Sign of the times

Failing to grasp capitalism

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Good to see that the alarmists have moved the “saving the planet” argument to repairing 5yo washing machines. 35 years ago, repairing a VHS deck was worth the money. A new deck would set one back multiples of the repair. Can one honestly say they would bother repairing a 5yo deck when the replacement is likely to be near as makes no difference the same, if not cheaper than the repair?

Did the BBC think to measure that a brand new washing machine might consume a quarter of the electricity and half the water of a 5yo one? Over 100s or washes it would pay for its own environmental footprint many times over.

Perhaps the regulators trying to gather momentum behind this ‘grand’ proposal  might let the free market determine whether people would bother to repair a broken appliance based on cost. If they felt compelled to revive a 5yo for the cost of a replacement then so be it. Chances are, like flat screen TVs, capitalism will have brought the cost of a like for like new LED 4K to a quarter of what it cost 5 years ago.

Perhaps Brussels can establish an entire building dedicated to subsidized repair jobs. Spend billions in infrastructure to cater to a question no one is asking

The EU regulators are trying to force manufacturers to make appliances last longer. If a consumer wants to buy a cheap Chinese made fridge and run the risk of it dying too soon, why stop them? If another shopper thinks paying 3x for a fancy Made in Japan fridge on the basis it might last longer, why not let them choose?

Going by the EU directive surely car makers should offer 20 year warranties. Although doesn’t it contradict the push to eradicate fossil fuel sales by 2040. Doesn’t forcing child slave labour in Africa to mine the cobalt to go in batteries propose deeper ethical questions?

Ultimately market forces can quickly determine whether repair is feasible. No need to mandate makers to build equipment that consumers aren’t demanding.

Rest assured people! The EU once launched multi year study on whether water rehydrated or not. Instead of accepting it, the EU introduced laws which prosecuted companies that claimed its water products did! Go figure? It’s journalism like this that makes one think they’re all eating Tide pods.

Down and out in Davos

Davos is likely to be unlike any gone before it. Lucky for the globalist elitists who like to rug up in mink collar lined Moncler down jackets, Trump won’t be there to verbal them over their blatant double standards. Ironically the fact he isn’t going is more evidence of their inability to self reflect rather than the other way around. Trump is hardly an eloquent mouthpiece at the best of times but his words and stance around nationalism resonate far wider than the €200 Chateau Briande chewing wealthy will be prepared to admit at Davos.

France. As the Gilets Jaune (Yellow Vest) movement rolls into week 9, where has the media been reporting it? Macron would normally attend the Davos mob as “the poster child” but he can’t because of the domestic situation. Should he show up to hug his globalist chums, the chaos at home would exacerbate. This is no small matter for the proponents of world government. We shouldn’t forget Marine LePen is polling higher than Macron. Nor should we overlook the fact she won 35% of the 2nd round vote, twice the level ever seen in the anti-EU Front National’s history.

Germany isn’t much better. Although Frau Merkel will be in Davos. Despite stepping down from the rotting carcass her policies have turned her party into, she’ll be fawned over at the matriarch. Deutschland, the paragon of the EU’s economic chest beating, saw industrial production plunge 4.7% in November, its worst showing since the GFC. The fastest rising party in Germany, the anti-immigrant AfD, whose chairman was bashed to within an inch of his life, plans to be far more open about jettisoning the EU going forward. Yet more anti-globalist forces at the gate.

Italy has felt the wrath of EU meddling in ratifying its latest budget. Despite 60% of the country voting in eurosceptic parties last year, the EU is still pushing its weight around via the ECB. Italians are far from pleased with Brussels. Many of her banks in the south are carrying nose bleed territory bad debts which make them technically insolvent. Italians want out.

Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have openly rejected globalism and any shaming from the Bullies from Brussels has only led to bigger majorities handed to them by their citizens.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has made it clear that illegal immigration is not for them, no matter how much UN global compacts or EU directives want to encourage it. Why else would he appoint a member of the anti-immigrant FPO as the minister for that portfolio?

PM Rutte of The Netherlands lost seats in the last election, mainly to Geert Wilders’ anti immigrant PVV. The socialist parties were all but annihilated.

UK PM Theresa May is looking on shaky ground to pass her version of Brexit through the Commons. Even Jaguar’s woes in China are supposedly the fault of Brexit. Even the iconic brand’s UK sales are up 76% since 2013. Surely it’s macroeconomic headwinds not leaving the EU that is driving this. Despite all the scare stories from the BoE, the people aren’t buying it. The UK has its highest ever petition signed to get parliament to vote for “No Deal”. So much for the expert’s advice!?

There is a groundswell movement the establishment continues to ignore. Famous economists giving fire side chats to out of touch journalists don’t convince the people who aren’t living these utopian dreams espoused from Davos.

Davos seems a bit like an Oscars gathering. The audience they are appealing to are increasingly looking the other way and tuning out. It matters not whether some believe we need to show more compassion and embrace global cooperation. The people in charge of selling it could not muck up the messaging and execution of said plans if they had a mandate to do so.

