Ex-CIA, Ex-Goldman, Anti-Trump Republican Launches Independent Presidential Bid

On the day that Trump is set to unveil his economic plan, as Hillary’s post-convention bounce fades in the polls, Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins reports that Evan McMullin – a CIA veteran and Goldman Sachs alum – is preparing to launch an indepedent presidential campaign. Several key players in GOP’s anti-Trump movement are behind thisstunt effort…
Opposing @realDonaldTrump is about putting principle over power, a virtue some in Washington are too quick to abandon. #NeverTrump
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) May 7, 2016

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 8, 2016.

Laurence Kotlikoff for President

The Next President’s Debt Burden
According to the Department of Commerce, U. S. gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016. This, unfortunately, isn’t indicative of the sort of robust economic activity that will grow the economy out of debt. In fact, as growth is stagnating, deficits are increasing.
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The U. S. fiscal year 2015 budget deficit was about $439 billion. For fiscal year 2016, the federal government is projected to run a deficit of $616 billion. The upsurge, of roughly $177 billion, amounts to about a 40 percent deficit increase from 2015 to 2016.
Presently, the federal debt is well over 100 percent of GDP. Obviously, 1.2 percent GDP growth is wholly inadequate to shrink the debt. To the contrary, 1.2 percent GDP growth in the face of a projected $616 billion deficit will further increase the debt as a percentage of GDP.
As far as we can tell, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump is talking about the U. S. debt problem. What’s more, they’re economic platforms both include massive spending programs. The difference, of course, will be made up with debt. But how much debt can the next president really add?
George W. Bush doubled the federal debt from $5 trillion to $10 trillion. Barack Obama’s on target to double the federal debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion. It is unlikely the next president will be able to double the debt from $20 trillion to $40 trillion.

This post was published at Acting-Man on August 8, 2016.

The Most Cynical Take On Friday’s Jobs Number: “The Fed Will Not Hike In September With Trump In The Race”: Citi

If traders have a feeling that there is a prevailing sense of blase disenchantment involving not only US macro data but the overall market, you are not alone. Here is arguably the best, and thus most cynical take, of Friday’s impressive seasonal adjustment factor payrolls report, from Citi’s Brent Donnelly:
Summer apathy and generally high frustration levels related to poor returns, extreme bearishness and existential questions around the death of price discovery due to central bank meddling.

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

“Sell Everything”… But Why: What Has The Smartest Investors So Spooked?

Many of the smartest investors out there hate stocks. Since May, we’ve heard negative equity calls from Stan Druckenmiller, George Soros, Carl Icahn, Jeff Gundlach and Bill Gross. Wall Street lore says ‘Never argue about markets with a guy who is much richer than you’. So we’ll take the discussion in a different direction: what do they know?
Successful investors are always more plugged in than the market as a whole – hence their success. And while we can only guess at the lynchpins of their negative take on stocks, we do have some idea of how significant they must be. For example, in 2016 the S&P 500 is up 5.9% on a price basis after 1) the Brexit ‘Leave’ vote, 2) dramatically disappointing Q1 and Q2 U. S. GDP, 3) a correction of 20% in oil prices, 4) a Fed that has incorrectly calibrated its public stance on monetary policy, 5) Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for president, and 6) the U. S. 10 Year Treasury at near record low yields.
None of that has been enough to spook U. S. equity markets. So whatever the big boys think they know, it must be really bad. But what is it, and why is it so hidden from view?
‘Someone is getting this information before you.’ If you’ve ever worked at a hedge fund, you know this is the worst thing you can hear. It means you are behind the curve, providing yesterday’s news into an investment process meant to predict the future. ‘Titanic sinks!’ or ‘man lands on the moon!’ are the more playful retorts you’ll get from co-workers. But it all means the same thing: up your game, or get a white box from the mail room.

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

DONALD TRUMP WARNS OF ‘VERY SCARY SCENARIOS’ FOR STOCKS AHEAD

I’m not sure Trump is aware of this Jubilee year, but he certainly understands that the stock market is at a highly dangerous level.
‘Interest rates are artificially low,’ Trump told Fox in an interview, HERE. ‘The only reason the stock market is where it is is because you get free money.’
That is absolutely true and unheard of to be acknowledged by a front-running Presidential candidate.
He then warned of ‘very scary scenarios’ ahead for investors.
It’s an obvious-enough warning. Central bankers continue to build a pyramid of debt by printing trillions in aggregate. Since 2008 and the beginning of the current slump/depression, they’ve printed well over $50 trillion. The money hasn’t helped the economy… in fact it has made it worse. But it’s sent stocks and bonds into the stratosphere.

