USA Watchdog Interview

Greg Hunter does a nice job, and asked me to appear — here it is, embedded at the bottom.
The take-away from this, if you don’t feel like watching the interview, is quite simple: Without the Rule of Law we have nothing, and our nation currently faces a critical fiscal emergency at the federal level just a few years down the road — certainly, during the next President’s term.
There is no way out of that box without taking on the medical monopolies. None.
That’s the math.
2009 / Obamacare was an attempt to “buy more time” along with protecting said monopolies from a market-driven incipient collapse. This was rank public corruption on a grand scale, and it did nothing more than add a small amount of time, much like closing “watertight” doors on the Titanic when the water can cascade over bulkheads (as I expected it would and wrote on at the time) because all it could do is force more people onto a sinking ship. The compound growth nature of federal spending on medical care has remained unaltered; it was not flattened to zero, or even to the expansion of nominal GDP. Worse, the expansion rate for Medicaid, several years after its one-time expansion under Obamacare (in other words the one-time effects are gone), exceeds that of Medicare — so those who claim the cost escalation is due to people getting older are lying through their teeth.
The bigger-picture issue, and the one that threatens to turn this entirely-predicted fiscal catastrophe (one that I’ve talked about for 25 years and written about pretty-much continually for the last 8 right here in The Ticker) into an economic and social disaster never before seen in America (but seen repeatedly in other nations such as Venezuela and Argentina!) is that innovation has effectively collapsed at the same time.
Why?

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2016-07-31.

Pay Attention To What BoJ Did Do

As if a mirror of the Federal Reserve, what is more important from the Bank of Japan flop today is what it did do rather than what it did not. Everyone was looking for at the very least an even quicker pace to QQE if not the full-blown ‘helicopter’ of momentum dreams. Instead, BoJ offered what appears tepidity. As widely expected, their ETF buying program was expanded to 2.7 trillion annually, but that wasn’t the end of the submission. The only other change was to double a ‘dollar lending’ program that few knew existed.
In April 2012, the Bank of Japan policy statement included the official approval of a plan to extend dollar loans from its supply of dollar ‘reserves’ to eligible Japanese companies obtaining overseas finance.
The goal of overcoming deflation will be achieved both through efforts to strengthen the economy’s growth potential and support from the financial side. With this in mind, the Bank will pursue powerful monetary easing, and will support private financial institutions in their efforts to strengthen the foundations for Japan’s economic growth via the fund-provisioning measure to support strengthening the foundations for economic growth. At today’s meeting, as shown in the Attachment, the Bank established detailed rules for a new U. S. dollar lending arrangement equivalent to 1 trillion yen, of which a preliminary outline was released at the previous meeting in March.
‘Eligible’ counterparties are narrowed specifically in the technical terms to only those firms who have accounts at FRBNY or have accounts at banks with settlement recourse to FRBNY (where BoJ’s assets are mostly in custody). All loans are in US dollars posted by eligible collateral with 1-year duration (and 3 available one-year rollovers, for a total of four years) at 6-month LIBOR refreshed every six months. The maximum loan per counterparty is $1 billion, with a total balance capped at $12 billion (those amounts were today doubled).

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 29, 2016.

About Those ‘Strong’ Consumers

In advance of today’s GDP release, it was expected that the Q2 estimate would be around 2.6% (it was only 1.2%). The major reason for the anticipated rebound was ‘strong’ consumers, a theme that has been a part of the dominant economic narrative since 2014 introduced the phantom ‘best jobs market in decades.’ No matter what happens in the economy, however, GDP or otherwise, consumer spending is always brought up as the basis for what will just around the corner erase all memory of persistent failure.
Before the GDP release, Fox Business had this to say under the headlineConsumers Seen Powering 2Q GDP:
The U. S. economy likely regained speed in the second quarter as robust consumer spending offset a sharp moderation in inventory investment and weak exports, pointing to underlying growth momentum that could be maintained for the rest of the year…
‘The economy clearly bounced back in the second quarter because consumers put the economy on their backs. Things are falling in place, the economy will continue to move forward,’ said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
It doesn’t help that the Moody’s economist quoted above made much the same declaration last year at this same time about Q2 2015, but the media doesn’t care about anything other than perpetuating ‘strong’ on behalf of economists who seem to be unable to calibrate their views to anything other than what ‘should be.’ Even though the actual published GDP figure for the latest quarter was less than half of what it was thought to be under the ‘strong’ consumer, these expectations haven’t in any way changed with the new number.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 29, 2016.

