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March 20, 2010
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Yuan Thing At A Time
If this were 'most
mornings' and we will still living in 'most times' I'd be
pleased to start off with trend related story of the day which
is? (Repeat after me..."The Euro Problems" -
there...). But this morning even the "800 lb. gorilla's"
gotta move over because we are witnessing the beginning of a
huge rollover of international power as "China Eats World"
with its currency.
If you don't see the
significance of this, a quick read of the BusinessWeek article "Yuan
poised to become Reserve Currency, Goldman's O'Neill Says"
is in order.
This is one of those
under-the-surface moves that is likely both unstoppable and
inevitable since in US-corporate greed-craze strategy, the US
has outsourced its middle class to India and Asia by sending
jobs there and then importing the fruits of those labors with
not even a pretext of leveling the playing field through
sensible tariffs which could (once upon a time) has
slowed the time and prolonged the 'good life' for the USA middle
Instead of redeveloping
industry here (rebuilding the rust belt) to a new clear version
with readily available technology, penny-pinching corporations
with massive mainly financial-only incentives and little to no
sense of social justice said (acapella again) "Screw this,
screw OSHA, Screw EPA -- we're out!"
What the (geniuses or
whatever you want to call Washington denizens) couldn't seem to
add up straight, was that as jobs left we went the route of
South America....tracking into a two tier economy with ONLY the
super rich on the one hand and the bloody awful poor on 'other.
Could I be full of shit on
this? Maybe, but not when I've got a folder full of
headlines that back me up. Here - take this one: "Two
Track Economy: 9.7% unemployment, $200K cars..." The
ugly truth of the situation doesn't gently tap you on the shoulder
when you go looking for it - nossir: It slaps you right
upside the head with a two-by-four. And even that doesn't
make it through the thick-headedness in Washington which has
been so corrupted by the money-machine that they don't even
bother reading most legislation they vote on....absurdly
insisting this sham of representative government to still be
Having growth up in a
predominately Asian neighborhood I've got a keen appreciation of
the Asian work ethic. It was no surprise to me to learn
growing up how Japan managed to fight off the US as long as it
did in WW II from an Island group with few natural resources and
a size smaller than Montana.
Seriously! They have a different culture than our now
ruling paper-asset and ever-present bling-thing. Much
heavier doses of patience and hard work. A focus on
quality and persistence, consumers who make longer time-horizon
decisions and hold ancestral values high. Worst thing in the
world sometimes is under-estimating the opponent, know what I'm
watch closely next week as the Chinese send a cabinet level
representative to Washington to warn us (as in US) not to
get too uppity and emotional about the Yuan rolling into its
reserve currency role.
Want another shot
of reality? In the latest Employment figures from the US
Department of Labor, you'll see that
Manufacturing jobs in the US now total a measly 11.55 million.
How many is that? Well, you could put every manufacturing
job in America inside
the administrative limits of Beijing
which has a population of 17.4-million now, and still have
room enough left over to house the residents of
Angeles plus Chicago.
American's are blissfully ignorant of is the population of
Shanghai is even bigger than Beijing! If you think
New York is big with its 8.3 million residents? That's about the
Dongguan Prefecture... which
you're like most Americans) you've probably never heard of, let
alone know where it sits on a map of China.
If I at times
sound like I get all worked up over the export of US jobs to
other countries while our core manufacturing capability is being
hollowed-out, just try to deal with it. China's
building their middle class and we're being led down a path
to destroy ours. No...make that have been led down the
path - and this is what we get. Reap whatcha sow,
should be obvious, although it will take some time to arrive
Renminbi where you heard it.
China in Haiti
Another aspect of China
projecting power - although not specifically economic in nature
- is the report this morning from CCTV about how "China's
anti-riot squad maintains public security in Port-Au-Prince
No, it's not a big
deal, although it does give me pause to reconsider whether those
stories about Haiti having large and as-yet untapped mineral or
petroleum deposits might have something to them. China's
presence makes me wonder, you know?
'R" Word Watch and the MSM
We can't be too far from
a major decline in the markets I figure when videos are popping
up on YouTube under headlines like "CNN-
Liar in the White House".
Still, have to admire how
the battles of right versus left are not seen for what they
really are: the Haves on the one hand and us (the
Have-Nots) on t'other.
Lots of talk about
how House leaders (hey! I'm being charitable here!) have
come up with a $940-billion dollar healthcare bill. the
president, who had been planning
a trip to Asia has put that off until June because of the
action due this weekend.
Those who have taken the
time to read the bill are discovering some things that aren't
a provision that allows IRS to confiscate refunds if people
don't buy healthcare. Is this government strong-arm
tactic really new? Yes, and no. No, in that if
you're in default of a student loan, for example, then your
refund from IRS can already be snatched. Yes, in that it
will force everyone who deals with IRS to consider healthcare
Or, it will just drive
more people into the underground economy which is growing by
leaps and bounds, anyway.
Then there's the matter
of 'deeming' something as big as this as passed - should speaker
Pelosi try that.
This is just screams for a constitutional test in the courts,
but in the very short term, it sets the government up in the
business of collecting funds for something that won't yet be
delivered. In other words, we get to pay for this one
before it's actually delivered, which would be the equivalent to
walking into a car dealership and agreeing to buy a car before
it's even be unveiled yet.
Methinks this is just
about puffing up the balance sheet of these United States enough
to avoid a ratings agency downgrade.
You see: The way I
have it figured is this: While "Moody's
says U.S. could test Triple-A (bond) Rating" guys like
Treasury boss Tim Geithner have this stuff gamed out well in
advance, so when he says
there's "Not a chance" the US will lose its triple-A rating,
it may be because while we wait for actual delivery of
healthcare to show up a couple of years out, the government will be collecting money for it in
advance. Yep, that's right:
government would begin collecting money from businesses and
individuals in 2011 and wouldn't deliver a product until 2014.
Government gets more money, balance sheet improves, and since
they can estimate any cost numbers they want, why Presto!
Magic! No loss of bond rating. Either this is really
slick or sick...haven't decided that one.
Anyway, that's why I
inside the Beltway is in such a frenzy to get this piece of
(expletive deleted) legislation through. Brings in cash,
avoids the debt collapse and pushes it out into the future when
another party will be back in power. EZ-Sleazy.
No doubt about it, at
least in my mind: politics is dirty as ever. Always about money
and power, power and money. The more things change, the
more they stay the what?
reader in the Midwest sent in this curious picture along with a
Just like to let you know that I
have seen several truckloads of these up-armored vehicles
making there way south through the Midwest. I have lived
here all my life and can say that I have NEVER seen this
before. In the last week I have seen no less than four
flatbed haulers (daytime and evening) moving these vehicles.
There appears to be no markings as to what branch of the
military might be receiving these vehicles. They are tan in
color and look ominous. Can anyone tell more about where
they are headed and who is receiving them? The timing is
I have attached a photo of the
Uh...my guess? Only
a guess but
NORTHCOM maybe? I'll grant you they look
ominous....I'm still trying to figure out how NORTHCOM's area of
responsibility includes Canada...dunderhead that I am.
I would have thought
NORTHCOM would have saddled up and headed down
to Falcon Heights Texas where a Mexican navy chopper hovered
over a house about 2-miles inside the USA but that incursion by
foreign troops into the USA was pretty much 'blown off' by
Hasn't escaped Rick
Perry's notice and
sending Kiowa and Lakota helicopters to the border as part
of the state's 'spillover violence contingency plan'.
Seems the administration
doesn't want to bring too much public attention to the
developing border incursions on our south - since it would belie
even more truth about NAFTA than we already expected...
Hello? Anyone home minding the US border or Constitution,
The Anthrax Cover-up, Redux
I suppose you already
read this week that
the Obama administration is threatening to veto intelligence
agency budgets if there's any move to reopen the
investigation into the case of Dr. Bruce Ivins...who was
nominally made out as a sole perp of the 2001 anthrax attacks.
But was he?
The only reason we can
see for not wanting to reopen the case with an independent
investigation is that it might lead to more questions about the
FBI at the time and that...well...you can piece those
implications together, I suppose.
--- snip and save section
Friday at the WuJo
The whole subject of
interest down at the WuJo (where the woo woo meets reality and
science on the mat of clear thinking) is the notion of realities
colliding with unusual side effects.
Part of the reason is I'm
hip-deep in writing a novel ("Dimension Barrier" which I should
have finished in a month or two). But it's also because
the reports related to this are just incredibly interesting.
Take this one:
"George, Love the site,
I'm a frequent reader. I am writing to you because I am
wondering if you have ever heard of anything like this...and
because I need to tell someone but if I told my friends they
would tell me I'm nuts.
Here goes: I am 39 years old,
live in Chicago and take the bus from time to time. I am
always very conscience of my surroundings and very rational.
