price Index for Finished Goods rose 0.8 percent in
January, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics
of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. This
increase followed declines of 1.9 percent in December and
2.5 percent in November. At the earlier stages of
processing, the decrease in prices for intermediate
materials slowed to 0.7 percent from 4.2 percent in the
prior month, and the index for crude materials declined 2.9
percent after dropping 5.3 percent in December. (See table
The upturn in the index for
finished goods was led by the index for energy goods, which
increased 3.7 percent after falling 9.1 percent in December.
Price declines for finished consumer foods slowed to 0.4
percent in January from 1.4 percent in the preceding month.
The index for finished goods less foods and energy increased
0.4 percent following a 0.2-percent rise a month earlier."
I squint at the numbers just so, I can sense a rounding bottom
in the PPI due to energy declines slowing down...and I think
that the PPI will be up in a month or two as the energy prices
slow their decline, stop, and then turn up. That said,
this morning's number was weaker (e.g. lower) than expected -
and that might start pressuring precious metals. Assuming no
left-field events today around lunchtime.
Remember, this is all ghastly complicated because no two
economists agree on where to look on the timeline in order to
ascertain where things will be going. Remember, the
investment decisions of today will be based on earnings of
companies in Q2 or Q3 and the MSM talking heads/economists are
still looking at the very first month of Q1 and until fresher
data comes out, a lot of old data from Q4.
While this crop of economists try to drive by looking in the
rear-view mirror, we'll just keep focused on news events that
will impact fiture pricing of goods and
services...figuring that the rearview guys will be content
inventing formulaic excusifications why they miss every major
corner when the economy isn't going in just exactly a straight
line. How they end up on the tube daily is mind-boggling.
There's gotta be a word for it: Something between
gibberish and formula. gibberula or formuberish maybe.
But, you get the idea. Most, if they were really good, I'd
think would be filthy rich and not getting up early to
pontificate. When I get $50-mil ahead, I will be sleeping
late. Trust me.
Look Surprised Department
The FT reports that "Greenspan
backs bank nationalisation." Why, isn't that amazing?
A central banker backing more power and bailout dough for
central bankers. Why, that's just astounding, isn't it?
Who would have thought?
I continue to ask the question: "What are we doing in
Afghanistan?" without getting a palatable answer. I mean
besides the diamonds, the boxing of Iran, the hunt for Osama bi
Laden who's likely been gone for years. Now I read:
Commander: Troops 'stalemated' in Afghanistan."
A well-read reader offered an interesting quote from some book,
or other: Afghanistan is where empires go to die. Worked
for the Soviets, didn't it?
As the internet continues to gobble up market share from
old-line media, we note that "CBS
slashes dividend as income falls 52%."
Another 2.3 earthquake in north-central New Jersey.
Wanna ponder a strange coinkydink? "FAA:
Falling (hot) metal did not come from airplane".
OK: Quake was a mile outside Dover New Jersey. The
'hot metal' falling from the sky was in Jersey City. 29.5
miles away. Events about 8 hours apart... just odd,
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Survivalists and the
Every so often, a reader will pop in a question like "George,
why are you such a 'survivalist' - or words to that effect.
I usually sit back and ask "Who, me?" And here's why:
Much of what I have done in life ever since being a young kid in
Mrs. Brooks' Cub Scout troop has been about 'being prepared'.
Pappy, being a captain in the fire department, well, that was
all about being ready for anything from a small brush fire
to a fully involved industrial building. Being a news
director in a major market? A course in all that life can
(and does) throw at people. Living on a sailboat for 10+
years with not so much as a mishap after 5-10-thousand miles
under the keel...that too speaks to preparedness.
Yet curiously, when governments prepare for worst-case
events, that's somehow not survivalism. That
becomes 'continuity of government' and that's somehow more
'acceptable' to the PowersThatBe than individuals preparing for
whatever life can throw them and being as best prepared as they
know how. Which get's us to this week's cartoon from
So is having a little food stored, a gun, some seeds, and great
outdoor gear...does that qualify a person as a 'survivalist'?
Or, is there meme/concept coming from somewhere else? Next
time you hear the word pop up, try to corner whoever you heard
it from and ask them "Say, just what is a survivalist?"
The answers are surprising. If you can goods out of your
garden does that make you a 'survivalist'?