What Escape Velocity – – 3 Straight Quarters Of @1% GDP

The advance estimate for second quarter GDP came in lower than expected. At just 1.211%, the anticipated rebound from the dreadful winter failed to materialize in any significant way. Worse, benchmark revisions now suggest that GDP has been around 1% for three straight quarters; Q4 2015 was revised down from 1.377% to just 0.869%; Q1 2016 was revised back 0.831%.
Most of the benchmark revisions instead focused on seasonality, a particularly troubling result since it can only reduce faith in the statistical processes while at the same time further confirming what we have charged all along – that this economy is very different and thus statistics that were designed for ‘normal’ circumstances are largely inappropriate. Recognizing that they have a very real problem with all this, the BEA now proposes starting 2018 to also publish the unadjusted GDP figures.
The most visible example of revisions rewriting short-term economic history was the first half of 2015. Under the 2014 benchmarks, Q1 GDP was first estimated to have been 0.2% in the advance release, revised to -0.7% at the second estimate, and then -0.2% for the ‘final’ number. The benchmark revisions in July 2015 added the controversial ‘residual seasonality’ further seasonal adjustment, which brought the GDP rate to 0.6%. In accordance with the new July 2016 benchmarks released today, Q1 2015 GDP is now thought to be 2.0%. That is a significant difference.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 29, 2016.

No One Can Stop Her… And She Knows It: ‘This Election Won’t Be Fair’

In a fair election, my best estimate is that Donald Trump would win in a landslide.
But this election will not be fair. In fact, few of them are.
For Trump’s part, there is no doubt that he has been this year’s sensation. A newcomer to politics, he has thrown out all the conventional rules, played by his own, and found a captivated country hanging onto his every word. Love him, hate him, or somewhere in between… no one can look away from the spectacle.
After a war within the party and the convenient disposal of 16 conventional GOP contenders, Trump is now the official Republican candidate and he is in a strong position. Coming out of the relatively calm Republican National Convention and going into the tumultuous DNC, Trump has enjoyed soaring poll numbers while Hillary has been losing ground fast to the scandals and corruption revealed by Wikileaks and other related mouthpieces.
But the fat lady has not sung.

This post was published at shtfplan on July 29th, 2016.

Global Deflation Alert: World Trade Growth Has Ground To A Halt

Falling rates of global trade growth have attracted much comment by analysts and officials, giving rise to a literature on the ‘global trade slowdown’ (Hoekman 2015, Constantinescu et al. 2016). The term ‘slowdown’ gives the impression of world trade losing momentum, but growing nonetheless. The sense of the global pie getting larger has the soothing implication that one nation’s export gains don’t come at the expense of another’s. But are we right to be so sanguine?
World trade volume plateaued around January 2015
Using what is widely regarded as the best available data on global trade dynamics, namely, theWorld Trade Monitor prepared by the Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis, the 19th Report of the Global Trade Alert, published today, evaluates global trade dynamics (Evenett and Fritz 2016). Our first finding that the rosy impression painted by some should be set aside. We demonstrate that:
-World export volumes reached a plateau at the start of January 2015. The same finding holds if import volume or total volume data are used instead.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 29, 2016.

US Homeownership Rate Fall To Five-Decade Low

The U. S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest level in more than 50 years in the second quarter of 2016, a reflection of the lingering effects of the housing bust, financial hurdles to buying and shifting demographics across the country.
But the bigger picture also suggests more Americans are gaining the confidence to strike out on their own, albeit as renters rather than buyers.
The homeownership rate, the proportion of households that are owner-occupied, fell to 62.9%, half a percentage point lower than the second quarter of 2015 and 0.6 percentage point lower than the first quarter 2016, the Census Bureau said on Thursday. That was the lowest figure since 1965.
There are many ways to interpret the numbers. Part of the story is the catastrophic housing market collapse, which was especially severe for Generation X – those born from 1965 to 1984.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 29, 2016.

