Saturday 3 April 2021

Joe Biden's Trillions - just look where they're going!

For 18 months now I have been banging on about how "net zero carbon" has gone 100% mainstream in business and banking, it having been declared that "adaptation" and "resilience" count as Green, plus - from the lefties - that the whole thing must include a "Just Transition", a.k.a Jobs Before Anything Else.  Heck, that includes new roads, new dams, new irrigation systems, new sea-walls ... even the most traditional steel-'n'-concrete merchants get to play!  And the Unions!

So now, let's take a look at Joe Biden's trillions

The proposal would: put $621 billion into transportation infrastructure such as bridges, roads, public transit, ports, airports and electric vehicle development;  direct $400 billion to care for elderly and disabled Americans; inject more than $300 billion into improving drinking-water infrastructure, expanding broadband access and upgrading electric grids; put more than $300 billion into building and retrofitting affordable housing, along with constructing and upgrading schools;  invest $580 billion in American manufacturing, research and development and job training efforts 

Yup: steel-'n'-concrete.  There's a constant, plaintive strand of "but ... most of this post-covid growth-package stuff isn't properly Green ..." to be heard from various quarters: but it's rather drowned out by the sound of thundering hooves, both capitalist and workerist.  Ain't that the way of the world?

Have a great Easter!



dearieme said...

I saw an absurd map claiming to show the new Amtrack lines that will criss-cross the USA, letting one rush from coast to coast in just a few days.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like what Trump wanted to do (along with outrageous Fascist ideas like not offshoring production of goods to China and production of babies to Anyone But White Americans (ABWA).

A highly un-Easterish thought - I'm choosing funds for ISAs, and I'm also convinced that the US are going to start a conflict in Ukraine/Donbass very soon.

Me no like, but that won't stop them. It's impressive how Western elites, shocked at realising in 2016 how much they were hated, have reconstituted Russia as the bogey - even while China is eating their lunch (the story of Syngenta I've only just caught up with).

Any thoughts on what effect a Donbass scrap will have on markets, and any markets in particular (I'm currently in global funds fwiw)?

I tend to assume the point of said scrap is to get Merkel to drop NS2, so assume that too.

I'm not seeking investment advice, of course, just informed speculation on market reactions to the scenario above.

Aldous Huxter said...

American roads are in a pretty poor state of repair. Bridges and dams too. It’s money that has to be spent, being spent. But with a nice new green badge to pretend it’s a whole brave new world.

andrew said...

Anon, more likely the chinese make it ever more difficult for taiwan not actually invading, just extending their claimed territorial waters so the island is surrounded. Then stopping some shipping (at random) for customs checks. Upping the tempo of incursions into taiwanese airspace as that airspace really is theirs (this is happening now). Forcing some flights to land on chinese mainland as some of the passengers are terrorist suspects (HK dissidents). Promising continued security and a good life under their rule and the best TSMC engineers the very best quality gilded birdcage.

andrew said...

On us infrastructure, funny how a first world country has third world standards. The problem the us has is that problems of collective action (stuff best solved collectively) is not well solved by an individualistic nation. Thus bad roads and bridges and airports and state education and heath service and so on. Funny that they have such a good and expensive military.

Anonymous said...

thanks Andrew, I'm sure China will continue to salami-slice away US hegemony (see the Syngenta tale), but my immediate concern is not to invest and take a hit in four weeks when fighting breaks out and Biden's neocons (half of whom have been in situ since Bush 1) declare massive sanctions on Russia and anyone who takes their oil, gas or vaccine, triggering an EU crisis.

Anonymous said...

"According to Nord Stream 2 AG, the pipeline is 95% complete and around 121 kilometres (75 miles) remains to be built."

It's close .. if it's going to be stopped just before completion is the perfect time.

Nick Drew said...

as you evidently know, Anon, US sanctions are (for the time being) stunningly effective as regards their impact on any company that is legit enough to be stock-exchange listed

(as the likes of Total have found out - even with the EC willing to "legislate" on their behalf)

I would say that some companies, in my experience, are pretty good at being (a) highly cooperative with the US authorities and therefore (b) able to communicate with them well enough to get waivers, if not exemptions. Concrete example: BP.

[In case it isn't obvious, that's not to say BP is in any way guaranteed to emerge unscathed from anything in particular.]

