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[Abortion] [Ilya Somin] Dobbs Won't End the Legal Battle Over Abortion Liberals won't reconcile themselves to Dobbs, any more than conservatives accepted Roe v. Wade and Casey. Published:6/26/2022 6:09:03 PM
[Markets] "It's Infuriating": DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion "It's Infuriating": DC Democrats In Chaos, Demand Biden Act On Abortion

Democrats are seething with rage over Friday's 6-3 majority decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, sending the question of abortion rights back to the state-level.

"The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives," read the opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito.

Pro-abortion protesters sprung to action, deploying posters which read "Bans off my Body" and other slogans.

Hours after the news broke, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called the decision "illegitimate," and encouraged people to get "into the streets" to protest.

Her call for what we're sure will be 'mostly peaceful' protests prompted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to accuse the Democrat of 'launching an insurrection,' adding "Any violence and rioting is a direct result of Democrat marching orders."

"I will explain this to you slowly: exercising our right to protest is not obstruction of Congress nor an attempt to overturn democracy," AOC replied, to which Greene asked AOC why she won't support pardons for Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, why she is "a shill for the MIC (military industrial complex) funding war in Ukraine," or "are you too busy organizing baby killing riots?"

Behind the carnival tent curtain, DC insiders are furious and are demanding that the Biden administration DO SOMETHING!

"It’s infuriating. What the hell have we been doing?" one Democratic strategist told The Hill. "Why are we not talking about this every single day? Why hasn’t Biden made this the issue for Democrats? If we don’t step up, we’ve got ourselves to blame."

Since a leaked draft of the gut-punching Supreme Court opinion surfaced in early May, Democrats have said they wanted to see more guidance from Biden. But the president has been consumed by domestic issues including record-high inflation and the latest mass shootings in the country, in addition to Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Democrats say Biden must do more to lead and fire up the base if he hopes to get Democrats to turn out this fall.  

 “A more forceful stance would be welcome from the rank and file,” said William Galston, who chairs the Brookings Institution’s governance studies program. -The Hill

On Friday, Biden delivered a weak address from the White House, at one point struggling to find the words to describe the moment before spitting out: "It's a - it just - it just stuns me," even though the Supreme Court decision leaked on May 2 and everybody knew this was likely coming.

And what is Biden's solution? After acknowledging that he's 'severely limited' in what he can do as president, he encouraged Democrats to vote for pro-abortion candidates in November's midterms that would make it possible to pass a 'right to abortion' law.

"This decision must not be the final word. My administration will use all of its appropriate, lawful powers, but Congress must act," said Biden, adding: "This fall, Roe is on the ballot. Personal freedoms are on the ballot, the right to privacy, liberty, equality, they're all on the ballot. ... And with your vote, you can act. You can have the final word. This is not over."

Former President Obama, who in 2009 said that legislation to codify abortion rights into federal law was 'not the highest legislative priority' - tweeted: "Today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripped the "GOP’s dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions."

Democratic strategist Joel Payne said, very strategically: "What’s challenging for the president is that all the other domestic challenges have prevented him from having the political capital to galvanize the base in a moment like this."

"Because of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Party & their supermajority on the Supreme Court, American women today have less freedom than their mothers. Radical Republicans are now charging ahead with their crusade to criminalize health freedom." Of course, unborn American children have more protections than they've had in 50 years.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the decision "one of the darkest days our country has ever seen."

And the Attorney General, Merrick Gardland, got extremely political, saying in an official statement: "The Justice Department strongly disagrees with this Court's decision. This decision deals a devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States."

Kamala?

Another Democratic strategist suggested that failure to employ Kamala Harris as the face of the White House's pro-abortion stance is a huge mistake.

"How great would that have been?" the anonymous strategist asked rhetorically. "Why aren’t we deploying someone who understands and could speak to this moment from the heart?"

Eh...

Young Democrats feel abandoned

According to HIT Strategies' chief researcher Roshni Nedungadi, 75% of young voters 18-34 years-old want abortion rights protected and don't believe Democrats are doing enough to fight back on the issue.

"They feel that they need to see Democrats and the White House fighting for them," she said, adding "I really think as many voices as they can have, saying the same thing over and over again."

The question for November; can Democrats rally the base around the right abort an unborn child, after a summer of 'mostly peaceful protests'?

