Economic indicators suggest….

….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.

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One of our regular readers, Sid, passed a few days ago. Cancer. Rest in Peace, Sid.

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8 thoughts on “Economic indicators suggest….

  1. yep.
    Heading back into the Fall with the covid Delta variant beginning to stride across the planet with a more infectious strain.
    Demoralized doctors and nurses dreading the 4th onslaught
    Should make for an interesting 2022.
    Inflation, recession, etc etc etc.

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    • Pretty embarrassing for all the so-called leaders….don’tcha think? I mean, except for Ahearn (who did not cure it or even beat it back completely), all the rest of our elite leaders just wrung their hands and changed their positions more often than shuffle dancers. How does deSantis or Abbott show their faces? How does Kenney or Ford? Hell, how does Trudeau? Honestly? Had I been as ineffective as they, I would resign. And, if I was as culpable for as much destruction and death as Trump, I’d turn myself in.
      And then to see them campaigning on crap-promises is absolutely crazy making. Trudeau has only proven time and time again that he can’t keep promises!
      One plank. One platform. One promise: “I will address climate change to the utmost of our ability and harass and harangue everyone else who claims to be a leader to get onside. Things like the economy need to have people remain alive and breathing. Priorities, people. Priorities. “

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  2. So sad to hear that Sid passed away! Please pass on my sincerest condoleances if appropriate.
    It’s hard to explain why this makes me SO sad, giving the fact that I have never met him and we only exchanged a few “words” through your blog. I guess it is like you wrote in your previous blog about being “touched”. You have a small group of followers, but damn, what a bunch it is!!

    We have not seen any sign of any prices dropping. I guess it might take a while before we see the effect downstream. But as you say, what is the mechanism behind that drop? People suddenly decided NOT to buy any more lumber? We only see prices going up,up and up. Only sales we see is in clothes and shoes. These businesses are still suffering hugely from the lockdown (especially physical shops, online is thriving). Unemployment rates are low, restaurants and bars are starting up, but have lost all their regular staff to other industries. So now they are allowed to open businesses, but simply can’t find people. Our local butchershop is open only in the mornings, because he simply can’t find help to open his business full time. Crazy times…..
    Agreed on housingprices….who can still buy houses at these prices? For sure young people can not. My stephdaughter and her husband have been searching for a house for 1.5 years now. They have a baby coming in 4 weeks, they are now living in a small appartment. But after 1.5 yeras, they gave up. Prices are incredbly high, for every house, there are at least 30 other couples who want the same house, some are sold even by online bidding, which drives prices up even further.
    Her husband has been waiting for his new car now for more then 9 months. Finally his dealer told him “we can’t even tell you when we will be able to deliver it, the factory does not give any planning or delivery dates anymore because of shortages of steel and microchips”. Steel shortage??? Where did that come from?
    I really wonder when consumers will say “I am no longer willing to pay these ridiculous prices”.
    But soon (I predict middle of next year) a full scale inflation and crisis will kick in, and then even more hell will break loose.

    Take care!!

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    • It’s appropriate and I will pass your sentiments to the family. Sid was a good guy. We went to college together. Friends for 55 years (different paths through life but remained friends).
      Wow! Waiting on a new car being delivered and waiting nine months! And still more delays!!
      In apocalyptic movies, the erosion of society breaks down quickly and soon we are overrun with plague or aliens or Zombies. All that happens in the opening scenes. But this may be more like it…..parts not coming, people disappointed. Houses and big needs not happening and the folks are inconvenienced. Systems break down and people get angry and all the while more and more homelessness, impotent leaders, heavier police presence….inflation, eroding services AND, AND, AND the growing pandemic keeps growing!!
      Is this TEOTWAWKI episode one or, perhaps the pilot?
      OK, I am being dramatic again. I am inclined that way (and I have a smirk on my face as I say that nonsense). But, but, but….it might just be the ‘trailer’ at least before the apocalyptic show we are about to watch…jus’ sayin’…….

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  3. Dear JD,

    Madness DOES definitely attract Madness. That’s kinda why I’m here!šŸ˜‰šŸ¤£
    And “Thanx” for the Safety Centre tip. It went well, and I finally have both auto insurance again – NO Thanks to Service Ontario who damn near buried Me – as well as new BC plates, but still, it was sooooooo good to get Home.
    Take good care. David. (or possibly “More Northern David”!šŸ˜‰)

    Like

  4. As the saying goes in Our neighbourhood:

    “We’re Here because We are not all there”.

    And I can both concur and accept that. Cheers!

    Like

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