Friday, July 5, 2013


Big day today.  Jobs number came in at 195,000, quite a bit above estimates.  The immediate reaction was the proclamation of the end of QE III and the beginning of "tapering" in September.  But unlike past good report that were interpreted to portend the end of easy money, today's report sent the DOW at the close shooting up 147 points, the ten year showing a massive rise in yield to 2.71% and the dollar rising against anything out there including the Yen (again) which seems no longer to be a real currency.  Shock all over yet just a few years ago this was what one would have expected to happen.  Are we in a New (old) Normal?  Time will tell, but in the meantime, folks are feeling pretty good which we can take except for the nagging fact that many of the jobs were part-time and that production numbers, except for motor cars, are less than inspiring.  Then again, this could be Euroland.

Speaking of which, things are looking decidedly lousy Over There highlighted by the fact that for the first time in it's history, the Bank of England, now led by a Canadian of all things, announced that no one should expect a change in monetary policies or interest rates soon, which in the trade is known as "targeting' and heretofore was simply, "not on."  Not to be out done, Sr. Draghi announced pretty much the same thing in telling people that any form of tightening or whatever the hell they call it was a long, looonnng way away.  As opposed to uninspiring, things stink.  Portugal's government barely survived.  Italy, as predicted, is floundering.  France is...well...France.  All Germany cares about is the election and Greece appears to be on the verge of not making it--whatever that may mean.

However, the true shocker of the week comes from all places, Ireland, where the release of previously unknown recordings from the bowels of the Anglo Irish Bank present a stunning picture of outright malfeasance, fraud, lying and cynicism, the fallout from which will undoubtedly extend beyond the Republic as it plays directly into the fears of the Volk as to for what their money has been used.  I must admit that way back when we used to joke about a dicey credit situation that "it wasn't our money" (ok, doesn't sound funny now) but it was in jest.  These guys were deadly serious: they knew it wasn't their money; were prepared to take stupid risks because it wasn't; expected to be bailed out and lied to insure the bail-out was coming.  They wrecked a nation's finances and were made whole on German money.  Jail is the only place for them but what sensationalism like this does is to remove all rationality from the discussion of risk and replace in with the pure thirst for revenge which does nothing now and which will affect the argument on both sides of the Pond.  Revenge, as the Italians say, is a dish best eaten cold.  Not now.  We have a long way to go as witnessed by the catastrophe that is Dodd/Frank which is proven to be even more unfixable than originally thought.  And just to square the circle, it appears that the Affordable Care Act may be even a greater catastrophe as witnessed by the Administration's executive order in delaying it's most important part for a year...although for the life of me I cannot figure out how an implementation date mandated by Congress can be delayed by another branch of government.  I'm sure The Leader will explain.

In all, this may turn out to be a blogger's summer with wild and wonderful things occuring.  In the mean time, we are off to see the triplets who turn six on Monday.  Talk about wild and wonderful.

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