The Dow dropped over 300 points in the first thirty-two minutes of trading this morning. First link from DOOM!: "The market is in meltdown mode," begins the 4th paragraph.
The DOOM! post says, The Philly Fed index is "pants-shittingly bad". Expected: +2. Real: -30. Yeah.
The ever-good Market Ticker discusses this issue, and begins said discussion with, "We're done folks."
I think it may still be too early to say whether we're in an inflationary, or deflationary, cycle. If the government calculated inflation now the way it calculated it in 1979, the inflation rate would be somewhere near 10%. As it is, it's at 0.3%, which is next to nothing.
Meanwhile, if you want to buy half a gallon of ice cream? You can't. You can buy 48 ounces of ice cream for about a dollare more than a half gallon cost three years ago...but there's no inflation. Right?
The prices rise and the boxes get smaller, but there's no inflation. Yeah.
* * *
China may slow its purchase of US treasuries.
Here's the thing: China's economic expansion is funded entirely by schlepping cheap stuff to the United States. You go to Harbor Freight for a cheap multimeter, you're helping the Chinese economy. There's nothing wrong with this; price competition is the essence of capitalism.
...but Americans are in a world of hurt thanks to the idiotic policies of its ruling class; and we've got less money to spend on things like $90 flux-core welders and $15 socket wrenches. And if the American economy begins to cough up blood, China's expansion will, too. If China has less money, it's not going to be buying US treasuries.
What will not happen to the Chinese economy is a continued hypersonic ascent, regardless of how and where they focus their energies. The money is simply not there.
Look: most of China is still a third-world country. The peasants out in the hinterlands, they don't have the money to buy socket sets and jack stands. The city folks can only carry the economy so far before they're out of money, or so over-leveraged that a single bad day will ruin them.
The Chinese economy may be the second-largest in the world; but it's shallow and it's built on unsteady ground. Without a robust export market, how well can they fare?
Market Ticker says, essentially, "not well at all."
If the US even begins to approximate "serious" China's going to be up the proverbial excrement creek without a paddle (or shovel). China still needs us a hell of a lot more than we need them.
...the same, strangely enough, was true of Japan in the 1980s when everyone was worried that they were going to surpass the US as the #1 economy in the world.
* * *
Well, that was a depressing 40 minutes! Now what?
* * *
To my amazement, the house across the street has sold. It was on the market for three months! In this market that is just stupidly fast.
Contrast that with the house one street over which has been on the market for more than a year, though. And considering all the DOOM! that I just linked to and commented on, I have my doubts about the housing market being any good when the bunker goes up for sale.
But you know, even if the bunker sells that quickly, I'm going to have a sizable chunk of cash with which to finance getting a new bunker--possibly even an actual house, if I get lucky enough and can find something reasonable. (In Indiana, because the laws and taxes in the Peoples' Democratic Republic of Illinoistan are hideous.)
Always assuming, of course, that the money I've got in the bank now hasn't inflated into toilet paper. Though I have to admit that hyperinflation would make it easy for me to pay off my student loans; it'd take a few weeks' wages. Or seconds, depending on how long I waited.
Maybe I could send them one of these:
I'd even let them keep the change.
* * *
Ah, the glorious endgame for all fiat currencies!
* * *
I'm relieved that 8/17/11 came and went with no major calamities, at least not on a personal level. When I woke up this morning I felt better than I have all week, and I cheerfully fed the cats and made myself a farm breakfast.
Now I'm out of bacon; so I'd better do the shopping tonight lest I find myself having to do without tomorrow.
Dinner last night was another SUPER BURRITO! and a beef quesadilla; I ate both at one sitting around 4:30 and then didn't need a single morsel more of food the entire evening. I hit the hay around 11-ish and still hadn't needed any more food. Talk about staying power.
The quesadilla was smaller than I had hoped, but it was $2 and made with real meat and real cheese. (Unlike something from, say, Taco Bell.) The burrito, at $5, was made of awesome plated with amazing, just like the first one was.
...and just thinking about it--not two hours after finishing breakfast--I want one. *sigh*
* * *
Daytime temps have been in the low 80s, so I've been leaving the air off and sweating a bit. Keep the windows open and the fans running, and it's not too bad in here.
Last night I had to do laundry and I purposely waited until after dark, but the dryer still heated the place up. I'm going to have to fabricate a better connection to the vent than we've got now, because it's just not working.
* * *
PDB neatly dissects a crappy shooting course.
...his points elicited from me three "Oh, dear God!"s and a couple "Fuck no!"s. Holy shit, the safety violations alone....
* * *
You have got to be shitting me. The entire fleet of F-22s is grounded because the pilot breathing systems are screwy? The United States paid $411 million each...for this?
This kind of bullshit is completely inexcusable. Unfortunately, it's also typical for our government.
* * *
I'm going to have to cut the grass in the next couple of days, and my back is hurting. I wonder if I'll be able to use the rider, or will I have to do it all with the pusher?
Hell of a thing when your hurting back makes you work harder.
* * *
Well, it's 1 PM and I have about 2.5 hours before therapy; and after that I've got to go shopping.
I could go shopping now, but I just don't feel like it yet. So I guess I'll play WoW instead.