2013 is now before us - following appropriate celebrations of course. We celebrate possibilities, freedom, life itself with all its infinite variety. We also celebrate what good may come from our efforts if we are wise. Now, more than ever before, is the time for wisdom. But we do not celebrate the purported wisdom of linear regression born of foul data, nor the reasons of those drunken with supposed power or their own intellect. We have hope, but it is not blind nor deaf to the reality of our lives. Threats abound, and we must address them with all the physician, intellectual and spiritual strength we can gather. And after we have gathered, we should seek God;s wisdom and gather yet again.
We wish our readers across the globe and healthy, happy, and prosperous 2013.
In any "system" when equilibrium has been disturbed, variations or oscillations first increase, then decrease until a new equilibrium has been reached. The period (length of time) of these oscillations may be brief or extended. When a famine occurs, it may be decades before things settle down to a new normal. If the cause was climatological, things may never return to normal. We point to the Sahara desert as an example. For reasons still unknown to mankind, this area which once flourished with greenery is not a parched wasteland. Numerous examples may easily be found of human foolishness and repetition of formerly failed policies. Apparently the human race has blocked long term memory in favor of short term bias to action even if the action is obviously wrong.
Volcanoes, tsunamis, massive earthquakes of lava flows can permanently alter whole continents. Events such as these have always been part of earth's natural history, and no credible source has assured us that such things cannot occur again.
It appears that survivors are most often those who are mobile and flexible in the face of such upheavals.
Have our readers considered mobility and how they might prudently improve their capability to move if that was to become necessary on short notice?
Stock market healthy or ill favored in 2013?
24/7 Wall St. has compiled an outlook from many sectors and for many indexes for 2013. Most strategists and economists are calling for upside. However, the fiscal cliff remains an issue in the final days of 2012, and the risk is an automatic recession in early 2013. We have compiled many outlooks and given some outlooks of our own, but we strongly caution that there could easily be some adjustments to any and all of these expectations.
What about a port/transportation strike - even though one has temporarily been averted?
Analysts have been trying to assess the impact a dock strike would have on the U.S. economy in 2013.
The ILA, which has been far less radical than its West Coast cousin the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, has not been on strike since 1977. So much has changed over the past 35 years that no one is really sure what the impact of the strike will be.
The National Association of Manufacturers director of transportation and infrastructure policy Robyn Boerstling told CNBC, "Manufacturers are trying to protect jobs and minimize the damage of potential supply chain disruptions from a costly strike, which could cost an estimated billion dollars a day."
The strike has been well-telegraphed. Manufacturers, shippers and retailers have been preparing for the possibility of a prolonged strike for several months.
Although the Port of New York-New Jersey is the second-largest destination in the U.S. for imports from China, shippers have diverted shipments to the West Coast for forwarding by truck and rail to customers on the East Coast.
What about inflation although government statistics show very little?
But other factors are likely to exert upward pressure on inflation over the coming months, including:
Escalating food prices. The global economy faces the threat of "agflation" (defined as "agricultural commodity inflation") in 2013, according to research from Rabobank. Food prices are expected to increase rapidly as a result of droughts in the US, Russia and South America. Rabobank estimates that "the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Food Price Index will rise by 15% by the end of June 2013." Indeed, latest FAO data show that global food prices rose by 1.4% during September 2012 alone.
Sharp rises in utility bills will come into effect over the coming months and years.
However, planned changes to the way RPI is calculated are expected to produce a "probable downward impact" on inflation in 2013 XpertHR reports.
What about a rare, but not impossible natural occurrance?
On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and "being somewhat flurried by the surprise," Carrington later wrote, "I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled." He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear.
It was 11:23 AM. Only five minutes had passed.
Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.
Volcanic eruptions are not necessarily explosive or rapidly evolving.
The Deccan Traps are one of the largest volcanic provinces in the world. It consists of more than 6,500 feet (>2,000 m) of flat-lying basalt lava flows and covers an area of nearly 200,000 square miles (500,000 square km) (roughly the size of the states of Washington and Oregon combined) in west-central India. Estimates of the original area covered by the lava flows are as high as 600,000 square miles (1.5 million square km). The volume of basalt is estimated to be 12,275 cubic miles (512,000 cubic km)(the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens produced 1 cubic km of volcanic material). The Deccan Traps are flood basalts similar to the Columbia River basalts of the northwestern United States.
Is US monetary policy prudent or ultimately suicidal?
The question: will the Federal Reserve continue this monetary policy in addition to theexisting purchases of $40.0 billion a month of mortgage-backed securities that the central bank is set to purchase for an indefinite period of time? Several recent remarks indicatethat yes, the Federal Reserve will expand this monetary policy (“Operation Twist PartTwo”) well into 2013.Dennis Lockhart, the Atlanta Federal Reserve president, stated, “I am not prepared to saywe are remotely close to a substantial improvement on the employment front.” TheFederal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, in a speech at the New York Economic Club,reiterated the same sentiment. (Source: “Fed Stimulus Likely in 2013,”
New Year's time is convenient for review. Now we roll the dice once again. What's your point?