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alstry (< 20)

Alstrynomics Vs. Economics....Again



July 19, 2009 – Comments (12)

As some of you may know, Scott Grannis is an experienced Economist with an excellent Economics blog at  Scott is in the Larry Kudlow optimistic camp.... and your truly, well some things speak for themselves.

Today Scott posted a blog indicating that container export volume was up at the L.A. and Long Beach ports and I challenged his thesis that this was a sign of the economy


Here's an updated version of a chart I've shown before, using June data for container exports from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and goods exports through May. Things haven't bounced quite as much as I was expecting. However, I do think it's clear from this chart that the free-fall in global trade which began in the fourth quarter of last year has at the very least stopped, and has reversed to some degree. On a year over year basis, outbound LA container shipments were down only 9% in June, whereas they were down 29% last December.

The comments to Scott's Blog went as follows....I bet many of your can relate to Ryan:


Do you know the contents of the containers???

As you know, the #1 and #2 exports by container from the U.S. is trash....scrap paper and scrap metal respectively.

Ryan said...

I wish I could meet you in person so that I could punch you in the face.

Cabodog said...


Can you take a hint? People are getting tired of your constant posts. Mr. Grannis takes an inordinate amount of time to research and post his comments; we are all very grateful for what he does and how he shares his opinions with those that care to read -- and learn.

Frankly, if I want your opinions, I'll head over to your blog and read. Quit hijacking this blog.

Oh, and to save Scott the time, I'll comment that if scrap paper and metal exports are up, that's good, as that means there's higher production and/or demand of these 'commodities' and that means the economy is picking up.

alstry said...


Scott is a very talented economist. He plays at a much higher level than most can even hope to achive.

If Scott can't defend his positions against Alstry and Alstrynomics, clearly that would be a sad day for Economics.

That said, in addition to being an attorney, I was the CIO for a transportation company, you think I know a thing or two about the nature of U.S. exports?

alstry said...

Just to be serious for a second.

Many Economists cite Exports as an economic indicator.....but most economists don't realize that America's key export is trash.

As a percentage of container volume, trash is so high that using export container volume as an economic indicator is not much better than the contents.

FWIW, recyc papyer prices are up recently and could explain the higher volume.

The following are cites to a couple articles:

alstry said...

To be really serious,

If you notice, LA container traffic was much better than Long Beach, looking at the second link I provided, you would see that waste paper was piling up due to depressed pricing in the Winter.

Prices picked up recently which helps explain the pick up in L.A. relative to Long Beach.

Hopefully this clarifies things a bit.

12 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 20, 2009 at 12:41 AM, calihome (< 20) wrote:

From an outsider looking in it seems nothing anyone does can help. It just seems everything is rigged and the power has way to much power at this point.

 All the know it alls in control will have to mess up which they are doing a real good job at.. It will backfire soon..

Prepare as you say means what??????? Thats all thats all al has -prepare...

  If any person reading this thinks the market isnt gambling at this point you are nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have lost a ton in the market and it has humbled me and jaded me. My ques. is alstry? Are you in real life gambling.


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#2) On July 20, 2009 at 3:41 AM, awallejr (34.72) wrote:

"Ryan said...

I wish I could meet you in person so that I could punch you in the face."

I like Ryan ;p

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#3) On July 20, 2009 at 3:53 AM, RonChapmanJr (30.14) wrote:

Here is how one can actually prepare.

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#4) On July 20, 2009 at 5:10 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


I am not sure what the heck is going on anymore.  I developed Alstrynomics simply as a socratic outlet in seach of the TRUTH. 

It really seems like few care or are are aware......many just keep drinking the kool aid or just bury their  heads in the sand.

As you can see from the above, Eocnomics seemingly no longer cares for the truth and is more interested in Trash.

Occasionally I rant about evaporating salaries for American workers as banking exectutives get MASSIVE aid from the Taxpayer and draw out unbelievable bonuses.....and no one seems to care....

The airline industry over the past five years have seen incomes shrink routinely 40% and often more if you factor demotions and benefits.....the frustration and stress levels are increasing, and these are people we entrust our lives to everyday.

Commuter pilots are now starting out at not much more than minimum wage once you factor total pay for hours considered......

Midwest Airlines Inc.'s workforce has been slashed by more than half since the company was sold in January 2008, with many of the remaining employees taking pay cuts as the Oak Creek-based carrier absorbed a one-two punch of rising jet fuel prices and plunging demand for air travel.

Now, on the verge of Midwest's second sale in just 18 months, airline employees are facing the prospect of additional job and wage reductions.

A first-year co-pilot at Midwest earns $40 an hour, a rate that is 74% higher than Republic's rate of $23 an hour, said industry consultant Vaughn Cordle, who operates AirlineForecasts LLC, of Arlington, Va.

Midwest's 125 flight attendants, who have 14 years to 25 years of seniority, are facing drastic pay cuts through the impending merger, said Toni Higgins, president of the Midwest chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants. Higgins, who earns $40,000 a year, says she could possibly be placed at the beginning pay rate for a Republic flight attendant, or around $15,400 annually.