Speaking of which: You may wish to
eye on House Resolution 45 - which seeks to ban any kind of
gun that is magazine-fed & semi-automatic. Yep...couldn't
make this one up.
"Naw, George, they'd never try to confiscate or criminalize gun
ownership - guaranteed by the Founding Fathers, would they?"
Oh yeah - that and more if they can get away with it.
the Palestine Herald here in East Texas has a pretty good
summary of this latest attempt to strip Americans of their
Second Amendment rights. This is apparently not an
issue to Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush, who doesn't seem to have
a problem naming a bill after a 16-year old hero and son of a
Chicago police officer who was killed while shielding a female
classmate during a gang-related shooting. Like the
gang-bangers are going to rush out and register their illegal
weapons? I'm become less impressed by the day with
Still, it's part of a growing and dangerous trend - to strip the
civilian population of its right to bear arms.
Even more insidious is the current ammunition shortage...which
reads like an end-run around the efforts of the Gun Owners of
America, the National Rifle Association, and the Second
Amendment Foundation which are committed to maintaining the
integrity of the Second Amendment.
If you're a long-time reader, you might recall that I started
talking about the ammunition shortages two or three years ago.
I'd mentioned this at the time to the fellow across the road and
remember he'd said he hasn't seen any shortages.
Yet on Wednesday he called and said, essentially, that he was
trying to get some ammo and had just run head-on into my
ammunition shortages. He reported that several kinds of
ammo that we was interested in were showing as "Out of stock" at
Cheaper Than Dirt...and some that were showing as 'ion stock'
resulted in emails later saying 'Sorry, out of stock on that,
Yep, when I first started covering ammunition shortages
back in March of 2006 it looked like a leading edge of the
larger "encounters with scarcity meme" but as things have
evolved, it may be an end-run around outright gun control.
Guns are, after all, not much use without something to put in
These developments, and more, have served to sharpen my focus on
some very interesting trends underway: The ammunition
shortages, the attempts to subvert
the Second Amendment, and I hear that tomorrow Texas may be
joining the list of States that are lining up to tell the
federal government that if a State doesn't specifically cede a
power to the central government, then the central government
may not seize unauthorized power and impose rules/laws in
those States. One of the most interesting aspects of
this emerging trend? Calls into question how much powetr
the feds have over State militias and 'guards'.
More in this week's Peoplenomics report. But as usual, the
discussion will be on first causes - conflict management,
tactics, and objectives. Given a choice between a
cross bow, and night vision gear or five guns of any caliber
(*without NV), care to guess which one I'd take?
New service will help you unmask those caller ID blocked calls.
It's called www.trapcall.com.
Send snip and save items to
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Wednesday February 18, 2009
Limited Range of Motion
Yeah we'll get to this morning's string of numbers in a moment,
but first things first: So there I was, 3:34 AM and wide awake.
Going through my head was a single thought: "Gee, government
sure doesn't have much 'range of motion'.
I tried to think about what's really available to Congress as
problem-solving tools and it always seemed to come back to just
a handful of very constrained choices once they have exhausted
later today when president Obama goes to Phoenix to talk up the
housing measures, it will be with a very small amount of
actual money. Oh sure, $50-billion may sound like a
lot of money if you're just buying Cheerios with it. But,
when you've got a huge housing crisis going (with no end in
sight and a continuing deterioration of conditions) it's not
Which is why I harbor an uneasy feeling
about how the rest of the week
could work out:
Market may bounce. My best dart (understand its early)
would be a close up 94.45 points...but that's only a guess.
Thursday: I would look for big fireworks. Maybe a bit
of downward pressure at the open and then WHAM! Around
lunchtime a huge selling spree to catch everyone off guard
or at lunch. Maybe an 800 - 1000 point drop - possibly
Friday: Markets open, and then close before noon (Central)
due to extreme price action.
And what is going on that may cause such a seemingly unlikely
set of circumstances? Let me tick through the list for
talk about "change" in Washington is just that. Talk.
President Obama has ordered 17,000 more US troops to
Afghanistan. Seems to me the change which
people thought they were voting for wasn't to
change countries involved in Operation Enduring Freedom
but was for something else. The way I've got it
figured is that if Osama bin Laden hasn't been found in
Afghanistan after what, 7½
years, the odds are pretty low he's going to be found this
week - or any time soon. CONgress is living up to its
name on this one. Meanwhile,
the civilian death toll was up 40% in 2008 says the NY
Massive auto collapse.
