Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Global economic woes...

Greetings good citizen,

Only the Dow remained in negative territory today; both the Nasdaq & the S&P both posted modest gains…likely for no other reason than because they could. Why didn’t the Dow go up? Hard to say…all of the European exchanges closed down today. That said, the, er, ‘other’ American exchanges (except the Dow) all managed to close in positive territory by the end of the trading day. (Which is to point out that both Canada and Mexico spent most of the day in negative territory while Brazil enjoyed an ass-kicking advance…but this isn’t Brazil, is it?

No, but Brazil aside, one would expect the Dollar had another rough session because Gold spiked past the $1,083 per ounce mark (correction, make that $1,084.30) and oil is over $ 78 dollar a barrel (currently $79.47 p/brl,) which is somewhat better than the $81 + dollars it was last week.

What do these ‘mixed signals’ (with the media declaring an end to the recession and the actual economy vehemently denying any progress has been made since the bottom fell out, 2 years ago, good citizen?

Tick-Tock good citizen…nothing may be happening but I assure you the clock is still running. And with each tick of the second hand, the perps get a little harder to reach, the evidence gets buried a little deeper and the will to act wears a little thinner.

So we arrive at tonight’s offering yet another fabricated bit of mumbo jumbo intended to throw you off the trail another couple of degrees.

Wall Street Is Lower on World Economic Concerns

Published: November 3, 2009 [New kid on the block again and now the problems extend beyond our own backyard…How about that?]

Wall Street stocks slipped on Tuesday amid indications that the global economy, particularly banks, might be more frail than investors had believed. [Geez, nobody would suspect that the banking sector was the force behind the seven month long stock market rally! What a ‘surprise’ it is to ‘unexpectedly’ learn that these banks aren’t ‘rock solid’ after all…]

The Royal Bank of Scotland said it would take billions more in British government aid, and UBS in Switzerland reported another quarter of losses, sending European stocks tumbling.

At 12:15 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was off 57.59 points, or 0.6 percent, to 9,731.85. The Standard and Poor’s 500-stock index was down 4.98 points, or 0.5 percent, at 1,037.90, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq composite index was down 11.65 points, or 0.6 percent, at 2,037.44.

Dan Faretta, a senior markets strategist at Lind-Waldock brokerage, said European concerns raised doubts about the viability of American financial institutions, which have suffered in the face of weak revenue and losses on loans. [Geez, here we go again…who is this guy and why should we care? Star of the Day, who will it be? Wonder who they’re going to ask for ‘expert testimony’ tomorrow? The only thing you can count on is it won’t be somebody you’ve ever heard of before now…although you might have heard of the company that he is the high mugwump for…]

“Is that what’s to come for more banks? Are we going to have to have more stimulus for some of the banks that we have over here?” Mr. Faretta said. “Those are the questions that arise now.”

Several economic indicators on Tuesday could shift the focus away from international concerns to the domestic economy.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that orders to United States factories had climbed by 0.9 percent in September, the fifth increase in six months. The data indicated that consumers are hungry for goods of all types, including cars, cigarettes and clothing. The numbers were better than Wall Street analysts had expected, slowing the decline in stocks. [Um, 5th increase in 6 months…so where are the fucking jobs all of these supposed ‘new orders’ SHOULD BE generating? Or is this another example of ‘multinational double book-keeping’? Are these orders being filled by the off-shore production facilities of US ‘Headquartered’ manufacturer’s? If they do an ‘efficient’ job, will this cause US ‘productivity numbers’ to increase (again?)]

Later in the day, investors will get a peek at the state of the auto industry with the release of October sales data for individual automakers. It will be the first month-to-month comparison that will not be affected by the government’s popular cash-for-clunkers program, which gave consumers thousands of dollars in vouchers toward the purchase of new vehicles.

Investors on Tuesday were also reacting to news that the billionaire investor, Warren E. Buffett, would buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad for $34 billion. Investors may see Mr. Buffett’s seal of approval as a reason for confidence about the future of consumer demand. Mr. Buffett called his purchase “an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States.” Burlington Northern’s stock climbed 28.24 percent to $97.55 in midday trading, and other railroad stocks surged.

Despite optimistic earnings reports from major companies in recent weeks, executives are still relying on cost-cutting as they seek to drive up profits. Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday it would shed up to 7 percent of its global work force as part of a cost-cutting plan meant to save the company between $1.4 billion and $1.7 billion by 2011. [Remember, good citizen, a significant portion of the sums quoted represents not just savings from payroll but the elimination of the expenses associated providing those employees with a whole raft of benefits, from sick pay to matching 401k contributions…making the whole economy that much weaker.]

