To Unleash or Not to Unleash, That is the Question…

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA –  Corporate earnings have been going down for nearly three years. They are now about 10% below the level set in the late summer of 2014. Why should stocks be so expensive?

 

Example of something that one should better not unleash. The probability that a win-lose proposition will develop upon meeting it seems high. It wins, because it gets to eat…

Image credit: Urs Hagen

 

Oh, yes… because the Trump Team is going to light a fire under Wall Street. But they must be wondering about that, too. Raising up stock prices – as we’ve seen over the last eight years – is not the same as restoring economic growth and family incomes.

And as each day passes, the list of odds against either seems to be getting longer and longer. As the petty fights, silly squabbles, and tweet storms increase, the less ammunition the administration has available to fight a real battle with Congress or the Deep State.

Still – “Goldman Stock Hits Record on Bets Trump Will Unleash Wall Street,” reads a Bloomberg headline. Goldman Sachs is a pillar of the Establishment, with its man, Steve Mnuchin, heading the Department of the Treasury. So a win for Goldman is not necessarily a win for us.

“Unleashing” suggests a win-win deal, as in allowing the financial industry to get on with its business. But there are different kinds of “unleashings.” Some things – like Dobermans – are kept on a leash for a good reason. Unleashing the mob… or a war… might not be a good idea, either.

Untying Wall Street from bureaucratic rules is at least heading in the right direction. But it will only benefit the Main Street economy if Wall Street is doing business honestly, facilitating win-win deals by matching real capital up with worthy projects.

 

A chart of the median price/revenue ratio of S&P 500 Index components recently shown by John Hussman. We conclude that Wall Street was “unleashed” long before Mr. Trump appeared on the political scene. But why this should be considered bad? Haven’t those riding this market to such absurd levels of overvaluation made out like bandits? Why not be happy for them and leave it at that? Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Let us  consider just two problems. 1. Titles to capital only become extremely overvalued when the money supply and interest rates have been tampered with. These valuations are a symptom of extreme shifts in relative prices in the economy – they prove ipso facto that large amounts of scarce capital have been and continue to be malinvested. All of society will pay a price for this. 2. From the perspective of all market participants, whether investing is their job, or whether they are only indirectly exposed to the market through e.g. a pension fund, there will be no winners once the music stops. When an investor takes a profit, someone else must buy from him. Regardless of the trend in prices, there are no “unowned” stocks floating about in the ether. There is no way the class of investors as a whole can escape the eventual losses. Even worse, when prices retreat, the debt that has been incurred on the way up – from margin debt to the debt companies have taken up to buy back overpriced stocks – is not going to shrink with them – click to enlarge.

 

Deep State Industry

That, of course, is what it is NOT doing. It is a Deep State industry aided and abetted by the Fed’s fake money. The “capital” (really, money out of thin air) it helps allocate is fraudulent – provided to the elite at preferential rates by the Fed banking cartel.

That leads to a whole host of fraudulent transactions, losing propositions, and win-lose deals. The public has to borrow money at twice the interest rates of the elite in business, finance, and government. Why? The risk is lower.

If Goldman or GM gets into financial trouble – even with their favored lending rates – the feds bail them out. If the man in the street is unable to pay his mortgage, he loses his house.

This unfairness is at the heart of today’s economic system. It’s also the source of the discontent felt – but maybe not fully understood – by the masses and the current administration.

 

Dr. Fed explains to J6P how it works.

Cartoon by Rick McKee

 

Fraudulent System

The typical household has less earned income today than when the century began. It should have been the biggest, most successful period in human history.

Why are American wages sagging?

After all, the number of patents has exploded. So has the pace of technological innovation. The number of people with advanced college degrees, too.

Meanwhile, the feds have pumped $37 trillion in excess credit – above and beyond the traditional relationship between debt and GDP – into the system over the last 30 years. And corporations are more flushed with cash than ever before…

So, how come an economy with more technology than ever before, with more trained workers than ever before, with more “capital” available than ever before –

lowers household incomes, grows at only roughly half the rate of the 1960s and 1970s and registers the weakest “recovery” in history? How come?

 

As noted above, some things should better not be unleashed… Nixon probably didn’t even realize what he had let loose when he defaulted on the gold exchange standard. But that’s precisely the problem, whether it’s politicians or bureaucrats, every time they tinker with the monetary system in grand style, they have actually no idea what they are doing. One thing is clear beyond doubt though – a system characterized by constant inflation of money and credit benefits a small group to the detriment of everybody else – click to enlarge.