Tyler Durden Sat, 06/25/2022 - 20:00
Published:6/25/2022 7:26:06 PM
[abortion] Dobbs Drops, Roe Overturned (John Hinderaker) The Supreme Court released its opinions in the Dobbs case this morning. Consistent with the leaked draft by Justice Alito, it overrules the Roe and Casey decisions. You can read the opinions here. I haven’t had time yet to review Alito’s majority opinion to see how closely it conforms to what was leaked. The vote was 6-3, with Chief Justice Roberts concurring in the result. He would have upheld the Published:6/24/2022 12:38:13 PM
[bb22a376-25e1-5cbe-8961-0a6a3481f57b] Stacey Abrams on board of foundation awarding millions to woke professors pushing prison abolition, CRT Stacey Abrams serves as a board member and governor of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, which awards millions of dollars every year to "abolitionist" scholars. Published:6/2/2022 4:53:33 AM
[abortion] Astounding Leak from the Supreme Court (Steven Hayward) Liberals love to bleat on these days about how Republicans have been breaching “democratic norms,” but late today one of the most sacrosanct norms of our political order was breached: Someone leaked a draft Supreme Court opinion striking down Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the pending case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Association. The opinion, drafted by Justice Samuel Alito, is 98 pages long, and Published:5/2/2022 11:54:00 PM
[Markets] "Toto, I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore" "Toto, I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore"

Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,

Recently, an American colleague commented to me, “We no longer live in a democracy but a dictatorship disguised as a democracy.”

Is he correct? Well, a dictatorship may be defined as “a form of government in which absolute authority is exercised by a dictator.”

The US today is not be ruled by dictatorship (although, to some, it may well feel that way.)

But, if that’s the case, what form of rule does exist in the US?

At its formation, the founding fathers argued over whether the United States should be a republic or a democracy. Those founders who later formed the Federalist Party felt that it should be a democracy – rule by representatives elected by the people. Thomas Jefferson, who created the Democratic Republican Party, argued that it should be a republic – a state in which the method of governance is democracy, but the principle of governance is that the rights of the individual are paramount.

He argued that, “Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty one percent can vote away the rights of the other forty nine.”

At that time, Benjamin Franklin has been credited as saying, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.”

Very well stated.

As Americans still legally vote, and it may well be that the voting is not altogether rigged, the US could be regarded as a democracy. Of course, to be accurate, it could also be defined as a bureaucracy – rule by officialdom, and/or a plutocracy – rule by the very rich. Both of these descriptions are undeniably accurate.

Another question that’s hotly debated is what sort of “ism” the US is living under. There’s a visible trend in new candidates to openly promote socialism. Historically, socialism has always been an excellent way to gain votes, as the socialist promises largesse to the average man that government will provide by robbing the rich. Not surprisingly, the average voter would find this prospect very attractive.

Socialist candidates in the US today base their argument for socialism on the premise that “capitalism has failed,” and that premise is providing them with great headway. They claim that prosperity for the American people is almost non-existent; that the middle class is shrinking and the small upper class is growing ever-richer.

These claims are undeniably true… but not because capitalism has failed.

Vladimir Lenin stated that “Fascism is capitalism in decay.” He was quite correct. Fascism is a slow cancer that eats away at an economy. It transfers wealth to the largest, most politically influential corporations. Yet, the concept of fascism is greatly misunderstood today. Most anyone who decries fascism will describe symptoms such as jackboots and swastikas, but fail to offer an actual definition.

For a definition, we might ask Benito Mussolini, the father of national fascism. He stated, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.”

By defining the term, we can conclude that the US is no longer a capitalist country and hasn't been one for a long time. The US began its slide into fascism in a major way around the time that income tax and the Federal Reserve were created – in 1913. These measures were the brainchild of the largest bankers of the day and the Fed still remains under the power of the major banks.

Over the last century, the Deep State, which is corporatist in origin, has grown and has done a first rate job of introducing a combination of socialism and fascism, a bit at a time. This has slowly destroyed the economy, education and the national moral compass, not to mention achieving the utter corruption of the political system.

By contrast, capitalism is a free-market system, in which the economy, unfettered by the interference of governments, finds its own level at any given time. It fluctuates naturally, based upon supply and demand, each correcting the other with regularity.

But government edicts operate with force and permanence, constricting the natural flow of money, goods and services. Over time, regulations pile on top of regulations until the system becomes dysfunctional.

Socialism, by its very nature, is a central restrictive force on the free market. Its logical conclusion is very visible in Venezuela today, where government regulation has produced such a stranglehold on the economy that it’s broken down in every way, resulting in dire poverty and even starvation.

But, as stated above, in the US, the Deep State has been thorough in its presentation of the US economy as a capitalist economy. In doing so, they’ve provided the encouragement of full socialism in the political realm.

In the near future, the economy will begin to collapse under the weight of growing fascism and socialism. However, the blame will be laid at the feet of capitalism.

In my belief, the majority of Americans will be fooled into thinking that capitalism is the problem and that socialism will save the day. During the coming financial crisis, they'll dive in with both feet.

Voters, even many of those who are moderate, will support socialist candidates. The first national election that occurs after the crisis has begun will result in an overwhelming victory for socialist and other leftist candidates. The next president will provide a plethora of socialist “solutions” to counter “the damage done by capitalism.”

