Tuesday , January 22 2019
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Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock (Mish) is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management (http://www.sitkapacific.com/). Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Articles by Mike Shedlock

There is No Plan B: Theresa May to Resubmit Plan A on Monday

2 days ago

UK Parliament gave Theresa May three days to come up with Plan B. Instead, she will represent Plan A.
Diplomatic Eye-Rolling

Theresa May has left European diplomats in a state of “disbelief” following a series of phone calls to EU leaders in which she made no change to her demands despite her Brexit plan being voted down by a 230-vote margin this week.
Senior EU diplomatic sources said that Mrs May’s unchanged stance was “greeted with incredulity” following a call with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday night.
“It was the same old story – the same set of demands – all unchanged despite the defeat,” said the source with knowledge of the calls.
Mrs May is understood to have repeated the same performance in conversations with the French president Emmanuel Macron, the Dutch prime

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Violent Yellow Vest Protests Enter 10th Week

3 days ago

Yellow vest protests have simmered down a bit, but this week matched last week in the number of protesters and violence.

Clashes broke out throughout France on Saturday, as an estimated 84,000 “yellow vests” demonstrators took to the streets in a 10th consecutive weekend of protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.
The fuel tax hikes were subsequently scrapped, yet the movement has morphed into a broader protest against Macron’s government and general anger over taxes and the cost of living. “How can we continue to live with so little?” said Bernard Grignan, a 65-year old retired manager who took part in the Paris demonstrations.
In Paris, some demonstrators carried mock coffins symbolizing the 10 people who have died during the protests, mainly due to accidents when

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Trump Offers Democrats a Dreamer Deal in Return for the Wall

3 days ago

PresidentTtrump proposes a three-year extension for Dreamers if they will vote for his wall.

President Trump made a new offer Saturday to Democrats aimed at ending the 29-day partial government shutdown that would extend deportation protections for some immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding.
Trump’s proposal is designed to ramp up pressure on Democrats by offering a reprieve on his attempts to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and temporary protected status (TPS) for immigrants from some Latin American and African nations.
Under the new proposal, the administration would allow those programs to continue — addressing a key concern of Democrats and some moderate Republicans.
It would also grant hundreds of millions of dollars for humanitarian

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China Pledges US Buying Spree to Reduce Trade Surplus With US to Zero By 2024

4 days ago

China pledges to buy over $1 trillion in US goods and services by 2024 to eliminate the trade gap with the US.

China has offered to go on a six-year buying spree to ramp up imports from the U.S., in a move that would reconfigure the relationship between the world’s two largest economies, according to officials familiar with the negotiations.
By increasing goods imports from the U.S. by a combined value of more than $1 trillion over that period, China would seek to reduce its trade surplus — which last year stood at $323 billion — to zero by 2024, one of the people said. The officials asked not to be named as the discussions aren’t public.
By agreeing to buy more goods from the U.S., China may just shift its trade surplus toward other trading partners, said Tom Orlik, the chief economist

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Musk Backslides on Profit Every Quarter Pledge, Will Cut 7% of Workforce

4 days ago

Tesla shares slide after Elon Musk warned in a blog post that making a profit would be difficult.
Elon Musk sounds a bit more cautious about profitability in his latest Tesla Update. Here are a couple of pertinent snips.

Looking ahead at our mission of accelerating the advent of sustainable transport and energy, which is important for all life on Earth, we face an extremely difficult challenge: making our cars, batteries and solar products cost-competitive with fossil fuels.
I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult.
In Q3 last year, we were able to make a 4% profit. While small by most standards, I would still consider this our first meaningful profit in the 15 years since we created Tesla. However, that was in

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Motor Vehicle Production Index Hits New Record High

4 days ago

Industrial production rose 0.3% in December from a downward revision of 0.4% in November originally reported as 0.6%
Industrial production increased 0.3 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November. For the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production moved up at an annual rate of 3.8 percent. In December, manufacturing output increased 1.1 percent, its largest gain since February 2018.
Manufacturing output advanced 1.1 percent in December and increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter; the index rose 2.5 percent between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2018. Within durable manufacturing, motor vehicles and parts posted a gain of 4.7 percent in December, and nonmetallic mineral products recorded an increase of nearly 3

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UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Makes Fundamental Mistake

5 days ago

Corbyn made not one but two fundamental mistakes this week by ruling out a no-deal Brexit.

