Friday, November 26, 2010

Sept. Leading Indicators: Three Up, One Down

The Conference Board reported this week that Leading Indicators increased in September for:

1. France by 0.8%.

2. Germany by 0.3%.

3. Mexico by 0.6%.

But decreased in September for

4. Australia by 0.1%.

28 Comments:

At 11/26/2010 5:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, I'm wondering if the indicators are telling the whole story especially for Germany?

 
At 11/26/2010 6:43 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

This makes little sense. If the rest of the world is doing well we will see commodity prices go up and Australia will also do well. But I do not buy the Germany story either and would not be surprised to see it leave the EU as a way to protect itself from bankruptcy.

 
At 11/27/2010 3:55 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Will a virtuous cycle of consumption-employment take hold (where consumption generates employment and employment generates consumption), or will consumers maintain autonomous consumption (or 1% real final sales growth)?:

What recession? Shoppers eat up Black Friday deals
November 26, 2010
USA Today

Research firm ShopperTrak is expected to release Black Friday data on Saturday, but a full picture of how retailers fared for the overall weekend won't be known until Thursday when major retailers report their monthly sales results.

Black Friday is generally not as big for online retailers as Monday after Thanksgiving -- known as Cyber Monday -- but many were already off to a good start. By mid-afternoon Friday, eBags sales soared 69.5 percent compared with a year ago.

For the economy, the question remains: Will shoppers keep it up?

Nearly 15 million people remain unemployed, and concerns about job security cloud consumer confidence. Spending is picking up but has not returned to pre-recession levels.

The National Retail Federation predicts this holiday season's spending will improve 2.3 percent over last year.

 
At 11/27/2010 4:31 AM, Blogger juandos said...

I've also been wondering about Mexico and its economy considering their (our?) problems with the drug cartels...

Maybe the following is a scare headline just to attract viewers: The real threat: Cartels could disrupt economy of entire Western Hemisphere

'The cartels have diversified their business to gain all manner of control: diverting petroleum, hijacking cargo from trains and trucks, extorting insurance companies. Essentially, they have taken on the characteristics of a classic mafia organization or warlord, not of a traditional drug trafficking organization'...

'If' any of this is factual how would that affect the leading indicators?

 
At 11/27/2010 11:58 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos,

" Essentially, they have taken on the characteristics of a classic mafia organization or warlord, not of a traditional drug trafficking organization'..."

And, Holmes solution to this alarming situation? More gun control in the US. It's hard to take him seriously after reading that.

I can't imagine serious disruption of trade occurring without US military getting involved. Perhaps reunification of the Southwestern US with Mexico won't be as some envision it, but will be through US occupation of Mexico instead. :-)

 
At 11/27/2010 3:06 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The USA is propping up a narco-state already, in Opium-Afghanistan. Our new pals are the Cocainelumbians, too. The right-wing is cruing itself to sleep every night over our need to help Cocainelumbia.
I say we make it a clean sweep, and bring Mexico on board as bosom-buddies too, in a drug exporting axis.
AfMexCoUSA--the newest axis to rule the world. They make the profits, but please can they send the dollars here to be invested?

A winning deal, no?

 
At 11/27/2010 3:51 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I can't imagine serious disruption of trade occurring without US military getting involved. Perhaps reunification of the Southwestern US with Mexico won't be as some envision it, but will be through US occupation of Mexico instead. :-)"...

Oh geez Ron H! That would be a nightmare of epidemic proportions...

30 to 40 million brand new welfare recipients in a single stroke will definitely turn some indicators south for this country!!!

 
At 11/27/2010 3:53 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The USA is propping up a narco-state already, in Opium-Afghanistan"...

Well the US is propping up up the 'pot head losers' state of California, so what's the big deal?

 
At 11/27/2010 4:54 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Sadly, the voters of California elected not to legalize marijuana--much to the relief of the Mexican drug cartels, the DEA and all tax-eating coprolites involved in the endless war on drugs.

The War on Drugs
The War on Poverty
The War on Terror

Three wars with no results ever---great bureaucratic theft from USA taxpayers.

 
At 11/27/2010 5:05 PM, Blogger juandos said...

benny! benny! benny!

Well my hat's off to you benny since you nailed it squarely...

There's one thing to consider though, apparently the American taxpayer is getting the government they (we) deserve...