But such a prediction does not require a crystal ball. This has happened many times before. The Athenian Republic ran into the same problem. The Roman Republic also deteriorated in this manner. As stated by Aristotle, “Republics decline into democracies and democracies decline into despotisms.”

Quite so. It’s a natural progression.

And so, it shouldn’t be surprising if the more imaginative American were to observe, worriedly, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

He would most certainly be correct. Like the flag in the image above, the founding principles have been turned upside down and the rights of Americans have been shredded. “America,” as a concept, no longer exists in the USA. Its vestiges remain, but soon, they too will be on the way out.

Liberty always exists somewhere in the world, but it does tend to change location from time to time.

Perhaps a final quote from late eighteenth century America would be of benefit – one from Thomas Paine.

“My country is wherever liberty lives."

*  *  *

Economically, politically, and socially, the United States seems to be headed down a path that’s not only inconsistent with the founding principles of the country, but accelerating quickly toward boundless decay. In the years ahead, there will likely be much less stability of any kind. That's precisely why, Doug Casey and his team just released this new report with all on details on how to can play your cards—both for prudence and profit. Click here to get the details now.

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/30/2022 - 14:30
Published:4/30/2022 1:57:32 PM
[Markets] Anti-Lockdown States Performed Better Than New York & California, Think Tank Finds Anti-Lockdown States Performed Better Than New York & California, Think Tank Finds

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Freedom-loving states like Florida and South Dakota performed significantly better than states like New York and California which imposed harsh lockdown restrictions in terms of health, economy and education, according research by a US think tank.

The working paper, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, took those three factors and combined them to come up with a composite score and an overall rank.

The paper is called ‘A Final Report Card on the States’ Response to COVID-19’ and was written by Casey B. Mulligan, Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, Phil Kerpen, President of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, and Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation.

The authors tracked unemployment and GDP by state as well as the percentage of schools that stayed open during 2020-2021.

In terms of health, they looked at Covid-associated deaths reported to the CDC and all-cause excess mortality.

“Like numerous other studies, the authors found no relationship between lockdowns (measured in this case by economic impact) and health outcomes. If anything there was a slight correlation between remaining open and lower mortality,” writes Will Jones.

Top performing states were Utah, Nebraska, and Vermont, followed by six other states including Florida and South Dakota.

Proving that Americans were keen on fleeing restriction-heavy states, the four states with the highest net outward migration were Washington D.C., New York, Illinois and California, all of which featured in the bottom six of the overall rankings.

“Another weighty nail in the lockdown coffin – though lockdown proponents seem very slow in accepting it,” concludes Jones.

As we previously highlighted, a study by the renowned Johns Hopkins University concluded that global lockdowns have had a much more detrimental impact on society than they have produced any benefit, with researchers urging that they “are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.”

*  *  *

Brand new merch now available! Get it at https://www.pjwshop.com/

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Tyler Durden Wed, 04/13/2022 - 14:25
Published:4/13/2022 1:32:39 PM
[Coronavirus] How Did the States Do? (John Hinderaker) This study by Phil Kerpen of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago’s Department of Economics, and Stephen Moore of The Heritage Foundation is getting a lot of attention. The authors seek to evaluate and to rank the 50 states and D.C. on their responses to the covid epidemic. The study takes into account both economic and health criteria: Our measures fall into three categories: Published:4/12/2022 5:27:30 PM
[Markets] David Stockman On The Coming Bond Bear Market... And What Comes Next David Stockman On The Coming Bond Bear Market... And What Comes Next

Authored by David Stockman via InternationalMan.com,

If you didn’t think the $70 trillion global bond market was a train-wreck waiting to happen, surely last week’s yield surge was a wake up call. From the 2.15% close one week earlier, the 10-year yield soared to a peak of 2.50% just after mid-day last Friday; and that 36 basis point gain was, in turn, the culmination of a stunning 200 basis point rise from the cyclical low point (0.51%) recorded during July 2020.

Needless to say, an economy staggering under the weight of $87 trillion in debt, representing a record 365% of GDP, can’t take much interest rate increase in any case. But when the Fed is drastically behind the curve and will be forced to hit the brakes hard (and unexpectedly) in coming months, you are talking about a recipe for financial carnage.

Of course, the knuckleheads in the Eccles Building are just beginning to faintly recognize the trap they have backed themselves into. As Bill King aptly noted,

….contributing to the bond carnage on Friday morning: NY Fed President Williams said the Fed will hike rates 50bps if needed, and inflation has been much stronger than the Fed expected. What dopes!!

