Monday 10 September 2012
Photo above: Two members of the U.S. Army Rangers, Special Operations, Special Forces, 1st Battalion, 75th Regiment, communicate with other soldiers either in the field or at headquarters using a miniature laptop computer, a collapsible antenna, and a wireless connection that operates via satellite. This is the latest in high technology remote operated gear. The third Ranger stands guard.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-host: John Avlon, CNN and Newsweek Intl
Monday 905P Eastern Time (605P Pacific Time): Paul Vigna, WSJ, every 10:30 AM on Market Hub, in re: Student loans now total $1 trillion. Half the recent college grads are employed. Last Friday's BLS report, 96,000 new jobs in the private sector. Ned 165 to keep up with new entrants to the job mkt; 200K to begin to catch up on what we've lost. Meanwhile, many fewer (oxymoricly) are participating – that is, many have dropped out of the market and given up on looking. It was once thought that 10K mfrg jobs were added in August 2012; in the event, it was 15K lost! ISM (purchasing mgr index) report – above 50, it’s expanding; below, it's contracting – was contracting. Many nations are under 50, incl China, Europe, Japan. Nice for Obama and Romney to ay the y want mfrg job, but the fact is that globally [we're in trouble]. HP is firing tens of thousands. That's Silicon Valley. Is there a magic bullet? No. In normal times, Fed policy can have a great effect, but its been historically loose and not had much affect. This'll be studied for decades. Rates will stay functionally at zero for time to come, but speculation is that they'll do something totally new. Yes, that expectation is already priced in to the market.
Monday 920P Eastern Time (620P Pacific Time): Gretchen Morgenson, NYT, in re: the algorithm called Triaxx, able to sort through the CDO sausages and discover fractures in the housing bust; can do the same for the future. This robot is a way for investors to look inside a mortgage security: tries to vet all the loans, and can check prices paid on properties, compares them to comparable ones in five-mi radius so can spot inflated appraisal. Previously, firms refused to allow investors to look inside. Had this existed in 2004-2006, we wouldn't have a financial crisis. All this is in public records, but amassing it was very tough. End of liar loans. Thomas Prior [wrote?] this software. The owner of the company had a run-in with the SEC that was settled last week. If the ratings agencies had had Triaxx, would they have done this? Unh – investors won't need the ratings agencies because they now can do their own due diligence. The securitization mkt is dead now since no one trusts the agencies.
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"The modest 96,000 increase in US non-farm payrolls in August only increases the probability that the Fed will launch QE3 next week and it isn't going to help President Obama's re-election chances either. The gain was well below the 130,000 consensus forecast, with markets probably hoping for something even stronger after the better ADP and initial jobless claims yesterday. In addition, the already modest gains in the preceding two months were revised down by a collective 41,000. Manufacturing employment shrank by 15,000, thanks partly to a 8,000 drop back in auto sector jobs. The more modest 7,000 decline in public sector employment could be considered good news perhaps. There were plenty of other discouraging signs in this report, however, with temporary employment stagnant last month, average hourly earnings unchanged, and average weekly hours worked unchanged in August, but only because July's figure was revised lower. Despite all this weakness, the unemployment rate actually fell back to 8.1% last month, from 8.3%. But only because the labour force contracted by a massive 368,000, which dwarfed the 119,000 decline in the household survey measure of employment."
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Monday 935P Eastern Time (635P Pacific Time): Lara M Brown, Villanova, and Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in Colorado, in re: CNN poll jumped from 48-48 to 52-46 in favor of the president. People in favor of the president were struggling in their businesses but afraid to make a change. Since the Civil War, pocketbook issues have determined votes. Niall Ferguson's article today in the Daily Beast*. How people perceive the state of things depends on what party's point of view they espouse. Clinton's speech was well received (53% liked it, cf. 40% liked Obama's speech). Lots of people are generally nervous about Republicans, having been considerably put off by G W Bush. Western PA, NE Ohio: Ohio is moving toward Obama precipitately. The public is "comfortable" with the status quo: better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
Monday 950P Eastern Time (650P Pacific Time): Bill Roggio, Long War Journal & FDD, and Arif Rafiq, Express Tribune & Middle East Institute, in re: Taliban prepared to accept Afghanistan ceasefire and political deal, say experts. In fact, the US has been trying to run back-channel negotiations with one or another part of the Taliban; all bogus. Earlier this year, Taliban purged all the "moderates ' – whatever that may be – so there's no one to talk with. Taliban looks at a happy world; US is withdrawing, and Washington says Taliban is losing - which is completely fake. Dr Afridi, in prison for having aided the US in finding ObL, apparently has been badly beaten in a dungeon in the ISI basement. Very strange that an American journo could get to see him. We deserve more of an explanation from this reporter. At the same time, ISI has an established track record of torture and duplicity; Pakistani prisons are notoriously lax in their security, and midlevel ISI officers see the US as enemy Number One. Higher up in chain, some ofcrs, esp Gen Kiyani, ar e more pragmatic – at the top, opinion is more muddled. JA: Can we get our money back? What the hell are we doing giving billions to these guys? AR: We need our money back lees than we need to create some sort of stability in the region. BR: Haqqani Network under the aegis of the Taliban – but also exists independently. CIA did not create the Haqqani Network.