A few days ago I caught a bus one block from my house, rode
the bus north for about 5 miles, got off the bus and walked
one block east to my destination. After I did what I needed
to do, I walked back one block west to the busy street that
I came north on and CROSSED (I had to run across to beat
traffic) it to catch a bus going back south. I got on the
bus and started to review some paper work. I looked up 10
mins later and realized that the bus I was on was going
I keep telling myself that I had
to have crossed the street and just don't remember crossing
it and then crossed back to catch the bus....but I KNOW that
is not what happened. I thought about this for the rest of
the day until I went to a party that night. I really don't
This is an area which Cliff
and I talk about all the (wait for it) time. In
fact, a neat summary of the subject area is up (free) on the
www.halfpasthuman.com site and is really a most savory
specific page is here/this one.
I'd draw your attention to
the 'time creep/reality creep' discussion that gets rolling with
"As an example consider the story of the fellow going into the
big box store in the SW of the USofA..."
There continues to be a
growing body of evidence - mostly circumstantial, but evidence
and reports nonetheless that realities - other than the one with
Starbucks in it - are colliding. Here's another reader
into our home about 8 years ago. My wife started to tell me
that she had seeing a ball if light coming from the master
bathroom. I did not believe her for a long time. However, we
were in bed one night and just about to go to sleep. All our
animals were accounted for. Then there was a feeling of
something heavy dropping between my legs and her legs. It
felt like a heavy bowling ball being dropped or maybe even a
child jumping on the bed. Freekie! My wife has reported
being touched down the side of her body like a child poking
his finger a different intervals to wake her up. We have had
many other minor occurrences since then. Recently the wife
said she heard someone in the bedroom while she was in an
adjacent room. She went to look and saw a black shadow thing
low to the ground. It crossed by her and ran/rolled into the
other bedroom. Then it disappeared. I saw the same thing a
while back but did not say anything about it to her. It was
animal sized and blackish. It moved like a tumble weed and
crossed in front of me heading for the bedroom.
.......Sometimes it is hard to sleep at night.
So I just keep collecting
bits and pieces and weaving them into my novel...which may turn
out to be less novel and more reality than intended...thinking
about changing my name to Jules Ure or George Verne.
Falling Pilot Ranks?
Interesting article from the
AOPA's online newsletter about the big decline in the number of
student pilots in the USA. Went from 81,000 in 2008 down
to 72,000 in 2009.
All of which gives me hope
that as the economy continues to decline Elaine & I will be able
to pick up a cheap puddle-jumper. Even though a good
condition Cessna 172 isn't in the budget yet,
a solid used Lake amphibian (LA4-200) is what I'd really
like...most interesting plane I've flown.
If you're gonna dream,
dream big. The price of small dreams versus large ones is
Which gets me back to
economics: Likely the reason student pilots are down is I
reckon a small wet trainer is about $70 and hour with another
$40 on top of that for a CFI to ride along - that's what we were
Even Strange Sky Happenings
We noticed the report in
the Wenatchee (Washington the state) World
about a strange 'hole punch cloud' - which seem to be round
clouds that don't have a formal name or cause nailed down yet
that I'm aware of...
All kinds of answers to my
question earlier this week about why all the crap-grade lumber
around in lumber yards and almost nothing worth putting a hammer
and saw to. Good answers went like this one:
"You mentioned the poor
quality of lumber available in Tejas - seems the issue is
endemic this spring. We needed to replace some lower window
molding, probably due to the very wet winter and spring in
North Carolina - and hired a local workman to assist. When
he delivered the 2 x 4's, I commented on the rough edges,
lots of knots, and straightness (NOT) of the planks, only to
hear that "it's that way all over; just cannot get good
wood!" Since I had just read your column, I guessed that all
the good wood was going to China, and the workman shook his
head; "No, that's not where all the good wood is going -
it's all being bought up for military rebuilding projects
and gets shipped straight to Afghanistan" Turns out he is an
ex-paratrooper, has kept up his military contacts, and that
is indeed where all of our good American lumber is going.
Hmmmm - we wind up with the scraps. Seems familiar, somehow.
Not many trees left in either Iraq or Afghanistan ?? Must be
the reason all the building we see on TeeVee are rock,
stone, or brick.
Here all this time I
thought we had enough masons to do that kind of work with
locally available materials...
Drop by Monday - or better,
read the additional content on the
site this weekend.
Care to bet on what happens
in the market once we get past triple witch week today?
Send your comments to
Shop Till You Drop
Peoplenomics This Week
The Nightmare Scenarios
Having read the latest SOTTC Report
monkey-mind has been keeping me up late, popping Tums and wondering
how the future's gonna show up. With - or without - the
predictive linguistics to seed your thinking, it doesn't take very
much imagination to figure out that as the whole 'global system' has
evolved, there are certain eventualities for which human have no
plan at a general 'civil defense' or 'civil survival' level.
Oh, sure, maybe some of the elites have bunkers in the waiting, but
for the rest of us? Grab some Tums and keep reading...just how
bad could it get? Worse than you ever imagined.
More For Subscribers
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'non-browser specific' cookies. Bonus: You computer
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"Live on $10,000" A Year
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Click here for the index and details.
My commodity broker JB Slear and I
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Pass It On
different take on things - that's what you'll find here most
mornings. If you know of anyone who might also like our
and send a link to them. Or, if you hated what you read,
send the link to all your 'worst enemies'. Like they say
in Burbank, "Ain't no such thing as bad press..."
week's report is here. For
back issues of this site, click here.
Thursday March 18, 2010
That Weird Hawaii Reference
OK, this is seriously
weird...I couldn't write a better Twilight Zone episode if I had
to. Last weekend in Peoplenomics, we discussed as a
planning scenario something that would 'fit' with a fair
amount of linguistics. The idea was that the Pacific
tectonic plate would split on a line from Victoria to Suva,
Fiji, or it would break along a southern Japan (through hawaii)
to the Chile-Peru border area. In either case, Hawaii
could be devasted.
Now, in this 'exercise' the
lead in was going to be a West Coast/US quake this week, perhaps
toughed off by the arrival of a CME:
"As bad as the
situation was in LA, it was only 8-weeks, three days, and
9-hours later than the biggest quake in Hawaii's recorded
history took place. Larger than even the March 27, 1868
event which is recalled this way:
"On March 27, 1868, whaling
ships at Kawaihae on the west coast of Hawaii observed dense
clouds of smoke rising from Mauna Loa's crater, Mokuaweoweo,
to a height of several miles and reflecting the bright light
from the lava pit. Slight shocks were felt at Kona on the
west coast and Kau on the flanks of the volcano. On the
28th, lava broke out on the southwest flank and created a
15-mile flow to the sea. Over 300 strong shocks were felt at
Kau and 50 to 60 were felt at Kona. At Kilauea the surface
of the ground quivered for days with frequent vigorous
shocks that caused lamps, crockery, and chairs to spin
around as if animated. One shock resembled that of a cannon
projectile striking the ground under the proprietor's bed,
causing him to flee, according to the narrative published by
C. H. Hitchcock in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society
of America in 1912. Between March 28, 1868, and April 11,
over 2000 distinct shocks were felt at Kona.
The main shocks struck on April
2, at 4:00 p.m., and again on April 4 at 12:30 a.m. A
magnitude of 7 3/4 was estimated for this earthquake (by
Augustine Furumoto in his February 1966 article on the
Seismicity of Hawaii in the Bulletin of the Seismological
Society of America) based on the extent of intensity
reports. Instrumental recordings, the usual basis for
computing magnitudes, were not available at this early date.
The shock was felt throughout the islands as far as Niihau
some 350 miles away. The ground rolled like a ship at sea
and many walls tumbled down. A landslide three miles long
and thirty feet thick swept down the hill carrying trees,
animals, and men. Thirty-one people and thousands of cattle,
sheep, horses, and goats were killed in the one slide. A
seawave struck the coast from Hilo to South Cape, being most
destructive at Keauhou, Puna, and Honuapo; 180 houses were
washed away, and 62 lives were lost to the wave alone. A
10-foot-high wave carried wreckage inland 800 feet. Not a
house survived at Honuapo. A stone church and other
buildings were destroyed at Punaluu. Maximum wave heights
were 65 feet, the highest observed on Hawaii to date. (More
on this earthquake.) "
We now skip forward nine weeks
"What is described as the
biggest earthquake in the history of Hawaii quake was the
largest ever recorded. It's magnitude was an astounding 9.9.
But what made the quake even more outrageous - besides
sending massive tsunami toward California, the result of
both the shock as well as undersea landslides.
The devastation was not confined
to Hawaii. In addition to the tsunami that killed several
thousand in California, and thousands more in Mexico, the
quake set off sympathetic quakes at 7.8 and 8.3 in Panama,
damaging the Canal, as well as a 9.1 in southern Peru.
Causalities in Lima, Peru were placed in the tens of
thousands. As many as 75,000 died in Hawaii from structure
failures, road destruction and interisland tsunamis.
Worse than even all these things
was a newly evolving string of quakes in the 5.0 to 7.2
range that began to pop off several times a day along a
rough 11,100 mile long line from Kagoshima in southern
Japan, to the east passing 6 miles northeast of Kailua on
Oahu, bisecting Molokai, and at its closest, within 8/10ths
of a mile of the Haleakala National Park on Maui and then
heading southeast from 35 miles northeast of Hilo on the big
island of Hawaii, but more importantly just 60 miles from
Mount Kilauea and 65 from Mauna Loa. Nature has been
building the weakened path of least resistance for eons. But
only since the Boxing Day Tsunami a few years back had the
break in the Pacific Plate become a reality.
