Dec 272019
 December 27, 2019  Posted by at 10:00 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Alfred Palmer Women as engine mechanics, Douglas Aircraft, Long Beach, CA 1942


Barr None (R.)
The Democrats May Prove The Greatest Barrier To A Full Trial (Turley)
Trump Stock Market Rally Is Far Outpacing Past US Presidents (CNBC)
Today’s Central Bankers Threaten Civilization (Mises)
Rachel Maddow Called Out For Shamelessly Peddling Fake News (ZH)
Huawei Benefited From Billions Of Dollars In State Support (ZH)
China Threatens EU With “Disastrous” Consequences Of Company Curbs (ZH)
Rain Keeps UK Boxing Day Shoppers At Home (R.)
Trump Says Home Alone 2 ‘Will Never Be The Same’ (Ind.)



Bill Barr going after Big Tech? Let’s wait and see…

Barr None (R.)

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren has made breaking up tech giants a plank for her bid to win the U.S. presidency. But chances are Team Trump will steal her thunder. One of the few things Democrats and Republicans agree upon is that Silicon Valley firms have gotten too big. Warren wants to send Amazon to the chopping block, arguing Jeff Bezos’s online-shopping colossus shouldn’t be allowed to both run a marketplace and sell its own stuff on it. She ran a fake political message on Facebook. It claimed founder Mark Zuckerberg was backing President Donald Trump for re-election to prove a point that the social-media network has an obligation to fact-check campaign-related advertising.

Across the aisle, Republican Senator Josh Hawley has sponsored several pieces of legislation including a “Do Not Track” bill that is backed by Democrats. The Trump Administration is likely to strike first. It has already been laying some groundwork, including by the tweeter-in-chief himself. In November Trump blasted out a message accusing Alphabet’s Google of suppressing votes by limiting the targeting capabilities of political contenders. The president’s top trustbuster launched a probe in July into whether the sheer size of market-leading online platforms has stifled innovation and reduced competition. Although unnamed, it’s clear Attorney General William Barr is targeting Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook.

He also over the summer appointed his own antitrust adviser. It’s an unusual move: The agency already has a division dedicated to the issue, headed by Makan Delrahim. He, though, had been more skeptical about Big Tech and anti-competitive concerns, before starting to change his tune around a year ago. Barr has also been a good Trump soldier. He has been critical of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and the Trump campaign’s potential involvement – and launched his own investigation into the origins of that case, which the president has demanded.

Read more …

“In 1999, the Democrat from New York famously opposed witnesses in the trial of President Clinton as nothing more than “political theater.” Now Schumer has declared that witnesses and a full trial are essential for President Trump..”

The Democrats May Prove The Greatest Barrier To A Full Trial (Turley)

When William Shakespeare wrote that “all the world is a stage” and “one man in his time plays many parts,” he could have probably had in mind Senator Charles Schumer. In 1999, the Democrat from New York famously opposed witnesses in the trial of President Clinton as nothing more than “political theater.” Now Schumer has declared that witnesses and a full trial are essential for President Trump, and that a trial without witnesses would be deemed the “most unfair impeachment trial in modern history.” That does not include the Clinton case where Schumer sought to proceed to a summary vote without a trial. As the Senate now gears up for the third presidential impeachment in history, the fight has begun over the rules and scope of a trial.

The Framers were silent on the expected procedures and evidence for a trial, beyond the requirement of a two-thirds vote to convict a president. The only direct precedent on these issues is derived from two very different trials, those of President Johnson and Clinton. By sending a thin record to the Senate, the House could not have made things easier for Trump. Since the House did not take time to subpoena critical witnesses, such as former national security adviser John Bolton, or to compel testimony of other witnesses, the Senate could simply declare that it will try the case on the record supplied by the House, a record that Democrats insist is already conclusive and overwhelming. Moreover, in reviewing the past trials of Johnson and Clinton, Democrats may have to struggle with precedents of their own making.

