Poor Trump’s mammoth ego has led him by the snout into a deadfall trap. The Trumpublican voters and cheerleaders expect another Morning in America miracle. Sorry, been there, done that, that was then, this is now. Conditions were quite different in 1981. For one thing, a brutal decade after the 1970 all-time US oil production peak, the Alaska North Slope fields came into full flow, along with the North Sea and Siberian fields…..Reagan also came in at the height of Fed Chair Paul Volker’s war on inflation, when the interest rate on the ten-year US treasury bond topped at 15 percent in September of 1981. Imagine paying 18 percent interest rates on your mortgage! How was that a good thing? Well, it wasn’t, not at all, it was a very bad thing for a while — but for Lucky Ronnie Reagan it meant interest rates had nowhere to go but down. And because bond prices correlate opposite to rates, the value of bonds had nowhere to go but up, which they did for 30-odd years until right now. And all that time, the world bond market couldn’t get enough of them — also till now, when big holders like China and Saudi Arabia are puking them back out.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is just another political hack. Like politicians in general, he does not understand economics. He does not understand the law of unanticipated consequences. He does not understand that government is dumb…..India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is just another political hack. Like politicians in general, he does not understand economics. He does not understand the law of unanticipated consequences. He does not understand that government is dumb.
The Global Warming “Pause” Isn’t Over—-2016 Temperatures Have Plunged The Most Since Satellite Measures Began
Alas, El Nino tends to be followed by La Nina. And this year, the steepest drop in global surface temperatures since satellite measurements began has taken place – surface temperatures have plunged by more than 1 degree centigrade (surely you remember all the breathless headlines in the mainstream media about that. No?)….. Note that we may still get headlines about 2016 being the “hottest year ever” though. It takes time for this massive cooling to affect the oceans, so sea temperatures will decline with a delay.In short, the big pause is continuing. Note, we don’t doubt that there has been a warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age, but the notion that human activity should be blamed for almost imperceptible climate fluctuations seems to be fundamentally flawed.
I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news….As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks…..
For China’s highly leveraged real estate developers, 2017 could be the year that the borrowing binge finally catches up with them.Regulators have choked off a key source of funding, with the Shanghai Stock Exchange raising the threshold for property firms to sell bonds on their platform in October. Since then, builders haven’t sold any notes in a market that played host to about 40 percent of their onshore debentures over the past two years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The curbs couldn’t have come at a worse time, with a record $17.3 billion of developer bonds due next year, and another $27.9 billion in 2018.
This is a principle every consumer has experienced: Official inflation is low, and there is scaremongering by central banks and the media about deflation even. But in reality, when it comes time to buy big-ticket items, prices are much higher than they’d been a few years ago. Everyone who bought new vehicles over the years knows this. It’s called “sticker shock.” But it purposefully doesn’t show up in the inflation numbers.
I say this because Trump’s view of China, and especially the stance taken by Peter Navarro, one of his economic advisors, is dangerously wrong. Navarro, a professor of economics at the University of California at Irvine, is a protectionist whose view of China as a rising military power is based on nothing but scare-mongering. His most recent book, Crouching Tiger, is a compendium of myths and pseudo-facts which posit that Chinese “militarism” is a real threat to the US – a nonsensical idea with no basis in reality. China spends about 2% of its GDP on the military, while the US spends almost double that. China’s army consists mostly of conscripts, and exists largely to control the borders and put down internal strife. The last time China was involved in a major foreign conflict was its brief albeit bloody war with Vietnam, in 1979, and it was a disaster for Beijing, which was driven out of northern Vietnam with its tail between its legs in less than a few months.
If I told you that Democratic Party lobbyist Tony Podesta, whose brother John Podesta chairs Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, is a registered foreign agent on the Saudi government’s payroll, you’d probably think I was a Trump-thumping, conspiratorial nutcase. But it’s true. The lobby firm created by both Tony and John Podesta in 1988 receives $140,000 a month from the Saudi government, a government that beheads nonviolent dissidents, uses torture to extract forced confessions, doesn’t allow women to drive, and bombs schools, hospitals and residential neighborhoods in neighboring Yemen…..The Saudis hired the Podesta Group in 2015 because it was getting hammered in the press over civilian casualties from its airstrikes in Yemen and its crackdown on political dissidents at home, including sentencing blogger Raif Badawi to ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for “insulting Islam.”
In fact, based on one measure of valuation, the market hasn’t been this expensive anytime other than before a massive crash. The cyclical adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, better known as Shiller P/E, which adjusts the price-to-earnings ratio for cyclical factors such as inflation, stands at 27.86 as of Friday. There have only been a few instances in history when stocks have been this expensive: just before the crash of 1929, the years leading up to the tech bubble and its bursting, and around the financial crisis of 2007-09.
Donald Trump had barely finished announcing his pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency before the left started listing its million reasons why Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was the worst nomination in the history of the planet: He’s an untrained anti-environmentalist. He’s a polluter. He’s a fossil-fuel fanatic, a lobbyist-lover, a climate crazy. Mr. Pruitt is not any of those things. Here’s what he in fact is, and the real reason the left is frustrated: He’s a constitutional scholar, a federalist (and a lawyer). And for those reasons he is a sublime choice to knock down the biggest conceit of the Obama era—arrogant, overweening (and illegal) Washington rule.