Geologists went on television
pretty much non-stop over the summer having no clue that on
November 15th and even more serious geological problem would
occur: The 8.6 quake in the Canary Islands.
This "hypothetical quake"
would happen in May.
So having overslept this
morning, what's the first thing I read? OMG its President
Obama talking about a Hawaii Earthquake! The
headline is "Puzzling Statement: Obama Says ‘Louisiana
Provision’ Will Help With the Earthquake in Hawaii".
Is this strange, or what?
Which gets us to...
Next bit of weirdness is
the Consumer Price Index released today by the Labor Department:
seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for
All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in February, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the
last 12 months, the index increased 2.1 percent before
The unchanged all items index
was the result of a decline in the energy index being offset
by slight increases in the indexes for food and for all
items less food and energy. Within the latter group,
declines in the indexes for apparel and household
furnishings and operations were more than offset by
continuing increases in the indexes for medical care and
used cars and trucks. The 12-month increase in the index for
all items less food and energy now stands at 1.3 percent,
the lowest since February 2004.
The food index also edged up in
February. The food at home index rose slightly, the net
result of the major grocery store food group indexes posting
a mix of modest increases and decreases. In contrast, the
energy index declined in February. Decreases in the indexes
for gasoline, electricity, and fuel oil more than offset an
increase in the index for natural gas.
OK, fine, but if you
believe that to be anywhere near 'reality' (whateverthehell
that is anymore) Gas prices are up 36.9% compared with year
ago levels, but kfood is alleged to be cheaper. Got my
ViseGrips handy? Got a lot of pinching to do this morning.
Costs up 2.1% for the past year, my foot!
I (and lots of fiction
writers) can hardly wait for the jobs report tomorrow. Bet it
will be even or improved...
Wee Bit O' Bankster Bust
I see where one
of Ireland's top bankers has been arrested over alleged fraud.
Bad news in one of the PIIGS countries? (Portugal,
Italy, Ireland, Greece, Spain)? Well, yes and no.
Well, at least they didn't bust him on St. Paddies Day.
I hope you caught the
alert out yesterday about a new computer virus that supposedly
steals Facebook user passwords? I still hold to my
claim that social networking sites are little more than the
modern analog to CB radio, but let's see if people spend as much
time on the stuff in five years, or so, as they do now.
Happy Day Rally
no doubt about it, the
market's gonna roll at least out of the chute this morning as
FedEx came in good, there was a slight drop in new
jobless claims last week and the CPI numbers were tame (not
saying believeable, just tame).
--- snip and save section
Today's Report: Late!
I think most folks will
agree, the consistency of delivery time for this site has been
pretty good. you know, the old snow, sleet, hail, and so
forth? Well, had to happen sometime, so why not today?
Woke up at the appointed hour, hit 'snooze' (or at least
thought I did and then./..well...you don't see much of a
report for today, do you?
So, please check back about
10 AM and there ought to be a little more here.
Knew this year's conversion
to daylight time was going a bit too well...the report this
morning will be updated several times as the coffee kicks in...
An hour later, the morning
has become even stranger than strange.
The power has gone off
twice during the writing of this morning abbreviated report,
which is not so strange in and of itself, but the fancy
emergency power system decided at this very time not to
work right, so pardon me while I cut it a bit short and see
what's going on?
Normal (or what passes for
that around here) should return tomorrow, but just no telling
the way the day has started...Ciao.
Wednesday March 17, 2010
PPI/Hiding of Sausages
The Producer Prices are out
this morning and oh (feign surprise here) things are looking up!
Producer Price Index for Finished Goods declined 0.6 percent
in February, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. This decrease followed a 1.4-
percent advance in January and a 0.4-percent increase in
December. At the earlier stages of processing, prices
received by producers of intermediate goods moved up 0.1
percent and the crude goods index fell 3.5 percent. On an
unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods advanced 4.4
percent for the 12 months ended February 2010, their fourth
consecutive 12-month increase."
What's this about the
Sausage hidden? Oh, uh, M1 (the primary money measure by
the Fed) is up 9.5% year-on-year. So gee that must
mean 10.1% incipient deflation huh? Or
better: finished prices up 4.4% and yet there is (mysteriously)
no inflation for Social Security recipients to worry
Golly, and you were
wondering "George, why is there no real jobs recovery?"
Duh. Next sausage...no....make this a 'brat'...
Fed's Power Grab
The sequence goes something
like this: Grab control of the nation's money supply.
Then, water down the currency to where it's worth less than
1/20th of its purchasing power from 1913. Along the way
under Slippery Dick back out of gold and silver convertibility.
A fine soap it's been.
And as if THAT's not
enough, put yourself into the position of enforcing banking
regulations. This is just soooo rich....from Ben
Bernanke this morning....
Federal Reserve strongly supports ongoing efforts in the
Congress to reform financial regulation and close
existing gaps in the regulatory framework. While we await
passage of comprehensive reform legislation, we have been
conducting an intensive self-examination of our regulatory
and supervisory performance and have been actively
On the regulatory side, we have
played a key role in international efforts to ensure that
systemically critical financial institutions hold more and
higher-quality capital, have enough liquidity to survive
highly stressed conditions, and meet demanding standards for
company-wide risk management. We have also been taking the
lead in addressing flawed compensation practices by issuing
proposed guidance to help ensure that compensation
structures at banking organizations provide appropriate
incentives without encouraging excessive risk-taking.6 Less
formally, but equally important, since 2005 the Federal
Reserve has been leading cooperative efforts by market
participants and regulators to strengthen the infrastructure
of a number of key markets, including the market for
securities repurchase agreements and the markets for credit
derivatives and other over-the-counter derivative
To improve both our consolidated
supervision and our ability to identify potential risks to
the financial system, we have made substantial changes to
our supervisory framework. So that we can better understand
linkages among firms and markets that have the potential to
undermine the stability of the financial system, we have
adopted a more explicitly multidisciplinary approach, making
use of the Federal Reserve's broad expertise in economics,
financial markets, payment systems, and bank supervision to
which I alluded earlier. We are also augmenting our
traditional supervisory approach that focuses on
firm-by-firm examinations with greater use of horizontal
reviews that look across a group of firms to identify common
sources of risks and best practices for managing those
risks. To supplement information from examiners in the
field, we are developing an off-site, enhanced quantitative
surveillance program for large bank holding companies that
will use data analysis and formal modeling to help identify
vulnerabilities at both the firm level and for the financial
sector as a whole. This analysis will be supported by the
collection of more timely, detailed, and consistent data
from regulated firms.
Many of these changes draw on
the successful experience of the Supervisory Capital
Assessment Program (SCAP), also known as the banking stress
test, which the Federal Reserve led last year. As in the
SCAP, representatives of primary and functional supervisors
will be fully integrated in the process, participating in
the planning and execution of horizontal exams and
consolidated supervisory activities.
Improvements in the supervisory
framework will lead to better outcomes only if day-to-day
supervision is well executed, with risks identified early
and promptly remediated. Our internal reviews have
identified a number of directions for improvement. In the
future, to facilitate swifter, more-effective supervisory
responses, the oversight and control of our supervisory
function will be more centralized, with shared
accountability by senior Board and Reserve Bank supervisory
staff and active oversight by the Board of Governors.
Supervisory concerns will be communicated to firms promptly
and at a high level, with more-frequent involvement of
senior bank managers and boards of directors and senior
Federal Reserve officials. Greater involvement of senior
Federal Reserve officials and strong, systematic
follow-through will facilitate more vigorous remediation by
firms. Where necessary, we will increase the use of formal
and informal enforcement actions to ensure prompt and
effective remediation of serious issues.
In summary, the Federal
Reserve's wide range of expertise makes it uniquely suited
to supervise large, complex financial institutions and to
help identify risks to the financial system as a whole.
Moreover, the insights provided by our role in supervising a
range of banks, including community banks, significantly
increases our effectiveness in making monetary policy and
fostering financial stability. While we await enactment of
comprehensive financial reform legislation, we have
undertaken an intensive self-examination of our regulatory
and supervisory performance. We are strengthening regulation
and overhauling our supervisory framework to improve
consolidated supervision as well as our ability to identify
potential threats to the stability of the financial system.
And we are taking steps to strengthen the oversight and
effectiveness of our supervisory activities.
Thank you. I'd be pleased to
respond to your questions.
OK, here's one: Does
the Fed collect interest on the national debt and how much
benefit to the nongovernment owners of the Fed has accrued since
Want another? When
can we have an open audit of Fort Knox? Want more?
The REAL Answer Is...
Right out of the UK
Telegraph this morning: "Moody's
fears social unrest as AAA states implement austerity plans..."
The five include the US and UK. Which explains neatly why the
Fed wants no audits and more control - to help paper over
Fine...I've got popcorn and
beer at the ready, besides I'm kinda lazy when it comes to
'revolution memes' - much more a 50-yard line watcher type.
