- The only real constant to be found in both European and US politics is war. A steady feature of both regions for the past 20+ years has been small, lucrative conflicts waged against countries unable to effectively defend themselves.
- It doesn’t seem to matter who’s in office in the US = Republican/Democrat, conservative/liberal – there’s a war machine constantly running. My concern is that there’s a building risk that one day that war machine is going to bust apart.
- And when it does, the long relative peace that the US and Europe have enjoyed (even as they’ve visited a lot of death and destruction elsewhere) will be shattered.
- As I’ve written extensively in the past, as was the case with Russia last fall, this push to war includes a series of carefully-crafted talking points being endlessly repeated over the print and airwaves. It’s an ever-present condition of living in our manufactured reality, where what we are told to care about is beamed at us around the clock in a rather tediously but emotionally-manipulative way on the “news.”
Read more at:The Relentless Push Towards War
- Those that were predicting that the U.S. economy would be flying high by now have been proven wrong. U.S. GDP grew at the worst rate in three years during the first quarter of 2017, and many are wondering if this is the beginning of a major economic slowdown. Of course when we are dealing with the official numbers that the federal government puts out, it is important to acknowledge that they are highly manipulated. There are many that have correctly pointed out to me that if the numbers were not being doctored that they would show that we are still in a recession. In fact, John Williams of shadowstats.com has shown that if honest numbers were being used that U.S. GDP growth would have been consistently negative going all the way back to 2005. So I definitely don’t have any argument with those that claim that we are actually in a recession right now. But even if we take the official numbers that the federal government puts out at face value, they are definitely very ugly…
Read more at:11 Reasons Why U.S. Economic Growth Is The Worst That It Has Been In 3 Years
- The warning signs are there but very few look for them or want to see them. But it’s a dynamic in which once you see it you can’t “unsee” it. A teacher I know told me this morning that Colorado school districts are quietly cutting staff across all districts. The only reason this would be occurring is that the State is projecting a decline in tax revenues. The only reason tax revenues would be declining is because economic activity is slowing or contracting. And Colorado supposedly has one of the more “vibrant” State economies.
- The soaring level of “hope” that, for some unexplainable reason, accompanied the election of Trump is now crashing. The so-called “hard data” which somewhat measures the level of economic activity never moved higher in order to justify the optimism – an optimism tragically seeded in ignorance. As an example, the Kansas City Fed released its economic survey today. The composite index crashed from 20 to 7. Not surprisingly, Wall Street snake-oil salesmen – otherwise known as “economists” – were expecting a reading of 17 on the index.
Read more at:On The Home-Stretch To Collapse
- Just recently, Wealth Management had an interesting interview with Jeremy Grantham in which Jeremy suggests the “rules have changed” for value investors. To wit:
- “The market was extremely well-behaved from 1935 until 2000. It was an orderly world in which to be a value manager: there was mean reversion. If a value manager was patient, he was in heaven. The market outperformed when it was it cheap, and when it got expensive, it cracked.
- Since 2000, it’s become much more complicated. The rules have shifted. We used to say that this time is never different. I think what has happened from 2000 until today is a challenge to that. Since 1998, price-earnings ratios have averaged 60 percent higher than the prior 50 years, and profit margins have averaged 20 to 30 percent higher. That’s a powerful double whammy.”
Read more at: It’s Different This Time…
- Two days after the US military began to move the controversial THAAD anti-missile system into its deployment site in a South Korean golf course (over the protests of hundreds of locals who were promptly quieted when the police showed up), despite vocal protests from China which is “resolutely opposed” to the THAAD deployment and believes such a move would destabilize the regional balance of power, China said on Thursday that it would stage live fire drills and test new weapons to protect its national security, its Defense Ministry said.
- “The deployment of the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea damages the regional strategic balance and stability. The Chinese side is resolutely opposed to this” Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told reporters on Thursday when asked about the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system.
Read more at:China To Test New Weapons, Stage Live Fire Drills In Retaliation To US THAAD Deployment
- So what do you do when a massive student loan bubble results in crippling leverage for an entire generation of your population rendering them financially unqualified to obtain mortgage financing and their ‘God-given right’ to a slice of the ‘American Dream’? Well, you simply change the rules to allow mortgage lenders to ignore all that pesky student debt…anything less would simply be evil and potentially racist, sexist and all sorts of other -ist words.
- Luckily, Fannie Mae is right on top of the issue and has just released new rules allowing millennial borrowers to, among other things, simply exclude student loans, credit cards and auto loans that are “paid by someone else”…wink wink…when applying for a new mortgage. As an added benefit, taxpayer subsidized mortgage loans can also now be used to repay student debt…Hooray for taxpayers!
Read more at:Fannie Introduces “Innovative Solutions” Allowing Student-Debt-Laden Millennials To Buy A Home, Need To Spread To The Debt
- In a ‘Crocodile Dundee-esque’ show of “that’s not a nuclear missile… this is a nuclear missile” one-upmanship, US military personnel will test fire the deadly (unarmed) Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile between 12:01 and 6:01 a.m. tonight from the north end of the Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc in California.
- Col John Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, will oversee the launch of the long range missile, saying:
- “Team V is once again ready to work with Air Force Global Strike Command to successfully launch another Minuteman III missile.
- These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities.
Read more at:US To Test Fire ICBM Tonight That Can Reach North Korea