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.

Trump Says It’s Time To Sell Stocks, Warns Of “Very Scary Scenarios” For Investors

It is hardly a secret that few things could help Trump’s presidential campaign as much as a stock market crash.
As we reported back in January, while Wall Street typically worries about how politics might affect the market, Presidential candidates worry about how the stock market might affect their political outcomes. The reason for this is that historically, the market performance in the three months leading up to a Presidential Election has displayed an uncanny ability to forecast who will win the White House… the incumbent party or the challenger. Since 1928, there have been 22 Presidential Elections. In 14 of them, the S&P 500 climbed during the three months preceding election day. The incumbent President or party won in 12 of those 14 instances. However, in 7 of the 8 elections where the S&P 500 fell over that three month period, the incumbent party lost.

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

Trump Tells Investors to Sell Stocks as Market Crash Lies Ahead

The following video was published by thevictoryreport1 on Aug 2, 2016
Trump Urges His Supporters To Sell Stocks, Warns Of “Very Scary Scenarios” For Investors
Now that we are exactly three months away from the November 8 election, if Trump wants to really boost his electoral chances, a market crash right now be certainly most welcome by his campaign. Which may be why Trump today urged his supporters to get out of equities as “interest rates set by the Federal Reserve are inflating the stock market” and warned of “very scary scenarios” for investors.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong Here?

For 20 years the average EV/EBITDA multiple of the Russell 2000 oscillated around 11x…
Since Bernanke unleashed QE2 and showed the world that nothing else matters, the ultimate valuation metric has exploded to 21x – almost double the norm.

What could possibly go wrong here? Perhaps it is time to listen To Goldman Sachs, or Donald Trump?

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

In US Elections, Money Matters!

Simply put, in 40 years of US national elections – money talks, and bullshit (along with hope, change, trust, policy, and every other potential differentiator) walks…
As Statista details, so far, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has raised substantially more money than Donald Trump’s. But has cash ever really made a difference to U. S. election results down through the years? According to figures in Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper (which have since been converted from euro to dollars), all of the election winners in recent years were also budget winners.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2016.

Is Twitter “Shadow-Banning” Donald Trump?

Twitter is provably censoring Donald Trump in order to prevent him raising money for his presidential campaign.
A tweet sent out by Trump yesterday to promote his #MillionDollarMatch donation drive does not appear on Trump’s profile page nor did it appear on the feed of anyone following him.
You can check for yourself. Here is the tweet sent out by Trump yesterday and here is his main profile page – which doesn’t show the tweet. The tweet has been buried as if it never existed.
This is yet another example of Twitter shadow banning – where people on a designated ‘blacklist’ have their tweets relegated on search results and hidden from users’ timelines, while leftist politicians and commentators on a ‘whitelist’ have their tweets promoted.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 1, 2016.

Did Donald Trump Just Fire a MASSIVE Warning Shot at the Banking Cabal?

Lock and Load!
Greetings brothers! Exciting times we live in, with what’s been happening on the US political scene over the last several weeks, we’re witnessing fast and furious info-dumping, and truth-telling that could shake up the race(and history). In this atmosphere, Donald Trump just went under the radar, to potentially shake things up with the banking cabal.

This post was published at The Wealth Watchman on JULY 29, 2016.

Michael Moore Explains Why Donald Trump Will Win In November – And It Actually Makes Perfect Sense

Michael Moore is a radical leftist that is trying to destroy everything that America once stood for, but for once he is making sense. In his recent article entitled ‘5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win’, he makes a compelling case for why Donald Trump could win the election in November. I can’t remember the last time I actually agreed with Michael Moore about something, but in this instance I do. The American people are very angry and very frustrated, and they want someone that is going to shake things up in Washington. Needless to say, that is not going to be Hillary Clinton. According to Real Clear Politics, Trump has won five of the last six major national polls, and top Democrats are starting to understand that they could actually lose to the New York billionaire.
As Michael Moore has pointed out, the key to the election may be the upper Midwest. That is why it may turn out to be very wise that Trump has picked a running mate from the region. Residents of the upper Midwest have watched NAFTA and other ‘free trade deals’ turn their formerly booming economy into an area now known as ‘the rust belt’. Now that there is a major presidential candidate that is openly speaking out against these ‘free trade deals’, they will finally have a real opportunity to let their voices be heard. The following is from the Michael Moore article that I mentioned above…
I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest.

This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog on July 25th, 2016.

Will the Gold Bull Market Resume After the Summer Correction?

Looking more Las Vegas casino than Oval Office, the stage Donald Trump delivered his nomination acceptance speech from Thursday was all gold, from the stairs to the podium, completely befitting of his showman-like style. Whether you support or oppose Trump, it’s time to face reality. This is really happening, and we should all brace ourselves for what will surely be one of America’s messiest, ugliest general election seasons.
Only time will tell which candidate will be triumphant in November, but in the meantime, one of the winners might very well be gold, which has traditionally attracted investors in times of political and economic uncertainty. In the United Kingdom, which voted one month ago to leave the European Union, gold dealers are seeing ‘unprecedented’ demand, especially from first-time buyers. Some investors are reportedly even converting 40 to 50 percent of their net worth into bullion, though that’s not advisable. (I always suggest a 10 percent weighting, diversified in physical gold and gold mining stocks.) In Japan, where government bond yields have fallen below zero and faith in Abenomics is flagging, gold sales are soaring.
It’s not unreasonable to expect the same here in the U. S. between now and November (and beyond).
Strong U. S. Dollar and Treasury Yields Weighing on Gold
More so than the upcoming election, gold prices are being driven by U. S. dollar action, interest rates and low-to-negative bond yields around the world. (Between $11 trillion and $13 trillion worth of global sovereign debt currently carries a negative yield.) Right now the yellow metal is in correction mode on a strengthening dollar and rising two-year and 10-year Treasury yields, both of which share an inverse relationship with gold.
It’s also worth mentioning that the summer months have historically been among the weakest. By contrast, some of the highest gold returns of the year have occurred in September, when the Love Trade heats up in India in anticipation of Diwali and the wedding season.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 26 July 2016.