Indeed, Republicans could argue that a trial without witnesses is impeachment in Democratic style. The first question for the trial could be whether there should even be a trial held at all. In early England, the House of Lords often refused to hold trials on impeachments, which often were raw political exercises. In the Clinton trial, Democrats moved to dismiss both impeachment articles as meritless. The motion by Senator Robert Byrd failed on a largely party line vote with Democrats, including Senator Joe Biden, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Schumer, opposing having any impeachment trial at all.

Read more …

It’s not a stock market rally.. It’s a Fed rally.

Trump Stock Market Rally Is Far Outpacing Past US Presidents (CNBC)

President Donald Trump’s stock market stacks up well against the majority of his presidential predecessors. The S&P 500 has returned more than 50% since Trump was elected, more than double the 23% average market return of presidents three years into their term, according to data from Bespoke Investment Group dating to 1928. The bellwether index gained more than 28% this year, well above the average 12.8% return of year three for past U.S. presidents. “Year three has been by far the best year of the cycle with an average gain of 12.81%, and the playbook has stuck to the script in year three of the current cycle,” the firm said in a note to clients last month.

Despite the volatility from the U.S.-China trade war, 2019 has been a year of all-time highs for the major stock averages. The S&P 500 crossed 3,200 for the first time ever last week, hitting its seventh round-number milestone of 2019. While business investment slumped due to uncertainty surrounding the world’s two largest economies, public market investors remained confident enough to put money into stocks. Trump’s market got a boost from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and the central bank, which lowered interest rates three times this year, the first time since the end of the financial crisis. The Fed slashed rates on fears of slowing growth at home and abroad. Trump was highly critical of Powell for not lowering rates more and faster, often mentioning the near $15 trillion in negative yielding government securities outside the U.S.

Read more …

This is where that Trump rally comes from. Very close to what I’ve been writing about central banks. “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion.”

Today’s Central Bankers Threaten Civilization (Mises)

Let us begin with a basic question, that lies at the heart of this issue: Who profits from a loan that is guaranteed to pay back less than the amount borrowed? Obviously, it is the borrower and not the lender, which in our case is the government and those closely connected to it. Negative rates and negative-yielding bonds by definition favor the debtors and punish the savers. In addition, these policies are an affront to basic economic principles and to common sense too. They contradict all logical ideas about how money works and they have no basis and no precedent in any organic economic system. Thus, now, in addition to the hidden tax that is inflation, we also have another mechanism that redistributes wealth from the average citizen to those at the top of the pyramid.

Thus, this very concept of a central authority being able to bend and twist the rules, even when the result is illogical, has implications that extend way beyond daily economic activities. In fact, it ultimately divides society into two classes, those who profit from this arbitrary and unilateral rewriting of the rules and those who are forced to pay the price even though they never agreed to it. In fact, they weren’t even asked. Of course, we can also look at it from the collective perspective of the so-called social contract of Rousseau and argue that this system of overt (taxation) and covert (monetary policy) redistribution is legitimate, or even benign. You might still believe that the state will take care of you in the future, and thus you are willing to sacrifice a part of your wealth and savings today to make sure that happens.

In that case, it is useful to remember that the current central banking system is not that old. It’s only been around for about hundred years, or two long-term debt cycles combined. The first cycle ended when President Nixon officially tried to demonetize gold in 1971, empowering a centralized system whereby a few decide who receives the currency first and at what interest rate, allowing them to create bubbles in certain asset classes, protect different key industries and to use it to finance wars and enrich politicians and those close to them. So far, total credit on a global scale stands around $240 trillion. It’s hard to conceive of such a number, but if you consider that 1 trillion seconds are equal to 31,709 years, you might begin to wrap your head around just how leveraged the system has become.

We should never forget that debt is always consumption brought forward. That being said, debts need to be paid back or forgiven — there is no other outcome. In addition, the amount of debt that a system can take on is limited, and when a credit-based system can’t grow any further, the logical outcome is the collapse of the whole system. As Ludwig von Mises described this a long time ago, “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”

Read more …

Just the fact that she still has a job says enough.

