The 9-Point Guide To Deciphering Political Propaganda

Submitted by David Galland via,
Given we are eyeballs-deep in the US presidential election cycle, now seems a particularly appropriate time to share some observations on the topic of political propaganda.
As a naturally curious fellow, some years ago – during the Clinton vs. Bush Senior contest – I became interested in the language and techniques used in political campaigning. So much so that I dedicated my daily study period to the topic for the better part of a week.
Since it will be impossible to escape the rhetorical onslaught for the next few months, I thought I might be able to shed some light on what goes on in the battle for your subconscious.
As these insights come from the well-worn pages of playbooks of every politician around the world, I think they are pretty much timeless and cross all borders.
At the core of what I learned in my studies is that the stock and trade of the propagandist revolves around trying to simplify issues, no matter how complex, into easily understood concepts that tap into the existing attitudes and emotions of the target audience.
As an aside, since this topic touches on politics, I may inadvertently gore your ox. For the record, I view most politicians and political parties with disdain, though my disdain is particularly elevated for politicians espousing policies that interfere with my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
With that brief introduction, here are just some of the techniques you can watch for as the election season gains steam.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2016.

Market Talk – July 22, 2016

We saw a bit of a wobble today in Asian cash markets after BOJ governor Kuroda dismissed the idea of helicopter money and following a weak US session resulting in 1% declines for the Nikkei, Shanghai, and a small loss (-0.2%) in the Hang Seng. Oil didn’t help sentiment having lost 2% yesterday and no sign of recovery today as we head into the weekend.
In what is normally low sensitivity data this morning we had the PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) in Europe and the UK. Europe was almost as expected (small miss) but the UK PMI for Services was a wake-up call! Services are estimated around 75% of the UK economy came in at 47.4 whilst the expected was 49.2 and previous month was 52.3; this points to contraction. Immediately, this hit GBP but also the Euro and as a balance what were negative equity markets bounced as the currencies fell. In afternoon trading the mood continued and the lower currencies drifted the bid appeared for equities. By the close it was only the DAX that finished lower with FTSE, CAC and IBEX all in positive territory.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jul 22, 2016.

Gold And Silver – Debt Addiction Will Carry PMs Higher, Guaranteed.

Saturday 23 July 2016
All is not so well within the elite’s New World Order. Their tried and true template of Problem-Reaction-Solution is in full gear as chaos reigns throughout the globe, which is exactly how the globalists like to see events unfold. Chaos [Problem] leads to unnerving situations [Reaction] amongst the masses that eventually cry out for resolve and a return to ‘normalcy’ [Solution, but only as intended by the elites]. Invariably, a return to some kind of order requires the giving up of freedoms, and it often entails tightening the noose of economic hardship.
Sadly, the rinse-and-repeat familiarity of this Problem-Reaction-Solution scenario never seems familiar to the masses. Each time is ‘different,’ that is to say the events may seem
to be different, but the procedure of how the events unfold each and every time throughout history is never different.
The one invisible thread common to all events that has unfolded throughout history is actually not money but debt. Debt is the yolk which the globalists have forced upon the masses, originally, then to countries to get rid of individualism, sovereignty, national identity, even national borders. The EU is the present petri dish of how that works.

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on on July 23, 2016.

A Fully Automated Stock Market Blow-Off?

Anecdotal Skepticism vs. Actual Data
About one month ago we read that risk parity and volatility targeting funds had record exposure to US equities. It seems unlikely that this has changed – what is likely though is that the exposure of CTAs has in the meantime increased as well, as the recent breakout in the SPX and the Dow Jones Industrial Average to new highs should be delivering the required technical signals.
All these strategies are more or less automated (they may be tweaked from time to time, but essentially they are simply quantitative and/or technical strategies relying on inter-market correlations, volatility measures, and/or momentum). Active fund managers by contrast are said to be skeptical of the market rally, but it should be stressed that the evidence for this is purely anecdotal.

