….just about every scenario possible and most of ’em don’t make any sense.
And none of them are indicating what they used to. The money supply has gone through the roof and that suggests/guarantees inflation and, as you would suspect, we are already feeling more than a bit of that. But precious metals remain relatively stable. And yet, lumber prices tripled in price over the recent year. But, geez, man…..in the last few weeks, lumber prices have fallen back to pre-pandemic levels and a mill in BC that was running 24/7 four months ago just shut down from ‘lack of profitability’ due to the drastic price change. And still the fires burn up standing inventory. And, so, that means exactly what? Thinking it might be that supply-chain crap? I do not think so – the mill is at the FRONT of that industry supply chain. Lack of shipping containers? I do not think so, lumber does not require shipping containers. Maybe all the loggers and mill-workers are fighting fires?
Oh, well, let’s consider that an aberration. How ’bout those housing prices, eh? They keep going up but, of course, wages are not rising as well and banks are making mortgages much, much harder to get. And yet, the money supply is getting larger, all other prices are going up, inventory is going down, young people STILL cannot afford anything……so how are housing prices still rising? Who’s buying? Where is all that extra money supply going?
Oh, well. How ’bout that unemployment, eh? Unemployment is near an all time low and yet most of the service and hospitality industry is dead-in-the-water. And tourism is non-existent except, surprisingly, Vancouver Island where the hotel rates have doubled and tripled and the ferry system is full. No staff. High prices. Who’s paying? And Canadians have paid down record levels of personal debt recently and they did that by NOT spending and having fun……so how can unemployment be down? How can tourist prices be up?
A cabin-y type resort just down island raised their room rates by 600% and those are the rates they want for February!! (consequently three regular very large local groups of annual attendees simply walked away – ‘not this year!’). Oil prices and gasoline prices no longer seem to have much correlation. Crude has yo-yo’d like mad (currently around $65.00 a barrel) but gas prices are higher than when a barrel cost $140.00.
Anybody else notice the general lack of ‘sales’ – as in discounted prices? The stupendous rise in second hand goods (Craigslist)? The lack of normal inventory at big retailers? Did you know that McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom can’t sell milkshakes due to lack of supplies?
And yet, they say the economy is booming. They also say millions are staying home from work. They then say millions are no longer unemployed and they also say whole industries are moribund. And, of course, the pandemic carries on. The hospitals are near capacity. Trump still has followers. Two Canadians returning home from the US got Covid tested ($600) but they were deemed the wrong tests and so were fined almost $6000. How does that make any sense in this or any economy?
And so the whackedness continues.
Our PM calls an unnecessary election. All the parties campaign on the wrong issues. We hate ’em all and yet a record low turnout is predicted. Biden is taking flack for Trump’s Taliban deal. And the Red States have cut off unemployment benefits even though the money came from the Feds! Why? Because the Republicans believe the unemployed are lazy butt heads and should be forced back to work.
As you can tell from the last few blogs, I am having difficulty making any general sense from all the usual indicators. Only the Taliban seem to be having things go their way, it seems. And, as a bonus surprise: in a time of the in-your-face obvious climate change threat, double or triple Covid infections and more and more Right wing news being debunked as lies, the Red States are the ones with rising real estate prices due to people moving more and more to the Southern US.
My only theory? Madness has gravitational pull.
One of our regular readers, Sid, passed a few days ago. Cancer. Rest in Peace, Sid.