NS2 is a really tangle. Merkel is only the latest in a long line of German politicians who make it their business to be as close to Russia as is compatible with continued membership of NATO - and then some. They really do see Russian gas as 100% central to their economy - because they've made it that way - AND that the reciprocal money-flow keeps Russia sweet. Memories of 1943-45 are long. They'll burn a lot of goodwill capital with the USA to keep it thus.

Don Cox said...

Russia and Germany were very close in the decades following Napoleon.

Don Cox

Anonymous said...

Remarkably close even more recently than that.
German army manouveurs/tank trials in Russia before Hitler's re-armament. Significant collaboration pre 1941, right up to Barbarossa including of course the German/Soviet pact (Ribentrop/Molotov). It's quite ironic -I think- that German machine tools(exported in exchange for oil etc) became critical factors in Russian armaments production.

Then we have Willi Brandt etc.

Merkel a Communist Youth League member above the average rank.

dearieme said...

Ukraine is not worth the bones of a single Grenadier Guardsman.

Is it time we left NATO?

E-K said...

Pulled a dead guy out of a car assisted by some neighbours yesterday. He was as cold as it gets, and that waxy Tussauds look about him - we knew he'd been there for at least an hour because the person who'd first seen him thought he was asleep and had walked his dog before realising something was amiss.

I took a look in his eyes and said "He's gaaawn. The only thing to do here is cover him up." The qualified nurse neighbour (Catherine) said "We're not qualified to say that. Let's do CPR."

I said "Errr... OK. Well it is Easter and I suppose it wouldn't be the first time a dead body had been resurrected" So the poor bugger had to suffer the indignity of having his chest pounded for over an hour awaiting the air ambulance (WTF ?) and right enough, the doctor pronounced him dead straight away and fucked off pronto.

So yeah.

Happy Easter !


Last week I'd woken up in the morning and made my wife her favourite mint tea, taken a viagra and presented myself to her naked with a "Ta-daaaaa !" in the hope of a pre-work bonk. She took one look at me and said "Did you remember to put the clocks forward ?"

So I ended up rushing to the depot with a hard on.

Anonymous said...

You mean you were displaying a rather modest 05:25?

Anonymous said...

There's no strategic argument for being against Russia that I can see. But our ruling elite NEED us to be hating someone, otherwise too many of us might hate THEM, as the life chances of Millennials and their successors disappear down the tube.

Remember the wise words of the Great Khan on a man's needs, 800 years before Abram Maslow's hierarchy.

"A woman to love, a horse to ride, and an enemy to hate"

Russia fits the bill as much as our Woke overlords will permit. Not allowed to hate anyone non-white, remember? Plus some of them bear a grudge because of the Tsar and the Black Hundreds.

Scrobs. said...

I thought all that dosh had been earmarked years ago, President Trump just didn't want to waste it!

So Mr Biden, with one almighty bound on the Climate-Controlled Zimmer, signed his forty-third Expletive Ordure and waved goodbye to his staff, his friends, and anyone who knew him...

And the normal citizens of the USA wept.

Elby the Beserk said...

"For 18 months now I have been banging on about how "net zero carbon" has gone 100% mainstream in business and banking,"

Not in Africa. Indeed, the building of new coal powered stations in India and China alone means NetZero will achieve nothing, other than the catastrophic collapsing of an economy already on its knees thanks to COVID.

Johnson is a charlatan, who needs ousting before he does further damage to the UK.

Africa to build 1250 coal powered stations.

Nick Drew said...

Africa to build 1250 coal powered stations?

I'm a bit cynical on that.

(a) Western banks are, one by one, vowing not to do that stuff. OK maybe China and Russia and India are offering to finance & build them all, but maybe not.

(b) Africa's 'plans' for Africa have never been exactly to be taken at face value

(c) there's another explanation: it's a threat - if "you" don't give us a free, fully-functioning new solar-based grid, we'll go flat out for coal ... enviro-energy blackmail across borders is a longstanding international game. East Germany used to do it to West Germany (we are going to build disgusting lignite-burning plants all along the border, and operate them when the east wind is blowing ...); and France does it to all its neighbours (we are not going to maintain our ancient nukes on your border unless you vote for some nuke-related euro-policy we want ...)

What will actually happen in Africa, of course, is loads of cheap quick-to-install diesel gennies. That's what the Dark Continent runs on now.

YDG said...

