American Trade: Friendshoring, Nearshoring, Onshoring

The American trade scene and supply chains, in particular, were rocked by the intrusion of The Great Pandemic, the War in Ukraine, the future War in Taiwan, worldwide political upheaval, and an increasingly prudent and muscular trade nationalism.

Two of those things — The Great Pandemic and the Ukraine War — were unwelcome surprises.

OK, maybe “muscular trade nationalism” is a little strong, but you get the drift.

What does American trade look like, Big Red Car?

Here is what American trade looks like today (click on it to make it readable):

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Silicon Valley Bank — Losers, Winners, Saints, Sinners

In the sordid saga of Silicon Valley Bank who are the losers, winners, saints, and sinners?


 1. The management who all rightfully were fired for their gross incompetence. Particular note of CEO Gary Becker who really blew it.

 2. The incompetent Board of Directors who failed to provide even a modicum of actual oversight.

 3. The shareholders who owned the now worthless stock.

 4. A goodly number of the employees who will lose their jobs in the latchup that follows hereafter.

 5. The real estate lessors who leased space to SVB. All those leases will be cancelled in bankruptcy or insolvency.

 6. The plethora of vendors who provided services to SVB who will now never be paid because of the bankruptcy. Continue reading


Hold On On That Victory Lap, Amigo

So the Biden White House put on their jogging shoes and took a victory lap last week because “. . . IT IS WORKING!”

“It” is, of course, the admin’s brilliant inflation reduction plan – a highly secret document, apparently – that resulted in PPI (Producer Price Index – the price of things on the manufacturers’ dock before it arrives at the consumer) “falling” from 8.4% in September 2022 to 8.0% in October.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, right?

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A Short Primer on Inflation

The markets were gaga today with an inflation report of 7.7% (annual rate) down from 8.2% the prior month (40-year high) and a monthly rate of 0.4%.

Those are the numbers, but folks seem unable to understand how they apply. So, please allow me to provide an example.

 1. Suppose a year ago, a dozen eggs cost $2.00. With me? Continue reading


Housing – The Canary In The Coal Mine

The other day I used the above phrase — the canary in the coal mine — and a person said, “What does that mean?”

Canary in a cage with an oxygen bottle resuscitator. Real life thing.

Miners carried canaries in special cages into the depths of underground coal mines because the canary was more sensitive than humans to deadly gases like carbon monoxide.

If the canary died, then the miners hauled ass and, hopefully, revived the canary. Continue reading


Embedded Inflation

Do y’all recall when inflation was “transitory?” When the Secretary of the Treasury and the POTUS used to assure us that inflation was going to come and go? That the target would continue to be 2% – which, in fact, it had been?

Well it’s more than a year later and, clearly, that is not going to happen. In fact, we are in this inflationary spiral for the long term — meaning three years until there is any relief.

How did we get here, Big Red Car?

Let’s review the bidding to see how we got here, shall we?

This chart is not lying to you. Study it.

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Testing The Depth Of American Stupidity

Yesterday, the Consumer Price Index report came out showing that the CPI increased by 8.5% (seasonally adjusted) year-over-year. This means that the CPI is 8.5% higher than it was in July 2021.

Wages were 5.5% higher, so you only lost 3% in buying power. Haha. Sorry.

[I personally find this incomprehensible as every commodity and food stuff I look at is wildly more expensive over the last year than 8.5% — eggs are up by 40% — but that’s just me.] Continue reading