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April 17, 2010 07:55A CST New?
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Securities and Exchange
Commission v. Goldman?
allegations have been leveled by the Securities and Exchange
Commission against Goldman Sachs over their marketing of
collateralized debt obligations tied to subprime mortgages.
The government's press release is worth a close read:
Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Goldman,
Sachs & Co. and one of its vice presidents for defrauding
investors by misstating and omitting key facts about a
financial product tied to subprime mortgages as the U.S.
housing market was beginning to falter.
Litigation Release No. 21489 SEC
The SEC alleges that Goldman
Sachs structured and marketed a synthetic collateralized
debt obligation (CDO) that hinged on the performance of
subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).
Goldman Sachs failed to disclose to investors vital
information about the CDO, in particular the role that a
major hedge fund played in the portfolio selection process
and the fact that the hedge fund had taken a short position
against the CDO.
"The product was new and complex
but the deception and conflicts are old and simple," said
Robert Khuzami, Director of the Division of Enforcement.
"Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against
the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage
securities to include in an investment portfolio, while
telling other investors that the securities were selected by
an independent, objective third party."
Kenneth Lench, Chief of the
SEC's Structured and New Products Unit, added, "The SEC
continues to investigate the practices of investment banks
and others involved in the securitization of complex
financial products tied to the U.S. housing market as it was
beginning to show signs of distress."
The SEC alleges that one of the
world's largest hedge funds, Paulson & Co., paid Goldman
Sachs to structure a transaction in which Paulson & Co.
could take short positions against mortgage securities
chosen by Paulson & Co. based on a belief that the
securities would experience credit events.
According to the SEC's
complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York, the marketing materials for the CDO
known as ABACUS 2007-AC1 (ABACUS) all represented that the
RMBS portfolio underlying the CDO was selected by ACA
Management LLC (ACA), a third party with expertise in
analyzing credit risk in RMBS. The SEC alleges that
undisclosed in the marketing materials and unbeknownst to
investors, the Paulson & Co. hedge fund, which was poised to
benefit if the RMBS defaulted, played a significant role in
selecting which RMBS should make up the portfolio.
The SEC's complaint alleges that
after participating in the portfolio selection, Paulson &
Co. effectively shorted the RMBS portfolio it helped select
by entering into credit default swaps (CDS) with Goldman
Sachs to buy protection on specific layers of the ABACUS
capital structure. Given that financial short interest,
Paulson & Co. had an economic incentive to select RMBS that
it expected to experience credit events in the near future.
Goldman Sachs did not disclose Paulson & Co.'s short
position or its role in the collateral selection process in
the term sheet, flip book, offering memorandum, or other
marketing materials provided to investors.
The SEC alleges that Goldman
Sachs Vice President Fabrice Tourre was principally
responsible for ABACUS 2007-AC1. Tourre structured the
transaction, prepared the marketing materials, and
communicated directly with investors. Tourre allegedly knew
of Paulson & Co.'s undisclosed short interest and role in
the collateral selection process. In addition, he misled ACA
into believing that Paulson & Co. invested approximately
$200 million in the equity of ABACUS, indicating that
Paulson & Co.'s interests in the collateral selection
process were closely aligned with ACA's interests. In
reality, however, their interests were sharply conflicting.
According to the SEC's
complaint, the deal closed on April 26, 2007, and Paulson &
Co. paid Goldman Sachs approximately $15 million for
structuring and marketing ABACUS. By Oct. 24, 2007, 83
percent of the RMBS in the ABACUS portfolio had been
downgraded and 17 percent were on negative watch. By Jan.
29, 2008, 99 percent of the portfolio had been downgraded.
Investors in the liabilities of
ABACUS are alleged to have lost more than $1 billion.
The SEC's complaint charges
Goldman Sachs and Tourre with violations of Section 17(a) of
the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5. The
Commission seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits,
prejudgment interest, and financial penalties.
Say, you don't
suppose this could be the first of many actions in the
regulatory enforcement area do you? I mean, after all,
with outfits like CHINA holding US paper, seems to me that this
kind of action might be the first step toward trying to head off
WW III which would almost certainly follow if the US stiffs too
many people with bad paper, so I figure...
Meantime I have
been hearing rumors that there are investors who are still
trying to take delivery of silver bars bought on the commodity
exchanges from late winter who have not yet been able to
take delivery and so far....only rumors, but rumors
nevertheless, that warehouse numbers and deliveries don't
exactly line up...if you follow what the implications of that
Dow is down only 0.8% while the S&P is down almost 1.5% so can
you spell "paint the tape"?
Shall We Dance?
have taken me to task over the past few weeks for 'refusing to
believe' that a recovery is underway. Well, fine.
Worse, unless the Dow manages to drop more than 145-points
today, there's a good chance this week will end north of the
11,000 mark - which my detractors point out - would not be too
bad for a market which I still reckon to be on the short road to
they point to the industrial production figures out from the Fed
on Thursday. Up at a 7.8% annual rate, this would seem to
be extremely good news verging on runaway euphoria.
The problem is
that people tend to remember back only as far as convenient and
once their case in made, they stop doing research and issue a
firmly held "Told you!" and that's that. No around here,
though. A little more mental rigor is required...
Problem is that
the data is readily available for further back periods and if I
the April 15, 2009 data I read where a year ago the story
was what? "Industrial production fell 1.5 percent in March
(remember this is 2009!) after a similar decrease in February.
For the first quarter as a whole, output dropped at an annual
rate of 20.0 percent, the largest quarterly decrease of the
current contraction. At 97.4 percent of its 2002 average, output
in March fell to its lowest level since December 1998 and was
nearly 13 percent below its year-earlier level."
percentages hide some reality (since we've been shipping
US-based jobs overseas faster than building in Haiti falls down
when shaken), I have to look at one number: total percentage of
industrial capacity which in
March 2008 was 112.1% of 2002 baseline data, which in
2009 was 97.4% of 2002 baseline data, and which the bulls
are celebrating as huge victory since yesterday was 101.6% of
What the longer
view of the Fed numbers seems to reveal is that (just jumping
out on a limb here) the state of the economy is not quite
peachy yet...and relative to where we were in March of 2008
sure looks like it's 10.5% below those levels of two years
Now let me
confess a personal bias: I tend to take the Fed numbers
pretty much as Gospel. Why? When you literally have
all the money in the world and are somewhat insulated from
political chicanery inside the Beltway, I figure the incentive
to 'shade the truth' is a bit less intense.
So when I look
at figures like the unemployment rate coupled with the
productivity report, I figure at least 10.5% less humans will
have jobs relative to two years. I mean if productivity is
up and the utilization is down then where do jobs
come from, right?
I suppose if
this wasn't a warm-up-the-brain exercise for serious use later
in the day, I could go off and figure out the underlying Fed
data, but essentially I figure anything that come out from the
other government reports that doesn't show 2008
employment plus 10.5% additional is probably a pant load of
crap, since industrial production vs. 2002 is down that far.
Oh - and if the
way the Dow is valued is related to production, 89.5% of the
2007 high in the Dow would cap our upside at 12,589.07 excluding
monetary effects. Plus, or minus, a beer.
Don't mean to
start off on such a sour note, but tacking on a couple of
additional years to 20-20 hindsight really helps. The Bush
administration and the Clinton administration before, and so on
have been playing 'hot potato' with who's going to be caught as
the last one holding the hot potato when it blows up.
Obama's got the
hot potato now, and since we're nearly due for WW III anyway, as
I explained earlier this week, we're to the point where
economics matters less than converting any non-essentials into
longer term implements of production to keep yourself and loved
ones alive for whatever wide range of threats comes along.
I call this
whole process the Economic Waltz...shall we dance?
Genuine Good News?
Port of Long Beach shows loaded inboiund cargo for March was up
10.9% from year ago levels. 'Course last year sucked,
but we'll go for a glint of hope where we find it.
Port of Seattle loaded inbound was down about 7.2%
LA posts annual
figures - and
loaded inbound is down 2.86%. Oakland and Portland are
still trying to figure out how calculators work, presumably.
Recovering - Sort Of...
minute ago how I was saying how the longer term view (more than
going back just one year) is needed to make sense of things?
Well, the folks at the Association of American Railroads are
pretty sharp and you can read in their weekly traffic report how
the real bigger picture is rolling:
Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported
that U.S. freight railroads saw a 7.5 percent rise in
carloads during March compared with the same month last
year, and a decline of 11.5 percent compared with the same
month in 2008.
According to the April 2010 AAR
Rail Time Indicators Report, 16 of the 19 major commodity
categories tracked by AAR saw higher carloads last month
compared with the same month last year. U.S. rail intermodal
traffic, which covers the movement of truck trailers and
shipping containers by rail, was up 12.1 percent in March
compared with the same month last year, but down 4.5 percent
for the same month in 2008.
Commodities showing monthly
carload gains included primary metal products, up 66.1
percent compared with March of 2009, grain, up 20.4 percent,
and chemicals, up 15.5 percent compared with the same month
last year. "
Gold star for
their PR Department. See how two years puts things into
perspective a little better? These3 guys should be running
things at BLS. The "L" being optional.
No, not really...as volcanic ash gets worse. And a
a mid-level executive in operations control at a major
airline in the US. This seismic event is significant in its
disruption to international commerce. It's 9-11 over Europe.
