Got It Figured Out Yet?

Has the light come on yet?
Why do you think the US Congress passed the Sexual Assault Taxpayer Bailout Act by unanimous vote in 1995 — and Bill Clinton signed it? Why has it not been repealed — and in fact, even today there is no bill on the floor of either House or Senate to repeal it, nor has Trump called for it to be repealed and stated he will refuse to sign any other bill (which is within his power) until it is?
The Hollyweird cabal’s escapades are not just limited to harassment. We all know about the Michael Jackson allegations. Then there’s Epstein — and his connections to both the entertainment and political “industries.” Epstein, I remind you, was convicted and yet of all the people who I’ve ever read about being convicted of that sort of offense he’s the only one who was basically given a slap on the wrist instead of decades in prison.
Worse, all of the others connected to him were not pursued. At all. Herr Clinton was of course one of those persons but hardly the only one. Number of prosecutions of those others? Zero.
So let’s ask the inconvenient question: Is all of this in the political and media sphere nothing more or less than a monstrous blackmail scheme and that is why it never came out until it suddenly was forced into the public eye by some damning revelations that could not be silenced once they got circulating on Social Media?

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-12-07.

One Year Later: These Are The Best And Worst Performing Assets Under President Trump

“A Happy Trumpiversary to all our readers this morning”
– Deutsche Bank
Today marks exactly 12 months since the US election on November 8th 2016, and as Deutsche Bank writes in “A Happy 12 Month Trumpiversary For Markets?” a lot has happened in the last year, although most surprising may be that for all calls of market collapse should Trump get elected, the S&P 500 has actually soared over 20% in the past 365 days according to Goldman which recently calculated that the Trump rally so far ranks as the fourth-best 12-month gain following a presidential election since 1936, trailing only Bill Clinton (1996, 32%), John F. Kennedy (1960, 29%), and George H. W. Bush (1988, 23%).
As Deutsche Bank then picks up, “needless to say that the victory was unprecedented and also a massive shock around the world. Following Trump’s victory, it was widely expected that we’d see a much higher chance of fiscal spending but also a reinforcement of the backlash against globalisation and associated forces of which migration policy and trade were probably first and foremost. In reality what we have seen in the last twelve months is plenty of evidence of backlash against globalisation, hostility and controversy, but very little in the way of fiscal policy.”
Here is the rest of Jim Reid’s observations on how the market has progressed so far under president Trump.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 8, 2017.

“The S&P Is Up 21% Since Trump’s Election” And Other Market Anniversary Observations

November 8 will mark the one year anniversary of one of the biggest political shocks in US history: the election of Donald Trump. Since that improbable victory, which so many experts had said would lead to a market crash, the S&P 500 has soared by 21% according to Goldman which calculates that the Trump rally so far ranks as the fourth-best 12-month gain following a presidential election since 1936, trailing only Bill Clinton (1996, 32%), John F. Kennedy (1960, 29%), and George H. W. Bush (1988, 23%).
Of all sectors, the biggest beneficiaries from Trump’s election were Financials and Information Technology, which have powered the market with returns of 37% and 39%, respectively. Given its large weighting, Tech contributed 37% of the index gain. Alongside the relentless stretch of all time highs in the S&P, the rise in the index has also been characterized by the lowest volatility in 50 years and has seen just one month in which it did not record a gain (March, -0.04%) although on a total return basis, the S&P has been up every single month since the election, and as Deutsche Bank observed last wek, the S&P has seen a positive total return for all 10 months so far this year, the first time on record. Additionally, October marked the 12th positive month in succession, which equals the record set in 1949-1950 and 1935-1936. This means the S&P has not had a single month of negative total returns since Trump was elected almost exactly one year ago.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 4, 2017.

Is The Yellen Fed Planning To Sabotage Trump’s Presidency?

