December 12: Daily Contrarian Reads

Carrier And The Broken Window Fallacy

The interesting thing about the Carrier deal is it is the very essence of the “broken window” narrative of economic creation. A window is destroyed, therefore the window has to be replaced which leads to economic activity throughout the economy.However, the fallacy of the “broken window” narrative is that economic activity is only changed and not increased. The dollars used to pay for the window can no longer be used for their original intended purpose.With the Carrier deal, while jobs may be retained, the dollars that would have belonged to the taxpayers are now diverted from their original use into assisting Carrier to keep existing jobs.

Draghi In Wonderland—-The Taper That Is A Calibration But Amounts To Madness

It will now include bond purchases below its own deposit rate, which is already minus 0.4%. Thus, the ECB will be paying to hold some bonds that will be included in its QE programme. The craziness doesn’t stop there; some of those bonds have a negative yield because of the ECB’s QE programme in the first place,” she said. “The ECB has had to buy negative-yielding bonds because it has bought all the eligible higher yielding stuff, so it has no choice.”

Keynesian Central Banking—-the Economic God That Failed

The real danger to “reflation”, however, at least in whatever part is devoted to monetary policy, is that there is the very real prospect that this is it; there is no next set of policies to possibly be effective where QE wasn’t. That is what is suggested in all the rhetoric, discussions, and new literature about central bank’s sudden appreciation of a very different long run potential. Again, the Phillips Curve is central to them, and if the sought after balance of inflation and unemployment comes up in an awful economy, then that’s just the way it is (for them). That awful economy becomes their new baseline, and if the current awful economy is consistent with that awful baseline there is in the orthodox view nothing left for monetary policy to do. It has done what it can.

CAPE/Shiller PE Ratio Indicates Market Overvaluation On A Grand Scale

“The cyclically adjusted P/E (CAPE), a valuation measure created by economist Robert Shiller now stands over 27 and has been exceeded only in the 1929 mania, the 2000 tech mania and the 2007 housing and stock bubble,” Alan Newman wrote in his Stock Market Crosscurrents letter at the end of November. Newman said even if the market’s earnings increase by 10 percent under Trump’s policies “we’re still dealing with the same picture, overvaluation on a very grand scale.”

Europe’s Monetary Comfort Blankie Is Being “Calibrated” Away

The long-feared moment of bond tapering in the eurozone has arrived. The comfort blanket is being pulled away – gently – for the first time since the region first crashed into a debt crisis…The doves were over-ruled. It is clear that a German-led bloc on the ECB’s governing council blocked efforts to roll over the existing QE structure for another six months.

Albert Edward’s Most Frightening Chart—-EPU Fear Index At Unprecedented High

But despite the perma-bear’s repeated warnings about an impending economic disaster, investors are still likely to take notice when he gleefully shares the “most frightening chart” he’s seen in a while — especially when the stupendous postelection rally in U.S. stocks has stoked fears that a correction might be just around the corner….Markets shrugged off the Brexit vote in a couple of days. They shrugged off Donald Trump’s election in a single day. They shrugged off the Italian referendum result in a couple of hours. Heck, in this mood they would shrug off an alien invasion of planet Earth,” he said. “But global political risk is now at such elevated levels that investors must surely be on another planet.”

The American Dream Is Fading Fast—Less Than Half of 30-Year Olds Earn More Than Their Parent Did At That Age

Barely half of 30-year-olds earn more than their parents did at a similar age, a research team found, an enormous decline from the early 1970s when the incomes of nearly all offspring outpaced their parents. Even rapid economic growth won’t do much to reverse the trend. Economists and sociologists from Stanford, Harvard and the University of California set out to measure the strength of what they define as the American Dream, and found the dream was fading. They identified the income of 30-year-olds starting in 1970, using tax and census data, and compared it with the earnings of their parents when they were about the same age.

OPEC’s Historic Deal Won’t Be Enough to Drain Bulging Oil Stockpiles

The oil market will rebalance “toward the middle of next year,” according to Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum Emmanuel Kachikwu, bringing an end to more than three years when supply exceeded demand. However, Bloomberg News calculations based on OPEC data show that across the whole of 2017 there will be little overall reduction in record oil inventories — even if the group convinces non-members to join supply curbs at a meeting on Saturday.

Wall Street’s Earnings Magic Exposed

At best one can accuse Wall Street analysts and the companies that feed them information of incompetence. At worst this is another pure and simple case of institutions gaming the system through a fraud designed to prop up stock prices.

Mad Dog Mattis And The War Crimes of Fallujah

Mattis was the head of Camp Pendleton’s 1st Marine Division in Iraq and played a lead role during both of the US sieges of Fallujah in 2004. During the April 2004 siege, more than 700 civilians were killed by the US military, according to Iraqi doctors in the city whom I interviewed in the aftermath of that attack. While reporting from inside Fallujah during that siege, I personally witnessed women, children, elderly people and ambulances being targeted by US snipers under Mattis’ command. Needless to say, all of these are war crimes. During the November siege of Fallujah later that same year, which I also covered first-hand, more than 5,000 Iraqi civilians were killed. Most were buried in mass graves in the aftermath of the siege….US military’s use of white phosphorous, an incendiary weapon similar to napalm in its ability to burn all the way down to the bone. The use of white phosphorus was a violation of international law, given that it was unleashed in the city during a time when the Pentagon itself admitted to at least 50,000 civilians still being present.