I believe this is one in a number of events which began with
the tipping point in Indonesia in 2004. Lets call it a
seismic chain reaction...on a global scale.
May 5/6 and then July 11-ish for the real warm up acts to
the November BIG TIP...this is piddling stuff. PITA from a
scheduling standpoint, but really, much bigger stuff to come -
including a whole slew of quakes out there yet...
Among the Bigger Tax Bites
President and Michelle Obama paid $1.8 million in federal taxes
for 2009...which pencils out to about 34.6 times more than
Why don't I feel
better about it?
Since most of
their income seems to come from book-writing, maybe I need to
spend more time in front of the computer...except the days
aren't long enough as is.
Meteor Or Wreckage?
All over the net
this morning there is buzz about whether
the big falling ball of fire over Wisconsin the other night
was a) a meteor or b) some fragment of an interplanetary
spacecraft that was shot down and inconveniently fell to earth.
Uh huh....find the wreckage and get back to me.
Evidence of Consumer
Let me see:
People would rather pay their credit cards than their mortgage?
Pinch me, would you?
Wonder if that
has anything to do with
Foreclosures spiking this week?
March to WW III
A British dude
(not sure calling a Brit conservative leader 'dude' is right,
but skip that part and move along to this:)
Says China requires a UK nuclear deterrent."
Of course, around here, we
know the real path to war works like this:
prints gazillions in debt paper and sells it to China based
on promises and assumptions that we will honor our debts.
We stiff China on debt
China, properly pissed
(by this fall) says BS and foments a war between Israel and
Timing is just so that
the mideast nuke debris heads south of the Himalayas and
decreases lifespans of India and large Islamic countries
southeast of there.
China also whispers in
Russia's ear and gets the US and Ruskies to duke it out -
and the UK throws in with the US
China, you see, has the
mindset of the Middle Kingdom, which is a Chinesey version of
the Islamic Dar es Salam, masters of the universe kind of
if you know where to look: "The common name is Zhōngguó
(simplified Chinese: 中国; traditional Chinese: 中國). This
translates traditionally as "Middle Kingdom," or as "central
Which then means
what?...China will lay back from the start of WW III and
will let everyone else duke it out while they do what the US did
in WW I and WW II - laid back and built war-making capacity and
then collected all the marbles as the victor.
stupid....Besides, as will be explained in the further
elucidations on chemtrails (in today's coping section), the idea
of a nuclear winter would sure be one way to screw up
terraforming plans of....oh, just keep reading...it all fits in
a really bizarre kind of way...
--- snip and
save section ---
Coping at the WuJo:
With Persistent Chemmie
A reader is not
sure what I was getting at when I laid out what I thought was a
pretty clear Idea for an experiment related to chemtrail
observations since there is now a major volcano going off in
Iceland that could impact chemical spraying:
For the benefit of those of us
apparently not up to speed with your logic, could you
explain this a bit more:
My thinking is this: If
chemtrails in Europe stop with the ash clouds - then it
seems likely that they are related to a planetary
cooling project. On the other hand, if they continue
unabated, then it become more likely that they have
something to do with chemical spraying of the high
density civilian population areas.
I don't know much about
aviation, but if all jet traffic is suspended because
volcanic ash represents a clear threat undetected by
aircraft radar, how could chemtrail flights continue
Are the Boeing 'refuelers'
somehow hardened to fly through an ash cloud that would
otherwise bring them down?
Since I'm too
lazy to type out a whole answer myself, let's begin with what a
confidential (no I won't reveal the source) tells me is going on
with the whole chemtrail deal - I mean just so we're all on the
same page on this stuff:
& 85 it was found that our atmosphere was degrading in some
rather obscure ways. Several of the protections offered were
found to be failing, each at differing rates of decline.
one noted was a harmonic of cosmic radiation was allowing
sun burn reactions. This is not the usual UV class as such.
Rather a static reaction between these rays and our
atmosphere. In order to address such a pervasive problem,
the use of cloud seeding types of spraying started to be
both used and experimented with. At about the same time, the
first reports of a global effect of mans pollutions were
being formed. The basis of global warming was born...
were two real problems to deal with and few if any answers.
adjustments were made in the chemicals used that allowed
these problems to be addressed. From the advent of molecular
micro-sciences, nano technologies, etc., certain adjustments
were made to both chemical content and structural reactions
between the bonding and static fields intended to be
influenced. Because of these two basic problems, the new
chem trails are designed to re-initiate both protections.
part of all this is that none of these chemicals are at all
'good' for us or any other living thing on our overpopulated
planet... The choice was burn up now, or hope somebody would
figure out how to address these growing problems.
degradation of the atmospheric ecosystems and weather hold
several truths not well known either. The weather wars of
influence are partly to blame for the present conditions.
saying, 'it's not nice to fool around with mother nature',
seems very appropriate here. And there are several
operational programs/facilities doing just that. So we now
have a very P.O.'ed Mother nature/ecosystem. Ain't much
right with it.
basic weather influencing sciences, some idiot decided to
apply certain parts of it to the earth, as in dirt. Problem
is, it works too... It is of a similar design. If all that
ain't enough, the end of days is rapidly approaching...
2012...oooeee! an all that.
Ties neatly with Cliff's
early linguistics work on "sun disease", get it? So -
that's one view of things and the refueling tankers as
you called them, were probably leased for some ostensibly
useful purpose (forest fire retardant applications) via a
federal agency that protects such things, which in turn sublet
the work to some group or other like a west coast aircraft
operations group that did a lot of 'work for Uncle' back
in Vietnam days and these, in turn fly hither and thither doing
Or, so we hear.
Of course, there are
anecdotal questions which then come up: Is this really
all there is to it? Oh, you mean because the reptilians
like warmer weather, is this somehow tied in to the
cloaked/shape-shifters who are have infiltrated some levels of
government and many other otherwise good-guy organizations and
who - coincidentally, seem to have a taste for human blood
(small children sacrifice, and are called by some the
to speculate (which is what this is, however, probably better
informed than most) beyond this.
Speculate on what?
Like, why would the spraying be done mostly over/ upwind of
major cities? Well, out here in the rural lands, people
don't do as much sunbathing and such.
So rather than have a
longish conversation and waste brain clicks trying to figure out
whether the global warming, interaction with atmosphere is the
real driver, or whether it's just a disinfo 'shell' for an even
deeper & more covert terraforming project for the reptilians is
beyond the scope of Friday morning.
Oh - put on your reading
list: "What do HAARP,
Chemtrails, and Global Warming all have in common?"
Having said that, this
weekend Peoplenomics gets into something semi-parallel when we
go over some of the findings of the small Jewish studies group
which has evolved something called the Self-Defining Hebrew
System which gets back to the 22-words/concepts at the root of
"How the heck is that
related?" Oh, those reptilian types (remember the snake
in the Garden of Eden? Think reptile and it makes
more sense...stuff's in plain sight when you know how to read
it...) all that comes into focus as the first book of
the Bible gets a reread using the SDHS and surprise!
Reveals that the first book of the bible is actually a Chronicle
in a number of books and...well, we'll save that rabbit
hole for subscribers.
If, about here,
you're thinking to yourself "Reptilians? Have you lost your
friggin mind?" Then you need to go read the piece that my
Cliff posted this week on the hunt for "The Word".
Even if you
aren't getting it yet, why do so many cultures around the world
have references to things like shape-shifters and such, hummm?
If nothing else,
imagine what a plot it would make for a movie: Some
big-whoop politico holding a press conference and the hero (or
heroine) comes into the room and loudly says "The Word" and the
politico shape-sifts briefly out of being a normal human into
being a repto. Make a helluva flick.
Hold Onto Your Snake
Long as I'm
giving you a bad reptiles report today, "US
man arrested after police say he hit South Carolina motel guest
in face with 1.2 meter python."
They sure that
And in the Really Really
Leeches that live in people's noses have been found!
Cool Decorating Idea
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one dollar bills as wall paper?
An uncut sheet of 32- $1 bills will cost you $55 and you can
order it here. No, they don't come on rolls, yet.
Send your comments
Shop Till You Drop
Peoplenomics This Week
Eating in the Post-Prosperity
This week's report is a triple serving of food. We'll consider
start by exploring how BLS covers up food price increases you might be
seeing and government somehow doesn't, how to start seriously rethinking
what you eat at what price points (including what should be a fine
discussion of what I call dim array (food), a systemic way of
considering food's different values and then we'll get into ways to
actually beat high food prices with a load of reader-supplied one pot
recipes along with a couple of my own.
More For Subscribers
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Pass It On
A 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.
Not Exactly a Screaming
production figures from the Fed this morning:
production edged up 0.1 percent in March and increased
at an annual rate of 7.8 percent in the first quarter.
Manufacturing output rose 0.9 percent in March, led by
widespread gains among durable goods industries. Factory
production was likely held down in February by the winter
storms but nonetheless rose at an annual rate of 6.6 percent
for the first quarter as a whole. The output of mines
increased 2.3 percent in March. Utilities output dropped 6.4
percent; after a relatively cold February, demand for
heating fell in March as temperatures climbed to
above-normal levels. At 101.6 percent of its 2002 average,
industrial output in March was 4.0 percent above its
year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for total industry
advanced 0.2 percentage point to 73.2 percent, a rate 7.4
percentage points below its average from 1972 to 2009, but
3.7 percentage points above the rate from a year earlier.
