According to Rolling Stone vinyl records are poised to outsell CDs for the first time since 1986.

Listen to this album for sounds you've never heard before.

A Better Life is now available on Bandcamp along with all my other tracks.

"A Better Life" is now available on all streaming sites as well as Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, CDbaby etc.  

The song uses the Morse Code for SOS--the universal distress signal--as a repeating rhythm throughout the song.  It's not like anything you've heard before. Check it out.  And play it over and over.

 

On Friday, September 6, 2019 I'm releasing my latest single "A Better Life." It will be on all streaming services, Bandcamp, CDbaby, and my website as well.

It is a song that expresses distress about the current state of mankind.  It incorporates the Morse Code for SOS into the rhythm of the song.  SOS is the universal distress signal. It's not like anything you've heard before.

Here's the cover.  The picture frames contain a plain white canvas so that fans can edit their favorite "better life" images into them and pass it around on social media to promote the song.  Yes! 

 

Here is a very interesting article about how streaming services using sound leveling on playlists and albums. If your song is louder than others it's going to get its volume reduced automatically.

 

 ...louder masters do not create a louder playback experience for the listener.  The use of playback normalization algorithms eliminate the need for projects to be mastered at extremely high levels as they were in the early aughts.  Songs mastered at different volume levels are streamed at almost identical playback levels. Even though each streaming services has a different approach to loudness normalization, they all use a target level far below the master volume preferred by many modern artists, producers & engineers.  By mastering records closer to streaming service's target playback level, you will achieve a similar perceived playback volume, but gain the benefit of additional transient detail in the lower level master. 

 

Read more here.

 

 

After about 12 years of crazy monetary policy, things are becoming even more strange.  Banks are paying people to borrow money, and The Washington Post describes why this is alarming

 

[Subzero] debt, issued as government or corporate bonds, has doubled since December and now totals $15 trillion.

 

 The sudden increase suggests that a fast-rising share of investors are so nervous about the future they’re willing to actually lose a little money by lending it to a borrower that is almost certain to pay it back, rather than risk betting on something that could go bust. In a healthy economy, investors would put their money to work in profit-making ventures such as factories or office buildings.

 

{...}

 

Today, Japan and seven major European governments, including Germany and France, are able to sell bonds with negative yields, as are corporate behemoths Nestlé and Sanofi, whose size gives investors confidence they could withstand a downturn.

 

The United States hasn’t seen such upside-down bonds yet, though the yields on U.S. government debt have plunged, with at least one yield reaching new lows Wednesday. In recent days, top analysts at two giant investment houses — Pacific Investment Management Co. and JPMorgan Chase — have predicted that U.S. Treasury bond yields could go to zero or lower if the United States tumbles into recession.

 

“This is the ultimate indicator that something is fundamentally wrong with the world economy,” said Adam Posen, president of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “The escalation of the trade war is making it worse.”

 

This also suggests that banks could soon be charging people to save and paying them to take on more debt.  Why would they do that unless taking on more debt has become so risky that banks are willing to give you a financial incentive to borrow?

 

It's a really interesting article.  Everything is upside down thanks to the Federal Reserve and government policy creating great distortions in the market.  See my previous two posts for more on this subject.

 

Having just finished my post about David Stockman's article on subzero yields, I came across this article on CNBC: Greenspan says "there is no barrier" to negative yields in the US.

 

 

With global central banks engaging in unprecedented monetary easing, a record $15 trillion of government bonds worldwide now trade at negative yields. As uncertainty reigns, investors are looking for a safe haven for their money, even if it means getting back less than they gave.

 

 

“Why people continue to buy long-term Treasurys at such low yields may be also due to forces having altered people’s time preferences,” Greenspan said. “But there is hundreds of years of history showing the long-term stability in time preference, so these changes won’t be forever.”

Sounds like fancy Fed-speak for "you're getting screwed no matter where you put your money."

Writing about financial markets and debt may seem out of place on a musician's website, but those things have fascinated me for a long time.  They have a huge impact on our lives and we'd all be better off if more people paid attention to them and understood them.

All politicians, whether they call themselves Democrats or Republicans, know that buying votes with money is an effective way to win office and to keep it.  It's very fashionable today to take that money from future generations. They can't protest because they are not yet alive.

David Stockman, the Former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan.  During his term the budget deficit soared so it's difficult to read this post from his blog and take it seriously.

But it's a fact that central banks have making savings very unattractive and speculation in asset markets more attractive in recent years.  That fueled the housing bubble and the current bubble in all asset classes.  What could be less desirable as an investment than saving or buying bonds at a negative interest rate?  You are guaranteed to lose.  With the price of assets like real estate and stocks seeing huge gains in price, more and more people buy them in the hope of making money rather than losing it.  But that's the kind of thinking that has produced every market bubble and subsequent crash in history.  How long can the current craziness last?

Stockman does a good job of illustrating just how crazy the whole thing has gotten.  It's an article well worth reading: The Risible Myth of the Savings Glut and the Lunacy of Subzero Yields.

 

Needless to say, the 100-year Austrian bond is not some kind of one-of-a-kind freakish side show in the far back of the financial circus. As the grid below shows, there are now trillions of long-dated bonds that are trading at subzero yields, and which will positively crash in price when the current bond mania ends.

That's just a tiny sample backed up by some good, solid facts. 

 Related Article: Alan Greenspan Sees No Barrier to Negative Interest Rates in US Bonds

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