Exposing Hillbama’s Big Lie: The Central Issue In The U.S. Presidential Campaign

The central issue in the U. S. Presidential campaign can’t even be discussed in U. S. newsmedia, because America’s media have been almost uniformly complicit all along in hiding from the American public the crucial factual information that’s necessary in order for the public to vote in an intelligent and truthfully informed way about it. No news medium wants to report its own having been complicit in anything; so, the cover-up here just continues; it has a life of its own, even though it’s a life that brings the world closer and closer to a situation which would kill billions of people, as things get increasingly out-of-control the longer this coverup continues. The cycle of virtually uniform lying thus persists, despite the growing danger it produces. This article will need to be lengthy, because the American public have been almost consistently lied-to about so many very important things – things associated with the nation’s central issue – an issue even bigger than terrorism, and than global warming, and than rising economic inequality and corruption, but which is still virtually ignored. This article is thus intended to be ‘Drano’ for a political system that has become clogged by lies just jammed down into it, now backing up and pouring out onto America’s political floor. The overflowing sludge has got to be cleaned up, and discarded. Or else – and very suddenly – it will kill us all.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 29, 2016.

Donald Trump’s Candidacy – – The Good And The Bad Of It

Donald Trump’s Candidacy – – The Good And The Bad Of It
In the next sections we shall document at length why the US is a nation on the brink of financial ruin. Our purpose at this point, however, is to dispel any illusion that Donald Trump – – the man and his platform – -offers any semblance of a remedy.
In the great scheme of history, the Donald’s great purpose may be to simply disrupt and paralyze the status quo. And that much he may accomplish whether he is elected or not.
For what is actually happening is meta-political. The bipartisan ruling elites are being Trumped.
Their entire regime of casino capitalism, beltway racketeering and imperial hegemony is being unmasked. The unwashed masses are catching on to the ‘rigged’ essence of the system, and have already become alienated enough to rally to outlaw politicians – – like Bernie and Trump – – peddling ersatz socialism and red neck populism, respectively.
To be sure, the metaphor of Shock and Awe and the idea of ‘regime change’ have been given a bad name by Bush the Younger and his bloody henchmen. Yet there is no better way to describe Donald Trump’s rise and role than with exactly those terms.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 29, 2016.

Coming Soon: Trumped! (Part 6. Government Entitlements – – The Sixth Biggest Economy On Earth

Government Entitlements – Sixth Biggest Economy On Earth
…….. Because the main street economy is failing, the nation’s entitlement rolls have exploded. About 110 million citizens now receive some form of means tested benefits. When social security is included, more than 160 million citizens get checks from Washington.
The total cost is now $3 trillion per year and rising rapidly. America’s entitlements sector, in fact, is the sixth biggest economy in the world.
***
Yet in a society that is rapidly aging to the tune of 10,000 baby boom retirees per day, this 50% dependency ratio is not even remotely sustainable. As we show in a later chapter, social security itself will be bankrupt within 10 years.
Still, there is another even more important aspect of the mainstream narrative’s absolute radio silence about the monumental entitlements problem. Like in the case of the nation’s 30-year LBO, the transfer payments crisis is obfuscated by the economic blind spots of our Keynesian central banking regime.
Greenspan, Bernanke, Yellen and their posse of paint-by-the-numbers economic plumbers have deified the great aggregates of consumer, business and government spending as the motor force of economic life. As more fully deconstructed below, however, this boils down to a primitive notion of bathtub economics.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 28, 2016.