Nope, not a
great big deal. Wake me up in time to write tomorrow's
report. Figure the Dow should drop back half it's gain of
yesterday, or so. What goes up, gravity, yada, yada,
Everyone's got a
'system' of picking market tops, bottoms, and entry & exit
points. Mine is a kind of charting system which - when
married with Elliott Wave theory and the moon is in the 7th
House, and Jupiter's aligned with....er...toss in some Eye of
Newt, too...does OK.
report I told you the future was so bright (before the open)
that you might want to have welding goggles at the ready for the
day's trading, and sure enough, the Dow popped up more than a
May have some follow-on today since stocks in the Eurozone have
been up all night (from our time zone/perspective) partying on
reports of strong economic growth in China.
Might see even
more reason to move up with the Federal Reserve (which is about
as reliable a name as "Friendly Mafioso's") unveil the
industrial production figures in about :45 minutes. I'll
try to get an update posted. But, with just the right
juice, this could through gas on the bull's rally and propel us
toward that 11,244 level.
We flash back to
October of 2007 when the Dow hit 14,066. Then we notice
that by March of 2009, the Dow had dropped to 6,627.
Take the big number and subtract the small number and you get a
market move of 7,439 points.
This could very
well represent Primary Wave 1 down of a much larger (as in leads
to World War III late this fall) move...but that's getting ahead
make long term declines, they often will 'bounce' by various
percentages. Some of the more common ones are 33%,
38.2%, 50%, 61.8%, 75%, and 80%. Knowing that we are
bouncing off that March 2009 low, we could construct a little
table with some possible targets for the Dow to reach and
it might look like this:
When you're making very
long term gambling decisions, you make up a table like this and
either add to your bets, or lighten up, depending on how close
you are to this level, or that.
Several readers have been
watching and placing bets along similar lines to mine.
Like this guy:
I bought some long term
financial options about the same time you did back in
January, although I wasn't trying to mirror your trades
(I've followed you long enough to know better), I think this
time I might have (AXP, BAC) but only because at the time I
was thinking along the same lines you were and what you were
saying confirmed what I was already feeling.
Although I now wished I'd sold a
couple weeks after purchasing them which would have been
about 100% profit, I'm totally amazed at how they've hung in
there through the rally. I'll probably hang on to the bitter
end as that is nature (and downfall at trading) but every
time I get the nerve to look at what's left in my little
options account I'm baffled at what's still there given the
circumstances. I've dealt mainly with shorter term index
options in the past and know that they fluctuate a lot more
but does this behavior seem odd to you?
First, the usual
disclaimers: BAC and AXP are both well-run companies and in a
genuine recovery they might be expected to do very well.
Down at the Fed,
former Bubblemeister Alan Greenspan popularized the use of the
words "in our judgment". Around here, we're not quite so
papered, nor quite so misleading. We do darts and guesses
in the midst of hurricanes - and that'd be a good day.
Don't honesty count for something, though?
On the other
hand, there are some very well-respected analysts out there -
like Meredith Whitney - who have figured out (as we have) that
the housing market will fall again.
As always, the
question is "When?"
No telling, but
I see where the CBC is headlining that the "IMF
predicts high unemployment to persist." Ain't that
And there's your
answer why the financial stocks could have significant downside.
Put away those
"future's so bright" shades -
futures were down before the open this morning. (More
on shady remarks in the Coping section below)
Speaking of Canada
Don't know what
the rules are on foreign bank accounts, been years since I
the Loonie is back over par with the Dollar (except we know
US paper is not a dollar - it's a fed prom note basically...)
Which MIGHT mean
you could put money into a Canadian bank and have it earn
interest plus a little
(juice) for currency swing,
'restrictions on travel' concept that popped out of modelspace a
long time back? Well,
here's the airports in London version of it, due to volcanic ash
from a volcano spewing in Iceland.
Here's the cool
thing about this massive ash cloud: It may give us a point
of discernment from which we may be able to infer whether
chemtrails are a project to cool the environment/reduce
heat gain of earth on the one hand, or whether chemtrails
are a population vaccine or chemical treatment regimen.
My thinking is
this: If chemtrails in Europe stop with the ash clouds -
then it seems likely that they are related to a planetary
cooling project. On the other hand, if they continue
unabated, then it become more likely that they have something to
do with chemical spraying of the high density civilian
science, of course - more like throwing a dart in a hurricane,
but that's how science works and who knows? Maybe we'll be
able to infer some observations and answers out of this...
My best guess at
the next big EQ in SoCal would be either the 21st, or more
likely the 28th of this month.
Baja is still popping off with 4.8 sized quakes today.
Where Not to Go Camping
Memo to self:
Do not pitch a tent on Arctic ice flow where it's going to split
open under the tent...
Dancing to WW III Department
Besides the accidental
(yeah, sure, right...) crash of that Polish plane that wiped out
top leadership of that country, there's also the little
matter of what's going to happen in Kyrgyzstan where a soft
revolution is underway. Since the country borders China, a
check of the
Chinese Xinhua news agency turns up a pretty good in depth look
at things here...
Mazda recalls 90,000 vehicles for shifty problems, but not
here so far as we know....
April 15th Reminder
If that's not
here's a link from Google's news search tool to 11,000+ more
verbose ways of saying it.
here (but only part time, as you'll notice).
--- snip and
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How to be an Electronics Whiz
One of our local
hams - relatively new to the sport - dropped by with a sick
linear amplifier on Wednesday.
I can see
already, this is going to get technical, so a couple of
definitions along the way. Ham radio is the hobby of doing
talking and digital communications without the internet over
long distances. The national organization with the largest
membership is the American Radio Relay League (www.arrl.org).
amplifier takes a signal out of a not too big transmitter and
amplifies it to much higher power.
My friend, not
having a gazillion bits of test equipment - and wanting to learn
how to be an electronics whiz - brought over his sick amplifier.
"High voltage looks OK, the filaments of the tubes come on, so I
don't know what's going on. Any ideas?"
"Any grid or
"Open her up,
we've gotta have a look..."
So for the next
hour and a half we figured out how to open up this amplifier.
Normally, this is an easy task, 3-minutes or less, but this radio was put together
using odd screws that were kind of like a hex key, but nothing I
had fit and even the set of
wrenches didn't work (the now
less defunct Hallicrafters radio company used these on
their knobs as set screws, for reasons known only to God &
losing patience, my friend concluded that the only way to get
the last remaining screw removed would be to drill the head off
it, so eventually he got the cover off.
"What do you
My first guess
was that the radio - which had a couple of capacitors on the
input side may have simply roasted after years of use.
But, no, this amplifier had been modified.
"Calls for close
visual inspection of components....turn it over..." I advised my
After a bit of
poking around, we discovered that there was
a piece of Vector Board (good for cobbling up make-do
circuits on) that a previous owner of the amplifier had used to
string of ten Zener diodes for a bias voltage supply.
"Look at the
Zener stack and tell me what you see..." I suggested.
them looks like it had a fire - there's carbon on the board
around it and it looks like it's broken..."
Call Mouser, or check with
(another club member who fixes public service radios/fire/police
and such for a living) and see if you can come up with a dozen
Zener diodes and some new Vector Board. Check the
schematic when you get home and see how many watts these were
rated for, double it, and come back with the parts and we'll
build up a new Zener stack. and should work, since we'd already
done the obvious like check the tubes and contacts on the
transmit receive relay and all the obvious stuff."
electronics troubleshooting is a real art, requiring measuring
of everything to find an elusive component failure. In
a can of circuit cooler and a hair drier (which we rename a
'heat gun' to keep it from being borrowed) is needed to
replicate failure modes..
it's just a matter of taking the right cover off something and
looking for a component that looks like it let the smoke out.
looking at stock prices, pre-flighting an airplane,
troubleshooting a broken appliance, or in this case, fixing a
piece of ham radio equipment, about as often as not, a good look
at any problem with open eyes will reveal the solution....say
to be this easy, too, but seems with all the electronics, there
are down to about 10-15% visually evident. The rest is
down the rabbit hole where the
xyz computer than runs the engine management computer, that runs
the vehicle control computer, that runs this....well, you got
the idea. Which is why having at least one
antique/pre-electronics vehicle around sure seems to make sense.
Not sure if I'm
a Luddite, or
just lazy...the latter I expect.
About here, you
may be wondering, "Why write this kind of drivel? I don't
care about ham radio...so is there anything else to this
Well, yes, there
is. All has to do with the role of confidence when
learning a new skill. My friend, you see, came over here
already smart enough to fix his electronic problem...but in a
way, what he lacked was the confidence to do it himself.
Not self confidence - he's got a healthy amount of that.
What I'm talking about is learning confidence.
Noticed it with
my biennial flight review instructor. He figured I could
fly an airplane, but he was there to make sure I knew what I
should and - more importantly - remind me of my confidence
in keeping an airplane under control + or - 50 feet of assigned
altitude in high bank turns, etc...when this, or that,
Same thing with
my ham radio friend: My role in all this was almost
Socratic, helping the student realize they already know
everything and they just need to move out their boundaries a
bit to conquer any area of knowledge.
confidence builder? An array of test equipment.
Almost like learning amulets, if you follow.