Don't know if you noticed but
GM is laying off another 47-thousand and Chrysler is
dropping 3,000 and GM says it needs money next month
in order to keep going. That means somewhere between
10-days and 41-days, CONgress may be asked to write another
check. A BIG one. Reports are circulating that
Goodyear may cut almost 5,000 jobs.
foreclosures are continuing to ramp up despite the good
intentions behind the housing bill. But here's the
really interesting part that may scare the hell out of
people in the fixed income departments: Seems
homeowners who are facing foreclosure have come up with a
new rallying cry:
Produce the Note! The way contract law works is
pretty simple: No contract, nothing to enforce. And since
there's so much of the housing mess that's now reduced to
jumbled and misplaced paperwork, who know how many home
loans are really valid anymore. Without a copy of a
contract, seems to me that liens against homes might
be challenged and I'm just guessing that possibility is not
heavily weighted in CMO pricing - yet.
reports recently that European banks need something like
$16-trillion in bailouts, we notice that Germany is drafting
legislation to nationalize their banks. Repeat
after me: Socialize losses, privatize profits.
You just weren't born with the silver spoon, if you're not
getting a piece of it.
Meantime, some of the headlines are pretty interesting.
The Drudge Report,
for example, headlined this morning that "Obama moves toward
"Swedish Model" for Banks." So being no fool,
I went looking for Swedish models and yeah, I can see
reasons to move toward any numbers of Swedish Models...LOL.
(Somehow, that may not be what he meant, but who can take Global
Financial Collapse seriously all the time, right?)
But seriously, this is just more in the plan to take the losses
of the fat cats, dump them on the taxpayers, and then let the
same crowd buy back in after the public has paid the piper.
Word from Happy Geithner's crew: "Top
20 banks receiving US aid are lending." Why sure they
are...just bring your 820 credit score and come along this
way... (You know
your credit score drives you car insurance prices, too, eh?
Maybe they figure if your credit score is low you'll end up
living in the car.... I dunno....)
So while it may sound a bit pessimistic of me to look at all the
crap going on in financial markets, feel a tinge of sadness all
the people who are losing their net worth - and being indentured
to future taxes by an irresponsible CONgress, and even
suggest that we could have a market closure late tomorrow or
Friday, it's not really out of the realm of possibilities..
I hope you noticed that
"Russian stocks tumble, trading suspended" already this
week? Think globally linked markets.
I told you back in December what the track of things would be:
That the market would drift down through around the middle of
February to early March and then we ought to see a rally from
Robin Landry's Dow 6,500 to as low as 4,400 range with 5,800 a
good middle-range guess. Then we'll have us a screaming
rally back up to the 9,600 kind of range - maybe even 10,000+ on
the Dow by early summer. Then we head for Dow 1,000 (or
lower) in 2010.
So, I'm just going to shovel a couple of bucks into my commodity
account and get ready to load the boat on oil call options...so
I've been enjoying the weakness as "Oil
trades near $35 on speculation U.S. stockpiles climb."
Oh yeah...let 'em climb...makes my call option plans all the
There's an old saying - might have been one of Pappy's firehouse
expressions - "To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like
To a Congress with a checkbook, everything looks like a bailout.
'Except for you & me, of course.
Morning Numbers Festival
Hmmm...my numbers first:
little summary of collapsing trade aside, let's see what else we
can come up with in the number-crunching department: Oh,
how about the Census report on housing with highlights by your
favorite East Texas whacko?
BUILDING PERMITS Privately-owned housing units
authorized by building permits in January were at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 521,000. This is 4.8
percent (±3.5%) below the revised December rate of 547,000 and
is 50.5 percent (±2.2%) below the revised January 2008
estimate of 1,052,000. Single-family authorizations
in January were at a rate of 335,000; this is 8.0 percent
(±1.8%) below the December figure of 364,000. Authorizations
of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate
of 166,000 in January.
