This post was published at Daily Caller
How quickly Americans forget…
According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, a majority of Americans believe that we are currently living through the lowest point in US history that they can remember…eclipsing such watershed moments in US history like the Watergate Scandal, the Bush administration’s dishonest justification for a war with Iraq, and – oh yeah – World War II and Vietnam, according to Bloomberg.
The APA’s eleventh ‘Stress in America’ survey found that 60% of respondents believe the early Trump era is the lowest point in US history, while a slightly larger percentage – 63% – say they are stressed about the nation’s future.
Almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey, conducted in August and released on Wednesday. This worry about the fate of the union tops longstanding stressors such as money (62 percent) and work (61 percent) and also cuts across political proclivities. However, a significantly larger proportion of Democrats (73 percent) reported feeling stress than independents (59 percent) and Republicans (56 percent).
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 1, 2017.
Over the past four weeks, workers have been toiling (mostly in intense 90+ degree heat) to put final touches on eight possible versions of President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall, ahead of an October 26 deadline to finish the prototype border-wall designs located just a few dozen years from the border that divides San Diego from Tijuana. U. S. Customs and Border Protection awarded eight contracts to six companies to build the prototypes. Four are made of reinforced concrete, and another four incorporate additional construction materials. Construction began on Sept. 26, giving companies 30 days to finish, according to the Arizona Republic.
By Wednesday, five of the wall designs had already been completed and were fenced off with caution tape, but – as the following video shows – crews were still at work on others, installing vertical concrete panels on one design, using cranes and bulldozers to place them upright. Another two prototypes were in various stages of construction on the demonstration site, located about 2 miles east of San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing, in the foothills of the Otay Mountains. At roughly 30 feet, the designs dwarf the petite, primary fence that currently designates the international boundary – it’s made of rusted Vietnam War-era landing mats. They are also nearly twice the height of the secondary metal-mesh fence, which ends near where the prototypes are being built.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 18, 2017.
One of the most hyped ‘events’ of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, ‘They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way’.
In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its ‘exceptionalism’, Burns’ ‘entirely new’ Vietnam war is presented as ‘epic, historic work’. Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.
Burns says he is grateful to ‘the entire Bank of America family’ which ‘has long supported our country’s veterans’. Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.
I watched the first episode in New York. It leaves you in no doubt of its intentions right from the start. The narrator says the war ‘was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings’.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 22, 2017.
Stock markets were spooked by North Korea’s sixth nuclear test over the weekend which had the usual effect of rallying safe-haven such as gold and treasuries. The US dollar also found a bid with the Japanese yen benefiting as money scattered from the risk. The Nikkei ended the day around 1% lower with exporters being hit but the currency appreciation was responsible for much of this move. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was also around 1% weaker but interesting to see that mainland market closed higher (+0.4%). A few markets were closed today (Malaysia and Vietnam) but the obvious one was the US closed for Labour Day. All this weekend news came after the US jobless number released on Friday but was probably more subdued because of the thin trading volumes.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 4, 2017.
Rainy day at the Summer White House in Bedminster, New Jersey. #TeamTrump keeping very busy working with @POTUS @realDonaldTrump to #MAGA! pic.twitter.com/iDSkbTddu0
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) August 7, 2017
Trump drew first blood this morning in what appears to be a growing twitter feud with Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal when he called the Senator a “phony Vietnam con artist.” Within an hour, Blumenthal launched a counter strike calling Trump a “bully.” It had all the makings of a heated 1st grade-ish Battle Royale.
But, Trump has just taken things to a whole new level with the following tweet which seemingly confirms that the President is now locked in his first official Twitter War.
“I think Senator Blumenthal should take a nice long vacation in Vietnam,
where he lied about his service, so he can at least say he was there.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.
I turned 7 in 1968, and though my memories are necessarily fuzzy, I can still sum up a queasy sense of the chaos that pervaded the year as it streamed out of the 12-inch black-and-white television in our dining room.
The president announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election. Assassinations, first of Dr. King and then of Bobby Kennedy. Urban riots showing neighborhoods burning along with nightly footage of the war in Vietnam. Massive demonstrations against the war, and Columbia, the university in my neighborhood, shut down by a sit-in.