Authored by Stefan Gleason via Money Metals Exchange,
The Federal Reserve can make or break a president.
Monetary policy influences all financial markets as well as the cycles in the economy. No president wants to have to run for re-election when the stock market and economy are turning down.
Recall that President George H. W. Bush was sitting on sky-high job approval numbers in 1991 and was expected to coast to victory in his 1992 re-election bid. But then the economy swooned toward recession, giving Bill Clinton the opening he needed.
Bush later blamed Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan for his defeat. Greenspan had held interest rates too high for too long, Bush complained.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump complained that Fed chair Janet Yellen was trying to help Hillary Clinton by keeping rates near zero and pumping up the stock market with liquidity.
‘They’re keeping the rates artificially low so that Obama can go out and play golf in January and say that he did a good job… It’s a very false economy,’ Trump told reporters in September 2016. Later that month in the second presidential debate, he declared, ‘We are in a big, fat, ugly bubble. . . The only thing that looks good is the stock market. But if you raise interest rates even a little bit, that’s going to come crashing down.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 12, 2017.

Republican Tax Reform May Accelerate Exodus Out of California

Federal Tax Reform May Be Bad News for Your Deductions
Both Republican tax plans may have serious impacts on residents in high-income states with places like California, Massachusetts, and New York impacted the most.
‘It’s not just that they’re going after itemized deductions in both the Trump plan and the Republican plan,’ said Jim Puplava on Financial Sense Newshour. ‘In both plans, they’re also looking at reducing contributions to pension plans, even though Congress critters get the most lavish pension plans and medical plans in the country.’
Ostensibly, when lawmakers seek to eliminate itemized deductions, they propose lower tax rates to compensate. But we’ve been through this before, Puplava noted, for example during the Regan tax reform era.
At that time, many deductions were eliminated, and tax rates were supposed to go from 50 to 28 percent. Though deductions and tax shelters went away in the first year, it took 3 years to phase in the new tax rates. The following year, with 1 year at 28 percent rates, George H. Bush raised the rate to 31 percent. Bill Clinton further raised tax rates to 39.6 and phased out part of itemized deductions.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 05/18/2017.

Readers Pummel New York Times Writer Over His Big Bank Stance

Andrew Ross Sorkin, the New York Times business writer who created a meme against breaking up the big Wall Street banks out of a mountain of grossly inaccurate facts, was pummeled by readers yesterday for doubling down on his out-of-touch position.
Sorkin’s latest article was addressing the recent comments by President Trump and his Director of the National Economic Council, Gary Cohn, indicating that they are taking a look at restoring the Glass-Steagall Act – the depression era legislation that separated banks holding insured deposits from the high risk investment banks that underwrite and trade risky securities. The Glass-Steagall Act protected the nation’s banking system from its passage in 1933 to its repeal in 1999 during the Bill Clinton administration. It took just nine years after its repeal for Wall Street to implode in the same epic fashion as 1929 – 1933.
Millions of Americans understand that the unprecedented concentration of deposits, assets and derivatives at four mega banks (JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup) which are also key players in the Wall Street casino, is diverting capital into dodgy transactions and away from the real economy. The subpar economic growth of 2 percent or less since the Wall Street implosion of 2008 (when the first three of these banks became even larger by gobbling up their failing peers) is clear evidence that the Wall Street machinery is misallocating capital to the wrong arteries of commerce.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on May 3, 2017.

