Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump's Biggest Challenge

The election of Donald Trump is totally contrary to what is being perceived by his detractors.  For one, it was the strategy of the underground establishment to not only select, but demonize whomever was nominated to run against Hillary Clinton, the one chosen nearly 30 years ago.  WikiLeaks releases, of hacked John Podesta emails, have shown the level of corruption and manipulation that went on behind the scenes.  Efforts to initiate strategies to demonize the opponent as a racist, a xenophobe, a hater of women and a neo-Nazi have stained Trump, to the point that his real history is lost, while the fiction has caused some to think it is the end of the world that he was elected and the election was stolen.  At the same time, the press and strategy was to steer the public away from the various scandals with which Clinton was involved.  That news would border on Treason and clearly on charges that could make her holding the Presidency against the law.  Clinton fabricated charges against Trump and managed the news.  In any case, as time passes the perception of Trump will change and those in the streets will either be seen for what they are or see the error in their ways. 

That said, Trump's biggest problem isn't popularity.  Trump pretty much defined it in one of the debates when he said, we have a bubble, a false prosperity built on excessive credit.  Breaking bubbles spread bankruptcy throughout the economy, liquidate excessive capacity, debt and labor and almost always make whomever is in office or power, extremely unpopular.  They take on a life of their own, as they expose financial weakness  that was heretofore hidden.  The last one was the over inflation of the housing markets and the stock market, along with the underlying securities and monetary structure of such financing.  Confidence was lost to the point that day to day financing of such holdings dissolved into thin air.  The $700 billion TARP rescue was merely the tip of the iceberg, as trillions of costs were hidden under government guarantees and Federal Reserve inflation. 

Doug Noland, of Credit Bubble Bulletin  named the rescue, the government finance bubble.  In short, no one has given more coverage to the brewing financial situation since 2000, than Doug.  He saw the mortgage finance bubble and how it fed into the stock market, back in the 1990's.  His post, titled Franklin Raines, Director of Central Planning, October 21, 2001 was expose on what was to come (you can read this classic post by searching the link on Doug's page).  I suspect we will see the fulfillment of the next break in the area of government finance. 

There is no place that government bubble finance is any stronger than China.  China was a bubble going into the financial crisis of 2008, but still had fuel for the fire.   What followed is the greatest bubble of finance in history.  China already had empty cities and has built more.  The most phenomenal statistic has been their use of concrete, which I understood was greater in the combined years 2011-2013 than the consumption of concrete in the USA for the entire 20th century.  With the use of concrete, there is a parallel use of steel, as rebar.  Steel capacity in China is double demand and the excess is such they can flood the world with export and the entire mining industry around the world depends on this continued demand.  Funny finance has permeated the economy and evergreen loans, where bad debt is covered up with more bad debt are massive.  More so than anyone can know.  Shadow banking has run wild.. 

The result is an overbuilt economy, based on the printing of money, backed by US Treasuries.  This cycle of vendor financing, debt recycling, was behind the bubble of the Great Depression.  Bankrupts financing bankrupts. Rather than merely let the yuan appreciate, China creates a corresponding amount of Chinese funds on the back of these holdings.  Fears of them dumping our bonds are overblown, as the real fear is that capital flight will necessitate the sale to acquire dollars.  A lack of this backing could cause the hyperinflation that has taken place to reveal itself in a collapse of one or both currencies. 

In Europe, the problem is worse.  European banks were not bailed out during the financial crisis as they were in the US.  There are no less than 3 and probably 5 governments in Europe that are totally broke, Greece being the worst case.  This insolvency has been covered up to this time.  The corresponding flow of funds between national central banks is out of balance and cannot be solved, without another bailout.  The social insurance system in Europe is for all practical purposes, existing on a wish.  The risk of financial crisis in Europe is high.  An event will be blamed, but the weak link isn't any more the cause than the weakness of the entire structure. 

