Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

Federally Faked Thursday – The Unhappy Median

Look at this chart:

LOOK AT IT!!!!  This is America, damn it!  We peaked out in earnings in 2000 and it's been downhill ever since.  Even worse, this is America AFTER the Federal Reserve spent $4 TRILLION to boost the economy.  This is America AFTER our Government plunged another $6 TRILLION into debt – supposedly to save jobs and support the economy.  

This is a DISASTER!  If this were the chart of a company you owned – you'd be selling.  If there were a board of directors, we'd be looking to make changes, right?  Actually, there is a sort of board of directors and, as is often the case with Corporate Management – they're the only ones making any money!  

Only in Washington DC and Dick Cheney's Wyoming are people in this country still making as much money as they were in the good old days (Clinton years).  The rest of the country is in various states of decline – some of it fairly drastic – and in big states like Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, where people are earning about 20% less now than they did 14 years ago.  

Our standard of living is in decline, especially when you consider that inflation is chewing into those lower wages from the other end as well.  How much more evidence can we possibly need that the Bush Tax cuts were a complete and utter policy failure?  Yet you will hear none of that in the MSM.  What TV station owner or newspaper & magazine publisher is going to tell you that they should be paying 20% more taxes than they are paying now?

There's a reason that, despite the BS Employment Numbers put up by the Administration, that the #1 concern of US voters is JOBS!  People may HAVE jobs (actually 20% of the families in our country have NO ONE employed at the moment) but, clearly, from an economic perspective – the jobs suck!  Even people lucky enough to keep their jobs through the crisis haven't had raises in a decade but, of course, they are too afraid to leave because we all know people who lost their jobs and didn't find…
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Jobless Thursday – America’s Infrastructure Crisis

What a disaster!

Not only are our students failing to keep up with the rest of the World but America is close to getting a failing grade in Infrastructure.  That’s right, what was once the World’s mightiest and proudest economy, this once great nation of builders has been given an overall grade of D in the American Society of Civil Engineers report on our Infrastructure.

The 2009 Grades include: Aviation (D), Bridges (C), Dams (D), Drinking Water (D-), Energy (D+), Hazardous Waste (D), Inland Waterways (D-), Levees (D-), Public Parks and Recreation (C-), Rail (C-), Roads (D-), Schools (D), Solid Waste (C+), Transit (D), and Wastewater (D-).  Awful?  Shameful?  How about DANGEROUS?  Deadly even…

For one thing, The number of high hazard dams—dams that, should they fail, pose a significant risk to human life—has increased by more than 3,000 just since 2007, when there were "just" 1,000 dams at risk and 3,000 to pro actively maintain but the administration refused to fund the project, now the costs have tripled as the situation deteriorates but that’s nothing compared to what happens if just a few of them break completely.  1,819 dams are now in the "high hazard" category and, with the current budget, for every one damn that is reparied, two more become an emergency.  

In urban areas, roadway congestion tops 40 percent.  According to the report, decades of underfunding and inattention have jeopardized the ability of our nation’s infrastructure to support our economy and facilitate our way of life.  At risk of catastrophic failure besides the dams (including levees) are things like our drinking water, sewage systems, bridges, waterways, rail lines, airports, roadways (especially elevated ones) and, of course, our entire electrical grid.  Additionally, 7 Billion gallons of clean drinking water is lost every day through leaking pipes – that’s 23 gallons per citizen per day WASTED for want of $11Bn in repairs – don’t bother worrying about it, the last Administration wouldn’t fund it in 2001 or 2006 so why bother now – 10 Trillion gallons later? 

The ASCE calculates a 5-year $2.2Tn investment is needed to address the situation, that’s $500Bn (25%) more than it was 5-years ago, when they released their last report and nothing was done by the previous administration.  So, rather than having invested in America, putting people to work and improving EVERYONE’s way of life, we spent over $1Tn fighting a war, another $600Bn a year on our regular military operations and gave over $1Tn worth of taxe breaks…
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Suburbs: the Dispersal Defense Against Nuclear Attack

Suburbs: the Dispersal Defense Against Nuclear Attack 

Row of miniature houses

Courtesy of Charles Hugh Smith Of Two Minds 

The roots of suburbia extend deeper into Cold War policy than most of us know.

The built environment (roads, railways, structures and towns/cities) is integral to any understanding of energy, resiliency, fragility, society and the economy. Any discussion of energy consumption must include the fact that roughly half the energy consumed in the U.S. is used to heat and cool buildings. No discussion of transport or economic strength is integrated without an understanding of rail and seaports, and their vast efficiencies.

To mention one example out of hundreds: the construction and marketing of distant suburbs (exurbs) as the ultimate extension of the suburban lifestyle has strained the American family to the breaking point via crushingly long commutes; wage-earners have no time to spend with their children because their waking, productive hours are spent getting to work, working and then crawling home exhausted.

Thus the built environment has a direct causal effect on divorce rates, teenage alienation and the "bowling alone" isolation and ennui that characterizes so much of American life.

A long-forgotten, underappreciated aspect of encouraging widely dispersed suburbs was rooted in Cold War defense against nuclear attack.Planner/correspondent Tom Christoffel alerted me to this fascinating connection between military/defense policy and the effective abandonment of cities in favor of suburbs in the poast-World War II era. Here are Tom’s comments:

RE: The Future of Cities (June 17, 2010):

I think you’d find interesting: The Reduction of Urban Vulnerability: Revisiting 1950s American Suburbanization as Civil Defence by Kathleen A Tobin, Purdue University, Cold War History, Vol.2, No.2, January,2002.

