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Government Forecasts

Heathrow Airport in London has delayed flights due to a winter storm. Up to 200,000 passengers were stranded as the airport is operating at one-third capacity. London only got five inches of snow, but they are not equipped to de-ice planes or clear the runways.
British officials say a few years (global warming) of mild weather have encouraged underinvestment in equipment and preparedness.  .  Actually, it hasn’t been that long…Feb. 2, 2009 London received six inches of snow.  Trains, buses and auto travel ground to a halt and yes there were airport closures then.  That is the trouble with bureaucrats, they have a short memory and don’t learn from past mistakes.  You can read about the “rare” storm in 2009 from the New York Times.
You would think that citizens that put so much trust and responsibility in government would learn what a bankrupt system the government is and quit believing anything they say. But of course the storms are always a surprise.
There is a weather forecaster in England that has a better record than the government weather forecasters. His name is Piers Corbyn and has a degree in astrophysics. In November when the British government weather office predicted a mild winter, with temperatures one to one and a half degrees warmer than normal. (There is that darn global warming again.) Corbyn said it would be the coldest winter in over 100 years! He was right.
Corbyn predicted a cold December back in May. That was when the government forecasters said the summer would be a “barbecue summer.” He said it wouldn’t be that hot and was right. Corbyn forecasts the weather from publicly available information concerning the activity on the Sun’s surface. He studies air currents, then reviews past patterns for similar activity.
What does Piers think of the future?  He is predicting a mini Ice Age starting over the next 25 years.  He believes it could be colder than at any time in the past 200 years!  He speculates that a genuine ice-age may settle in by 2035 as it is cyclically overdue.
As you are enjoying Christmas with your family, some bad news from CNN.  One in seven Americans are now receiving food stamps.  The largest increases have been in Idaho, Nevada and New Jersey.  Are some people at risk?  Yes.  But much of this increase has to do with expansion of the program by raising the definition of the “poverty level.”  The benefit amount was also increased 13.6% as part of the Recovery Act.  Be careful what you believe from government, they can’t forecast the weather or give you the whole truth about their statistics.
The markets are continuing to “melt up” with the lack of bad news.  The general consensus seems to be than things are getting better.  Sure the U.S., and world economy have problems…but what the heck we came to the party so why leave early?
Happy Holidays
Enjoy your holiday weekend with family and we will be back on Tuesday.  The markets are closed tomorrow and we are taking Monday off to spend with family and travel.
To the mailbag:
Speaking of books, have you read ‘The Worst of Hard Times’ by Timothy Egan?---subscriber C.H.
John’s reply:  No I haven’t, but will look at it.
Wouldn’t it be nice if our representatives and other legislators listened to him (Thomas Sowell)?--- subscriber J.W.
John’s reply: I would point out many republicans never have listened to Hayek or Friedman in the past, and will not listen to Sowell today.
Men occasionally stumble on truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”
--- Sir Winston Churchill

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.