Low American interest rates have led to a massive amount of emerging market borrowing in dollars.   The value of currencies is beyond most people.  The primary need for dollars around the world is to cover dollar denominated debts.  Many of these countries are based on rapidly growing manufacturing bases or mining to feed the growth in China and other areas.  Capacity was expanded to serve the overinvestment in these growing areas and demand hasn't kept up with the bubble.  Hot money moves in and out and when it moves out, an imbalance is created and the currencies move in one extreme or the other.  Brazil has seen such a problem as the boom a few years ago attracted hundreds of billions that suddenly wanted out on the bust. 

The financial system is built on counterparties.  The borrower and the depositor are counter parties and the bankers that create such transactions are counter parties to both.  Credit is money that doesn't exist except in the solvency of the parties on either side of the bankers balance sheet.  Your deposit in the bank is called a credit, a liability of the bank, because that is what it is, credit against their assets.  There is no money involved, only liquidity and solvency. 

A wide valley has developed between the bubble economies and those that cannot benefit as well in such a system.  The US election showed the fallacy of bubbles in various stages, in that sans California, the Washington DC area, the NE financial economy states and Chicago, the election was a massive Trump landslide.  This is what 2016 was about, the battle between financial interests and the localities that benefitted from the credit bubble and the rest of the nation.  This is more than a system of outdated industries, ruining lives as they are liquidated, but a system where well placed people actually benefit from the liquidation, the free credit and the covering of risk by the government in general.

The term millionaire was coined in the John Law, Mississippi Bubble around 1720, as people close to finance got filthy rich, on a temporary basis, through the creation of a paper money scheme.  The scheme was such that it was adopted in London as well, the South Seas Bubble.  The bursting of these bubbles brought hardship on both countries followed by years of war between them. 

It isn't by chance that the billionaire class has become so broad.  We are seeing the same influence.  Money inflation creates speculation, in lieu of investment.  It distorts economies and unjustly enriches a few, many of which later go bust, as the illusion of wealth was just that in the first place.  We are told inflation is low, but it is high, showing up in asset prices rather than consumer prices.  The demand isn't there to satisfy the artificial investment that has happened through ultra low interest rates on flexible paper debt.  Government debts keep this game afloat and this debt is bought and sold repeatedly to finance otherwise phony schemes.  This is much the basis of the hundreds of trillions of derivatives around the world.  It is the primary reason you get next to zero on your money in the bank.

The world is printing money to cover up insolvency.  The pool of Federal Reserve money has grown by over 400% since Obama became President.  This money has financed consumption up front, but it has financed speculation on the back side.  The adjustment of prices of everything to reorder things has not been allowed to occur.  It is important to see who benefits from printing money and who suffers, as assumed prosperity isn't easy to measure in inflationary terms.  A revealing book was written around the turn of the 19th century by a man named Andrew Dickson White, titled Fiat Money Inflation in France.  It is worth a read, as it is short and concise. 

One thing I learned from the above posted book was the devastation of inflation on the middle class, the economy at large and the total ruin of the poor.  It become habit and excessive inflation was behind the Great Depression.  Governments really have no solution other than to postpone the inevitable.  Thus, the pile of crap from 2008 was merely shoved forward to today.  There is no real rebound in the economy to provide prosperity to the population at large, because the debts weren't resolved, only hidden.  One only need look at the meek rebound in housing starts and home ownership to see how poor the situation really is.  This cannot be seen in bubble lands, NYC, DC and California.  The rest of the nation is suffering under the solution to the problems that have kept the players and states of CA, NY and DC afloat.  New schemes have been added to such, in more money from around the nation and the world.  There will be little prosperity until this bubble is resolved.  Resolution will bankrupt many wealthy players and this is part of the reason  Trump couldn't win, though he did.  He won because the rest of the nation never recovered and what recovery there was for many was the replacement of a good job with a job at Wal-Mart. 

