From George Ure’s Urban Survival site. Check daily Monday through Saturday for updates. I think he needs to fix that chart in the middle of the page.
Maybe sitting here in the outback of East Texas, I’ve become a little jaded when it comes to reading news headlines. When the first thing that slaps the eyeballs is “Rush is on to get ‘rescue plan’ moving: Administration seeks to calm markets with quick action on bailout plan” I start to feel like the inhabitant of a UFO: is this planet for real?
Having spent too much time in the strategic planning region of corporate America, my first inclination after another slug of coffee is to look at metrics. Remember, a couple of weeks back I explained how “memeering” was going on around all this economic panic and the main thrust of ‘spin control’ would be the carefully worded newsroom memos about ‘word us’. Part and parcel of that, we watched as the term ‘rescue plan’ went from being less than 20% compared to ‘bailout’ to about 35% last time I looked.
My expectation was that ‘bailout’ would continue to wane while ‘rescue’ would continue ascension because American’s love to ‘rescue’ everything from lost cats and dogs to Hillary Clinton. (We’ll have no snide remarks there, Citizen…)
As of o-dark-thirty, the Google news search engine threw back 334,382 returns on ‘bailout’ while ‘rescue plan’ was at 180,379. That’s a total of 514,751, so the ‘rescue plan’ is holding at 35%.
As we start the week off, with a Bank Holiday for non-financial reasons (it’s Columbus Day), there are a half dozen, or so, reasons why the futures are up in the pre-open activity.
To begin with, there was much hoopla about the G-7 and friends who gathered this weekend to coordinate the further print of money and ways to inject it into the global financial system in something approaching a synchronized manner. “IMF and G-7 Say: No More Lehmans” says a BusinessWeek headline. Don’t tell them the last remaining US investment banks have already fled the scene, taking up the cloak of regular bankers. Sheesh!
And the ‘regular bankers’ who didn’t cause the crisis can hardly wait till tomorrow morning when “Hank’s Your Buddy” Paulson’s minions will start buying stock of banks. Gosh, do you think financial stocks might rally as the government steps in as the next ‘greater fools’ in owning paper assets?
This crooked banker scam has been such a rousing success in the US that bankers in Europe have taken their cue as “European leaders agree on taxpayer buyout plan.” Stories are swirling about layoffs in the banking sector as a result.
Did you notice this little gem of spin? When the US Fed sloshes money into Bank Bailouts, it’s called a ‘government investment’. When the UK does it, it’s ‘nationalizing banks’?
The stories that are not making headlines yet are those of regular businesses which have their backs up against the wall because the suddenly-conservative in the banking world won’t lend money to their traditional best customers. As a result, companies are getting behind on rents and payrolls – things that tend to cascade outward.
The Detroit Free Press headlines that America’s “Middle class finds itself buried in debt; simple misfortunes make bills pile up quickly”
This administration continues to solve the wrong problem: Mortgage relief and debt relief is scant and distant compared with what’s been done for the Banking Class. The public outage continues to build at the arrogance of Washington ignoring the clear Will of the People.
It’s not like I’m alone sensing it. Go read Ben Stein’s (Money) story in the NY Times this weekend: “Fear and Loathing in La Jolla.” Stein’s piece is very well-written and in touch with what we call around here “Street Level Economics”. So much so that he actually uses the “R” word at the tail end of the piece:
“Frankly, I don’t know the answer. I just know that for a long time, we have paid Wall Street “experts” unimaginable sums for preparing for our retirement. They still have our money, and we have ashes. And I wonder whose side government is on, which is a bad thought to have, and I wish I didn’t have it. As the song goes, there is revolution in the air.”
“R” word, got it? That’s the one word linguistically that’ll be simmering for the next six months before boiling over into the Summer of Hell in 2009. Just notice as it percolates around gathering use and context in your life for the next six months.
But the MainStreamMedia’s message this particular Monday is that “Everything is good. Remain calm. Wall Street will now Rally.” About the only thing that’s missing is some fool off on the sidelines yelling “Good times are just ahead” – the mantra of the early days of the previous Depression.
As I shared with Peoplenomics.com subscribers this weekend, the timing of a bounce should be absolutely evident in this chart:
If the Replay of 1929 continues, we should rally back to about 10,200 if I’m eyeing it right. Rally into the election? So that’s where the $1.5-trillion went, huh?
The government buying up stock on the open market this week is not the only evidence that elections must be near in the Checkbook Republic.
Nossir: The Tax, War, and Oil Party has arranged for the price of gasoline to come down. In a weekly report out Sunday, the price of regular is closing in on $3 a gallon. This is evidence of what?
Ure’s Economic Axiom 437: The price of gasoline is proportional to the number of days till the next election of folks who can influence energy policy.
In the Big Picture, we notice that OPEC is calling a meeting to discuss cutting their oil production quotas in order to hold prices high, but gosh, how coincidental; the meeting won’t be till November 18th in Vienna. With an election over by then, they should be free to bump prices (via quotas) to whatever they feel like.
The Washington Post’s Electoral Vote Map shows Barack Obama with a decent lead over John McPalin. But there’s still three weeks to go.
Too bad the “Campaigns Turn Nasty”. But nasty’s a great substitution for content and substantive, thoughtful discussions for a majority of the flock (of sheep).
I’m betting the Oil Party will get gas down to $2.75 a gallon before polling, gambling that your memory will be poor enough you’ll overlook which party has out-socialized, self-employment taxed, and warred us into financial ruin. Niice of you to bail out insurance companies and banks for ‘em, though…
Despite the belief of their followers that either presidential wannabe will make a difference, I don’t see it. I’m planning to vote third party all the way this year. Not that it will change anything, but at least it may register somewhere that at least one voter in Texas ain’t buying the same old crap again this time.
The Friedrich Hayek cartoon series “The Road to Serfdom” seems apropos.
The Meatball (or dead cat) Bounce
European, Asian markets bounce back. Gosh, look surprised. Doesn’t change our long-term outlook, so revel in it while you can.
Economy May Be Screwed But…
“Prostitution has not suffered drop-off despite economic meltdown.” reports the NY Daily News.