Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Radiation Here, There, Everywhere; Dr. Kaku: Fukushima Hanging By Fingernails; Reactors 5 & 6 Now Critical; Japan Set Radiation Limits For Fish As Fish Caught Last Friday Off Coast Show High Levels of Radiation; Bullish News From Toyota; Gold Gets Groove Back as China Raises Rates; Plan For a Very Real Gov't Shutdown; Euro Slips on Portugal Dips; Unemployment by the Numbers and more

Update 3: More information is being released on the radioactive fish found 100 miles away from the Fukushima plant. From the RSOE site: "Japan's Fisheries Ministry has found high levels of radioactive iodine and cesium in fish caught near the troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant, Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday. One kilogram of young launce caught near the town of Kitaibaraki on the Ibaraki Prefecture on Monday contained 526 bequerels of radioactive cesium, 500 bequerels more than the legal limit, and 1,700 bequerels of iodine. The Ibaraki authorities urged people to stop eating fish."

Fishermen managed to take a picture of the strange fish before officials confiscated the evidence. Below is the image they managed to capture with their cell phone.

 Update 2: FOMC Minutes released. The two key points, interrelated are: 1) QE will not end and 2) QE will not end. Any questions? 

Update 1: Portuguese 10yr bond now yielding 8.89% and rising sharply. No need to mention that Spain is sure to follow. Might be a few weeks, but it's a given. Expect a bailout for Portugal shortly.

Main article-
It turns out that there is a mountain of pertinent news this morning, which under normal circumstances would definitely impact "the markets" or whatever you choose to call them now. Let's get started. 

The news out of Japan today continues to flow like the radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima reactors and unlike the BP oil spill last year, this one will last more than 6 months. Count on that. Unfortunately, as expected, the news continues to be bad - CNN today is reporting that besides the 3 million gallons of radioactive water TEPCO has released into the Pacific Ocean as reported here yesterday, now they are admitting the levels of radioactivity in the water surrounding the Fukushima plant is 7.5 Million times the legal limit. Of course, they wouldn't release such information without the now company obligatory "don't worry it's still safe for life" tag attached to every single official press release. Needless to say, the official TEPCO assessment that "the spill might have a minimal effect on sealife," should be taken with a grain of radioactive salt. 

It is very interesting to note that the Japanese gov't has set a new standard for radiation in fish now that last Friday, radioactive fish have been discovered off the coast of Japan. As The New York Times is reporting, this fish contained high levels of healthy radioactive iodine 131 that would make Ann Coulter proud.

Not to be missed is another TEPCO official crying crocodile tears as he publicly admits that the situation at the formerly stable reactors 5 & 6 has become critical as radioactive ground water has been discovered there as well. One can suppose, this is part of the reason Dr. Michio Kaku posted in his blog yesterday, "The situation at Fukushima is relatively stable now, in the same way that you are stable if you hang by your fingernails off a cliff, and your fingernails begin to break one by one...." [italics ours]

Certainly, all of this is bullish for the global economy as so many "experts" claim it is. Just ask Toyota, which is shuttering production in the US due to a lack of parts from Japan. Toyota officials claim this will "affect" 25,000 workers. How exactly this will "affect" these workers is yet to be seen but no doubt, these 25,000 workers will celebrate this sabbatical with the purchase of a new iPad2. Duh! #winning!

Since we're on the topic of unemployment, the Department of Numbers has a great breakdown of the demographics of the unemployed by various factors, provided by the good people at the B(L)S. It's official numbers they're working with so it must be accurate, right? Notice too, the B(L)S reporting that unemployment has fallen from 9.8% in November 2010 to just 8.9% in February 2011. In just 4 months time, the official unemployment rate has fallen nearly a full percentage point. This is especially amazing since the Food Stamp usage has gone up exponentially month over month and year over year since 2008. Could it be that less and less Americans are actually in the workforce? Read this excellent article from The Burning Platform and you be the judge.

Moving on along the same unemployment lines, perhaps you want to prepare for a US gov't shutdown this week. The Washington Post is reporting that the administration is preparing for a very real gov't shutdown if negotiations fall apart by midnight this Friday. We would have thought the deadline for this would be in a few weeks but then we realized American Idol is on this weekend and that is very important. Additionally, we can only imagine what "critical workers" are defined as. Will the streets by next week be filled with AK-47 toting Vietnam Vets wondering where their retirement checks are? We shall see.

A quick peek at "the markets" shows that they don't care about China raising its interest rate by 25 basis points which has pushed gold and silver to new highs as mentioned here a few weeks ago. Only $1 from our initial target of $40. As I said at the start, "under normal" conditions... which makes the Portuguese downgrade also moot. The Euro slips on the Portuguese dips, but what's in store for the other PIIGS? Bullish & Duh! #winning of course.

Of course, with all the mad men antics of endless fiat printing, one has to wonder what their next plan of action is if yet another major catastrophe occurs, such as a 9.5+ magnitude earthquake striking California which then unleashes a 100 foot tsunami on Asia. Simply throwing money at every disaster, whether natural or man made, does not seem like a viable solution. Indeed, it almost seems as if they know for a certain that some major earth changing catastrophe will take place sometime over the course of the next 1-18 months so what they are doing in the meantime is just buying time. Of course, this is pure speculation but nothing these days would surprise us.


  1. Thanks for writing this!

    Doctress Neutopia

  2. @Doctress Neutopia- Thank you. I write from the heart! ;)

  3. Great blog indeed! Very forthright and with alot of sarcasm. :)

    I'm curious about you though. Who are you? :)

  4. @Tommy- Thank you. Feel free to pass the link on to anyone you think would enjoy a forthright and sarcastic daily read. ;) They call me |J|.

  5. You are on my reading list,thanks for your work.
    I like your heart and your "pencil".

  6. Gladdens my heart to enjoy some well turned sarcasm. Thanks. I'll be back for more :o)

  7. @thedeadfauvi- Thank you. The kind words are most appreciated!

  8. @Kaz- It gladdens my heart to see so many people finding joy in reading my blog! :)