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Commentary on The Capital Markets
2016-02-13 16:02 by Karl Denninger
in Flash , 271 references

This is double-plus ungood.

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.


Now we're going to get an attempt to stack a hard-left appointee on the court by Obama and in an election year this becomes quite a dicey proposition.

It also means that 4-4 votes on pending cases are now possible, at least for now.

I didn't always agree with Scalia but it is impossible to say that you wouldn't learn something reading his opinions, whether you agreed with them or not.

Anton Scalia will be missed.

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It's time to cut the crap folks.

I have posted many articles that delineate how this happened....

... which, I remind you, began back in 2011 right about this time of the year (a couple of weeks from now, to be exact) and required roughly eight months to be completed in terms of weight loss -- a change that has been maintained without counting calories, without hunger and without falling over dead as many have claimed I would.

But every time I post another article on various news in the health arena that pertains to "what goes in the pie hole" I get various responses and inquiries that all are more-or-less the same -- and the pattern is disturbing.

  • "I like potatoes; they grow in the ground and are natural, so why not eat them once in a while if I want to?"
  • "Can you post your actual meal plans for a given week?"
  • "But I like {bread|rice|pasta}
  • "You should use/drink 2% (or skim) milk instead of whole"
  • "How about low-fat {cheese|salad dressing|anything-else}"
  • "You need to make that {grass-fed|organic|fellate-the-greenies} (insert food)"

And on and on and on.

Folks, in the last article I gave you a "short list" of things not to eat.  I also told you how I target my macro-nutrient balance -- that is, between the three possible food sources (fats, carbs and protein.)  No, I won't reprint it -- go read that article again, this time for content.

The bottom line in all of the above questions is that every one of them belies the reason that the person asking them will and probably have, up until now, failed: They are not interested in a lifestyle change as the answer to the question was in fact in the article itself; they're looking for a recipe -- a quick fix -- that will allow them to keep their current lifestyle and choice of foods rather than change it.

What must be understood is that said current lifestyle is killing you.

It's killing you slowly, but it's killing you nonetheless.  You were probably taught that lifestyle over time; first by your parents, then by your school (public or otherwise) and of course by all the advertising and peer experiences you have had.

You also have first-hand knowledge literally all around you of the results.

Look at the average person in your local WalMart -- or grocery store -- next time you go.  Look at the average person in your local restaurant or bar.  Look at the average person at your workplace. The fact of the matter is that Gallup says that nearly 30% of American adults are obese.  That's not "a bit overweight", it's outrageously fat.  Incidentally, the left picture above does not represent "obese"; it's "modestly overweight", a category that 35.6%, or more than one in three adults falls into today.

Folks, I can't tell you how many people over the last few years have asked me if I'm sick because I'm not fat any more.  I'm not rail-thin -- there's still a little bit of fat on me, even though I'm within the formally-healthy body mass area.  I'm hardly anorexic-looking by any degree.  Since when is "plump" healthy?  Only if you're a steer or other animal about to be slaughtered, and that's only because fat tastes good; point being nobody gives a damn if it would eventually lead to said cow having a heart attack because she'll be steak on the grill long before then.

What's worse is that 11.4% of Americans have diabetes, mostly Type II -- and that's only among those who know they're diabetic as they've been formally diagnosed.  As my earlier article pointed out a huge percentage of the population has already taken critical metabolic damage yet is not exhibiting diabetes symptoms; it takes decades for that damage to be clinically recognized but it is still happening and is still impacting your life.

There is an entire social "movement" that says that if you say or think someone is "fat" or connect being fat with being unhealthy you're "shaming" them and that's a "micro-aggresssion."  Horsecrap; it's a statement of fact and that the target is offended you pointed out that they're committing suicide isn't "aggression", it's truth.

If that last article didn't shake you up, pointing out that you will be committing said suicide for decades before the doctor finds the clinical problem (by which point you're cooked) then nothing will.  You can have utterly normal clinical tests (provided nobody directly tests your insulin levels under glucose challenge, and no doctor will without specific reason and prodding) and yet you are accumulating damage that will eventually cause severe morbidity or death.

