Monster or Mozart?

BALTIMORE – Investors seem to be holding their breath, like a man hiding a cigarette from his wife. It’s just a feeling, and it’s not the first time we’ve had it… but it feels as though it wouldn’t take much to send them all running.

 

Actually, they’re not going anywhere yet… but there is a lot of overconfidence by those who were very worried when prices were a lot better – click to enlarge.

 

Meanwhile… we’re coming to a deep (and to many readers disagreeable) conclusion. Yes, we are closing in on profundity, struggling to hold on to the rim lest we fall into the well.

It has to do with Mr. Trump’s plans and how he really could Make America Great Again – and how nations and individuals should conduct their lives, including their financial lives: not by guessing about the future, but about doing the right thing in the present.

Each day brings new headlines. Trump does this. Trump does that. Good? Bad? Now we have a formula to judge.

“Trump Plans to Undo Dodd-Frank,” said The Wall Street Journal recently. Win-win? Or Win-lose? The answer is simple: Win-win! How do we know? Because Dodd-Frank was not voluntary. You couldn’t say “no.”

 

What a mouse trap would look like if it were designed like Frank-Dodd. It probably wouldn’t catch the mouse, but it might explode and send small shrapnel that used to be your house into orbit…

Cartoon by Marshall Ramsey

 

How about this, also from the WSJ: “The Trump administration is set to impose fresh sanctions on dozens of Iranian entities.” Win-win? Or Win-lose? You know the answer: Iran has no choice – win-lose.

Should You Invade Russia If You Think You Can Win? Should you shoot your neighbor and sleep with his wife if you think you can get away with it? Should you force interest rates down if you think it will stimulate the economy?

We have seen that only win-win deals add to the world’s satisfaction. And we’ve seen that there is only one criterion you need to ask: Did the parties – like bride and groom – enter it of their own free will? They may or may not get what they are looking for, but they’ll certainly get what they deserve.

Of course, any union is as likely to bring forth a monster as a Mozart. But we can’t sterilize every female or hold the future at bay. Tomorrow always comes. And it is always full of surprises – aborted missions, dead bodies, and unexpected losses.

 

Mozart in the thick of things.

Photo credit: AMLF

 

A representative from a dirt-poor region in Greece makes an impassioned speech in the assembly… the hot air gushing from his mouth collides with the cool breeze coming from Mount Olympus… and torrential rains cause flash floods in California.

All we know – only imperfectly – is what kind of deal is going down today. Win-win? Or is it win-lose? Is it consensual? Or is it rape? Is it “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”? Or is it merely “do unto others”?

 

Halftime Show

“Doing unto others” has its delights, as Genghis Khan noted.   You could burn Hillary Clinton at the stake during halftime at the Super Bowl. At least 100 million Americans might gawk in pleasure. Many would believe it was a good thing.

 

Genghis Khan was known to eschew luxury and generally was held to be a man of simple pleasures, as exemplified by this quote: “The greatest happiness is to scatter your enemy, to drive him before you,to see his cities reduced to ashes, to see those who love him shrouded in tears, and to gather into your bosom his wives and daughters.”

Photo via history.com

 

The U.S. government puts the value of a human life at $10 million. The ad revenue alone might make that one of the best investments of all time. But win-lose deals do not add to real wealth. And once you go down that road, you are headed to poverty,  if not to hell.

As we have seen, regulation, legislation… crony deals and zombie payoffs financed with fraudulent money – have hit the heartland hard. “Flyover” America loses; the winners are in the coastal swamps. So, let’s look at a couple more of “The Donald’s” proposals.

He’s proposed a tax cut, for example. On the face of it, that’s a win-win. The feds take less of your money. You have more left over for win-win deals. Wait –  you say he’s also proposing to take away the deductibility of business interest? Darn! Win-lose.

So, let’s move on – to bridges, dams, roadways, and docks. The president says he wants to spend more on infrastructure. Will it pay off? Who knows? Some projects will be useful. Some won’t.

Politicians, contractors, and insiders will surely benefit. Some people who use the facilities will benefit by accident. Everyone else pays for things they don’t want or don’t use.

But we don’t have to guess. We only have to ask: Can we just say “no”? If not, it’s another boondoggle for the swamp critters – and a bamboozle for the rest of us.

 

Can’t win against the swamp critters, at least they seem to think so…

Illustration by Stan Woch

 

Charts by: StockCharts, SentimenTrader

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared at the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.

 


 

Emigrate While You Can... Learn More

 
 

 
 

Dear Readers!

You may have noticed that our so-called “semiannual” funding drive, which started sometime in the summer if memory serves, has seamlessly segued into the winter. In fact, the year is almost over! We assure you this is not merely evidence of our chutzpa; rather, it is indicative of the fact that ad income still needs to be supplemented in order to support upkeep of the site. Naturally, the traditional benefits that can be spontaneously triggered by donations to this site remain operative regardless of the season - ranging from a boost to general well-being/happiness (inter alia featuring improved sleep & appetite), children including you in their songs, up to the likely allotment of privileges in the afterlife, etc., etc., but the Christmas season is probably an especially propitious time to cross our palms with silver. A special thank you to all readers who have already chipped in, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Regardless of that, we are honored by everybody's readership and hope we have managed to add a little value to your life.

   

Bitcoin address: 1DRkVzUmkGaz9xAP81us86zzxh5VMEhNke

   
 

One Response to “Boondoggles for the Swamp Critters”

  • Treepower:

    Is Trump really proposing to do way with deductibility of business interest? Can we have a source please and if it’s true, could PT please post on the manifold and serious consequences of such a revolutionary action? Wouldn’t this turn the monetary world on its head?