He got that right. However, also recently the UST 2–year hit 2.31% compared to 1.85% on the day before the Fed’s mid-March 25bps rate hike. So as King noted further,

Ergo, the 2–year note puts the Fed 21bps more behind the curve than when it hiked rates 25bs. As anyone around in the late ‘70s knows, once the Fed gets meaningfully behind the curve, baby steps are counterproductive. Only Volcker–like action works

In fact, the term “Volcker-like action” is surely an understatement. As shown in the chart below, the Fed has literally buried the bond market in false economics. That is, ultra-low nominal yields which cannot possibly withstand the inflationary gales coming down the pike.

As of the end of February, the 16% trimmed mean CPI stood at +5.75% on a Y/Y basis, meaning that the real 10-year yield after inflation stood at a hideous -3.81%. But with inflation continuing to rise toward 10%, the handwriting is surely on the wall. To wit, last week’s yield surge was just a warm-up for the surges which lie ahead.

After all, the -3.81% real yield recorded in February 2022 not only defies rational economics, but it was also the culmination of a 35-year cycle of declining real yields like no other in recorded history.

From the 4.5% real yields prevailing when Greenspan took charge of the Fed in August 1987, the relentless hammer of money-printing at the Fed and other central banks had driven yields to an average of 3.5% during the 1990s; around 2% during 2000-2010, save for the plunge during the Great Recession; and then to increasingly negative real yields after Inflation Targeting was officially adopted in January 2012.

Inflation-Adjusted (Real) Yield On 10-Year US Treasury Not, 1987-2022

For want of doubt, here is the longer-term real yield based on the regular CPI (the trimmed mean doesn’t go back this far). There is nothing comparable in the last 60-years to the February 2022 real yield of -6.08% on a regular CPI basis. Even at the peak of the 1980s inflation blow-off the real yield only reached -4.18% and -4.70% at the top of the first oil crisis in December 1974.

In a word, the real yield on the world’s benchmark bond is in uncharted waters, no matter how you slice it. Indeed, yields are so artificially suppressed that once it becomes evident to the speculators and front-runners in the bond pits that the central banks’ bond-buying cavalry is not coming back anytime soon, it will be Katie-bar-the-door on yields and, consequently, lights out for TINA in the stock market, as well.

Inflation-Adjusted Yield on 10-Year UST, 1962-2022

As it happens, moreover, this lowest real yield in 60 years is not the end of the story. It can actually be well and truly said that the biggest bond bubble in 800 years is now deflating, and that will make all the difference in the world.

Moreover, the global bond market bubble is deflating at a fearsome pace. The value of global bonds dropped by another $754 billion just last week, bringing total loss from the recent all-time high in mid-2021 to a staggering $4.8 trillion or 7%.

Needless to say, when this utterly distorted bond market heads south, the global stock market won’t be far behind. After all, current nosebleed levels and out of this world PE ratios are predicated on ultra-low yields and the specious theory of TINA (there is no other alternative to stocks).

Indeed, the global stock market capitalization level as computed by Bloomberg is off from its $122 trillion mid-2021 peak by $9 trillion or nearly an identical 7%. And the plunge has just gotten started.

After all, even at the current $113 trillion, global equity capitalization stands at 133% of global GDP, which is double the ratio that prevailed before the central banks jumped the shark with financial repression and stock market price-keeping after the turn of the century.

Stated differently we are now in what promises to be a world record bond bear market that is just finding its sea legs. Accordingly, the US bond market alone is down 8.7% from its peak in August 2020, making it already the longest (596 days) and largest correction in bonds that we’ve seen in recent history.

Looked at differently, recall when there were $18 trillion of negative yielding debt trading in world bond markets?

That number is already down to $3 trillion and heading vertically toward positive territory—-the only rational place for bond yields to stand. And as it corrects, there will be a world of hurt among corporate, household and government borrowers who had foolishly assumed that free money was a permanent condition.

The benchmark yield, of course, does not exist in a vacuum—just the opposite. The Fed’s post-March 2020 printathon caused a radical plunge of mortgage rates, triggering a speculative run-up in housing prices. Now its reversing violently, and housing prices can’t be too far behind.

Freddie Mac 30-Year Mortgage Rate, 2010-2022

In fact, the whole beneficent housing cycle of the last 42 years is likely reversing. As shown in the chart, between 1980 and the first peak in 2006, housing prices rose by 295% as the 30-year mortgage rate plunged from 15% to 6%.

But the Fed was not nearly done. During the era of ZIRP and QE after the 2008 crisis, it drove the 30-year rate (red line) to a low of 2.67% in Q3 2021, thereby fueling a new housing price (blue line) surge of another 60% from the 2006 high.

But here’s the thing. In just the last two quarters, the 30-year rate has rebounded by 175 basis points to 4.42% from the 2021 low, thereby already cancelling 50% of the 350 basis point drop from the Q1 2007 level. So tumbling housing prices are surely next in line.

