muses of the moment

July 17, 2012

John Williams with shadowstats.com

Filed under: Inflation, John Williams shadowstats — Tags: — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 7:31 pm

You pay for the detail (well worth the money), but here is the summary:

– Headline Inflation Should Increase in Next Several Months
– June Year-to-Year Inflation: 1.7% (CPI-U), 1.6% (CPI-W), 9.3% (SGS)
– Second-Quarter Real Retail Sales Contracted at 1.5% Annualized Rate
– Production Growth Slowed Sharply in Second-Quarter

Did your wages increase by 9.3% in the last year? Didn’t think so…..

The “official” core inflation rate makes it look like savings in a CD can keep up with inflation in expenses. But the real data shows that you are losing 8% and that is without taxes calculated in.

I won’t quote John’s real wages chart, it is so depressing. We are sinking fast. It light years below even 1964….yes, I said 1964.

US Drought

Filed under: Odds 'n ends — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 5:32 pm

groovygirl wanted to comment on the US Drought News. There is a difference between annual rain fall and high temperatures. These are two different cycles. And gg is still not convinced that this extreme weather is a result of global warming. However, she is willing to look at higher temperature and suburban sprawl as a cause.

Rainfall:

Read an article with a graph showing that this current drought is the tenth worse in the last 120 years. groovygirl did her own graph of her local area and this matches right up with that conclusion. So there is a severe drought, like this year or worse, about every 12 years. That’s a regular cycle and not something to be too concerned about. Except that it will cause an increase in food prices for at least the next 6-12 months.

Disclaimer: 2012 year is not yet over, could get worse…..

gg also noticed that the cycles tend to gain frequency (get closer together) after 1945. This falls in line with 1) suburban sprawl and 2) increase in transportation pollution and 3) population growth. No conclusion here, just an observation.

Record high temperatures:

Now this is a fact, cities around the country are experiencing record all time high temperatures.  But cities, because of thermal mass and added humidity from watering of landscapes tend to be 5-10 degrees hotter than surrounding rural areas. All these highs are in major cities with buildings, concrete, air-conditioned buildings, black-top, landscaping, and cars/trucks. So, is the high temperature outbreak really a high or distorted by the extra heat captured by cities?

The high temps still impact the people and systems of the urban city, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is really a high as related to global warming.

Zones:

Now one thing that has been clearly effected is the growing zones of the US. In the past 30 years, growing zones (dates of first and last frosts) has changed. This is yet another issue. Frost dates have moved 200 miles north in 30 years. For instance, those in zone 5 in 1970 are now in zone 6. Zones are usually determined by global weather patterns, not record high temps or rainfall.

So, the question is: does the change in zones mean global warming or just part of longer cycle global weather pattern?

It is important to find these things out, so you can plant the best plants and varieties of plants in any given year. If you try and plant a drought-resistant corn when the drought cycle turns down again, your yield could be affected. If you are planting a garden in the city, it is good to know if your highest temp will be 10 degrees higher than the farmer 50 miles outside the city.

Just some of my thoughts and observation, please feel free to comment.

401k loan defaults

Filed under: 401K and IRAs — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 4:46 pm

Here is another aspect of the 401k system that groovygirl has not addressed:  401k loans. Loan defaults are up, no surprise there. However, the less liquidity in the 401k system, the less likely you can get all the cash you need, when you need it.

GG addressed this possible cash squeeze with the large population of baby boomers cashing in at the same time, but this is more pressure with younger members borrowing cash, too.

Max Keiser

Filed under: The Banking Crisis, The Federal Reserve, The Financial Crisis — totallygroovygirlfriday @ 1:03 am

Max has a good show out. Click here. He talks about the failure of regulators to curb the crime spree.

His guest is Rob Kirby of Kirby Analytics. His website is very good (per subscription) and this interview is insightful. Talks about LIBOR.

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