Which leads to
my thought - which may be worth capturing: When kids are
young, they seem to lack boundaries in their thinking.
After getting kicked around for a few years in this, or that,
there's a tendency for bounded thinking to show up.
(My friend isn't heavily afflicted...which is cool...I just get
to watch him discover how smart he is and I get to
watch him fix what he discovers...which is really fun...).
Odd view of education, I
suppose, but the older we get, and the more deeply ingrained
into this method of thinking, or that, and hence the more we have our
blinders put on, adjusted just so, and this surreptitiously
bounds us and steals our
confidence in our innate ability to solve new problems.
I';m convinced aging is linked in here somehow. As long as
I'm learning I figure it slows aging although I've
never seen it written down anywhere.
So next time
you're faced with a problem (and not just obviously toasted
electronics), ask yourself this: "Do I have boundaries to
my confidence in my ability to conquer this mere physical
thing that prevents me from solving it to my satisfaction right here and now?"
And honest appraisal may yield
surprising answers...I know that question does me a lot of good
every time I ask it...and then I whip out that "Recipe System of
Learning" concept I described a couple of weeks back for
Peoplenomics subscribers and presto! I know what I know,
box in what I don't know, go soak that up, and turn myself into
a Renaissance Man with yet another skill.
Works for women,
You just need to
remember: You have infinite personal power and an infinite
personal ability to learn. It's just a mater oftentimes of
reminding yourself of that.
diodes? There's just a tool to get you there.
Old Age Report
I mentioned the
phrase in a song in yesterday's report "Future's so bright,
gotta wear shades" and improperly attributed the song to Huey
Lewis & the News. And, ho boy, did I get the gates of
email hell opened with that one!
of the group:
was formed in 1984 by the husband and wife team of Pat
MacDonald (acoustic, electric, bass and MIDI guitars,
harmonica, vocals, drum programming) and Barbara K.
MacDonald (electric guitar, mandolin, violin, rhythm
(from a reader) says they were originally up in Madison, WI and
then moved down to Austin, or thereabouts.
Band's got a
website here - and since we have a rudimentary studio lashup
here (16 track in with up to 96 track mixing), if they
ever need studio time, they're more than welcome to drop by for
free studio time out here in the middle of nowhere. BYOA & BYODC
(bring your own amp and bring your own drum key).
Don't blame me
for the lapse...the 1980's disco scene was something I wasn't
too familiar with in the first place.
Want my excuses?
Got a boatload of 'em: When the 1980's were starting out, I was
already a staid and stable married fellow. Twins were born
in 1980, the eldest daughter a couple of years before that.
How much knowledge of the era could there be? Working
umpteen zillion hours a week in news and going to school in my
'spare time' plus all the other trappings of suburbia?
Plus, the radio station I was with had gone country in September
of 1975 - which is when I'd hung up my rock & roll boots.
I could bore you
with all kinds of reasons why I missed the 1980's, although
Elaine took most of it in, though. such is the price of
About the most
important memory peg I have for the era was "In the 1980's, sex
was safe and driving wasn't. Today, it's the other way
progress? Or, just proof I'm getting old?
Down At the WuJo:
Crop Circle Season
almost upon us, or at least so it seems with temps down here on
the ranch already venturing into the 80';s, time to start
thinking about crop circles again, which are a kind of 'every
summertime' event, seems.
One of the
better article on point is called "PLANT
ABNORMALITIES INDICATE PLASMA DISCHARGE IN 2009 UK CROP CIRCLES"
Seems there are
two kinds of crop circles - the mechanical kind (from people
going out and doing 'smash-down' copycat works. Then
there's the other kind - the plasma type. And once you get
there, it's a matter of wondering "Who's the intelligence
behind the plasma?"
interesting answer - although highly speculative - to that for
Peoplenomics readers this weekend, but something to pour endless
hours of reading into, if things are slow at work, or if you
have given up looking for work and have figured that
enlightenment might be easier to find than a job here lately.
Look - Up in the Sky!
see fireball in Green Bay skies.
Item 2: I
suppose this is part science, part WuJo material here...but
definitely worth a read:
Hewitt Heiserman's interview with Arch Crawford of the astro
I mentioned this
to you a couple of months back - basically that Arch was
expecting the economy to hit the skids by late summer, but this
interview gets into more of the nitty-gritty of it.
Oh - sell in May
and go away - long a Wall Street adage, seems in play this year
more so than most....take it for what it's worth.
Say: Did I
mention we're getting close to May and 11,244?
Your Next Earthquake Worry
2010 Apr 14 1225 UTC
WARNING 'PRESTO' MESSAGE from the SIDC (RWC-Belgium)
linked to the eruption of a polar crown filament was
detected on April 13 by LASCO and other coronagraphs. It is
partially halo, with a main propagation direction to the
North of the ecliptic plane.
There is a risk that
the southern flank of the CME crosses the Earth, triggering
enhanced geomagnetic activity, not before late April 16 or
more likely on April 17.
early Saturday? Or next Wednesday in what W. Coast city?
our source in Poland says political candidates that could oppose
the EU are crumbling right and left now. The crash was
- of course - only a coincidence. Just happens to feel a
lot like a NWO/One Worlder's wet dream, is all.
Time once again
to dutifully report the government's take on the cost of living.
As usual, I'll remind you about the distortions implied by both
hedonic adjustments, and using geometric means instead of
arithmetic means, to infer what's really going on when people
buy what they can. May I have the envelope, please?
a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for
All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in
March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Over the last 12 months, the index increased 2.3 percent
before seasonal adjustment.
the Lone Ranger!" - G]
The seasonally adjusted increase
in the all items index was mostly due to an increase in the
fresh fruits and vegetables index, which rose 4.6 percent in
March and accounted for over 60 percent of the all items
increase. Other food at home indexes were mixed and the
index for food away from home was unchanged.
The index for energy and for all
items less food and energy were both unchanged in March.
Within energy, an increase in the electricity index was
offset by declines in the indexes for gasoline and natural
gas. Within all items less food and energy, the indexes for
medical care, new vehicles, and used cars and trucks posted
increases, while the indexes for shelter, household
furnishings and operations, and apparel declined.
Your mileage may
vary, stock number 4142010, member FDIC, yada, yada, yada...
2.3% for the past year is hard to swallow, especially since
gasoline is up 41.1% Year-on-Year (YoY). Used cars are up
16.3% - which leads me to suspect that Cash for Clunkers was
nothing more than a way to puff up people's financial statements
for the guys who run the filthy lucre departments (banksters we
call 'em) so people would look like they have more money (on
paper) than they do. My competing theory is that this is
how the repo price of cars was kept artificially high.
The Blame Game
Think I told you
my friend Howard Hill wrote a dandy book while he was still one
of the highly paid quants (hope he doesn't mind the term, but
that's what I call one of the guys who brought the first PC's to
Wall Street)...the book was Mortgage Market Mayhem. Never
got published...BUT Howard has put a couple of chapters on his
web site which will tell you more about the real causes of why
America is in the crapper financially than just about
anything else out there.
the chapter "The Blame Game" chapter is a dandy. But
maybe before reading that one, you should start with
"Roots of the Meltdown".
Every so often I
call Howard and ask (to the point he's probably sick of it)
"What really caused this mess that we're in?"
Howard will point me at his book chapters which he has
generously shared. And sometimes (while I'm trying to dial
in my automatic telephone voice transcribing system), he'll send
hints like this:
was definitely a main driver, along with the post-inflation
sensibility of the Boomers, who define "affordable" as debt
where you can afford the monthly payment, not debt you can
afford to pay off no matter what happens. That's the result
of living through destructive inflation, and knowing that
(But) The elephant in the room was the change in tax policy
that turned the one-time-only tax-free sale of a primary or
secondary residence into an event you could repeat every two
years. It let people who are good with a paintbrush and
have a big enough checkbook to pay for new appliances and
granite countertops make $500,000 tax free every two years
as long as they could keep the game going. It also
encouraged nearly everyone to extract all the built-up
equity in their homes, only to put it into bigger homes or
more of them."
money is something everybody loves, for sure. Anyway,
Howard's site is a gem, unless you bump into the occasional
"Sorry, George..." reference on this page or that.
It's Howard I said was smart, not me.
Future's So Bright...
Huey Lewis & the
News, wasn't it? "Future's so bright, I gotta wear
Hell, welding glasses today.
Might want to
have a pair of welding goggles ready for November, too...which
gets me to my next epistle....
Poland's Role in WW III?
I'll depart from my usual
review of general, albeit economics-related news this morning
because there's something I want to zoom-in on with you: I've
got good news for you - and bad.
Talked to my
friend and predictive linguistics guru Cliff on Tuesday and the
way things are lining up it is starting to look like the really
really BIG tipping point in the linguistics November 8-14 of
this year (remembering our last big tipping point was 9/11 which
set off the current round of warring and the rise of the
national security state) is shaping more toward WW III than
anything else. Oh - and my own research into the Shape of
Things to Come report's references to an old-time socialist may
be rhyming with Jean Jaurès, for reasons that should become
apparent in a moment. But, instead of starting in the
middle of the story, let's click back to the here & now and read
up the latest dispatch from our correspondent in Poland:
You might wonder, how many things can happen in 24 hours,and
I'll answer you-more than you can imagine, especially if
we're talking about these hours in a beheaded country.