There is no doubt the bubble will break. For the third time in less than 20 years, California will have a government finance crisis.  This is because the phony bubble tech stocks that have made so many Californian rich will seek their true level and deprive the overburdening government of its free cash flow.  The magic that appeared under Jerry Brown, as the bubble reflated, will be seen as another round of witchcraft.  They will cry for a bailout.  Hopefully Trump gives them the middle finger and the Obama/Clinton lovers will have to reach into their dwindling pockets or cut their socialism.  The suckers that bought such inflated assets will again swear they will never do it again and a few of the scheme artists on Wall Street and Silicon Valley will get away with some money.  Others will find themselves broke and in some cases, faced with securities fraud.  Facebook, which trades at roughly the value of Exxon, will be re-priced, like Yahoo was last decade.  The bubble leaders in 2000 have never recovered.  Neither have many of their bag holders.

Will the entire economy freeze up this time?  Who know.  What will occur is a slowdown due to the long cycle mal-investment investments that are made during bubbles.  Just like the steel and concrete industries in China, the down line investment in mines and factories to build factories will cease.  Credit fueled bubbles are never funded entirely by real savings and the margin is that difference.  The 2000's were based on equity extracted from housing, used to continue consumer spending.  What was left for many was little or no equity and a mortgage balance that wouldn't be liquidated in a sale.  Such are bubbles. 

The biggest bubble in the US may be in the corporate finance area, where money has been borrowed, not for expansion, but for partial liquidations of the corporations themselves.  Many of these bonds are of the junk variety.  These partial liquidations are better known as stock buybacks.  Money that should have gone into the US economy directly, went into the pockets of speculators and management.  This money isn't invested, it is often used to buy existing assets.  This creates more inflation in the markets.  The wealth effect goes away when bubbles burst.  What a catch 22 we have been given. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Donald Trump-Stronger Together

The missing point in the Trump election is likely to be the campaign slogan of the Hillary Clinton campaign, Stronger Together.  The point Trump made, which was rejected by others and embraced by his supporters, was this is the USA and we are Americans.  We take care of Americans first and that includes us all.  It doesn't include taking in millions of people from outside the country.  It doesn't include fighting a war on terror and then making the same mistake made here and abroad of letting the terrorists into the country.  Also, we don't import semi-skilled and unskilled labor, pay their medical bills and have the living standards of Americans depleted as a result.  He who is not with us is against us.

I am going to make this point before I go forward.  I have Mexican immigrants do work for me from time to time.  I don't hire people who can't speak English, as I don't speak Spanish.  I watch them work and they work hard and are assets to the community.  I can't say that for most white people I know.  That said, I believe Trump speaks for many of them as well as natural born Americans. 

But, we have 90 million working age people in the US who are not employed, or at least don't admit to being employed.  Some are in school, some are disabled.  Some have been out of work so long they have lost touch with how to do their jobs.  Others are drawing money on some government program, because it pays better than the pay at some job they can get.  Much of this is due to the dilution of the labor force in America.  Those working, have their pay held down by the fact there is always another to take their job.  It doesn't pay to improve productivity when labor is so plentiful and so cheap.  This is what raises the standard of living.  Those that suffer this fate are just as much Hispanic or African American, as they are white.  They are in small towns and in cities.  Many jobs that paid a living wage 30 years ago, pay a bare subsistence wage today.  We don't need more unskilled labor. 

The same holds true for the massive importation of Indian computer labor, as millions of Americans have spent years in school learning the trade.  California tech firms lobby to keep the doors open to these people, not because they can't find help, but because they can pay less to someone who comes from a third world country.  Plus, as was pointed out to me, these foreigners don't come with the huge student loan debt that comes from an inflated education system. 