Here’s Why Trump Is Talking About Breaking Up the Biggest Wall Street Banks

Yesterday, Bloomberg News reporters Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev snagged an interview with President Donald Trump. Headlines quickly spread that during the interview Trump had indicated he was looking at breaking up the biggest Wall Street banks (so that commercial banks holding taxpayer-backstopped deposits were no longer under the same ownership as the high-risk investment banks which had failed so spectacularly during the 2008 financial crash).
Bloomberg News has now released a transcript of the interview. The portion pertaining to the Wall Street banks reads as follows:
BLOOMBERG NEWS: Should we break up the big banks? Do you support that?
TRUMP: I’m looking at that right – I didn’t know this one was going to be brought up. But we are looking at that.
There are – you know, some people that want to go back to the old system, right? So we’re going to look at that. We’re going to – we’re looking at it right now as we speak.
And Dodd-Frank is – is going to be very, very seriously changed so the banks can go back to loaning money.
The ‘old system’ that Trump is referring to is the legislation known as the Glass-Steagall Act. Congress passed the legislation on June 16, 1933 following a period of unprecedented commercial bank failures in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash. Many of the failures could be traced to the banks’ involvement in trading activities on Wall Street using depositor funds. The legislation created Federal insurance on bank deposits to restore confidence in the nation’s banks while also banning banks taking insured deposits from owning stock trading/underwriting firms. The U. S. financial system was safeguarded under this separation for 66 years until the Bill Clinton administration repealed the Act in 1999 with pressure from Citigroup.
While Citigroup’s subsequent epic meltdown was the poster child for bank hubris in the 2008 crash, the Bank of United States assumed that role after the ’29 crash. When Bank of United States collapsed in December 1930, it was the fourth largest depositor bank in New York City, holding $268 million for over 400,000 small time depositors. It constituted the largest banking collapse in the nation’s history at that point.
The name of the bank, suggesting it had U. S. government backing, which it did not, fueled further bank panics when it closed its doors and locked out depositors. There was no Federal deposit insurance in place at that time.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Martens and Russ Marte.

Breaking Up the Big Wall Street Banks Is Back in the Headlines

In the past two weeks, newspaper headlines have revived the debate on whether the mega Wall Street banks continue to pose a systemic threat to the U. S. banking system and the economy. This is a desperately needed public debate that demands facts – not a revisionist history of what actually caused the 2008-2010 Wall Street collapse and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
This recent attention has been fueled by reports that Gary Cohn, former President of Goldman Sachs who now heads Donald Trump’s National Economic Council, met privately this month with members of the Senate Banking Committee and indicated he would be open to the restoration of a modernized version of the Glass-Steagall Act. (Mr. Cohn did not refute those reports.)
The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act was passed by Congress at the height of the Wall Street collapse and Great Depression. It acccomplished two equally critical tasks. It created Federally-insured deposits at commercial banks to restore the public’s confidence in the U. S. banking system and it barred insured commercial banks from being part of a Wall Street investment bank or securities underwriting operation because their high-risk speculative activities frequently blew up the house. That legislation protected the U. S. banking system for 66 years until its repeal under the Bill Clinton administration in 1999 at the behest of Wall Street power players like Sandy Weill of Citigroup. It took only nine years after its repeal for the U. S. financial system to crash, requiring the largest public bailout in U. S. history.

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on April 24, 2017.

‘Conspiracy’ defines government, and ‘cowardice’ the monetary metals mining industry — Chris Powell

Of course the managers of T.P.’s mining companies are hardly alone. Even the most highly regarded and wealthy managers of companies that mine the monetary metals pretend not to understand this, though one of them, Frank Giustra, indicated in January that he is beginning to suspect that central banks and governments are working against gold prices.
If Giustra, a billionaire and confidant of former President Bill Clinton, ever chose to act on his suspicion, he might change the world.
Then monetary metals mining company investors might urge the managers of their companies to review and try rebutting the extensive documentation of government suppression of monetary metals prices compiled by GATA.
Anyone who reviews those documents will discover that far from being mere “conspiracy theory,” gold price suppression is actually long-established Western government policy, recorded in government archives, both public and secret.
That is, there is no “theory” here, only historical fact.
But as hopeless as the monetary metals mining industry seems, there are reasons for its cowardice.

This post was published at GATA

Globalisation once made the world go around. Is it about to grind to a halt?