HOUSING STARTS Privately-owned housing starts in January
were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 466,000. This
is 16.8 percent (±11.0%) below the revised December estimate
of 560,000 and is
56.2 percent (±4.4%) below the revised January 2008 rate
of 1,064,000. Single-family housing starts in January were
at a rate of 347,000; this is 12.2 percent (±13.0%)* below
the December figure of 395,000. The January rate for units
in buildings with five units or more was 114,000. HOUSING
COMPLETIONS Privately-owned housing completions in January
were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 776,000. This
is 24.2 percent (±5.9%) below the revised December estimate
of 1,024,000 and is
41.7 percent (±6.9%) below the revised January 2008 rate
of 1,331,000. Single-family housing completions in January
were at a rate of 566,000; this is 17.5 percent (±7.2%)
below the December figure of 686,000. The January rate for
units in buildings with five units or more was 203,000.
Utilization due out at 9:15 Eastern, so check
for those numbers.
I don't suppose I need to point out why gold has been climbing
steadily? Governments around the world are trying to
'paper over' the global economic mess. Typical headline:
[Bank of England] Asks for Authority to Create Money."
One of George's simple axioms spring to mind:
government can create it, it ain't really money."
Which neatly explains headlines like this one: "Gold
tops $975 on Demand for Store of Value; Silver also climbs..."
And yes, I told you I was buying gold in 2001 at $265-273 and I
told you in 2005 that I was buying silver at $6.94 - $7.05.
Who would have picked
the French island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean as a site for
five weeks of strikes and now one dead in violence?
You may not see much coverage in the MSM of the doings in
Chicago last night where "3,000
union members rally for bill to make organizing easier."
And the reason you won't hear much about this is the
MainStreamMedia is largely owned by folks who would just as soon
workers not organize. Well, duh...
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Tears and Beers
You saw where
Oregon is planning to raise its barrel tax on beer by something
Ever crafty and creative UrbanSurvival readers are noticing
"An acquaintance went to the Blue Gray "Breweriana" Show in
Fredericksburg Va last weekend (40 "guest beers" on tap all
weekend!) Sez that one thing he learned is that the
microbrewing industry rose 11% this past year.
I think I'll go clean out my
401K and buy brewing supplies. No, not stock in brewing
supplies -- actual supplies. Malt, bottles & caps, more
carboys. . . . I remember learning once that booze and life
insurance are the two most depression-resistant products.
Gotta find a local guy who
Not only is booze a good barter item, seems that like gold (of
the non single malt type) it's got some upside potential.
Here's a good one:
Could Result from Crisis - story reported on 14 Feb in
Lithuania (of all places). With the story about the
necessity of bailing out the Eastern European banking system
and everything on the verge of collapse ... when is the
curtain going up on the Global Solution (cue the Hallelujah
choir?) and ... I am a bit of a financial idiot, but is
there a possibility that those crashing the global economy
are in fact investing in an as yet unavailable currency?"
Well, yes, that's a possibility, alright. Which is why
Elaine and I have been focused on nonmonetary ways to use cash
(while it still works). So, if you've got a couple of
years of seeds, some stored water and food, gardening tools,
walking shoes, and the whole 4 (may be as high as 6) G's, then
iot may not matter.
Several readers and Canadian editor Tim B - have
asked if we're planning to bid on any of the blingaphenalia from
Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. Not 'no' but HELL
Me One Department
Here's a new goodie out of Germany which would be really cool to
have along, oh, say the Inter-Coastal Waterway...
Just think, not only could you 'fly' along a canal, but you
could also wash the car with it...
Fox reports that a "New
Hampshire family of four trying to live on $1,500 for the year."
I know you may be skeptical of whether a person can really live
on $10,000 a year as I outline in my ebook (below) but yeah, it
can be done very nicely. And in the ebook, I didn't even
put in a requirement for gardening...so you really could get by
on $5,000...or less... if you needed to and as these folks are
From inside the Beltway:
Quite anecdotal, but thought I
would pass on a couple of tidbits from the Washington, DC
First, I went to fill a common
pain killer prescription yesterday and my CVS pharmacist
said they haven’t been able to get their orders filled by
their supplier in three weeks. They said I’d find the same
problem at Giant – same supplier. They called the Safeway
nearby and they had to check to see if they had it. Safeway
did have it, so I went over. I overheard a woman trying to
find Prilosec. They were out of it, along with the several
other stores she had already been.
