The Economy In The Economy

Why complain about life
If you are looking for good fish
And have followed some idiot
Into the middle of the copper market?

–Hafiz

Tiki died the day before Thanksgiving. She was my housekeeper. She and her team of Hispanic ladies came on Wednesdays. They whipped through the house in two hours, leaving it spotless. Tiki was a marvelous woman, but she was morbidly obese and suffered a fatal heart attack on the way to her doctor’s office.

Tiki cleaned our house for ten years. The person we wanted as her replacement is very good. The fee she quoted was twice as much as we were paying Tiki. I decided to clean house, myself.

Instead of going for a jog in the afternoon, I clean bathrooms. Not so bad. I’m reminded of a line in the film, The Razor’s Edge. The man says to Bill Murray, “To you, this is washing dishes. To me, this is a spiritual experience.”

Yes, well.

This is the kind of decision you make when your income hasn’t gone anywhere for a while. Data on the economy indicates that thousands of similar decisions are made every day now. Given the rapidly deteriorating economic data, I look for the trend to pick up speed.

This from Zero Hedge: For the third month in a row US Industrial Production dropped Month over Month, crashing 0.6% in November (against expectations of a mere 0.2% drop). This is the 9th month of 2015 with no Month over Month increase in industrial production and is the biggest drop since March 2012.

For the first time since Dec 2009, Industrial Production fell Year over Year (down 1.2%), signaling America is deep in recession. The excuse, blame, is “unusually warm weather” which sent the utilities index down 4.3% as demand for heating tumbled. Meanwhile, Oil & Gas Well Drilling Output is the lowest this century

Zero Hedge reported this week that economic growth is currently running at the lowest average growth rate in American history. Somehow, the Fed has managed to put a positive spin on reality and raise interest rates for the first time in nine years. This can’t be good when the nation is in the midst of a revenue and profit recession. This is exactly what they did in 1937, sending the nation crashing into a secondary depression.

In the midst of all this, according to Bloomberg, “Virtually every Wall Street Strategist expects no end to the bull market.” The hell are they smoking??

The turndown comes at a time that the nation’s basic industries are loaded with debt. Bankruptcies are starting to bring down the mining and oil and gas industries. Layoffs are coming fast. Huge mergers in the pharmaceutical industry are taking place. Mergers mean more layoffs.

The rosy picture in labor is a sham. The disappearance of good paying jobs is the ultimate consequence of debt deflation, and the cure for high prices is high prices. Eventually, the price of labor is rationalized.

I just bought a great vacuum cleaner for ninety-nine bucks, half the price of two years ago when we first looked at it at Sam’s Club. I will use it, myself, for a time, while I wait for the cleaning ladies in our neighborhood to rationalize their rates.

I hope Santa treats you right.

Cheers,

Rod

 

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