But wait! There's a competing play/distraction going on
over at C-SPAN...which one is real, which is the feint?
Meantime in Washington's
Say, don't know how you
feel about this, but
if Congress enacts healthscare without an open roll-call
vote, that means we will have sunk below third world tinhorn
dictatorships which at least have the decency to vote.
I'll go further, if you
like: If Congress doesn't do a public vote, we no
longer have representative government. Plain and simple,
all the socialistas BS rhetoric aside, we either get
accountability or we don't have government by and for the people
It's just that simple, as I
see it. Send 'em all home, since they'll 'deem' whatever
the hell they want, anyway. But then we know from bailouts
for outfits like AIG and crooked banksters that's the deal
If such a move takes place,
it's only a short step to cancelling elections this fall to turn
out those who are wrecking America. Wanna make a side bet
Russia Today coverage from Tuesday was interesting...
Happy Talk North
Our 'out on the Canadian
prairies' contributor says the happy-talk headlines are all over
up north, too. "Oh
look, we're out of the depression. I'm sure the tens of
thousands out of work up here feels much better."
Why, of course! If
they're not thankful, they must be terrorists, right?
Guns Made Within
Speaking of which while its
still legal, here's one that has to worry the Duma...I mean
Five states have
now opted out of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms gun regs for
weps made inside their states. Not sure what this
means besides exempting guns made in the states involved from
things like registration and what have you. Texas is
looking at similar legislation as are lots of other states...
certainly serves to underscore the predictive linguistics about
the 'revolution meme' that seemed almost ridiculous as little as
a year ago, doesn't it?
Wonder if putting a milling
machine to a gun originally made 'out of state' or out of
country would count in such places? Just presactly what
does the word "made" mean?
You see the Bigger Problem
here, right? How long before guns made within one exempt
state are allowable into another exempt state and another and
next thing you know we have two federal governments!
One being the power-usurping division with AFT, taxing,
healthcare mandating, and 'money printing' but with another kind
of 'association between constitutional states' which would
uphold State's Rights?
What a thought, huh?
Two 'federal' governments...my oh my.
Who needs guns when
Gitmo is still open for business and using high decibel
volume music is being used as a torture tool.
again, huh? Musicians are up in arms and at some point, a
person with a good memory might ask embarrassing questions like
"What happened to that pile of campaign promises?"
Tisk, tisk, you security risk, you. Here, take these
Cost of Primping Index
You see where
the Brits are now counting crashing prices of consumer glamour
items in their cost of living calcs? Just amazing how
the bling and fitness paradigm is sold, huh? So when
Prozac went generic was that deflationary? Is that why the
COL is claimed down???
Where Is Our Good Lumber
I think I've mentioned that
our projects around the ranch involve adding onto my office.
Yesterday, Panama Bates went into town on a supply mission to
procure some one by sixes and such. He spent nearly an
hour trying to find decent lumber and for some reason, the local
lumber yards all have crappy wood over the past year - and
getting worse! Even ther store personnel admitted it.
When I see headlines like "CME
lumber ends mixed housing starts bearish" I ask myself
"Where's all our real standard and better lumber
going? China? Other Asian countries? I mean
really the stuff lately is knotty, wormy, warped, bad-edged
crap. Am I the only one seeing this?
Maybe you don't know a 2 by
4 from a swizzle stick and could give a rat's ass. But
people who do real work notice this stuff. Along with
rusty Chinese rebar and the whole lot of it.
--- snip and save section
Qualities of Friendship
Let me give you the top line first: If you're in
Washington D.C. tonight and you get a chance to go to Andrew
Mellon Hall, you'll be seeing the best and brightest chance of a
secure and technologically advanced future rolled out as the
annual Aviation Week honors are bestowed on the dream of
America's military academies. One each from the Navy,
Army, and Air Force.
Not normally the kind of
thing that I write about...but then I don't write about a lot of
things in my past. This one, however, is special.
Let's kick back to the
Back in about April (or was
it May?) of 1953, my mother was walking my sisters and me home
from the store. This was back when grocery stores were
within a 6-10 block walk of where most people lived and only
some of the sidewalks were paved on Beacon Hill in Seattle.
As we were coming down the
hill, on the last part of what was paved sidewalk before
'hitting dirt', my mom happened to strike up a conversation with
a woman who had a son - Rob Carter - who was about my age, just
a tad younger. Rob's mom worked some of the time as a
beautician and you can probably see the picture forming already:
My mom would 'sit' the boys (at our ages 'sitting' would be an
insult) but the deal distilled down to cheese sandwiches and
soup for lunch served by my mom and trying to keep Rob and I out
of trouble while Rob's mom was able to work.
No money involved - that
was a time when people just helped one another and besides, two
boys were pretty much self-entertaining. When we were 4 or 5, no
sweat. However, within a few years as our 'character'
developed, we got more and more into what back in the day was
By grade school we were
hellions of the first order, nearly setting a church on fire
with a 'camp' fire that got out of control in an adjoining
vacant lot, then we would send off candle-powered balloons made
of laundry bags with time-fused M-80's, cherry bombs, or
whatever else would make a huge report when lifted, and all
kinds of other boys-will-be-boys stuff. We got so we could fuse
anything, such was teenhood and the old Herter's Catalog for
powder and whatever else. Smoke bombs we particularly fun.
You may not remember back
to the pre-Nanny State days, but back when, drug stores sold
salt peter and chemistry sets were ever so much more capable
of providing a real science experiment. Whether that meant
rocket-powered cars, projectiles, or vile liquids for this vile
purpose, or that, made little difference. By the time we
got to science class we had plenty of first-hand learning not to
mention a few burns, scars, and tall tales to go with it.
If you didn't know the burn
time of a Camel versus a Taryton, you were simply not in our
league when it came to prankery.
The older we got, the more
adventures: Being chased by an axe-wielding hobo, scourging
around abandoned railroad round houses and abandoned industrial
building, going on 50-miles bike rides from Seattle to Tacoma
and back (via Vashon Island and the ferry route) and more.
It was as though we did
everything good (and no small number of bad things) any two
young men could do.
Along about age 13, or so,
we both got intensely interested in ham radio - which proved
itself an enduring common interest we're both involved with even
now. We took the bus to ham radio training classes at the
old Seattle Radio store and studied Morse code, long since
discarded as a requirement, but this was 1963.
Rob got his license the
first time through (being academically my better at the time)
but I was more mechanically inclined now and then - so we shared
strengths and weaknesses in electronics for years; each learning
from the best of the other. I picked up a First Class
commercial ticket - which got me onto the broadcasting track
while Rob stayed more conventionally bookish.
I was brought up Lutheran,
Rob Catholic, and as would be expected our paths diverged along
about high school or so. Rob went to O'Dea in Seattle
while I stayed the public route at Cleveland.
Near as I could figure the
main difference between the Catholics and the Danish Lutherans
was one said the mass in English and shared the wine, but we
discussed fine points of this and a zillion other topics, for
Rob tracked briefly into
Seminary but it wasn't a fit. More academics followed.
Meantime, I went the broadcast engineer route which eventually
led to remote microwave sites protecting America from a sneak
attack on an RCA defense project.
We kept in touch over the
years...and once in a while we'd get together for dinner to
recount boyhood adventures and whether we'd done this, or that,
right at the time.
Rob went on to graduate top
of his class (up there somewhere) at Seattle University and then
on to the University of Chicago School of Social Work, Manga Cum
Laude, if I recall.
From there it was into the
military for a 20-some-year stint as an officer. I'd
gotten an O club card at 18 with my then GS-15 equivalency
thanks to those remote sites in Alaska...I just didn't have to
worry about inspections. Rob retired as a Major and he &
his family live quietly south of Seattle and he's raised a great
family after the usual military moving hither and yon, with an
extended tour in yon.
About here, you're no doubt
asking "What the hell does this have to do with the Aviation
Week dinner tonight in Washington honoring top grads from the
Ah...so eventually we come
back to the point of this morning's not: Roby and his wife
Becky have a son who's a plain old American superstar kid.
Top of his class in aeronautical engineering and graduating in
May from the Air Force Academy, number 7 or 8 overall, I think
it is for the whole class of somewhere near 1,000 of what are
already highly selected young men and women, but #1 within his
specialty - aeronautical engineering - the designing things that
fly faster and higher....
After sizing up some
interest from places like Cambridge and Rice University, my
understanding is that Nick Carter (no, not
mystery novel figure) will be doing a two year hitch
to polish off a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering at MIT.
Way cool and a lesson in passing is good grade really do pay off
- big time.
In a couple of weeks, Rob
will be coming down to visit the ranch. Another chance to laugh
about our long history, retell and review old stories of who did
what when we were young.... and wonder about how Life
works - why I did broadcast and software route while he did
psychiatric social work aqnd how could he tolerate so much
routine? What was I so much against it?
Many tales, questions, some
spiced rums in there somewhere, and some Morse code and a few
ham radio projects...I don't think either of us has totally
grown up, at least I hope not. Competent technically, but still
The bottom line of the AV
Week dinner demonstrates something else: The nuts don't fall too
far from the tree.