Rachel Maddow Called Out For Shamelessly Peddling Fake News (ZH)

Conspiracy theorist and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has been called out by Washington Post columnist Erik Wemple for breathlessly peddling the Steele Dossier – becoming a “clearinghouse” for the largely debunked opposition research funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC in 2016 (and fed to the MSM six weeks before the 2016 US election by the former British spy who wrote it). Wemple has been writing about the media’s coverage of the Steele dossier since it was significantly undercut earlier this month by Michael Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector General. Thursday’s feature details how Maddow spewed Russophobic propaganda to the American public based on Steele’s fabricated claims.

Horowitz absolutely shredded the dossier, writing in his report on FBI FISA abuse that “The FBI concluded, among other things, that although consistent with known efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections, much of the material in the Steele election reports, including allegations about Donald Trump and members of the Trump campaign relied upon in the Carter Page FISA applications, could not be corroborated; that certain allegations were inaccurate or inconsistent with information gathered by the Crossfire Hurricane team; and that the limited information that was corroborated related to time, location and title information, much of which was publicly available.”

Maddow began using the dossier to smear Trump in March of 2017 – when both CNN and the New Yorker falsely claimed that US authorities had loosely confirmed ‘some of the details’ from the dossier. An emboldened Maddow claimed that while the “baseline” dossier claim that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election had yet to be proven, “all the supporting details are checking out, even the really outrageous ones. A lot of them are starting to bear out under scrutiny. It seems like a new one each passing day.” Based on the conclusions reached by both the FBI and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Maddow was peddling conspiracy theories.

“When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them,” writes Wemple. “At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report.” “She seemed to be rooting for the document.”

Read more …

Makes sense for Xi.

Huawei Benefited From Billions Of Dollars In State Support (ZH)

The Wall Street Journal continued its string of reports on the Chinese government’s shadowy campaign to support mission-critical companies in the private sector on Christmas Day by exposing for the first time to totality of government support for Huawei. Billions of dollars in credit facilities backed by state-controlled “policy banks”, coupled with pro-business tax breaks, allowed Huawei to cement its position as the world’s leading telecoms giant, according to WSJ. Huawei’s grants, credit facilities, tax breaks and other forms of financial assistance details for the first time how Huawei had access to as much as $75 billion in state support as it grew from a little-known vendor of phone switches to the world’s largest telecom-equipment company—helping Huawei offer generous financing terms and undercut rivals’ prices by some 30%, analysts and customers say.

Around the world, Huawei is vying to build next-generation 5G telecom networks, much to Washington’s chagrin. In a well-documented campaign, the US has struggled to convince it allies to exclude Huawei equipment from their 5G infrastructure, claiming that Huawei parts would compromise security and allow the Chinese government to tap into civilian and military communications. But thanks in part to all of this government support, Huawei is able to offer telecoms equipment at world-beating prices. Its biggest competitors, Nokia and Ericsson, can’t even come close. This government support also undermines Huawei’s claims that it operates independent of Beijing, and that it would under no circumstances cooperate with state intelligence against its customers.

Nevermind that multiple investigations have uncovered evidence that Huawei builds backdoors into its equipment to allow easy access by Chinese intelligence forces. It’s important to remember that Huawei’s commercial interests align with those of the Chinese government in more ways than one. “While Huawei has commercial interests, those commercial interests are strongly supported by the state,” said Michael Wessel, a member of a U.S. congressional panel that reviews U.S.-China relations, in an interview. The U.S. has raised concerns that use of Huawei’s equipment could pose a security risk, should Beijing request network data from the company. Huawei says it would never hand such data to the government.

Read more …

Divide and rule.