Just few notes today:
Flight procedures are strong and shall be taken seriously
when it's about Air Force One, d'oh?
Only people whose names are on the checklist shall be
allowed to enter the plane...than how come there are two
bodies in a wreck which are identified but were not on the
list and nobody knows who are these people?
(Link to Polish source)
The peaceful mourning is over from the moment when it was
announced that bodies of our first pair will be buried in a
national sanctuary in Wawel, Cracow-what is more intriguing
in the same crypt where Pilsudzki lies-and I think I
mentioned this guy somewhere earlier.
Anyway, some people are strongly opposed to this idea and
are organising protests-calling for a revolt if they won't
(Another source translation page)
Some say they're not patriots:
(And another source cite)
[Pay attention here! Things get even weirder about
here - G]
Do you hear the gunshots on this amateur movie recorded
right after the crash?
to what may be Poland's Grassy Knoll footage)
The Bible Code asked about the crash is quite...well...
(Polish speculation about events as Bible Code attack)
Yeah, everything is just fine here.
Well, let's see
here, what large roughly 100-year-ago events would come close to
the potential of this one to set off a world war?
Are we the only
ones that remember World War I? So let's see how well
history rhymes in the coming months rhyme with the events
leading into WW I.
If the Polish
presidential plane crash (which took out their central bank
president, who was no friend of the West's "easy money and
we'll own you' policies from what I've read) is analogous to
the tragedy of the April 10 crash.
temporal marker to
for might be a rhyme on the assassination of a leading
socialist, Jean Jaurès, which occurred on July 31, 1914,
just 25 days after
the Archduke Ferdinand was killed, which is you dozed off in
that class was June 28, 1914.
linguistics point to a Frenchman and a Wild Colleen in the
coming period, I'm not so sure it couldn't turn out to be
something like a rhyme on the French socialist leader getting
popped which was 25-days after the Archduke was capped.
And then there's
the problem of historical rhymes: They are never exact.
So as I was reading up on how Jean Jaurès was a left/socialist
and therefore a labor leader and also anti-militarist, a rhyme
today could go completely the opposite -- to a pro-militarist,
hardliner, of the right, who's a corporatist too...25-days after
Poland's plane crash. Place your bets?
I've circled the
May 5/6 timeframe for that and know what the scary part of that
is? That's when (coincidentally I sure hope!) our
linguistic "building tension values" go nearly vertical.
won't remember enough history to see how closely aligned Polish
interests are with Austrian interests, and although smaller in
size today, the
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795) was a hugely
power part of central Europe.
And how does all
this fit in with modern-day events? Aha! For some
reason, the ancient Polish empire included lands from which
legends of things like vampires and such came from. The
reason these figure into our tale is that vampires were
large, powerful, came out only at night and had an
appetite for human blood.
Now, if you read
your L. Austine Waddell books about the Aryan types (and related
chalky skin, undergrounds, sunlight averse superhumans who are
reputed to be going off planet about how) we could take a real
turn out into the vast fields of woo woo and get totally lost.
So, instead, we will click back to looking at what could
come next, if the Polish plane crash sets off a larger sequence
of events to come...
next date after the Archduke's death of major consequence on the
road to Total War, comes on August 1, 1914 - 34 days after
the murder and close enough to 33 to be worth noticing on the
way by. This is the date that Germany declares war on
What might a
modern analog be? Oh, maybe some declaration of war
between countries (your guess is as good as mine since we're so
far off into the speculative weeds at this point) would be a day
or two either side of May 13, 2010.
Penciling out a
little more of this potential rhyme we can look at the
date of the Polish plane crash (4/10/2010) and look at the
period from 11/8/2010 to 11/14/2010 which is the date of the
major release language and tipping point in the predictive
linguistics for this fall.
The low end of
the date range would be 212 days from the plane crash date while
the high end would be 218 days.
So we go back to
the assassination of the Archduke and the declaration of war by
Germany. We know that we've got this huge - bigger than
anything we have seen before in modelspace in the predictive
linguistics coming up November 8-14 of this year, so where do we
go in rhyme-seeking mode? The calculations, please?
Archduke death + 212 days
Archduke death + 218 days
German War declar. +212
German War declar. +218
Lots of dates
and ways to arrange things, but the only really safe
generalization is that in this period is
when the German
U-Boat campaign against shipping was being escalated in
you're possibly asking yourself, what would the modern analog be
in terms of public fears? If the U-Boats were the weapon
of public fear then, what is our modern analog? My guess?
A lot of people
misunderstand the predictive linguistics project, thinking that
somehow Cliff can 'zoom-in' on whatever he feels like, down to
the point where he gets seen by (delusional) people are some
kind of guru who owes them answers about every choice in life.
Unfortunately, about as small a group as we get would be on the
order of a few millions, and occasionally a stand-out group of a
hundred thousand might be possible. But individual
stuff? No chance in hell.
On the other
hand, on the really BIG stuff, like tipping points (coming this
fall) the track record seems above chance so I'd be
looking for a series of skirmishes and demands to be made this
summer and the whole world facing degeneration into war in
November, at least if I had to place a bet this morning.
If you know
where to look, there are clues all over the place. Like
the one in this letter from a reader under the subject line
general observation ...
I've kept a 'Gamma Scout'
radiation detector on my desk for a little over 10 years,
checking levels whenever I happened to look up from my work.
For the first few years I
noticed that the background radiation levels only rarely
rose above ~0.08 µSv (micro-Sieverts) and only once did I
briefly see levels at the 0.12 µSv level.
This is a very low level, as I'm
sure you already know.
However, during the past 2-3
years I've noticed that average levels, while still very
low, were slowly rising, and over the past 6 months the rate
of rise has appeared to increase to the point that the
average background level now appears to be about 0.15 µSv
and I've seen peak levels about 0.23 µSv.
I've gone through enough tests
to assure myself that I'm not reading radon levels, nor are
other strictly local radiation sources affecting my
Wrapping the meter in several
layers of heavy duty Al foil, leaving only the meter face
clear, don't seem to affect either average nor peak levels
to any apparent degree. This basically rules out Alpha and
While I thought you'd find this
mildly interesting, I'm not sure you should publish this as
the general run of sheeple may become alarmed."
increase in the general background? Perhaps. Or,
could it be something like the global spread of eventually toxic
dust from all that depleted uranium used in the Middle East that
no one is talking about with any seriousness? Could
be. Maybe something else, like getting closer to the
galactic ecliptic? Well, that, maybe, too. Might
want to start a chart...just in case we get really nonlinear
here come the middle of November, just for example.
all this is: A nuclear war would account for a whole bunch
of linguistic change: "The Gap" in the data, all the dead
people globally (numbers I'm too polite to mention in modelspace
that would curdle your Cheerios with trailing zeroes). So,
yeah, CPI is interesting, earthquakes are significant, and that
galactic ecliptic is good copy.
But, by my
work, and supported by a chart of an inflation-corrected Dow and
other averages since the absolute top of financial indices on
a purchasing power basis, on
January 14, 2000.
Depression 2 needs a large war to finish things up (literally
and figuratively by destroying a lot of capacity not to mention
humans) I notice that from the stock market top in 1929 (Sept.
3, 1929 if memory serves) to the US being bombed at Pearl harbor
was 4,478 days. That means - if we're doing serious
rhyming here - that we could be in WW III around April
18, 2012. Oh, about the middle of our "gap".
Or, if we count
from the German invasion of Poland on 9/1/1939, WW III
could have started as early as January 11th of this year.
That's a kind
of broad timeline to fill in, but since we just had a plane
crash last weekend, well, I'm just feeling a bit edgy, if'n you
know what I mean.
Maybe we'll get
lucky and just have a pole shift of something. "Third
Time's a Charm" doesn't seem to fit this kind of topic.
disclaimer applies: This could all be warrantless
speculation and monkey-mind gone zonkers on too much caffeine,
too early on a beautiful spring morning.
Sure as hell
But am I the
only one who
Obama signing the Fewer Nukes Deal on April 9 and the Polish
cast being bumped off the next day as some kind of massively
connected event sequence? Coincidence? My ass!
Where'd I put
that damn crack pipe?
I imagine it's
good news that the 7.1 earthquake which hit Wednesday morning
did not hit Los Angeles (and if it doesn't strike next
Wednesday, I'm sending that dream I had a while back where the
sign |Wednesday - los angeles | was shown back to the
But the bad news is there was one in China and it killed at
least 400 people.
Not a 'great
quake' by our standards (8.0 or 150,000 dead) but I imagine
there are more than 400 more (former) humans who'd argue that
--- snip and
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Feeble Attempts At Humor
possibility of WW III may seem like sobering stuff, but on the
brighter side of coping, Elaine & I had a good laugh yesterday
as we reviewed the various ways people ask to use restroom
Don't know how
we got onto the topic, but I started recalling my list of
different ways I've asked "Where are your facilities?"
some of my more humorous ones might make your day brighter, but
remember part of the art and science of asking where "The John"
is falls as a heavy responsibility on the asker of the question
- not the askee - to properly assess the audience.