After the Prime Minister’s catastrophic defeat in the House of Commons and after scraping home in the No Confidence debate, Theresa May finally extended an offer to opposition parties to meet with her to discuss the way forward. While all opposition parties oppose a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, Jeremy refused to meet with the Prime Minister until she was prepared to rule out No Deal.
In ruling out the prospect of No Deal, a future Labour Government would risk losing all leverage. One cannot imagine the late Bob Crow or the General Secretary of Unite, Len McCluskey, ruling out ‘No Deal’ when negotiating with employers.
An overwhelming majority of Labour constituencies voted to leave the European Union –

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Trade Debate: US Mulls Lifting Sanctions on China to Hasten Deal, Calm Markets

5 days ago

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer are on opposite sides of a heated debate on China.
A new tactic being debated within the Trump administration aims at giving Beijing incentives to make long-term concessions. It also pits Mnuchin against Lighthizer.

U.S. officials are debating ratcheting back tariffs on Chinese imports as a way to calm markets and give Beijing an incentive to make deeper concessions in a trade battle that has rattled global economies.
The idea of lifting some or all tariffs was proposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a series of strategy meetings, according to people close to internal deliberations.
But Mr. Mnuchin faces resistance from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is concerned that any concession could be seen

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Eleven Economic Reports Delayed Due to Gov’t Shutdown: Do We Even Need Them?

5 days ago

Housing starts, retail sales, and business inventory reports are MIA this week. 8 prior reports are also missing.
Government workers failed to produce at least three economic reports this week alone due to the shutdown. Other reports went missing in action last week.
Economic Reports Not Produced
New Home Sales: Dec 27
Advance Retail Inventories: Dec 28
Advance Wholesale Inventories: Dec 28
Advance Trade: Dec 28
Construction Spending: Jan 3
Factory Orders: Jan 7
International Trade: Jan 8
Wholesale Trade: Jan 10
Retail Sales: Jan 16
Business Inventories: Jan 16
Housing Starts: Jan 17
Do we really need government employees compiling these reports or is this something private industry should do?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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No-Deal Brexit Odds Greater Than You May Think

6 days ago

May survived a vote of no confidence and the EU might extend Article 50, but only with conditions. Nothing’s changed.
Today added no clarification to the Brexit process.
Most expected that result, as did I. However, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is free to repeat the maneuver down the road, and he is nearly certain to do so. Thus, today’s vote changed nothing. If anything, the vote highlights the fragility of May’s predicament.
If May agrees to do anything that DUP doesn’t like, they will abandon her. At some point, a dozen or more Tories might decide the same thing for various reasons.
Corbyn Declines to Meet With May
Following the vote of no confidence, Theresa May declared a get together with all the parties to prepare a way forward. Corbyn rejected the invite unless May took hard

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Theresa May Survives Vote of No Confidence 325-306

6 days ago

If Tories have a clue they will talk in advance and agree who will be the next Tory Prime minister when May loses a confidence vote so they can select and elect him among themselves before the 14 day clock runs out that starts after a no confidence vote.
And also make sure the new Tory leader is acceptable for DUP since after no confidence vote failure the government needs to pass another confidence vote within 14 days.
However most likely May will be voted out inside Tories once 1 year has passed from the last Tory committee vote on the issue.
WTO-trade-Brexit will happen on 29th of March 2019 and open-borders-Merkel and elitist-Macron and Druncker- Juncker and cherry-Musk showed themselves to be hopelessly incompetent and totally miscalculating that UK would willingly subject themselves

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Import Prices Decline Year-Over-Year, Export Prices Slightly Positive

6 days ago

All Imports Excluding Fuel: Prices for nonfuel imports recorded no change in December, after declining 0.3 percent in November. Higher prices for consumer goods; automotive vehicles; and foods, feeds, and beverages offset price declines for capital goods and nonfuel industrial supplies and materials. Nonfuel import prices advanced 0.5 percent in 2018 following a 1.3-percent rise in 2017. The price index for nonfuel imports has not recorded a calendar-year decline since a 3.4-percent drop in 2015. In 2018, higher prices for nonfuel industrial supplies and materials; consumer goods; and automotive vehicles drove the increase in nonfuel import prices.

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Trump Again Threatens to Leave NATO (That’s a Good Thing)

6 days ago

Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Mr. Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Current and former officials who support the alliance said they feared Mr. Trump could return to his threat as allied military spending continued to lag behind the goals the president had set.
In the days around a tumultuous NATO summit meeting last summer, they said, Mr. Trump told his top national security officials that he did not see the point of the military alliance, which he presented as a drain on the United States.
Now, the president’s repeatedly stated desire to withdraw from NATO is raising new worries among national security officials amid growing concern about Mr. Trump’s efforts to keep

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Brexit Vote: 432 No, 202 Yes – Motion of No Confidence Tomorrow

7 days ago

BoneIdle3 hrsTusk Urges EU to Cancel Brexit
Could it be that Brussell’s attempt to extort huge amounts of exit funds from the U.K. as the price for leaving has backfired?
How long will the E.U. last without the U.K.’s immense amount of funding?
I would suggest a hard Brexit will lead to some EU members breaking ranks. Ultimately the hard landing will be much worse for Europe than the U.K.

