Payrolls was the market mover this week – they came in a lot lower than expected [headline +235k], still perhaps 5M below pre-pandemic levels.
Wolf Richter has a good article breaking down why things haven’t gone so well for payrolls. No, it’s not “delta”. As I’ve said before, if you pay people not to work – they don’t work – even with a lot of Help Wanted signs out there. That paying-people-not-to-work is still happening in many states.
I have my thoughts as to why. With 5 million US workers being paid to stay home, they won’t notice (and then complain about) the wage-deflationary pressure that the influx of millions of new, poor, and much more enthusiastic workers streaming over the southern border will create. Well, the pesky US workers won’t notice the deflation until the government finally stops the gravy train. Then they’ll notice for sure! “Hey wait so what happened to all those help wanted signs? And who are all these new people? And how come I can’t get a job?”
Auto/Light Truck sales were crushed [-1.56M -11.95% m/m] – possibly because there aren’t enough vehicles due to “shortages.” Auto sales have been in a free fall for 3 months now.
Durable Goods/Orders looked mostly flat [-254M -0.10% m/m]; shipments by contrast were reasonably strong [+5.59B +2.17% m/m]. Reminder: durable goods orders project “next month” (flat), while shipments describe “this month” (reasonably strong).
The buck fell 5 days out of 5 this week, losing -0.67 [-0.73%], printing a new 7-week (intraday) low on Friday. The buck is in a downtrend.
Gold moved up +9.47 [+0.52%] this week, with all of the gains coming Friday, due to the unexpectedly weak Payrolls report. Gold/Euros actually fell; this is because the buck dropped harder than gold rallied. So, to see gold with the currency moves factored out, we can look at gold/Euros this week. That doesn’t actually look so bad. Gold is in an uptrend from this perspective. Gold’s open interest continues to climb as price rises. The bankster “wash-and-rinse” model is fully in place for gold right now.
Silver looked substantially better than gold, rallying +0.72 [+2.90%] on the week. All of silver’s gains came on Friday following that underwhelming Payrolls report. Silver appears to be back in an uptrend.
Unlike with gold, silver’s OI remains quite low, although it did move slightly higher on Friday’s big [+0.84] rally. Alongside OI, commercial shorts fell again this week – to levels not seen since late 2018. This sort of plunge in both OI and commercial shorts usually signals a low. This bullish signal isn’t great for timing: it can’t pick the day, or even the week, but it does continue to suggest that the low for silver is either past, or close at hand.
While most of the rest of the commodity complex didn’t move all that much, lumber was a notable exception: LB rallied a massive +122.64 [+19.18%], with all the gains coming on Thursday and Friday. What caused the fuss? I have no idea. But it is curious that the open interest dropped hard in recent days. Not sure what that means, other than the shorts appeared to be panicking out of the market. It kinda feels like a short squeeze. These were some big moves for lumber.
Here’s the daily chart for lumber along with open interest:
Equities moved higher [+12.75 +0.28%] hitting yet another new all time high. Even so, the sector map looked bearish – REITS, utilities, and sickcare generally do not lead a market higher. The monthly RSI7 = 88, weekly = 78, daily = 70. Monthly RSI7 at 88 is really quite high. SPX could be setting up for a plunge. Then again, I’ve been saying that for a while now.
Bonds mostly went nowhere [10 year +1.6 bp to 1.33%], and crappy debt looked similarly uninspired [+0.05%].
Crude was also mostly unchanged [+0.39 +0.57%], but like silver, crude has a very bullish-looking commercial short position. There could be another leg down here within the next few weeks, but longer term, crude appears to be much closer to a low than a high, based on OI and what the commercial shorts are doing. Unless there’s a pandemic-type event, the lows for commercial shorts usually happen alongside price lows too.
US crude production continues to move slowly higher. While we aren’t back to “energy independence”, it doesn’t look all that bad.
News Items That Caught My Eye
Arizona’s ‘QAnon Shaman’ Agrees to Plea Deal in Capitol Breach
A criminal complaint alleges Chansley “wilfully and knowingly entered or remained on the floor of a House of Congress or in any cloakroom or lobby adjacent to that floor, without authorization to do so.”
