Take a tip from fellow playwright G.B. Shaw about "Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy."
Half a world away at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz made remarks earlier this week that the US should "get rid of currency." Physical cash means there is no one else standing between you and your savings. But Professor Stiglitz and his colleagues don’t want that. They want a massive, centralized bureaucracy to have control over your savings.
European and Asian shares, and S&P futures slipped, while government bond yields jumped to multi-week highs on Thursday after Yellen's hawkish speech. Oil rose after API reported a drop in crude inventories. The euro rebounded as investors look to Mario Draghi to address rising European inflation that make the ECB's stimulative policies look increasingly out of sync.
Trump's Commerce Secretary pick, Wilbur Ross, has informed Canadian officials that he plans to reopen NAFTA talks within days of his inauguration, and that rules of origin and independent dispute tribunals will be central in negotiations of North American Free Trade Agreement. Ross has indicated new administration will send a formal letter notifying Canada and Mexico of plans to renegotiate Nafta within days of Trump’s inauguration.
"So simultaneous to the checkpoint blockades in the morning, we are also doing a series of clusterfuck blockades, where we are going to try to blockade all the major ingress points in the city. Which include, they can include shutting down major bridges and highway access points as well as shutting down metro rail."
Taiwan today sent the clearest message to China that it is taking deteriorating diplomatic relations with its estranged mainland cousin seriously, when the island nation began two days of military drills simulating an attack by China, in the wake of Beijing's sailing of an aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait as the government sought to reassure the public.
"Yeah, if you had...a pint of butyric acid, I don't care how big the building is, it's closing...And this stuff is very efficient, it's very very smelly, lasts a long time, and a little of it goes a long way."
The healthcare system has been broken to the point that physicians now have a greater incentive to fire their Medicare patients than to treat them. One Florida-based physician summed up the situation like this: “I have decided to opt-out of Medicare, acknowledging that I can no longer play a game that is rigged against me; one that I can never win because of constantly changing rules, and one where the stakes include fines and even potential jail time.”
"The opinions of experts concerning the future are accorded great weight . . . but they’re still just opinions. While I take a dim view of forecasts, and especially of opinions presented as facts, I do believe there are such things as facts. Unfortunately, however, the concept of 'facts' is among the casualties of the increasingly partisan environment. Recently we have seen both the elevation in status of 'non-facts', as well as the tearing down of 'real facts'."
The “bond shock” story bubbles away in the background. And with the next 50-75bps rise in yields (due to perhaps expectations of trade wars or Chinese repatriation, or even further gains in inflation), the risk of a financial “event” is likely to jump. 2016 started with pessimism and ended with optimism; 2017 starts with optimism…