The long, hot summer, concluding with Chicago cops clashing with protesters outside the Democratic National Convention. The year 1968 was characterized by violence at home and violence abroad, and a sense that America itself was on fire.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 15, 2017.
At this juncture it’s clear that the attempt of the Trump Administration and related circles in the U.S. military industrial complex have failed in their prime objective, that of driving a permanent wedge between Russia and China, the two great Eurasian powers capable of peacefully ending the Sole Superpower hegemony of the United States. Some recent examples of seemingly small steps with enormous future economic and geopolitical potential between Russia and China underscore this fact. The Project of the Century, as we can now call the China One Belt One Road infrastructure development – the economic integration on a consensual basis by the nations of Eurasia, outside the domination of NATO countries of the USA and E.U. – is proceeding at an interesting pace in unexpected areas.
1971: America’s Twilight Begins
It’s very essential in my view to appreciate where the post-1944 development of America’s role in the world went seriously wrong. The grandiose project dubbed by Henry Luce in 1941 as the American Century, if I were to pick a date, began its twilight on August 15, 1971.
That was the point in time a 44-year-old Under-Secretary of the Treasury for International Monetary Affairs named Paul Volcker convinced a clueless President Richard Milhous Nixon that the treaty obligations of the 1944 Bretton Woods Treaty on a postwar Gold Exchange Standard should be simply ignored. Volcker rejected the express mandate of the Bretton Woods Treaty which would have seen a devaluation of the dollar in order to rebalance world major currencies. By 1971 the economies of war-ravaged countries such as Japan, Germany and France had rebuilt at a significantly higher level of efficiency than the U.S.
A devaluation of the dollar would have given a major boost to U.S. industrial exports and eased the export of dollar inflation in the world arising from Lyndon Johnson’s huge Vietnam War budget deficits. The de-industrialization of the USA could have thereby been avoided. Wall Street would hear none of that. Their mantra in effect was, ‘Nothin’ personal, just bizness…’ The banks began the destruction of the American industrial base in favor of cheap labor and ultra-high-profit manufacture abroad.
Instead of correcting that at a point it could have had an enormously positive economic effect, Volcker advised Nixon to in effect spit on America’s international treaty obligations and to brazenly dare the world to do something about it. On Volcker’s advice, Nixon simply ripped the treaty in shreds and ended Federal Reserve redemption of dollars held by foreign central banks for U.S. gold reserves. The U.S. dollar overnight was no longer ‘as good as gold.’
This post was published at New Eastern Outlook
This article was submitted by Matt Malleo, SchiffGold Precious Metals Specialist and Managing Director. Matt was formally educated at Cornell University where he studied business. Any views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Peter Schiff or SchiffGold.
The following is a fictional account of a day-in-the-life of a teenage boy named Mike Stockton living in 1967. Mike’s story is recorded as a set of entries made in his financial diary, outlining his economic activity, a summer night date, and his hopes of buying the car of his dreams.
July 1, 1967
Dear Financial Diary,
I am Mike Stockton a 15-year-old high school student in Wisconsin figuring out the world. I wake up on a sunny Saturday morning July 1, 1967, and go off to work. Too young to be drafted in the Vietnam War, I help support my family, pumping gas at $0.30 a gallon for my minimum wage of $1.40 an hour. I save as much as I can and I have been working for years. I’m due to get my license in one year and want to buy my dream car, a red Shelby Mustang priced at $2,461.
Today, I decide to spend $0.35 for a newly released magazine called Rolling Stone Magazine. I am a music fan and was telling all my friends about two bands that I predict will make it big, The Doors and Pink Floyd, they both released their first albums in 1967. It has been the Summer of Love, with protests around the country drawing hundreds of thousands to pressure President Lyndon B. Johnson into taking America out of the Vietnam War. It hasn’t worked though. Instead, the President gathered a group of ‘Wise Men’ and they planned on combating the protests with optimistic reports from Vietnam.
This post was published at Schiffgold on APRIL 18, 2017.
After the best quarter for US stocks since 2015, global equities have started off Q2 on the right foot, despite caution about the upcoming meeting between President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping later this week, and Fed Minutes which are expected to be more hawkish than the FOMC statement.