Chansley, 33, was arrested in January and charged with a six-count indictment with civil disorder, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of an official proceeding, among other counts. The details of his plea agreement with government, including which charges he is pleading guilty to, are yet to be made public.
QAnon Shaman is the face of the “armed” insurrection on January 6th – in which no guns were found, and the only people who died were the “insurrectionists” themselves.
On the one hand, Pharma/Oligarchy kills 500,000 Americans (and makes 10s of billions of dollars) with fentanyl, with the consequence: they end up paying a fine, 10 years later.
On the other hand, QAnon Shaman wears a pair of horns, gets waved into the Capitol by police, walks around and takes some selfies, gets thrown in solitary for 7 months, which effectively coerces him into pleading guilty to trespassing. That’ll teach any future QAnon Shamans not to walk around the Capitol taking selfies while wearing horns.
Exclusive: Before Afghan collapse, Biden pressed Ghani to ‘change perception’
Reuters reviewed a transcript of the presidential phone call and has listened to the audio to authenticate the conversation. The materials were provided on condition of anonymity by a source who was not authorized to distribute it.
This explicit (and highly illegal) leak of a conversation between President Grandpa and the Afghan “leader” (installed by the US) suggests to me that the apparently disastrous “Fall of Kabul” operation was actually planned and executed by the Pentagon, in order to embarrass President Grandpa, who it appears really did want to end the 20-year war. The clear message from Defense/Industrial: “take away any more of our Endless Wars and You Will Be Punished.”
Apple delays plan to scan iPhones for child abuse images
“Based on feedback from customers, advocacy groups, researchers, and others, we have decided to take additional time over the coming months to collect input and make improvements before releasing these critically important child safety features,” a company spokesman said. The company didn’t respond to a request for further comment about when it plans to reintroduce these technologies.
The automated iPhone “kiddie porn” scanner – easily repurposed for thousands of other very useful Oligarchy information-gathering/social-control operations – was A Bridge Too Far. So that’s good news. Except:
Apple reportedly scanned iCloud e-mail for child abuse material since 2019
Apple reportedly has been scanning some users’ emails for child abuse imagery since 2019, according to a new report, adding new details to the ongoing debate about the company’s stance on user privacy.
My (technical) interpretation: the “kiddie porn” email-scanner infrastructure AAPL has deployed – since 2019 – can scan your emails for anything. They have just now told us they have been scanning our emails for kiddie porn for two years. What else have they been scanning our emails for that they are not telling us about?
Insurrection? Vax hesitancy? Disinformation? “The Trusted media initiative?” WEF’s “Build Back Better?” The sky is the limit, all done in the name of serving the (Oligarchy’s) greater good.
Takeaway: You absolutely cannot trust AAPL to protect your privacy. It goes without saying that you can’t trust MSFT (hotmail) or GOOG (gmail) either. To paraphrase Catherine Austin-Fitts: “stop feeding [your data to] the tapeworm.”
Biden Vows to Protect Abortion Rights in Face of ‘Extreme’ Texas Law
So why did abortion just appear in the news cycle?
My read: the Stakeholders want to distract us away from the failing vaccines, boosters, the engineered-Fall of Kabul, the importation of millions of new low-wage workers, and – most importantly – away from the Horse Paste disaster. Bashing Horse Paste is probably focusing more attention on Ivermectin than if they’d just ignored it completely. (What’s that? Horse paste, you say? And where might I find some of this “horse paste”?) So this distraction-atttempt is actually a positive sign. Prohibition leads directly to Speakeasies.
So: “Look! An Abortion-Squirrel!”
And about that Horse Paste narrative – some interesting tidbits:
Ivermectin explained: Why the so-called ‘horse drug’ has emerged in COVID fight
Many on the Left have questioned the promotion of any COVID-19 therapeutic, even ones that have proven effective against the virus, such as monoclonal antibody drugs, because they argue unvaccinated people will avoid getting vaccinated if they mistakenly believe COVID-19 has a cure.
So nobody is allowed to promote working COVID-19 theraputics? Because, “many on the Left” demand compliance with mass vaccination?
