The Greater Snafu

An update from the techies:

At 10 am EDT Monday this pathetic blog came alive again, after serious and mysterious networking issues had it hobbled and humiliated for more than 24 hours. Lord only knows what incredibly insightful comments were lost, or how wider humanity will cope. But we’re back. And just in time.


If you tried to access this pathetic blog on Sunday and came up empty, well, sorry. If you managed to hit the site but found yourself sitting in an empty, lonely landscape of commentlessness, you did better than me. Void. Nothingness. Blog withdrawal.

Webmaster William was all over the issue, which turned out to be a network one. Don’t ask me to explain. I can’t. As of Sunday afternoon the thing was still limping along on one wheel. No comments. No interaction. Imagine Sandra Bullock drifting off in her spacesuit into the bleak nothingness from the irreparably-damaged space capsule. That’s us. Disconnected. Destination unknown. But it can’t be good. Did the Chinese hackers and denial-of-service guys finally do us in? Or did someone forget to change the oil in the server?

Beats me. Hang in there. We shall meet again.

So stock futures exploded higher on Sunday — about 1.5 percent or more than 300 points on the Dow. This comes in the wake of a 306-point romp at the end of last week, and after Donald Trump had a withering phone call with the heads of some of the major US banks. The word, ‘dickhead’ may not have been used but it was surely recalled.

The market volatility stems from the Trumpian trade war, which came in the tenth year of an economic expansion now growing old. It was the last thing the world needed, now steeped in debt, struggling with negative interest rates, inverted yield curves, populist politics, Brexit, Hong Kong, Argenuela, Iran and crazy Putin. The latest White House salvo — another 10 percent tariff on hundreds of billions in Chinese goods on September 1st — was just too much. Mr. Market turned tail.

The US is not in recession or even near one. Unemployment’s at a 50-year low. Last week’s retail numbers were robust. Corporations are making money and consumer sentiment is fine. But expansions don’t last forever and bull markets usually die of shock, not old age. It looked last Monday like Trump was delivering exactly that.

But a week later, maybe not.

This weekend the White House was walking back the rhetoric. News emerged that Chinese tech heavy Huawei will get a reprieve to continue buying supplies from US companies. Then Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow announced that trade talks with Beijing would be continuing within the next 10 days, “and if those deputies meetings pan out…we are planning to have China come to the USA”.

Meanwhile China’s boss, Xi, would probably love to dial back the hostilities with America and come up with a trade detente as a distraction from the mess in Hong Kong, where his authority is being tested. It’s the hubris of these two men that has taken things too far. But it’s clearly in the interests of America, China and Trump’s re-election in 2020 that the trade war ends.

In fact the quixotic US leader is now telling voters they have no choice but him — or the markets will crash, wiping out retirement savings. Maybe last week’s 800-point one-day drubbing on the Dow was engineered to send exactly that message. Could he be that Machiavellian?

Hell yes!

So, here’s what to expect. (a) Softer language from the White House, fewer threats, a gentler Trump. (b) Trade talks that don’t end in a fight. (c) Another decrease by the Fed when it next sets rates on September 18th. (d) Maybe one more on October 30th. (e) New record highs for the Dow and the S&P.

None of this means there won’t be a recession ever. One’s overdue.

But it does mean the slowdown could be shoved out until after the 2020 presidential election. It might mean four more years of you-know-who. And don’t be surprised if he throws another tax cut around in the meantime.

So you can endure the coming 1.5 percent GIC yields, or stay invested in a balanced and diversified and enjoy the ride. Some choice.


#1 James on 08.19.19 at 11:32 am

Xi didn’t blink and Trump had to hit the toilets hard. He has blundered with his “China is stupid and will bow to me rhetoric.” While he is sitting there crapping himself to come up with an excuse how to tell the ill-advised American public that voted him in that “they” the American people have to endure the brunt of the tariffs not China. “How is that lie working Donny baby?” Come up with a whopper now! Oh hell they are all whoppers with Trump. Trump is becoming more progressively anxious that he will be sourced as the reason that an 11 year increase in growth will flounder just as he and his Trumpian sycophants hit the campaign trail. Trump knows that he owns it due to his con artist ways of bullying and intimidating businesses in the past. Menacing governments and especially sovereign nations will not work that way and the recent rhetoric have caused stock market slumps hurt the global economy. I sure as hell hope that the average American J.Q. Public wakes up and “smells the coffee” or at least the shit in Donald Trumps oversized diapers.

#2 Another Deckchair on 08.19.19 at 12:08 pm

Hate to say it, but the Millennials are right.

We boomers are destroying the world with OUR invention, the Internet. We unleashed the technology, and those Millennials are drinking the juice like never before.

The father of the Canadian Internet, look for the 2017 entry:

As a young boomer myself, some of the things that make this site possible I had a hand in, or, in one distinctly Canadian piece, I did the work and kept it running until I handed control over to someone else.

