Friends and Enemies

Do citizens of the United States trust their government will do what’s right?  It depends who you ask. By and large, the esteem the American populace holds its government in is likely a small fraction of what it was roughly 65 years ago.  That was when Lieutenant General William Kelly Harrison Jr. signed the Korean Armistice Agreement.  Certainly, in days gone by representatives of other nations held the U.S. government in higher regard.

 

The most austere signing ceremony ever: Lieut. Gen. William K. Harrison, Jr. (seated left), and Korean People’s Army and Chinese People’s Volunteers delegate Gen. Nam Il (seated right) sign the Korean War armistice agreement at P’anmunjŏm, Korea, July 27, 1953. No-one seems really happy – presumably, no-one was. [PT]

 

Several weeks ago, President Donald Trump decided to pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran. This action, and its implications for various European companies with business interests in Iran, stuck like a chicken bone in the craw of European Council President Donald Tusk.  “With friends like that who needs enemies,” tweeted Tusk.

Indeed, President Trump is an erratic fellow.  He’s a master table-pounder.  He goes about his business with passion and the appearance of purpose.  His emotions run hot.  Yet, he has ice in his veins.

Moreover, his strategy for making America great again is unclear.  One day he starts a trade war.  The next day he lends a helping hand to Chinese telecom company ZTE. If you recall, ZTE’s the company that was busted for illegally exporting U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea in violation of trade sanctions.  Are Trump’s actions all part of his art of the deal?  Or are they the ambiguities of a lunatic?

 

Tusk meets the “Trump threat” to search for a lost contact lens in Brussels. [PT]

Photo credit: AP

 

Whatever they may be, Trump better have his act together.  In less than a fortnight, he’ll begin negotiating what may be the most important deal of his life – sparking up a new bromance with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. What follows is a scratch for clarity…

 

The Korean Bell of Friendship

Angel’s Gate Park sits high upon the bluffs at the southern tip of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, in the San Pedro district of Los Angeles. Winds gusts off the Pacific Ocean from three directions, explode up the face of the sea cliffs, and wildly swirl about the park’s crest.

Sweeping views of the mega Port of Los Angeles / Port of Long Beach shipping complex fill the eastern scenic scape.  To the west, sits the posh homes of Rancho Palos Verdes, and Trump National Golf Course.  Periodically, the 18th hole slides into the sea.

Catalina Island rises from the waters like a mountain berg to the south.  Peering over the bluff, past Point Fermin Lighthouse, the vertical expanse of the island appears to be just a short swim away.  Lastly, to the north are the seedy streets of San Pedro; the former stomping grounds of the late poet Charles Bukowski.

At the center of Angel’s Gate Park, just south of the youth hostel, sits the Korean Bell of Friendship.  The massive bronze bell is positioned over a stone pavilion.  The imposing pyramidal roof structure, supported by twelve columns, is etched with ornate Korean zodiac animals and vibrant color patterns.

 

Korean bell of friendship at Angel’s Gate Park.

Photo credit: J.H.C.

 

Immediately, beneath the ground where the bell sits are the old abandoned World War I bunkers of Fort MacArthur, named after Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur – father of World War II General Douglas MacArthur.  Several remnants of massive gun battery emplacements are located immediately adjacent.  This site falls within the area of The Great Los Angeles Air Raid of 1942, where Los Angeles fell under – real or imagined? – attack from a squadron of Japanese bombers.

Apparently, the Korean Bell of Friendship was given to the U.S. government to celebrate the bicentennial of the U.S. and to symbolize friendship between the two countries.  A big part of that friendship has been the protection the U.S. has afforded South Korea over the decades.  South Korea, in turn, has flourished, while North Korea has flagged.

 

Who’s That Ringing the Korean Bell of Friendship?

No doubt, ‘Rocket Man’ Kim Jong-un is a madman.  And a madman with nuclear missiles is trouble in the making.  But so is U.S. airmen overseeing ICBMs while on hallucinogenic drugs.  Either one could unleash a paranoid fury of barbarism on the world.

Over the Memorial Day weekend a delightful picture of Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cascaded across the World Wide Web.  Following a surprise summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, the two partook in what The Telegraph has called, “a triple hug.”

 

Kim and Moon meet at the 38th parallel.

Photo credit: Reuters/Korea Summit Press Pool

 

Could it be that Kim Jong-un has come to his senses?  Or is he positioning for his own art of the deal?  His rapid change of heart seems rather improbable.

The once off, June 12 meeting in Singapore between President Trump and Kim Jong-un is currently back on.  Maybe this will be the spark of a new bromance.  Who knows?  Unlike Moon Jae-in, Trump’s not much of a hugger.  But he’s always good for a lengthy grip and grin.

 

Illegal border crossing in progress.

Photo credit: Reuters/Korea Summit Press Pool

 

For better or for worse, the world is a vastly different place than it was when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953.  The U.S. can no longer afford to hold the DMZ line.  Perhaps the time has come for America to close up shop and vacate its military operations on the Korean Peninsula.

Surely, China would like Washington out of its backyard.  Hence, via their pal Kim Jong-un, China rings the Korean Bell of Friendship.  What in the world will Trump do?