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • India: The World’s Fastest Growing Large Economy?
    Popular Narrative India has been the world’s favorite country for the last three years. It is believed to have superseded China as the world’s fastest growing large economy. India is expected to grow at 7.5%. Compare that to the mere 6.3% growth that China has “fallen” to.   India's quarterly annualized GDP growth rate since 2008, according to MOSPI (statistics ministry) - click to enlarge.   The IMF, the World Bank, and the international media have celebrated...
  • Don’t Blame Trump When the World Ends
    Alien Economics There was, indeed, a time when clear thinking and lucid communication via the written word were held in high regard. As far as we can tell, this wonderful epoch concluded in 1936. Everything since has been tortured with varying degrees of gobbledygook.   One should probably not be overly surprised that the abominable statist rag Time Magazine is fulsomely praising Keynes' nigh unreadable tome. We too suspect that this book has actually lowered the planet-wide IQ –...
  • What is the Best Time to Buy Stocks?
      Chasing Entry Points Something similar to the following has probably happened to you at some point: you want to buy a stock on a certain day and in order to time your entry, you start watching how it trades. Alas, the price rises and rises, and your patience begins to wear thin. Shouldn't a correction set in soon and provide you with a more favorable buying opportunity?   Apple-Spotting – a five minute intraday chart showing the action in AAPL on February 1, 2017 - an...
  • Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting, Q1 2017 and Some Additional Reflections
      Looming Currency and Liquidity Problems The quarterly meeting of the Incrementum Advisory Board was held on January 11, approximately one month ago. A download link to a PDF document containing the full transcript including charts an be found at the end of this post. As always, a broad range of topics was discussed; although some time has passed since the meeting, all these issues remain relevant. Our comments below are taking developments that have taken place since then into...
  • Gold and Silver Divergence – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Gold and Silver Divergence – Precious Metals Supply and Demand Last week, the prices of the metals went up, with the gold price rising every day and the silver price stalling out after rising 42 cents on Tuesday. The gold-silver ratio went up a bit this week, an unusual occurrence when prices are rising. Everyone knows that the price of silver is supposed to outperform — the way Pavlov’s Dogs know that food comes after the bell. Speculators usually make it...
  • Trump and the Draining of the Swamp
      Swamp Critters BALTIMORE – The Dow is back above the 20,000-point mark. Federal debt, as officially tallied, is up to nearly $20 trillion. The two go together, egging each other on. The Dow is up 20 times since 1980. So is the U.S. national debt. Debt feeds the stock market and the swamp. What’s not up so much is real output, as measured by GDP. It’s up only 6.4 times over the same period. Debt and asset prices have been rising three times as fast as GDP for 36 years! Best...
  • Making America Great Again – How to Judge Policy
      A Simple Formula MIAMI – How do we know if new programs will make the economy better... or worse? Here’s a simple formula:   W = rv (w-w – w-l)   That is, wealth is equal to the real value of win-win exchanges minus the loss from win-lose exchanges. Yes, dear reader, it’s as simple as that. Like a whittler working on a piece of wood, we’ve shaved so much off, there is nothing left of it... except the essential heartwood.   When devising a win-win,...
  • When Trumponomics Meets Abenomics
      Thirty Year Retread What will President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talk about when they meet later today? Will they gab about what fishing holes the big belly bass are biting at? Will they share insider secrets on what watering holes are serving up the stiffest drinks? [ed. note: when we edited this article for Acting Man, the meeting was already underway]   Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe, a dyed-in-the-wool Keynesian and militarist, meets America's...
  • Gold Sector Update – What Stance is Appropriate?
      The Technical Picture - a Comparison of Antecedents We wanted to post an update to our late December post on the gold sector for some time now (see “Gold – Ready to Spring Another Surprise?” for the details). Perhaps it was a good thing that some time has passed, as the current juncture seems particularly interesting. We received quite a few mails from friends and readers recently, expressing concern about the inability of gold stocks to lead, or even confirm strength in gold of...
  • The Great Wailing
      Regret and Suffering BALTIMORE – Victoribus spolia... So far, the most satisfying thing about the Trump win has been the howls and whines coming from the establishment. Each appointment – some good, some bad from our perspective – has brought forth such heavy lamentations.   Oh no! Alaric the Visigoth is here! Hide the women and children! And don't forget the vestal virgins, if you can find any...   You’d think Washington had been invaded by Goths, now...
  • Receive a One Percent Gift When Buying or Selling a Home
      How to Save Money When Buying or Make More When Selling a Home In your professional capacity and perhaps also in your private life, you may be closely involved with financial and commodity markets. Trading in stocks, bonds or futures is part of your daily routine.  Occasionally you probably have to deal with real estate as well though – if you e.g. want to purchase an apartment or a house, or if own a home you wish to sell.   The people who took this photograph probably want to...
  • Silver Futures Market Assistance – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Silver Is Pushed Up Again This week, the prices of the metals moved up on Monday. Then the gold price went sideways for the rest of the week, but the silver price jumped on Friday.   Taking off for real or not? Photo credit: NASA   Is this the rocket ship to $50? Will Trump’s stimulus plan push up the price of silver? Or just push silver speculators to push up the price, at their own expense, again? This will again be a brief Report this week, as we are busy...

Austrian Theory and Investment

Support Acting Man

Own physical gold and silver outside a bank

Archive

j9TJzzN

350x200

Realtime Charts

 

Gold in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Gold in EUR:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Silver in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Platinum in USD:

[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

USD - Index:

[Most Recent USD from www.kitco.com]

 

THE GOLD CARTEL: Government Intervention on Gold, the Mega Bubble in Paper and What This Means for Your Future

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com