Tuesday, July 31, 2012
From Wikipedia: Werner Karl Heisenberg (5 December 1901 – 1 February 1976) was a German theoretical physicist and philosopher who discovered (1925) a way to formulate quantum mechanics in terms of matrices. For that discovery, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1932. In 1927 he published his uncertainty principle, upon which he built his philosophy and for which he is best known. He also made important contributions to the theories of the hydrodynamics of turbulent flows, the atomic nucleus, ferromagnetism, cosmic rays, and subatomic particles, and he was instrumental in planning the first West German nuclear reactor at Karlsruhe, together with a research reactor in Munich, in 1957. Considerable controversy surrounds his work on atomic research during World War II.
at 10:49 PM
From Wikipedia: Ranger 7 was the first US space probe to successfully transmit close images of the lunar surface back to Earth. It was also the first completely successful flight of the Ranger program. Launched on 28 July 1964, Ranger 7 was designed to achieve a lunar impact trajectory and to transmit high-resolution photographs of the lunar surface during the final minutes of flight up to impact. The spacecraft carried six television vidicon cameras, 2 wide angle (channel F, cameras A and B) and 4 narrow angle (channel P) to accomplish these objectives. Ranger 7 reached the Moon on 31 July.
NDX 100 COMPOSITE
INVERSE VXN VOLATILITY
EMERGING MARKETS ETF
Monday, July 30, 2012
From Wikipedia: The Watergate scandal was a political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s as a result of the June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and the Nixon administration's attempted cover-up of its involvement. In July 1973, as evidence mounted against the president's staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and he had recorded many conversations. The issue of access to the tapes went to the Supreme Court. On July 24, 1974, in United States v. Nixon, the Court, which did not include the recused Justice William Rehnquist, ruled unanimously that claims of executive privilege over the tapes were void. They ordered the president to release them to the special prosecutor. On July 30, 1974, President Nixon complied with the order and released the subpoenaed tapes.
SONY TAPE RECORDER
INVERSE VIX VOLATILITY
MSCI EAFE ETF
HEALTH CARE ETF
CONSUMER STAPLES ETF
From Dallas Fed: "Texas factory activity continued to increase in July, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey. The production index, a key measure of state manufacturing conditions, fell from 15.5 to 12, suggesting slightly slower output growth
Other measures of current manufacturing activity also indicated slower growth in July. The new orders index was positive for the second month in a row, although it moved down from 7.9 to 1.4. Similarly, the shipments index posted its second consecutive positive reading but edged down from 9.6 to 7.4. The capacity utilization index came in at 8.7 after rising to 13.3 last month.
Perceptions of broader economic conditions were mixed in July. The general business activity plummeted to -13.2 after climbing into positive territory in June."
TEXAS MANUFACTURING OUTLOOK SURVEY PRODUCTION INDEX
From The Washington Post: "Just as “irrational exuberance” drove the economic boom, so the bust is sustained by an almost-pathological and self-fulfilling pessimism. The unspoken faith in economics — that governments could prevent another Great Depression and ensure that recessions, though unavoidable, are limited — has given way to profound skepticism."
Sunday, July 29, 2012
From Politico: "Nearly all of Greenland's massive ice sheet suddenly started melting a bit this month, a freak event that surprised scientists. Three satellites show what NASA calls unprecedented melting of the ice sheet that blankets the island, starting on July 8 and lasting four days. "When we see melt in places that we haven't seen before, at least in a long period of time, it makes you sit up and ask what's happening?" NASA chief scientist Waleed Abdalati said."
at 10:45 PM
From Wikipedia: The 1967 USS Forrestal fire was a devastating fire and series of chain-reaction explosions on 29 July 1967 that killed 134 sailors and injured 161 on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CVA-59), after an unusual electrical anomaly discharged a Zuni rocket on the flight deck. Forrestal was engaged in combat operations in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War at the time, and the damage exceeded US$72 million (equivalent to $502 million today) not including damage to aircraft.
USS FORRESTAL FIRE
INVERSE VIX VOLATILITY
METAL & MINING ETF
CONSUMER STAPLES ETF
Saturday, July 28, 2012
From Speakeasy: Yup, It’s Him: A Pynchon Mystery Solved
"So is it possible to rule out the man in the “Inherent Vice” trailer as being the same guy in the Simpsons episode and German TV clip? Not at all, according to Primeau. In fact, he says, based on a preliminary analysis the speech pattern and inflection is “virtually identical” in all three clips."
The narrator of the BackToConstitution channel sounds a lot like Pynchon to me.
From: Smoking Dope with Thomas Pynchon: A Sixties Memoir: "The woman who brought us together once offered to arrange for Pynchon to speak in a university auditorium. She told him she could assure his anonymity by having him speak through a microphone from behind a screen. He refused: "They would still be able to recognize my voice." Ironically, that is exactly the situation of Pynchon's readers: he speaks to us from behind a screen, but we recognize him by his voice, that unmistakable Pynchon style."
Friday, July 27, 2012
From Wikipedia: A Wild Hare (re-released as The Wild Hare) is a 1940 Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short film. It was produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions, directed by Tex Avery, and written by Rich Hogan. It was originally released on July 27, 1940. A Wild Hare is considered by many film historians to be the first "official" Bugs Bunny cartoon. The title is a play on "wild hair", the first of many puns between "hare" and "hair" that would appear in Bugs Bunny titles.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
We are at the inflection point, that spot on the chart where according to Wikipedia the “curvature or concavity of a curve changes sign from plus to minus or from minus to plus”. In current real world terms this translates to that point on the charts where market sentiment turns decisively from optimism to pessimism.
The concave upwards dome of optimism that for many market participants dates all the way back to the 1950’s is in the process of being demolished, just like the City of
’s iconic Civic Arena. The apex of
the dome occurred in the early 1980’s when manufacturing was still a
significant force in the economy, before technology had given Corporate America
the ability to off-shore, outsource and automate every high paying job that
formed the backbone of the middle class. Pittsburgh
The charts in this series all depict different aspects of the economic inflection point. Most of the charts are presented in year over year percent change format to illustrate how the nominal highs that many indexes have made recently have been generated by steadily decreasing rates of growth.
In 2008 decades of expansion flipped to contraction as growth rates collapsed to unprecedented levels. In technical terms the housing and banking crash that occurred four years ago was a breakdown where long term growth support levels utterly failed to prevent a sharp drop on the charts. The deflationary drop did happen; the central banks flooded the system with cash, and a temporary reflation of the system was accomplished.
But the fact remains that the manufacturing jobs are gone for good, and without a thriving and reproducing middle class the economy will never be able to maintain a steady rate of expansion. So optimistic expansion becomes pessimistic contraction, and the point at which that happens is the inflection point. As we say in
, that’s where we’re at. Pittsburgh