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Yet Another Fed Study Concludes Phillip’s Curve is Nonsense

7 days ago

Conclusion
In sum, a careful look at the wage Phillips curve across states yields little evidence supporting the contention that wage growth sharply rises as the labor market reaches especially tight conditions. Of course, the current period may be different from the past. For instance, the typical pattern of local wage growth in a tight local labor market may differ when all other nearby labor markets are experiencing similar tightness, as is currently the case. As a result, geographical labor mobility—which can mute wage pressures in tight markets as workers are attracted to higher-wage areas—may be playing less of a restraining role. With this caveat in mind, given the historical experiences of states in recent decades, we do not foresee a sharp pickup in wage growth nationally if the

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US Auto Overcapacity at 10 Plants 20,000 Direct Jobs: Not Just a “Car” Recession

7 days ago

Detroit is in the grips of a car recession marked by the collapse of demand for traditional sedans, which accounted for half the market just six years ago. Buyers have made a mass exodus out of classic family cars and into sport utility vehicles. Familiar sedan models such as the Honda Accord and the Ford Fusion made up a record low 30 percent of U.S. sales in 2018, and things will only get worse.
Sales of the passenger-car body style that’s dominated the industry since the Model T will sink to 21.5 percent of the U.S. market by 2025, according to researchers at LMC Automotive, relegating sedans to fringe products. That leaves automakers with excess factory capacity that can turn out about 3 million more vehicles than buyers want. And overcapacity is precisely what spurred losses the

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Duty to Leave: No “Meaningful” Brexit Vote Tuesday, Just a Political Circus

8 days ago

ML125 minsEFTA would NOT force UK to join Schengen!
Norway has decided to JOIN Schengen since Denmark, Sweden and Finland are part of Schengen and before EU membership Scandinavian/Nordic countries already had their own Nordic Council which had FREE movement between Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
UK could join EFTA and:
Have their own bilateral trade deals in addition to getting access to the 38 trade deals EFTA has and the EEA/EU trade area.

Stay OUT of Schengen.

Only drawback for EFTA would be that it would require free movement of workers but this is SEPARATE from Schengen.
If you are getting this info you report from EuroIntelligence then I have to say they have some really CLUELESS writers when it comes to EFTA and Schengen…

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Bolton, a Seriously Deranged Madman, Sought Options to Strike Iran

9 days ago

President Trump’s National Security Council asked the Pentagon to provide the White House with military options to strike Iran last year, generating concern at the Pentagon and State Department, current and former U.S. officials said.
The request, which hasn’t been previously reported, came after militants fired three mortars into Baghdad’s sprawling diplomatic quarter, home to the U.S. Embassy, on a warm night in early September. The shells—launched by a group aligned with Iran—landed in an open lot and harmed no one.
But they triggered unusual alarm in Washington, where Mr. Trump’s national security team led by John Bolton conducted a series of meetings to discuss a forceful American response, including what many saw as the unusual request for options to strike Iran.
“It definitely

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World Seriously Needs to Tell Trump “Go to Hell”

9 days ago

U.S. President Donald Trump has accused Germany of being a “captive” of Moscow because of its reliance on Russian energy and urged it to halt work on the $11 billion gas pipeline. U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell addressed the issue in a letter sent to several companies, the U.S. Embassy said on Sunday.
Juergen Hardt, foreign policy spokesman for Merkel’s conservatives in parliament, was scathing in his criticism of the U.S. move.
“That the U.S. ambassador is now turning to German companies with direct threats is a new and unacceptable one-sided tightening of the tone in the transatlantic relationship,” Hardt said. “If the U.S. president thinks he has to publicly show he is getting tough on Russia in view of the many question marks regarding his relationship with Moscow, he should not

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Democrat Presidential Hopeful Wants to Give Everyone $1,000 a Month Free Money

9 days ago

Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, 43, is running for election on a campaign that centers around the idea of universal basic income, or free cash payments. Specifically, Yang promises that if elected, every American citizen between the ages of 18 and 64 will receive $1,000 a month.
To demonstrate the potential benefit of distributing cash, Yang is personally funding a pilot for cash payments, which he calls the Freedom Dividend.
Jodie Fassi and her family were selected from “dozens of nominations.” Charles Fassi, 49, his wife Jodie, 47, and their daughter Janelle, 20, received their first $1,000 check from Yang at a New Year’s Eve party in New York City. Technically, “the pilot is just for one person, Jodie,” Yang tells CNBC Make It.