Monday 1005P (705P Pacific Time): .Larry Johnson, No Quarter, and John Fund, American Spectator, in re: [US domestic politics]
Monday 1020P (720P Pacific Time): continued: JB: If Mitt Romney were in a 52-46 lead, there'd be screaming in Chicago. JF: No – I can guarantee there's more than a 2-point undecided. JB: What will Romney do to change he direction economically? LJ: Excellent Economist article on Dodd Frank. Onerous burden on the financial industry done with good intentions but result is to strangle growth. Credit markets are still frozen. If you're a small biz, you're out of luck. JF: Republicans trying to eliminate early voting use ("souls to the polls"), and use
Monday 1035P (735P Pacific Time): .Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Secy Clinton in Russia, returning from the Pacific, said to Putin: "No redline on Iran." Odd reports; interview by Bloomberg out of Moscow. "We're not gonna put any deadlines on Iran," reported as "redlines." Israel, said she, feels itself in the target, but we hope to bring Iran in to "good faith negotiations." Astounding – stalling, delay, subterfuge, obfuscation, and they mock their interlocutors: Larijani wrote a book on how he bamboozled others. The old line on jaw-jaw doesn’t apply here because the Iranians use this skillfully to gain more time. Cameron sent a rep to argue that Israel mustn't attack, but we haven’t stopped on centrifuge. One expert says they have enough HEU, but not yet capacity to weaponize it, doing which of course takes less time. UDI, Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Palestinians, is a violation of the Oslo Accords signed by Palestinians and Israelis. Abbas is trying to ram it through a second time (it failed last year at Security Council), will now go to the GA, which can accord him a privileged observer status, like the Vatican's. Palestinians today are rioting against the PA over the jobs situation and the economy and corruption. / Within a year , the US may no longer be in UNESCO. / "IAEA has a job to do and need to worry about their credibility as an institution. It’s done all it can and should now wash its hands of the whole thing." – David Albright, USA Today
Monday 1050P (750P Pacific Time): Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: Heaven withdraws its mandate from the Communist Party? The heir apparent, Xi Jinping, is disappeared; reminiscent of the earthquake that struck as the aging Mao was in hospital drooling; the earthquake left the people, the ren min, dubious. Also, the head enforcer of the Party, a Mr He (rhymes with the vowels in could, or put, or cur), has also disappeared. Xi has something desperately wrong with the left side of his face: a stroke? Bell's Palsy? A certain train of logical speculation says it’s a gunshot wound – by Bo Xilai's gang, whom the head enforcer is leaning on hard. Meanwhile, China's economy has dropped by 2%, may now be -1% growth, which means that the Party is facing trouble all directions: its appointed prince is missing and missed a meeting with Secy Clinton, which means it's serious, while the economy is falling and the Party is riven by multiple factions all at each other's throat. Party Congress may be delayed for the first time in history.
Photo: an example of Bell's Palsy
Monday 1105P (805P Pacific Time): Vikas Bijaj, New York Times, in re: monsoon used to be a great gift to farmers; in 2012, monsoons are weak. Despite all the advances of technology, weak monsoon is a bad sign. In Bombay, it usu rains in afternoon and evening for a couple of hours. Charming while in full swing, and after three months of intense heat and humidity, so people are grateful. Now, however this is the fourth drought in twelve years; people expected a bigger monsoon under climate change, which has confounded scientists. Crops: some, such as rice, will have a diminished harvest. Fortunately, the govt has 76 million tons of rice and wheat in its granaries. India get 20% of its electricity from power plants, working from lowered reservoirs. In the heavy heat urbanites using a/c more heavily; all of which triggered the huge electric outage. This year, heavy flooding in Assam, while in the West it's too dry.
Monday 1120P (820P Pacific Time): Lou Ann Hammond, Drivingthenation.com, in re: car numbers, and how the car companies are doing year over year.
Monday 1135P (835P Pacific Time): Sua Sponte: The Forging of a Modern American Ranger by Dick Couch; 1 of 2
Monday 1150P (850P Pacific Time): Sua Sponte: The Forging of a Modern American Ranger by Dick Couch; 2 of 2
Monday/Tues 1205A (905 Pacific Time): Uncommon Warriors: 200 Years of the Most Unusual American Naval Vessels by Ken W. Sayers; 1 of 2
Monday/Tues 1220A (920 Pacific Time): Uncommon Warriors: 200 Years of the Most Unusual American Naval Vessels by Ken W. Sayers ; 2 of 2
Monday/Tues 1235A (935P Pacific Time): Lara M Brown, Villanova, and Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, in Colorado, in re: CNN poll jumped from 48-48 to 52-46 in favor of the president. People in favor of the president were struggling in their businesses but afraid to make a change. Since the Civil War, pocketbook issues have determined votes. Niall Ferguson's article today in the Daily Beast*. How people perceive the state of things depends on what party's point of view they espouse. Clinton's speech was well received (53% liked it, cf. 40% liked Obama's speech). Lots of people are generally nervous about Republicans, having been considerably put off by G W Bush. Western PA, NE Ohio: Ohio is moving toward Obama precipitately. The public is "comfortable" with the status quo: better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
Monday/Tues 1250A (950P Pacific Time): Rashma Lengupta, Barron’s in Washington, in re: Mexican economy doing well, market up more than BRICS's.
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Music (using New York City broadcast times)
9:00 hour: The Sentinel; 24; John Carter. 10:00 hour: Season of the Witch; Green Zone; Ghost Writer. 11:00 hour: Powaqqatsi; Ghost Writer; Green Zone. midnight hour: 24; Minority Report; The Pacific.