Median Home Sales Price Versus 30-Year Mortgage Rate, 1980-2022

Nor is housing the only victim of the unfolding bond bear market. For the past 20 years the corporate sector has been systematically shrinking its equity base. That was the result of either applying cash flow that could have otherwise gone into productive investments or debt pay-downs into stock buybacks and dividend payments or actually borrowing to fund the same.

But now that bond yields are entering a secular trend of higher and higher levels in the slog back to normalcy and sustainability just the opposite it likely to happen. To wit, cash flow will be applied to productive investment or debt pay-downs, while borrowing to fund stock buybacks will become exceedingly rare.

Accordingly, the chart below is heading for a greater secular reversal. The estimated buyback level for Q1 2022 may well be the last hurrah for the Great Buyback Binge of the last two decades.

Needless to say, Wall Street is sleepwalking. As the bond bear gathers girth it will become increasingly obvious that we are early stages of a much larger, seismic shift not only in monetary policy, but in the state of the US economy.

*  *  *

The Fed has already pumped enormous distortions into the economy and inflated an “everything bubble.” The next round of money printing is likely to bring the situation to a breaking point. If you want to navigate the complicated economic and political situation that is unfolding, then you need to see this newly released video from Doug Casey and his team. In it, Doug reveals what you need to know, and how these dangerous times could impact your wealth. Click here to watch it now.

Tyler Durden Mon, 04/11/2022 - 13:00
Published:4/11/2022 12:14:50 PM
[Markets] Jordan Peterson Champions Capitalism At Bitcoin 2022 Jordan Peterson Champions Capitalism At Bitcoin 2022

Authored by Casey Carrillo via BitcoinMagazine.com,

Bitcoin 2022 is a gathering of freedom, a place for conversations of sovereignty; and who better to invite to speak than Jordan Peterson, a prominent Canadian psychologist who’s attracted much attention for his books and podcast appearances. Peterson has been classified as “the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now,” and a “right-wing internet celebrity,” but his wide appeal certainly testifies to the fact that he’s speaking to a growing audience of people seeking his ideals.

His fireside appearance was hosted by Tuur Demeester, an early bitcoin investor and analyst. Given Demeester’s experience and knowledge, it was set to be an excellent discussion.

Much of the Bitcoin community already has an ideological intersection with Peterson. At the conference, his chat was delivered to a very crowded audience — people were interested in what he had to say.

Demeester started by asking Peterson about what sparked his entrepreneurial ventures. Peterson responded:

“The most appropriate way to understand something is to try it.”

In a way, it’s a nod to proof of work as a concept.

Peterson then jumped into what became the main theme of his responses, which was his profuse belief in capitalism.

“Don’t be defensive about the ethics of your capitalistic enterprise, on the contrary you should be on the offensive, proudly proclaiming that people should ... make free choices about what they value.”

He added, “One of the fundamental axioms of a free market system is that the only way to properly compute the horizon of the future is by sampling and perhaps summing the free choice of a multitude of free agents.”

Demeester asked Peterson about his curiosity in Bitcoin, to which Peterson replied, “First of all, I thought I would be motivated to understand bitcoin if I actually invested some money in it because I do believe the proposition that you don't really make genuine decisions if your sampling a domain unless you have ‘skin in the game.’”

But Peterson wasn’t entirely bullish on Bitcoin — he did have a demeanor of cautious optimism.

“We have no idea what would happen if money per se was actually decentralized … If we manage that and say Bitcoin maintains privacy, is it irreversible? Is that permanent? … Well what if its a bad idea and its irreversible?

Peterson rounded back to capitalism to finish off, saying, “Here's two justifications for free markets and capitalism. It gives warlike people something to do that isn't destructive.”

He then added:

“If you can't make your idea attractive enough to other people so that they're willing to give you money, it's possible that its a stupid idea and you’re doing it badly… We shouldn’t subsidize zombies. Do you want to be one?” 

Watch the full 'fireside chat' below:

Tyler Durden Sat, 04/09/2022 - 13:30
Published:4/9/2022 12:57:26 PM
[Markets] David Stockman On The Coming Stock Market 'Crash Of Biblical Proportions' David Stockman On The Coming Stock Market 'Crash Of Biblical Proportions'

Authored by David Stockman via InternationalMan.com,

International Man: Whether we like it or not, the reality is, the Federal Reserve has an enormous influence over the dollar and the stock market.

And right now, the Fed has an urgent and fateful decision to make.

It can keep printing trillions of dollars, let inflation skyrocket or tighten monetary policy, and watch the stock market crash.

In other words, it can sacrifice the stock market or the dollar. 

David, what do you think the Fed will do, and what are the implications?

