December 18: Daily Contrarian Reads

Downside of The Bitcoin Bubble—-It’s Shadowing All Of The Other Bubbles

Normally, this would be getting a lot of attention. And it is. But not nearly as much attention as Bitcoin. And to the extent you can be fooled into thinking one bubbly asset actually isn’t bubbly simply by looking at it compared to something that’s even bubblier, well then consider everyone fooled.

Red Ponzi Update—-Growth Still Slumping

Without any actual momentum, China’s economic baseline (the supply side) suffers from lack of confidence about how the country, and global economy, is going to fare for the foreseeable future. Fixed Asset Investment (FAI) overall reached another multi-decade low last month on an accumulated basis, while private FAI was for a fourth straight month nearly flat at less than 5% growth year-over-year (single month).

It’s All Awesome……Not!

I am pretty confident Yellen will be spectacularly wrong. I am just not sure if it will be with the economy rolling over hard, or inflation taking off just when she finally has given up. What if it’s both? Nah… Can’t happen. That would be terrible and Yellen told us everything’s great!

Euro-Bond Buying Tsunami Set To Fade On ECB Taper

European Central Bank asset purchases took up so great a supply of bonds that it pushed euro area investors into markets abroad, to the tune of 400 billion euros ($473 billion) a year over the past three years, Oxford Economics estimates. With the ECB poised to halve its monthly buying pace to 30 billion euros starting in January, next year might see just 200 billion euros in European investor outflows, the research group calculates.

Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly

While the truth of the dirty dossier has never been established, Comey’s FBI rose like a hungry trout on learning of its contents. There are credible allegations Comey’s FBI sought to hire Steele and used the dirt in his dossier to broaden the investigation of Trump – and that its contents were also used to justify FISA warrants on Trump and his people. This week, we learned that the Justice Department’s Bruce Ohr had contacts with Fusion during the campaign, while his wife actually worked at Fusion investigating Trump. This thing is starting to stink.

Druckenmiller: Central Banks Are Financial World’s “Darth Vader,” Creating Exploding Asset Bubbles

“The way you create deflation is you create an asset bubble. If I was ‘Darth Vader’ of the financial world and decided I’m going to do this nasty thing and create deflation, I would do exactly what the central banks are doing now,” he told CNBC’s Kelly Evans in an exclusive interview airing Tuesday on “Closing Bell.”

What’s Tesla Worth—–Zero, Says Jim Chanos

Famed short seller Jim Chanos took another shot at Tesla on Thursday, saying the company’s equity is worth nothing. “Let’s just say Tesla and Mr. Musk have a broad interpretation of the truth,” Chanos, founder of Kynikos Associates, told CNBC’s Kelly Evans. “There have been all kinds of announcements that this company has made … that turned out not to be true.”

The US Is #1—-In Weapons Production

Once again, the USA leads the world in weapons sales, notes SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The 100 biggest arms producers accounted for $375 billion in weapons sales in 2016, with US firms having by far the largest share at $217 billion. That’s right: the US accounts for roughly 58% of the global arms trade. We’re #1! We’re #1!

Mind The Massive HELOC Bubble Up North

Between 2000 and 2010, HELOC balances soared from $35 billion to $186 billion, according to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, an average annual growth rate of 20%. As of 2016, HELOC balances sit at $211 billion, a 500% increase since the year 2000. While also pushing Canadian household debt to incomes to record highs of 168%.

Trump’s First Year Sets Record for U.S. Special Ops Elite Commandos Deployed to 149 Countries in 2017

In 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets, deployed to 149 countries around the world, according to figures provided to TomDispatch by U.S. Special Operations Command. That’s about 75% of the nations on the planet and represents a jump from the 138 countries that saw such deployments in 2016 under the Obama administration. It’s also a jump of nearly 150% from the last days of George W. Bush’s White House. This record-setting number of deployments comes as American commandos are battling a plethora of terror groups in quasi-wars that stretch from Africa and the Middle East to Asia.