Second, I’ve been noticing the
quality of food has already gone down and many restaurants
and/or the price has gone up an average of $3 to $4 per
entrée in the past few months. Starbucks has replaced their
line of delicious morning breakfast sandwiches with an Egg
McMuffin wanna be. Thats’right, the Starbucks sandwich costs
more then an Egg McMuffin at $3.95 (but tastes worse to me).
Needless to say, I’m getting my morning caffeine and
breakfast elsewhere now.
Lastly, I just received
“Reinventing Collapse” from Amazon. The delivery box appears
to be smaller than what was usual in the past with little or
no “cushion” inside to protect it, just book. Well, at least
they are saving on resources in a “green” sort of way, but
we all know they are shaving a few cents off the cost of
each box expecting the amount of a few damages books won’t
offset the savings realized……
Keep up the good work!"
Say I should point something out: If this was really
"work" would I be doing it?
And I don't mean coronary care hearties...
.......I've ran aground and
can't get up!
Thought you said only ONE ship
would run aground. JEEZ!!! (You wouldn't perhaps have
insurance on these things would ya? ;-)
Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Antarctica
I thought it would be one
but when a meme 'goes hot' in modelspace, sometimes it's
like Universe just gets carried away with itself...weird, huh?
Who would have thought the Universe would decide to have a 'ship
running aground festival in February'?
Gee, maybe the market will close in
honor of my birthday Friday...
Thursday is cartoon day, so drop by tomorrow...
Send snip and save items to
--- end snip and save section ---
Tuesday February 17, 2009
The predictive linguistics work over at
has been saying for a fair spell that the Obama administration
first big 'test' would come after we got something having to do
with ships grounding, something about gold popping, and a few
So, in the past couple of weeks we have been seeing all kinds of
ship accidents/groundings - Just to mention a few, there were
some fishing boat rescues, that
tanker losing power off the Golden Gate, the
tanker collision off Dubai, and then
this weekend a couple of nuclear submarines colliding in the
Atlantic. And what about
that guided missile cruiser grounding off Hawaii? So
that linguistic set is chock-a-block full and done.
If you wanted, you could throw in the collision of the Kosmos
and the coincidentally numbered Iridium 33 satellites over
Siberia, too, since they were a couple of space ships.
The fallout from that is still making
headlines in Kentucky and Texas after fireballs were
sighted. Linguistically, things don't get much fuller than
So what's this 'test' business all about? Well, that
is open to speculation. One line of language hints goes to
the idea that it will have some military component to it and
that at some point here shortly, Obama will have a chance to
'win a battle, lose a war' or he could 'lose a battle, win the
war". But, on the other side, that could be simply
metaphorical as the economy seems to be in the midst of
Economic conditions are quickly deteriorating in the wake of
Moody's latest red flags about the banking sector in Eastern
Europe. Here in the US, the stock futures point to a
triple-Excedrin day on the exchanges, but there is a bright spot
for folks like us who have already fled paper assets and have
gotten back to the 4-G strategy: gun, garden, gold, and grub.
When I checked earlier,
was well over the $960 level, and see the chart at the top
of the page for more. Seems I'm not the only one that has
figured out that printing up money hand-over-fist will water
down the purchasing power of dollars such that
inflation/hyperinflation is a real possibility.
Not that the US is alone in this you-know-what storm:
Japan is shopping for a new finance minister after a
press conference on Saturday in Rome where Soichi Nakagawa
slurred his speech raising questions about whether he'd had
maybe one too many. Or, could have been seriously jet
lagged, but regardless, he's toast.
Then there's the matter of international trade collapsing.
Later on this week I'll put together a little more depth to
this, when the various Port people come back from the long
weekend and get their January stats posted. But,
the heads-up Port of Long Beach shows that their total traffic
was down 23.4% compared with January of 2008, so being a
rocket surgeon, I figure that means at some point there may be
less to choose from at Wally 'World and pretty much everywhere
else, since America has exported most of its hard-good
manufacturing to elsewhere.
