Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Wednesday Morning Links

  • Last week the Fed effectively announced there would be no rate hike at the June 14th FOMC meeting, but there might be a hike at the July 26th meeting. I think the information we have to date strongly suggests that the Fed is done—no more hikes. The only question now is when they start to cut and by how much. Currently, the bond market is priced to a 50% chance of a 0.25% hike at the late July meeting, and at least a 1% cut by year end, with the peak funds rate coming in late summer. I think there's a decent chance we will see short-term rates end up lower than current expectations. [Scott Grannis]
  • Nobody has a macro crystal ball but buying resilient, market share winners at 6-8x earnings power could be a better edge than buying the S&P 5, which seems to be largely slow-growth advertising firms, trading at an earnings yield closes to even with the money market yield. [Colarion]
  • It is clear that industry tools are failing to reliably forecast long-term oil production from shale reservoirs. As the authors of the WSJ pointed out, these original projections were used to entice investors to pour billions of dollars into shale developments. Let's not also forget that these same, questionable, projections were also used to convince the US Congress to lift the longstanding, strategic oil export ban. [Scott Lapierre]
  • In a testimony dated June 3, 2008 before the US Senate George spoke about the reflexive process of the price of crude oil. There are four major factors at play which mutually reinforce each other. Two are fundamental and two are “reflexive”. One is peak oil, even though higher prices make it economically feasible to develop more expensive sources of energy. Second, there is a “reflexive” tendency for the supply of oil to fall as the price rises, reversing the normal shape of the supply curve. Therefore, for oil producers who expect the prices to rise further there is less incentive to convert oil reserves underground into dollar reserves aboveground therefore their (flawed)perceptions matter greatly. This has led to what may be described as a backward sloping curve. Third, countries with the fastest growing demand-notably the major oil producers keep domestic energy prices artificially low by providing subsidies and thus price rises do not reduce demand. Finally, demand is reinforced by speculation that tends to reinforce market trends. [Philoinvestor]
  • We are Logan and Brianna of PanAmNotes. We set out in January 2011 to drive the Pan-American Highway and concluded our journey after 15 incredible months on the road. Our blog became a space to encourage other travelers, dreamers, adventurers. We set out to chronicle our experiences in a way that that showed the truth behind a crazy idea. Adventures like ours are more than possible and we hope that whatever your big dream is, you follow it, immediately. [PanAmNotes]
  • What is the purpose of multiparty democracy? To achieve justice? No, I suggest, it is to avert civil war, by exchanging ballots for bullets. If elections are thought of as bloodless civil wars every few years, then the losers must be conciliated and made to feel that they remain valued members of the national community and that they have a chance to win next time. If each party portrays the other as an enemy to democracy and society, and the winners use the court system to bankrupt and jail opponents in attempts to prevent the losers from winning elections in the future, then the legitimacy of the democratic system will collapse. [Tablet]
  • The cynic H. L. Mencken once quipped that “democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” The sad reality is that bad choices in a single election cycle can have toxic consequences that not only are undeserved by the outvoted minority, but also can linger long after a passing majority has crumbled. So it may be for Minnesotans after the recently concluded session of the state legislature. [National Review]
  • Of the four folkways of America (Quaker, Cavalier, Puritan, Backcountry/ Scots Irish) only one of them shows any promise in surviving in a poorer, declining, and low trust America. This is the way of the Scots Irish. My guess is int the future there will be a large contingent of rural whites and integrated Hispanics who have embraced scots Irish folkways, there will be a contingent in the southwest that has gone full Mestizo, and pockets of urban upper class striving to hang on to whatever is left of their Quaker/cosmopolitan ways. Occasionally I’ll still see posts from middle class chumps who are clearly not ready for a poorer low trust society and I can’t help but feel bad. Maybe instead of masculinity and seed oil gurus some enterprising Appalachian can start offering Scots Irish folkways seminars in Marion NC or Gate City VA in order to get the PMCs acclimated to the post decline America that they’ve wrought on all of us. [Deep South SR]
  • All the alluring promises of Clown World have turned out to be false, evil, and astonishingly destructive. The centrist ruling parties of the USA and Europe promised a shiny, sexy, secular, science-fiction technotopia according to the principles of Equality and Enlightenment, and instead delivered stinking societies of decaying infrastructure, inflation, unemployment, crime, and mass invasion by literally unwashed barbarians with a taste for rape and sex trafficking, all being run by satanic foreign clowns who criminalize any criticism of their rule while financially pillaging the natives. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the eucivic traditions of Christendom are looking more and more appealing to those now dwelling in the squalid shadows of its post-Christian ruins. At this point, the Left shouldn’t be worrying about future elections, it should be worrying about the coming crusades and eventual inquisitions. [Vox Day]
  • Climate change may well turn out to be a benign problem rather than the severe problem or “emergency” it is claimed to be. This will eventually depend on just how much the earth’s climate is warming due to our  transient but relatively large increase in atmospheric CO2 levels. This is why it is so  important to accurately and impartially measure the earth’s average temperature rise since 1850. It turns out that such a measurement is neither straightforward, independent nor easy.  For some  climate scientists however there is, and always has been a slight temptation to exaggerate recent warming,  perhaps even subconsciously, because their careers and status improve the higher temperatures rise. They are human like the rest of us. Similarly the green energy lobby welcome each scarier  temperature increase to push more funding for their unproven solutions, without ever really explaining how they could possibly work better than a rapid expansion in nuclear energy instead. [Clive Best]