His speech was like one normally expected of an American president. Countries must resist the temptation to retreat into harbour, the world leader said to a packed and admiring audience, but instead have the courage to swim in the vast ocean of the global market.
This was the kind of paean to free trade that might have come from John F Kennedy, George W Bush or Bill Clinton – all occupants of the White House who saw it as the United States’ role to defend the open international trading system set up at the end of the second world war.
This, though, was China’s president, Xi Jinping, in Davos last week, making it clear that he was prepared to fill the vacuum if Donald Trump went ahead with the sort of protectionist policies he had proposed in his election campaign.
The new U.S. president has said he will renegotiate the Nafta free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico and slap duties on imports from countries that don’t play by global trade rules. He also floated the idea of a 35% tariff on goods from Mexico, a 45% tariff on goods from China, and a border tax – which would impose a levy on imports but not exports.
Those attending Davos reassured themselves that Trump would ditch all these proposals once he was in office. But if he doesn’t, the consequences are obvious: the world will be plunged into a trade war that will bring the globalisation of the past quarter of a century to a juddering halt.

This post was published at The Guardian

Peso, Loonie Drop After NAFTA Renegotiation Executive Order Headlines

Confirming his campaign rhetoric and inaugural address tone, President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order as early as Monday to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico, according to NBC News’ Kristen Welker.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order as early as Monday stating his intention to renegotiate the free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, a White House official told NBC News. Eliminating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was crafted by former President Bill Clinton and enacted in 1994, was a frequent Trump campaign promise.
The deal was intended to eliminate most trade tariffs between the three nations, increase investment and tighten protection and enforcement of intellectual property.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 23, 2017.

Trump Deficits Will Be Huge

There is much we don’t know about how the Trump presidency will play out. Will the Wall get built? Who will pay for it? Will it have at least some fencing? Will repeal and replace happen at exactly the same time? Will Trump throw a ceremonial switch? Will there be a Trump National Golf Course in Sochi? It’s anyone’s guess. But of one thing we can be fairly certain. President Trump is very likely to preside over the largest expansion of Federal budget deficits in our history. Trump has built his companies with debt and I’m sure he thinks he can do the same with the country. His annual budget deficits are likely going to be huge. This development will make a greater impact on the investment landscape than most on Wall Street can imagine. In the past half-century, Republican presidents have been the going away winners at the deficit derby, a fact that should make any true conservative blush. The sad truth is that annual deficits exploded under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and generally contracted under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (despite the latter’s distinction of having added more total debt than all previous presidents combined.) Some of the explanation is just luck of the draw, some walked into office in the midst of recessions they didn’t create. But the better part of the explanation is baked into the political dynamics. Democrats want to raise spending and taxes. Republicans want to cut spending and taxes. But whereas Democrats have generally succeeded on both of their missions, Republicans have just succeeded in one. (Actual spending cuts require politically difficult choices that are much harder to vote for than perennially popular tax cuts). This puts a giant thumb on the Republicans’ budgetary scale.

This post was published at Euro Pac on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Eight Years After an Epic Banking Crash, America’s Biggest Threat Is Still Its Banks

In 1934 the U. S. had 14,146 commercial banks holding insured deposits. By 1985, that number had barely budged, standing at 14,417. Then came the Bill Clinton administration in the 1990s and its reckless and unprecedented banking deregulation which allowed the giant Wall Street banks to swallow up, or drive out of business, thousands of banks across America. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as of December 22 of this year, there are only 5,927 FDIC insured banks left in the U. S., a stunning decline of 59 percent from 1985.
But those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. Banking concentration in the U. S. has reached an unprecedented crisis level when it comes to deposits. Out of the dramatically shrunken base of 5,927 FDIC insured banks which were holding a total of $11.2 trillion in total deposits (insured and uninsured deposits) as of September 30, 2016, just four banks hold 44.6 percent of all deposits. Those four banks are JPMorgan Chase Bank N. A. with $1.486 trillion in total deposits; Bank of America N. A. with $1.3 trillion in total deposits; Wells Fargo Bank N. A. with $1.3 trillion in total deposits; and Citibank N. A. with total deposits of $947.8 billion. (Deposit figures are as of September 30, 2016. The source is the FDIC.)

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on December 27, 2016.