I always look
at such occasions as a fine opportunity from Universe to provide
cheerfulness to people. But, like a comic who's getting up
first at a comedy club, there's an art to sizing up the
room. What you're after is the answer - and
usually obtained as quickly as possible. On the other
hand, it's your duty to bring laughter and mirth into people's
lives, so there's got to be something 'clear' or 'humorous' in
Here are some
of the ones I've discovered work well:
"washroom'?" This works in Canada mainly, where for
some reason people seem inclined to discuss washing instead
of discussing peeing. Never understood that, except
there was an old firehouse saying Pappy shared with me:
"You can tell you're doing a dirty job when you have to wash
both before and after using the bathroom.
Maybe Canadians are that industrious all the time,
but fortunately, Americans are not.
"Where can I recycle
some coffee?" This only works till about 11 AM here in
East Texas. After that, it morphs into "Where can I
recycle some beer?" After 5 PM, it's "Where can I
recycle some Jack?"
I wring out a kidney?" This seems to work pretty well
in medical facilities, but unless you're in a proctologist's
office, or an OB-GYN, they might not pick up on it right
your diaper changing station?" If you're a male, and
you don't have a wife and kids with you do not use this
one or you'll be rounded up as a sex offender. If
you're a woman, no sweat.
useful technique is laying off the inquiry on another person
- present, or not - and with - or without - their
permission. "Excuse me, my wife needs to use the
restroom; where is it?" Since everyone who reads
UrbanSurvival knows that restrooms tend to be clustered
(men's near the women's) to keep construction costs low
(cost of additional plumbing stacks), the odds are usually
in the low to upper 90th percentile that the male restroom
will be on the other side of a common wall from a women's
All of which
gets back to the rest of the story: As we were sitting
there after lunch chatting, I announced "Well, Back to
work...just as soon as I empty my dowsing rod."
I thought that
was pretty good, although admittedly male-specific.
rolled her eyes, something that happens with enough frequency,
I've suggested she make an ophthalmologist appointment one of
these days. Maybe if I go along I can try out my newest
line of inquiry.
Something to ponder other
than WW III or the CPI, worst of all - ignoring a stock tip from
Howard...although any of these pisses me off. Speaking of
which: More coffee? Well, how about some bottled water,
Common Sayings & Modern
The new Balance
of Trade report is out this morning, so we might as well start
U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis,
through the Department of Commerce, announced today that
total February exports of $143.2 billion and imports of
$182.9 billion resulted in a goods and services deficit of
$39.7 billion, up from $37.0 billion in January, revised.
February exports were $0.3 billion more than January exports
of $142.9 billion. February imports were $3.0 billion more
than January imports of $179.8 billion.
In February, the goods deficit
increased $1.9 billion from January to $51.3 billion, and
the services surplus decreased $0.8 billion to $11.6
billion. Exports of goods increased $0.1 billion to $98.5
billion, and imports of goods increased $2.0 billion to
$149.8 billion. Exports of services increased $0.2 billion
to $44.7 billion, and imports of services increased $1.0
billion to $33.1 billion.
In February, the goods and
services deficit increased $13.2 billion from February 2009.
Exports were up $17.9 billion, or 14.3 percent, and imports
were up $31.1 billion, or 20.5 percent.
Goods (Census basis)
The January to February increase
in exports of goods reflected increases in capital goods
($0.4 billion); automotive vehicles, parts, and engines
($0.2 billion); and industrial supplies and materials ($0.2
billion). Decreases occurred in foods, feeds, and beverages
($0.5 billion) and consumer goods ($0.2 billion). Other
goods were virtually unchanged.
The January to February increase
in imports of goods reflected increases in consumer goods
($1.1 billion); industrial supplies and materials ($1.0
billion); other goods ($0.4 billion); and capital goods
($0.4 billion). Decreases occurred in automotive vehicles,
parts, and engines ($0.8 billion) and foods, feeds, and
beverages ($0.1 billion).
The February 2009 to February
2010 increase in exports of goods reflected increases in
industrial supplies and materials ($7.2 billion); automotive
vehicles, parts, and engines ($3.2 billion); capital goods
($1.9 billion); foods, feeds, and beverages ($1.1 billion);
consumer goods ($0.5 billion); and other goods ($0.4
The February 2009 to February
2010 increase in imports of goods reflected increases in
industrial supplies and materials ($14.3 billion);
automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($5.9 billion);
capital goods ($4.0 billion); consumer goods ($3.5 billion);
foods, feeds, and beverages ($0.4 billion); and other goods
Services exports increased $0.2
billion from January to February. The increase was mostly
accounted for by increases in other transportation (which
includes freight and port services) and other private
services (which includes items such as business,
professional, and technical services, insurance services,
and financial services). Changes in the other categories of
services exports were small.
The reason the
balance of trade picture is so important is that it gives a
sense of whether America is becoming more - or less -
competitive. Much of economics can be understood with a few
common sayings that you don't need a four-year degree to
understand. Let me show you what I mean.
pays the piper calls the tune.
cools push for sanctions on Iran".
and his gold are soon parted
Brown's Reputation Management skills the need of the hour."
Fool Some of the People Some of the Time
bond sale attracts strong demand."
Up, Comes Down
Futures Lower after Alcoa Report".
No Free Lunch
set to make money through advertisements."
Count Your Money in Front of The Poor
likely to rise 5 pct in 2010: WisdomTree"
Make a Roux
"Spanish Banks' Main Risk is 'Mass Unemployment' Regulator
Of course, the
usefulness of "common sayings" is something at extends far
beyond the boundaries of every day business headlines.
Other examples can be found in physics:
Rock & Roll
Reports calls Lexus GX460 unsafe"
you think you are, God?
"Search for 'God particle' underway at LHC".
are a very useful mental-organizing tool. As is probably
evident by now, I don't use them very often, since if I did, the
column would be far more clever than it is.
You, on the
other hand, may have more luck with it. As an
UrbanSurvival coping skill, matching up old or common sayings is
a great way to keep the ultimate of all economic realities in
The real riches
are in your head.
Give and Take Economics
that, we might move to asking "What's Obama doing for me?"
Turns out that your answer may have more to do with where you
live and how much money you make. For example, Reuters
headlines that "Richest
Virginians get biggest Obama tax cuts". Texas came in
second place, although we don't have enough income around here
to have noticed.
On the other
side of the coin, the Washington Times reports
"Incomes fall 3.2% during Obama's term."
economics stories in general ought to have some kind of
disclaimer like those consumer protection laws for cars:
"You mileage may vary, void where prohibited, income range x to
y, yada, yada, yada...."
enough, the 'revolution and rebellion' meme is getting up a good
head of steam now, especially since there's a report about how
Oklahoma some of the tea party types and some lawmakers are
considering setting up a state militia to stop (or try
to slow?) "improper infringements on state sovereignty."
powers otherwise not ceded?
I sent a note to
my EMT son yesterday urging him to go back to school and finish
up his P.A. (physician assistant) long term goal.
Reason? The Wall Street Journal's story "Medical
Schools Can't Keep Up" and the country could be short
150,000 doctors in the next 15-years.
I'm so old I
remember a time when heavy equipment operators were in short
You Know It's a Slow News Day
CNN has an
things you might not know about Starbucks..."
Stop the presses!
has just reached us that Nepal and China agree on how high Mount
Ben Dover's Column
"Spanked children more aggressive" writes Ben...er...the BBC
--- snip and
save section ---
The Original One Pot
With any luck,
by now you have downloaded the free Peoplenomics report on
one-pot cooking and tried something out, but if not, maybe this
mention the original and perhaps source of many recipes
of this genre - the Dutch Oven. They aren't cheap, as
cookware goes; if you shop Marshall's and such, you can no doubt
find something in ceramic which will be more suited to daily
casseroles and what-have-you (pies & cakes, maybe?). But
there's nothing like3 a real deal Dutch Oven which you can get
from Amazon for about $75; see
Lodge Logic 8-Quart Camp Dutch Oven.
To be sure,
there are a fair number of supposed "Dutch" ovens on the market,
but if you ever had to do real fire cooking, the kind
which come with no rim on the top side of the lid to hold chunks
of coals, well, they might work if you're throwing together a
Mulligan, but for something where top heat is important (baking
biscuits comes to mind) then they're nearly unsatisfactory.
Depending on how
good you are with a vise, and some rebar (or mayb e you have a
friend who is a welder?) you don't really need much else.
A simply tripod with a chain on it (60-70" legs seem about
right) and a bent piece of rebar for lid and pot-lifting ought
to get you through one meal, anyway.
What you might
find interesting is that there's gotten to be something of a new
social movement that's growing up around this style of
'pack-to-basics' cooking: Dutch Oven groups.
It may seem like
planning waaay into the future, but the Mother Of All
Dutch Oven meet ups is this
October 8-10 in Doyline, Louisiana, which is the "National Dutch
Oven Gathering" for this year.
Many state Dutch
Oven groups are around, too. Here in the Republic, the
Lone Star Dutch Oven
Society notes that the Dutch Oven is the "official cooking
implement of Texas" which sounds a heck of a lot more practical
than declaring State Birds (except in Alaska where the state
bird is the mosquito).
Turns out the
LSDOS state group has three chapters in Crockett, Tyler,
and Nacogdoches. On the merchandise page, the "Texas
Treasury of Dutch Oven Cooking" - all 232-pages worth -
sounds like it might have every possible iteration of the art
possible, or at least a good start on it.