David Stockman: Well, I think whether it wants to or not, the Fed will crash the stock market. The Fed has painted itself into a hellacious corner because it's made such a fetish out of its 2% inflation target, especially since January 2012, when it officially adopted this quantitative target.

In fact, most of the massive money printing, which has occurred since 2012, when the economy was pretty much recovered from the Great Recession anyway, has been justified by an inflation shortfall, which wasn't true, but that was the justification.

They were trying to raise inflation and therefore felt that they could keep quantitative easing at these huge rates, including $120 billion per month, until recently. And as a result, we're now in a world in which inflation is heading towards double digits.

I think they're going to have no choice but to throw on the brakes much harder than the market is expecting, much harder than they would like to do, or maybe even intend at the moment, but there's no choice.

Now, when you have double-digit inflation, number one and second, you're going into what's going to be a nasty election season in which the Republicans will finally see hope for their salvation in a horrendous battle on the inflation front blaming the Democrats and Biden.

That means the Fed will not be in a position over the next 2, 3, 4 quarters to retreat on the inflation battle. Whether it wants to or not, it will have to raise interest rates even far more than are expected now.

It's going to begin QT, quantitative tightening, or draining its $9 trillion balance sheet faster than it is talking about at the moment or what the market expects. That's because it's not going to be able to justify or maintain any credibility when inflation is running at the CPI level at nearly 10%.

So that's a new ballgame.

We haven't been in these kinds of uncharted waters for a long time, not since the 1970s, and even in the 1970s, the story was far different than it is today. So, the market will struggle with a Fed that turns out not to be their friend. It's going to time and time again, think that the worst is over, buy the dip and make a lot of money, only to be disappointed.

I point out one final kind of analogy here.

If you go back to March 2000, when the dot-com bubble collapsed, the NASDAQ peaked at 4600, and the market dropped by 30% in the next 15 days. And after that bone-rattling drop people said it's all over. The worst has happened, and you should buy the dip. You're going to make a lot of money.

And over the next two years, they kept buying the dip, but over the next two years, the NASDAQ went from 4,600 to 3,300, all the way down to 800. An 80% plus decline and all that dip buying resulted in massive losses and pain.

I think we're going to go through the same thing again.

International Man: Suppose the Fed does raise rates aggressively in the months ahead. What are the chances that they will capitulate and reverse course as soon as Wall Street starts screaming about it?

David Stockman: Well, that's what people expect, but I think this time, they're not going to capitulate soon and easily. In other words, the so-called Fed put is a lot lower on the S&P 500 index than people may expect or that the Wall Street bulls would like to believe. They think it might be 3,500 or something like that. I think it's around 2000 because the Fed won't have the maneuvering room.

Even the official inflation statistics are running high. They are understating the true inflation when you adjust for all the gimmicks they put in the CPI in the last 20 years. But when inflation on the government statistics is running at 7-10%, they're just not going to have room to start the printing presses again.

International Man: Given the rapidly rising debt levels—corporate, personal, and for the federal government—is it even possible for the Fed to raise interest rates beyond a token amount?

David Stockman: Well, I think you can say it would be dangerous, and yes, the debt levels are really something to behold.

If you take public and private debt today, it's $88 trillion, which is 370% of GDP. It's off the charts compared to where a stable economy historically stood. If you go back to 1970, before Nixon pulled the plug on sound money, the ratio was 150%. In other words, we had about $1.5 trillion of total debt and a GDP of $1.0 trillion.

So now we've had two extra turns of debt added to the economy over the last 50 years. Two turns of additional debt amount to $50 trillion today, burdening all sectors of the economy, households, non-financial business, governments especially, and even financial institutions, than would be the case had we stuck to kind of that golden mean of 150% debt to GDP. That's the leverage ratio of the national economy that prevailed for a century up to 1970.

So yes, there is a massive problem with this enormous debt burden. When the Fed raises interest rates, it will notch up the carry cost and service cost enormously, creating all kinds of dislocations in households that will have to pay more for their mortgages and their other debt.

As interest rates go up, all that money corporations borrowed to buy back stock and pay dividends that weren't being earned will result in larger interest expenses and lower profits.

So the whole thing will be a pretty big mess, but that will not stop the Fed from using the only tool it has.

It has one tool. It's like the craftsman with a hammer, and everything looks like a nail. So if the Fed wants to accomplish something, it will have to hit the nail.

So the Fed will have to raise interest rates, not just a 2% by the end of this year or 2.5%. They're going to have to go up into the 4-6% range to slow down the economy and break the back of inflation.

I was around when Volcker took interest rates to 20% on the overnight rate to finally break the back of inflation. But, of course, that will cause a lot of damage to the economy. But I don't think they have much choice.

In short, you're going to have one difficult time bringing inflation under control, and the consequences of those moves will be mind-boggling and historic in terms of their negative impact.