Clinton’s National Homeownership Strategy: 1995-2016

In 1995, President Bill Clinton and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) launched the ‘National Homeownership Strategy’ between HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and mortgage lenders. ‘The goal of this strategy is ambitious: to generate up to 8 million additional homeowners from 1995 through the year 2000. The strategy recommends a series of concerted actions to help middle-income and low-income families, racial and ethnic minorities, families with children. and young adults overcome current barriers to homeownership.’
How did streamlining mortgage underwriting and reaching out to minorties work out? Homeownership rates rose from 65% in Q3 1995 to 67.5% by Q4 2000.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on December 18, 2016.

How Millennials Are Reshaping the Survivalism Industry

With Donald Trump’s stunning victory, a sense of change is sweeping across nations and financial markets worldwide – change that has citizens feeling more unsettled than ever about the future. This is likely to further boost an industry with a uniquely dark outlook on America’s future. Although ‘survivalism’ (a movement defined by active disaster preparation) has been around since the 1930s, the latest wave has reached a fever pitch thanks to two distinct drivers. The first is widespread anxiety about the future. The second is generational change. Boomers and Xers have created today’s survivalist frenzy – marked by extreme individualism and institutional distrust. But as Millennials age, this version will give way to a more community-oriented one. Looking back, the ebb-and-flow of survivalism should hardly come as a surprise – it’s been years in the making.
Since the Great Depression, survivalism has gone through three waves. The first began in the late ’60s and ’70s, when rampant inflation fueled fears of economic collapse and energy shortages, and peaked in the ’80s as concerns shifted to nuclear war. The second wave peaked in 1999 – coinciding with the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the Y2K scare, and the deepening of the ‘Culture Wars.’ The third wave was triggered by 9/11 and has continued to surge with every natural disaster, national tragedy, and presidential election.
The latest wave has transformed survivalism from a hobby to a lifestyle. Survivalists (or ‘preppers’) take disaster preparation seriously. Some own bunkers located ‘off the grid’ (particularly in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming) stockpiled with MREs, gold, weapons, and alternative power sources. Others simply keep a stash of canned goods, water, and medical supplies – usually in a ‘bug out bag’ – and take wilderness training courses.

This post was published at FinancialSense on 12/12/2016.

Is Larry Summers One of the Four Horseman of the Economic Apocalypse?

The major bonus to Hillary losing the elections is that Larry Summers will not be the chief economic adviser. Larry Summers is Hillary’s top choice for Fed Chairman and he Chief Economic Adviser in the White House. Treasury Secretary, was a position he held under Bill Clinton in the 90s, but that was going to go to Laurence Douglas ‘Larry’ Fink the chairman and chief executive officer of BlackRock who is the largest asset management firm in the world, controlling $4.6 trillion in investor funds. That’s about a trillion dollars more than the annual federal budget, and five times the assets of Goldman Sachs. Fink’s ties to Hillary are extensive. He even hired Cheryl Mills, Hillary’s notorious legal adviser, on the Board of Blackrock in 2013. Fink would then get to cash out of Blackrock TAX FREE, as did Robert Rubin and Hank Paulson of Goldman Sachs.
Larry Summers is the father of NEGATIVE interest rates. He is absolutely perhaps one of the most dangerous men on the chess board up there with Dick Cheney. A speech delivered by Larry Summers at the IMF Research Conference on Nov. 8, 2013 has caused a real stir and is being hailed as brilliant, succinct, and a ground-breaking presentation that explained what many say is the most pressing economic matter of our time.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 28, 2016.

Doug Band Exposes Foundation’s “For-Profit Activity Of President Clinton (i.e., Bill Clinton, Inc.)”