Don't even get me started on how already, corpgov is trying to
make a whipping boy out of protectionism - which is patently
absurd since the global financial piñata has already been
smashed and it happened while the barriers to trade were about
zip. naturally, when I read stories like the
Anne Applebaum piece in the Washington Post "Protectionism Anew"
my blood boils. Free trade gone nuts has caused
where we are...or hadn't you noticed?
laissez-faire corporatism ('hands off' corporatism run amok)
was really a grand idea and all, we shouldn't be in collapse
mode and voting on a stimulus bill this week that's so big no
one in Congress has read the whole thing!
While the Houston Chronicle down the road headlines that the "Obama
stimulus bill signing will take a positive tone" I'm left
wondering what he'll be positive about? That it will pump
up inflation and hide the economic collapse under a pile of
If you do nothing else today,
please make a note to yourself to watch the PBS special "Inside
the Meltdown" on FrontLine tonight. I'm not the only
one seeing this for what it is: "Economists
try target practice in a Fun-House Mirror" says a New York
Meanwhile, I'm just plugging away on my plan for a national
recall center - to set up a clearinghouse so that people can
learn about how the recall process works in America and how
malfeasance or misfeasance of office really is grounds to get
politicians out of office in mid term. When the public was
calling by some reports at a 300 to 1 rate against the
bankster bailouts, and when trillion dollar pork bills go
unread, don'tcha think that just maybe that's
Readers are sending in notes like this one
ALTA 1109 Part I you mentioned a "shift to military posture"
in/around Feb 11th that was connected to Obama's "test,"
which was also linked to symbols relating to mountains. The
news article below about the 10th Mountain Division (Ft
Drum, NY) deploying to Afghanistan as part of Obama's surge
in military operations fits that prediction on all counts!
Note that the first 3,000 additional troops have arrived in
country, and have already engaged in combat. Score another
one for the Time Monks, plus I hereby authorize George a
double shot of el Don with his morning coffee!:"
that does bring up the matter of how many more troops Obama will
send to Afghanistan...and can someone please remind me what
we are doing there besides cornering the world's heroin supply
for the narco crowd off in the background and those pipeline
routes? Russia which is nearly next door gave up because
it was a sinkhole for resources...so we're doing what?
Hey! I just got it! Maybe "change" means
instead of Iraq, Afghanistan will be the main feature of the
Obama administration's military spending plans...got it!
How silly of me.... but what are we
Subscriptions are now open for the next predictive linguistics
run: $280 for first-timers and $70 if you have been in a
And another reader sends this:
"Could the "Test" of the
President be a world currency crisis?
Apparently, the foreign exchange
last night go volatile and the USD got strong pushing around
on other currencies. [I noticed that too...as
did other readers
on links like this one... - G]
Whatever it is - some FX folks
got worried last night.
And, with Hillary overseas in
Asia - who knows what's up (well maybe the Illuminati but
they don't have a national magazine we can read...)..."
And speaking of which....
Signs of the time in Indonesia?
The weekend election results out of Venezuela keep making
headlines like "Emboldened
Hugo Chávez to speed up his Bolivarian Revolution".
Well, at least Hugo is open and forthright about his
brand of socialism. The corpgov version steamrolling in
Washington with trillions for the elite is still masquerading as
'freedom'... And we point fingers at Chavez?
Next Collapse Is...
Commercial real estate maybe? A reader asked if the
headline that "Redemptions
overwhelm Santander property fund" might be the leading edge
Maybe, but it could be something like the today's "Trump
Entertainment files for Chapter 11," too.
I expect it won't be just a single event that will tip
over the commercial property side. It will likely be a
soup of this commercial CMO being repriced dramatically, a run
on this, a bankruptcy on that...then at some point it becomes a
self-referencing feedback situation and "Whoosh!" We're in
the next round of panic. That's how Depressions work,
collapse in stepwise fashion..
Russia end up bailing out an Oregon steel plant? Pass
the el Don.
Dick Cheney outraged President Bush didn't grant 'Scooter' Libby
full pardon" reports the NY Daily News.
Lemmesee here: If everyone in Washington operated in an
honest and forthright manner, would the Country need 'get out of
jail free cards'?
Kinds of Sh*t Department
to be charged for each flush of toilet" down under (so to
Don't know whether it has dawned on you what's going on globally
if you step back far enough and go into a soft martial arts
gaze: 1) Instead of solving greenhouse emissions
which is doable but which would cut corpgov profits, that got
monetized with the carbon credit trading delusion. 2) In like
manner, now to solve the Oz drought problem we see the flush
tax. Seeing a pattern here?