International Man: Given everything we've talked about today, what can the average person do? What can they do to protect themselves and profit from what is coming next?

David Stockman: Well, I think the most important thing is to stay out of the casino.

The bond market is vastly, massively overvalued. As a result, the price of bonds will drop dramatically, and people will be shocked by how much you can lose in allegedly safe sovereign debt.

The stock market is even more dangerous, and it's entirely because of these artificially low, ultra-low interest rates. So now we're starting to move into the realm of reality, let's say normalcy, as interest rates come back up. And I think they got a long way yet to go.

If you're going to be in the stock market, be on the short side.

But if you don't have discretionary capital or savings, and if you don't have the stomach for what will be a very volatile ride, the best thing to do is stay in cash, even though you're losing ground against inflation. At least bank accounts are not going to lose principle. Whereas bonds and stocks can lose 30%, 40%, 50%, 60% of their value in the next year or two as we go through this great correction.

*  *  *

The Fed has already pumped enormous distortions into the economy and inflated an “everything bubble.” The next round of money printing is likely to bring the situation to a breaking point. If you want to navigate the complicated economic and political situation that is unfolding, then you need to see this newly released video from Doug Casey and his team. In it, Doug reveals what you need to know, and how these dangerous times could impact your wealth. Click here to watch it now.

Tyler Durden Fri, 04/08/2022 - 17:40
Published:4/8/2022 4:48:21 PM
[In Education] Teacher Placed On Leave After Making Sex Jokes To Students: REPORT

by Kendall Tietz at CDN -

A Washington teacher who reportedly made sex jokes to students in class was placed on administrative leave after the district said termination would be too “extreme,” according to KTTH radio host Jason Rantz. Casey Anderson, a high school chemistry teacher in the Anacortes School District in Washington state, reportedly made …

Click to read the rest HERE-> Teacher Placed On Leave After Making Sex Jokes To Students: REPORT first posted at Conservative Daily News

Published:3/16/2022 1:16:04 AM
[Markets] 3 Things to Watch in the Stock Market This Week Stocks declined last week as volatility continued to affect investors. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) shed nearly 2% and are down over 5% for the full year. Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ: ULTA), Casey's General Stores (NASDAQ: CASY), and Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) are among the most anticipated earnings reports to watch over the next few trading days. Published:3/6/2022 6:10:36 AM
[Markets] Stockman Slams America's Debt Palooza... From $1 Trillion To $30 Trillion In A Heartbeat Stockman Slams America's Debt Palooza... From $1 Trillion To $30 Trillion In A Heartbeat

Authored by David Stockman via InternationalMan.com,

My, how the frog does boil!

Recently, the national debt (aka public debt) crossed the $30 trillion milestone, yet neither Wall Street nor Washington took note. But it did catch our attention and we want to recall why a young budget director was thumping on the Gipper’s chest in the Oval Office photo below.

Namely, we were informing him of the distinctively unwelcome news that the $846 billion public debt we had inherited in December 1980 — which had been accumulated over 190 years by 39 presidents — was already surging within days of the Reagan inauguration. Accordingly, within a matter of just weeks there would be no choice but to ask Congress to raise the debt ceiling above the dreaded $1 trillion mark.

Exactly 41 years later, the public debt — measured appropriately at market value — stands at $30.7 trillion, a figure 36-fold larger than the figure being discussed in the “conversation” below.

So here’s what we mean by the boiling frog metaphor: At the time of the above photo, no one — and we do mean no one — in Washington or Wall Street thought that the public debt could be let run wild with impunity. That’s because there were always unpleasant, near- and mid-term consequences.

That is to say, when Uncle Sam barreled massively into the bond pits, it caused an immediate repercussion on the balance of the supply and demand for borrowable funds, thereby driving yields higher and rationing the available supply to borrowers willing to pay the highest price.

Back in the day, that was called “crowding out” and believe us, it was a very real thing. It was an honest, albeit destructive form of financing the public debt, and nobody mistook it for a free lunch.

To be sure, the congressional Republicans of those days were not political super-heroes who said, “Interest groups be damned.” To the contrary, it was just that the interest groups were lined up on both sides of the debt and spending equation!

The National Farmers Union, for instance, wanted bigger wheat subsidies, but the Farm Bureau wanted smaller deficits and lower interest rates. Likewise, for every food stamp advocacy lobby, there was a car dealers association demanding less federal borrowing and lower interest rates for the floor plan financing costs of their members.

Stated differently, double-entry bookkeeping worked under honest public finance. Thus, in January 1981 the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond stood at 15.6%, which meant that there were a hell of a lot of car dealers, farmers, homebuilders, retailers, etc., who had to pay 20% or more and just couldn’t and didn’t.

So congressmen didn’t have to make like frogs and tell their constituents that federal deficits and debt didn’t matter and that they merely needed to ignore the rising temperatures in the debt markets because there would be no adverse downstream repercussions.