This post was published at Dollar Vigilante on AUGUST 5, 2016.

Trump’s border wall idea dismissed by Mexico’s foreign minister, who calls for greater integration with U.S.

August 2016 – MEXICO – Mexico’s foreign minister, Claudia Ruiz Massieu, dismissed Republican U. S. presidential nominee Donald Trump’s calls for the nation to pay for a border wall, calling instead for greater integration between the nations. In interviews with Bloomberg Radio and Bloomberg TV in New York on Thursday, Ruiz cited the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership as an opportunity to deepen the trade relationship created by the North American Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 1994.
Trump has made his demand for Mexico to pay as much as $10 billion to build the wall a centerpiece of his campaign and has threatened to block remittance payments from immigrants in the U. S. until the Mexican government complies.

This post was published at UtopiatheCollapse on August 5, 2016.

Trump Unveils Economic Advisory Team; Carl Icahn Turns Down Invitation

Earlier today Donald Trump, who despite lagging Hillary badly in the most recent polls, remains perceived as the presidential candidate who is better equipped to do a “better job on the economy“…

… even though a majority believes that Hillary is “more qualified” to be president (suggesting that to Americans the economy is not really a core part of the presidential mandate) unveiled his all-male economic team which in addition to boasting 6 guys named Steve, also includes billionaire hedge fund manager, John Paulson, to help guide the GOP presidential candidate’s economic policy.
The 13-member group, whose average member has a net worth in the high double-digit million, features several longtime Trump business associates but only one academic economist, Peter Navarro of the University of California-Irvine. He specializes in trade with China, which Trump has made the centerpiece economic policy of his campaign.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 5, 2016.

Trump is Right About Stocks

Right on the Money OUZILLY, France – It is not often that you get investment advice from a presidential candidate. It is even rarer that you get good advice.
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But yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave investors both good advice and good analysis. Bloomberg has the report:
Donald Trump on Tuesday said interest rates set by the Federal Reserve are inflating the stock market and recommended 401(k)-holders to get out of equities, just like he did.
‘I did invest and I got out, and it was actually very good timing,’ the Republican presidential nominee said in a phone interview with Fox Business. ‘But I’ve never been a big investor in the stock market.’
‘Interest rates are artificially low,’ Trump said. ‘The only reason the stock market is where it is is because you get free money.’

This post was published at Acting-Man on August 5, 2016.

Eye on the Ball

I try to be a long-term thinker and filter out all the short-term noise. That’s hard nowadays, because there is so much short-term noise!
Just a handful of things that have happened in the last 24 hours:
Trump is more or less blowing himself up. Walmart is buying Jet.com. Bill Dudley says the Fed will hike rates, when everyone knows he is full of malarkey. Vancouver housing prices are up 32% year over year, but sales are down 19%. Any one of these four things would be big news, especially in the dog days of summer. But all four? It’s crazy out there.
Now, my boss, Ed D’Agostino, once told me that the cardinal rule of free newsletters is to only talk about one thing at a time. I’ve more or less stuck to that over the last two years. But this time, I can’t stay focused. I can’t resist the temptation to dive into the short-term stuff.
So here we go. Put your boots on.
I’ll go in reverse order:
4. Yes. Vancouver housing prices are up 32 freaking percent from last July.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on AUGUST 4, 2016.

Trump Taj Mahal To Be Shuttered… Again

In a move that couldn’t be worse timing for The Donald, the Associated Press is reporting that Carl Icahn is shutting down the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. While Trump currently has no stake in the casino (he lost his ownership to bondholders in a previous bankruptcy filing) we have a sneaking suspicion that his rivals will take advantage of this opportunity to highlight his previous failed business endeavors. For his part, Icahn acquired his stake in the Trump Taj Mahal during it’s previous bankruptcy filing. Icahn is attributing the closure of the casino to a strike by its unionized workers over wages and health insurance costs. The casino is expected to be closed after Labor Day and will result in 3,000 job losses for the struggling Atlantic City.
In comments made to the Associated Press, Icahn said that he lost nearly $100 million on the Taj Mahal in the past 18 months, including money he spent to keep it afloat during bankruptcy court before he even owned it, added that “It was a bad bet. How much good money do you throw after bad?”
Tony Rodio, CEO of the casino, said that Icahn has spent $100mm trying to save the Taj in Atlantic City. He continued:
“Currently the Taj is losing multimillions a month, and now with this strike, we see no path to profitability. Our directors cannot just allow the Taj to continue burning through tens of millions of dollars when the union has single handedly blocked any path to profitability.“

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2016.