This is an unrecognized if not forgotten history of the roots of sprawl in the U.S. as a defensive measure. The outcome of the defense was similar to that of the attack it was meant to survive – a cratering of the cities.

Although incorporation of the automobile into city design began early in the century, it has been since the 1950’s that American housing, retail and employment sites – the business campus, have been designed for the automobile. Distances are unwalkable and very often there are no sidewalks to connect buildings.

There are very few cities where owning an automobile is optional. Jurisdictions are cities in name and legal structure only. New urbanism is simply an attempt to accommodate the car.

There are


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Phil's Favorites

Signs of a Bottom

 

Signs of a Bottom

Courtesy of 

The S&P 500 gained 6.4% last week, the second-best post-pandemic performance for the large-cap index.  For a moment there, we were out of bear-market territory, bouncing to an 18.5% decline from all-time highs. Now, it’s a bear market again ¯\_(?)_/¯

All silliness aside, calls for a bottom appear premature.

Michael Cembalest and his team did some work on what you want to be on the lookout for, and we’re not there qui...



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ValueWalk

Let General Mills Command A Position In Your Defensive Portfolio

By MarketBeat. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Recession Resistant General Mills Rockets Higher Outlook

We’ve been interested in General Mills (NYSE:GIS) for some time now and we couldn’t be happier with the FQ4 2022 results. The company not only beat on the top and bottom line but issued favorable guidance in the face of mounting economic headwinds. The takeaway here is that defensive consumer staple stocks like General Mills are among the best positioned for today’s times and General Mills is among the best picks. Trading at only 18.5X it’s earnings outlook the stock is undervalued relative to its peers while paying an ...



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Zero Hedge

Why Is The VIX So Low? A Surprising Answer Emerges In The Market's Microstructure

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

One of the most frequent questions tossed around Wall Street trading desks (and strip clubs), and which was duly covered by Bloomberg recently in "Fear Has Gone Missing in Wall Street’s Slow-Motion Bear Market", is why despite the crushing bear market and the coming recession, does the VIX refuse to rise sustainably above 30, or in other words, why is the VIX so low?

As Goldman's Rocky Fishman wrote in a recent note "Option Markets Ta...



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Politics

Putin's propaganda is rooted in Russian history - and that's why it works

 

Putin’s propaganda is rooted in Russian history – and that’s why it works

Courtesy of Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager, Colorado State University and Evgeniya Pyatovskaya, University of South Florida

Russia’s war against Ukraine is pressing into its fifth month – despite several rounds of failed peace talks, and Western countries’ issuing severe economic sanctions against Russia.

The war isn’t happening just on Ukrainian soil. President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda is propelling...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Doc Copper Pattern Suggesting Another Huge Decline Is To Be Expected?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Looks like the historic run higher in copper prices may be taking a breather.

While we cannot say that the LONG-term rally is over. It definitely has put in an intermediate top.

Back in March, we wrote about this possibility in our article, “Is Copper Repeating Historic Double Top Price Pattern?” There have been two other historic double tops that have taken place in the past 20 years.

Well, here we are today and the double top pattern is breaking down and Doc Copper is on the ropes. Below is an updated ...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold miners do well when gold is higher, and borrowing and gasoline costs are lower.

Lets start with a question: Why do governments own gold?

1) The need it to support their economy during an energy crisis. If their currency is collapsing oil producers will not take fiat for settlement, but they will accept gold.
2) While the US prints money the purchasing power of the US dollar is declining, hence gold is a hedge.

A particular market action which forces traders to move gold higher is when oil moves higher while the US dollar falls. This means the US dollar is losing purchasing power against oil, therefore gold will go higher as the demand for (1) above explodes. Some history, gold moved higher sharply in these years 2007, 2011, 2016, 2020. All ...

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Digital Currencies

Scams and cryptocurrency can go hand in hand - here's how they work and what to watch out for

 

Scams and cryptocurrency can go hand in hand – here’s how they work and what to watch out for

The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions is ideal for con artists. seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Yaniv Hanoch, University of Southampton and Stacey Wood, Scripps College

When one of our students told us they were going to drop out of college ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

At last, COVID-19 shots for little kids - 5 essential reads

 

At last, COVID-19 shots for little kids – 5 essential reads

Millions of U.S. children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years will soon be eligible for COVID-19 shots. FatCamera/E+ via Getty Images

Courtesy of Amanda Mascarelli, The Conversation

For many parents of kids under age 5, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine could not come soon enough. A full year and a half after shots first became available for adults, their wait is nearly over.

On June 17, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration ...



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Promotions

Phil: Be the House Not the Gambler at the Fintech Conference in Vegas

 

Phil gave an excellent, educational presentation called "Be the House Not the Gambler: Using Stock Options to Significantly Boost Your Portfolio Performance" at the FinTwit Conference hosted by Lupton Capital and Benzinga on May 14 in Las Vegas. The video is set to start playing at 5:30:45, when Phil takes the stage (but you can see previous presentations by backtracking).

AGENDA 
9:00 AM Opening Remarks with Jonah Lupton, Entrepreneur & Investor
9:05 AM Wagging the Dog: How to Profit From Derivative Driven Moves in the Market with Steven Place, Founder, Investingwithoptions.com
10:00 AM The MarketWebs & The Path of Least Resistance, Christian Fromhertz, CEO, The Tribeca Trade Group
10:55 AM Fireside Chat with Gareth Mann, Founder & CEO, AlphaStream & Spencer Israel, Executive Producer, Benzinga
11:25 AM Sponsor Pitch: Carolyn Bao, VP of Marke...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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