So at about 5 pm Texas time
tonight, I'll hoist a glass of (whatever's handy), toast in the
direction of Washington, D.C. and tonights Aviation Week dinner.
My son's went the medical
route as an EMT...Rob's boy's the aerospace engineering
up-and-comer. Neither one of us can wear shirts with
Hard to have a better ride
for either of us, as friends or fathers sharing notes, I
suppose. One will make the future, the other will keep a few
people alive who wouldn't otherwise be around to enjoy it.
My late grandmother on the
Danish side used to say: "You want to know what
immortality is? Look at the quality of your kids...that
immortality - what people pass on to the next generation." Good
It's been a real privilege
to have a friend for about 57 years, let alone shoot guns,
launch aerial bombs, race everything from bikes to you name it,
drink rum, compete in ham radio, and do enough silly sh*t to
fill several books.
Big accomplishment tonight
on my friend's quest for immortality comes tonight as his son
Nick receives high honors. My son's already chosen his
course in life and now Rob's boy steps up to the next level in
That's two young me who are
the 'best we can make 'em' on the side of what's right and what
we both hope are the building blocks for a better America to
"Titles of honour
add not to his worth,
Who is himself an
honour to his titles."
Elaine & I will try to make
it up to graduation in Colorado Springs in late May.
Wonder if I can get my bucket list
ride on the
Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad in?
Different than the railroad from Cusco to Machu Pichu, but
railroad rides are just a kick...
Notes from the WuJo:
Latest in our continuing
series of 'things around the margin" of consciousness?
If you’re interested, along the
lines of the shadow people dancing in the man’s yard, here
is a little account of what happened to me about a year ago.
Around 11 pm, my husband was away and I was home in bed and
the kids were asleep in their rooms. We have a
not-so-solidly-build 2-floor wood house. The staircase
creaks something terrible when you go up and down it. My
room is quite near the stairs.
Well, I start feeling I hear
something moving upstairs in a part no one should be, but
lie there a little tensed up and continue to listen
carefully (all the while assuming it is my imagination).
Well, sure as heck someone starts down the stairs -- the
weight and step rhythm is perfectly clear! So I fly out of
bed and rush for the stairs to catch them head on. With my
first movement I hear that the person turns and goes back up
the couple of stairs they started down. Then I hear step
after step as they run across the upper floor towards the
farthest room –our “office”. I run up like crazy, flipping
on the lights as I go and check the closet, BR, and finally
the last room and all its closets. NO ONE THERE! Not a
thing! Balcony door locked. My kids remained asleep through
the whole ordeal.
I heard nothing more. Here is
the real catcher, though! The footsteps running across the
upper floor were for me clearly the steps of a very small
person – I would say no bigger than an 8yr old! This blew my
mind. I went back to bed then, not really scared but with
the thought that whatever this was – and it WAS—it was out
of my league if I couldn’t see it. I just lay in bed
thinking this is one of those times all I can do is hope
something’s watching over me and my family --in a good way,
Say, didn't have any
missing time, did you?
out this recent 'shadow people' story...most interesting, huh?
Get Rich Slow Department
A number of people sent in
suggestions on what to read/study if you want to rise above
average income levels. Some examples:
"Get into Rental
Property: First Cousin to owning a money-printing
machine, if you have thick enough skin to tolerate the "3
T's": toilets, taxes and tenants.
The Critical Mass is right at 4
units. At that point, the cash flow is good enough to tart
paying a plumber and A/C Tech instead of doing the work
Problem is, most people get
where the whole business of dealing with Tenants (largely
deadbeats and scumbags) and local/state laws that favor the
tenant and screw the landlord just, generally, makes them
If you have 6+ units, then you
can find some sumbitch that you make, "manager," for a piece
off his rent and get HIM to collect from the tenants.
Anyway, for Tax Implications,
the double declining balance on mechanical subsystems helps
speed your way to the bank."
Good point and it reminds
me about this email suggesting:
"From my experience (
=D>) all "honest" wealth has been earned by some sort of
"depreciation utilization." Few people, and tax preparers,
in particular, have a strong understanding of the subject,
and how to apply it. By the way, farming is a very favorable
candidate for its use. A "must be studied" subject."
My personal experience with
depreciation hasn't always been good. The core concept is
that you can write off (as an expense) the cost of something
over its serviceable life. BUT when you sell it for more
than its depreciated value, you get to recapture the
depreciation. Maybe I just hold onto things longer than I
No, spouses are not
Tuesday March 16, 2010
Up, Down, and Nowhere
Talk about a press release
with a little 'something for everyone' this is a peach from the
Census Bureau this morning:
units authorized by building permits in February were at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 612,000. This is 1.6
percent (±1.0%) below the revised January rate of 622,000,
but is 11.3 percent (±1.8%) above the February 2009 estimate
of 550,000. Single-family authorizations in February were at
a rate of 503,000; this is 0.2 percent (±1.0%)* below the
revised January figure of 504,000. Authorizations of units
in building with five units or more were at a rate of 89,000
starts in February were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 575,000. This is 5.9 percent (±10.0%)* below the revised
January estimate of 611,000, but is 0.2 percent (±9.8%)*
above the February 2009 rate of 574,000. Single-family
housing starts in February were at a rate of 499,000; this
is 0.6 percent (±10.6%)* below the revised January figure of
502,000. The February rate for units in buildings with five
units or more was 58,000.
Privately-owned housing completions in February were at a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 700,000. This is 5.4
percent (±20.2%)* above the revised January estimate of
664,000, but is 15.5 percent (±13.6%) below the February
2009 rate of 828,000. Single-family housing completions in
February were at a rate of 458,000; this is 4.3 percent
(±13.7%)* above the revised January rate of 439,000. The
February rate for units in buildings with five units or more
Groping through the
numbers, about the third time I find myself saying "Oh, this is
bad...but wait! This is good...but no, this is
bad..." I start opening cabinets in the office
looking for a bottle of
The market futures were up
a shade when I looked, no doubt wondering how the Fed is going
to do when they announce no move in interest rates.
That's because at some point, with M1-going up at an annual rate
of more than 9%, they will have to hint that interest rates will
be going up...so the main thing coming with the rate decision
will be a gradate-levgel course in FedSpeak.
Just leave you right on the
edge of the chair....that is a chair you're sitting on, isn't
The real dance to watch, as
reader "Chris from the Prairies" noted is
how the US and China are already doing some bashing with each
pointing fingers over the pending collapse of the US economy
(his read of things).
Why all we need now is a
nice third party reason for the markets to collapse. An
overt hint from the Fed of higher rates, or what's that? The
sound of planes taking off in the Middle East?
The March to Outsource, Redux
The story in the Wausau
Daily Herald that "Greenheck expands in Mexico" is not nearly as
interesting as the logic of what's going on in the continued
flight of American jobs overseas/out of country explained in the
accompanying reader news tip:
"Here is some
background on this: To keep the number of illegal immigrants
down, we need to send our jobs to Mexico. Not unlike the war
on terror. You know, bring the fight to them so they do not
fight us here. If you look at the figures below, this ONE
company has laid off about 400 people in the USA, yet they
are EXPANDING in Mexico. Gotta love the humor in this.
May 18, 2009, this company laid off 155 people.
on August 21, 2009, this company laid off 91 workers that
were recalled as summer help. September 25,. 2009,
they laid off another 70 people. Previous to this,
they'd laid off 164 people in December 2008.
Say, not to pick on any
one company here, but this is a problem of epidemic proportions
and congress is doing what about it? Nadda, zip.
How old is this getting
to be? Old enough to remember Ross Perot's warning about
'that giant sucking sound'...
Three people with links to the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez
(south El Paso) were killed this weekend bgy apparent drug
cartel hit teams.
This goes to the idea
that a low intensity conflict (LIC) with Mexico is in the
process of 'going hot'.
So, you're wondering,
with all this ongoing export of jobs overseas (or cross border
to lower cost labor centers) what's going on down on the
waterfronts or major West Coast Ports?
Well, figures for
February at the
Port of Long Beach shows overall 20-foot equivalent units are
down 3./9% for their fiscal year to date, but up nearly 30%
compared with last year at the same time.
Port of Los Angeles is
also up only slightly less -
about 27% compared with year ago levels.
Up the coast a ways,
Oakland is up 11% on full inbound with the total handle up
Port of Tacoma stats due
by the 15th of every month" haven't been updated as of press
here later, maybe?
Port of Portland is still counting from February. Come
to think of it, Port of Seattle figures are out yet,
but should be posted here one of these days when they get
around to it.
Key concept: The
SoCal ports data looks somewhat improved, although how much is
replacement for broken items (to some nominal replacement rate
for broken computers, printers and such) and what part is
actually growth is a dart through. But at least not
declining for now.
So Much for the Ides
Democracy without voting!
This is a Jim Dandy idea from Nancy Pelosi who the Washington
Port outs this morning as suggesting Monday night.
By using a procedural sleight of hand they called it in the
WaPo, the bill could be 'deemed' to be passed.