Republican Mutiny Fizzles: “Trump Will Be On The Ballot”

Amid the constant headlines, speculative reporting, uncited sourcing, and relentless spin; it appears chatter of mutiny aboard the GOP has been officially squashed.
As The Hill reports, the Republican National Committee is categorically denying reports that party officials are looking into how to replace Donald Trump in case he drops out of the presidential race before Election Day…
No one at national party headquarters has been instructed to look into that doomsday scenario, RNC strategist Sean Spicer said, and speculation that the RNC might pressure Trump to drop out of the race is unfounded. Spicer insisted that there is no chance that anyone else will be the ballot in November.
‘Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party full-stop,’ Spicer told The Hill. ‘That’s the reality. The rest is just a media-pundit concoction.’.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2016.

Is Trump Dropping Out of the Election?

The Republican National Committee is reportedly weighing its options in the event that GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump drops out of the election.
But is Trump dropping out of the race?
Here’s what we know…
This morning, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl told ‘Good Morning America’ that he’s been told senior officials in the party are actively looking into how they’ll replace the real estate magnate.
‘This is absolutely unprecedented,’ Karl said. ‘I am told that RNC chairman Reince Priebus is furious he has had multiple discussions with Trump telling him he needs to drastically change course.’

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Money Morning Staff Reports ‘ August 3, 2016.

Republicans Furious After “Disastrous” 48 Hours For Trump, Said To “Plot Intervention”

It has been a tough several days for Donald Trump. According to the WSJ, “Donald Trump is confronting the roughest patch of his presidential campaign, with even some of his strongest supporters urging him to shift gears and focus more on policy than personality.” ABC adds that Republican officials are even exploring how to handle a scenario that would be unthinkable in a normal election year: What would happen if the party’s presidential nominee dropped out, adding that senior party officials are so frustrated – and confused – by Donald Trump’s erratic behavior that they are exploring how to replace him on the ballot if he drops out.
And while the Trump campaign has denied any such speculation, when moments ago Trump advisor Conway said that dropout talk is wishful thinking, according to NBC Republicans close to Donald Trump’s orbit are “plotting an intervention with the candidate after a disastrous 48 hours led some influential voices in the party to question whether Trump can stay at the top of the Republican ticket without catastrophic consequences for his campaign and the GOP at large.”
Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, former Republican New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among the Trump endorsers hoping to talk the real estate mogul into a dramatic reset of his campaign in the coming days, sources tell NBC News.
The group of GOP heavyweights hopes to enlist the help of Trump’s children – who comprise much of his innermost circle of influential advisers – to aid in the attempt to rescue his candidacy. Trump’s family is considered to have by far the most influence over the candidate’s thinking at what could be a make-or-break moment for his campaign.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2016.

A “Revolted” French President Lashes Out At Donald Trump: “His Excesses Are Sickening”

While over the past week Trump has hardly needed outside help to generate a spectacular dose of media scandals, overnight an unexpected attack came from none other than French socialist president Hollande expressed extreme revulsion at Donald Trump’s ‘excesses’ in the U. S. presidential campaign and warned against the authoritarian tone adopted by the Republican nominee.
Coming from the man who defined the term “shampoo socialism” when it was revealed that his personal hairdresser costs the French people 11,000 per month, Hollande knows excesses when he sees them. In fact, Hollande is not just anybody. Recall that ‘everyone needs their hair done, no?’ Stephane Le Foll, the government spokesman, said after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace Wednesday in Paris. ‘I can understand people’s questions, I can understand their judgments. He’s not just anybody, that’s all.’
Cited by Bloomberg, Hollande continued his bashing of Trump, adding that ‘in the U. S., one of the world’s great democracies, maybe the greatest democracy, where democracy was born, before the French one, we see some excesses that are sickening,’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2016.