And if you carefully parse the sentence, you will note that – even though monoclonal antibodies have been proven effective against the virus, “many on the Left” argue that unvaccinated people will “mistakenly believe” that COVID-19 has a cure. News flash: even this article admits that monoclonal antibodies work! Does this “many on the Left” rationale make sense?
The article goes on to hem-and-haw about whether or not ivermectin works. So while:
“only a handful of doctors have openly promoted the drug, but they have been derided as outliers”
But then towards the end, there’s this:
A review of data from 15 ivermectin trials found that the drug did reduce deaths among COVID-19 patients who took it, according to an analysis published this month in the American Journal of Therapeutics.
“Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin,” the seven scientists who authored the analysis wrote in conclusion. “Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease.”
This MSM news article seems to be maybe 70-30 against, but they are starting to hedge their bets – and in the title too, not just towards the end. Instead of calling it a horse-drug, they said it was a “so-called” horse drug. And they mentioned monoclonal antibodies. And the article acknowledged that they work. You’d think THAT would be the headline, what with us being in the middle of a pandemic and all, but…apparently not.
Just a waypoint.
Here is a very insightful analysis of the current state of the mainstream media. It might explain why MSM has been so totally co-opted by the Stakeholders.
Blue checkmarks are mourning bad careers in a broken industry
Summary: The media today finds it very difficult to “speak truth to power” due to declining viewership, falling revenues, and the attendant precariousness of content-creator employment within the industry itself. This downhill spiral results in a continuous series of layoffs, and a culture of desperation. There are other contributing factors too – a sort of woke groupthink that US universities appear to specialize in, that all the writers buy into, that they then try to force-feed to America. Unfortunately for them, woke groupthink does not appeal to the mainstream, and so the readership falls again, more layoffs, more desperation, rinse-repeat.
This state of affairs – the abject economic weakness of the industry as well as weakness of the individual reporters – might explain why it was so easy for the Stakeholders to seize control over the narrative. The Stakeholders harvested a great deal of recurring revenue from the sickly Plebes (sickcare = 20% of GDP), and the media is literally a failing industry that finds it very difficult to make a peep about the Stakeholder interests, for fear of losing one of its last remaining revenue sources, and the few remaining jobs that go with it.
“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”; Pharma/Sickcare, sucking down 20% of US GDP.
Bad Orange Man called it “The Failing New York Times.” It appears as though he was far more correct – in a far more consequential way – than I knew at the time.
How did the Stakeholders capture the FDA?
Word of the Day: user fees.
The FDA budget for FY 2019 is $5.9 billion.
About 55 percent, or $3.2 billion, of FDA’s budget is provided by federal budget authorization. The remaining 45 percent, or $2.7 billion, is paid for by industry user fees.
The FDA budget includes 17,686 full time equivalents (FTEs).
Rule #1: all species and organizations – including bureaucracies – exist to self-perpetuate; true for defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and FDA.
Rule #2: ‘User fees’ directly fund FDA’s FTEs. If there were no more user fees (say – all FDA did was work on vitamins), then 7,958 (45%) of the FDA bureaucrats would suddenly be unemployed – No Job For You!
Rule #3: Nobody within the bureaucracy will last long if they engage in activity that effectively reduces funding to the organization – they become a existential-organizational threat, and must be sidelined or eliminated. So the FDA organization self-selects for people who are excessively receptive to “user-fee” projects. Evolution in action.
- FDA bureaucracy is structurally incentivized to only consider products that involve a “user fee”
- Ivermectin, Niacin, NAC – all generics – cannot pay a “user fee”
- By permitting the Stakeholders to fund almost half of the FDA’s FTEs via user fees, we-the-people enabled user-fee-paying-Pharma to capture the agency.
Given that, how do we interpret this somewhat shocking article from NYT:
Two powerful congressional committees investigating the controversial federal approval of Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, demanded extensive information and documents from the Food and Drug Administration in a letter released on Thursday, making it clear that the committees’ leaders are troubled by unusual actions the agency took in the course of evaluating and approving the drug.