The World is following Japan’s lead at the Worst Possible Time

After its spectacular rise over the 45 years following World War II, Japan’s economy was hailed as a model of how to do things right. But then times changed. Japan shifted from leading the way, to showing the world what notto do. And now, the world is doing it anyway.
The symptoms
From the end of World War II through 1992, Japan’s economy grew at an average of 7.3 percent a year. That’s as impressive as China’s recent economic growth. But since 1992, Japan has been in a decades-long economic slump, with real GDP growth averaging just 0.8 percent a year.
Meanwhile, Japan’s debt load has ballooned. From 1992 to 2015, government debt as a percent of the country’s GDP increased from under 100 percent of GDP, to 229 percent of GDP.
Japan’s prolonged economic slowdown helped bring about an era of deflation. Now its annual inflation rate stands at negative 0.4 percent (a negative inflation rate means there is deflation). This means that, in theory, if you paid 280 yen for a dozen eggs last year, this year they would cost 278 yen. In a deflationary environment, consumers believe prices will be lower in the future – so they delay purchases, waiting for lower prices. This in turn slows economic growth and results in further deflation.
To get people to borrow and spend more, the Bank of Japan started slashing its prime lending rate in 1992. It cut it until the rate reached nearly zero. It’s been there for about 20 years. And recently, Japan’s central bank decided to move to negative interest rates – a financial concept that is flipping the world of finance on its head.
Today, deflation, negative interest rates and horrible demographics are the hallmarks of Japan’s economy. These are all symptoms of what could be called ‘Japanese disease.’
One of the side effects of the disease has been pitiful stock market performance. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index hit a peak of 38,957 in 1989. It is now at 16,620. So 27 years later, the stock market is 57 percent below its all-time peak.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner By Kim Iskyan, Business Insider ‘ July 28, 2016.

Crony Capitalism On Parade: The Dem Convention Is One Big Corporate Bribe

To get to the Democratic National Convention, you take the subway to the AT&T Station and walk to the Wells Fargo Center. Along the way, you’ll stroll by the Comcast Xfinity Live complex, where delegates and honored guests can booze it up. You’ll also see the ‘Cars Move America’ exhibit, an actual showroom sponsored by Ford, GM, Toyota, and others. Finally, you’ll reach your seat and watch Democrats explain why we have to reduce the power of big corporations in America.
Party conventions have always been collection points for big money. But many major corporations sat out last week’s Republican gathering for fear of Trump contamination. There’s no such reticence here in Philadelphia; in fact, it feels like they’re making up for that lack of investment.
It’s hard to ferret out all the special interests at the DNC, because there’s no full public schedule. Invitations are doled out individually, and people whisper about this or that event. But enter any official hotel where a delegation is staying, or any Philadelphia landmark, and you’re likely to have a complimentary drink thrust into your hand.
As Politico’s Ben White reported on Monday, private equity firm Blackstone has a meet-and-greet on Thursday. Independence Blue Cross, the southeastern Pennsylvania arm of the large insurer, held a host-committee reception Tuesday; their chief executive is the finance chair of that host committee. The same day, Le Meridien hotel had a private event for Bloomberg LP, and the Logan Hotel hosted ‘Inspiring Women, a Luncheon Discussion.’ The sponsors included Johnson & Johnson, Walgreens, AFLAC, the Financial Services Roundtable (the industry trade lobby), and New York Life. (How many people were they serving, given the number of corporations involved?)

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 28, 2016.

Who Said It’s Rigged? Silicon Valley Elites Get Home Loans With No Money Down

It turns out that even the well-off need help in a housing market as crazy as the one in the San Francisco Bay area, and lenders are elbowing each other in a rush to provide it.
They’re courting Silicon Valley workers with tailored loans, guaranteed 24-hour approval and financial-planning services. Social Finance Inc. has deals with Google and other top technology companies that allow it to market to new hires. First Republic Bank – which gave Facebook Inc. billionaire Mark Zuckerberg a 1.05 percent interest-rate mortgage – has opened branches in Facebook and Twitter Inc. headquarters. San Francisco Federal Credit Union will finance 100 percent of houses costing up to $2 million.
Michael Tannenbaum, senior vice president of SoFi’s mortgage group, calls it ‘white-glove service.’ Lenders often give special treatment to the wealthy, of course, but the tech industry has created a particularly ripe crop of clients who are rich or on their way. It’s a smart bet to cater to a sector that’s created thousands of millionaires and dozens of billionaires, says Glenn Kelman, chief executive officer of the brokerage Redfin. The downside is that the most expensive U. S. housing region is becoming ‘a no-fly zone for anyone outside technology,’ especially with so many people shut out altogether by tight credit standards imposed after the 2008 real estate crash.
What’s going on ‘might be good for the borrower and good for the lender,’ he says, ‘but it’s not necessarily good for San Francisco.’

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 28, 2016.

