Saturday, May 1, 2021

Knock On Wood

 If you thought cryptos are hot and bubbly, look at this:

Lumber Prices Up Fivefold

Wood, the most prosaic ho-hum of materials, is rip roaring ahead.  Why? Yes, home building in the US is really going gangbusters, but... seriously, now?

Anyway, yet another nail for the “low inflation” coffin, along with grains and metals.  But, hey, let’s keep printing and see what happens - maybe it will all go away...


  1. Wow!!! Hopefully that rally was a blow-off top after decades of sideways consolidation, it sure is overbought even on a monthly scale... These are indeed interesting times!!

  2. btw, Hell... I don't have a feeling for why Biden is proposing so many spending plans?

    sure, maybe one 2 trillion plan... maybe... but 3x2 trillion plans in 3 months?... there is a Cantonese saying, "what is the hurry, is it a funeral you are rushing to?"

    I can't quite figure it out... sure, buy votes and all that... but surely this is an overkill?

    1. The US truly needs to invest in infrastructure, particularly green energy.

    2. thanks for the answer... i know i am somewhat difficult to talk to ... which is also how I ended up here.

      i can feel the gulf between how we see the world. will try to create a more complete world view later... would be good for myself too.

      in the meantime... i will give a shorter one.

      investing in infrastructure is not about more roads and windmills... its about the factories that build those roads and windmills... steel production, vehicle production. not just the factories but the skilled people to man them, the production teams that understand the process end-to-end.

      The back-end is more impt than the front-end and that does not require that much money. It requires skill, insight and time. Without the back-end, the front-end is worthless. Stalin grew up on the streets but seemed to understand economics better than Biden. It is not about tanks, its about tank factories.

      Same with research. Giving the U.S. current professors money for research is like throwing it into a toilet bowl... some engineering outcomes, they may just be able to... fundamental research? beyond them.

      More funding for community college is useless... the MIT grads are already borderline useless...

      Biden is using up the seed-corn. I agree this is the moment to use it; however, it should be treated as the moment of utter desperation that it is. Throwing a feast with the seed-corn... It is like watching a horror movie...

      So what to do... What I feel Biden wants is to appease the masses. (I realized this as I was writing). What the masses want is justice. Justice is free.

      Hang some of the billionaires... crucifixion would be better. Each execution will save you a trillion and it will focus the mind of the nation. These are desperate times and we are committed.

      The U.S. expects every man to do his duty.

    3. Sorry for the delayed response, Blogger was “down”.

      Like all empires, the US will eventually go into decline. One of the surest signs is high debt and/or a weak currency. Right now the US is performing the largest ever experiment in fiscal and monetary history. IMHO, its policy is incredibly irresponsible, avaricious and dangerous. Maybe it will work out, but with China on the ascendancy I think that it is only a matter of time until the US is seriously challenged for global primacy.

      Maybe it is still too early, maybe the US will pull through - I am no prophet, I can only see things as they are today. “May you live in interesting times”, goes the Chinese curse....

  3. Dear Hell,

    Why must and will decline... why not fight? Even if a fall is inevitable, go down guns blazing? I can feel your people want to fight... damn the odds. Look at Trumps rally. You just need a saner man.

    Btw, what I propose is fully within western tradition. For example, the British shot an admiral for insufficient aggression. It has been argued that this was the making of the royal navy.

    "No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy." Nelson.

    I am not asking rhetorically. I am trying to step into the American mind... tell uncle chicken... maybe he can fix it?

    Best Regards,

  4. btw, I don't think it is in the Chinese (long term) interest to win now... Assyria keeps coming to mind, a great empire that was so hated and destroyed so thoroughly its people and language went extinct in the space of a hundred years.

    sure, there is a chance of conquering the world but what comes next? we need another forty years in the wilderness.

    1. China has been in the wilderness since the 15th century, after being the greatest empire ever (people the West ignore this). It is now rising again... it may, indeed, take another 40 years to become the undisputed global power but the process is now irreversible. The US has screwed up - expected, after its hubris following the collapse of the USSR.

    2. Dear Hell,

      China is is not as fancy as it seems... There are very, very real strengths... but there are also very real weakness (which I cant't really discuss).

      Part of the problem it is the West truly lacks the cultural perspective to see the weaknesses... and the way things are structured, it is hard for those who know to explain it...

      I will read you a riddle. China is very fond of playing the victim card; however, there is one card that is never plays. It never harps on about the opium war internationally.

      This is not because it is forgotten. Far from it, in both China and Taiwan it is taught regularly, with the appropriate amount of venom.

      It is not because the CCP prevents discussion on it, Taiwan does not mention it either and to my knowledge neither does Singapore.

      Yet, the ultimate victim card is never played.

      In this riddle lies the key to understanding China.

      Best Regards,

      P.S I think the U.S. does not truly understand the horror that comes with loosing. Ask the Inca, the Mohicans, the Ibo, the Germans, the Chinese... Better an end with horror than a horror without end?

    3. you know Hell, I have talked to quite a lot of senior people in the west about system problems (not politics and china, other stuff); the answer always seems to be... yeah, yeah... but we can't do anything... and even if I show them how something can be fixed, they won't fix it.

      I guess maybe the Chinese anon was right... the western elite simply refuse to fix the problems/ insist on misunderstanding problems ... or as Hell would say, head-in-sand...

      Why not jail the lot? Elites are only elite if we let them persuade us that they are... if we collective say they are not, then we can see them as the criminals that they are.