 

Extensive summit search… [PT]

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

MN Gordon is President and Founder of Direct Expressions LLC, an independent publishing company. He is the Editorial Director and Publisher of the Economic Prism – an E-Newsletter that tries to bring clarity to the muddy waters of economic policy and discusses interesting investment opportunities.

 

 

 

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:

  • America Goes Full Imbecile
      Credit has a wicked way of magnifying a person’s defects.  Even the most cautious man, with unlimited credit, can make mistakes that in retrospect seem absurd.  But an average man, with unlimited credit, is preeminently disposed to going full imbecile.   Let us not forget about this important skill...  [PT]   Several weeks ago we came across a woeful tale of Mike Meru.  Somehow, this special fellow, while of apparent sound mine and worthy intent, racked up...
  • Retail Capitulation – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Small Crowds, Shrinking Premiums The prices of gold and silver rose five bucks and 37 cents respectively last week. Is this the blast off to da moon for the silver rocket of halcyon days, in other words 2010-2011?   Various gold bars. Coin and bar premiums have been shrinking steadily (as have coin sales of the US Mint by the way), a sign that retail investors have lost interest in gold. There are even more signs of this actually, and this loss of interest stands in stark...
  • Credit Spreads: Polly is Twitching Again - in Europe
      Junk Bond Spread Breakout The famous dead parrot is coming back to life... in an unexpected place. With its QE operations, which included inter alia corporate bonds, the ECB has managed to suppress credit spreads in Europe to truly ludicrous levels. From there, the effect propagated through arbitrage to other developed markets. And yes, this does “support the economy” - mainly by triggering an avalanche of capital malinvestment and creating the associated boom conditions, while...
  • Gold Divergences Emerge
      Bad Hair Day Produces Positive Divergences On Friday the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China was apparently escalated by a notch to the next level, at least verbally. The Trump administration announced a list of tariffs that are supposed to come into force in three week's time and China clicked back by announcing retaliatory action. In effect, the US government said: take that China, we will now really hurt our own consumers!  - and China's mandarins replied: just you wait, we...
  • Industrial Commodities vs. Gold - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Oil is Different Last week, we showed a graph of rising open interest in crude oil futures. From this, we inferred — incorrectly as it turns out — that the basis must be rising. Why else, we asked, would market makers carry more and more oil?   Crude oil acts differently from gold – and so do all other industrial commodities. What makes them different is that the supply of industrial commodities held in storage as a rule suffices to satisfy industrial demand only for a...
  • Chasing the Wind
      Futility with Purpose Plebeians generally ignore the tact of their economic central planners.  They care more that their meatloaf is hot and their suds are cold, than about any plans being hatched in the capital city.  Nonetheless, the central planners know an angry mob, with torches and pitchforks, are only a few empty bellies away.  Hence, they must always stay on point.   Watch for those pitchfork bearers – they can get real nasty and then heads often roll quite literally....
  • Lift-Off Not (Yet) - Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Wrong-Way Event Last week we said something that turned out to be prescient:   This is not an environment for a Lift Off Event.   An unfortunate technical mishap interrupted the latest moon-flight of the gold rocket. Fear not true believers, a few positive tracks were left behind. [PT]   The price of gold didn’t move much Mon-Thu last week, though the price of silver did seem to be blasting off. Then on Friday, it reversed hard. We will provide a forensic...
  • Merger Mania and the Kings of Debt
      Another Early Warning Siren Goes Off Our friend Jonathan Tepper of research house Variant Perception (check out their blog to see some of their excellent work) recently pointed out to us that the volume of mergers and acquisitions has increased rather noticeably lately. Some color on this was provided in an article published by Reuters in late May, “Global M&A hits record $2 trillion in the year to date”, which inter alia contained the following chart illustrating the...
  • Cryptocurrency Technicals – Navigating the Bear Market
      A Purely Technical Market Long time readers may recall that we regard Bitcoin and other liquid big cap cryptocurrencies as secondary media of exchange from a monetary theory perspective for the time being. The wave of speculative demand that has propelled them to astonishing heights was triggered by market participants realizing that they have the potential to become money. The process of achieving more widespread adoption of these currencies as a means of payment and establishing...
  • The Fed's “Inflation Target” is Impoverishing American Workers
      Redefined Terms and Absurd Targets At one time, the Federal Reserve's sole mandate was to maintain stable prices and to “fight inflation.”  To the Fed, the financial press, and most everyone else “inflation” means rising prices instead of its original and true definition as an increase in the money supply.  Rising prices are a consequence – a very painful consequence – of money printing.   Fed Chair Jerome Powell apparently does not see the pernicious effects...
  • A Walk on the Wild Side
      A Walk on the Wild Side   “Never play cards with a man called Doc.  Never eat at a place called Mom’s.  Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.” – Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side   Fresh Fruit or Rotting Vegetables? A subtle gas seems to always be vented into the atmosphere at the sunset of an extended bull market.  As the light fades, an odor that’s indiscernible from that of fresh fruit or rotting vegetables wafts down...

Support Acting Man

Item Guides

j9TJzzN

The Review Insider

Dog Blow

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