The Never Trump Crowd Prefers Smiling Statism From Nurse Hillary

While I never have, and certainly never will, get on board the ‘Trump Train,’ I am perhaps more annoyed by the certain type of Republican and evangelical ‘conservative’ who opposes Trump specifically for reasons such as his vulgarity, his alleged racism, his rudeness and crudeness, his un-Christlikeness, his narcissism, and so on. The Donald is notoriously – and purposefully (he’s a reality TV sensation after all) – provocative in the way he treats his political opponents and those by whom he feels threatened. Obviously, all these things are worthy of criticism.
However, what is completely shocking to me, though perhaps it shouldn’t be, is that these same ‘Never Trump’ hashtag users literally would have been just dandy with Mitt Romney, John McCain, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, and so on. In other words, what matters to them is not the fact that the GOP’s leaders and champions are Big Government, pro-welfare state, pro-warfare state, pro Federal economic regulation/intervention, pro- Taxes, pro spending, pro-nationalization of commerce and industry; no, what matters most to them is that the politician is ‘nice.’
I have heard countless ballyhooing about the fact that Trump is the next Hitler due to his vocal denouncement of free trade, his immigration preferences, his appeal to the ‘nativists’ in America, and so on. Hogwash! Trump is a demagogue to the very same extent, though not necessarily to the same constituency, as all other politicians! Every single politician, by nature of his dirty rotten job, is a demagogue, one who appeals to emotion and sentiment. We live in a time when the Democratic and Republican parties have pushed for deficit after deficit, every debt ceiling addition, every war, every welfare program, the annual and constant funding of hundreds of Federal departments and agencies, law upon law, regulation upon regulation, bailout for the rich, bailout for the poor, bailout for some foreign government, bailout for some radical group who opposes some foreign government – and yet Donald is the bad guy, because he is profane and insensitive.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 28, 2016.

BERNIE SUPPORTERS PISSED AFTER FINDING OUT HE ACTUALLY WON THE FIRST ROLL CALL (BUT DNC TOSSED IT TO HILLARY)

Because this is the only way Hillary can even make it appear as if she’s ‘winning’ an election: propaganda, vote rigging, cheating, lying, corruption, and fear (in this case, of Donald Trump).
If things weren’t rigged, there’s no way she’d even be nominated as convention janitor.
Via Inquisitr:
This video discusses Sanders winning the first roll call. A Sanders delegate reveals the bombshell at the 6:30 mark, noting Bernie won the roll call as Clinton’s supporters did not come out in large numbers.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 28, 2016.

The Myths The FOMC Keeps Repeating Is What Matters, Not the Words It Changes

As usual, everyone is focused on the wrong part of the FOMC statement. There is already a lot being made about the one sentence inserted as ‘hawkish’ sentiment that puts the economy, supposedly, back on its fruitful, ‘full employment’ track. In a clear sigh of relief undoubtedly in relation to the scary May payroll report, the July 2016 FOMC statement confidently announces:
Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished.
Why anyone would give it any weight at all is a mystery. The FOMC has been making the same declaration intermittently for almost two years; only to have to retract it as ‘global turmoil’ randomly, in their view, intrudes.
What truly disqualifies the economic assessment, indeed all their economic assessments, is not what changes from meeting to meeting but what remains. One year ago, just as the summer was about to heat up in far too many ways, the July 2015 policy statement included this passage:
Inflation continued to run below the Committee’s longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and decreasing prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
The version in July 2016 says this:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner by Jeffrey P. Snider ‘ July 28, 2016.

USDJPY Surges On Headline Government Pressuring BOJ To Boost Stimulus; Bloomberg Denies

Update: Looks like we may have a lost in translation moment here, because shortly after the Reuters report (which recall is first and foremost an FX dealer and so loves USDJPY volatility), bloomberg reports that the “MOF draft statement cited by Reuters simply affirms that govt still plans a package.” Hardly the dramatic “pressuring” of the BOJ Reuters would have its FX trading clients believe.
As Bloomberg paraphrases the Reuters piece, the BOJ is considering specific steps for expanding monetary stimulus Friday to address signs of weakness in inflation, Reuters reports, citing people familiar.
BOJ would aim to maximize boost of its measures by timing its action with the govt’s big spending package: sources Ministry of Finance lobbying hard for BOJ to ease further and has prepared a statement it’ll publish if BOJ eases ‘We welcome the BOJ’s decision and will deploy all necessary policy steps including a scheduled big stimulus package,’ says a draft statement seen by Reuters Bloomberg adds the following:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 28, 2016.