This is sometimes called
the 'self-executing rule'
which - according to USA Today's coverage "is not unusual'.
Seems obvious to me, but
deeming it a lot less accountable than voting...which is
why both sides of the political aisle will likely support this.
It would serve to obfuscate who's really bending over who on
this...and that's the way America runs here lately.
You and me? We get a
misnamed "Patriot Act" extension and get to prepay before
delivery of healthscare while the perps get time to exit.
Congress? No meaningful lobbyist controls at all.
Repeat after me the Golden Rule": He who has the gold rules.
I won't get too upset about
this headline - simply because it reveals what we already knew:
Close Deficit, Federal Income Tax Rates Would Have to More than
Moreover the way The Tax
Foundation figures it works out like this:
I mention the Tax
Foundation somewhat fondly, just so you know my reportorial bias
to present their data. In a week or four we'll be
reporting their centerpiece which is Tax Freedom Day
- the day after which what you make working all year is really
yours to spend. So far, you've been working all year just
to pay taxes.
Dusty Budgets Department
Another reader tip here (NM
from LV, NV) reports:
"Hi George: Just an up
date to tell you that City attorneys says the
Mayor Oscar Goodman of LV NV can't fire city employees and
re-hire them at lower salaries to save a 141 people from
losing there city jobs.
Will keep you posted on the
Yup - this city budget stuff's
LA Quake & Shake:
Last weekend part of the
discussion on our subscriber side,
was devoted to the possibility of a major earthquake today (or
tomorrow) somewhere like Southern California when a CME's impact
from early Sunday is due to smack earth.
Just a coincidence I'm
morning we had a 4.4 earthquake in Southern California more or
less on schedule, but at a much, much smaller magnitude.
Still, enough to wake up a lot of folks.
This morning's shake was just 7.6 miles from where I was
involved in building out a recording facility in the AL area in
2005...and EQ dangers were one of the reasons we moved back to
the ranch. You'll recall that in October of that year we
were worried about a pending major quake at 34º
North (which is how far North Burbank is).
That turned out to be the 2005 Kashmir quake at 34º29'35" that
killed 79,000 and injured more than 100,000.
Elaine & I left had Burbank on
October 2, 2005 because of the 34º linguistics. The
Kashmir quake hit October 8th - the day we arrived back at the
ranch. Would I do the same thing again? Hell yes.
No, I would not be surprised if
this turned out to be
a 'preshock' quake.
Reason? Every time there has
been a major quake anywhere near me, I get a feeling of
extreme tiredness 12-48 hours before the event. Last night I
could barely keep my eyes open even though being nominally
well-rested. So, if we get another 'great quake' shortly,
don't say you didn't have at least a clue it was coming...if it
does. It's one of those areas where paying attention to
hunches, feelings and 'vibes' means everything.
That whole world of
pre-knowledge which Cliff digs into a bit via predictive
linguistics also surfaces in other ways. A reader email on
"This morning my 7 year
old son told his Mom "I had an unwanted dream last night".
She asked "Do you want to tell me about it? "No", he replied
"I'll just put it with my spam dreams".
Yesterday it was 'speaking
in text' in dreams and now 'spam dreams'...if you ever wanted to
watch a major consciousness context shift, you have but to open
your eyes and behold.
You did see where regular
lightning in Venezuela has gone missing this year? Just
an El Nino effect, I'm sure...
--- snip and save section
CT. Truth Leaks
On numerous occasions I
have told you about the "gnomes of Greenwich, CT., who IMHO are
a more dangerous breed of gnome than event the sinister denizens
of Zurich banking. To reinforce that view, what should
come along this morning that a pictorial in the Stamford
(CT) Advocate under the headline "The
running of the rich: Is wealth changing Connecticut politics?"
The median income in
Connectedup - for a four person family - is $93,821. No, I
don't make this stuff up -
comes right from the US Census folks.
Four person families in
California come in at $74,801, just to compare...well off, but
not quite so flush.
Here in the Republic (of
Texas) we're a little more frugal at $59.808. Not saying
Chris Dodd country is bad. It's just statistical
evidence that the concentration of wealth in America isn't going
away any time soon up in Blue Blood country.
But this gets me around to
a book that needs to be written for common, everyday folks (like
me and you). The main idea of the book is really simple:
Show all the different ways (along with costs) that the rich
shelter income from federal taxes and get people to buy them
Just for instance, I've
been looking at buying an airplane. Since I'm
self-employed (consulting) I've been looking at modest
single-engine planes which could be used to bop all over the
country. Since I'm a VFR-qualified pilot, but not
instrument rated yet, could I write off my instrument ticket as
a 'business expense'?
And what about the cost of
the plane itself? I figure since it's a depreciable asset
(and would be used for 100% business use) I ought to be able to
write off the plane over some x number of hours of
But it gets better:
Fuel, maintenance, fees, taxes - all a write-off if it's a 100%
business plane. So would the local parking/hanger
fees...well, you get the picture.
Not too much paperwork to
it, either. Since I like flying (fun to do activity) why
not find a way for my 'business' to shelter it?
Yet deep down inside I know
something 'ain't right'. It takes as much air traffic
controller work to direct a Cessna 172 around the sky as it does
a Boeing 747. Plane's a plane at some level (no altitude
joke intended...I'm not that clever).
So if government was really
serious about funding the air traffic control system, you'd
think there would be a way to limit aircraft business write-offs
to no more than the prevailing first-class airfare between any
particular city-pair. Near as I can tell, there isn't, or
maybe I'm dreadfully ignorant, something I come to grips with
So what would keep me from
buying a $1-million airplane and writing it off over 10,000
hours ($100 per hour of depreciation) and maybe, oh, what
$150 an hour for maintenance reserves? Then another x
dollars for fuel, and then hanger fees, insurance, recurrent
training/annuals, and so forth.
At the C-172 level I might
still be able to operate at the cost of a first class ticket
from here to thar, but with a business jet?
Another way the rich get
rich is buy lettering renters buy property for them. You
buy a home on the cheap (foreclosure maybe?) then rent it out
for break-even or even a very slight negative cash flow. The net
result is that you have someone else making the payment on real
estate that you own. I know people that started off with a
single beater of a house, worked their way up to small, then
medium, then large apartment complexes.
Sure, the management
problems are a little bigger (and vacancy rates are related to
local unemployment variances) but it's one way to the top of the
foodchain if you didn't do law school and become a partner early
I still haven't seen the
'regular human optimized' book on getting and staying rich.
Point is simply this:
The gnomes of (guess which state? but they are all over
the country, just a little more sparse maybe in some parts) have
worked all the angles. Born mostly white, right, and rich
they influence national politics for the 'good of the little
people' I'm sure.
I think it would sure be a
dandy ongoing book to collect all the different ways that people
get rich and stay rich. I reckon I spent 25-35 years of my
life in one way or another trying to learn the 'recipes of the
If I ever won a lottery
ticket (small odds, to be sure) I think what I'd do as a 'next
project' would be to write a daily website to collect all the
different ways of getting rich and keeping it. I think
that'd be a dandy project since a lot of people could benefit
from it. (Submit
recommendations here and I'll share them with folks.)
We might want to ask if
'rich' going to matter in a year or two? America looks to
me to have hit the nonlinear part of the compound
interest/compound debt curve where mass destruction of the
economic status quo seems inevitable; either as runaway
inflation (my 5:1 favorite) or runaway deflation.
Still, I buy a lotto ticket
every week or two. Nothing would please me more than to
move to Connectedup, move to the most uppity of neighborhoods,
elbow my way into the upscale yacht clubs and such. You
know, just generally cause a gasp of "OMG, there goes the
neighborhood, community, or The Club.
Be pleased to do it.
Think of it as a public service for bankrupting America for
I bet the other 99% of
America that has also been victimized by the continuing
concentration of wealth wouldn't mind helping do the job,
I trust you saw the article
New Billionaires Averaged $500M in Gains Last Year - How Are You
Doing?" You don't want to look at the Haver
Analytics chart in the story either, or if you do, don't
drop by a cordage store (definition
1). Dream about lunch in Greenwich, instead.
Nothing seems to scare the
rich and the PowersThatBe more than the "core competency
culture" - which we'll get into that more this weekend in
Confessions Gone Viral
Want an interesting
300,000 views of the 2007 interview with John "confessions of an
Economic Hit Man" Perkins.
Damn. People waking
His book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
is still ranked 1,127 in Amazon sales. the follow on book,
Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded--and What We Need to Do to Remake Them
is ranked 8,594 in sales.
Are You Weed Deficient?
No, we're not talking the
kind of weed that kicks up allergies...we're talking the kind
that gets people landed in jail in some parts of the country.
The recent article on the Fox News Health Blog "Are
you Cannabis Deficient?" raises some interesting questions.
All boils down (or burns
down?) to this: If the PTB lose control of taboos, how
will they ever be able to grab and maintain kontrol?
You see, people only
voluntarily give government / the powers/ 25-50% of their income
as long as they figure they're getting something for it in
return. "Peace", "security" ,"good government", or
"healthcare" has worked so far.
