Monday, December 8, 2008

Not the Messiah

Equities are at a 1 month high, and it happened in a couple of sessions.  Short covering, hopes for a new president, and bailouts are not the stuff of a sustainable market advance.  That does not mean that a blistering rally is not underway - nor does it mean that a retest in short order is not possible.  

The markets are not for the weak of heart at the moment.  If you are a disciplined trader, this might be a good time to go to work (emphasis on MIGHT).  If you are not, and by that I mean that you are not good at taking losses AND knowing when you have reached your targets in the event you are right... this market is not for you.  

Good luck!


While the media decries what it sees in Detroit, I am elated!

No not the fact the the Big 3 are on the ropes, and homes cannot be sold for $1.

I am speaking about poor folks doing something constructive to provide for themselves (and I really applaud the efforts of those people that have been helping the citizens of Detroit in this effort).  Several reports have been made of the fact that food producing gardens had been springing up all over Detroit in abandoned and empty lots.  Many of my readers may not know that I am an avid gardener, and I own a family farm in Middle Tennessee where my family spends its spring and summer and harvest.  In a half acre garden we grow enough vegetables to keep us in corn, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, spinach, kale, eggplant, etc... for most of the year.  We also produce all of our eggs and milk on the farm, as well as most of our meat.

There are 30 million Americans receiving food stamp assistance.  Said assistance will keep a family alive, but not necessarily with the best nutrition possible.  I am beyond thrilled to see these reports (thank you kenny in Washington for the links).  Purchasing Organic produce is out of financial reach for people living on assistance, GROWING it is not.  Everything about the endeavor is a positive for the folks in Detroit.  Better nutrition, something to do an be proud of, family time, etc... THIS is what a governments SHOULD be doing for people.

Actually, that last line was not entirely fair.  In Tennessee, we have a University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Office, and most states have a similar program, that will come to your home, perform free soil analysis, provide planting schedules for your locale, and such other advice as you might need to get going.  I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I was with our extension office.

Recently, Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute published his views about food shortages in the U.S. by 2012.  You may not know this guy's work, but folks on Wall Street have been following him for years.  I gotta say, "when Celente talks, people listen". His abilty to connect the dots is unsurpassed.  Still,  I am somewhat more hopeful than Celente, and the reports coming out of Detroit supports that hope.  People will react, and if our local and state governments handle this well - and most states have an extension office ready, willing, and able - there is no reason for the U.S. with its relatively less densely population to land mass to sink to this outcome.  Actually, there is ONE reason - DENIAL.  But I think folks will get over that pretty quickly

When I was a kid in the 1960's I spent a month every summer with my Grandmother and my Aunt in South Philadelphia.  It was as "inner-city" as it got... we played stick ball in front of Gramma's row house, we had pinball, and I settled disputes with my cousins in a dual - each opponent was armed with 2 pieces of sandpaper.  The guy who lost all the skin on his nose first lost the dispute.  This was working class, inner city at its most.  And people had chickens nd rabbits in their backyards (and they weren't pets), vegetable gardens, and a guy with a horse drawn cart that came by selling produce, milk, and butter from not very far away.  Another uncle lived next to a cemetery that was right next to a small dairy operation - right in the middle of South Philly.  

Detroit is not to be pitied, and in any event they will be copied sooner or later.

Mentatt (at) yahoo (dot) com


Anonymous said...

so 800,000 or so job losses in January followed by a million in february. 1.2 million in march! Going to get ugly and nasty. Expecting 30% unemployment in the U-3! (the most fudged lying piece of statistic)

bureaucrat said...

If the population gets hungry enough from a breakdown in the oil-food complex, having a family farm anywhere is no solution, cause you'll be overrun by people stealing your produce. Better to invest in shotguns.

Sean said...

I agree, bureaucrat. Better yet, get yourself a .308 battle rifle (M14, M1A, FAL, HK91 or Saiga), plenty of magazines and several thousand rounds of ammo. Plus the skill to use it.