That said, I am trying to eliminate much of what has been used against Trump to brand him as a racist.  Also, the anti-woman issue needs to be addressed as well.  Trump put a woman over the construction of Trump Tower, which was built in the late 1970's.  She was one of the first to hold such a position in what had been a totally male business.  He was ahead of his time.  I can also say that former Dallas Cowboy Hershel Walker played for Trump in the USFL and I recall he idolized him.  The same holds true for Mike Tyson.  One was a saint, one a villain.  Both were champions and both were black.  I know there are plenty of other stories.  We hear about the exceptions, especially when the aim of the opposition is to demonize the man. 

If we can put this nonsense out of the way, maybe America can get on the same page.  The same page is to end gridlock in the national government, solve our problems, preserve our rights as individuals and get going forward.  For you TV watchers, who do next to nothing and only imagine how to get things done, this part of Trump might elude you.  People who have never done anything don't understand people that do.  Most politicians have done nothing but figure out how to win one election after another.  Americans under 35 have had the idea of winning diminished in their lives.  Who does anything without a goal?  If the goal in little league was to get a trophy, you got one regardless of achievement or not.  Losing is hard, but losing is part of living and if you care, it is painful.  Losers in life get eaten and quite often never learn the team work it takes to be a winner. 

One had to listen to Trump for awhile to really understand what he was about.  He knew people had problems and regardless of whether it was politically correct or not, he knew what was making these problems worse.  If one has rats, they can kill them, but it would be wise to not leave the door open for more.  If we have a surplus of unskilled labor or unemployed skilled labor, why open the door for more?  The working people of the United States, not the government, pays for this in the end.  To point out the source of the problem is not racism or divisive.  It is fact. 

But, what Trump was really talking about was solving problems.  Most good ideas are simple.  Putting them into action takes decision.  Most of the time, it doesn't take a bureaucrat to study the problem for 15 years and then hire 500 more bureaucrats to push paper and regulations.  Trump mentioned infrastructure and he mentioned things that I haven't heard in the past, like replacing old hospitals, upgrading airports and the such.  He talked about getting the inner cities moving.  For most of the intellectuals, they don't have a clue what he means when speaking of neighborhoods with run down roads and no services.  Trump knows urban development and has been pretty successful at it.  Listen to his victory speech and take note. 

More than anything, he talks of winning and how the USA doesn't win any more.  This is not some guy who has done nothing.  Doing the projects he has done, is as complicated or more so than being President.  These are long process contracts, not I'm going to build a building and it happens.  The hardships Trump went through in the late 1980's through the mid 1990's are things that temper a person.  The hardships of most politicians involve campaigning and maybe losing an election at some point.  Other people pay the price.  He pulled off the impossible, getting elected, overcoming a rigged system, which I will write on in the next month.  The price of losing is high.

So, if you are anti-Trump, get over it.  This is politics and what you hear and use against someone in politics is part of the stage act.  What you can't put in a stage act is the will and determination of a man, one who is sacrificing his retirement years to do something for the country.  He isn't Adolph Hitler, as presented.  What is he?  Someone who can break the gridlock in DC.

Ronald Reagan was demonized, but Reagan did something, even though he had a reputation of taking naps and delegating a lot of authority.  One thing he did was come to some consensus, as the Republicans never controlled the House of Representatives at any time in his tenure.  Reagan had been a Democrat at some point and left the party, because it moved too far left.  Trump is also regarded as a former Democrat and I believe the Democrats will embrace a lot of what he wants to do.  They have to, or the Republican party will take their base and expose the National Democratic Party for what they are, the party of the rich and famous.  They are no longer the party that offers the average American a way up the standard of living ladder.  People aren't stupid and they will shed their labels and get onto something that works.  Trump didn't show up in DC to expel Mexicans and block Muslims from coming into the country.  He came there to remove barriers to success.

In that vein, I sense in a short time, we will find ourselves stronger together.  Trump isn't an ideologue.  He comes without much debt to others and his constituents are the deplorable's, who are really everyday average working Americans who are tired of being soaked and ignored by DC.  Working Americans pay for all the free stuff, directly or indirectly.  If you don't work, you are enslaving these people and they have reached a point they know it.  Those that realize this will join Trump.  Those that want a free ride, a pat on the back for failure and those that need a shoulder to cry on will probably continue to vote for the enemy. 