China Threatens EU With “Disastrous” Consequences Of Company Curbs (ZH)

Less than two weeks after Beijing issued an overt threat at Germany, when Chinese ambassador to Germany Ken Wu told ex-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel that if Germany excludes Huawei 5G from its communication networks, then China could “declare German cars unsafe” for its domestic market, effectively giving Angela Merkel a quid-pro-quo ultimatum that a ban of Huawei – as demanded by the Trump administration – would lead to retaliation against German auto exports, Beijing’s ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, doubled down and warned the bloc against pursuing policies to curb Chinese companies’ access to Europe, saying it would damage its own interests and deter investment.

The ambassador, a veteran diplomat and previously a senior foreign ministry official in Beijing, said plans to clamp down on foreign corporate ownership, trade opportunities and 5G mobile communications technology threatened to trigger a backlash from “suspicious” Chinese entrepreneurs. Ming added that EU countries needed to promote international co-operation and free markets, by which of course he meant free markets that suit China. “Otherwise, it’s disastrous for them,” he warned in an interview with the FT. “What I hope to see is that the EU will keep to the principles of multilateralism and free trade, as well as the principles of openness, fairness, justice and non-discrimination.”

Zhang said the hardening attitude on the EU side had made “many Chinese entrepreneurs working in Europe suspicious” and “also had some kind of impact on Chinese investment in the EU.” “My colleagues and I are strongly committed to promoting China–EU co-operation, so I’m following the development with interest and concerns,” said the envoy who was a former vice-minister of foreign affairs and took his current post in Brussels in 2017. “Capital is very sensitive, and even cowardly in some cases. In case of any changes or developments, they will feel highly vigilant or even be scared away”

Read more …

Oh, sure. Because rain is so rare in the UK. People just stay home and wait for the usual balmy weather to set in again.

Rain Keeps UK Boxing Day Shoppers At Home (R.)

UK shoppers sheltered at home on Thursday, with the numbers hitting post-Christmas sales set to drop significantly for a fourth year in a row, initial data showed. Footfall up to 12 p.m. on Dec. 26, known in Britain as Boxing Day and a key date for retailers, was down 10.6% compared with the same period a year ago, market research company Springboard said, adding that bad weather had deterred shoppers. High streets were most affected by the rainy weather with consumers reluctant to go out in the morning, Springboard said. Black Friday sales in November and a growing number of people shopping online have reduced Boxing Day footfall in recent years. “Boxing Day is indisputably a less important trading day than it once was,” said Diane Wehrle, Insights Director at Springboard, adding that the Boxing Day footfall was 10.9% lower than during Black Friday morning.

Read more …

A 2-second cameo in a 27-year old movie. Tons of publicity.

“Trump’s repeated cameos were down to a contractual clause ensuring he appear on-camera if a production filmed in one of his buildings.”

Trump Says Home Alone 2 ‘Will Never Be The Same’ (Ind.)

Donald Trump has said Home Alone 2 “will never be the same” after his cameo was cut from the film by a Canadian TV broadcaster. When he was a real estate mogul and New York celebrity, Trump briefly appeared as himself in 1992’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, offering travel advice to Macaulay Culkin’s character. But the scene was missing from the film when it was broadcast on Canada’s CBC Television this week, leading a spokesperson having to deny that it was cut for political reasons. “As is often the case with features adapted for television, Home Alone 2 was edited to allow for commercial time within the format,” a representative said. On Twitter, Trump addressed the missing scene furore, and joked that Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau may have been to blame.

“The movie will never be the same! (just kidding),” he tweeted. “I guess Justin T doesn’t much like my making him pay up on Nato or trade!” On Christmas Eve, Trump boasted that “young kids” always reference his Home Alone cameo to him. “It turned out to be a very big hit, obviously,” he said during a conference call to US troops overseas. “It’s a big Christmas hit – one of the biggest. So it’s an honour to be involved in something like that.” Trump made a number of cameos in films and television series throughout the 1990s. Speaking in 2017, Matt Damon explained that Trump’s repeated cameos were down to a contractual clause ensuring he appear on-camera if a production filmed in one of his buildings.

