November 13: Daily Contrarian Reads

Jerome Powell—-A Monetary Dracula

Indeed, it was an honest mistake. For Powell, like Dracula, is a certified vampire. He likes low interest rates and easy credit.  In other words, he likes to bleed wage earners, savers, and fixed income retirees.  Moreover, he’s coming to get you. If you didn’t know, Powell’s been employed by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since 2012.  His tenure’s coincided with some of the most extreme and radical monetary policies in human history.  What’s more, Powell endorsed it all.  During his time at the Fed, Powell never cast a dissenting vote.  Not one. As Fed Chairman, Powell will unequivocally hold to the Greenspan, Bernanke, and Yellen doctrine.  That is, he will suck your blood and siphon your wealth to Washington and Wall Street.  So, you can forgive us for confusing Powell with Dracula, right?

Every Working American Owes $1.5 Million

The facts just don’t add up. US wages are falling, trade deficit is at 10-year high, debt is surging so are stocks and the US Government has again managed to publish a number of contradicting employment figures that make no sense whatsoever.

Thanks, Fed—–Bezos, Buffett and Gates’ Wealth Exceeds Bottom 50% of US Households

In the United States, the 400 richest individuals now own more wealth than the bottom 64 percent of the population and the three richest own more wealth than the bottom 50 percent, while pervasive poverty means one in five households have zero or negative net worth.

An Ugly Chart That Has Even Wall Street Freaking Out

Wall Street bears are sounding alarms about a recent drop in non-investment-grade bonds, popularly referred to as junk bonds. The SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF JNK, +0.27% an exchange-traded fund that tracks junk bonds, finished at its lowest level since March 24. Another well known junk-bond ETF, the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF HYG, +0.08% also carved out late-March nadir, according to FactSet data. Both ETFs fell below their 200-day moving averages early this month, signaling that momentum in fixed-income products is bearish. Technical analysts tend to follow short- and long-term averages in an asset to help determine bullish and bearish trends.

Blame Game Over Obamacare’s 2018 Premium Surge Reaches Feverish Pitch, Will It Matter In 2018?

As Americans head to the exchanges to purchase their Obamacare plans for 2018, many are experiencing a bit of sticker shock.  As the Wall Street Journal points out this morning, folks in Deaf Smith, Texas can expect their premiums to surge 87% next year while those in Clinton, Iowa are looking at a sickening increase of 171%, with monthly premiums surging from $288 to $781.

Pat Buchanan On That Bloodbath in the Old Dominion

There is no way to spin Tuesday as other than a Little Bighorn, and possible harbinger of what is to come. In George Washington’s hometown of Alexandria and Arlington County, Democratic candidate Ralph Northam won 4-1. In Fairfax and Loudoun counties, the most populous D.C. suburbs, Northam won 2-1. In the rural counties, however, Republican Ed Gillespie rolled up the landslides. As there are two Americas, there are two Virginias.

Canary In The Global Coal Mine—-The Tenuous Outlook for Turkey

In a world worried about complacency in markets, where should an investor look for rumblings of disorder? A good candidate is Turkey.

Saudi Arabia: Arrest The Usual Princes!

…….Utter nonsense.  I’ve done business in Saudi Arabia since 1976 and can attest that the entire kingdom with its thousands of pampered princes and princesses is one vast swamp of corruption. In Saudi, the entire nation and its vast oil revenues are considered property of the extended Saudi royal family and its hangers-on. A giant piggy bank. The late Libyan leader Muammar Khadaffi told me the Saudis are ‘an incredibly rich bunch of Bedouins living behind high walls and scared to death of their poorer neighbors.’

About Spanking The News Monkey

The metamorphosis of the news business from a dignified and necessary component of the public interest to a gong and geek show is now complete. Some of you may remember that it used to be the task of news organizations to actually gather the news from far and wide. When Walter Cronkite came over the airways on CBS news, he “anchored” the revolving team of reporters in the field: we go to Marvin Kalb in Moscow… Fred Graham in Atlanta… Peter Kalischer in Paris… Lesley Stahl in New York…. Do you know what those people were doing? They were reporting the news on site, because it was important to actually be in the places where events were happening and talking to the people involved in them. And, by the way, do you think Marvin Kalb made contact with Russians? Or perhaps reported on other fellow Americans in contact with Russians? (And that was back in the Cold War, when Russia was run by the wicked Boris and Natasha).

The ECB’s Trap—-No Way Out

The ECB faces the Devil’s Alternative that Frederick Forsyth mentioned in one of his books. All options are potentially risky. Mario Draghi knows that maintaining the so-called stimuli involves more risks than benefits, but also knows that eliminating them could make the eurozone deck of cards collapse.