December 12: Daily Contrarian Reads

2018 Outlook: With Markets At All-Time Highs, A Lot Can Go Wrong

With the stock market and Bitcoin reaching all-time highs, what can possibly go wrong? In offering my thoughts on 2018, I see my role in reminding investors to stress test their portfolios. Is your portfolio built of straw, sticks or brick?

RussiaGate—More Proof That The FBI Is Not Your Friend

One of the unfortunate ironies of the manufactured “Russiagate” controversy is the perception of the FBI as a friend of liberty and justice. But the FBI has never been a friend of liberty and justice……One ought to be immediately suspicious whenever someone is charged with or pleads guilty to lying to the FBI without any underlying crime being charged.

A New Stealth Attack in EU’s “War on Cash”

The draft law still needs to be approved by the European Parliament. Then the legislation needs to be negotiated with EU governments. If the law is passed, anyone acting suspiciously carrying any amount of cash, whether in notes, precious stones, precious metals or prepaid credit cards, could face having their “money” impounded.

Bitcoin—–Millennials’ “Fake Gold”

I’ve been asked about Bitcoin a lot lately. I haven’t written anything about it because I find myself in an uncomfortable place in agreeing with the mainstream media: It’s a bubble. Bitcoin started out as what I’d call “millennial gold” – the young (digital) generation looked at it as their gold substitute.

Monetary Abracadabra

I confess, my understanding of (the Fed) is incomplete and schematic at best — in the way that my understanding of a Las Vegas magic act might be. All the flash and dazzle conceals the magician’s misdirection. The magician is either a scary supernatural being or a magnificent fraud. Anyway, the audience ‘out there’ for the Federal Reserve’s magic act — x-million people preoccupied by their futures slipping away, their cars falling apart, their kid’s $53,000 college loan burden, or the $6,000 bill they just received for going to the emergency room with a cut finger — wouldn’t give a good goddamn even if they knew the Fed’s magic show was going on.

It’s A Bubble—– Now Can I Have Some More Please?

Not since the 1920s have stocks (SPY), bonds (TLT), and credit (LQD) all been this expensive simultaneously.

Banks, Bonds And The Fed’s Monetary Delusions

As it turns out, banks have been buying the feathers out of UST’s at the very same time their Economists expect rates to rise if not skyrocket. Though interest rates have nowhere to go but up according to the Primary Dealers, the banks themselves have been lining up to buy those very bonds their own Economists tell them are the worst investment of our lifetime.

Here It Comes—-The Great Monetary Reversal

As for the quantitative easing that marks its 10th anniversary in the U.S. next year, Bloomberg Economics predicts net asset purchases by the main central banks will fall to a monthly $18 billion at the end of 2018, from $126 billion in September, and turn negative during the first half of 2019.

Red Surprise—-Beijing Audit Discovers Provinces Faked Data And Borrowed Illegally

China found some local governments inflated revenue levels and raised debt illegally in a nationwide audit, a setback for Beijing in its bid to boost the credibility of economic data after a run of scandals.

When Washington Cheered the Jihadists

…..The United States lining up behind Sunni terrorism – how could this be? How could a nice liberal like Barack Obama team up with the same people who had brought down the World Trade Center?