Even employees for larger airlines are being forced to live in trailers at the end of the runway just to make ends is a snipit from the LA Times protraying the sacrifices workers are making these day....

For about 15 days a month, Alaska Airlines pilot Jim Lancaster lives in a motor home in Parking Lot B near the southernmost runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Salaries for pilots, mechanics and other airline workers have plummeted. Captains like Lancaster have been demoted to first officer, losing hard-earned seniority and forcing them out of plum assignments at airports close to home. Lancaster, who came to LAX from Seattle about 18 months ago, estimates that his reduction in rank cost him about $30,000 a year, roughly 20% of his pay.

Rather than quit their jobs or uproot their families for what could be a temporary stint in Los Angeles, workers have settled in Lot B, where the rent is only $60 a month.

"They'd probably be out of a job otherwise," said Doug Rogers, a 62-year-old United Airlines mechanic from Utah, who is the colony's acting mayor. "You can't maintain a household elsewhere and afford a home here in this economic climate. The airline industry is fragile right now. You just don't know what is going to happen."


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#5) On July 20, 2009 at 5:13 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:,0,4549617.story?page=1

Above is the link for the LA Times article cited.

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#6) On July 20, 2009 at 9:22 AM, alstry (< 20) wrote:

Both from the WSJ this morning:

U.S. banks have been charging off soured commercial mortgages at the fastest pace in nearly 20 years, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.


Demand for the Federal Reserve's emergency short-term lending programs is abating, the latest sign that credit markets are healing.

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#7) On July 20, 2009 at 12:21 PM, dickseacup (< 20) wrote:

You should get a copy of "Between Two Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era" by Brezinski. It's hard to find, and pricey when you do. But, it reads like a road-map to how we got where we are. The conspiracy theorists will say Zbigniew was either uncannily prescient 33 years ago, or there is a grand plan to all of this.

What I find interesting is that he wrote of how American society would be transformed. People would no longer believe their experiences, their own eyes or ears. They would take whatever they were fed via the TeeVee at night and regurgitate it to their cow-orkers and friends by day. They wouldn't question the "authorities" that spoon feed them information, taking it as a matter of faith that the "authorities" wouldn't deceive them.

This is what I see going on right now. The facts of what you post are never disputed, alstry. Instead, readers want to punch you in the face for the delivery. Substance is ignored, while style is revered. People would rather keep their eyes averted and their ears stuffed with cotton rather than have to reconcile the reality around them with the blatant lies and misrepresentations made by the "authorities." Even if that means those "authorities" are leading them, their children and their children's children off the proverbial cliff.

Maybe the elitists are right. Maybe the vast majority of the populace deserve their subjugation.

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#8) On July 20, 2009 at 2:13 PM, leo744 (< 20) wrote:


Finally someone who can see Alstry for what he really is....a good hearted, solid AMERICAN who's just trying to tell all of us what's really going on!!!!

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#9) On July 20, 2009 at 3:14 PM, awallejr (34.72) wrote:

Alstry "Occasionally I rant about evaporating salaries for American workers as banking exectutives get MASSIVE aid from the Taxpayer and draw out unbelievable bonuses.....and no one seems to care...."

This is one of the few arguments you make that I actually agree with.  Government staffers getting massive pay raises too (just happened in NY) while the legislature deadlock debates on how to deal with the deficit.

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#10) On July 20, 2009 at 3:29 PM, alstry (< 20) wrote:


Without a jobs recovery, there can be no economic recovery when 2/3 of the economy is the consumer....and many of them are leveraged and seeing their wages decline.

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#11) On July 20, 2009 at 3:32 PM, OldEnglish (27.19) wrote:

Pointing out (accurately) that those export containers are primarily filled with scrap is priceless.

"Blog hijacking!"+ "I want to Cyber punch you!" = Comedy Central. Only much funnier.


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#12) On July 20, 2009 at 5:05 PM, awallejr (34.72) wrote:

Yes but Alstry this point has been made over and over, namely unemployment is a lagging stat.  And it is a lagging stat for a reason.  During recessions companies cut costs and layoff workers.  This continues as the recession progresses.  Eventually the economy does bottom and things start to stabilize.  Companies start to slowly expand and eventually re-hire workers.  That's what happens during normal recession cycles.

This current one, however, probably ranks as one of the worse and the changing age demographics will have an additional impact.  So things will probably turn around much slower.  But make no mistake, it will turn around.  It is a question of "when" not "if."

The surviving companies and future growing companies are the ones that will adapt or cater to the changing world.  This happens all the time.  Horse buggies were all the rage over 100 years ago. Reminds me of the original SNL skit about a dying mall where Dan Akroyd had a scotch tape shop inside it, and that is all he sold.

Here's a stock play for you.  MPW.  They are in the hospital/health care facility business.  I own it personally for that reason (nice dividend too).  It plays off the aging of America.

The Country isn't going to collpase into chaos like you try to depict.  There are injustices, as illustrated by excessive incomes off taxpayer money.  But, sadly, there are always injustices.

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