Anonymous said...

With the extreme crises we are facing, the nation will need to come together to implement solutions. Sacrifice and hard work will be required to come out of all this with any kind of civilized society.

The wild chaotic Waziristan region of Pakistan is what happens when everybody starts pointing guns at everyone else.

Coordinated national efforts can be extremely effective. Look at Germany after WW2. The whole nations was flattened. German civilians spent their days gathering, cleaning, and stacking bricks from destroyed buildings. It was not long before Germany was an economic superpower again. They surely weren't stockin' up guns and ammo and taking potshots at each other while attempting to relive some kind of Hollywood fantasy.

Not to say that a weapon in the closet might not be shrewd- as long it's not the only preparation.

Anonymous said...

I hope with the guns you've got some troops for a 360 defense perimeter, 24/7 alert guards, etc. You don't think the raiders will come one by one, do you?
You're best protection will be supporting a community gardens program in all the surrounding towns and suburbs. If they've got their own gardens, they ain't coming for yours.
The cooperative extension service in my state was one of the first things the fiscal conservatives cut back. Too socialistic, I suppose. They used to have agents everywhere for farming and home economics to teach and encourage frugal self sufficiency. I would say that putting food by, as they used to say, is beyond most people under 40 today. They're clueless.

Sean said...

It is no "Hollywood fantasy" to prepare for the worst, and I suspect that if things really get bad I'll end up being the one who arms the people in my community to defend it from marauders and other cretins who probably aren't spending their time right now collecting seeds and tending to their gardens. It is absolute reckless naivete to assume that by playing nice everything will always work out for the best. Learning to set up a perimeter and LP/OPs ought to be a part of everyone's preparedness plan. Spending time at the range honing your skill with a rifle is also invaluable. To simple pretend that no one would kill you for your canned garden vegetables is simply stupid.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

What's with the guns and the ammo?

Detroit, a gritty, blue collar, ethnic city is out planting thousands of gardens. Kind of funny that Detroit is setting the right trends.

Enforcement of culturally accepted behavior occurs at all times and everywhere. People will figure out how to get along. Those that do not will learn in harsh, immediate terms that there are consequences.

Could there be pockets of anarchy? Hell, we got those right now...

The point is that 2 significant American cities, Detroit and New Orleans, have collapsed. Neither will come back EVER to what they once were. Whether that is good or bad is up for debate. But I am willing to bet Ben Franklins to donuts that that is the case.

Detroit collapsed for economic reasons, New Orleans because of a Natural Disaster. There will be more natural disasters. A California earthquake. A Miami Cat 5 hurricane. An F5 Tornado in Dallas. A financial collapse that pulls a Detroit on New York City. Whatever.

The point is that ONCE IT HAPPENS, where ever this happens, you can scratch that city off the list of developed cities.

And we will still eat.

I think...

Greg T. Jeffers said...

And as a silly response to the gun toting thing...

In rural Tennessee people are armed to the TEETH. Looters and marauders wouldn't last very long. The folks living there would ENJOY a looter or 2. Keep them in practice. This being the South, most of my neighbors have military experience, some have hardcore combat experience. Guns, hunting, fishing, frog gigging,

New York City it ain't. ALL of my neighbors have orchids and chickens and heirloom seeds and grape vines and pigs and cattle and rabbits and goats...

Not every place is the Suburbs. Rural Tennessee is a LONG WALK from any city or suburb.

bureaucrat said...

Unemployed, hungry people have lots of time to walk. The civil war veterans didn't all ride home on a bus. :) Also, just having guns doesn't mean you are more likely to pop a thief than shoot your own self in the foot. What does the media say .. that you are way more likely to shoot a member of your family accidentally than some burglar ...

Sean said...

I suppose you're being facetious, but that is an old anti-gun myth. The study that brought attention to this notion didn't take into consideration the number of cases where the presentation of the firearm was enough to send an intruder or potential attacker packing. It's just more anti-gun gibberish.