That scheme was totally destroyed over the next four decades.

Market Value of the Public Debt, 1980–2022

Prior to 1970, the Fed’s balance sheet stood at about 5% of the public debt — other than during the extremities of war-time finance. By the early 2000s, however, that had inched up to 10% or more under the Greenspan money-printing policy after 1987.

Fed Balance Sheet as % of Public Debt

But then it was off to the races and now it stands at 26% of the massively bloated public debt. In a word, the boiling frog is nothing more than massive monetization of the public debt — financial fraud on a biblical scale.

*  *  *

The Fed has already pumped enormous distortions into the economy and inflated an “everything bubble.” The next round of money printing is likely to bring the situation to a breaking point. If you want to navigate the complicated economic and political situation that is unfolding, then you need to see this newly released video from Doug Casey and his team. In it, Doug reveals what you need to know, and how these dangerous times could impact your wealth. Click here to watch it now.

Tyler Durden Fri, 03/04/2022 - 21:30
Published:3/4/2022 8:56:01 PM
[] Good News: Casey DeSantis Is Cancer-Free Published:3/3/2022 4:49:49 PM
[6609a985-8a01-54d1-9b82-e9f539a1eb11] DeSantis declares wife Casey officially 'cancer-free' after battle with breast cancer Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday made an announcement about his wife Casey’s successful breast cancer treatment. Published:3/3/2022 4:17:40 PM
[Politics] BREAKING: Gov. DeSantis gives update on his wife who is now CANCER FREE Governor Ron DeSantis has just given an update on Florida’s First Lady, Casey, and says after both treatments and surgery she is now cancer free: Absolutely great news. DeSantis says she still . . . Published:3/3/2022 3:47:40 PM
[Markets] "We May Have To Supply Europe": Lawmakers Pressure Biden To Halt Russian Oil Imports, Boost Production "We May Have To Supply Europe": Lawmakers Pressure Biden To Halt Russian Oil Imports, Boost Production

US lawmakers across the aisle are pressuring President Biden to halt US imports of Russian oil and gas - with Republicans (and moderate Democrat Joe Manchin) pushing for an expansion of domestic production, and Democrats pitching it as a perfect opportunity to accelerate investments into renewable energy.

The former of course could be accomplished by reopening the Keystone pipeline and uncapping closed shale projects, while the latter would require trillions in taxpayer dollars to maybe accomplish within the next decade.

Meanwhile, America purchased over 600,000 barrels per day of Russian crude last year - up 24% from a year prior under the Trump administration, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Last week imports from Russia hit an average of 106,000 bbl/day.

Solutions aside, the move - which follows a push by senior Democrats to expel Russian banks from the SWIFT financial messaging service - would undoubtedly send gasoline prices surging in the US beyond current "I did that" levels, as the highest inflation in four decades evaporates Americans' disposable income.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has argued that Biden has failed to "hit Putin where it hurts most."

But, as Bloomberg points out, "as with Biden’s about-face on SWIFT, the pressure campaign from the president’s own party -- particularly as Biden prepares for his first State of the Union address Tuesday night -- may prove to be most consequential."

Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced legislation Tuesday that would ban all imports of Russian crude oil and petroleum products into the United States. Meanwhile, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin is leading a push to expand domestic drilling to boost exports to NATO allies.

Manchin, who called the U.S. reliance on Russian energy “ridiculous,” is often an outlier within his own party but he’s not the only Democrat interested in shifting the Biden administration’s policy toward oil and gas. -Bloomberg

Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said he's now open to ideas that he wouldn't have considered before Putin's invasion - including boosting domestic energy production, while Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) echoed that sentiment.

Bob Casey (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

"The fact is we’ve got a different problem now, and that is we may have to supply Europe," said Tester.

#2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, said in an interview that "We’re observing two wars at this time."

"A red hot war in Ukraine, where the people are showing extraordinary courage to bring back their freedom from this invasion by Putin and a war against climate change, which is going to be as devastating to the world as any hot war on a military basis."

On Tuesday, a Biden official signaled a willingness to mitigate the potential loss of Russian oil imports.

"We’ve had discussions with OPEC+ about increasing their production. And there’s also ongoing discussions about a coordinated release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to produce and allow more barrels of oil to come onto the market," National Economic Council deputy director Bharat Ramamurti told Bloomberg TV.

Republicans, meanwhile, have been pushing the Biden administration to boost domestic oil and gas production for more than a year, and are now asking for regulatory relief.

According to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), "If there’s anything that can change their policy, it might be war."

Of course - there is another solution pointed out by the NYT's Blake Hounshell:

Tyler Durden Tue, 03/01/2022 - 17:30
Published:3/1/2022 4:36:01 PM
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