European shares opened broadly higher, with Europe’s Stoxx 600 rising 0.3% – its 5th day of gains – following a rally in Asian markets on upbeat final PMI data and after a report that Chinese President Xi Jinping will create a new economic zone. S&P futures were modestly in the green, pointing to a higher open for the S&P on the first day of the new quarter.
Mostly positive mfg PMIs out of Asia:
— David Ingles (@DavidInglesTV) April 3, 2017
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Apr 3, 2017.
Cambodians are responding with outrage to the U. S. government’s demand that the country repay a nearly 50-year-old loan to Cambodia’s brutal Lon Nol government, which came to power through a U. S.-backed coup and spent much of its foreign funds purchasing arms to kill its own citizens, according to Cambodia’s current prime minister Hun Sen.
While the U. S. was backing the Lon Nol government, it was also strafing the Cambodian countryside with bombs – a carpet-bombing campaign that would eventually see over 500,000 tons of explosives dropped on the small Asian country, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and leaving a legacy of unexploded ordnances.
‘[The U. S.] dropped bombs on our heads and then they ask us to repay. When we do not repay, they tell the IMF [International Monetary Fund] not to lend us money,’ Hun Sen said at an Asia-Pacific regional conference earlier this month.
‘At the same time the U. S. was giving weapons to Lon Nol, it was bombing the Cambodian countryside into oblivion and creating millions of refugees fleeing into Phnom Penh and destroying all political fabric and civil life in the country,’ former Australian ambassador to Cambodia Tony Kevin told Australia’s ABC.
‘And all of this was simply to stop the supplies coming down to South Vietnam, as it was then, from the north,’ Kevin added. ‘So the United States created a desert in Cambodia in those years, and Americans know this.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 15, 2017.
Jimmy McMillan III, the now infamous founder of the “Rent Is Too Damn High Party”, as well as a self-described karate expert, Vietnam War vet, former postal worker and male stripper, has made it his mission for the past two decades to fight rising rents in New York City that have persistently pushed lower-income families out of Manhattan to make more room for America’s Ivy-League educated, entitled snowflakes.
But according to recent data published by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Big Apple isn’t the only place where a significant portion of the population is struggling to meet monthly rent payments. In fact, per the JCHS, the U. K., Spain and Canada join the U. S. to round out the list of the top four countries in the developed world where 20-30% of renters spend more than 50% of their gross income on rent alone.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Mar 10, 2017.
If you thought the last round of protest idiocy was counterproductive, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. Just when you think they’ve hit rock bottom, the liberal protests hit new lows. The Guardian recently published an article detailing a revival in ‘tax resistance,’ which is a practice of not paying your taxes to ‘resist’ government:
Andrew Newman always pays his taxes, even if he hates what the government is doing with them. But not this year. For him, Donald Trumpis the dealbreaker. He’ll pay his city and state taxes but will refuse to pay federal income tax as a cry of civil disobedience against the president and his new administration. Newman is not alone. A nascent movement has been detected to revive the popularity of tax resistance – last seen en masse in America during the Vietnam war but which has been, sporadically, a tradition in the US and beyond going back many centuries.
‘My tax money will be going towards putting up a wall on the Mexican border instead of helping sick people. It will contribute to the destruction of the environment and maybe more nuclear weapons. I think there will be a redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the wealthy elite and Trump’s campaign for the working man and woman was an absolute fraud. If you pay taxes you are implicated in the system,’ said Newman, an associate professor of English and history at Stony Brook University on Long Island, part of the State University of New York.
It is quite amusing that an educator from SUNY academia, which is in part financed by federal funding, managed to list everything he had issue with, while at the same time omitting everything the state does that he does not object to… notably paying his salary.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 21, 2017.
As many had expected, multiple sources have now confirmed that former General Mike Flynn has resigned from his role as President Trump’s national security advisor. The White House has confirmed that Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. has been appointed Acting National Security Advisor.
President Donald J. Trump Names Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. as Acting National Security Advisor, Accepts Resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn
President Donald J. Trump has named Lt. General Joseph Keith Kellogg, Jr. (Ret) as Acting National Security Advisor following the resignation of Lt. General Michael Flynn (Ret).
General Kellogg is a decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served from 1967 to 2003, including two tours during the Vietnam War, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with “V” device, and the Air Medal with “V” device.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 14, 2017.