 

Globalization, Mexico, regulation, China, automation, inequality, financialization – they all have been blamed. But you know the real answer: because the money system is counterfeit.

It benefits the elite of Washington and Wall Street, but not the rest of us. And “unleashing” Wall Street – without a return to honest money – means allowing this Deep State beast to prey even more on average Americans.

 

Charts by John Hussman, St. Louis Federal Reserve Research

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

The above article originally appeared as “Should Trump “Unleash” Wall Street?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: 12vB2LeWQNjWh59tyfWw23ySqJ9kTfJifA

   
 

Your comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Most read in the last 20 days:

  • Trade War Game On!
      Interesting Times Arrive “Things sure are getting exciting again, ain’t they?”  The remark was made by a colleague on Tuesday morning, as we stepped off the elevator to grab a cup of coffee.   Ancient Chinese curse alert... [PT]   “One moment markets are gorging on financial slop like fat pigs in mud.  The next they’re collectively vomiting on themselves. I’ll tell you one thing.  President Trump’s trade war with China won’t end well.  I mean, come...
  • The Dollar Cancer and the Gold Cure
      The Long Run is Here The dollar is failing. Millions of people can see at least some of the major signs, such as the collapse of interest rates, record high number of people not counted in the workforce, and debt rising from already-unpayable levels at an accelerating rate.   Total US credit market debt has hit a new high of $68.6 trillion at the end of 2017. That's up from $22.3 trillion a mere 20 years ago. It's a fairly good bet this isn't sustainable....
  • US Stock Market: Happy Days Are Here Again? Not so Fast...
      A “Typical” Correction? A Narrative Fail May Be in Store Obviously, assorted crash analogs have by now gone out of the window – we already noted that the market was late if it was to continue to mimic them, as the decline would have had to accelerate in the last week of March to remain in compliance with the “official time table”. Of course crashes are always very low probability events – but there are occasions when they have a higher probability than otherwise, and we will...
  • Rise of the Japanese Androids
      Good Intentions One of the unspoken delights in life is the rich satisfaction that comes with bearing witness to the spectacular failure of an offensive and unjust system. This week served up a lavish plate of delicious appetizers with both a style and refinement that’s ordinarily reserved for a competitive speed eating contest. What a remarkable time to be alive.   It seemed a good idea at first... [PT]   Many thrilling stories of doom and gloom were published...
  • Claudio Grass on Cryptocurrencies and Gold – An X22 Report Interview
       The Global Community is Unhappy With the Monetary System, Change is Coming Our friend Claudio Grass of Precious Metal Advisory Switzerland was recently interviewed by the X22 Report on cryptocurrencies and gold. He offers interesting perspectives on cryptocurrencies, bringing them into context with Hayek's idea of the denationalization of money. The connection is that they have originated in the market and exist in a framework of free competition, with users determining which of them...
  • No Revolution Just Yet - Precious Metals Supply and Demand Report
      Irredeemably Yours... Yuan Stops Rallying at the Wrong Moment The so-called petro-yuan was to revolutionize the world of irredeemable fiat paper currencies. Well, since its launch on March 26 — it has gone down. It was to be an enabler for oil companies who were desperate to sell oil for gold, but could not do so until the yuan oil contract.   After becoming progressively stronger over the past year, it looks as thought the 6.25 level in USDCNY is providing support for the...
  • Flight of the Bricks - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Lighthouse Moves Picture, if you will, a brick slowly falling off a cliff. The brick is printed with green ink, and engraved on it are the words “Federal Reserve Note” (FRN). A camera is mounted to the brick. The camera shows lots of things moving up. The cliff face is whizzing upwards at a blur. A black painted brick labeled “oil” is going up pretty fast, but not so fast as the cliff face. It is up 26% in a year. A special brick, a government data brick of sorts, labeled...
  • The “Turn of the Month Effect” Exists in 11 of 11 Countries
      A Well Known Seasonal Phenomenon in the US Market – Is There More to It? I already discussed the “turn-of-the-month effect” in a previous issues of Seasonal Insights, see e.g. this report from earlier this year. The term describes the fact that price gains in the stock market tend to cluster around the turn of the month. By contrast, the rest of the time around the middle of the month is typically less profitable for investors.   Due to continual monetary inflation in the...

Support Acting Man

Item Guides

Top10BestPro
j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Austrian Theory and Investment

Archive

350x200

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

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]

 

Mish Talk

 
Buy Silver Now!
 
Buy Gold Now!
 

Oilprice.com

Diary of a Rogue Economist