June 9: Daily Contrarian Reads

Even The Bond King’s Worried—–Bill Gross Says Market Risk Is Highest Since Pre-2008 Crisis

U.S. markets are at their highest risk levels since before the 2008 financial crisis because investors are paying a high price for the chances they’re taking, according to Bill Gross, manager of the $2 billion Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund. “Instead of buying low and selling high, you’re buying high and crossing your fingers,” Gross, 73, said Wednesday at the Bloomberg Invest New York summit.

The Syrian Sarin False Flag—New Evidence the NYT Is Peddling Deep State Propaganda

For instance, in a little-noticed May 29, 2017 report on the April 4, 2017 chemical weapons incident at Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria, Postol takes apart the blame-the-Syrian-government conclusions of The New York Times, Human Rights Watch and the Establishment’s favorite Internet site, Bellingcat….Postol’s analysis focused on a New York Times video report, entitled “How Syria And Russia Spun A Chemical Strike,” which followed Bellingcat research that was derived from social media. Postol concluded that “NONE of the forensic evidence in the New York Times video and a follow-on Times news article supports the conclusions reported by the New York Times.”

Elliott’s Singer Warns System May Be More Leveraged Than 2008

Billionaire investor Paul Singer said “distorted” monetary and regulatory policies have increased risks for investors almost a decade after the financial crisis. “I am very concerned about where we are,” Singer said Wednesday at the Bloomberg Invest New York summit. “What we have today is a global financial system that’s just about as leveraged — and in many cases more leveraged — than before 2008, and I don’t think the financial system is more sound.”

ISIS Attacks in Tehran Expose US-Saudi Lies About Iran

This is, of course, the same man who during his campaign last year told us that the Saudis were “mouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS.” But, milking the Saudis to the tune of over $400 billion in arms sales, weapons that will be used to kill the people of Yemen and other Muslims in the region, has its price, and the price that Trump is paying is encouraging more support for terrorism by Saudi Arabia. Iran has long been a victim of terrorism. In the 1980s the Mujahidin-e Khalgh Organization, usually referred to as the MEK or MKO, murdered up to 17000 people in Iran. Even the United States listed the MEK as a terrorist organization for well over a decade. The Baluchi terrorist group Jundallah staged several terrorist attacks in Iran from its bases in Pakistan, killing scores of civilians. Just last month, Jaish al-Adl, another Baluchi Sunni terrorist group, attacked from Pakistan and murdered 10 Iranian border guards. Iranian-Arabs, supported by Arab regimes of the Middle East, and in particular Saudi Arabia, have carried out several terrorist attacks in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan in southwest Iran.

Five Big Tech Stocks Build Market Euphoria, and Jitters

In the last three years, their share prices have risen far faster than the major market indexes — Amazon leads the way, up 206 percent; Apple trails the pack with a 67 percent gain — as investors of virtually every stripe have piled into these companies. But this gold-rush mentality, reminiscent of investor frenzies for Nifty 50 stocks in the late 1970s and the dot-com boom and bust at the end of the last century, is giving investors pause. Not because they think these companies will crack, as many did in previous market corrections, but because in the parlance of the industry, the trade has become very crowded.

Cash on The Sidelines”! The Stupid Myth That Never Dies

However, despite 8-years of a bull market advance, one of the prevailing myths that seeming will not die is that of “cash on the sidelines.” …….However, despite 8-years of a bull market advance, one of the prevailing myths that seeming will not die is that of “cash on the sidelines.”

Abolish The BLS—-It’s Useless

he Bureau of Labor Statistics employs 2,500 people at a cost of $640 million annually to produce its monthly unemployment report. Each month, meanwhile, the private company ADP releases one or two days ahead of the BLS’s that nearly mimics the BLS’s, all at no expense to the taxpayer. There is a market demand for reliable employment data, and the market is providing it. The cost of the BLS alone is a good reason to abolish it, but the bigger reason is that the federal government shouldn’t be publishing economic statistics at all. If they’re needed by investors, the private sector can do better. Worse, politicians and appointed officials frequently use the statistics as an excuse to ‘do something,’ which regularly costs Americans many multiples of the $640 million through much slower growth Back when Hong Kong was a largely autonomous colony of Great Britain, its leaders made a point to not calculate the city-state’s economic statistics. With good reason. The feeling was that if government were in the business of divining unemployment, GDP, and other supposed measures of economic activity, that those same measures would be used by politicians as an excuse for politicians to “do something.”

Another Global Warming Lie—–Polar Ice Caps Have Not Retreated Since 1979

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede………In late 2012, however, polar ice dramatically rebounded and quickly surpassed the post-1979 average. Ever since, the polar ice caps have been at a greater average extent than the post-1979 mean. Now, in May 2015, the updated NASA data show polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 average.

Retail Armeggedon—-Nordstrom Is Cheap For A Reason

Nordstrom Inc.’s founding family is likely to get its namesake department-store chain on the cheap. Shareholders shouldn’t forget it’s cheap for a reason……. The things that used to shield Nordstrom — higher-end offerings that wealthier shoppers still prefer to sample in-person, off-price Nordstrom Rack locations catering to bargain-hunters, and heavy investment in online channels — aren’t working as well as they once did. Discount competition has increased, contributing to two straight quarters of declining comparable-store sales at Nordstrom Rack stores. Efforts to bolster full-price offerings — such as the $350 million purchase of subscription service Trunk Club in 2014 — have fizzled.

Fake News Slams The Casino—The $110 Billion Arms Deal That Wasn’t

The following Monday and over the next days, the shares of defense contractors rose further, powered by visions of $110 billion in deals raining down on them. But those deals were “fake news,” according to Bruce Riedel, at Brookings: I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration. It seems investors too have figured this out: these stocks have given up about half of their fake-news arms-deal gains since the end of May. Riedel goes on to list some examples…..