Read more …


Pangaea with modern-day international borders




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Home Forums Debt Rattle December 27 2019

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    Alfred Palmer Women as engine mechanics, Douglas Aircraft, Long Beach, CA 1942   • Barr None (R.) • The Democrats May Prove The Greatest Barrier
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle December 27 2019]

    V. Arnold

    Oh, and just what were we supposed to come away with today?
    I liked the global map…
    But really; just what to think? What to do? How do we respond to the daily lies?
    Ignore them, build an opposite narrative?
    The actual reality is obvious; but the spin masters would have you believe otherwise…
    Oh you babes in the woods; you’ll just sleep through the continuum of the present; praying for deliverence…

    Dr. D

    From what’s been going on, looks like Schrodinger’s Impeachment was done(/not done) to allow the House to go back to their old tricks in private. Rumor has it they are investigating, you know, maybe getting some evidence they couldn’t be bothered to get, and then post-facto adding it to the articles, you know, once they find it. Point being: once again they can call secret witnesses, with secret evidence, in the basement of the Capitol, without the Press or the People watching. You know: like liberal democracies are supposed to.

    For the timing, still confused on the rush, but it has something to do with the DNC primaries and candidacy. Perhaps they need Trump to knock out Biden adequately, to be weakened in the polls himself, and then, ta-dah! we re-launch HRC for another stellar and hilarious failure. OMG Yes!!! Run Jane run! Please Jane run! On the other side, the Obamas who hate HRC with burning passion can launch Michelle on the same premise.

    However, much as THAT wouldn’t work – like we need more candidates??? – it also doesn’t work because Biden hasn’t really shifted and Trump is RISING due to impeachment, ESPECIALLY among black voters, just as Bannon said he planned. Some racist! Chatting up black voters and giving them anything they want. With racists like this, who need Progressives who kill them by the thousands in Chicago and Baltimore? It’s almost like they’re…not…racists? It’s almost like the media…I dunno…just lies about everything and makes stuff up all the time?

    And on that note: Kanye is evangelizing for Christianity, and the Pope is saying, don’t bother, Christ and his church suck. The world turned upside-down. Is the Pope Catholic? Bonus question: which of the two guys wearing white and living in the Vatican, both having the papal ring, is the real Pope?

    Per Herr Docktor, the West promoting Germany to attack USSR in WWII:

    (Source link down)

    Note despite their rhetoric – and keeping in mind originally the Anglos + e.g. Ford Motor and the Bushes were funding Germany, as noted in Finland among others – once they come out “for” Stalin, they still provided virtually no aid whatsoever, although desperately needed and Russia later proved to be the whole force of the war. What are you left with? The Anglos and West weren’t really all that opposed to Hitler. They were thrilled so long as he attacked the East: Poland, Czech, Austria, etc, and especially Russia. (P.S. just like today. This MacKinder’s legacy is to get us all killed for a false and worthless theory) They only got involved once Hitler had gotten too strong and threatened whom? Belgium? France? Nope: England. Does that not imply they were a MacKinder operation to divide the world island and keep down the German and Soviet forces which were competing with the British Empire on which in 1939 the sun never set?

    Use your head.

    “Trump Stock Market Rally Is Far Outpacing Past US Presidents (CNBC)”

    What a garbage heap. But you drop $1T per quarter and it sure goes somewhere: to my bank pals.

    Despite the volatility from the U.S.-China trade war, 2019 has been a year of all-time highs.

    Okay then, what war? Doesn’t sound like much of a war if everything’s getting built and not toppled, does it?

    Today’s Central Bankers Threaten Civilization (Mises)”

    Oh yeah, they are coming for us. But let’s see if they can manage more of a rotation instead of the usual collapse. You know: the continuation of human life on the planet depends on it. No pressure.