I have to
confess to being something of a cookbookholic, however Elaine
every so often reminds me I can't eat the books, so don't
get so many of them. Given a chance, I'm sure our ultimate
dream home already exists; it's just that it's hard to come by a
whole library (with books) for sale.
holding out hope since as Depression 2 digs in, I'm sure some
city, county or other such municipal enterprise will run out of
money and have to sell off a library.
If you live in
California, for example, and we get through the next six months
without a mega quake, I might be interested in one up in the
Sierra foothills when the state goes broke. Send me a note
if you see one on sale - especially if it has basic plumbing to
where I could rough in a shower and put a Dutch Oven cooking pit
may seem like an odd business model, but only so long as the
lights are on. Once they go off, you'd be surprised how
useful those old-fashioned things can be - like the ones that
give instruction in Dutch Oven cooking. Gives a whole new
dimension to "things going to pot".
Say, is it lunch
Had to chuckle
at the description this morning from the Urban Dictionary - one
of the best ways for the over 40 crowd to keep up with the under
So what is
garments you wear during a shortage of underwear, when you
haven't done laundry in several weeks or months. Usually
characterized by lack of elasticity, holes (usually large
and awkwardly located), stains, and typically are at least 5
- 10 years old.
If you'd sign up
for their "Word of the
Day" email here, I wouldn't mention these things as
often...but every once in a while a catchy one comes along.
Letters From the Front
During most wars
(and occasionally revolutions) people receive 'letters from the
front' and this one about Poland is mighty instructive:
You know, where it's about real
shockers, they usually need few days to emerge from the deep
water and this is probably because of their weight level.
Yes,we have one standing hair on
many heads since yesterday evening when it was
discovered.But before about it,a short history lesson...
Since 1795 till 11/11/1918
Poland didn't existed as a country but-due to the
strategical mistakes made by our rulers and nobility from
XVI century for some 200 years-was ripped off and partited
between Russia,Prussians and Habsburgs.
In the end of the WWI mainly
because of Jozef Pilsudzki mentioned yesterday, independent
polish legions were formed which helped to fight our
independence back, what happened in the same day when the
war finished, Nov 11th,1918.Everything was going okay until
1939,or to be more exact Sep 17th when Soviet army
accomplished her part of Ribbentrop-Molotov pact attacking
back of Poland fighting with Germans already.
Between these two dates,
regaining the independence and losing it until 1989 (none
patriot here calls the times of Communist regime 1945-1989
an independence) passed exactly
Let's switch to the modern
Ruling of commies in Poland
finished at June the 4th,1989 when the first non-communist
government was formed. And again, everything was going just
fine until the day where whole our political and patriot
elite, and all army leaders die at the same moment, leaving
the country practically defenseless and in the hands of one
man being PTB puppet. Guess, how many days passed between
these two moments?
Yes, exactly as many as you
http://tiny.pl/hgk7l (<--Slow due to translation
Oh,and what is funnier, mr.
Olechowski is another candidate for our prez in the fastened
elections-so we have NWO master, NWO puppet and few little
fishes with backing of mayby 1%.What a nice choice, dammit.
But of course we
all are supposed to believe this was all an accident,
The fact that malware around the incident was out within hours
- just coincidence, got it?
Down at the WuJo:
Moving the Starting Line
morning's column seems to lack a bit of its normal pazzazz, it's
probably because I was up about half the night listening to the
Noory interview with Jay Weidner (also Bill Spillane).
from part of the interview was that (to sum things up
succinctly) the idea is that every so many thousands of years,
there's a big disruption on the Sun. Over time, a race of
what sound like super-humans (Vril or earliest Aryans) who have
chalky white skin and live mostly underground, take superior
technology and leave Earth and head out to mars (Phobos?) and
wait out the Sun's misbehaving and then come back and recolonize
interesting was Weidner's reference to 1920's era
archeological work by L. Austine Waddell and a book
Makers of Civilization in Race and History.
All of which
would be interesting as all get-out all by itself (along
with a trip to Jay Weidner's web site) except that I've been
working with this small Jewish studies group which has come up
with a remarkable insight into ancient Hebrew.
group says that in original Hebrew, there were only 22
characters and using these alone, new words and concepts could
be conveyed. What has happened, over time, is that the
language was 'polluted' with non-Hebrew words such that instead
of being a very gracefully designed (and error-correcting, too)
language, modern Hebrew has become amazingly complex.
Doesn't need to be so, they point out...and I'm working on what
threatens to be a longish Peoplenomics report on their research
and studies because it paints a whole different kind of
'beginning' when early texts are translated using contemporary
Hebrew versus the original 22-characters (as this group figures
but now, here's
the thing: In their studies they have also taken a look at
early texts of things like Revelations which, before going
through iterations and revisions, read much differently
as I was discussing with them yesterday:
worst if you read properly, you'll find that the
descriptions of the suppose of seven plagues are an exact
description of the sun. Doing either coronal mass ejection
or worse, a shell nova something happening if you go with
electric senses. Something interrupts the flow of energy and
the sun goes out and then gives off a burst in that verse
and its like a huge coronal mass ejection that whoever wrote
described this 2000 years ago...."
So while there
seems to be some concordance between Weidner's Vril/Aryan and
Waddell's Aryan/Sumer description sets, there are lots of other
points which may, or may not agree.
For example, in
the early texts there's some discussion of an angel marching
around with a sword at the gates of the Garden of Eden:
this stuff has changed (in our work) because instead of
there being an angel standing at the Garden of Eden with a
flaming sword, going back and forth. It says that there's
the empty ones who've been launched their (what
translates as) with the light of the coherent light which
burns, and it goes back and forth continuously warning
against the forces of flesh...
Now, to me
that's automated defenses armed with a laser, while you may
disagree, if you thought about that logically, why would an
angel be standing at the Garden holding a sword going back
and forth all the time? That's idiocy and logic states that.
But we don't question any of it enough..."
economics is interesting stuff, but when an error-correcting
system of Hebrew seems to bring up things like "The Supreme
Ones" (plural!) as the original creators as the (Rule of All's
direction) of the Garden of Eden, and Earth starts to sound like
a terraforming operation, with a group of 'gardeners left
behind' (that's you fallen angels, getting this?) it gets to be
more interesting than most day-to-day movements in the market.
Like I said,
this is turning into a little more than a short report, but
considering it could be the most important area of study in
life, I figure it's worth wading deep into...I'll keep you
posted on progress...but one thing has become abundantly clear:
There's something really big going on back at the starting line
to this round of history...something really, really big.
Seems like the
starting line has gotten push back a few years from where many
people thought it began...
Monday April 12,
minded George forgot to remind you that
Weidner will be outing the off-planet breakaway civilization
guys on CoastToCoast AM with George Noory tonight. Details
here... get StreamLink and here it in normal hours if you
ain't with the program or night owlish...
As I explained
to Peoplenomics readers in Saturday's report, the word that was
first put out - suggesting the president of Poland had
ordered his plane to land in dangerous fog just didn't seem
plausible. Too many protocols would have had to break down
- and there were too many high ranking Polish officials onboard
to swallow the pabulum being fed out the MSM. Sorry, just
got to line up a few facts - and as luck would have it, a reader
in Poland has sent in a most interesting backgrounder for us to
ponder which - after you read it - you'll see points the finger
for all these deaths not at the late president, but at the
PowersThatBe. Circumstantial? Of course, but then
isn't it always?
As I'm writing this from the country overwhelmed with grief
after the greatest of its tragedies since some September of
1939,I guess there are few details which western MSM won't
probably touch and which I find more than important.
First one is just a clarify-I found few sources claiming
that Lech Kaczynski is the first ruler of Poland in
the XXth century who died during his term in the time of
I really don't appreciate lack of knowlegde of people
calling themselves professional journalists.
Coming back to the current event and its interesting place
in time and space which you noted on Saturday,I guess I can
recommend this links:
Imagine the situation:
Your country three days ago had four candidates for
presidential elections set for the early fall, with three of
them having real chances for win. Two of them dies at the
same time and the third one,
accidentally being a
Marshal of the Sejm (Lower house of polish parliament),
due to the constitution accedes official duties of the
President, which include deciding when the accelerated
elections are going to be set-being the most probable winner
at the same time.
Your country's ALL top military commanders, including chief
of general staff, chief of land forces, chief of navy, chief
of the air forces and chief of the special forces are dead.
Who is the leader of polish army due to the constitution?
Your country's chef of National Bank and Federal Reserve is
Who decides of whom shall come after him?
Since this Saturday, for the first time from mid thirties
and Pilsudzki (the only guy that even Hitler was afraid of)
one of the biggest countries in Europe is being
formally ruled by one man-at least until elections. And now
comes the best.
Komorowski is a close associate, friend and a political
student of mr
whose name can be easily found on the list of
Bilderberg meetings...oh, and a member of
Poland has become a NWO state in every meaning of this
word-get a pun?
If your coffee
hasn't sunk in yet, consider something like 'oppose the flu
shot' and then 'flew' into the ground. Flu/flew - the PTB
has a way with words and deeds, do they not? The "official
story" may be true, but circumstantially, things don't seem
entirely as they are made out to be.
The "R" Word
fugitive president (or once, anyway) of Kyrgyzstan is warning
from his hideout of more bloodshed to come. Kyrgyzstan
strategically located (next to China) and has some natural gas
and gold, among other things.