Week two of Trump. Same as the first week. Confusion and volatility. Courts overturned, at least temporarily, the ban from seven Muslim countries. And apparently even the White House’s appeal to have the ban restored has failed. Sabre rattling was predominant first with an attack on Yemen, a country the US is supposedly not at war with but well known they are backing Saudi Arabia and Egypt in fighting the Houthi rebels who are supposedly backed by Iran as the country is engulfed in a civil war; and, further sabre rattling directed against Iran and North Korea. Trump has also directed an assault on regulations particularly Dodd-Frank, a Wall Street reform and consumer protection act that was signed into law in July 2010 and designed to prevent another recurrence of the events of the financial crash of 2008. There were also riots at University of California Berkley to prevent an ultra-conservative from speaking (he was forced to cancel). They were reminiscent of the Vietnam War protest days of the 1960’s. All topsy-turvy.
With so much in the way of headlines and air being taken up by Trump the events in Quebec City where an extremist Quebecois attacked a Mosque killing 6 and wounding more was almost overlooked at least by Trump who barely acknowledged it centering instead on a lone attack outside the Louvre in Paris, France. Maybe that explains why the White House administration was pushing to erase white Neo-Nazi and supremacists from the US’s counter extremism to focus solely on Islamic extremism. It’s a topsy-turvy world.
Not so topsy-turvy was the markets where in the early part of the week the US stock markets were weakening largely because of all of the events noted above. Once again the tail is wagging the dog as the markets respond to political events. The US Dollar also fell and that in turn pushed gold higher. Friday’s employment report that came in sharply higher than expected helped push the US stock market back up again. As a result the markets closed largely unchanged on the week. Gold, after faltering initially also rose later in the day bucking thoughts that a strong employment number would weaken gold.
This post was published at GoldSeek on Sunday, 5 February 2017.
European, Asian stocks and S&P futures all drop after traders were left with a sour taste from the potential fallout of Donald Trump’s order halting some immigration and ahead of central bank decisions from the U. S. and Japan. Markets in Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam are all shut due to the Lunar New Year public holiday, leading to a quiet Asian session. Oil rebounded after sliding as much as 0.7%. Gold was unable to hold its overnight gains and has dipped into the red to $1,190 after rising just shy of $1,200 in early trading.
“Concerns on protectionism appear to be rising after President Trump’s executive order to restrict immigration,” said Adam Cole, head of G10 foreign exchange strategy with RBC in London.
As Bloomberg notes, Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations drew criticism from world governments and some of the largest companies, bringing the geopolitical and international trade risks surrounding the new U. S. president into sharper focus. As DB’s Jim Reid adds, the domestic affairs of the US hit the headlines all weekend with widespread global criticism and anger over President Trump’s immigration executive order.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 30, 2017.
US equity futures are unchanged, trading near record highs after digesting a spate of earnings results on Thursday. The dollar pared its weekly loss as the yen and pound slid, while gold headed for its longest slump in three months. European equities fell and markets in Asia were mixed, while markets in China, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam were closed Friday for the start of Lunar New Year. Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore had shortened sessions.
The dollar continued its recovery against a basket of other currencies on Friday, while banks dragged European shares slightly lower following underwhelming results from Swiss major UBS. The two-day recovery comes after the dollar suffered a 4 percent drop in the three weeks from Jan. 3 as doubts emerged about how Trump’s policies will play out for the currency, particularly after both Trump and Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin hinted at concerns over its strength. The yen extended its biggest decline in a week and Japanese bonds rose as the BOJ stepped in to buy more debt than expected. The pound also slid ahead of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Trump.
“The (dollar) has experienced a powerful rebound re-establishing post-U. S. election relationships between the performance of risk assets and U. S. bond yields on the one hand and the (dollar) on the other hand,” said Morgan Stanley FX strategists led by Hans Redekker, in a note to clients.
Trump suggested overnight he would push ahead with a 20 percent border tax on Mexico, spurring a slump on the peso and refocusing market expectations on his pro-business policies which, along with healthy corporate results, helped stocks on Wall Street to fresh record highs. However, the peso has since rebounded after the White House backtracked on its border tax proposal, when Sean Spicer said it was only “theoretical.”