In this last case, the person I gave the keys to is famous, Canadian wise, but is also a boomer, so that’s ok. I went on to do other networking things, with boomers, and it’s nice to see how the Internet has grown.

So Millennials, you may hate us for our houses, but you love us for the Internet.

#3 Steven Rowlandson on 08.19.19 at 12:12 pm

Perhaps a hacker working for the PC crowd attacked your blog. There has been a lot of that sort of thing going on since Trump got elected.

#4 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.19.19 at 12:27 pm

I blame SNC.
After all the slagging a few days ago they finally snapped…..

#5 Nope on 08.19.19 at 1:33 pm

One must connected the dots for discovery, and think I just might know who was behind it all.

#6 Barb on 08.19.19 at 2:34 pm

Huge problems with telus in the north okanagan too.
Email was out for 2+ days.

Nefarious forces?!
Someone joked that Huawei should come fix it if telus can’t find the problem.

#7 jess on 08.19.19 at 3:07 pm

Who are the businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman? Giuliani has publicly identified them as his clients.
Meet the Florida Duo Helping Giuliani Investigate for Trump in Ukraine
Guillani’s tweets : …” They are my clients and I have advised them to press charges.”
7:50 AM – 18 May 2019

A judge in Florida has ordered the release of documents related to the company Global Energy Producers’ $325k contribution to pro-Trump super PAC America First Action last year. Its execs had fought the subpoena, …reported in December
Where is the money coming from?” Someone takes a half million dollars from you and he’s hanging with the president and the president’s lawyer,” Andre said.
Parnas and Fruman’s work with Giuliani was just one part of a broader foray into U.S. politics.
A joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine, has uncovered new information that raises questions about their influence on U.S. political figures.
Meet the Florida Duo Helping Giuliani Investigate for Trump in Ukraine

….” Parnas once ran an electronics business that was successfully sued for its role in a fraudulent penny stock promotion scheme. He has also worked for three brokerages that later lost their licenses for fraud and other violations. He has never been personally charged.Court records also show that judges have awarded a series of default judgements against Parnas for multiple unpaid debts. These include over $500,000 he owes to an investor in a Hollywood movie that he had promoted but was never made. He has also been sued a dozen times over the last decade for failing to pay rent on various Palm Beach County properties and has been evicted from two homes. Fruman’s backstory is even more colorful. His network of businesses extends from the United States to the city of Odesa, a Ukrainian Black Sea port notorious for corruption and organized crime.
Reporters found that Fruman has personal ties to a powerful local: Volodymyr “The Lightbulb” Galanternik, a shadowy businessman commonly referred to as the “Grey Cardinal” of Odesa….read more @

#8 Yuus bin Haad on 08.19.19 at 3:12 pm

hahaha – good one (the hacker dog) – Peter Steiner’s meme lives on

#9 jess on 08.19.19 at 3:53 pm

maybe mr. market anticipates a loss by trump?

Trump said he didn’t “believe” the poll, adding: “Fox has changed. My worst polls have always been from Fox.”


#10 Westcdn on 08.19.19 at 4:54 pm

I put my thoughts for challenge and defending them. I have off the wall ideals yet I believe they are just and I stand to be corrected. I just don’t walk off saying it sucks to be you. If you think you are the smartest guy in the room, remember as a collective whole there are smarter than you and only need to communicate and bury differences. Kind of what the indigenous NA people did to ceremonially bury the tomahawk. History would have been different if indigenous NA people(kind) had inflected more disease to Europeans instead.

I thought it was noble of the Americans to name one of their monitor warships in their civil war “Tecumseh”. She was sunk buy a “torpedo” that actually worked in Mobile Bay. The ironclad confederate “Tennessee” put up a good fight. Anyway, I think Brock and Tecumseh saved Canada – for better or worst I don’t know. It is one of those things a greater power directs.

Currency wars are not something I what to see. I see no benefit to people beggar each other since my common sense says this is a loser idea to play win/lose games – I think “Art of the Deal” sucks. Trust is not to be exploited. I think it is something to be grown – the farmer in me.

#11 cto on 08.19.19 at 7:31 pm

Im done with logic! im throwin in the towel!
The only thing we know for sure is the worlds central banks are going to drop the cost of money into the negatives, as such, people will keep buying atrociously priced real estate and pushing cost up to the stratosphere! My hard saved and sacrificed RRSPs and company pension with yield me piss all when i retire and what income i do get will get eviscerated by tax.
At the same time those that decided not to squirrel away, but to borrow everything and live high on the hog will be vindicated and helped along by our good government every way they can.
Oh Canada!!!

#12 Tony on 08.19.19 at 10:01 pm

Your advice is helpful Garth.

#13 Larry B on 08.20.19 at 8:33 am

You were not the only website that was “parallelized”. I am not sure if it was a targeted DOS or just a provider issue. I could not access my VISA on-line account also. Either way, welcome back, ironic how people are so dependent on the internet.