This post was published at Acting-Man on July 23, 2016.

It Starts: First Mega-Foreclosure Hits Houston Office Market

A nasty quarter at the epicenter of the Great American Oil Bust. Greenspoint Place, a 1.5-million-square-foot, six-building office and retail complex on 36 acres, whose occupancy plunged below 40% when Exxon Mobil moved to its new campus, was sold at a foreclosure auction on July 5. It crowned a nasty quarter in Houston’s oil-bust office market.
The complex was owned by a partnership of two giants: one of the world’s largest developers, Hines, and the General Motors Pension Fund. They’d acquired it in the 1990s. In July 2012, they’d refinanced the first mortgage of $145 million with Northwestern Mutual.
Letting the lender deal with the problems was the logical solution. In early June, Hines told the Houston Business Journal in an email:
‘Considering the average occupancy rate in this depressed submarket is only about 50%, due largely to the fact the energy market is hurting, ownership of the asset will be turned over to the lender. We believe that is the best course of action for the property at this juncture.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on July 22, 2016.

Does Everyone Hate Ted Cruz: The Answer In One Diagram

In a word: “yes” (though we have been unable to contact his wife and children)
It seems the Republican party is ‘united’ against one politician (other than Hillary)…
With his refusal to endorse Donald Trump from the convention stage Wednesday, Ted Cruz prompted a chorus of boos from those in the audience – and a flurry of insults from those who spoke to him and the media afterward. In the interest of cataloging the moment, The Washington Post has tracked down as much of the back-and-forth as we could and created this handy image to convey it.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2016.

Mark Cuban: Trump Will End U.S. Tech Supremacy

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
Billionaire tech entrepreneur and ‘Shark Tank’ host Mark Cuban was harshly critical of Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention last night (July 21).
Cuban launched a series of scathing tweets attacking Trump’s talking points in real-time:

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on July 22, 2016.

Celebrating 45 Years of Phony Money

$300 Trillion in Debt DUBLIN – After our trip to Las Vegas, we spent one night in Baltimore and then got on another airplane. Standing in line, unpacking bags, getting zapped by X-ray machines – it has all become so routine we almost forget how absurd it is.
While armies of TSA agents pat down grandmothers and Girl Scouts, ex-soldiers take aim at the police… nutcases run down tourists with delivery trucks… and a fellow with a grudge against gays nearly wipes out an entire nightclub.
We feel so lucky. It is not every generation that gets to witness so many grotesque things at once. Stocks are at an all-time high. Bond yields are at an all-time low. And never have so many people owed so much to so few.

This post was published at Acting-Man on July 22, 2016.

Toga! Toga! Toga!

I’m watching the Trump phenomenon with some mix of horror and amusement, like I suspect most people are.
I will say up front that I am no fan of Trump. I sincerely wish Gary Johnson would become president, having been a Libertarian long before it was fashionable (and when the candidates were a lot less viable).
The weird thing about Trump is that the gold bug guys, by and large, are all-in for him, which is head-exploding. Trump, who never met a creditor he wouldn’t screw, who threatens to balloon the debt even further, to the point where it requires direct monetization, that is who the gold bugs want for president. Doesn’t sound like Austrian economics to me.
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before in The 10th Man (and here in Forbes), Trump would be very bad for bonds. Government would get bigger, not smaller, and the increased supply would weigh on the bond market, driving interest rates higher.
But the problem is actually much worse than that. Both candidates for president have increasingly grandiose visions for the sorts of things government should do, and I don’t see any scenario in 2017 where the deficit doesn’t widen sharply.
And that’s not even taking into account the usual demographic math about how Social Security is bankrupt, etc.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on JULY 21, 2016.

Yen posts reversal day on ECB

The Japanese Yen, the so-called ‘safe haven’ currency, notched an upside reversal pattern on its daily price chart today as the European Central Bank caused a near panic back into safe havens trades due to their lack of policy action in regards to formerly promised stimulus measures.

