Archive for January, 2011

A Globalist Waterloo

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Is President Obama about to trigger a revolution that will put an end to the globalist campaign to eradicate the American middle class? There has been very little news coverage of the president’s new initiative to replace American truckers with Mexican drivers. After all, such things are not proper topics of conversation in polite globalist society, but this is a potentially explosive issue.

There has been wrangling over Mexican truckers since NAFTA went into effect in 1994 with no political fallout. So, you might be thinking that it is a non-issue. But things are different now. We have 43 million people on food stamps and a massive unemployment problem. And that is a powder keg just waiting for a spark.

Of course, Americans workers have barely objected to being replaced by foreigners. As we speak, information-technology (IT) workers at Xerox are docilely training their Indian replacements. Perhaps they are content with their severance packages, which must be very generous considering the hit to 4Q earnings that Xerox just took.

But would truckers react the same way? Suppose a CEO of a trucking company sauntered into a Teamsters meeting, lighted a cigar with a flaming $100 bill, and announced:

“Listen up boys. Your Mexican replacements are waiting outside. You will teach them how to drive your rigs, and then you will be fired. The Mexicans will work for $2 per hour and I will purchase another Learjet while you feed your children with food stamps.”

Would the CEO get out of the room alive? And where might that cigar end up?

Of course, it wouldn’t happen that way. Mexican trucking companies would be allowed to operate in the USA. American companies would lose market share and steadily lay off drivers. But you get the idea.

We know from history that truckers are much different from IT workers, call-center operators, and factory workers. Remember the New York Daily News strike back in the 1990s? There were over 500 incidents of violence, including many bombings of delivery trucks. And trucking is no small industry; there are about 3.4 million truckers in the USA.

And that’s why this particular part of NAFTA has never been implemented. President Obama could order it into effect right now. But he’s afraid, just like presidents Bush and Clinton were. But that doesn’t mean that Obama won’t go through with the pogrom. It only means that he will make sure that he won’t take all the blame if things get ugly. So, he will seek to line up political allies, and leave the dirty work to his new chief of staff, Bill Daley.

It is Daley’s appointment that indicates how determined Obama is on this issue. Daley worked for President Clinton and helped to ram NAFTA through Congress in the first place.

Obama is getting pressure from farmers because Mexico has put retaliatory tariffs on US food exports, so this is a farmers vs. truckers battle. However, Obama will have support from the big companies because eradicating the truckers will be seen as the next driver (ha, ha) of “record” corporate profits.

Replacing American workers with foreigners is, after all, our official national business model.

And it isn’t going to be changed unless the American people insist. It’s like the Vietnam War; it might still be going on today, enriching the military-industrial complex, if Americans hadn’t taken to the streets to put an end to it. And it didn’t really take that much resistance. A few burned draft cards, a few hippies shot at Kent State. It wasn’t really a revolution, but an intensification of our democratic process.

So, will the Teamsters strike? Will they fight? They certainly have in the past, and they are probably very angry right now. They had been Republican allies, but supported Obama’s campaign, and they must feel betrayed now.

On the the other hand, American truck drivers are an aging population. Maybe they don’t have much fight left in them, and can be bought out just like those IT workers at Xerox.

The trucking industry says that there is driver shortage. But have you ever seen empty shelves at your grocery store? No, you have not. There may be a shortage of truckers willing to work for peanuts, or maybe the trucking companies are just trying to scam some more “training” dollars out of the Department of Transportation, but I’m pretty sure that we don’t need Mexicans to drive our trucks.

I don’t now how this will play out. But I do think that we might be approaching the limits of the American people’s tolerance for “free trade” induced poverty, and I think that Obama would be wise not to push that limit.

How do you say, “10-4 good buddy” in Spanish?

The War on Terror is Over

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I’ve watched a lot of video of Arab rioting recently, and I haven’t seen a single American flag being burned. Only a few years ago, many of these rioters would have instead joined the jihad against the USA in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, it looks like anti-American fervor in the Arab world has vanished.

That’s remarkable.

Of course, all wars eventually come to an end, and I think the War on Terror is nearing its conclusion. We are tired of fighting them, and they are tired of fighting us. And that is very good news indeed.

But what’s even more remarkable is that these riots have not exhibited fundamentalist Islamic fervor. We have helped to prop-up most of these Arab dictators, but we aren’t getting blamed for it.

No burning American flags. No Islamic revolutionary fervor. Could it be that the Arab people are rejecting the Islamists along with their US-allied dictators? If so, and new anti-American regimes are not established, then we can plausibly declare victory in the War on Terror.

IWM Down, FDI Up

Friday, January 28th, 2011

The IWM dropped 2.5% today, but its Fractal Dimension Index went up (red arrow on chart). Let’s see why that is (click chart to enlarge):

As you can see, the IWM fell to the bottom of a trading range (green lines) which is six weeks old now. So, the FDI went up, meaning that the trading range got longer in the tooth. The FDI doesn’t tell us which way the market will go. Rather, it tells us when prices have been making unusually long trends or ranges.

So, the IWM is likely to break out of this range soon. Could be up, could be down. Maybe it will depend on whether or not the Suez Canal is closed. Obama hasn’t given Mubarak any support, so maybe the embattled dictator will shut it down just for spite.

On the other hand, Friday’s sell-off looked contrived to me. Yes, Egypt is the center of the Arab world, but the market was not alarmed earlier in the week. On Thursday, I was surprised by how little video CNBC was showing of the rioting. It was almost as if they were downplaying it so that certain players could get short positions on. Then on Friday – BAM!!! – non-stop Egyptian riot videos all day long.

So, the question is, did the cabal take profits? Or will they keep the bull-squeeze going next week?

Fractal Stock Grapher – Beta Release

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Many people have asked me for the Fractal Dimension Index indicator that I have for TradeStation. So, I wrote a desktop app that anybody can use. Here’s what it looks like (click picture to enlarge):

Notice that the IWM is approaching an end-of-range signal. The last time it gave such a signal was before it blasted out of its trading-range in early December.

You can download the program on the Fractal Stock Grapher home page.

If you have suggestions, now is the time to get them in. One of the things that I’m planning to add is automatic reformatting of Yahoo data so that you don’t have to do it in Excel. This is a very basic release with pretty much nothing more than the core functionality.

A Couple of Knuckleheads

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

At 1:15 into the video below, you can see Erin “Beijing” Burnett and Jim Cramer exclaiming over the “fact” that Ethan Allen makes furniture in the USA and exports it to China:

But a big chunk of the production of that furniture is being done at Ethan Allen’s new Silao, Mexico plant. The plant was doing leather “cut and sew” in 2007 when Ethan Allen bought it, so I assume that it is responsible for much of the customization that Cramer was raving about.

Looking at the Ethan Allen Wikipedia page, it looks like they have closed four plants in the USA, and have three left.

This brings to mind the episode from last year when Burnett thought that the US economy would benefit from exporting iPads. She had no idea that a vast army of Chinese workers makes all of Apple’s products, as well as just about every other electronic thing. She appears to be equally clueless about how much of American industry has been moved to Mexico.

Note to Burnett: If you keep this up, I’m going to change your nickname from “Beijing” to “Bubble Head.”