Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Venezuela launches the Petro

See http://failedevolution.blogspot.com/2018/02/venezuela-releases-824m-units-of-petro.html

Venezuela is beginning to sell 82.4 million Petros, which is a crypto-currency, each one tied to the price of a barrel of oil.  It will have the currency code PTR.  This is the first national crypto-currency, but it won't be the last.  I predict that eventually every country will have its own, except for the US.  In the US, each major bank and corporation will have its own.

2017 Financial Report of the US Government

See https://www.fiscal.treasury.gov/fsreports/rpt/finrep/fr/17frusg/02142018_FR(Final).pdf

The National Debt is currently (as of 2/20/18) at $20.76 trillion.  This is done on a cash basis.  Another way of looking at things is the financial report at the above link which includes expenses that have been incurred but not paid for yet, like pensions.  It shows a Net Operating Cost in FY 2017 of $1.157 trillion.  It also shows the net worth of the Federal government at a negative $20.4 trillion, which is actually similar to the national debt.

The most interesting thing about it is how it projects the national debt in the year 2090 and later.  Here are some quotes:

The debt-to-GDP ratio was 76 percent at the end of FY 2017, and under current policy is projected to be 74 percent in 2027, 136 percent in 2047, and 297 percent in 2092.

These debt-to-GDP projections are generally higher than the corresponding projections in both the FY 2016 and FY 2015 Financial Reports. For example, the debt-to-GDP projection for 2090 (the final projection year for the 2015 report) is 289 percent in this year’s Financial Report, 249 percent in the FY 2016 Financial Report, and 223 percent in the FY 2015 Financial Report.

While some post-cleanup monitoring and other long-term stewardship activities post-2092 are included in the liability, there are others the Department expects to continue beyond 2092 for which the costs cannot reasonably be estimated.

As a percent of GDP, interest spending was 1.4 percent in 2017, and under current policy is projected to reach 5.1 percent in 2037 and 15.1 percent in 2092.

Beginning in 2022, cost exceeds total income, and combined OASI and DI Trust Fund reserves diminish until they become depleted in 2034. After trust fund reserve depletion, continuing income is sufficient to support expenditures at a level of 77 percent of program cost for the rest of 2034, declining to 73 percent for 2091.

Interjection - my comments.  I don't think Social Security can be cut in 2034.  If they try, it will be a national insurrection, so good luck with that.  All the numbers after 2034 are thus suspect.

I have previously speculated that 5% is about the maximum interest spending that can be achieved before the whole things starts to fall apart, with defaults or hyperinflation.  This report indicates that 2037 is when this will occur.

It is fun to speculate about what life will be like in 2092.  But I think that sometime in the period of 2034 to 2037, that the system will fall apart.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The dam is breaking















The national debt has been frozen at just under $20.5 trillion for months.  Now that the budget deal has passed, the debt is going to increase like mad.

Here is the current level:






It is going to go up at least $100 billion per month from now until the whole system turns into a supernova.  It will be noteworthy only when the debt increases less than this.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Military Diet, Day 3: Completion

Weight: 233.2 lbs

Day 3 Breakfast
large apple: 130
2 slices cheese: 220
boiled egg: 70
5 crackers: 60
coffee w/creamer: 10
Total: 390

I forgot to post an update.  I went way over on Day 3.

Ending weight (2/8 AM): 234.4

So, the net result was that I lost 1.4 lbs over 3 days, and I sure didn't follow it strictly.  But if I lost 1.4 lbs every week I would be happy.  The rule of the military diet is that you have to wait at least 3 days before doing it again.  So I will do this again next week.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Military Diet, Day 2: Balance In the Force

The theme of Day 2 is balance, and the symbol is the egg.

Weight: 234.4 lbs

Day 2 - Breakfast
Ice Cream - Haagen-Dazs, 3.6 oz: 240 calories
1 banana: 105 calories
1 egg (hard-boiled): 70 calories
Total: 415 calories: 415 calories

Day 2 - Late Breakfast 10:30
I was given a breakfast burrito, eggs and sausage, so good, I couldn't turn it down.
It was about 6 ounces.  Estimated calories: 500

Day 2 - Afternoon Snack (4:30)
I was so hungry I decided to finally eat lunch, which was supposed to be a cup of cottage cheese and 5 saltine crackers.  I ate the whole container and about 20 crackers.
Cottage Cheese (16 oz) - 440
Crakers (20) - 320
Total: 760

Day 2 - Late Night Snack
Yogurt, small container, 150

Total for Day 2:  1825

Monday, February 5, 2018

Military Diet, Day 1: A New Beginning

The Military Diet is my favorite diet.  Every time I have tried it, I lost several pounds.  It isn't easy, it takes discipline.  So here goes, I will document what I eat, and the cost for 3 days.  I'm going to buy everything I eat just for this, and so I can determine the exact cost and calorie count.

This is way too much detail and nobody cares, but I would be interested if someone else put this much detail up, and besides it holds me accountable.

