Monthly Archives: January 2014

Flash Point: New Crash Predictor

The POOG has created a new economic index that may be a leading indicator of financial system crashes and market bubble pops. Called the Dead Banker Index, the reading for January 2014 stands at 3.0. The latest data supporting it comes from Zero Hedge today found in Third Banker, Former Fed Member, “Found Dead” Inside A Week:

As Bloomberg reports, following the deaths of a JPMorgan senior manager (Tuesday) and a Deutsche Bank executive (Sunday), Russell Investments’ Chief Economist (and former Fed economist) Mike Dueker was found dead at the side of a highway in Washington State. Police said the death appeared to be a suicide.

This is the highest reading of the index since the stock market crash of 1929 as far as we can tell, suggesting we are about to experience a major economic crash of global proportions with Deutsche Bank involved in the European phase of the event.

February 2014

This month’s index stands at 3.0.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

We were discussing markets yesterday with our financial adviser, Mark S. Our position was that the stock market is near a top and a major correction that could be a repeat of 1987. His position was that this should be another good year for stocks. We agreed to return to our corners and document our cases.

In our case we have decided on a two-pronged approach. We will capture individual arguments as we encounter them but we will develop a larger framework in this essay. We will describe our position in terms of a metaphor, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Our four horsemen are the four largest GDPs, the European Union, the US, China, and Japan in that order. We will argue that all four have massive structural headwinds and a major event involving one could cascade throughout the others.

As we compile this we try to pick risks that have a higher probability of causing significant economic impact in the short-run (weeks) to midterm (months) while recognizing the problems in all of these countries have been identified and discussed for quite a while – decades in the case of Japan.

The Geopolitics of the Syrian Civil War

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2014 – 03:59

Stratfor

By Reva Bhalla

International diplomats will gather Jan. 22 in the Swiss town of Montreux to hammer out a settlement designed to end Syria’s three-year civil war. The conference, however, will be far removed from the reality on the Syrian battleground. Only days before the conference was scheduled to begin, a controversy threatened to engulf the proceedings after the United Nations invited Iran to participate, and Syrian rebel representatives successfully pushed for the offer to be rescinded. The inability to agree upon even who would be attending the negotiations is an inauspicious sign for a diplomatic effort that was never likely to prove very fruitful.

The Fed’s Thinking and Policy Explained in Two Sentences

Our friend JR sent us this quote from the new Fed chairman Janet Yellen on Fed policy:

You know, a lot of people say this (asset buying) is just helping rich people. But it’s not true. Our policy is aimed at holding down long-term interest rates, which supports the recovery by encouraging spending. And part of it comes through higher house and stock prices, which causes people with homes and stocks to spend more, which causes jobs to be created throughout the economy and income to go up throughout the economy.

We are struck with admiration – and we sincerely mean this. We had 18 1/2 years of Alan Greenspan and people are still trying to figure out what he said. Eight years of Ben Bernanke gave us a lot of academic theory applied in real-time to the economy without any understanding of the outcome. Then the new Fed chairman, in two sentences, explains in plain, clear English what the Fed has been doing all along. Let’s step through it.

The Lies My Mommy Told Me, Part II

In Ontar-I-Owe we showed how the Ontario government deliberately misstated the provincial debt – they lied (A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.). We had been meaning to take a look at Ontario job creation numbers for quite a while. So, when we saw the article in today’s Ottawa Citizen, Ontario Liberals defend poor December job numbers, we thought it would be worth a chuckle if nothing else to examine what the Government had to say.

Flash Point: GMOs

When we began this site, we listed as one of our objectives:

Where shallow or erroneous thinking can be exposed and corrected. In particular the more egregious examples of political manipulation may be detailed.

What we have found is a highly emotional and vocal collection of left-wing radicals and environmentalists who have certain agendas that they pursue with a hysterical fervor. One is the doctrine of anthropogenic global warming. Another is the development of the oil sands and associated pipelines in Canada. Another issue that has emerged and which we have not wanted to vest our time in is that of genetically modified organisms (GMO), particularly in the field of agriculture.

Because the lunatic left is all over this one, we present an extensive article that appears in the New York Times: A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops. This is a balanced read if you want to begin to create an informed opinion on GMO crops.

Immigration in Perspective

Thanks to Mike Shedlock we became of this video. It places the immigration issue in perspective.

In short, our immigration policy has no noticeable effect on world poverty while the financial burden on our economy does have an appreciable effect on our standard of living.

An “Impassioned Intervention” from Charles, Prince of Wales

This is the latest essay that we have received from Paul Merkley, An “Impassioned Intervention” from Charles, Prince of Wales, reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work.

Just in time for Christmas came the news, as encouraging as it was unexpected, that the Prince of Wales has spoken out on behalf of “our brothers and sisters in Christ,” the victims of “organized persecution across the Middle East.” [“Christianity beginning ‘to disappear’ in its birthplace, warns Prince of Wales,” www.telegraph.co.uk, December 12, 2013; “Prince Charles Speaks Up for Persecuted Christians,” www.frontpagemag.com, December 20, 2013.] In what the Religious Affairs Editor of the Telegraph characterizes as “an impassioned intervention,” Charles now warns the world that it is in danger of losing something “irreplaceably precious with communities tracing their history back to the time of Jesus now under threat from fundamentalist Islamist militants.” Best of all is the fact that major news papers have featured this story on their front pages, thus giving pride of place to a theme (Muslim persecution of Christian communities throughout the Middle East) that their editors have virtually buried up until now.

Hoot for Today

Senator Bernie Sanders asked the NSA “Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying, on members of Congress or other elected officials?” (Washington Post).

The NSA response: “Members of Congress have the same privacy protections as all U.S. persons, …” or in less polite parlance ‘up yours’.

Of Lettuce and Lives

We have been tracking the progress of robotics in the workplace – not actively – but simply by capturing links to references as they appear in our daily reading. We took an extensive look at the outlook for jobs in July, 2012: What’s the Future for Jobs?. In that article we had a section near the end on robots in the workplace. We have continued to update the section and the latest entry comes from John Mauldin’s Forecast 2014: The Human Transformation Revolution

John has got to be one of the most widely read and highly connected individuals writing today. At one point he claimed that his Thoughts from the Frontline had a readership of over one million. It is likely more today. John is very positive about man’s future due to technological innovation. He sees us as on the edge of medical advances that will extend lives significantly and cure diseases that afflict millions today. He sees an industrial revolution through robotics and new materials with amazing properties that will revolutionize all fields of technology and industry in the years ahead.

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