bubble

I didn’t post at all this morning, for myriad reasons. The US jobs data wasn’t published until 2.30pm CET, and so little of any import happens in the mornings preceding it – because all global markets are still Americentric. Also the shopping had to be done, the rubbish/recycling trip was long overdue, and I really felt it was time I went out somewhere, talked to some real people, and had a good, long think about what’s likely to happen next on several fronts.

Just to linger a little longer on this gripping opener, the price of enough food and household consumables for the next fortnight was €79 at Netto, one of the many discount supermarkets thriving at present, the economic outlook being so good an’all. That’s around £60. Not much, is it?

Netto is not and never will be Fortnum & Mason, and a lot of what it sells is processed convenience crap. The ‘store experience’ is not great: it’s untidy, badly-lit, and always looks to me like it’s been the victim of a heist the night before. The people shopping there look depressed, desperate and generally drab. But if you can cook, it represents astonishing value for money….and if you can drink, it’s a bit like robbing a half-decent wine cellar and getting clean away with it.

Returning home with every item on the shopping list ticked off, I put stuff away, cleaned out the fire, and switched on Boombust Television. It was quite a culture shock, but it did serve to remind me of the globalist Bubble from which toil and trouble will sooner or later emanate – and devastate the already tenuous existence of the Netto shopper.

On one level, the debates on Boombust are technically impenetrable, and on another an inane collection of process-jargon and euphemistic clichés. This extract from the answer of an apparently legendary talking head (whom the anchor was “thrilled” to have in the studio) serves to make the point:

“I have no problem with unsoydandee, because that also provides opportooniddy from which investors can profit once the volativverdee recedes and we return to normalidee”

It was like listening to Chance the gardener advising the President in Being There….except it was live and real. And it served to encapsulate the elephant-denying assumptions those who pitch up on Boombust simply cannot put behind them:

  • Everything is still normal
  • Volativity is misguided
  • We must have growth
  • Growth will return
  • We have rising gluts not falling demand
  • Wages will start to advance before long
  • There categorically is not a global recession
  • Employment levels have never been higher
  • All jobs are equal
  • China can and will adapt
  • America still has the only economic model that ‘works’
  • Only ‘reform’ can save the eurozone
  • Brexit would be a disaster for Britain.

While the show was on air, China slashed its military expenditure, the PBOC admitted that today’s Shanghai index had required more direct intervention to keep it steady, the former President of Brazil was arrested, Saudi Arabian oil and military costs threatened to take the régime to breaking point, a standoff between Podemos and the Socialists brought Spanish politics to deadlock, the UK output data disappointed for the third month in a row, Goldman Sachs cut its staff levels by 5%, non-performing loans in Turkey were spirally out of control, and Banca Carige SpA shares plunged 11% after the European Central Bank requested the Italian bank present a new funding plan amid a slump in deposits and deepening losses.

The non-farm US payroll data is about to be released. To be honest, as long as the analysis of reality remains this puerile, such jobs data are irrelevant. I’m off for a siesta.

Previously at The Slog: Why history holds the key to oil prices