How about: Humans don't want to change anything - which is
why the Obama administration is just what the marketing
department ordered (talk change but defend the old paradigm)
they just want to tax and spend figuring that with the right mix
of tax incentives everything'll be alright and as Happy Geithner
would have us believe, we'll make back those lost bazillions.
Yeah, whatever... the difference between crack and taxes is
what, exactly...I mean besides who the user is?
at work? S&P futures down 2.48% when I looked,
but the Dow was only down 1.88%
Seat belt tight? You know we're in Robin Landry's 'crash watch'
--- snip and save section ---
Another Orlov Talk
I've become quite a fan of Dmitri Orlov's work. If you're
initial response is "Who?" then you need to be expanding
your reading horizons a bit.
Orlov's a Russian-born fellow who moved to the US at about age
12 and since he's culturally got a foot in both countries, so to
speak, he's got a really good ability to see through the
hyperbole and cut to the chase when it comes to how Super Powers
implode; watch Russia and then watch what's going on in the US.
So last week he gave a talk in San Francisco called "Social
Collapse Best Practices" and although it prints out in Word at
24-pages or so (when I put it on "old man type size")
It's very much worth reading and may be found here. A
Shelter. Transportation. Security. Security is very
important. Maintaining order and public safety requires
discipline, and maintaining discipline, for a lot of people,
requires the threat of force. This means that people must be
ready to come to each other’s defense, take responsibility
for each other, and do what’s right. Right now, security is
provided by a number of bloated, bureaucratic, ineffectual
institutions, which inspire more anger and despondency than
discipline, and dispense not so much violence as ill
treatment. That is why we have the world’s highest prison
population. They are supposedly there to protect people from
each other, but in reality their mission is not even to
provide security; it is to safeguard property, and those who
own it. Once these institutions run out of resources, there
will be a period of upheaval, but in the end people will be
forced to learn to deal with each other face to face, and
Justice will once again become a personal virtue rather than
a federal department."
Other items covered include being ready to blow out of your job
at any point and so forth. If you want more details about
how present events could dash the ship of state on the rocks,
you might add his book
Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects
to your list.
Speaking of prisons:
Catch and Release
So there we were, sitting around Monday afternoon having a
light, refreshing meal while food is still plentiful, big
ranch-style spread: Chicken carbonara, turkey & dressing,
a bunch of veggies, and some pizza (need I mention a glass or
two of my second favorite jug wine, Paisano? #1 fave jug wine is
Cribari Vino Bianco served very cold) and an interesting
question came up:
In Texas, there's quite a fair portion of the population that is
involved in prison work. So here is the interesting
question: If due to governmental lack of funding, the
state stopped paying the private contractors that run prisons,
what would the guards do if the money to run prisons just dried
up one day? Would they release inmates into their local
community, or just leave them locked up and walk out and let
Oh, sure, a macabre kind of thought on the surface, but when you
read Orlov's view on how the Former Soviet Union (FSU) fell
apart and consider the possibility that the USA could be headed
for FUSA status, then the question is a little less absurd.
Moreover, I don't know if you say the story out of Pennsylvania
judges paid to detain youths in private jails"?
I assume you saw that
California may have to cut prison population by 40 percent?
A California college student editorial figures that:
has been over 100 days since Governor Schwarzenegger called
a special session of the Legislature to fix the state
budget, which came in 85 days late to begin with.
The budget they are working on
is for fiscal year 2008-09, which ends on June 30. Over
halfway through the fiscal year, California is without a
“real” budget. "
the California Legislature can't seem to figure out how to cut -
and they adjourned again with no budget leaving Arnold to take
the heat for laying off 10,000, that problem is not going
away any time soon. No,
make that 20,000. Wonder if Arnold regrets the
'tough guy' image?
states under extreme budget pressures, the question about
prisons and prisoner release is far from moot, as I've got it
figured. And once you admit that states are in real
trouble, then the question about how prisoners would/will be
released as economic stresses go becomes a mighty important
question to be asking.
you happen to be (or know) from prison administrators, it might
be a very pertinent thing to be asking: What's the
strategic plan for dealing with prison inmate populations if
there's a collapse of government funding due to economic
dislocation? I can't tell you precisely what the odds are
- since such things are unknowable. But I'm pretty sure
the answer is a none-zero equation.
delay tax refunds, paychecks? Like I said, its a
Report out of the UK: "DNA
left at crime scene could be used to create picture of
criminal's FACE, say scientists." So, if you're
studying for a life of crime, you might figure on masking up,
gloving up, and wearing head gear...is that what we're supposed
to get from this?