 
At 11/27/2010 5:06 PM, Blogger Paul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/27/2010 5:09 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Our new pals are the Cocainelumbians, too. The right-wing is cruing itself to sleep every night over our need to help Cocainelumbia."

What is this point of this stupidity, Benji? Do you have anything intelligent to say about ColOmbia? You can't even spell the name right, what other ignorant rantings do you have to offer? I doubt you're even aware that your hero Bill Clinton initiated Plan Colombia, and is still one the Andean nation's stalwart defenders. Is he a right-winger now?

 
At 11/27/2010 5:42 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I'm starting to wonder about this 'leading indicators' bit at least as far as Germany and France are concerned since they are part of the Euro-Union...

Those who've been paying attention know that not all's well in Euro-Union land and the following YouTube clip hints at the anxiety some of the other Euro-Union members are feeling...

If I was a cynic I would think that the bit on leading indicators might be some sort of public relations diversionary move...

Nigel Farage: 'Who the Hell do You Think You Are: The Euro Game Is Up!'

 
At 11/27/2010 9:40 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Snort up Paul--you can help Cocainelombia personally!!!

 
At 11/27/2010 11:09 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I've also been wondering about Mexico and its economy considering their (our?) problems with the drug cartels...

The best way to fight the cartels is to allow the legal use and sales of drugs. With margins collapsing most in the drug cartels would be out of business.

That having been said, it is possible that the Mexican mob may do as much good for Mexico as the American mob did for the US.

 
At 11/27/2010 11:10 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Perhaps reunification of the Southwestern US with Mexico won't be as some envision it, but will be through US occupation of Mexico instead. :-)

I think that it will be a while until Mexico takes over the American south.

 
At 11/28/2010 12:25 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Marijuana Use Sparks Concern in Japan

Last year (2007), police in Japan arrested 2,373 people on marijuana charges. By comparison, in the United States, which has roughly 2 1/2 times the population of Japan, more than 800,000 people were arrested on marijuana charges last year.

How Japan won the war on drugs:

Japan began experiencing serious problems with heroin. By 1961 it is estimated that there were over 40,000 heroin addicts in Japan.

The number of arrests for heroin sale and possession fell from a high in 1962 of 2,139 to only 33 in 1966 and have never risen above 100 since.

The Japanese...inaugurated a system of forced hospitalization for chronic drug users. Under this policy, drug users were rounded up in droves, forced to go through cold-turkey withdrawal and placed in work camps for periods ranging from a few months to several years.

This approach to drug users, still in force today, is seen by the Japanese as a humane policy focussed primarily on rehabilitation.

 
At 11/28/2010 10:22 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

This approach to drug users, still in force today, is seen by the Japanese as a humane policy focused primarily on rehabilitation.

Japan's drug policies are not working all that well. Stimulant use is growing sharply among young people as drugs are smuggled from China and North Korea. The old do not need drugs because they have always preferred heavy alcohol use. The Japanese do not consider alcohol use a problem and have seen a major increase in use even as alcohol consumption in most Western nations has declined.

The alarm bells are not going off as they do for drugs because alcohol is not illegal.

 
At 11/28/2010 10:45 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

VangelV: "Japan's drug policies are not working all that well."

Japan: "Within four years of the 1954 amendments, the number of people arrested for violating the Stimulant Control Law dropped from 55,654 to only 271 in 1958."

 
At 11/28/2010 2:33 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Japan: "Within four years of the 1954 amendments, the number of people arrested for violating the Stimulant Control Law dropped from 55,654 to only 271 in 1958."

As I wrote, Japanese use alcohol to do their damage and do not need to consume drugs in the same quantities. That said, a few years have gone since 1958 and Japan has an amphetamines problem. While marijuana has gotten some press recently the Japanese are heavy smokers and do far more damage to their bodies by the use of tobacco than they do by smoking dope.

 
At 11/29/2010 12:12 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"The best way to fight the cartels is to allow the legal use and sales of drugs. With margins collapsing most in the drug cartels would be out of business"...

Well vangeIV I think you missed the point of the article/opinion piece...

Drugs aren't the only revenue stream for these cartels...

These cartels are into diversification...:-)

 
At 11/29/2010 9:38 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Drugs aren't the only revenue stream for these cartels...

