May 31: Daily Contrarian Reads

The Great Wall Of Debt In The US Energy Patch

While the U.S. oil and gas industry struggles to stay alive as it produces energy at low prices, there’s another huge problem just waiting around the corner.  Yes, it’s true… the worst is yet to come for an industry that was supposed to make the United States, energy independent.  So, grab your popcorn and watch as the U.S. oil and gas industry gets ready to hit the GREAT ENERGY DEBT WALL.

Why an Australian Fund Manager Decided to Sell Everything

Philip Parker, chairman and chief investment officer of Sydney-based Altair Asset Management, and “proud to have beaten the relevant benchmarks since inception,” decided it’s time to throw in the towel. With 30 years in the industry, he has seen a few cycles, and the “overvalued and dangerous time in this cycle” has spooked him. In light of “the impending crash” that will “assist investors to take stock of the excessive valuations,” he decided to sell everything. His firm will hand the money back to investors. This includes returning an advisory contract for “over $2 billion for one of Australia’s largest financial planning companies.”

How Team Obama Tried To Hack The 2016 Election

New revelations have surfaced that the Obama administration abused intelligence during the election by launching a massive domestic spy campaign that included snooping on Trump officials. The irony is mind-boggling: Targeting political opposition is long a technique of police states like Russia, which Team Obama has loudly condemned for allegedly using its own intelligence agencies to hack into our election. The revelations, as well as testimony this week from former Obama intel officials, show the extent to which the Obama administration politicized and weaponized intelligence against Americans.

10 Reasons Why Improving Credit Scores Are Not What They Are Cracked-Up To Be

…..Both are way off base. Home prices are through the roof and sales show signs of weakening. Are these previously foreclosed homeowners about to do it again? Recent economic reports have been grim. Even if borrowers are ready for a second dip, lenders must be ready as well.

Domestic Profit Growth Grinds Lower In Q1

The bad news is that domestic U.S. profit growth is slowing. Take away the rest-of-the-world profits, and the Commerce Department figures show domestic after-tax profits were down slightly from a year ago, and well off their 2014 peak. That’s a reflection of how rising costs for labor in combination with a slow-growing U.S. economy are grinding down profit margins.

The Big Rift Cometh—-GOP Deeply Split On Spending Bills

Republicans agree that the president’s budget—while indicative of the White House’s priorities—can’t realistically be translated into the spending bills that keep the government running until current funding expires at the end of September…….But they disagree internally over how to craft those spending bills, which will need support from Democrats to avoid a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1. The looming fiscal uncertainty adds to the challenges Republican leaders already face trying to steer sweeping health-care and tax legislation through Congress…….“We’ve got defense hawks, we’ve got deficit hawks, we’ve got moderates concerned about draconian cuts,” said Rep. Steve Womack (R., Ark.) “We’ve got all comers weighing in on the budget process and—kind of like health care—there’s no real simple solution.”

Core CapEx Orders Flat In April For Second Straight Month

closely watched proxy for business spending on new equipment, orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft, was flat in April, the second consecutive month with no change. Data on durable goods can be volatile from month to month, but broader trends suggest the manufacturing sector had picked up early in the year after weak stretches through much of 2015 and 2016. Total durable-goods orders were up 2.2% in the first four months of 2017 compared with the same period a year earlier. Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft advanced 1.3% in the same span.

Just Kushner Cheese On The Russian Nothingburger

The extent of the U.S. media’s straw-grasping is boundless, but this one is going to backfire. HOPEFULLY.  For the most recent example consider the Washington Post and Reuters claiming President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner participating in a proposal to set up a back-channel with Russia for communication after the November 8th election.

The Lessons Of Manchester—-10 Ways To Reduce Terrorism

Given that the Manchester terrorist was a product of the interventions in Libya and Syria, it’s time to have an adult discussion about what it will take to stop terrorism.There are 10 basic principles that serious, mature people need to discuss if we want to stop terrorism …

Tax Farm—-Why Spain is Holding Catalonia Hostage

Catalonia is a region in Spain bordering France and the Mediterranean Sea, that has been independent at times in history. The modern movement for independence began almost 100 years ago, but the region settled for autonomy instead of full-fledged independence….. Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy has called Catalonia’s efforts to break away “an unacceptable attempt to blackmail the state.” …..One main reason that Spain does not want to lose Catalonia is that it is a wealthy region, that forms a solid tax base for the Spanish government to slurp up. Catalan independence would mean the loss of up to 30 per cent of Spain’s gross domestic product and Minister of the Economy Luis de Guindos insisted that is something the government “will never let happen”.It is a tax farm, and Spain simply wishes to remain in control over the appropriated resources of the Catalans, instead of allowing their wealth to remain in the region, and be spent how they choose through a smaller more responsive government.