Starting weight: 235.8 lbs

Day 1 - Purchase #1, King Soopers
1-lb box of saltines with 160 crackers (12 calories per cracker), $0.99
Rockstar sugar-free (0 calories), $1.25
Tuna w/oil, 5 oz (140 calories), $0.79
Jif To Go Peanut Butter with 8 cups, (250 calories per cup), $2.99
large Grapefruit, 1.24 lbs @1.29/lb (9 calories per ounce), $1.60
Total cost, w/tax, $7.72

Day 1 - Breakfast
6 crackers: 72 calories
1 cup peanut butter: 250 calories
1/2 grapefruit:  72 calories
coffee with creamer: 10 calories
Total:  400 calories

Day 1 - Lunch
7 crackers: 84 calories
Tuna: 140 calories
Total: 220 calories

Day 1: Snack
This wasn't on the menu but I was so hungry that  I made more crackers and peanut butter and the other half of the grapefruit.  400 calories

Day 1 - Purchase #2, Safeway
Cottage Cheese (16 oz), $ 1.99
Ice Cream (Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche, 3.6 oz), $1.17
Chicken & Vegetable pouch, $4.99
Yogurt, $0.75
Bananas, 1.85 lbs @ 0.69 = $1.28
Green beans, 1.98 lbs @ 2.49 = $4.93
Gala apples, 1.16 lbs @ 1.49 = $1.73
Total cost w/tax: $16.84

Day 1 - Dinner
Chicken breast (6 oz):  320 cal
Green peppers (1 oz): 20 calories
Green beans (1 lb): 60 calories
Olive oil and butter sauce: 400 calories
I skipped the ice cream and fruit since I ate so much else.
Total dinner: 800 calories

I roasted the chicken breast and green beans. The butter certainly wasn't on the plan, but it made it a gourmet feast.  I had to force myself to finish all the green beans.

Total for the day.  1820 calories

Friday, February 2, 2018

The deficit is exploding

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/02/spending-deal-deficit-hawks-congress-384968

Within inches of a handshake agreement, the GOP’s most recent proposal is said to be more than $300 billion, raising defense caps by $80 billion and domestic caps by $63 billion over each of the next two years.
In December, nearly every Republican voted for a massive tax bill that will cost $1.5 trillion over a decade.
By the time the fiscal year is over, GOP leaders may have negotiated upward of $2 trillion in new spending, most adding directly to the deficit.
Besides the tax cut and the spending deal, lawmakers are also on the cusp of approving $130 billion in disaster relief. There are also separate talks of a pensions relief package, worth as much as $60 billion, as well as funding for community health centers. And a Trump-backed $200 billion infrastructure package may be around the corner.

This is very confusing, because some of this is over 10 years, and some of it is over 2 years, and some of it is a one-shot deal.  Still, the trend is way higher, and that is one reason why inflation is coming back.

But who cares about the deficit since we never have to pay it back, right?

The top was on Jan 26

The Dow Jones hit 26,616.71 on Jan 26, 2018.  It is down over 600 points since then.  So Jan 26 appears to be the top.  I've called the top many times before and been wrong, but this appears to really be it. 

We will certainly have a recession start within 2 years.  I like the date of Sept 11, 2018, which is a Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2015 was the best year - it's all downhill from there

I seem to remember that 2018 was supposed to have the lowest budget deficit and then it would go up slightly from there.

Well, according to the Monthly Budget Review: Summary for Fiscal Year 2017 , the actual budget deficits were as follows:












The budget deficit for FY2015 was $438 bn, for FY2016 $586 bn, and for FY2017 $666 bn.  2018 will certainly be higher, and in 2019 it will get out of control again.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Social Security Proposes "Immediate And Permanent Reduction" In Benefits

See: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-09/social-security-proposes-immediate-and-permanent-reduction-benefits

According to the 2017 Trustees report, “Trust Fund reserves become depleted in 2035.” They’re practically giving us a date that we can circle on a calendar and mark “End of Social Security.”  The Trustees go on to lightly propose solutions, including an “immediate and permanent reduction” in benefits to all current and future Social Security recipients.” And in case you’re wondering who these whack-job Trustees are, they include the Treasury Secretary of the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Labor.  These aren’t just random people.  We’re talking about politicians at the highest levels of government who are telling us that Social Security is running out of money… and calling for an immediate and permanent cut in benefits.
My comments:  2035 is optimistic.  And unfortunately, you can't cut benefits, not enough to make a difference anyway.  Social Security is a social contract, instituted by FDR and re-ratified by Reagan.  It is not something you can change on a whim.
This is a slow-motion train wreck, or as the author puts it, a supernova.  It is going to cause the whole system to blow up.  But we have 13-17 years until it happens.  The best we can do is small incremental changes that will delay the inevitable. 

Friday, January 5, 2018

New prime number discovered

It is  277,232,917-1, having 23,249,425 digits.  It is the 50th mersenne prime.
See https://www.mersenne.org/primes/press/M77232917.html

Thursday, January 4, 2018

FY2019 is the year everything goes to hell again





Source: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/115th-congress-2017-2018/costestimate/53437-wydenltr.pdf

This is from the CBO.  It predicts that 2019 will have a deficit of $975 bn, up from $689 bn previously predicted.  You know it will really be above $1 trillion.  And furthermore, it will never drop below the trillion-dollar mark again.