But, when they're busy
turning public lands into government lands, turning the
high seas into government seas, it's increasingly
important to issue Prozac and Fluoride than let people brew up
bathtub gin untaxed, or pick the plants God/Universe put on the
The question isn't so much
who's blowing smoke, but why.
Monday March 15, 2010
Industrial Production Up 1.7%
for the Year
Highlights of the Fed
Industrial Production numbers today:
production edged up 0.1 percent in February following a
gain of 0.9 percent in January. Production was likely held
down somewhat by winter storms in the Northeast.
Manufacturing decreased 0.2 percent in February, with mixed
results among its major industries. The output of mines rose
2.0 percent, while the index for utilities rose 0.5 percent.
At 101.0 percent of its 2002 average, industrial output in
February was 1.7 percent above its year-earlier level.
Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.2
percentage point to 72.7 percent, a rate 7.9 percentage
points below its average from 1972 to 2009. "
Just don't go asking
something ugly. Like "If industrial production is up
1.7% in a whole year, how come the market is up over 40%?"
Is the word 'gullible" in
Early on this morning, the market was looking like it would be
opening slightly down, but this being Monday and since Mondays
of late havge4 had an amazing string of rallies (to the point of
statistically improbable, until you get into 'run theory') I'm
not planning to do much more than watch.
Check back for an update about 8:30 AM which is when the Fed's
Capacity Utilization numbers and Industrial Production are due
The rest of the week oughta be data-laden, too. We've got
building permits and housing starts tomorrow. Wednesday
brings along Producer Prices, Thursday the Consumer Price Index
comes out and that's always a fine and
The reason for the 'new word' - hypodelic - is that there's not
a word to adequately describe the battles going on within the
ranks of the PowersThatBe. The factions all have a certain
amount of public relations acumen, and since all the factions
have heavy-hitter pocketbooks, a certain amount of BS & bluster
could be expected in the headlines.
One of the areas of conflict is over the whole notion of global
warming. One faction is really selling/hyping it
while another faction is actively fighting it which might
explain why just before Copenhagen we got the masterfully timed
release of the hacked computer data.
But the battle over warming is no where near done. Latest?
rebuked over global warming nursery rhyme adverts" says the
UK's Telegraph. But, at the same time, climate just
isn't going away as evidenced in the Honolulu Advertiser
today with a "New
climate report details extreme risk to Isle birds."
And so it goes on all fronts, it seems. Faction X versus
Faction Y (or was it Faction Z?), and all running agendas
that go to control, making money and all the power that goes
with it. Start a war, make a buck. Trade carbon
paper, make a buck. Change healthcare, make a buck.
Yada, yada, yada...
Other "hypodelic" issues include healthscare which - to my
highly cynical way of viewing things - has to be the best
fund-raising scheme the ruling political duopoly has ever come
up with. Grand way to keep third parties at bay. Oh
sure,. the "White
House backs down on health bill deals" but at the same time
Obama is off traveling today to Ohio trying to drum up
support for his plans. Tra-la, tra-la.
Another possible hypodelic? Well, since "Toyota,
transport officials unable to spot reported Prius fault" I
wonder how much of the Toyota issues recently were about molding
American's car-buying choices? Just have to ask these
things, you know....
Issue after issue seems to be laced with hype - all to divide
and conquer and that's whether as a consumer, voter, or what the
spin docs call any other definable persuasion block or
psychographic... It's a real testament to the amount of
information required by the global excess of information that
leads most to 'overload' at one level or another.
(Although you may not be conscious of it, which is really the
whole point, then, isn't it?)
Around here, the solution is to watch less TV, step back from
all the hype and ask "What's really important here?"
Stock futures are down but with lots of numbers this week -
including industrial production and utilization in a few
minutes, I find myself feeling detached and watching what's
either a snake chasing its own tail, or a merry-go-round where
the same stories get recycled over and over again to the point
of dizzying nausea.
Consider it a friendly reminder to be very care not to
overdose on hypodelics.
War Watch/Our Glowing
Wondering how Israel will bomb Iran's nuke facilities?
here's a curious story about how bunker-busters are reportedly
being shipped from California to Diego Garcia.
Normally, this would not be news, but I expect the reasons the
PTB have let this one out is so that when Israel attacks Iran
(as I assume they will use a few low-yield nukes for the most
worrisome targets) Israel will be able to point at stories 'in
the wild' (like this one) and claim "It was all conventional
munitions - those radioactive plumes are from all the nuclear
materials that Iran was secreting away..."
I mean, if I were just guessing...
And if you're wondering what's really ahead,
remember those million books from the Manchester Library are
going into old salt mines before summer.
Is this the part where I also mention the "coincidental timing"
of stories like the one out last Friday in the Christian
about the progress being made stocking the Savlbard Seed Vault
up in Norway?
No worries...nothing to see here...ya'll just move along...just
tilting at windmills.
That "Fungus Amongus"
There are occasional web bot hits that come along that we don't
hold up and say "See? Told yah so!" but the write up
recently in Wired about
the problems of the Ug99 fungus, which is ravaging grain
crops has the potential to bring mass starvation/famine with it.
Linguistically, this is a 'biggy' to keep an eye on since we've
had a couple of years of lead-time on it and in
modelspace, the more lead-time, the bigger the problem is when
it shows up. Unless you're gluten intolerant, of course.
So Much for Retirement,
You see where the city of
Prichard, Alabama is now 6-months straight of not being able to
pay retired city workers their pensions? City's in
Title IX bankruptcy...
Is this the part where you tell me "No, George, this is not the
Second Depression - you're just fear-mongering."
High Court Politics
Oh my, the headline in the LA Times that a supreme court "Justice's
wife launches 'tea party' group" certainly raises a few
questions about impartiality of the high court.
--- snip and save section ---
About that "Sunny" Disposition
A reader who has been paying attention to our discussion about
how the Sun may play into future human events in a major way has
been doing a bit of research and offers this:
"Hello clif & George,
Here are some interesting points to noodle
over while not in nap time:
Space Storms and Space Weather Hazards [PDF] p.244:
In particular it is striking that the
minimum geomagnetic activity during the recent solar cycles
at the end of the century is comparable to or even larger
than the geomagnetic activity measured at solar maximum
during the beginning of the century. This indicates that
during the last century a fundamental change of solar
surface activity has taken place, which is not noticed in
the sunspot number.
Proof the sun is winding up?
-- AND – from p. 312:
Seasonal averages of E>2 MeV electrons
(1992-1999) showing much higher average
fluxes near the equinoxes than near the
solstices [from Baker et al., 1999].
It would appear that we’re more likely to
lose satellites during the equinoxes.
BTW, have you noticed the Solar
Radiation Storm we’ve been experiencing since 12-Mar?
Yes, indeed, some very interesting data to ponder, especially
since we are seeing lots of headlines that reassure us that
while there's some 'new' kind of behaviors being noticed by the
Sun, nothing to really worry about.
is the sun producing so few sunspots?" and "Magnetic
flows cause sunspot lows, study shows."
of which would be a kind of ho-hum, yeah that's interesting but
who really cares...until...you read further and start
piecing together a question that goes something like "If the
sun's magnetic fields are changing, could there be a big
action-at-a-distance implication for a planet with a mostly
molten iron core?
Think the people Chile and Haiti may have an answer there.
But, just in case, a Presto alert was issued yesterday for a CME
due to arrive at Earth along about Wednesday of this week...so
might there be a big quake in the next couple of days?
We'll be watching....
Meantime, a Peoplenomics subscriber wrote a very good - and
thought provoking - email about a hypothetical sequence of
events that could happen this year including the possibility of
a major West Coast earthquake I described (again
"That shaking had lasted several minutes and later
analysis of the data would indicate that it was a 8.9
magnitude quake centered in the Sherman Oaks area."
I would like to call your attention to:
Magi 6.0 - 7/3/09 - 25° 7'48.00"N - 109°45'0.00"W
Mag 6.9 (group of about 3, this was the largest) - 8/3/09
- 29° 2'24.00"N - 112°54'0.00"W, 31 Days and 332 statute
Approx 6 Mag 4.1 to 4.6 - 10/8/09 - 10/16/09 -
30°59'30.94"N - 113°46'32.79"W, 66 Days, 144 miles since the
Swarm -12/30/09 - 32°28'57.73"N - 115° 9'28.36"W, 83 Days,
128 miles from the 10/8/09 group.
North of here is the "wrench fault" area of the San Andreas,
you know, that part that is locked. In a wrench fault, part
of the land subsides (Salton Sea... where a separate swarm
has been ongoing for about 2 years under the south shore),
and other sections are pushed up into transverse Ranges such
as San Bernardino, San Gabriel, Santa Monica, and Sierra
Pelona Mountains, the Simi Hills, and most importantly, the
The Tehachapi is most important since ALL of LA's water
either goes over (pumping stations) or around this range
(Owens Valley). The Tehachapi are also the de-facto
southern end of California's Central Valley. North
of it Geologists have identified a lithospheric drip coming
off the bottom of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and has
probably contributed to the formation of the valley.
The other aspect of it, is that in your scenario, this range
is about where your LA quake is positioned.