  • In today’s world, the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption―like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the Serialpodcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children’s growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society “the aspirational class” and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the aspirational class reproduces wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide. [The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class]
  • The book is massively researched, with source notes taking up nearly 40% of it, and it brims over with particular instances and individuals to support its claims. Yet despite the immense amount of detail it is eminently readable, often delightful, and its overall thesis is clear: the American Midwest during its prime was the most democratically advanced place in the world, with a civic culture that prized education, literature, libraries, and the arts, and sought to distribute an awareness and appreciation of them as widely as possible. It developed a “common democratic culture” in which “Christianity, republican law and order, market culture, civic obligation, and a midwestern-modified gentility of manner largely prevailed.” [Claremont Review of Books]
  • I surveyed the parents of 10,000 kids on a variety of common chronic health conditions. For every single condition in my survey, vaccination raised the odds that the child would develop the condition; the more vaccines, the higher the risk. My survey confirms the results of other research that has been done showing similar risk elevations for chronic neurological diseases (ND). This is devastating for our kids. Vaccines are literally poisoning them. This is why the health authorities will never conduct such a study such as the ones I point out below. In fact, in 2009, 10 members of Congress including Rand Paul, tried to pass a bill forcing NIH to do a study, but the bill never made it out of the first committee because they don’t want you to ever find out that they’ve been poisoning our kids for decades. Anyone can replicate the study I did. It took me just 24 hours to run. I invite any mainstream “fact checker” in the world to validate the results; I have the contact info for all the parents. If the CDC wants to resolve the question quickly, all they have to do is give Professor Brian Hooker access to the VSD and Medicaid databases. Why not do that? Don’t they want people to know the truth? Finally, the most important thing is that none of the vaccines have been needed in America for the last 25 years. Pediatric clinics which eschew vaccines have uniformly better clinical outcomes than their peers who vaccinate in the same population of kids. [Steve Kirsch]
  • All analyses to date, including our own, use aluminum clearance rate data from adults, which likely is an overly optimistic aluminum clearance rate for neonates and infants. Most excretion of aluminum is accomplished by filtration of aluminum from the blood by the glomeruli of the kidney. Renal function in infants is not fully developed: infants’ glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is not fully online at birth and increases from 10 to 20 mL/min/1.73 m2 during the first day of life to 30–40 mL/min/1.73 m2 by 2 weeks of life. In neonates, the GFR at birth is even worse and increases more slowly compared to infants. While the kidney is structurally mature at 36 weeks, the GFR does not reach adult levels until 2 years of age. Common emergent conditions in the NICU include respiratory distress syndrome, seizures, and arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. To maximize efficiency, infants in the NICU are often vaccinated simultaneously with crash teams on stand-by. Studies in the 2000′s of DTP vaccines showed an incredible 46 % cardiac event rate in infants in the NICU following vaccination. [Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology]
  • Whole body clearance is relevant for considering aluminum toxicity because aluminum effects multiple systems. It clears from the plasma very quickly, with a significant amount adhering to tissue, where many biomedical researchers and physicians suspect autoimmunity to self-antigens is likely to be realized. The rapid plasma clearance has been mistaken for evidence of body removal and low toxicity, which is incorrect: Movsas et al. measured no change in aluminum plasma levels in neonates post-vaccination with no measured excretion in urine, pointing to body burden and tissue toxicity as a highly relevant concern. Aluminum toxicity involves direct disruption of cellular processes, not processes mediated by signals in plasma or blood. The prolonged duration of body burden of aluminum is especially disconcerting: In a study of rabbits, Flarend et al. found that less than 5% of aluminum hydroxide injected had left the body after 28 days. [Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology]
  • After 1750 and the onset of the industrial revolution, the anthropogenic fossil component and the non-fossil component in the total atmospheric CO2 concentration, C(t), began to increase. Despite the lack of knowledge of these two components, claims that all or most of the increase in C(t) since 1800 has been due to the anthropogenic fossil component have continued since they began in 1960 with “Keeling Curve: Increase in CO2 from burning fossil fuel.” Data and plots of annual anthropogenic fossil CO2 emissions and concentrations, C(t), published by the Energy Information Administration, are expanded in this paper. Additions include annual mean values in 1750 through 2018 of the 14C specific activity, concentrations of the two components, and their changes from values in 1750. The specific activity of 14C in the atmosphere gets reduced by a dilution effect when fossil CO2, which is devoid of 14C, enters the atmosphere. We have used the results of this effect to quantify the two components. All results covering the period from 1750 through 2018 are listed in a table and plotted in figures. These results negate claims that the increase in C(t) since 1800 has been dominated by the increase of the anthropogenic fossil component. We determined that in 2018, atmospheric anthropogenic fossil CO2 represented 23% of the total emissions since 1750 with the remaining 77% in the exchange reservoirs. Our results show that the percentage of the total CO2 due to the use of fossil fuels from 1750 to 2018 increased from 0% in 1750 to 12% in 2018, much too low to be the cause of global warming. [Health Physics]
  • Mr. DeVoto, mortal enemy of sweet drinks, calls for a ratio of 3.7 parts gin to 1 part vermouth, with an upper limit of just over four to one. This is not a dry martini by modern standards, but in his day, when a half-and-half martini was common, this rates as arid. The finishing touch is two drops of lemon oil squeezed from a piece of rind, which may be deposited in the drink as long as it has no pith. [NY Times]

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