May 18: Daily Contrarian Reads

Get Over It—-The Reflation Trade Was Over, Anyway

The flurry of hysterics today forces at least some political equation to be front and center for our analysis. It may seem like markets are increasingly uneasy about a Trump impeachment, but I think that is the wrong political framing. Putting growing market pessimism into the context of “reflation”, what is more likely driving anti-reflation today in particular is not that Trump may be gone by vote of Congress but rather that he will be seriously wounded politically such that all the various things “reflation” was counting on are less likely to ever happen. Tax reform? Impeach Trump. Replace Obamacare? Impeach Trump. Gutting the regulatory state? Impeach Trump.

The Running of the Bulls’…..Mouths!

The same can be said of the modern-day bull run the world both celebrates and derides, trading day in and trading day out – it runs like silk on steroids. But unlike the practical birth of its Pamplonan predecessor, there was an overabundance of pomp associated with the grave circumstances that marked the advent of the current stock market run born in March 2009 from the beneficence of commandeered central bankers……. The bears have sat bitterly idle while their full-bull counterparts have racked up massive paper gains. As sure as salt finds an open wound, some of their professional peers will even be nimble enough to monetize their handsome profits and go off, as it were, into the wild blue yonder, or at least the Hamptons, which is a lot closer. But history also dictates that most of today’s bulls will be fried to a crisp and lose it all. Such is the nature of the beast. Why else would he be called bestial?

The Real Bombshell—Did Seth Rich Contact WikiLeaks?

Two stories are now dominating the headlines: one is something the Establishment wants you to pay attention to, and the other is something they want to bury. First off, to the former: The Washington Beltway is in an uproar over the latest Deep State attempt to tar the President of the United States as a Russian agent: they’re claiming Trump gave super-duper Top Secret information – provided, it turns out, by the Israelis – to the Russians during a meeting with the Kremlin’s Foreign Minister and their ambassador at the White House…..The other story, however, is something our spooks don’t want you to even know about. Fox News reported earlier today [Wednesday] that the private investigator hired by the family of Seth Rich – but paid for by a third party – is now saying there’s solid evidence that Rich – a former DNC employee, embedded in their computer operations – was in contact with WikiLeaks.

Gold Rallies as Trump’s Troubles Batter The Dollar

Gold’s getting a boost from the turmoil surrounding Donald Trump’s administration. The metal climbed for a fifth day, the longest run in a month, on reports that the president asked FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into a former National Security Adviser. The dollar has dropped and European stocks fell amid the latest controversy, which prompted references to the 1970s Watergate scandal that helped to sink the then president, Richard Nixon.

Dismantle the FBI, and Give its Money Back to the States

With James Comey’s firing, we’re told the FBI is in turmoil, and Washington DC cocktail parties are all atwitter over the excitement of the scandal. But don’t worry about the FBI. If history has proved anything, the Bureau, no matter how much chaos it may endure, can always rely on a fat check from Congress — funded by the American taxpayers. But why does the US need a huge national police force at all? Can’t state police forces do just as well? The FBI continues to assert never-proven claims that bigger governments are better at law enforcement than smaller onces. This myth is not only untrue, but very expensive for taxpayers.

Clothing Retailer Rue21 Files For Bankruptcy, Many More On Deck

This time Fitch was right. One month ago the rating agency listed 8 retail names that were most likely to file for bankruptcy next, just over a month later 1 out of the 8 was down, when teen clothing retailer Rue21 filed a prepackaged bankruptcy on Monday night in Pennsylvania bankruptcy court.

About that Strong April Recovery: Housing Starts and Permits Flop, March Revised Lower

The much ballyhooed second quarter recovery is firing on about 1/2 cylinder out of 4. April housing starts came in at 1.172 million Seasonally Adjusted Annualized (SAAR), were well under the Econoday consensus estimate of 1.256. March was also revised lower from 1.215 million to 1.203 million.

How Asset Bubbles Gets Unwound—The Case of Crashing Classic Cars

The global asset class of collector cars – these beautiful machines are perhaps one of the most enjoyable asset classes to play in – is quietly but persistently and very unenjoyably experiencing a downturn that parallels and in some aspects already exceeds the one during the Financial Crisis.The index for collector car prices in the May report by Hagerty, which specializes in insuring vintage automobiles, fell 0.68 points to 160.06, down nearly 10% year-over-year, and down 14%, or 25.8 points, from its all-time high in September 2015 (185.86).

No Thanks! GOP Senate Rejects Trump’s Domestic Spending Cuts

President Donald Trump’s proposal for $54 billion in domestic spending cuts in the next fiscal year reflects priorities that “aren’t necessarily ours,” and he can expect a Republican-led Senate to make changes, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday. “It will be a process of negotiation,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “We haven’t paid a whole lot of attention to any president’s budget since I’ve been here.”

Patriotism And Conscience—-The Edward Snowden Affair

The Edward Snowden case provides a good example of how the conversion of the federal government from a limited-government republic to a national-security state has warped and perverted the morals, values, principles, and consciences of the American people.