September 8: Daily Contrarian Reads

Why Investors Are Missing A Great Opportunity To Sell At the Top

The Federal Reserve certainly created a nightmare for us in the half-cycle since 2009, and we expect the mirror image of that nightmare to be unleashed on ordinary investors as the cycle completes. We’ve adapted our discipline in a historically-informed way. Equally important, we’ve repeatedly come out ahead in other complete market cycles because, as it happens, timing doesn’t matter nearly as much as investors imagine, as long as they respond to major opportunities before they go away. Look carefully at market valuations here. Current extremes present what I view as one of the three most important opportunities in history to defend capital. My sense is that many investors will squander this opportunity until yet another bubble implodes.

Thanks George! McCain Institute Gets Big Bucks From Soros

The question we all want to know, is where did it come from? John McCain keeps hiding and refuses to answer that question! What we do know, thanks to an investigation by The Daily Caller, is that the McCain Institute for International Leadership received a VERY GENEROUS donation from none other than George Soros.

The Free Market Does Work: How Pot Legalization Caused Its Price to Collapse

All the diverse effects of legalizing recreational marijuana may not be clear for a number of years, but one consequence has become evident almost immediately: Pot has never been so cheap. Steven Davenport of the Pardee Rand Graduate School has analyzed marijuana retail prices in Washington state since legal recreational markets opened in July 2014. Remarkably, prices have fallen every single quarter sin.

The Coming Run On State Pensions

The public awareness of the degree to which State pension funds are underfunded has risen considerably over the past year.  It’s a problem that’s easy to hide as long as the economy is growing and State tax receipts grow.  It’s a catastrophe when the economic conditions deteriorate and tax revenue flattens or declines, as is occurring now.

Hillary’s Emails Are Not Lost—NSA Always Had Them

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election expands, one curious detail in Hillary Clinton’s email probe remains. The “lost” emails from Clinton’s private server aren’t lost — in fact — the NSA has them, but during the FBI’s investigation, Comey didn’t want to hear about it.

Interventionism and the Korean Crisis—-Why the Don’t Threaten Switzerland

If  war ends up breaking out in Korea, President Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA will be announcing that it was all North Korea fault. They’ll say that North Korea was “begging for war,” and that the United States was “forced” to act to protect “national security.” Of course, in the process they will be ignoring the interventionist sanctions that the United States and the United Nations have imposed on North Korea for decades, an indirect act of war that has targeted and killed countless North Korean citizens……Notice something important about North Korea’s behavior: None of it is aimed at Switzerland, notwithstanding the fact that Korea is about 1,000 miles closer to Switzerland than the United States.

To Protect Against the Next Harvey, Forget Zoning and Roll Back Government Meddling Instead

Except… it’s all nonsense. Any city would have suffered from a storm like Harvey. And government meddling has already done enough damage—which would only be made worse by land-use regulations meant to protect us against the sort of event that happens every few centuries.

Japan’s Second Demographic D-Day Is Coming

Well, Japan has a second D-Day coming after 2020, right after we likely endure a global market and economic collapse in the next two or three years. Make no mistake about it: Japan is dying and its demographic decline will only get much worse again after 2020. So, any reprieve in its economy from endless stimulus and super-low interest rates will be short-lived.

Three Good Things About Price Gouging!

As so often happens in the wake of a natural disaster, government officials in Texas are currently investigating claims of “price gouging,” which the office of the Attorney General reminds residents is illegal after the governor declares a disaster. This is a classic example of the ostensible contrast between greed and altruism, capitalism and charity. Economists who favor the free market know the standard arguments for letting the price skyrocket to “clear the market” when there are supply shortages and demand spikes. These are important arguments, and indeed I will review them below.

Nikki Haley: From Waffle House Waitress to Neocon Heartthrob

With the eviction of Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka from the inner precincts of the White House and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson besieged and taking fire from virtually all sides, neoconservatives – even the NeverTrumpers among them – must be quietly harboring renewed hopes that their restoration may soon be within reach. And, as should become clear Tuesday, those hopes reside largely with the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who’s been on a tear against Iran for several weeks now. Her campaign culminated recently in her unsubstantiated claims—in contradiction to the most recent findings of her own State Department and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), not to mention Washington’s P5+1 partners—that Tehran is not in full compliance with the two-year-old Iran nuclear deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).