Now, why did that get my attention? Those quakes I
mentioned earlier... They have been progressing up the
boarder of the Pacific and north American plate as regular
as clock work. If you do a time-distance on this "stress
front" it was moving at about 10.72 mi/day, then slowed to
about 2.19 mi/day, and finally to 1.55 mi/day as it
encountered the multiple fractures of the San Jacinto,
Elsinore, Coronado Bank, San Diego Trough, and San Clemente
fault areas, all which move stress around the locked San
Andreas at this area. Most of the activity of this "stress
wave" is seen on the San Jacinto fault.. with a few odd ball
4.0's and such appearing on what is likely an extension of
the Elsinore down in Mexico, and possibly one of the oceanic
faults further south near the same Latitude.
Remember, this is just some observations and wild arsed
guess. Now.. IF the "stress wave" idea is sound... then the
stress zone is likley near Baldy Mountain in Southern
California, and will be in the area you mention in your
scenario around July, and should have moved north of
Pasadena to near Santa Clarita by around the 1st of July
2010... at it's apparent rate of movement.
Unsuccessfully, I tried to get an eyeball on it by setting
up a query to the USGS servers and making a plot out of it.
It really shows nothing more than normal quake activity by
the way I see it. Here's the graph. I intentionally set
the bounding box to exclude the Salton Sea quake swarm...
like I said, it's been going on for a while now.
I also noticed that you mentioned Hawaii.
You do know about "The Great Crack" right? It's larger than
the one that the Tee Vee is always yammering about over at
the Canary Islands. It stretches from Palima Point at 19°
9'40.66"N - 155°26'12.91"W and runs about 20 miles North by
North East to the area of Kilauea crater. The Hilina Pali
scarp is to the South East of it.... From Wikipedia: "On
November 29, 1975, a 37 mile (60 km) wide section of the
Hilina Slump plunged 11 feet (3 m) into the ocean, widening
the crack by 26 feet (7.9 m). This movement caused a 7.2
magnitude earthquake and a 48 foot (15 m) high tsunami."
Keeping that in mind... refer to the Tuscaloosa Seamount,
formerly part of Oahu. This 10 mile wide chunk of the
island broke off over 1.5 million years ago and slid 50+
miles out to sea.
Just stuff to ponder....
Yeah, sure as hell is. Especially because we have 4-5
Great Quakes due linguistically this year...
Monday's Stretching at
Had an interesting email from a reader overnight which sort of
ties in the with the 'building tension' period we are in through
"July 4th, 2010 is the
next September 11 event carried out by a secret government
Here how it work:
-First step is to a
cause 9/11 truth movement to fight against the government,
this is the first step of the government.
-Then the next second
step will be word of war upon Tea party and coffee party and
many new group movement maybe by april or may
-Finally the final
step the government will do is to blow up washington D.C.
somewhere in lincoln ave. (planted by the government) then
the new media will lied about who planted the bomb, a 9/11
truth movement or tea party or some anti-government involved
and also must be a ex-army who work for the government and
somehow got a nuclear device
-Then the government
will declared anyone a terrorist if no one accept a new
technogoly (mark of the beast style) so the government need
the people's trust, if you don't like the government, you
will be send to the fema camp or something else and blame
anyone who refuse the "government's mark", there will be
marital law, police control
I cannot tell you how
I know this, but I can give you a hint: I found this
information somewhere in youtube, Look up "9/11 in hollywood"
why I talked about July 4th, 2010
If you think this is a
joke, then fine, but don't said I didn't mention any of it
Everything will come
This video, in case you don't have broadband, takes what seems
to be an X-Files sequence and then reads all kinds of hints into
it about a supposed event to come in early July (4th?) of this
The problem with such efforts is that given enough zoom-in
capability and a calculator, I could find what might seem
like meaningful relationships between almost any movie and
future (or past) events. I mean, I've already assumed that
I'll have to watch Alice in Wonderland in order to get the
MK Ultra implications, right?
Still - skeptical though I am - it'll be interesting to watch
the date come and go. The curious timing of "Lord of the
Rings: Two Towers", for example, was curious. And then
the case "The Coup" album cover done ahead of the 9/11 attack
which was written up in Wired within days of 9/11.
Whether Hollywood knows anything in advance of events, or
whether it's just a case of leaky archetypes, we'll learn later
on this year.
Speaking in Text?
As long as we're doing "Monday at the WuJo", perhaps you'll also
want to masticate on this:
You spoke last week of how new
words phrases, or ideas come around as time passes &
technology changes. This one was a new one for me & I'd be
interested to know if this phenomenon has come past you
I went out of town with a friend
& her daughter (16 yrs. old) this past weekend & heard
something that was quite incredible to me. As my friend & I
were visiting late (we shared a hotel room), her daughter
fell asleep beside her. I found out that this young lady
talks very plainly in her sleep on a nightly basis. BUT,
when she speaks, she talks in text (yes, as in texting). She
is a very intelligent young lady, is extremely hard working,
ahead of her class, etc. Anyway, as we were visiting, I
heard her say OMG (she spoke the letters) you can't believe
what I saw learned today, LOL (again she spoke the letters).
I was very surprised to hear such clear speech, not to
mention the 'text' talk! I asked her mom about this, & she
acted as if this was normal & said that all of the 'sleep'
conversations that her daughter has, are spoken in the same
way. If it can be abbreviated in texting, then that is how
she speaks in her dream state. Heck, in high school, we were
excited to get electric typewriters! I never imagined in my
wildest dreams wanting to 'type' on a phone!
I guess that some new technology
is even invading the subconscious thought process now.
Thanks for the thought provoking
humor, the insight, & the occasional (but more frequent
lately) heads up! Or should I say 'Duck & Cover'.....
N-o-,-I h-a-d-n-'-t h-e-a-r-d- o-f i-t-. But takes a lot
to sujrprsie me. When it shows up at revival meetings and
in hypnotic regressions, get back to me.
But, speaking in/of which: What IF texting is just an
intermediate step to creating humans that will be melding
(Transformers style?) into a hybrid between machines and humans?
Just thinking...when the 64-bit humming begins, I'm out.
When Realities Collide
Remember a while back we had the email from the fellow who was
following an old car down the road and it morphed into a late
model Camry right before his eyes? I keep forgetting to
pass along this email which is along the same lines...
My husband introduced me to your web site and I have been
reading it for about a year. A Little while back there was a
write in about an incident of the weird happening to a
gentleman who was driving home and watched an El Dorado
change before his eyes. It and another incident of the
weird, got me thinking about something of the like that
happened to me last summer.
Here it goes: It was about 9am both of my young kids were
playing in the living room, windows were all open and it was
nice and sunny. I was in the kitchen doing some cleaning,
watching my kids thru the doorway and what we like to refer
to as the drive thru window. Then I started to notice shadow
people running around in the space between me and my kids.
It was like watching an old fashion film strip with my kids
as the back drop. The shadows were human shape but moved to
fast to catch any detail. The shadows were just running
around and doing their thing. My kids did not seem to notice
them or just didn't care. We continued the day like any
other, and went out to the deck for water time, and I would
occasional look in or come in to get something and the
shadows continued to just run around.
If memory serves they finally went away in the late
afternoon, say about 4pm. We have nothing in or out the
house that would have produced what I saw. In fact I have
seen them, for a short time walk past our deck door, while I
and the kids were inside. Still not sure what to think of
it, but just take it in stride with all the others.
Winter has been fairly quiet, but now the snow is starting
to melt here and the activity just started up again. Couple
days ago I was making a grocery run at night when I had two
hand push on my back, right below the shoulder blades. I
could feel the finger tips, and it was hard enough to get me
looking behind the driver’s seat to see who was there. No
one there. Well thought I would share my experiences. Your
thoughts are much appreciated. Keep up the great work. "
The concept here is that two whole Universes collide
periodically and there's a whole 'other world' on the other side
of it with 'beings'. One of the theories is that aliens
(grays mostly) are from this otherspace and some have figured
out how to transit between the two universes.
Cliff's planning (when time permits) to put an extract up on the
free part of his site about the "hyperchroniac" experience and
to my way of thinking, this may be a related phenomena, even if
only tangentially so.
The problem seems to be that there is so much experimenting/work
being done with time-manipulation that hyperchroniac experiences
are apparently on the rise...they're when time either gets
really, really slow - and you get HUGE amounts of work done in
almost 'no time', or if there's not enough 'time stuff' around,
you work hours and hours and yet nothing seems to get done.
Couple this with a few shadow people, morphing Caddies into
Camry's and you've gotcherself a fine kettle of fish that will
be hard on people not understanding.
Fortunately, along comes Tim Burton with a perfectly timed movie
which is almost a formula for coping with a drugged
out/drug-out, compressed while we're at it too world with Alice.
To borrow a Twilight Zone phrase "At the signpost up ahead...a
And Then Things REALLY
The headline "We
are not alone." says NASA Veteran" makes for a good
read if you're having a slow/lazy Monday.
And that article in turn
McClelland's website here.
So, was it Alice who was 10-feet tall and playing in the Shuttle
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.