And here's a dandy:
A new pill is being developed that could help erase 'bad
memories". Sounds like a dandy idea, huh? That
way we wouldn't have to learn from our mistakes or deal with the
life we've chosen to live this time around... oh boy....
Here's something interesting...
Fitting in with the living with
out 'paper money' meme ... caught mention of this on our CBC
news last night and found this Canadian website about how to
host/have one - even has the rules. Its a good concept. I
remember participating in 'clothing exchange parties for
kids clothes' during the 80's (recession). After all
'fashion and style' will still I'm sure be an important part
of (I can't believe I'm going to write this gender bias)
"Survival" mode for women. LOL!
The Great Canadian Clothing
Exchange By Jo-Anne Lauzer
All This Stuff
If it doesn't? Your view of reality is flawed...
Hate to point out the obvious, but you need to know that at some
Send snip and save items to
--- end snip and save section ---
Monday February 16, 2009
Not to Make
On the occasional national holiday, like this being Presidents
Day and all, I sometimes afford myself the luxury of sleeping in
Still, having slept in, I usually end up regretting it.
This morning not only did Zeus (the cat who often ghost-writes
large sections of this report) want to play, but Outlook decided
to bless me with a "Sorry George, don't want to work today
either, so sit on this 0x8003010a error and twirl, pal..."
Plus my favorite coffee cup was in the dishwasher.
OK, not exactly economic genius, to be sure, but this is
a holiday, after all.
V for Venezuela
Old Hugo Chavez is up to his old tricks again...why despite the
best efforts of our alphabet agencies, not to mention the
corpgov agents of oil, he's gone and gotten himself anointed
more or less presidente in perpetuum.
But that's no knee slapper. Nossir. The real (here's
a new word for yah:) wryrony of it is the headline "Chavez
calls Venezuela vote mandate for socialism." Hell,
ain't that what Happy Geithner and Printer Ben are doing on the
banking side of things right here in the formerly Land of the
Great Balls of Fire
calls around Texas to authorities to report fireballs falling.
While SAC says it wasn't leftovers from that satellite smash-up[
over Siberia, seems to me could be any old thing, since there
was that, the usual odds of errant meteors, and not to mention
those folks who report that using night-vision gear, they have
seen UFO's duking it out in the skies at night. Apparently
not visible to the naked eye... I may start taking a Gen
2+ look-see on clear mornings on the way over to the office --
I'll let you know if I see anything out of the ordinary.
Hillary speaks and warns North Korea. Why if they
don't straighten up, we'll send her in to set up a health care
system for 'em. That oughta straighten up damn quick.
Headline of the Day
download tax proposal awaits climax in Albany." Come,
come, now...are the editors asleep?
Shaken And Stirred
New Jersey has another earthquake.
Connect The Dots
astronaut speaks out on global warming" and says "...global
warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase
government control over American lives, incomes and decision
Second Dot: "As
Data Collection Grows, Privacy Erodes."
OK, off to fix Outlook....a more normal morning tomorrow,
Once upon a time, a long while ago, I observed during my quest for
'truth' in economics, that the PowersThatBe, the talking heads on
the teeve, and the other information sources that actively engage in
the programming of humans not to think, had conveniently swept
several trillions of dollars that disappeared in the Internet
Bubble's bursting (since spring 2000) under the rug. Surely,
it wasn't unnoticed by the thousands of people who called brokers
and said "Where is my money?" "Gone, but hang in there as
you're a long term investor!" was about all they heard back.
So one of our
charts for Peoplenomics subscribers oughta be widely circulated - it
shows that if you line up the peak of the Dow in January 2000 with
the peak in early September of 1929, we're on a very very close
replay track. Much closer than even the chart shows if you
were to back out inflation, and put in the effects of 1929
deflation, but that'd be real work, and I'm sort of lazy if the
truth be told.