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New York Mayor Says “Wealth in Wrong Hands”, So, We’ll Take It

10 days ago

No. 1-8met6835 minsAll we need is a 100% tax on all forms of inheritance. Anything else is just another form of modern-day feudalism, where de facto nothing has changed from how the feudal lords ruled over the plebs.
Anybody should be able to earn and keep as much money as they can from legitimate work during their lifetimes, but once a person dies, that money must not go to the heirs, as this is ethically wrong, just as inheriting a feudal title which bestows power is ethically wrong. It is an unearned privilege and at least since the French revolution we should all agree, that such unearned privileges do not belong in a just and fair society where only merit should determine power and privileges.
States can administer estates (including any private companies) just as well as any private

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Trump Holds Off Emergency Declaration: Says It’s The Easy Way Out

11 days ago

No. 1-13The claim that a future president could declare a "national emergency" and ban guns is an obvious and BLATANT LIE since guns are protected by 2nd amendment.
There is NO constitutional amendment requiring US-Mexico border to be almost complete open and allow millions of illegals to come through and to never build a wall on the border.
Therefore declaring a national emergency and building a wall on the whole US-Mexico border is the sensible thing to do.
That Fox News analyst is therefore LYING to please some Republican donor who likes to push wages lower by employing illegals so he himself gets more profits from his companies.
Another option is that the Fox News analyst is NOT very bright…

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Europe Likely in Recession Now: Germany, France, Italy Production Collapsed

11 days ago

The water levels of the Rhine are low and Germany may be flirting with recession. The two are connected, many argue. The Rhine is a key artery for the transport of many goods into and through the country, particularly for the chemicals and energy industries.
But praying that the water rises and all will come good might not be enough. Just as the idea that negative growth in the third quarter was due to the temporary hit of emissions testing rules on an already troubled car industry, the one-off excuses are starting to wear a bit thin. There is a grander slowdown facing Berlin, and, as the eurozone’s economic powerhouse, potentially the rest of its members too.
“The general expectation was that we would see a rebound in the final quarter of last year. But the Ifo [business surveys] have

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CPI Declines 0.1% Month-Over-Month on Falling Energy Prices

11 days ago

Your results no doubt vary. How many believe this item: The medical care index rose 2.0 percent in 2018, a slightly larger increase than its 1.8-percent increase the prior year. The index for hospital services rose 3.7 percent, while the physicians’ services index increased 0.6 percent. The index for prescription drugs, however, fell 0.6 percent in 2018.

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Gundlach: Debt-Financed Share Buybacks Turned Stock Market Into High-Risk CDO

11 days ago

Sechel1 dayNever really thought about it quite this way, but I can’t believe this degree of corporate financial engineering is a good thing. IBM for years seemingly improved their earnings per share simply by buying back their stock. Judging from the stock price is was clear this was not done because management was an astute value buyer. It took a Jim Chanos to convince me that IBM was a sucker’s stock as they really haven’t been growing their revenues.

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Theresa May’s Strategy Backfires: She’s Headed for a Disastrous 200-Vote Defeat

11 days ago

Theresa May’s strategy to portray Tuesday’s vote as an open-ended three-way game – deal, no deal, no Brexit – has clearly not worked. Instead of scaring her opponents, she achieved the exact opposite. The hard Remainers and the hard Leavers both believe that they will better off by rejecting her deal. The can of course not both be right, but what matters for now is the fact that they hold those views. BBC research shows that the deal would currently be rejected by a majority of 228. Support for the deal has actually declined over the holiday period.
We should therefore brace for a Charge of the Light Brigade incident on Tuesday, unless May takes some dramatic action beforehand. If she were to lose on such a scale, both her premiership and the deal might be beyond redemption. A defeat by

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US Electric Grid Hacked: Perpetrators Could Have Shut Down the System

12 days ago

Hackers sent bogus emails from the account of Oregon construction contractor Mike Vitello to herd recipients to a website they had secretly taken over, called imageliners.com. Hackers then used the site to seek access to contractors that do business with U.S. power utilities.
All-Ways Excavating is a government contractor and bids for jobs with agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which operates dozens of federally owned hydroelectric facilities.
One [email] went to Dan Kauffman Excavating Inc., in Lincoln City, Ore., with the subject line: “Please DocuSign Signed Agreement—Funding Project.”
Office manager Corinna Sawyer thought the wording was strange and emailed Mr. Vitello: “Just received this from your email, I assume you have been hacked.”
Back came a response from

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