RE: Anonymous @ 11:40

"Sounds like what Trump wanted to do"

It also sounds like what Obama (claimed he) wanted to do with his election campaign hype about "shovel-ready projects". After eight years in office that yielded - yep, you guessed it - absolutely nothing. The congressional Democrats were appalled that a major investment in construction would mainly create jobs for men - and many of them *white* for god's sake - so the money was re-purposed. What little did reach construction was squandered on bungled Democrat vanity projects like high speed rail from LA to SF.

Something tells me Biden does not have the cognitive capacity to do any better than that.

Anonymous said...

"Something tells me Biden does not have the cognitive capacity to do any better than that"

I don't think Biden is in any shape or form the driving force behind the Biden administration. That'll be the folk who got him "elected".

Nick Drew said...

You're not suggesting there's shortly to be the all-time world record bout of pork-barrelling ???

Because I am - whole point of blogpost!

YDG said...

RE: ND @ 2:11

"You're not suggesting there's shortly to be the all-time world record
bout of pork-barrelling ???"

I'm not sure "pork barrel" applies here.

Back in the good old days of, say, the Apollo program, "pork barrel" meant things like Mission Control being built in Houston, instead of Cape Canaveral alongside all the rest of the NASA kit - which would have made a whole lot more sense. However, Mission Control did in fact get built and it did in fact do its job. It may have been a bit less convenient or a bit more expensive but the stated objective - landing men on the moon - was in fact achieved.

The Obama era was quite different. The stated objective - shovel ready projects - wasn't even attempted. The money was spent on completely different things that didn't involve construction - as normal people use the word - at all.

I'm saying that "Biden's" trillions will go the same way. There will be little if any pouring of concrete or driving of big, yellow, tracked machinery. Instead, there will be millions of copies of "Anti-Racist Baby", whole armies of "woke" enforcers and a whole bunch of Democrat activists celebrating their victory over reality.

Nick Drew said...

@ There will be little if any pouring of concrete or driving of big, yellow, tracked machinery

You reckon? OK, we know Biden's BS election promises of several thousand dollars per head via "covid checks" turned out to mean "less dollars"; but it's hard to spend trillions on woke projects

sadly there will indeed be lots of wokery because it's "cheap" ($-wise, in the short term, that is) & symbolic stuff to do

but there are plenty of the Dems' more hard-headed (capitalist) supporters, plus heaps of non-aligned business-folks, who have every intention of seeing those actual trillions dispensed

hell, the wokists live in fear that the Dems are not even remotely under their control

there is little so single-mindedly focussed, nay ruthless, as a US businessman who smells the prize: the wokists get to play with the universities (which is bad enough, I know), but only while they butt out of the serious business of making money

as has often been pointed out, the US military-industrial complex thrives under Dem governments: it has every intention of doing so again

Anonymous said...

I assume the dosh will go to

a) Dem fiefdoms

b) "enriching" places like Vermont and New Hampshire

YDG said...

RE: ND @ 9:38

"You reckon? "

Unfortunately, yes I do. For what it's worth I would much prefer if you turn out to be right.

" it's hard to spend trillions on woke projects"

In a sane world, I would agree with you. However,

Obama already made over 700 billion of infrastructure spending vanish - probably the equivalent of a trillion in today's money. And he was working with a substantially less mad congress than this one. In his day, the observation that "women don't have testicles" was a tautology. Today it's a hate crime.

I found a New York Times article that says the current Biden plan is for $2 trillion of spending. Of which ...

" $400 billion investment in in-home care for older and disabled Americans. It would lift the wages of care workers, who are predominantly low-paid, female and not white."

Right there, 20% of the money spent and no one has so much as lifted a shovel. Equally, the congressional Democrats have not yet had their say. In Obama's time they simply deleted genuine infrastructure projects and substituted left wing vanity projects such as "rehabilitation of African prostitutes". That might even have been a worthy cause but it clearly wasn't US infrastructure.

"there is little so single-mindedly focussed, nay ruthless, as a US businessman who smells the prize: the wokists get to play with the universities (which is bad enough, I know), but only while they butt out of the serious business of making money"

This is the core of where we disagree. The wokists are playing far more widely than that. I work for a US company that has fully embraced the woke, virtue-signalling agenda. "Making money" is simply not a priority - Social Justice comes first. Profit is nice and all that - but we won't allow it to distract from the real priority. Our senior management will go bankrupt before they will give up their politically correct posturing. And the quarterly results indicate that they are doing just that.