That damage is cumulative and to some degree is also likely permanent.  The susceptibility to said damage is to a large degree genetically controlled but almost everyone will succumb if they keep insulting their body for long enough.  Said damage is very likely to be present and material if you are even modestly overweight and it is almost-certainly present if you are medically obese, irrespective of your age.

The sooner you stop accumulating that damage the better the odds that your body's systems will be able to repair themselves.

There is no way to stop accumulating the damage other than changing your lifestyle in the form of what you consume as food.  You cannot stop it with pills nor exercise; exercise is good for other reasons, primarily cardio endurance and general physical fitness but it has only a minor impact on said metabolic damage.

The reason for this is math -- a pound of body mass is somewhere between 3,000-3,500 calories.  A mile of running is about 100 calories if you're fit and trim, 120 or so if you're not.  What this means is that you need to run more than a marathon worth of distance to offset one pound of excess body mass.

The math is simple: You cannot outrun your fork.

Now let's talk about some of the "questions" and "comments":

If you look at the list of things not to eat in my linked article you will nowhere see the qualifier "not grass fed" before anything, say much less "beef."  Why not?  Because there's no metabolic reason to do that; beyond doubling the price most of those labels are fraud anyway.  Beef is finished on grain specifically because it causes fat marbling and it is the fat that makes it taste good.  Can you buy non-finished beef?  Sure.  Do you want it?  Why would you intentionally damage the nutrient balance when the entire point of eating said beef is to get a high fat, moderate protein, low-carb mix of macro nutrients?

Now if you simply don't care that said beef costs twice as much, and you're not going to upset your protein/fat balance in total by choosing it, go ahead.  But from my point of view it's wrong-headed on two levels -- one, it dramatically raises the cost of your food without any documented material improvement, and two, it is directly opposite to the macro balance that I want in my food!  Likewise those asking about trimming the fat off their pork chops or eating their chicken breasts with the skin removed are doing the same thing.

The same is true for "lowfat" cheese.  Why in the hell would I want cheese made with reduced-fat milk?  The point of eating the cheese is the macro nutrient balance that tilts heavily toward fat as an energy source.  Full-fat, all-the-goodness cheddar cheese has nearly zero carbohydrate and more fat than protein (about a 4:3 ratio by mass and 3:1 by caloric content.)  In other words in terms of high fat, moderate protein and low carb -- that is, macro nutrient balance -- it's almost exactly what you want to eat; it requires no compensation at a macro level anywhere else in your food intake.

Now let's look at lowfat cheese.  It has a macro balance of 3:10, roughly, by mass which means it's 27:40 by caloric content or approximately 9:13.  That's high-protein or exactly backward.  You're out of your damn mind to eat that unless you're trying to eat high protein.  Beyond the health risks of doing so (unproven for most people; the known exception is those with kidney disease) there's an economic aspect to this: Fat has 9 calories per gram, protein 4.  Why do you want to eat twice as much by weight for the same caloric content when most food is sold by weight, especially when low fat, high protein sources tend to be more expensive per-pound to start with!

Next, why do you want to drink milk (liquid) at all, unless perhaps you're a growing child or adolescent -- and even then, why beyond moderation, say the equivalent of one 8oz cup a day?  Let's look at 2%, which someone touted in a response to my last missive.

It contains a balance by mass of 12/5/8 (carb, fat, protein) which by caloric content means it's 48/45/32 or 38% carbs, 36% fat, 26% protein.  If your macro balance looks like this for your entire intake for the day you're going to be eating 162g of carbs.  That is not "low carb" but if it's what you're doing and it's not working you can start correcting the problem with ceasing to lie to yourself.

How much better is whole milk?  Not a lot.  It's 13/8/8 by mass -- yes, it has more carb content than 2%!  By caloric content it is thus 52/72/32 by calories.  That's 33% carbs, 46% fat and 21% protein.  That winds up being 148g of carbs/day if your diet mirrors that composition.

Neither is consistent with a low-carb lifestyle.

Now could you choose to have one glass of milk during the day (or equivalent) and little other carbs?  Sure.  But will you?  Probably not, if your balance looks like this without your eyebrows going up.