65 Million Americans Would Like To Work But Can’t Risk Losing Their Entitlements

At the DNC last week, Anastasia Somoza, who has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, took to the stage to deliver an emotionally-stirring speech advocating for the rights of disabled people across the country. She also took the opportunity to brand Trump as a candidate that “feeds off of fear and division” and “shouts, bullies and profits off of the vulnerable Americans” while describing Hillary as someone who “sees her.” Unsurprisingly, this is a narrative which has reverberated with America’s media outlets as they couldn’t help but assist the Democrats in their effort to exploit help Anastasia in her quest to elect Hillary.
Just today, Bloomberg published an article entitled “These Government Rules Trap Millions of Americans in Poverty” that details the personal stories of various folks with disabilities who are willing and able to work but don’t out of fear of oppressive rules which could result in the loss of their government benefits. Take the case of Susanne Brasset, who says she only keeps $5 in her bank account because she’s “scared to save more” due to the risk that she might lose her social security “medicaid and other crucial benefits”. Brasset goes on to confirm that:
“There’s more money I could be making, but I’m discouraged by all the rules I need to adhere to.’
How rude! We’re truly disgusted that our government would seek to oppress the country’s benefit recipients with outlandish rules aimed at determining a person’s financial wherewithal prior to doling out billions of taxpayer dollars. This country claims it wants to protect its citizens but blatant taxpayer protections like this only serve to permanently impoverish marginalized segments of our electorate. Bloomberg describes these taxpayer protections as rules that are:
“intended to bar freeloaders [but] end up keeping disabled people in a permanent state of poverty, unable to put money away for emergencies, retirement, and other life goals.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 2, 2016.

The Social Justice Cult Should Blame Itself For The Rise Of Trump

I have not been writing much concerning the U. S. election this November, and with good reason ‘ elections are always a distraction from tangible solutions. They are an anathema to honest debate; a circus of delusions and prefabricated talking points. They offer the illusion of choice in order to placate the masses. They are a theater of false hopes.
That said, elections do accomplish one thing very well ‘ they are great for mobilizing large numbers of people into opposing camps and pitting them against each other over ideologies and political celebrities. Sometimes, these elections can lead to internal war. This is where we stand in 2016.
In my article Will A Trump Presidency Really Change Anything For The Better, published in March, I outlined why I believed that the election of 2016 would revolve around a Trump vs. Hillary free-for-all. The two sides are perfectly diametrically opposed. At least, as far as public image is concerned, one is the exact antithesis to the other, and I dont think this is a coincidence.

This post was published at Alt-Market on 03 August 2016.

Donald Trump Warns Americans To Get Out Of The Stock Market As The Dow Falls For A 7th Day In A Row

One thing that you have to appreciate about Donald Trump is that unlike most politicians, he actually says what is on his mind. On Tuesday, Trump told Fox Business that he had already gotten out of the stock market, and that he foresees ‘very scary scenarios’ ahead for investors. And of course things have already started to get a bit ominous for those holding stocks over the last week and a half. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has now closed down for seven days in a row, and that is the longest losing streak that we have seen since the panic of last August. Over the past 12 months we have seen virtually every other major global stock market experience at least one major crash. Could the U. S. markets be next?
What Trump told Fox Business earlier today was actually right on the money. Our financial markets have been artificially inflated by the Federal Reserve, and all artificial bubbles of this nature eventually burst. The following comes from a Bloomberg article that was posted on Tuesday entitled ‘Trump Urges Exit From Market Boosted by ‘Artificially Low’ Rates’…
Donald Trump on Tuesday said interest rates set by the Federal Reserve are inflating the stock market and recommended 401(k)-holders to get out of equities, just like he did.
‘I did invest and I got out, and it was actually very good timing,’ the Republican presidential nominee said in a phone interview with Fox Business. ‘But I’ve never been a big investor in the stock market.’
‘Interest rates are artificially low,’ Trump said. ‘The only reason the stock market is where it is is because you get free money.’
Trump’s comments come at a time when we are getting a whole host of bad news about the U. S. economy. We just learned that U. S. GDP grew at a meager 1.2 percent annual rate during the second quarter, the rate of homeownership in the United States just hit an all-time record low, and corporate earnings have now been falling for five quarters in a row.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on August 2nd, 2016.

Why Did Khizr Khan Delete His Law Firm’s Website?

Khizr Khan, the Muslim Gold Star father of Captain Humayun Khan, set off a media firestorm at the DNC last week when he criticized Trump for his “unconstitutional” policies aimed at banning Muslim immigration to the United States. A question posed by Breitbart is whether Khizr Khan’s law firm, KM Khan Law Office, actually derives profit directly from Muslim immigration to the United States making him more than just an innocent conscientiousness objector to Trump’s policy?
Breitbart suggests that Khan did, in fact, stand to profit from his viewpoints shared at the DNC and point to his website bio which lists “EB-5 Investments & Related Immigration Services” as a specific area of practice. Oddly enough, since these reports have surfaced the website of Mr. Khan’s law office has been taken down. Luckily, prior versions of the website are available on the wayback machine which can be seen here:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on AUG 2, 2016.