On the political calendar, all eyes will be on the upcoming meeting between UK PM Theresa May and Donald Trump today. She will be the first leader to meet the President and a lot of attention will be placed on the outcome. May wants to try to pave the way for a free trade deal with the US post-Brexit and Mr Trump, in spite of his protectionist biases, would probably like to help the UK prosper if for no other reason than to help prove his point that the EU is flawed and the UK is better off outside of it. So although it’s a very early meeting where nothing will be decided it’ll be interesting to hear from the leaders afterwards. Trump’s ability to be confrontational on the global stage was demonstrated yesterday as we saw US-Mexico trade relations continue to grow strained as Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto officially cancelled a planned meeting with Trump as the latter continued to signal intentions of building “the wall” and substantially increasing border security. He said that if the Mexicans had no intention of paying for the wall they should cancel next week’s trip. This is precisely what they’ve done.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jan 27, 2017.
So the trade wars have begun. Less than 72 hrs into to his first term, President Donald Trump has wasted no time making good on a number of campaign pledges, including today’s signing of an executive order to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
The 12 nation deal was dubbed the ‘Gold Standard’ by former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and was supposed to be the high-water mark of ex-President Barack Obama’s economic legacy – continuously championed by Obama and his backers on Wall Street, but was not yet approved by Congress.
The deal was initially designed for the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Chile and Peru, but plans to extend its corporate reach would eventually include all countries in South America and the Pacific Rim. The other 11 nation signatories will likely move ahead with the deal regardless of the US, but it will be a weaker play in terms of geopolitical leverage.
This latest announcement follows Trump’s inauguration speech, promising from now on to put ‘America First,’ while promoting the anti-globalization mantra of , ‘buy American and hire American.’
Said Trump: ‘We’ve been talking about this for a long time,’ adding that today’s move will be a ‘great thing for the American worker.’
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on JANUARY 23, 2017.
It is worse than ‘voodoo economics,’ says former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. It is the ‘economic equivalent of creationism.’ Wait a minute – Larry Summers is wrong about almost everything. Could he be right about this?
Summers is referring to the paper written by two members of Trump’s trade team: his pick for secretary of commerce, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, and the director of Trump’s new National Trade Council, Ph. D. economist Peter Navarro.
It calls for a turn away from free trade and toward managed trade – or what is vaguely described as ‘fair’ trade. Colleague Karim Rahemtulla, on an investment scouting trip in India and China, sends this note:
‘I met with a factory owner in China. He pays his workers 2,000 renminbi a month, about US$300. He thinks it’s too expensive and is now opening factories in Vietnam and Cambodia, where he can pay half of what he’s paying just outside Shanghai.
In India, I saw two ads in the newspaper. One was for call center workers with a college degree as a requirement. The pay range was between 9,000 rupees (US$132) and 15,000 rupees (US$220) a month. The other ad was for a chartered accountant with three years’ experience for the Nehru Foundation – a big Indian NGO. The pay for that was 29,000 rupees per month, about US$426.’
This post was published at Acting-Man on January 12, 2017.
The Battle of Hamburger Hill, later made into a movie directed by John Irvin, refers to the epic, but completely unnecessary, Vietnam War engagement between the US (and South Vietnamese) and North, aligned with China (a proxy war), that saw huge casualties suffered on both sides of the equation. It was a bloodbath. The boys were ground into hamburger. All for Wall Street greed. All so unnecessary. (i.e. if JFK was allowed to live.)
Of course some may view such things as completely necessary, because we humans are competitive creatures. What’s more, it’s not as if we have progressed in any way over the last half-century. In fact, it could be argued we’ve regressed. But it’s all so much more civilized these days – no? We dont have wars anymore – we have guised crises, interventions, and peacekeeping missions that must be supported in the name of democracy – all the while America (and friends) still exercise colonial rule.
This is because the real wars are not fought on the battlefields anymore, however they are still with us, just not as obvious. Today, the economy of war is being waged in trade agreements and in the courts, which was the whole idea behind The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP)and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both designed for corporate America (and friends) to exercise continued colonial power over its subjects, just not on a conventional battle field on which a strategic advantage was held, but in the courts.
This post was published at GoldSeek on Tuesday, 27 December 2016.