As noted in my earlier post this morning, normally, this would be a powerful signal for yen shorts to cover after a nice mover lower with the expectation that the market is now about to commence an upward move.

This post was published at Trader Dan on July 21, 2016.

“That’s A Scary Graph” Former Fed Economist Warns

The problem, warns 33-year St. Louis Fed veteran Daniel Thornton, is that “the financial cycle is way ahead of the economic cycle.” As Bloomberg notes, that’s a worry given that the past two downturns were driven by asset-price deflation.
Americans are about as wealthy as they’ve ever been – and that’s a worry? Yup, say veteran economists Daniel Thornton and Joe Carson. They’re concerned that the swelling of wealth could prove unsustainable because it’s far outstripped the growth of the economy since the recession’s end in 2009.
Thornton, who spent 33 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis before retiring in 2014, says in effect that we’ve seen this picture before. Household net worth ballooned in the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s; in the first instance pumped up by rising stock prices, in the second by expanding home values.
Both cases ended badly, with the economy falling into recession after the bubbles burst.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2016.

Silver Bull Faces Correction

Silver’s young bull market got off to a typically-slow start, lagging gold’s own new bull. But recently the white metal surged to catch up in a record summer rally. That left silver very overbought and facing near-term correction risks led by a record futures selling overhang and weak late-summer seasonals. But this strengthening bull still has a long ways higher to run yet before silver prices reflect prevailing gold levels.
Silver is something of an enigma. By the global supply-and-demand numbers, it’s inarguably another industrial metal. According to the venerable Silver Institute which gathers the world’s best fundamental data, industrial fabrication accounted for 50.3% of total demand last year. That was followed by coins and bars at 25.0% and jewelry at 19.4%. Most of the silver mined is consumed, not hoarded for investment.
On the supply front, the Silver Institute found that only 30% of global silver mine supply in 2015 came from primary silver mines. The great majority of silver produced is simply a byproduct from mining base metals and gold. These byproduct miners often think so little of silver that they sell the upside on their production to silver-streaming companies at relatively-low prices. That doesn’t sound like a precious metal.

This post was published at ZEAL LLC on July 22, 2016.

Trump Goes On War Path Against Ted Cruz: “I Don’t Want His Endorsement”

One day after Ted Cruz refused to endorse Donald Trump in a speech that has since been defined as a historic, once-in-a-generation event, and yet one which supposedly Trump had vetted in advance, Donald Trump went on the war path against Cruz.
At a convention farewell event in Cleveland with running mate Mike Pence, Trump said he doesn’t want Cruz’s endorsement, blamed the Texas senator for making their wives fair political game, and said he had nothing to do with a conspiracy theory he promoted in the primary, that Cruz’s father had been seen with President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Trump tore into his primary rival on Friday morning, saying he would not accept the Texas senator’sendorsement and threatening to fund a Senate challenger against Cruz.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 22, 2016.

Britain’s Minimum Wage Short-Changes Young Workers

The national minimum wage introduced in 1999 by the Blair government was seen as one of the best policies to tackle exploitative work and the conditions of low pay. What better than to create a floor under which no one can fall? Well it seems that floor was not so stable, as young people have borne the brunt of this misguided policy. Effects as serious as rising youth unemployment, significant underemployment and a range of masking effects have led to a situation of under-saturated labour markets and the continual need for young adults to seek other activities such as university education and government-based training schemes, or simply drop out of the labour market altogether. It has also had the effect of de-skilling young people and making them reliant on the welfare state and low-skill, low-pay employment through Jobcentres and Jobseekers Allowance schemes.
British labour markets have never resembled anything close to a free market. Rather, they have been under the control of corporatist management networks and centralised trade unions. The national minimum wage is simply a continuation of this franchise, with control held by the Low Pay Commission (the LPC, a collection of large employers and trade unions) and varying governments with their misguided policies.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 21, 2016.