Posts Tagged ‘Hungary’

Which Horizon?

Which Horizon?

Courtesy of James Howard Kunstler 

UK, England, Tyne and Wear, Whitley Bay, St Mary's Lighthouse, dusk

     Did the nation heave a sigh of relief when BP announced that their latest gambit to "cap" the Deepwater Horizon gusher will result in hosing up fifty percent of the leaking oil? If so, the nation may be sighing too soon since the other half of the oil will still collect in underwater plumes and hover all around the Gulf Coast like those baleful mother ships in the most recent generation of alien invasion movies. I shudder to imagine the tonnage of dead wildlife flotsam that will wash up with the tide for years to come. It will seem like a "necklace of death" for several states, though even that may not be enough to distract them from the more gratifying raptures of Nascar and NFL football. 

     For the moment we can only speculate on what the still-unresolved incident will mean for America’s oil supply. The zeal to prosecute BP for something like criminal negligence has bestirred a Department of Justice comatose during the rape-and-pillage of the US financial system. BP may be driven out of business, but then what? The net effect of the oil spill, one way or another, will be the gradual shut-down of oil drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico. New government supervision will make operations very costly, if not non-viable, and the surviving companies will probably pack up for the west coast of Africa where supervision is almost non-existent.  Anyway you cut it, the US will produce less oil and import more — and have to rely on the political stability of places like Angola and Nigeria, not to mention the simmering Middle East.

     So far, also, the US has done nothing in the way of holding a serious national political discussion about the the most important part of the story: our pathological dependency on cars. I don’t know if this will ever happen, even right up to the moment when the lines form at the filling stations. For years, anyway, the few public figures such as Boone Pickens who give the appearance of concern about our oil problem, end up down the rabbit hole of denial when they get behind schemes to run the whole US car-and-truck fleet on something besides gasoline.

     This unfortunate techno-narcissism shows that almost nobody wants to think about living…
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Fickle Friday – Budapesky Concerns to Trump Jobs?

File:Trianon Statue Bekescsaba big.jpgOops, now it looks like Hungary is blowing up!

This is a big concern to me because I just asked "What will be the ‘shot heard round the world’ that sparks the next global revolution" and, wouldn’t you know it – it’s Hungary again!  It was also in June (of 1914) when the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife triggered a series of events that plunged the planet into World War I.  Today Hungary is the first of the Eastern Europe block to step into the economic confessional as a spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban was quoted this morning as saying the nation’s economy is in a "grave situation."

Before WWI, Hungary was the 2nd largest nation in Europe (behind Russia) but the Treaty of Trianon (June 4th, 1920!) carved it up into 7 countries.  Modern Hungary has about 10M people and a GDP of $185Bn ($18,500 per capita) so it is not, by itself going to bring Europe down but keep in mind this is EXACTLY where we predicted we’d be last Friday, when I put up the chart of the Cycle of Fiat Currency Failures.  So let’s take this seriously folks – next on the list after the baltics is the UK and France and then it’s our turn!

They say those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it and maybe that’s why we are able to stay ahead of the game.  Yesterday we became concerned that Obama’s prediction of strong jobs numbers on Wednesday were already baked into the 200-point rally they sparked so I called an end to "short-term, unhedged, upside plays" in Member Chat at 10:04 and we added an aggressive upside play on BGZ that is designed to pay 1,000% if the market falls.  We also got more aggressively bearish on our Mattress Plays so to say we’re not expecting a big push on the jobs number is an understatement. 

Ahead of the close, I had commented to Members that, even if we get a big pop on the jobs number (need 600,000+), then we would likely short into it - looking for 10,350 at best to settle out but it the jobs come in below 450,000, then "look out below!"  Volume was unimpressive yesterday and, even though we benefited from the daily stick save, it wasn’t strong enough to impress us

The futures were looking like they were…
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