“F.D.A. granted accelerated approval for the drug despite concerns raised by experts — including the agency’s own staff” and members of its independent advisory committee, the letter said.
What’s shocking is NOT the facts of the case, but rather, that the Pharma shills in the House (both sides of the aisle, of course) are actually going forward with an investigation of FDA in this matter! What’s even more shocking is that the underfunded and failing New York Times is actually publishing a piece on it! That’s a brave act: No More Pharma Ad Revenues For You, NYT!
As we know, Biogen’s large, “Gold Standard RCT” on Aduhelm utterly failed to show benefit in alzheimers patients. The 3 trials were stopped early due to futility. And yet user-fee-focused FDA saw fit to approve the $56,000/year drug anyway. “Reward the hand that feeds you, FDA.”
Here’s 1 of the 3 Biogen/Aduhelm trials: n=1653, “Study was discontinued based on futility analysis done and not based on safety concerns.”
I keep looking for “that Bridge Too Far”, that one bit of Pharma/Oligarchy overreach which will start the ball rolling and uncover the corruption we all know is systemic at FDA. Perhaps $56,000/year Aduhelm is it?
Covid could trigger a spike in dementia cases, say Alzheimer’s experts
Atri, who’s director of Banner Sun Health Research Institute in the U.S., explained that Covid can damage and clot micro vessels in the brain, hurt the body’s immunity and cause inflammation.
That can give “easier access to things that can harm your brain” and cause symptoms of neurological disorders — such as dementia — to show up earlier, the doctor said.
Hmm. Dementia. Inflammation and microclots. I’m guessing that’s due to the toxic lab-leaked spike protein stuck in the monocytes, running around causing inflammation. And I’m also guessing that the spike protein in the vax does the same exact thing that the spike in the SC2 virus does. Given the scale of the pandemic + mass vaccination, it seems as though this might be a substantial issue coming down the pike.
Here’s a thread I’ve been pulling on for the past few months:
Dietary niacin and the risk of incident Alzheimer’s disease and of cognitive decline
Nicotinamide Restores Cognition in Alzheimer’s Disease Transgenic Mice via a Mechanism Involving Sirtuin Inhibition and Selective Reduction of Thr231-Phosphotau
So Niacin(amide) cures (early) Alzheimers in mice? We should run a human trial and see!
Coming soon: you aren’t a rat. You aren’t a mouse. Stop with the Niacin, y’all. Take your $56,000 Aduhelm (that doesn’t work!), just deal with the brain swelling, let Medicare go bankrupt, STFU, and tollow The Science!!
ALT: “Emergency Rooms Clogged with people suffering from acute Niacin Flush!”
ALT ALT: “An Alzheimers patient dies from liver failure after ingesting 20 grams of niacinamide in a single day!”
Israeli vax passports – without boosters – will now be invalid after six months following 2nd injection.
The Vaccination Policy and the New Green Pass that will Take Effect Soon
Who is considered to be vaccinated / recovered and protected?
A person who was vaccinated with two vaccine doses, within 6 months from the date of the second vaccination
A person who was vaccinated with three vaccine doses, a week after the third vaccination
A person who has recovered from coronavirus disease, within 6 months from the issuing date of the certificate of recovery (a resolution concerning recovered individuals more than 6 months after recovery who have not been vaccinated is being reviewed).
Anyone who recovered from coronavirus disease and received at least one vaccine dose.
Well that’s complicated. Seems like we really need some sort of electronic device, kept on our person at all times, that can tell everyone if we are “clean” or “dirty”, remind us to take our boosters on time, and report us to the authorities if we violate some aspect of the ever-changing ruleset. “For the greater good” (of the Oligarchy).
Buried in all that is a modest amount of good news: the Green Pass actually recognizes COVID-recovered immunity. Right now, its only good for 6 months, but “more freedom” might yet be permitted. It is under review.
If you wanted one single tweet to summarize where we are in the story, this is the one. The ACLU absolutely jumps the shark:
Far from compromising them, vaccine mandates actually further civil liberties. They protect the most vulnerable, people with disabilities and fragile immune systems, children too young to be vaccinated, and communities of color hit hard by the disease.
“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”