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#418 1-15-17: Preparing for War
by Mark Lawrence
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Markets flattened out this week on moderate volume.
Later this year, Pennsylvania will pass up Illinois as the 5th most populous state. That's because people are in a big hurry to get out of Illinois and their massive pension / tax problems. What's wrong with Illinois? Three things:
Obama is moving the 3rd armored brigade into Poland. Over 1,000 rail cars carrying 80 tanks, 140 Bradleys, 400 humvees and artillery. Our soon-to-be Sec.Def under Trump, James Mattis, once said, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I'll kill you all." Well, Obama is bringing artillery. Russia is moving their own armored brigades into position and greatly enhancing missile defense around Moscow with their S-400 system, rumored to be able to bring down our stealth jets. It's reassuring that Obama has only 5 days to start a war. Hillary would certainly have followed through on this, imho. The far right is screaming, this is the beginning of the coup, Obama will declare a national emergency and never let Trump take office. Yah, well, that's not happening - if nothing else, there's only about seven people in the military that would support Obama. But things are stunningly tense.
A couple weeks ago Obama had every one of our carrier task groups in dock simultaneously, the first time in nearly 80 years. Well, that's over. Last week China sent their rather under whelming aircraft carrier into the S.China sea; Obama responded by sending in the Carl Vinson group, and it looks like the George Bush group will follow almost immediately. China is warning that we're very close to war and Trump must be careful.
Boeing and airbus are having orders canceled left and right. Boeing has announced there will be three rounds of layoffs this year in the engineering staff. They currently have less than a year of production booked - 668 jets which include 550 737s, 58 767s, and 17 777s. 180 orders have been canceled. There is no growth in sales for twin-aisle jets anywhere, all people are buying are smaller single-aisle jets. Meanwhile on Wall Street Boeing shares have hit an all-time high.
China is experiencing inflation, which will be reflected soon in prices in the US. For the last 20 years or so we've been experiencing deflation, significantly driven by low cost goods from Asia. Low Asia prices seem to be coming to an end.
Autos and gasoline are moving pretty well. Nothing else. The economy seems to be in a sit and wait mode. That was true this time last year too, due to weather.
The California drought, while not officially over, is over. We're now draining most reservoirs in preparation for the next storm system, we're over-filled for this time of year. The snow pack is at 163% average for this time of year and over 70% of average for April 1. Below are many of the major reservoirs, now and a year ago.
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Revised Monday, 16-Jan-2017 00:19:09 CST