Davos 2019 may well see its proclamations become little more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. We’ve been so overdue an economic correction and the little bigoted people increasingly trying to protect their own interests are already telling us they’re knee deep in recession already. At the same time they’re sick of their leaders legislating against them for supposed intolerance.

Maybe France is the globalist canary in the coal mine. Macron’s police force is already being asked to step it up a notch against the protestors. He need be wary of the police switching sides which would be a cataclysmic blow for globalism. Bring it on.

Crypto collapso

This is a true conversation a “veteran” Bitcoin miner sent to CM’s LinkedIn messenger. Despite constant assurances all would be ok, had an investment been made on Oct 2, 2018, CM would be down 44% in just 3.5 months. Just wish the argument wasn’t so compelling, especially the last sentence.

It is also quite interesting as to what determines veteran status in crypto currency trading. It certainly seems self appointed.

MSNBC embraces capitalism by looping socialism

MSNBC has decided to do a non stop loop of Obama’s 16 minute 2004 DNC speech until President Trump’s wall address to the nation is over. It is indeed a choice as an independent network to embrace the free market to cater to its audience.

Although MSNBC should not be surprised if Trump or Huckabee Sanders skip the network’s reporters during question time at White House briefings. Easy argument to make that their viewers don’t care much for what their leader has to say in any event. Best pick networks that have audiences interested in the machinations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

MSNBC spokesman, Harland Dorrinson, claimed the cable news station’s own research showed next to zero people wanted to watch the national event and the rerun was a better bet. Would love to see the polling figures of who was asked. Staff cafeteria perhaps?

CM has argued for a long time that reduction in Trump’s airtime by the mainstream media is their strongest asset in taking the wind out of his sails. However to date, even though 99% of the coverage is negative (sometimes deserved), Trump is on a non-stop loop with hysteric items of news with next to no relevance dominating coverage. After all Melania wore Timberlands in Iraq – a source of national importance to Americans.

Despite this, Trump’s popularity ratings remain ahead of the majority of the very world leader’s that MSNBC fawn over. These are facts as distasteful as they are to many.

It should be known that there has been a long standing unwritten rule when a sitting president addresses the nation that the media complies for the sake of getting that message out to all citizens. By all means MSNBC could run a panel of experts to vilify the bigoted man behind the wall construction after the address with rigorous debate. Instead they chose to snub. On the other hand it is fair to say in today’s world, anyone wanting to watch will be able to do via C-SPAN or social media.

Ultimately markets will judge whether MSNBC got the viewer stats to back the strategy but surely there was a better opportunity to draw audiences than a 15 yo loop which only cements its reputation for overwhelming partisan bias. Perhaps Reagan’s 1987 speech in Berlin calling for Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” would have been a more apt address to throw two fingers up at Trump? Perhaps even he might get the subtlety of the barb? Use your imagination MSNBC!

2019 Golden Globe ratings down again

It is no surprise to learn that the initial ratings for the Golden Globes In 2019 were down on 2018 which were down on 2017…which were down on…Get the picture? It was the worst showing in a decade.

It seems the formula is so bust that even deliberately leaving Trump mocking out of the corny gag lines saw another 5% drop this year. Despite little competition in the time slot and following on straight after the Chicago Bears vs Philadelphia Eagles (38mn viewers), 20mn switched channels to something other than the Golden Globes.

Who actually took the time to watch The Oscars last year? Viewers voted with their eyes sending ratings down 16% on 2017 and 40% on 5 years ago. Perhaps The Oscars could take a lessson from 90 years ago and stick to silent movies!

From Nielsen:

The 8 p.m.-11 p.m. portion of ABC’s telecast averaged an 18.9 household rating and 32 share in Nielsen’s metered market overnight ratings, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That’s down about 16% from the 22.5/37 rating generated by the 2017 Oscars.

Same with the Emmys.

Neilsen noted the 2018 Emmy awards show pulled in 10.172 million viewers (-4%) and a 2.4 rating among adults 18-49, it’s lowest ever. The 2000 Emmy’s drew in 21.8mn by comparison.

Some may talk to modern day luxuries of streaming which might flatline these dreadful numbers but the reality is Hollywood’s obsession with shaming its intended viewers is the more likely culprit.

Perhaps ABC & NBC need to host these events at a local Hollywood pensioners club from here on in. Save the millions lavished on sets and award movies based on a Bingo wheel. Celebrities can go in smart casual (Cate Blanchett insists on recycling clothes) and dine on a sumptuous smorgasbord with complimentary soft drinks at the beverage bar. Now that would be worth watching.

Golden Globes stay in the gutter

The Golden Globes, after years of ratings plunges, thought working smut into the gig was a way to bring the audiences back. Where on earth were the words, “Break out the tissues because you’re going to want to masturbate to all of them” funny? CM is not trying to be a modern day Mary Whitehouse, but were Sarah Oh’s introductory remarks those that resonate with all of the “pet” causes of the champagne socialists? What happened to #METOO? Let’s talk about group self pleasure. How hilarious?! Sadder the attendees were in raptures.

