New Normal

The Boredom Before The Storm

With all the surprising and/or disturbing things going on – Brexit, China’s soaring debt, US/Russia/China saber rattling, the, um, unique US presidential race, the cyber attack that shut down big parts of the US Internet – you’d think that an unsettled world would be reflected in skittish financial markets. Instead we’re getting the opposite...

Billionaire Clinton "Hillblazer" Pushes New Tax That Funnels Middle Class Money To Wall Street

Wall Street is maneuvering to propose and implement a new retirement tax on Americans under a Hillary Clinton Administration. Leading the charge is billionaire financial oligarch Tony James, who is COO of private equity giant Blackstone. Mr. James is a generous contributor to Hillary Clinton’s Presidential run, and is listed as a “Hillblazer” by her campaign for having raised at least $100,000 toward her candidacy.

'Subtle Forward Guidance' - Trying To Fool The Marginal Oil Investor Everything's Under Control

So-called "forward guidance" is aimed at trying to fool the marginal investor into believing “there is no need for worry, central bankers have everything under control”. Unsurprisingly, as with all psychological conditioning, forward guidance has lost its effect as more and more market participants lose confidence in central banks and their promise that everything will eventually mean revert to happier days... However, this unfortunate practice is making in-roads into the most important of commodity markets: crude oil.

President Obama's Premature Victory Lap

Before President Obama takes his final victory lap with claims of creating the most robust employment recovery since the 1990’s, the data clearly suggests otherwise. Of course, if you ask the 37% that are no longer counted as part of the labor force, they will tell you the same thing.

Recession Now... Or Depression Later

Currently economists and market watchers roughly fall into two camps: Those who believe that the Federal Reserve must begin raising interest rates now so that it will have enough rate cutting firepower to fight the next recession, and those who believe that raising rates now will simply precipitate an immediate recession and force the Fed into battle without the tools it has traditionally used to stimulate growth. Both camps are delusional, but for different reasons.

"This Cannot End Well" Bill Gross Warns

"Central bankers have fostered a casino like atmosphere where savers/investors are presented with a Hobson's Choice, or perhaps a more damaging Sophie's Choice of participating (or not) in markets previously beyond prior imagination. Investors/savers are now scrappin' like mongrel dogs for tidbits of return at the zero bound. This cannot end well."

How To Win At The "Beat The Wall Street Estimate" Game

As the quarterly ritual of the earnings season approaches, executives and investors would do well to remember the words of the then-chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Arthur Levitt in a 1998 speech entitled “The Numbers Game.” “While the temptations are great, and the pressures strong, illusions in numbers are only that—ephemeral, and ultimately self-destructive.”

Is Charlotte Our Future?

Celebrating the racial diversity of the Charlotte protesters last week, William Barber II, chairman of the North Carolina NAACP, proudly proclaimed, “This is what democracy looks like.” Well, if Barber is right, so, too, was John Adams, who warned us that “democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

Amazon "Tweaks" Its Hillary Book Stats: Doubles '5-Star' Reviews Overnight

Two short weeks ago, we exposed the gaping difference between Amazon reader reviews of Hillary Clinton's "Stronger Together" book (14% 5-Stars) and Donald Trump's "Great Again" book (74% 5-Stars) as The New York Times described Clinton's propaganda as a "flop." So, as with everything else in this 'new normal rigged' world, something had to be done and WaPo-owner Jeff Bezos' Amazon reviews appear to have been 'tweaked' - more than doubling Hillary's top reviews.

America - The Helpless 'Superpower'

Trump’s critique of the political class, and his diagnosis of the US as an empire in decline, is what gives his message resonance – and it’s one reason why the political class hates him with a passion. His success is the measure of their failure. We are headed for some dark times. In spite of that, however, there will always be those who will uphold the original spirit of our old republic and fight to defend it against all comers. Out of this will come a renewal – that is, if there is to be one.