February 22: Daily Contrarian Reads

Fake Money, Fake News And An Establishment Fixing To Stab Trump in the Back

To give you one illustration of how the Deep State works, we present Exhibit “A” from the weekend’s fake news: Mary Jo White, formerly regulating and policing corporate behavior as head of the SEC and, before that, defending corporations against the SEC as a partner at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. The woman has been through the revolving door so often, she has practically knocked it off its hinges. When she joined the Obama team, she pledged to “retire” from her work at the law firm to serve the public interest. But this past weekend, it was reported that she’s headed back to the crony firm…….One her succesor may want to look into is the insider trading of Kraft Heinz stock in advance of its proposed takeover of Unilever. But as our friend and former Wall Street insider David Stockman points out, the whole deal stinks to high heaven. It is the kind of deal you can only get when you have fake money made available to Wall Street at an after-tax, after-inflation rate of practically zero.

Another Bubble Blind Fed Head Confesses Cluelessness—Even When NASDAQ More Overbought Than 2000 Peak

Sometimes you just have to laugh…Minneapolis Fed’s Neel Kashkari said earlier… “we are keeping our eyes open for asset prices to try to look for signs of bubbles” but admitted that it is “very hard to see asset bubbles in advance.”   Indeed it must be… if your salary depends on it….The S&P 500 has now gone a stunning 50 days without a 1% swing…And the NASDAQ 100 index is now at its most overbought since 1992 – most notably more overbought than at the peak of the dotcom bubble in 2000…

The Great Delusion: Financial Engineering Doesn’t Fuel Growth Or Wealth Creation

Too much of economic growth and the accompanying bull market in stocks is the result of financial engineering. Increasingly, companies seek to improve earnings or increase their share price by means that are not necessarily directly linked to their actual business…….It is time that businesses and governments focus on helping the real economy to solve large problems including debt, lack of growth, industrial stagnation, slowing innovation and productivity, aging demographics, income inequality, resource scarcity, and environmental threats. Financial engineering masks the true performance and health of companies and nations. But the damage goes much deeper, deluding decision-makers into thinking that things are better than they are, and that solutions to problems can be deferred.

Heading For Economic Armageddon ‘Down Under’

AUSTRALIA is headed for an “economic Armageddon”, with record household debt, record foreign debt and a massive housing bubble creating a perfect storm that could “wipe out” millions of families if there is a global shock. That is the apocalyptic warning of a former government economic advisor, who says the government needs to cut tax incentives such as negative gearing and welfare handouts and the RBA needs to increase interest rates in order to avoid a “devastating depression”.

Intelligence Community Gone Rogue—-Delivering-Up War With Russia

Most disturbing are signs that the so-called intelligence community (IC) has gone rogue in collusion with forces aligned around Democratic Party functionaries up to and including former president Obama and Hillary Clinton, along with CNN, The Times, The Wash-Po, NBC News and a few other mouthpieces of the defeated establishment……Why in hell are we antagonizing Russia? In the last month of Obama’s term — and for the first time in many years — NATO moved a bunch of tanks close to Russia’s border with the Baltic states. Do you really think Russia wants to reoccupy these countries for the pleasure of subsidizing them and draining the Russian treasury?  There’s the ugly situation in Ukraine, of course, but that was engineered by Obama’s state department. Do you know why Russia annexed Crimea after that? It couldn’t have been for more transparently rational reasons. And what exactly is our beef with Russia in Syria? That they’re trying to prop up the Assad government because the last thing the Middle East needs is another failed state with no government whatsoever?

Why Former Reagan Official Stockman Sees a ‘Huge’ Trump Correction

“It is only a matter of when we reach the inflection point, where it becomes obvious to everybody that this is artificial and there is no more [fiscal] stimulus,” Stockman said during an interview on Yahoo Finance’s online show The Final Round……“There is going to be a huge correction when the market figures out no Fed [support], no tax stimulus, they’re home alone, and they’ve got the market trading at 26 times trailing earnings and an economy that’s running out of gas, headwinds coming from all over the world, China and so forth,” he explained.

Brexit was a Revolt Against Snobs like Tony Blair

The brass neck of Tony Blair. The Brexit vote was ‘based on imperfect knowledge’, says the man who unleashed barbarism across the Middle East on the basis of a student dissertation he printed off the internet. Who marched thousands into unimaginable horror on the basis of myth and spin. That NHS claim on the side of the Leave bus is small fry, infinitesimally small fry, in comparison with the guff this bloke came out with. It didn’t cause anyone to die, for one. For Blair to lecture the British people about truth is an affront to memory and decency and reason. No self-respecting citizen should put up with it.

Red Hysteria Engulfs Washington

The newly named national security advisor, Lt Gen Michael Flynn, was ousted by Trump over his chats with Russia’s ambassador and what he may or may not have told Vice President Pence. The defenestration of Flynn appeared engineered by our national intelligence agencies in collaboration with the mainstream media and certain Democrats. Flynn’s crime? Talking to the wicked Russians before and after the election. Big, big deal. That’s what security advisors are supposed to do: keep an open back channel to other major powers and allies. This is also the job of our intelligence agencies. There is no good or bad in international affairs. The childish concept of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ comes from the Bush era when simple-minded voters had to be convinced that America was somehow in grave danger from a bunch of angry Mideast goat herds.

Ultra-Liberal Senator Klobuchar Called-Out For Russia-Baiting

If Russia’s actions are to be considered “aggression” or an “invasion”, one must find a whole new word to describe what the United States did to Iraq in 2003. If, like your colleague Senator McCain, you hold the annexation of Crimea to be illegal under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, I urge a closer look……One can now see how real that threat was by looking to eastern Ukraine where the Ukrainian military and neo-Nazi paramilitaries such as the Azov Battallion, have moved with force against the defenders of the Donbass region whose people seek autonomy from a government in Kiev that they do not recognize. Approximately 10,000 people have died in the Donbass War, whereas only six people were killed during the period of annexation (February 23-March19, 2014) in Crimea.

Rand Paul Blasts McCain Over Perpetual War: “He Would Bankrupt the Nation”

Senator Rand Paul blasted fellow Republican Senator John McCain over McCain’s perpetual warmongering on ABC’s “This Week”. Some are undoubtedly disheartened by political infighting, but this infighting is good. These are debates the country desperately needs to have……“He would bankrupt the nation. We’re very lucky John McCain’s not in charge, because I think we’d be in perpetual war,” Paul added.Paul argued that McCain has a history of being wrong major foreign policy questions. “I would say John McCain’s been wrong on just about everything over the last four decades. He advocated for the Iraq War, which I think destabilized the Middle East,” he said.