America use to have 2 party's for the working people.  One was seen to represent a higher class of people than the other.  Interestingly, the party's shifted sides.  The blood suckers are now on the side of the Democrats, whether they be the compound interest fractional reserve bankers, the leveraged hedge funds, the arms dealers or others.  They preach a utopia, but the utopia they preach will lead to death, destruction, starvation and a total breakdown of society.  There won't be much kinder, gentler when starvation sets in.  We are headed for collapse and chaos, should we not turn back.  I would rather have my feelings hurt, which I must admit I am pretty sensitive, than to go hungry.  There is nothing free in government and there is no choice as to what it costs. 

The only way Trump fails, is if one side or the other refuses to go along.  And, going along doesn't mean putting all kinds of nonsense into the programs.  Getting the cities operating and modernized is a lot more important than the social engineering that is lulling young Americans to sleep.  At the same time, civil productive people of any race or religion need not find the going rough with their fellows.  Blaming someone for intolerance, is to some extent intolerance itself.  Lets not make crime out of every day life.  Accept that people are naturally the way they are and usually see the error of their ways.  That has been my experience. 

I am looking forward to the next 4 years.  There is a lot to change, like getting the nonsense out of schools.  The elite have basically brainwashed the masses in public education, under the guise of political correctness.  In the meantime, they have stolen the livelihood of these same people.  They are coming out of school today, mentally disabled to the point that I have read 70% of them are not eligible to join the armed services.  That represents a national crisis.  We have had a steady 8 years of this nonsense and where are we?  The choice between a crook, who represents the status quo and a rough talking man who has achieved his entire life shouldn't be a hard choice.  It isn't by chance that the losing crooks backers are creating havoc.  They don't realize progress has its price.  Trump has the capacity to unite the country, given a chance, as it has never been united in peace time history.  Give him the chance. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Department of Injustice

Lately, it is becoming more than apparent that the Attorney General's office and the Department of Justice has become a destructive barrier to maintaining a Republic.  WikiLeaks has provided ammunition to make the statements with some certainty that would have only been hollow speculation based on observation.  If not for the leaks and a pervert named Weiner, with connections to the former President and his candidate wife, a lot of things wouldn't have come to light. 

First of all, the centralization of power in the President of the United States has gone way beyond what was intended.  At best, the President was to be Commander in Chief of the Armed services, controlled by Congressional willingness to declare war and to fund it.  Actions taken over the past 110 years or so, has changed this situation, to the point the President now has to be controlled, lest we become a Constitutional dictatorship.  He or her ability to operate independently of the rest of the country has to be reined in.

The first action that must be taken is to remove the investigative portions of Government from the hands of the executive.  Crime, not on the streets, but in the political arena and the white collar sections of America and on an international basis, has destroyed the American middle class.  There is a large section of corruption that goes totally uninvestigated and when it is clear it should be investigated, they send their blind pigs to find nothing.  The Clintons are just the tip of the iceberg.  What about Wall Street, with its published emails indicating they knew they were selling dog crap as AAA debt.  I think they called it other names, like toxic waste.  They blew up the western banking systems, but they were literally untouched by the fraud they put on the rest of us. 

We have had plenty of IRS scandals.  Who can make ones life more miserable than the IRS? A few people, but history has shown they have harassed people out of favor with the current administration, past and present.  This type of accommodation of justice and criminal investigation cannot continue to occur.  It punishes enemies and common people and runs cover for those in favor of the government.  A Republic cannot stand when the criminals have such power at their disposal. 

For one, the prosecution and the investigators cannot continue to be controlled in the same agency.  This also holds true of the grand juries, which must be independent of control by either party.  Grand juries need to have power of their own, not to be rubber stamps of either investigators or prosecutors.  This can only result in long term injustice and a concentration of power in the hands of a ruling class that leaves the rest of the country devoid of justice. 