Of all the discoveries revealed as part of the Wikileaks Podesta email dump over the past month, perhaps none has been as damaging to the reputation of the Clinton family as those made by the disgruntled employee of consulting firm Teneo (which was closely linked to the Clinton Global Initiative and Clinton Foundation), Doug Band.
As we previously reported, in the last email dump released overnight, as part of Band’s ongoing feud with Chelsea Clinton and her allegations that he was misusing the Clinton name to enrich himself, Doug Band accused Chelsea Clinton of using Foundation money to pay for her wedding:
The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents…. I hope that you will speak to her and end this
In the latest email batch, Doug Band also revealed that Chelsea’s husband Marc Mezvinsky had abused the Clinton Foundation’s influence, and his wife’s family name, to help him find sources of cash for his hedge fund, Eaglevale, which included such seed sponsors as Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 7, 2016.

Chelsea Clinton’s Husband Used Clinton Foundation To Raise Cash For His Hedge Fund

That Teneo’s Doug Band was not a fan of Chelsea Clinton, with whom he had a long-running feud as a result of her ongoing accusations that he was taking advantage of Bill Clinton’s presence to enrich himself (even though thanks to a leaked memo we now know for a fact just how Teneo was working as a pass through, pay-for-play vehicle to enrich both Clinton and Band), we have known for a while (and reported on again just moments ago, when in one of the latest Podesta emails, he accused her of using Foundation cash to pay for her wedding).
We now learn that Band was also not a fan of Chelsea’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, co-founder of the hedge fund Eaglevale Partners, which had received substantial seed funding from Goldman Sachs, and which suffered massive losses with its wrong-way bet on Greek bonds.
In an email from January 18, 2012, Doug Band tells John Podesta and Cheryl Mills that “Marc mez[vinsky] had an idea to put together a poker night for the foundation to raise money. His raising money for his own fund hasn’t been going well and he has cvc [Chelsea Clinton] making some calls for him to get mtgs with some clinton people.”
What Band was accusing “Mez” of doing is that since he was unable to raise cash for his hedge fund on his own, he came looking for the help of his wife, Chelsea, who is Vice Chairman of the Foundation bearing her last name.
Band then says that “Marc has invited several potential investors and a few current business ones to the poker night. I assume all are contributing to the foundation, which of course isn’t the point. What is the point is that he is doing precisely what he accused me of doing as the entire plan of his has been to use this for his business which he is.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 6, 2016.

How former President Bill Clinton and U.S. politicians economically gutted America

Politicians – they are the ones who start the wars. They are the ones who bankrupt the country. They are the ones who pass unfair trade deals that destroyed both the manufacturing base in America along with the Middle Class. They are the ones who appease special interest and favor big business over the individual tax-paying consumer. They are the ones who bail out the banks. They are the ones who lie to you to get elected. They are the ones who raise your taxes. They are the ones who fail to regulate the recklessness of Wall Street. They are the ones who deficit spends beyond what budget constraints should allow. They are the ones who appoint the federal judges who make the laws that infringe upon your personal liberties. No wonder they are always working to antagonize foreign nations or looking for a foreign bogeyman to vilify because that keeps your disgust off them, the real root cause of most of the country’s problems, and puts it on a foreign enemy that, chances are, they helped create in the first place.

This post was published at UtopiatheCollapse on October 28, 2016.

Is Weak Productivity to Blame for Sluggish Consumer Spending?

Last week I presented at the MoneyShow in Dallas, where sentiment toward gold was a bit muted compared to other recent conferences I’ve attended. The yellow metal has certainly taken a breather following its phenomenal first half of the year, but the drivers are still firmly in place for another rally: low to negative government bond yields; economic and geopolitical uncertainty; and a lack of faith in global monetary policy.
I want to thank my friend Kim Githler for hosting the MoneyShow. Every year since she founded the event in 1981, she’s captivated audiences with her intelligence, sharp wit and honesty.
One of the highlights of the event was listening to American economist Art Laffer, whose ‘Laffer curve’ shows that the government can actually bring in more revenue if tax rates are kept low. Art’s theory was used as the basis for President Ronald Reagan’s free-trade, low-tax policies. Later, Art actually supported Bill Clinton because he was willing to streamline taxes and regulations.
The same cannot, I’m afraid, be said of his wife Hillary, who plans to raise taxes at nearly every level.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Tuesday, 25 October 2016.