We shouldn’t be surprised. Hollywood and hypocrisy are mutually inclusive terms. Why would anyone rally behind these out of touch juveniles? When they’re not in rehab they’re telling average Main Streeters to listen to their prophetic words of wisdom. They’re the very reason so many films are failing at the box office. Sure video on demand, streaming and cable has changed things somewhat but the truth is the woeful content is behind the demise.

The audience figures should tell them they are indeed the out of touch ones.

Cinema attendance in the domestic US market is back at 1993 levels. In the 1990s Hollywood made 400-500 films annually. It now pumps out more than 700. The average revenue per film in all formats continues to head south.

It is interesting that $100m box offices were a cert for an Oscar Best Picture award til 2004 after which it has been hit and miss since. 9 films in the last 13 Best Pictures have failed to breach $75mn. The 4 that didn’t miss were all about real life stories – Titanic, The King’s Speech, Argo and A Beautiful Mind. Funny that.

Instead of realizing that their interpretation of identity driven art isn’t sinking in with the public, Hollywood is now prepared to blot the history books – such as deleting the flag planting on the moon scene in ‘First Man’ – to destroy the very formula that seems to resonate with audiences.

Such is the level of extremism in Hollywood these days that people of colour and women have been summarily overlooked to suggest putting in a transgender star for James Bond 007. They’re so obsessed with identity. Why not just appreciate “talent”? Maybe Idris Elba would make a good Bond because he fits the suave, tough guy image of the films. Not because of his skin tone. People watch the Bond franchise for the formula, not to wait with baited breath to see Caitlyn Jenner in the lead role to show Ian Fleming was always a progressive LGBT activist at heart.

Maybe we should let Hollywood stick to its “we know best” attitude. Let it follow its heart and let the free market decide its fate as it is already doing. Celebrities think doubling down is the answer. No wonder they’re screaming for equal pay for equal work as the industry stumbles.

Let them preach about the dangers of climate change as they board their private jets, protest border walls from their gated mansions and stand up for gun control with their armed security guards nearby.

Maybe Sarah Oh was on the money for once about the attendees? After all the Golden Globes like many other award ceremonies are all about stroking egos inside their own tight knit club.

Write Ocasio-Cortez off at your peril

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might be the New Democrat piñata for a band of Republican supporters but beware. While it is true she is weak on facts, how economics works and a whole other range of political topics, she has 1.9mn followers on Twitter, more than Nany Pelosi. If she gets the right sort of campaign team behind her she could become a serious threat to the GOP and incumbent Democrats alike.

She didn’t really have any dollars to fight her nomination on the NY Dem ticket but she booted the 14 year incumbent Joe Crowley and won the 2018 mid term with 80% of the vote. Hardly something achieved by a complete fool, wouldn’t you say?

Think about it. She’s a millennial. She’s deeply socialist, pro climate change and all the pet causes of her generation. The latest shrill surrounding her dancing while at college is frankly pathetic. Who cares?

CM was critical of those who bashed Republicans over a lack of intelligence. It was a key part of why people refrained from openly supporting Trump in the lead up to the 2016 election. The polls and mainstream media all pointed to a Clinton coronation and were rudely shocked when the opposite happened. The ballot box is all that matters. The irony of Paddy Power paying out those who bet on a Clinton win. That’s how badly so many got it wrong. They completely missed the mood.

Pelosi and Feinstein are 78 and 85 years old respectively. Ocasio-Cortez is not even 30. We can already see the incumbent Democrats become uncomfortable as the younger generation wants to take the party hard left. Ocasio-Cortez’s pulling power is evident. Media attention is never far away.

Don’t forget she turned on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand after her resounding  nomination win saying, “Unsurprising, but disappointing that @SenGillibrand didn’t even bother to talk to nor consider me before endorsing…You‘d think a progressive leader would at least be interested in how a no-corporate money Bronx Latina triggered the 1st NY-14 primary in 14 years on prog issues. 

Republican supporters who troll her Twitter feeds only enhance her bidding. They lift her profile and if anything only cause more millennials to rush to her defence. Her retweets are up there with Trump who has 30x more followers. Don’t dismiss it. Trump’s rise to POTUS came from Democrats and mainstream media coverage that reported on pointless trivialities so far removed from what voters were screaming for.

If AO-C gets a good team behind her she will be a force to be reckoned with. As is so often the case with people so easily dismissed is that she becomes a sleeper. She can only improve how to come across more intelligently. She ticks plenty of identity boxes in a world that seems to place greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

She maybe new to the game but it will be interesting how the incumbent Democrats deal with her. Will they try to suppress her or mold her into a dynamo? Her storming of Pelosi’s office alongside environmental activists suggests that maybe the old guard Democrats try to keep a lid on her but sadly they lack time and adaption to new age technology on their side which Ocasio-Cortez has in spades.

Write her off at your peril.