Author Archives: Bill Bonner

     

 

 

Broken Promises

POITOU, FRANCE – “We live in a slow-growth world,” summarized a canny friend, “but with high-growth debt and high-growth asset prices.” Today, we turn to a report on Zero Hedge for further precision.

But we’ll get to that in a minute. First, let’s begin with less precision. The promise of the Trump administration was, in a nutshell, that it would look ahead and improve the future before we got there. How?

 

President Trump: so far the future proves more resistant to MAGA-type improvements than originally expected. That is not necessarily the Donald’s fault, but so far it is definitely a fact. [PT]

Illustration by  Les Lea Ellison

 

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Lighting a Candle

POITOU, FRANCE – On Tuesday, Donald Trump, president of all the Americans, said his country would spend more blood and money trying to force the Afghans to do what it wants them to do, whatever that is.

 

If you are destined to stay on the Afghan plantation forever, might as well plant something. [PT]

Cartoon by Steve Bell

 

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Confused by Shadows

POITOU, FRANCE – This week, we are talking about theperishable nature of gods. Yesterday, the city fathers of our hometown of Baltimore let it be known that it was time to toss out the old deities.

 

The Robert E. Lee and Thomas. J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument in Baltimore, which the mayor inter alia wants to remove. Suddenly it has become fashionable to erase the memory of an important part of US history all over the country. By experience, this is typically done by authoritarian Marxists and fascists, as well as assorted radical Islamists. They are all famous for destroying monuments they don’t like or brushing people out of pictures when they are no longer considered to properly toe the line of the Fuehrer du jour. Democratic societies tend to remove the statues of former dictators and all around bad guys (such as e.g. Hitler, who has not been granted any monuments in Germany, which is understandable. The heroes of the Confederacy may be controversial, but removing all their statues seems quite the overkill – and obviously, it is mainly done to provoke a reaction. [PT]

Photo credit: Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun

 

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Fools and Rascals

 

And it’s time, time, time

And it’s time, time, time

It’s time, time, time that you love

And it’s time, time, time…

– Tom  Waits

 

Tom Waits rasps about time

 

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French Fraud

POITOU, FRANCE – “Which is worse? America or France?” The question must be put in context. We were invited to dinner with local farmers last night. Jean-Yves and Arlette live in a modest house in the nearby town – an efficient and cozy place built about 25 years ago. They’ve added a solarium to the back, where we had dinner.

 

FAF – French-American Friendship. These days it’s a “which is worse” competition… [PT]

 

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Bent and Distorted

POITOU, FRANCE – This morning, we are wondering: How dumb is the Fed?

The question was prompted by this comment by former Fed insider Chris Whalen at The Institutional Risk Analyst blog.

 

They’re not the best map readers, that much is known for certain. [PT]

 

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Crackpot Schemes

POITOU, FRANCE – “Nothing really changes.” Sitting next to us at breakfast, a companion was reading an article written by the No. 2 man in France, Édouard Philippe, in Le Monde. The headline promised to tell us how the country was going to “deblock” itself.  But upon inspection, the proposals were the same old claptrap about favoring “green” energy… changing the tax code to reward one group and punish another…  and spending more money on various humbug initiatives.

 

Subsidized green energy scams are mainly creating eyesores – other than that, they add up to nothing but cronyism writ large. After the one of the biggest solar company bankruptcies ever happened in Spain, a detailed economic study found that for every subsidized renewable energy job the government “created” (at a cost of nearly $2 million per job!) 2.2 jobs were lost elsewhere. It is a good bet that the math isn’t much different elsewhere. To add insult to injury, there is precisely zero evidence that carbon emissions are reduced by even one iota due to these efforts. It is an apodictic certainty that no economy can possibly be “rescued” by the subsidization of this nonsense. There is a widespread belief in government circles that “economic growth” can somehow be conjured up by bureaucrats. That is a costly error that increasingly endangers the future of Western civilization. [PT]

 

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Putting on the Purple

 

Mayor: Drebin, I don’t want any more trouble like you had last year on the South Side. Understand? That’s my policy.

Drebin: Yes. Well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards. That’s my policy.

Mayor: That was a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar, you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones.

– The Naked Gun

 

Laura Loomer, the first protester to rush the stage to interrupt the enactment of stabbing Donald “Caesar” Trump in a new version of Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar. Apparently it has been transformed into some kind of leftist/ establishment/ Deep State wish fulfillment fantasy, which in turn has predictably triggered supporters of Mr. Trump. Since Ms. Loomer first rushed the stage, other protesters have followed her lead (see here for the back story on Loomer – thereafter protesters stormed the stage againand again…). In the meantime several companies have pulled their sponsorship of “Public Theater”, the group performing the play, presumably because the actual shooting of several Republican lawmakers by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter made it seem like a truly major publicity fail in the making. We would note the following: Normally it is actually not a  good idea to publicly suggest that one would like to assassinate the POTUS – issuing such threats is illegal and will result in a visit by national security minions and quite likely a charge. Mr. Trump appears to have become the exception to this rule – there has been a veritable flood of death threats against him on social media and elsewhere, but we have yet to hear of anyone getting into trouble over this.

Photo credit: Fox News

 

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Don’t Be Fooled by These Calm Markets

What is happening in the world of money? Well – the most striking thing is: nothing.

It doesn’t seem to matter what happens. Dysfunction in Washington. Meltdown of the techs. No matter how rough the seas get, the markets glide along… scarcely noticing the storm-tossed waves below.

 

Thankfully the world’s central planners are so well-versed in egging on the creation of an ever greater mountain of debt and seemingly limitless asset price inflation with their “scientific” monetary policy that a complete blow-up of the the financial system only threatens now and then… most of the time we are in “moderation” mode. Nowadays we are in something that feels like a Valium-induced waking dream. It couldn’t be better… volatility has just served up its greatest disappearance act since the end of the last “moderation”.  What could possibly go wrong? – click to enlarge.

 

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“Russiagate”

WEST RIVER, MARYLAND – We’re back at our post – watching… reading… trying to connect the dots. And we begin by asking: What do “think tanks” think about? The answer in a minute.

First, there is a dust-up in the Washington, D.C., area. “Russiagate,” it is called. As near as we can make out, some people think the Trump team had or has illegal or inappropriate contacts with the Russian government.

 

It’s all very obvious, if one looks closely…  Putin has inundated the brains of US voters with his evil Putin rays from his redoubt in Moscow, causing them to make the wrong choice.

 

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Tremendous Flop

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Now comes a report from the Financial Times that tells us the nation’s No. 1 industry – home building – has been backing up for a quarter of a century.

According to the newspaper, U.S. home builders “started work on the same number of houses in the past year as they did a quarter of a century ago, even though there are 36% more people working as residential builders now than then.”

 

Moat contractors have been particularly bad. Incidents like the one depicted above are reportedly increasingly frequent.

Image credit: Gary Larson

 

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A Minor Derailment

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Yesterday, stocks fell.

And volatility shot up.

 

When too many people have too many knives out at once, accidental cubism may result

 

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