Time to peer into a beer bottle to reflect on the past and illuminate the gloom of 2019.
Last December 26, I wrote that “Great Depression Part Deux will hit in the third quarter of (2018), too late to help Democrats. Paying attention to publicly available information, I called the 2007-08 meltdown well over two years ahead. (See BarbanoMedia.com/)”
So how did that stack up with harsh reality? First, the stock market obligingly crashed a week or two after my column ran. The rule of thumb has always been that Wall Street speculators and insiders are six months ahead of the economy.
The tech-heavy NASDAQ index peaked last August and has been dropping ever since. (In case you’re counting, August is in the third quarter.)
“America’s technology giants have become a harbinger of more pain to come,” The New York Times reported last week.
“Now, technology companies are dragging stocks into ominous territory that investors have not seen in nearly a decade: a severe decline known as a bear market…stocks are on track for their worst year since 2008,” Times journalists added.
As I’ve oft-repeated for 12 months, the world’s major industrial economies have been sliding into recession all year. (This isn’t rocket science. I just read a lot, an obsolete hobby in the age of tattooed celebrity selfies.)
I concluded last year’s projections with “if you have investments, increase your percentage in gold and silver.” The price of gold futures has been trending seriously upward for months.
FOLLYTIX. As I wrote last Nov. 14, “Nevada’s vaunted Blue Wave was a spray bottle of Windex. You could have won bar bets on (2018) political races with no more knowledge than which party registered the most voters in a district.”
I could only find three contests in Washoe County that went against the grain. So GD2 indeed started too late for a true blue. Democrats could otherwise have won all statewide offices by huge margins rather than five of six by a few points.
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH. Last December, I wrote that “Nevada’s corporate welfare queens will falter.” (Witness the Oakland Raiders’ 2018 record.)
“In these parts, Tesla will lose charge,” I forecasted, adding that “the company is sporadically profitable at best, requiring big borrowing. The bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler 10 years ago should give investors pause.”
Tesla’s woes continue. Their Fremont, California, plant is a symphony of racism. (See NevadaLabor.com and the Dec. 1 New York Times.)
Like national employment and inflation statistics, Tesla and Nevada government PR apparatchiks have been spinning and tap-dancing. For accurate perspective, see last July’s Guardian of London article to which I contributed. It will be linked to the expanded web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/
As I noted last summer, Tesla has not been paying its local contractors who have been walking away and laying off workers.
SPORTING PROPOSITIONS: BATTING .500. I said that UNR’s football team would bounce back to 5-7. They went 7-5. Congrats. I accurately projected UNLV at 4-8. I was incorrect that Christina Giunchigliani would be our next governor. I further noted that the GOP would re-take the state senate (wrong) “because Great Depression2 won’t hit by the second quarter” (right).
BACK TO THE FUTURE. All the talk out of DC concerns how long our increasingly paranoid president will last. Whether he’s impeached and plucked or merely dis-elected in 2020, he remains quite capable of pulling a Warren Harding to get the last laugh.
Harding’s corruption would have resulted in his becoming the first president removed for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He had a heart attack instead.
Facing ignominy, Trump’s ego will likewise check him into the Big Mar-A-Lago in the Sky before participation in any perp walk.
More predixions next week.
BAH, HUMBUG. Practicing the true spirit of Christmas, I shopped for gifts for people I don’t like. I wanted to bring them joyfully closer to their lord and savior, Czar Donaldov. What better memento than lumps of coal to honor he who made anthracite great again?
I couldn’t find anyplace in these parts that could sell me a few pounds of petrified petunias. Perhaps next year. Until then, my good intentions smoulder in bituminous oblivion.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
IN MEMORIAM. On Dec. 27, 2005, 156 months ago, Betty Joyce Luffman Donlevy Barbano died in Reno. She reposes in Carson City with her firstborn, Debra Joyce Donlevy (1959-1978).
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com/ E-mail <email@example.com> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.