Did the Fed blink?

CNBC’s Jim Cramer opined that Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, has blinked. In early October Powell stated that he thought current Fed rates were far short of the “neutral” rate that neither stimulates nor dampens the economy, implying more rate hikes for 2019. Yesterday, Powell said that the rates were close to the neutral rate. Equity markets loved that news and stock prices soared.

Say what you want about Jim Cramer’s on-air histrionics, but he is a VERY smart man and was very successful running a hedge fund. He has been critical of the stance of Powell and the Fed regarding interest rates and the US economy. It looks as though Powell has listened to Cramer, either explicitly or implicitly.

I think it is a sad state of affairs that more Americans know who Kim Kardashian is (I don’t care if I spelled her name correctly) than who Jerome Powell is. Ignorance is NOT bliss!

FWIW, Cramer does not believe that China is a “friend” of the US. I believe that China, at least in their own hemisphere if not both, wants to be the dominant world power. Whether they can accomplish that goal before their population gets really old is an open question, in my opinion. (FYI, in 2017 the US trade deficit with China in goods AND services amounted to 1.7% of US GDP. I guess you can decide whether or not that’s a significant number.)

I love cars, but I live in the real world. As much as I despise politics, what large national governments do affects us all whether we realize it or not.

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In an episode of the original Top Gear, the hosts stated their opinion that Lancia has built more great cars than any other company in history. On this day in 1906, Lancia was founded.

https://i0.wp.com/cdn.hiconsumption.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/1974-Lancia-Stratos-HF-Stradale-0-HERO.jpg

From hiconsumption.com a picture of the Lancia Stratos, one of the most successful rally cars in history. I really like the look of this car except for the box handle spoiler at the back of the roof.

 

https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/11/1975-lancia-fulvia.jpg?quality=85&w=1717&h=966

From thedrive.com a picture of a Lancia Fulvia. A recent episode of Wheeler Dealers featured this model.

Fiat purchased Lancia in 1969. At first, the Lancia name stayed “independent” and the production of a model like the Stratos was a manifestation of that “independence.” Eventually, Lancia models really became badge-engineered Fiats.

At this moment I believe the only model with the Lancia name is the Ypsilon “supermini” built on the Fiat Mini/Fiat 500 platform. If Wikipedia is to be believed, then Lancia production has declined dramatically: from 300,000 cars in 1990 to 60,000 in 2017. Lancias were sold officially in the US only from 1975 to 1982. As I have written before a Stratos model recently sold on Bring a Trailer for $440,000.

 

I’m sorry, but does any other place exist where one can read a discussion of Fed policy AND about the Lancia automobile? If you like this blog, PLEASE tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.

 

P.S. From corvetteblogger.com comes this news about the key fob and LOGO for the C8 Corvette being unearthed from an FCC filing. Very big news, IMO.

 

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

 

It’s Monday

As I wrote here, Friday doesn’t have the same meaning for someone like me who is (involuntarily) retired as it does for someone in a full-time job. Well, of course, neither does Monday. In all of my non-baseball office jobs I dreaded Monday. As I keep writing virtually nothing in life is all good or all bad; everything is a trade-off. As I have also written, the fact that someone with my skills and experience cannot find a meaningful and fulfilling work situation is not a good sign for America, even if it’s just a sample size of one. I don’t even want to work full-time, but I would relish a part-time or consulting role in which I can use my combination of analytical and communication skills to help a company make decisions.

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I have written about Patrick Mahomes, the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, a couple of times. Between fatigue and the rerun of a Mecum auction I missed almost all of last night’s Chiefs-Patriots game, which apparently was one for the ages. Since I didn’t watch maybe I shouldn’t comment, but 1) the fact that the Chiefs came back to take the lead at Foxboro bodes well for them and 2) NO penalties against the Patriots is very suspicious to me. It is well-known that the Chiefs’ defense is suspect, but I think the Patriots’ defense is not that good, either.

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I have no idea why Disaffected Musings already has dozens of views today, supposedly all from Canada, from very few unique visitors. It’s actually a little disturbing because it seems like a prank or even like a hack. ALL blog hosting platforms should understand that bloggers have no control over what strangers do. Since the beginning of this month the number of views/visitors for Disaffected Musings has increased dramatically, for which I am grateful, but that increase seems organic unlike today’s activity.

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A shout-out to Lee Iacocca who is, hopefully, celebrating his 94th birthday today. Iacocca is one of the most significant figures in the history of the American automotive industry. For all that he accomplished, he will probably always be most associated with his role in bringing this car to market:

See the source image

From silodrome.com a picture of a 1965 Ford Mustang. While I am tired of seeing an endless parade of Mustangs/Shelbys at car auctions I do appreciate the significance of the car. I have recently developed an affinity for the hardtop coupe (pictured above) of the first generation Mustangs up through 1968.

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From autoevolution.com a picture of a rendering by a Korean company, KKS Studios, of the upcoming C8 Corvette:

A lot of Ferrari 488 in that design as the autoevolution article points out. So many drawings and renderings have emerged regarding the C8 Corvette that it’s almost too many, almost. I still think the C2 Corvette (1963-1967) is the best looking American car ever (yes, I broke the moratorium which lasted 18 days) and with a restomod I can get a C7 in performance that looks like a C2. In any event, here’s hoping that the C8 will debut early in 2019.

 

 

C8!

First, from Maurice:

“Buying your passion is never wrong. It’s just how to do it with the highest pleasure/pain ratio. One man’s thirty year torture trying to rebuild a car is another man’s-or woman’s-labor of love. To live without passion is to die slowly every day.”

I believe it was Hegel who wrote, “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.”

Speaking of passion:

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/25-cars-worth-waiting-for-2019-2022

Obviously from Car and Driver a picture of their take on the upcoming C8 Corvette. This is supposed to be the Vette that is “finally” mid-engined, as Corvette savior and guru Zora Arkus-Duntov would have wanted. Word has been frustratingly scarce in terms of details, but GM/Chevrolet are not obligated to reveal details before they formally introduce the car.

The prevailing “wisdom” has been that the C8 and C7 will be produced simultaneously for a couple of years, a Corvette first. Then, the C8 will be the only production model, but that it will be available with three or even four different engines. The word “e-Ray” has been trademarked by General Motors/Chevrolet leading to speculation that some type of hybrid drive-train will eventually be available. Who knows? Maybe it will be like the McLaren P1 or Ferrari LaFerrari in that it will use electric motors to boost output, maybe past 1,000 HP and 1,000 LB-FT of torque.

Here is the URL for the full Car and Driver write-up on the C8:

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/2020-chevrolet-corvette-c8-the-mid-engined-white-whale-is-nearly-here

I don’t think I or my wonderful wife will be in the market for the C8, but one never knows. 🙂

ZR1

As has been reported in several venues the 2019 Chevrolet ZR1 has set a new lap record at the Virginia International Raceway. Just think, the ZR1 is certainly not as fast as the fastest C8 Corvette, which will be shown in public for the first time in the near future. I am conflicted about the C7 ZR1, which has external wings. I do not really like external air forms on a car, but they are more effective than integral features. What do you think?

Image result for 2019 ZR1

From jalopnik.com (a decent website, but IMO it has too much politics).

From automobilemag.com (a very good site) is a rendition of what they think the C8 Corvette will look like:

Image result for c8 corvette

Looks like a Lamborghini and that is a compliment.

You Corvette fans (and I am one as well), what do you think of the recent news and speculation?