Speaking of the "r" word,
another reader has been watching British politics and has
noticed the MSM has been 'seeding' thoughts like "Greek
style unrest if Narrow Tory Win'.
Which brings us to the...
Manufacturer's Resource Wars
Of course, I've
been writing for years about Peak Oil, things like
Matthew Simmons work, and the websites like Matt Savinar's
Life After the
Oil Crash, but like anything else, this is not exactly
wonder's one observant reader, if the foreign press & Obama's
energy dude figure we're screwed (recently overseas:
Washington consider a decline of world oil production as of 2011)
how comes the US MSM is not all over this?
Long and short
of it: Whole upper crust of the Western financial world is
trying to figure out how to avoid the whole of Europe from
financially imploding (and then the US in turn) and
with oil at $85 headed for who knows where, the PTB aren't
about to let you have a piece of that. You just go to
work, like a good little citizen and don't ask so many
questions..;..the PTB will take care of us. It's the
how that worries me, of course.
Someone in the MSM work up with the NY Post this weekend getting
hold of the story we told you about a while back - how a CFTC
meeting managed to cut off Bill Murphy's comments and a
whistleblower was glossed over. But, as the Post reported
this weekend "Metal$
are in the pits" as "trader blows whistle on gold & silver
Is the MSM on
the verge of getting back to real reporting? Yes,
in the case of the Post. No in the case of the rest/also
rans. I mean, how many months did we sit around waiting
for The Big Story on how naked short selling was scalping
billions from the public? Only to have that whole scam go
Australia's Housing Bubble
Think we had a
bad one? Gotta ask how the3 foreign buyers moving into
Australian property will impact the globe. A reader
points out this article on point and says "Australian
housing prices are exploding since foreigners can come in and
buy with their 1% Chinese loans, leaving empty houses and
waiting for prices to go up 50%. How can average people on
50-55k afford 600k to 900k houses? They cant, most live
with their parents."
Hearts and Minds vs. Ink
the Fast Company article about "Google
CEO's surprising comment of the day: Newspapers will thrive".
like machines picking your news for you (as Google news alerts
keep track of many things for me) the interesting phrase in the
article is "paywalls" - the point at which a publisher requires
payment for additional content. Just like Peoplenomics.com
content is behind a 'paywall' so too, newspapers may catch up to
our business model sooner or later...that's only...er...9-years
after the fact.
I'd mention to
the papers that the way to start is to have some content
(weekends around here) be 'for pay' but give away 70% of
content, or so...but they'll have to learn some of this stuff on
their own. What they're doing now is not my business
Dead Oceans Department
You see the
article in the Telegraph about how
fishing was recently banned on the Sea of Galilee?
Next thing you know, walking on it will be banned, too.
--- snip and
save section ---
Lawns are Useless and More On
Say, if you're
not a subscriber to Peoplenomics.com you really are missing some
halfway decent content. Oh, sure, the free side stuff is
pretty good, but it's kinda like getting the hamburger without
the shake and fries, if that makes sense this early in the
rainfall here in the high meat output area of the country is
running about 30% behind last year (so we'll keep an eye on the
national drought monitor this year) and since there is plenty of
time to do something about what seems to be ahead, here is a
portion of this week's Peoplenomics report ("Eating
in the Post-Prosperity World"). It's a kind of
soup-to-nuts on all kinds of food thinking, but remember the
one-pot recipes people sent in last week? Well, there are
30-odd recipes included in the one-pot discussion.
thing: In the PDF version, the links don't work, so you'll have
to do some scrolling and some copying of search terms to find
some of the resources cited, but they are there for your
Enjoy - think of
it as an early
Beltane gift to your family from the kind folks who
subscribe to Peoplenomics and thus keep the servers and lights
on around here.
One other thing
to remember - and I neglected to put this into the recipes and
thoughts on food this weekend is an old Asian saying: Food
cooked with an angry hand is poisonous. There's a reason
cultures bless their food before eating; Universe is full of
subtle energies that become apparent to awake humans.
Oh, and unless
you have a lawn with 18-holes in it, I'm wondering if it's
justifiable when that same patch of ground could be providing
food. Just something to think about as you spread thin
layers of money around the house this year and get nothing but
short grass instead of tall corn and fresh veggies. But,
to each their own...
A reader note on
you're always reminding me of things that I currently do and
have tried in the past.
Gardening should be divided, I feel, between perhaps two or
more plots that provide you with the mainstays during the
growing seasons. One should be in a sunny location
(and sheltered) so that it will get the warmth early in the
year. This is a great spot for early spring
vegetables, including onions, shallots, garlic and other
items that can survive a little cold weather. The
'other' plot can be for the warmer weather veggies like
tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, etc.
If you can, start your seeds indoors. My dad always
like the idea of a 'solarium' as an add-on to the house
where he could do some simple sprouting and greenhouse work
(like getting plants growing using lots of sun) plus you
have the benefit of having an area that the sun heats up
that can also be used to heat the house in the winter.
A third garden consists of your 'herbs' like parsely,
oregano, sage, basil, and anything else (maybe even special
herbs if Tx gets around to legalizing all herbs, ha ha).
I have lived by this for years and during the various
growing seasons we have very few additional veggies to buy.
Additionally I have mentioned rabbits before, especially in
a suburban setting (if the various associations will allow
it -- hey, they're 'pets', right?) Rabbits are quiet
and usually don't make too much noise unless they feel they
are being attacked or on their way to the freezer.
I've learned one of the main benefits of rabbits is that
they are easy to reproduce, quiet, and trust me, you will
have no need of fertilizer once they get going. We
started with one, bought two more bunnies (this is what I
needed to statistically assure myself that with the sex of
rabbits so difficult to determine, I needed 3 rabbits (at a
50/50 chance of male/female, that's an high odds that there
will be at least one male or female). They can be fed
hay generally, sometimes even grass clippings, but will also
munch down your veggie trimmings, lettuce cores, beet tops,
etc. I found the Florida variety very popular in my
area, and the grow big. They are meat rabbits and if
you haven't the heart to send them to the freezer you can
usually find someone around you to trade with (i use a .22
with the gallery-type rimfire ammo, quiet colibri I think it
is, which does the job and doesn't alert the neighbors).
Good luck with your gardening this year. Clif's work
has suggested that there will be three periods of flooding
-- and I figure there have been two already and I am
awaiting the third either late this month or next, before I
go all in on the gardening outside.
That super quiet .22 round
sounds a lot like CB caps from when I was a kid (which was only
a couple of weeks back, near as anyone'll say.
My friends over
Maxa Research have released an updated Privacy Test which will
show you how much of your 'soft underbelly in computing' is
exposed to the world.
Click here to
Ah, to be back
in the old days of computing: Dial up and no worries.
Nowadays I run a firewall, antivirus,
Cookie Manager and
Malwarebytes...I suppose it's no wonder computer hard drives
have had to grow in capacity.
Bye-Bye Mini Fluorescent
a new breed of plug&play replacement LED's may be in the market
about the time those recently installed mini fluorescent
lights give out in five years. Of course, we've already
had some failures are one year in. some money-savers, huh?
happy with my 48-LED desk lamp off eBay for under $50.
Hasn't helped my typing, but cheap is good.
Inquiring Minds Department
yourself, the world, and me a favor and stop apologizing for
puns. In a world that seems to be falling apart, humor
[and presumably sex], is the last to vestige of what is
easily available, highly uplifting, delightful, funny
etc. etc. etc. I personally delight in puns, and I hear sex
is really good too, and strongly feel that you should give
yourself an attaboy every time you express one. [pun, that
Tried that, but
like everything else I tackle, I over-achieve. Had my arm
in a sling for a week for all the patting of my own back....
So now the
question. Do you feel confident that you will be around on
this Internet thing in eight months, prompting me to renew
for another year now at today's prices which obviously
won't last. How is that for new thinking?
No plans to
raise subscription prices and yes I expect to be
here...since the linguistics often paint the most dire side of
things (not that they are wrong, just the good stuff doesn't
make headlines). So I just keep planning for the worst and
hoping for the best. So if I buy more solar panels, that's
a good thing either way the outcome goes. Elaine and I are
still talking about an 'escape pod' boat.
planning ahead as to when to stop renewing insurance
policies, etc. etc. And while I have your attention, would
you care to comment on any research results you have as to
where to locate a small farm?
I keep paying
taxes (government is a protection racket) so best to play along
and try to live undisturbed life. Where to locate a small
www.unitedcountry.com is a great spot as is craigslist.
from the city? How much land? How many machine guns?
Pillboxes too? I consider myself lucky to be a senior
citizen so that leaving the planet is not all that bad an
alternative. not pessimistic, just realistic.
Independence Journal entry here:
guns, at least 1-acre per person, a well, etc.
About the only
pillboxes around here have vitamins in them.
come across any feelings on the timing of the IRS
disappearing, since I have some IRA funds to convert.
bad news: If
IRS disappears, your IRA funds will be worth about dust would be
my guess. Ever see a vulture fly off with dinner still ont
Good luck to you and thanks for your letters.
Thanks for being
what a comedian might call a good straight man. Although
not much humor in any of this...being as it's Monday and all.
I will tell you
to lose that "senior citizen" mindset. You keep thinking
like a junior citizen and that'll keep you young. As
above, so below, know what I'm sayin?
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.