This was caused by the Trump tax bill that was just signed. So aren't I a big hypocrite, supporting Trump but also complaining about the deficit?  Yeah.  But my whole thesis is the the system is doomed in any event.  Prior to this, I had forecast that the trillion dollar deficits wouldn't return until 2022.   So, what I am saying is that Trump just caused things to accelerate by about 3 years.  The benefit is that people will get to keep more of their own money, which is a good thing.

We need to start thinking about the economic collapse that will happen sometime in the 2030s and how to prepare for it, and what comes next.  Instead of denying that it will happen.

Dow 25,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average just hit 25,075 today (Jan 4, 2018).  It first closed above 20,000 on Jan 25, 2017, so it went from 20K to 25K in less than 1 year.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The deficit in FY2019 will be $1.2 trillion

During FY 2019, for example, these discretionary plunges into deficit finance include slashing revenue by $280 billion, while pumping up an already bloated baseline spending level of $4.375 trillion by another $200 billion for defense, disasters, border control, ObamaCare bailouts and domestic pork barrel of every shape and form. These 11th hour fiscal maneuvers, in fact, are so asinine that the numbers have to be literally seen to be believed. To wit, an already weak-growth crippled revenue baseline will be cut to just $3.4 trillion, while the GOP spenders goose outlays toward the $4.6 trillion mark. 
http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-greatest-bubble-ever-why-you-better-believe-it-part-2/

And that is without factoring in the next recession, which will make the deficit soar even more.  And a possible war with North Korea.  And whatever "storm" Trump keeps hinting about.  As 2017 comes to a close, everything seems pretty rosy.  But things are going to get real interesting soon.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Venezuela to launch new crypto-currency called the Petro

See https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/29/venezuela-oil-backed-cryptocurrency-to-launch-in-days.html

This sounds cool and I think it would work.  Could the Fed blacklist it? 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Top Alternative Crypto-Currencies

What are the best crypto-currencies, besides BitCoin?  I think the alternatives would have these characteristics:  1) be profitable to mine, according to CoinWarz.com or WhatToMine.com, where the profit is at least equal to the estimated electricity cost; 2) Use the SHA-256 or EquiHash algorithms, which are usually the most profitable; and 3) have a coin market cap of at least $10 million (according to coinmarketcap.com), so they have some user base.

Here is the list, sorted by market cap:

  1. BitcoinCash (BCH) $56.3 billion
  2. Bitcoin Gold (BTG) $6.7 billion (equihash)
  3. ZCash (ZEC) $1.8 billion
  4. Digibyte (DGB-SHA) (DGB) $451 million
  5. Peercoin (PPC) $127 million
  6. ZenCash (ZEN) $123 million (equihash)
  7. Curecoin (CURE) $14 million

I'm not saying to buy these.  I think the best way of getting started is to mine them and these would be the best to mine.  There are also ones below the $10 million market cap that are worth watching, like Deutsche eMark (DEM), and TigerCoin (TGC).  Also the CryptoNight algorithm is worth looking at.

I am leery of Ethereum because it keeps getting hacked, and they keep messing with the code to reverse the hacks. Litecoin showed a lot of promise a couple of years ago, and it is still one of the largest by market cap ($16 billion), but it is missing something or is way overpriced.  It is not as profitable as the ones above.

There are over 1000 other alternatives, but these appear to have the best future, in my opinion. List subject to change by the day.

Update:  Here is another one to add to the list.
Hush (HUSH) $18 million (equihash)

The hard life of bitcoin miners in Inner Mongolia

https://qz.com/1054805/what-its-like-working-at-a-sprawling-bitcoin-mine-in-inner-mongolia/

The noise—a constant drone from the small fans attached to each machine, as well as the huge fans built into the walls of the building—is loud and unceasing. Employees must wear ear mufflers to do their work.

Bitcoin miners, though they profit from the virtual world, can no more escape the materiality of their vocations than gold miners. The bitcoin mines that rely on cheap hydroelectricity must disrupt their operations in the winter, when waters ice up and there’s less precipitation. They pack up their entire operations, load them onto trucks, and, after an arduous drive, reassemble them elsewhere. That usually ends up being Inner Mongolia because of its stable source of coal-powered electricity, said Liu Tao, a Bitmain executive in charge of mining operations.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Pittsburgh Mills

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Teavana must keep 77 store open

A socialist judge in Indiana ordered Teavana to keep 77 stores open that it was planning on closing, because of the pain it would inflict on the malls they are in.  See
https://nypost.com/2017/12/01/judge-bars-starbucks-from-closing-77-failing-teavana-stores/

I find this very bizarre.   I don't know how long the stores are forced to remain open, maybe if it is only 6 months then this isn't that big of a deal, but this is an incredibly stupid decision by an incredibly stupid judge.  I don't know why Starbucks doesn't appeal it.  How can you force a store to remain in business? This will encourage stores that are on the edge about remaining in business to close pre-emptively.