I got the point. The cartels are flush with cash so they have invested in many businesses to launder some of their money. It makes no sense to buy a business that has a 2% profit margin when you are making 500% in your illegal activities unless that business has another function; to hide the real source of earnings for the drug lords and make their holdings legal. Eventually some of the families will wind up going legit because they will be more interested in protecting their legitimate capital than they are to try to add to that capital by illegal means that add too much risk.

But as I said before, it may turn out to be that the Mexican mob does as much good in advancing progress as the American mob did in the US. Imagine how much more boring the world would have been without Louis Armstrong, Broadway, Hollywood, or gay bars.

 
At 11/29/2010 3:08 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Imagine how much more boring the world would have been without Louis Armstrong, Broadway, Hollywood, or gay bars"...

Wow! the mafia was into setting up gay bars?!?!

So it was true what they said about the Stonewall riots, eh?

Here I always thought it was one of those urban legends...

 
At 11/29/2010 7:49 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Wow! the mafia was into setting up gay bars?!?!

Yes it was. In a world that persecuted gays the mob figured out that there was a lot of money to be made by providing them with places that would offer them protection from harassment. The Gambino and Genovese families had begun their investments in New York gay bars in the early 1930s, not because they were supporters of the gay lifestyle but because there was money to be made by permitting gays to interact socially in protected environments. Because the mob could bribe the police it could ensure that the raids by vice squad officers did not take place in their own establishments. By the 1950s the police had driven most competitors out of business so most of the gay bars wound up being owned by the mob.

So it was true what they said about the Stonewall riots, eh?

Not exactly true. Your citation seems to me to be a bit of revisionism that may not be entirely supported by the facts. The Stonewall Inn used to be a restaurant in Greenwich Village for a long time. It was bought by Genovese family "associates" who transformed it into a popular gay bar.

The Stonewall Inn was managed by a mobster by the name of Ed "The Skull" Murphy. He was known to be gay and had a preference for young Latino men, which made the Stonewall one of the most racially diverse establishments (gay or straight) in New York. Most of the mobsters that worked at the bar with Murphy were also gay.

The 1969 raid on the Stonewall was a federal sting operation that bypassed the police until the last minutes to prevent informers telling the mob that a raid was about to take place.

The raid was one of the catalysts that gave rise to the Gay Liberation movement. The Genovese family began to fund the very colourful Gay Pride marches that became a celebration of sexual freedom with their man Ed "The Skull" Murphy, front and center wearing a sash that claimed him to be "The Mayor of Christopher Street."

You can find the above in Chapter 10 of the book, A Renegade History of the United States.

The author, Thaddeus Russell, is a very interesting character and convincingly writes about many things that you have probably not heard of. You will love Chapter 4, in which he argues that almost all freedoms previously denied to women but are now taken for granted were not won by the feminist movement but by prostitutes. He also makes some interesting points about pleasures available to slaves that were forbidden to white people. While I do not agree with a few of the points that are made, I believe that Russell's book is great and that it deserves attention.

 
At 11/30/2010 2:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey vangeIV, thanks for the info...

Much appreciated...

 
At 11/30/2010 3:14 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Much appreciated...

Any time. I did a search in Google and found this link that has a small section out of the book.

7 Ways the Mafia Made the U.S. a Better Place: 'Renegade History'

The commentary includes most of the information that I provided and is taken almost word for word out of the book. It will give you a better idea if you want to purchase it.

 
At 11/30/2010 10:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"A Renegade History of the United States."

Thanks for the link. I will add it to my ever longer reading list. I will never catch up.

 
At 12/01/2010 1:13 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Thanks for the link. I will add it to my ever longer reading list. I will never catch up.

My twelve-year-old loved the parts that he looked at. The argument that history is driven by a conflict between those that make rules designed to preserve society and those that are interested in pursuing their own interests are appealing to a kid who would rather play guitar and play games on his X-Box rather than study for a Social Studies test that teaches him trivial facts that do not interest him.

He is trying to convince me that Russel is making the same argument as Joseph Campbell and is asking why Lucas didn't get Campbell as much as he claims that he does. I do not have time to see the Moyer/Campbell interviews or read the Power of Myth so I will pass on making a comment. But his observation could be an interesting essay or school project later on down the road.

 

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