November 3: Daily Contrarian Reads

Tsunami of Easy Money Has Destroyed Honest Price Discovery

But what sort of price discovery can you have in a market that has, over the past decade, been blanketed with more than $4 trillion worth of central bank money? Or $30 trillion, if you count global central bank efforts. That amount of money simply lifts all boats. It becomes impossible to tell which companies are making smart underlying decisions and being rewarded for them in the market, and which are simply riding a tsunami of easy money.

How US Debt Slaves Get Trapped By “Deferred Interest”

These “deferred interest” clauses are “commonly found in the fine print of retailer payment plans,” it says. They’re easily overlooked in the heat of the checkout battle. But they specify that high interest rates – up to 29.99% among the credit cards studied – may be applied retroactively to the full purchase amount back to the purchase date if one of these two common things happens.

Mind The Red Ponzi: Chinese “Ghost Collateral” Scam Leads To Market “Shockwaves”

Back in 2014, a scandal erupted when media reports confirmed what many had previously speculated about China’s banking system: namely that much of China’s staggering loan issuance had been built (literally) upon air and that trillions in loan collateral had been “rehypothecated” between two, three or many more debtors – or never even existed – forcing banks to accept that they would never recover much if any of the pledged collateral – in most cases various commodities – if the economy were to suffer a hard-landing resulting in mass defaults. The most famous example involved collateral fraud at China’s 3rd largest port, Qingdao, where numerous borrowers were found to have “pledged” the same collateral of steel and copper to obtain funding from various banks.

70% 0f US Workers Live Paycheck To Paycheck

As you will see below, 78 percent of full-time workers in the United States say that they are living paycheck to paycheck.  That is the highest figure ever recorded, and it is yet more evidence that the middle class is under an increasing amount of stress.  The cost of living is rising at a much faster pace than our paychecks are, and more families are falling out of the middle class with each passing month.  Unfortunately, this is something that the mainstream media really doesn’t want to talk about these days.  Instead, they just keep having us focus on the soaring financial markets which are being grossly artificially inflated by global central banks.

State-Enabled Pillaging—The Truth About The Robber Barons

Most business historians have assumed that the transcontinental railroads would never have been built without government subsidies. The free market would have failed to provide the adequate capital, or so the theory asserts. The evidence for this theory is that the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, which were completed in the years after the War Between the States, received per-mile subsidies from the federal government in the form of low-interest loans as well as massive land grants. But there need not be cause and effect here: the subsidies were not needed to cause the transcontinental railroads to be built. We know this because, just as many roads and canals were privately financed in the early nineteenth century, a market entrepreneur built his own transcontinental railroad. James J. Hill built the Great Northern Railroad “without any government aid, even the right of way, through hundreds of miles of public lands, being paid for in cash,” as Hill himself stated.

Trump’s Iran Deal Dump—–Message To North Korea Is Don’t Trust Washington

President Donald Trump continues to treat his administration as an international diplomacy wrecking crew. His latest target is the Iran nuclear deal. Even U.S. intelligence agencies affirm that Tehran has lived up to the accord, but the president apparently assumes that any agreement he did not negotiate is the worst in U.S., if not human (and perhaps intergalactic), history.

Stock Investors Should Fear These Four Critical Words

The stock market has shown extraordinary momentum since the presidential election, and investors who placed bets on that irresistible force have garnered big gains. But folks should think hard about another force that’s a lot more reliable than momentum. According to history, it’s the real irresistible force, and it consists of four words: Reversion to the Mean.

Democrats, Class and RussiaGate Magic

Recently, Democratic Party elites have purged progressives from positions of power within the Party; have been exposed in creating and promulgating, and swallowing whole the dodgy Russian Dossier subterfuge; and have gone round-heeled for war criminal and torturer-in-chief George Bush the Lesser — yet Democratic partisans and lesser-of-two-evils, fainting-couch jockeys still retail in the fiction that the Democrats present a viable alternative to their more crass Republican doppelgängers.

Mexico’s Disastrous Drug War

Even if the drug war were to end today, there would still be street crime in Mexico. However, these issues would be on a dramatically smaller scale. Mexico’s street gangs could never ascend to the level of an organized crime outfit without the massive profits from illegal drugs to pay for the necessary weaponry, hitmen, political protection, etc.

The Red Ponzi Is Tottering

We know… there are several candidates to choose from. For example… It might be Anbang – the acquisitive insurance behemoth – see “Anbang Just Became A ‘Systemic Risk’: Revenues Crash As Its Chairman Is “Detained” It might be China Evergrande – the developer of “ghost” properties and described by J Capital’s, Anne Stevenson-Yang as “the biggest pyramid scheme the world has yet seen” – see “Stevenson-Yang Warns ‘China Is About To Hit A Wall”.  Or…it might be HNA. The highly-leveraged Chinese conglomerate, which has been on an overseas acquisition binge, is paying more for a 363-day dollar loan than serial defaulter, Argentina, paid on a 100-year loan earlier this year.