Now, one deluded company isn't the US economy. But where is the counter-example? Boeing? Disney? Google?

Like I said, I hope you are right. Unfortunately, everything I see says otherwise.

lilith said...

Oh EK you have been having yourself a time! Dead bodies and untimely enthusiasm! Dear EK.

Last week I observed and swerved a number of large pot holes in the M25. The M25 has to be the most maintained motorway in the country so perhaps a few trillion are required here too.

E-K said...

Both stories involving a stiff.

Anonymous said...

"Making money" is simply not a priority - Social Justice comes first.

What they say and what they do when push comes to shove are very different things. Amjad Rihan thought his employers were paying him to report corruption and money laundering.

You sound like an honest man - just be aware that while everyone must pay lip-service to social justice, it's more like part of the marketing budget. All Mr Rihad's superiors are still in well paid jobs AFAIK.

lilith said...

After what happened in Texas I am giving cheap quick-to-install diesel gennies some side eye....The must-have for all minimalists in 2021

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...


We were told to celebrate Christmas at Easter.

How's that going for everyone ?

I've been told I can enjoy a gathering of six people outside without issues - only thing is I don't know six people without issues after all this shit.

I've been right on most things so far and the vaccine is not good enough for Lizard Man Whitty (the only mutant I can see in this vicintiy.)

Masks and social distancing until Spring 2022, mark my words. Yet you lot suck it up like it's not happening.

Ye Olde Country is as deeead as the man I pulled from a car last week.

All the things that made life worth living gawn.

You lot sure focused protection wouldn't have been better ?

Well here's a thing.

My mum's still alive (because of focused protection) whereas those in care homes controlled by the NHS aren't.

We could save a lot by scrapping the military and Parliament right now. What's to defend ? Let Prime Minister Whitty just get on with it all.

E-K said...

And I'm afraid, by Spring 2022 (the Spanish Flu rule book) many people will be so psychologically damaged that they will be unable to ditch face masks and social distancing.

Aged 56 I passed the PRMC physical fitness tests today and did it by quite a margin.

I respect the rules but disrespect the instructions to be fearful about all this.

E-K said...

I promise I didn't read this before I wrote the above.

Littlejohn predicts lockdown won't be lifted until this time next year too.

So wot say you lot ?

And what are you going to do about it ?

lilith said...

The damage is already done EK. I have had enough of saving the NHS now. Sick of them turning away people with serious conditions that a child could recognise...(Giant cell arteritis, blood clots, sepsis) leaving people to go blind/die.

Lockdown is criminal. Truly EVIL.

Anonymous said...

"And what are you going to do about it ?"

Well we had 7 people in our garden all day on Sunday, four of them health professionals, 11 jabs betwen the seven of us. Once I have jab 2 and have dropped two stone (half way there) I intend to live a normal life. Going to watch a lot of cricket this summer just because it'll be there.

In the cities the young are ignoring lockdown en masse already, once we decrepits are jabbed we can do the same.

Best thing about Covid was the wake up call to lose weight. Trying to get within half a stone of my weight at age 30. Easter holiday blow out is over, back to the low-carb diet.

lilith said...

No Government MANDATES my medical treatment, thank you!

Anonymous said...

(agree with EK/Lilith about NHS damage - the backlog is huge. People have died (including a relative) and will die who might have been saved, because so much has been cancelled/delayed)

lilith said...

Yes Anon, lose the extra pounds! I now have to really concentrate to eat enough to stop me losing more weight. Loving Carnivore. I'm now as skinny as I was 20 years ago, but this time without the blood sugar swings. Also it pisses off the Vegans. South Devon cows taste the best!

Elby the Beserk said...

Nick Drew said...
Africa to build 1250 coal powered stations?

I'm a bit cynical on that.

Solar great. Except the sun goes down early in Africa.

E-K said...

Laughing out loud here.

Thud said...

Second jab soon and then I'll do what I like when I like how I like....I did my bit now they need to fuck off and leave us alone.

E-K said...

Ditto, Thud.

Except all the things I want to do will still be closed ... or gone bust.

Even the most successful vaccine roll out in human history is proving unsatisfying to the SAGE mind.

This crisis is the Socialist's wet dream and they just don't want it to end... which is why it *won't* end.

E-K said...

SAGE are now talking about face masks and social distancing indefinitely.