How about a potato?  One medium potato (not the monster russets you find in the store or at the steakhouse), baked, minus any sort of topping or salt, has a whopping 63g of carbs and 7g of protein, zero fat.  One of those is two whole days of my typical carb consumption.  Why would you eat that at all?  Oh, it has vitamin C in it?  Well brussels sprouts wins there by a country mile (a serving has all of your vitamin C requirement) and only four grams of carbs ex-insoluble fiber.  They're also voluminous (that is, they'll fill you up physically) and yet have a near-zero insulin response.  Don't like those?  How about broccoli?  100% of Vitamin C, 43% of Vitamin A requirements and while "high carb" by percentages in terms of absolutes it's 4g and a mere 20 calories for the lot.  Oh, it's got a decent amount of folate in it too.

Now I'll grant you that if you have a sack of potatoes and nothing else the choice is obvious.  Anyone see The Martian?  Yes, under starvation conditions (or nearly so, aka "peasant" conditions) it works.  So does rice.  Our bodies can process this stuff because it beats "nothing" as an alternative choice.

You don't need "meal plans" folks. I'll just tell you how today looks thus far and I've not planned it.

14/12/0 - 2 eggs
18/14/0 - 2 slices cheddar cheese (whole fat; actually shredded, but about that in quantity)
12/12/0 - 2 slices thick (double-normal) bacon

270/152/0 - Caloric balance (fat/protein/carb) or 64%/36%/0

Now in reality it's a bit higher on the fat side because I reserve the fat from the bacon frying and use that to cook the omelet.  So I am likely right around 70/30/0 "as eaten."  The espressos don't count for anything (and I drink plenty of them) because there's no caloric content in them.

Now I've had breakfast.  For lunch I will probably eat either some brussels sprouts or broccoli; I microwave either with some of the (reserved) bacon fat and seasoned salt.  Both are delicious, and the reserved fat I cook them in means that I have depressed my protein percentage a bit.

For dinner tonight I'll have chuck roast, either tossed in the crock pot with seasoning or on the grill.  Let's assume grilled as that's "neat" and easy.  Let's further assume I'm going to eat like a pig and stuff about 1,200 calories down the pie hole (somewhat less than a pound worth) to fill my caloric requirement.

That's 84/96/0, or on caloric balance 756/384/0 -- 66%/34%/0.

Somewhere along here I'll probably have an "adult beverage", which is basically all carbs (no fat and little protein), which gets my ratios right about where they should be, and I'll likely eat some piece of fruit or vegetable on the side, perhaps an orange or a couple of sliced-in-half poblano peppers roasted under the broiler for a few minutes with melted cheese on them.

Today, when you read this, I'm out running a 15k race, and a particularly nasty one in that it's over two bridges (really three as the approach to the second one is in fact a bridge) -- and this sort of eating pattern is what I usually do and have done in the days leading up to a race; there's no "carb loading" or other crap in front of what is a fairly significant exertion event.  I have no need to do so.  If I'm so-inclined maybe I'll post my finish time in the comments.....

Here's the thing: I'm not doing the math on this as I put together what I'm going to eat.  In fact, I just did it in this post today, mid-day Friday, to show up Saturday morning for ****s and grins on today's eating plans, without knowing how it would come out.

You know why it works?

Because I don't have to do math for it to work.

I just have to follow the rules in the previous post on what not to eat, stock my fridge and pantry accordingly, and then follow my stomach -- when I'm hungry, I eat.  When I'm not, I don't.  If I want to consume an adult beverage or two I must deduct the carbs in them from something else I would otherwise eat during the same day and I cannot exceed the targets.  But that's easy and takes nearly zero effort, since I don't eat starchy or carb-laden things, nor do I consume unhealthy oils at all.

By not consuming things that spike insulin levels I don't have to do the math as my body is perfectly capable of regulating its intake -- and mass -- all on its own because I didn't poison myself.

If I had to count everything and figure it all out beforehand it would be a chore and I'd fail.  Instead I can decide I want some baked chicken wings at the pub because I'm hungry, "dry rub" please (to stay away from the commercial HFCS-laced sauces) and I won't screw up my macro nutrient levels at all.  Likewise, I can go grab a hunk of cheese out of the fridge and eat it for a snack -- same deal.  Or, for that matter, the remainder of the pork shoulder ribs I grilled up last night and had a few left over.