    Rachel Maddow Called Out for Shamelessly Peddling Fake News (ZH)

    The amazing part about this is that it was WaPo. And I’ve seen that elsewhere where twice a month CNN allows a single Op-Ed that’s not anti-Trump. They have to rotate and pretend they were actual journalists or else vanish from the plains. Not sure it will work. If they told the truth, even a little, it would destroy everything they’ve worked for 20 years and the party and persons they did it for. Why? Otherwise why would they have started lying in the first place? There’s no point in opening your mouth EXCEPT to lie: The Truth Speaks for Itself.

    Huawei Benefited from Billions of Dollars in State Support (ZH)”

    Awww. So cute. Just like all of our companies and Airbus too. Hey, what do you call it when the state and corporations merge and carefully control public opinion in the media too?

    China Threatens EU with “Disastrous” Consequences Of Company Curbs (ZH)

    Speaking of, here’s a country carefully controlling their image by telling every company in America and the NBA how to behave and they obey Xi instantly, without hesitation, an act you can’t even get them to do for big cash or their own country. And here they are controlling Germany too. Why not? Germany already sold Greece to them, why not the rest of Germany’s continent?

    Rain Keeps UK Boxing Day Shoppers At Home (R.)

    They’re like the Global Warming guys: too hot, too cold. Too rainy, too nice. Too much snow, too little. All mean the exact same thing: I have confirmation Bias, and I want this to be true. All facts and their opposites prove my case!

    Trump Says Home Alone 2 ‘Will Never Be the Same’ (Ind.)

    And they say these guys don’t plan themselves out decades ahead, and the FBI/CIA doesn’t therefore keep (illegal) tabs on them decades ahead. So he was placed in the minds of 10-year-olds everywhere, then later in the teens in WWE, then later in their voting years on the Apprentice…but nobody knew nothin’. All a big, happy accident from cartoon-watcher-in-chief and his backers who set it up.

    Pangea is the perfect image of Science!™ Okay, great pic, clearly true. One: just a little while ago continental drift was a crazy conspiracy theory and the Africa-South America matchup was a big coincidence. Like as recently as 1985? Second, here you’re looking at the globe with your own eyeballs. So…what’s on the other side of this globe? All water? Doesn’t that seem a little odd? The whole centripetal rotation will be wildly off-balance and I can’t think of any physics that fixes it. Anyone want to make a stab at what must have been true for this clearly correct map to be possible? Why doesn’t this occur to anyone? A: Must have been to school where you learn to stop asking dumb, obvious questions. Only then can you be a really, obviously, dumb, expert. You know, like Krugman.


    “We should never forget that debt is always consumption brought forward.”
    Now, here is something worth reflecting “consumption brought forward”

    What does it mean …. example
    There is a panty full of bowls of rice that was produced by everyone
    I eat two bowl of rice, …. todays and tomorrows bowl of rice
    How can you pay back that second bowl of rice tomorrow that you consumed yesterday?
    Its been converted from its original state.
    Did Tomorrows bowl of rice belong to someone else. Who will go hungry tomorrow without their bowl of rice.

    Tomorrow, you wont be able to consume a bowl of rice to give you the energy to go and produce a bowl of rice to put into the pantry.
    Therefore, you wont be able to get another bowl of rice from the next tomorrow.
    Then, what if tomorrow’s bowl of rice was the last bowl of rice.
    So again, there another reason why “consumption brought forward” doesn’t work. The pantry is empty.

    Did you understand this example of “consumption brought forward”.
    Therefore, Does this indicate that humans are the smartest thinking/acting creatures on earth or the most foolish/suicidal?

    V. Arnold

    Alfred Palmer Women as engine mechanics, Douglas Aircraft, Long Beach, CA 1942

    Really nice photo; even though it’s an obvious rah, rah for the war effort; Bernays would be proud…
    I wonder just how far back in history TPTB were aware of the unique buffers afforded by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans; and how safe it would keep the country from invasion?
    With the exception of the war of 1812; TPTB have done a spendid job of keeping wars thousands of miles from its soil…

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