Through WikiLeaks and the releases of the data compiled on the Clinton email investigation showed the man in charge of the investigation was tainted, even if he was fair.  A Clinton crony gave his wife, who was running for a state office, a sizable percentage of her campaign war chest.  The man may have been fair, but there was a political cloud all the same. 

The current investigation is even under a deeper cloud.  The Justice Department man is in deep with the Clinton organization, so deep that his positioning in his job, cannot be a mere accident.  The Justice Department reeks of a protection racket run by the current administration, putting the rule of law as a tenet at risk.  This is clear when I look at the email case where there was clear perjury, clear negligence and clear violation of national security laws, yet insufficient evidence, because intent couldn't be proved.  Ask the next drunk driver who finds themselves in a fatal accident, if they intended to kill someone.  In all cases, they would honestly answer no.  I'm not so certain Hillary Clinton could give an honest answer, if you asked her name.  Yet, she was given a green light to run for President. 

This brings to mind the rigging of the Presidential elections I have witnessed over the past 28 years or so.  I won't go into the rigging, except to say that the quality of the candidates have been doubtful.  How any party could be brash enough to basically rig a nomination for someone whose potential criminality was so apparent, is beyond me.  It clearly smells rotten in Denmark, as they use to say.  It was clear the fix was in on any potential charges.  WikiLeaks provides evidence of such an opinion.  At the same time, they are throwing Generals in jail over violations a fraction of Hillary's.  It is clear they had the Justice Department in line for a go.  Hillary could have shown up with the smoking gun and the Attorney General Lynch would have declared it a suicide.

In the meantime, such a candidate is free to make up all kinds of lies on their opponent.  Whether Trump is guilty of any or all of what has been charged is beside the point.  The point is, there was no smoke on Trump other than some brash statements in the past.  No plaintiff had ever come forward or told anyone.  Not to worry, Hillary has a long history of making victims out of women, sometimes double.  Lying is her business.  If she had the investigation and prosecution under her thumb, who would oppose her?

The law has to find its way to another master, than the administration in power.  This is whether it is Democratic or Republican.  I have seen the tampering over the past 8 years.  Obama received a fortune in money out of Wall Street in 2008.  In return, nothing was done to the investment banking industry on a criminal basis.  Yeah, a few scam artists were prosecuted, but not the investment banking officers themselves.  There were plenty of Bernie Madoffs. 

I suggest the FBI and the Justice Department be taken from the executive branch.  In any case, we are mingling branches of government and putting too much power in one party's hands.  WikiLeaks has shown conflicts of interest in every direction.  Congress should have oversight and maybe appointment power.  Candidates should have very weak party connections at best.  Political operatives in such a position of power is counter to freedom of society over a long term.

Not only does power need to be decentralized in the US, as we are seeing the results of centralized power, but the power of the Presidency should be greatly diminished.  This is why we have gridlock.  It is either gridlock or tyranny.  There would be immediate improvement in the standard of living, if political power in DC was cut in half.  There is no free lunch.  There is little freedom in a totalitarian society and we aren't far away today, when you look at the administration of justice. 

In closing, would a Clinton Justice department do any better job of investigating Hillary?  I think it would be scary.  Look at what she is doing to Trump.  Look what she likely did to Julian Assange.  The same type charges.  Look at the sudden appearance of Trump raping a child, tied in with Jeffrey Epstein, when in fact rumors are circulating that Hillary and company are tied in with the same man.  Look at the charges of Trump being with the Russians.  The last time such charges were in vogue, Joseph McCarty was at his peak.  But, McCarthy had some basis in fact.  Hillary's charges are pie in the sky.  Think you want this woman running justice in America.  We are damn close.  I vote we take it away from all Presidents, as evidence is clear that power corrupts.