In Europe, stocks fell amid banking concerns. The FTSE in Britain closed down 1.3 percent, the CAC 40 in France fell 1.5 percent, and the DAX in Germany dropped 1.4 percent.

Overnight, Asian markets were down, with the Nikkei average in Japan dropping 2.3 percent and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong declining 1.8 percent. [Um, the Shanghi exchange closed in positive territory for the day…]

It has been a volatile few days on Wall Street. Investors have been very responsive to economic data, whether on manufacturing or jobless claims. Stocks plunged to startling lows on Friday, and, after whipping back and forth on Monday, settled slightly higher than they began.

The focus this week is on labor, with the government set to release its monthly unemployment report on Friday. [A report that ignores the hard payroll data they collect in favor of ‘phone survey’…]

Another important economic indicator will come on Wednesday, when a Federal Reserve committee revises its view of the economy and sets monetary policy. The Fed is not expected to tinker with interest rates, which are at historic lows, but its words will likely move markets. [On the other hand, other central banks HAVE raised their interest rate…although only by a tiny amount.]

Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jeffries & Company, an investment banking firm, said it was hard to predict how traders would react to the unemployment data. A number that beats expectations, he said, could lead to a market rally, or it could make investors worried that the Fed would soon raise interest rates.

“It’s going to be difficult to say what falls into the category of good news,” he said.

Yes good citizen, ‘good news’ will be a very ‘relative’ term if you know what I mean…what’s ‘good’ for investors might not be very good for you…and nothing short of a revolt is going to turn that sorry set of circumstances around.

Not surprisingly, the topic of what ‘precisely’ is wrong with our economic system isn’t being raised by the bought and paid for media…mostly because the people who cut their paychecks aren’t particularly interested in putting an end to that practice.

It’s a bit remarkable just how much power holding someone else’s purse strings gives you. Can make that sucker jump through a lot of hoops before they tell you to go pound your paycheck where the sun don’t shine!

If we think about just how, er, objectionable it is to be put in the position of having to bow and scrape to another for our daily bread…that which is due to us as contributing members of society, it’s downright degrading.

Oh, and PS, by the way…NOBODY should have that, er, privilege. The very practice of using other human beings as an income stream should be outlawed!

And anyone who ‘disagrees’ is a slaver…it really is that simple.

Now, some people object to the use of ‘absolutes’—but if there is ‘middle ground’ here, I fail to see it. Saying that the employer/employee contract is ‘mutually beneficial’ is the same thing as a woman admitting she’s only a little pregnant.

While it can be argued that each side gets something out of the deal, it sure as hell isn’t anything even remotely approaching ‘fair’ of ‘equal’. The employer gets to set the hours and what constitutes a ‘good job’. The only thing the employee gets to do is go along with it…until they can find some place else to ‘try their luck’…

The astonishing part is how many of you fail to recognize that life isn’t about bending everyone you meet over a barrel for as much as you can get. In fact the only way to put a stop to that nonsense is to put a stop to the employer/employee ‘screw job’ (because at the end of the day we all work for society.) Money is merely the proxy we use for the kind of life we wish to lead…so letting some individuals make their money by ‘using’ others is totally unfair.

This isn’t about opportunity, it’s about exploitation at the expense of others! An amazing majority of people don’t give a crap about happiness…either their own or that of others. This could be attributed to something akin to the people who say they are working on their second million…they gave up on the first one.

Ironically, ‘happiness’ and ‘satisfaction’ are closely related but most people would chose ‘satisfaction’ over ‘happiness’ because satisfaction is easier to attain.

Well good citizen, what does this world ‘owe’ you? If you listen to the greedy capitalist, he’ll insist the world owes you nothing, you get what you get by killing what you eat! (although that’s not how things actually work in this screwed up jungle of ours! You can be the best hunter of all but good luck trying to hold on to what you kill…because all the way home there are people standing there with their hand out, waiting for you to pass by. Odd how each one of them demands a piece of your kill, isn’t it?

Worse, you can’t tell them to scram, go kill something yourself because each one of them can (and will) call the cops on you! What makes this worse is their demands are never satisfied…never. The only thing that keeps them off your back (and keeps your butt out of the pokey) is your continued success hunting. Have a bad couple of weeks and the next thing you know they’ll take your stuff, sell it and make you start over again…usually someplace else!

Why you don’t kill these bastards on sight is another conundrum no sane person can unravel…but that path leads in some pretty bizarre directions.

So, it’s not about that fleeting, rare thing we call ‘happiness’, it’s more so about ‘satisfaction’, that contentment that comes with knowing you’ve both given and received ‘good value’

Perhaps more important is the satisfaction that comes with being a ‘member’ of society and not some ungrateful asshole’s ‘wage slave’.

I think most of us would ‘settle’ for that arrangement.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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