There's no counting because you don't need to and you're not hungry all the time either because your body's signalling mechanism is not trashed.

It's a lifestyle folks.

Can you do it while playing the vegan or vegetarian game?  I'm sure you can.  But it's a lot harder, and that's a huge problem because as soon as you have to start counting things and keeping track of them the odds of you saying "aw, I'll just have that one potato" go way up, and if you're really adhering to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle it's extremely difficult to get that 1,800 calories without resorting to starches, grains or vegetable oils.  For those who say they can, I say "do the math ex-post-facto on what you actually ate yesterday" and see if your beliefs jive with the truth.

This much, however, I can tell you -- you can't do it if you're eating starches, grains or vegetable-based oils in any quantity at all.  If I break those rules, and I have, I feel like crap and pay the price, both in how I feel and in my athletic performance.

You may be able to get away with it for now -- and maybe, just maybe, forever.  I had an aunt who chain smoked her entire life and it never got her.  Marg died from natural causes a number of years ago in her 90s as a ripe, sassy old lady, and smoking never debilitated her.  But that she got away with it doesn't mean you will too and the same basic fact applies here when it comes to what goes down your chute.

And here's the truly disturbing fact: If you are overweight, even if only somewhat, or obese today then you know damn well you won't get away with it, because you've already proved you're susceptible and are taking more and more damage daily.

You're exactly equivalent to the smoker that's hacking up a lung every morning but refuses to quit, even though you know damn well it's killing you.

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As if it's not enough, Cruz has a nice app for your smartphone.

Nice, of course, is a relative word.

His "Cruz Crew" mobile app is designed to gather detailed information from its users' phones — tracking their physical movements and mining the names and contact information for friends who might want nothing to do with his campaign.

Go ahead folks, load it.  As soon as you do it's going to take your entire contact list and send it to Cruz.  Yes, everyone in your phone, including their numbers and addresses -- whatever you got -- is now his.

Let me make something very clear -- if you have my number in your phone, and it winds up in his campaign as a result of loading his app..... you won't be interacting with me any more.


That should be everyone's reaction to this sort of crap.

Oh, by the way, if you didn't pay attention to the myriad warnings I've put forward about data mining in places like grocery stores read this:

The scope of Cruz's system is formidable. Cambridge's database combines government and commercial data sets such as voter rolls and lists of people who liked certain Facebook posts, along with consumer data from grocery chains and other clients that can provide a voter's preferred brand of toothpaste or whether he clips coupons. In Iowa, where identifying evangelical voters was key to Cruz's victory strategy, Cambridge's employees scoured the Internet for such useful information as church membership rolls.

You can bet the health insurance companies, auto insurance companies, various other data banks that sell to anyone who asks and more have all of this data and more -- and every bit of it was given to them by you through your actions.


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Is it terrorism?

A man walked into a restaurant called Nazareth and asked if the owners were Jewish or Christian.  He then left.

He returned a short time later with a machete and attacked the people inside, hacking up a number of them.

The cops caught up with him a few miles away and in the confrontation that followed they shot him.  He's dead.

Notice what I'm not reporting here -- The assailant's name or his ethnicity.

Guess why not?  Because the authorities have not released it, although they certainly know who it was.

Ditto for the media which hasn't even reported on this, absent a highly-censored version I found on the Columbus Fox affiliate.

And since the media and the cops will not release this information even though they have it and there is no reason to withhold it I am perfectly within my rights to draw the reasonable conclusion as to what group the attacker probably belongs.

As for trusting said authorities or media, now or in the future, given their intentional concealment?

Not a prayer in Hell jackasses.

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What does Moar and Lower Interest Rates get you?

In the case of Japan what it got them (so far) is a 2,700 point plunge (15%) in the Nikkei 225 market index recently, with 2,000 of those points disappearing in the last four days.

That's roughly like the Dow taking four 500 point declines in a row.

Here's reality folks: Negative rates are a no-confidence vote on the economy by the central bank, and are explicitly deflationary.

It's sort of like the central bank version of a Speedball; spike your metabolism with speed, and then sedate your mind to keep you from thinking with a nice topper of heroin.

The problem is that the combination has a high probability of killing you, yet we have pundits (and others) claiming that The Fed should (or will) follow both Japan and Europe down this road.

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