Jim’s Mailbox

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Is Bali Volcano About To Blow? Mount Agung Begins To Pulsate As More Than 120,000 People Flee Surrounding Area
September 28, 2017

More than 120,000 people have fled their homes on the Indonesian island of Bali, fearful that a rumbling volcano could erupt at any time, disaster officials said.

Mount Agung, located 75 kilometres (47 miles) from the resort hub of Kuta, has been shaking since August and threatening to erupt for the first time since 1963 – a potential blow to the country’s lucrative tourism industry.

The volcano’s alert status was raised to the highest level last week after it spewed white smoke and sent tremors through the area.

Officials at an evacuation centre in the Klungkung district said 122,490 people had left their homes, taking refuge at nearly 500 makeshift shelters or moving in with relatives.

Around 62,000 people lived in the danger zone before the evacuations, according to Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency, but residents just outside the area have also left their homes out of fear.


Our friend Robert correctly reminds us what we are missing while the press focuses on North Korea.


Confrontations and skirmishes between Russia and the US both in field and in delivered personal warnings have already occurred with not just the attack mentioned in the article but also in the killing of a Russian General several days ago and a missile strike the other day which is rumored to have killed at least 2 dozen special forces types who were meeting with ISIS leaders. Whether really true or not, we will not hear that from the general media so we are left to read such articles and wonder how long such hegemony based on covert weapon supplies will exist when found out by affected parties who want no part of this.

It is not just a real confrontation or more that seems at risk, we are watching fading US hegemony in the Middle East with a rapidly changing cast of characters from Qatar to Turkey. Just today, Putin was in Turkey meeting with Erdogan.

The shifting sands of Middle East are definitely in play as is the moral high ground of all the participants.

We are left to ponder the wisdom of it all as the global economy continues to slide downwards.



US and Terrorist Groups in Desperate Rearguard Actions in Syria
September 28, 2017

While the attention of the world has been focused on the increasingly strident rhetoric between the United States and North Korea, a rather different and potentially more dangerous series of moves has been playing out in Syria. In that context there have also been some significant revelations reflecting the true nature of the US’s tactics in Syria which the mainstream media have for the most part ignored.

Some commentators pointed to Trump’s pre-election statements about disengaging the US from endless wars as evidence of a change of policies should he be elected. Some even suggested that his post election posturing bellicosity was camouflage to his actual agreements with Russia and China. Such views ignore the long history of US foreign policy, and the fact that regardless of who occupies the White House, certain verities remain constant. Foremost amongst these is the maintenance of American hegemony, and the willingness to use force to ensure its longevity. Events of recent days have forcefully confirmed the realities of US foreign policies.

An organization called the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) have revealed the results of an extended investigation into the various terrorist groups in Syria, and more particularly, how and from whom they receive their seemingly endless flow of weapons and ammunition.

The weapons and ammunition used by the terrorists, the study revealed, have been organized by the CIA and the Pentagon, using two channels in particular, the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and a little known weapons supply company, Picatinny Arsenal, based in New Jersey.



Inflation? Naaaah.

Certainly upgrades cost a bit more, but……really?


This is a perfect adjunct to the Global Macro Monitor article:

What’s The Matter With Inflation?
September 29, 2017

The divergence of official inflation as measured by the government versus inflation realized by the consumer and businesses has never been greater, in our opinion. Go ask anybody on the street in America and Europe if think “doing life or business” is getting more expensive.

We have some thoughts on what is the matter with the inflation data:

Defining inflation – what is your definition of inflation? What are we trying to measure? The prices in a consumer basket of goods and services? Wages? Asset prices?

Measurement problems – the official measurement procedures seem archaic given the advent of big data in the past few years. Even Bloomberg is out with a recent piece warning the Fed about low-balling inflation due to measurement errors.

Low-Balling Inflation Puts the Fed at Risk

Beware of any metric that doesn’t fully reflect housing prices.

The U.S. has an inflation problem. It has nothing to do with inflation being too high or too low. Unlike the raging inflation of the 1970s, it doesn’t need to be solved with a lengthy and painful recession. Instead, it is a problem of measurement because the cost of housing — the single biggest expense for many Americans — isn’t explicitly included in the inflation data.


Ford Chart Shows Stock on Cusp of Upside Explosion as Investors Eye $100k Pickup
September 29, 2017

Hang on a second… Are we talking a Ford, or a Ferrari?

Want all the bells and whistles on Ford Motor Co.’s (F) top-of-the-line pickup truck? Then you’d better be prepared to shell out more than $100,000 for the privilege. Ford’s new 2018 F-450 Super Duty Limited 4X4 truck, unveiled Thursday in Texas, tops six figures out the door when totally optioned.

But it’s no gimmick. Ford notes that more than half of the firm’s Super Duty pickup sales are pricey, high-end models. The company is selling what consumers want — and it’s trying hard to convey that message to Wall Street.

That’s likely to be a major theme next week on Ford’s September sales call.

Problem is, that message hasn’t synced up with Ford’s share price year to date. From their January peak, shares of Ford have shed more than 9% of their market value, underperforming the S&P 500 in dramatic fashion this year.


CIGA Wolfgang Rech

I am amazed they have have even 50% support left. These millionaire gladiators should know what they are. Cannon fodder for circus & entertainment purposes, not political experts. Compliments of JB.


NFL Favorability Gets Nearly Cut In Half After Anthem Protests
September 29, 2017

A new poll shows that the favorability rating of the NFL among Donald Trump supporters was nearly cut in half after more than 200 players kneeled during the national anthem last week.

Morning Consult conducted the survey, and the results are a very bad sign for the NFL.

They released the following data in a press release to The Daily Caller:

NFL’s Brand Favorability Drops To Lowest Point Since Morning Consult Started Tracking: The NFL’s net favorability has dropped from 30% on September 21 to 17% on September 28. On September 21, 25% of Trump supporters said they had a very favorable view of the NFL and 11% had a very unfavorable view. As of Sept 28, those numbers have dramatically changed with 33% of Trump supporters say they have a very unfavorable view of the NFL and 16% report having a very favorable view.