Truman Show USA - "Concerned Citizens" At Townhall Meetings Exposed As Paid Actors

Meet Adam Swart, CEO of a company called 'Crowds on Demand', which will stage rallies and demonstrations for almost any candidate or cause. "I have worked with dozens of campaigns for state officials, and 2016 presidential candidates," Swart told NBC4, adding that he won’t name any names. “I can’t go in to detail... if I did, nobody would hire us.”

The Economics Of "Free Stuff"

The perennial promises of free stuff from political candidates are front and center again now that we are ensnared in another US election cycle. Of course it’s true that There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, because somebody must bear the costs of the supposedly “free” stuff. Especially when the government is involved in doling out the gifts, all it means is that it was bought with money taken from others. Or, sometimes, the money is taken from the person receiving the gift, who thinks he’s gotten something for nothing.

Nationalism And Populism Propel Trump

America is saying, “Goodbye to all that.” For Trump is not only a candidate. He is a messenger from Middle America. And the message he is delivering to the establishment is: We want an end to your policies and we want an end to you. If the elites think they can not only deny Trump the nomination, but turn back this revolution and re-establish themselves in the esteem of the people, they delude themselves. This is hubris of a high order.

Why Guggenheim Believes The 10 Year Treasury Will Drop Below 1%

"Central banks around the world, reacting to the same recessionary fears, are likely to cause long rates to sink materially lower than where we are today. I see the 10-year Treasury note falling to 1 percent, perhaps even lower, before year-end. According to technical analysis, the current target bottom for the 10-year Treasury note is 28 basis points!"

In "Dramatic Escalation," China Sends Fighter Jets To Disputed Islands

On Tuesday, multiple media outlets jumped at the opportunity to report that China has built radar facilities at Cuarteron Reef, Beijing’s southern-most South Pacific sandcastle. But that, as it turns out, isn't the big news. Just moments ago, GOP mouthpiece Fox News said China has now deployed fighter jets to Woody Island, where imagery from ImageSat International (ISI) showed two batteries of eight surface-to-air missile launchers in place earlier this month.

The Fatal Flaw That Has Doomed Our Economy

Money doesn’t have to be “hard” or “soft” or expensive or cheap. But it has to be honest. Otherwise, the whole system runs into a ditch. But the new money was a phony. It put the cart ahead of the horse. This was money that no one ever had to break a sweat to get. It was based on credit – the anticipation of work, not work that had already been done. Money no longer represented wealth. It now represented anti-wealth: debt.

Oil Crashes After API Reports Massive Crude Build

After last week's roller-coaster ride (API "draw" vs DOE "build"), tonight's API data (following Al-Naimi's reality check this morning) was much heralded. After DOE reported builds across the entire complex last week, and expectations of a 3mm barrel build, API reported a massive 7.1mm build and a bigger than expected 307k build at Cushing. Gasoline inventories also rose more than expected (for the 15th week in a row). WTI plunged at the NYMEX close and was limping lower into the API print and then collapsed at the massive build hit...

"Debt Is The Cause, Not The Cure"

The massive indulgence in debt, what the Austrians refer to as a “credit induced boom”, has now reached its inevitable conclusion. This is one of the primary reasons why economic growth will continue to run at lower levels going into the future. We will witness an economy plagued by more frequent recessionary spats, lower equity market returns and a stagflationary environment as wages remain suppressed while costs of living rise. Correlation or causation? You decide.

 

The Good(ish), The Bad, & The Ugly Of Equity Valuations

The good news is that lower rates can justify higher valuations, but as former Morgan Stanley guru Gerard Minack explains, the bad news is lower earnings growth. In Minack's view the rally from the 2011 lows was the equity market factoring in the beneficial part of the story: re-rating on the back of a low discount rate; but, markets are only now starting to focus on the corollary: lower trend earnings growth. With the prospective P/E of the S&P500 is now at an 'ugly' all-time high relative to the medium term EPS forecasts, and downgrades set to continue based on macro weakness, equity valuations suggest this 'correction' is far from over.

Who Will Be Left Standing At The End Of The Oil War

This is a financial cold war - nothing more, nothing less. The variables of the breakeven game favor U.S. shale. But Saudi Arabia won’t give up the cold war path easily because its ultimate goal is to preserve its market share at all costs.