The Chang’ An Expressway – – A Tale Of The Red Ponzi’s Infrastructure Road To Nowhere

CHANGTANG, China – A highway project here that is four years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget helps explain why Beijing’s effort to raise infrastructure spending is an increasinglyineffective way to boost theeconomy.
When construction on the Chang’An Expressway began in 2008 it seemed a sure bet. Its private partners stood to collect decades of lucrative toll revenue. The economy and the environment would benefit by slashing three hours off a four-hour trip.
But the project, in central Hunan province, has been beset by financial problems, resident protests and a corruption probe, issues that also have hindered hundreds of other projects in China. Such setbacks are hurting Beijing’s efforts to halt a decline in economic growth that is rippling across the globe and threatening political stability at home.
China also is drawing less benefit from the infrastructure projects it completes. After a 15-year period in which the country built thousands of roads, airports, bridges and buildings, the economic benefit of adding even more is decidedly less valuable.
Local governments’ heavy debt loads from prior stimulus efforts are further obstructing China’s efforts to stimulate the economy with infrastructure spending. More of their borrowed money is going to pay back previous loans. Many of these projects lose money, adding still more debt.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 28, 2016.

What The FOMC Keeps Repeating Is What Matters, Not What It Changes

As usual, everyone is focused on the wrong part of the FOMC statement. There is already a lot being made about the one sentence inserted as ‘hawkish’ sentiment that puts the economy, supposedly, back on its fruitful, ‘full employment’ track. In a clear sigh of relief undoubtedly in relation to the scary May payroll report, the July 2016 FOMC statement confidently announces:
Near-term risks to the economic outlook have diminished.
Why anyone would give it any weight at all is a mystery. The FOMC has been making the same declaration intermittently for almost two years; only to have to retract it as ‘global turmoil’ randomly, in their view, intrudes.
What truly disqualifies the economic assessment, indeed all their economic assessments, is not what changes from meeting to meeting but what remains. One year ago, just as the summer was about to heat up in far too many ways, the July 2015 policy statement included this passage:
Inflation continued to run below the Committee’s longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and decreasing prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey based measures of longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable.
The version in July 2016 says this:
Inflation has continued to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run objective, partly reflecting earlier declines in energy prices and in prices of non-energy imports. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; most survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance, in recent months.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 27, 2016.

Coming Soon: Trumped! (Part 5. The Aspen Strategy Group – -Hillary’s War Cabinet In Waiting)

NOTE TO READERS
I am in the throes of finishing a book on the upheaval represented by the Trump candidacy and movement. It is an exploration of how 30 years of Bubble Finance policies at the Fed, feckless interventions abroad and mushrooming Big government and debt at home have brought America to its current ruinous condition.
It also delves into the good and bad of the Trump campaign and platform and outlines a more consistent way forward based on free markets, fiscal rectitude, sound money, constitutional liberty, non-intervention abroad, minimalist government at home and decentralized political rule.
In order to complete the manuscript on a timely basis, I will not be doing daily posts for the next week or two. Instead, I will post excerpts from the book that crystalize its key themes and which also relate to the on-going gong show in the presidential campaigns and in the financial and economic arenas. The fifth of these is included below.
I am also working with my partners at Agora Financial on a new version of Contra Corner. More information on that will be coming early next month.
***
…….. This fair summer camp for the (very) fortunate got double-whammy’d by the War Party during a weekend of ‘big think’ last August.
First there was a ‘debate’ about whether ISIS should be ‘contained’ or ‘defeated’. That was followed by a glowing progress report from General John Allen. He was President Obama’s Special Envoy for the Global Coalition of the Unwilling and Unable (to fight ISIS), and the gist of his speech was that 6,000 airstrikes since the previous August had been winning droves of hearts and minds in the Upper Euphrates valley.
Well, that number is up to 11,000 now, and there is scant sign of hearts and minds being won.
Still, General Allen’s speech was all for the edification of the pooh bahs of the foreign policy establishment who had been in town for the annual Aspen Strategy Group conclave. The latter bills itself as ‘a bipartisan foreign policy group that includes legislators, experts, journalists, policy practitioners, members of academia, and business leaders’.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on July 27, 2016.