What We’re Watching

In no particular order and with no ranking of importance as we see it: Global seismic and geothermal activity. Are the events linked and if so will activity increase? Japanese monetary policy. Will Abenomics finally implode and take the Japanese bond market with it? The US presidential race. What happens with and around Trump may Continue reading »

Bits and Pieces – 20171020, Friday

 

Commentary: After publishing my last commentary, Bits and Pieces – 20171013, Friday, I came across this video by Gordon T. Long: UnderTheLens – 09 21 17 – OCTOBER – Coming “Nationalization” of Markets. It subsumes my comments with the exception of the scenario of how the Fed might take over the US stock market. In the 26 minutes, he does a much more thorough job of documenting how central banks globally are the dominant players in many capital markets such as sovereign bonds, and are rapidly becoming the dominant players in stock markets.

In the case of stocks, where their “printed money” has gone is a puzzle. If they print a billion dollars and buy a billion worth of equities in the market, the money goes into the accounts of the sellers. What do the sellers do with it? Do they use it to ‘walk the market higher’ isolating the new money in the market or do they take it out and move it into the economy causing inflationary pressures?

Already, in some sovereign bond markets, there is a liquidity problem, Investment funds and pension funds have traditionally used sovereign bonds as a a stable, low-risk component of their portfolios. These institutions are finding that they can’t get the bonds they require because the governments are mopping them up. The other problem is that these are not free markets and proper risk and price discovery simply can’t happen. Given the global history of sovereign defaults, particularly by the top economies, a zero interest or negative rate sovereign bond is simply not pricing in the real, if small, risk of a sovereign default. With central bank taking over ownership in these markets the risk of default is rising because so far, current monetary policy is proving to be a one way street.

Bits and Pieces – 20171013, Friday

Commentary: Here is an argument why there will be no market crash this fall. Although the precursors for earlier crashes have been equaled or exceeded, the Fed will intervene to prevent one from happening.

Here’s the background. The Swiss National Bank has bought $80 billion in US stocks: The Swiss National Bank Owns $80 Billion In U.S. Stocks — Here’s The Catch. The Bank of Japan currently owns 44.7% of all JGBs (government bonds) issued: Japan JGBs held by BoJ. The ECB has been buying large quantities of sovereign debt but also corporate bonds ($1.4 trillion euros as of Feb. 2017: An update: Sovereign bond holdings in the euro area – the impact of QE). Zero Hedge reported that Janet Yellen, in addressing the House Finances Service Committee, noted that the Fed by its charter cannot buy stocks but congress can easily change this: Janet Yellen On The Fed Buying Stocks: “Maybe In The Future, Down The Line…”.

The Adopted First Nations Children of the 1960S are Being Scooped Back.

RE: Canadian Press item: TORONTO – The federal government has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to survivors of the ’60s Scoop for the harm suffered by Indigenous children who were robbed of their cultural identities by being placed with non-native families.

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett has announced  a National Settlement with Indigenous Peoples. Included in the settlement is a class action in Ontario seeking redress for generations of our society’s alleged abuse of  indigenous peoples. Evidently, this redress is to be accomplished  by a payout of between $25,000 and $50,000 for each claimant, to a maximum of $750 million. In addition, the Federal government will set aside a further $50 million for a new Indigenous Healing Foundation. Another $75 is to be set aside to pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees. This is all to make  amends for the great  “Ontario Scoop” in which “at-risk on-reserve Indigenous children … were placed in non-Aboriginal homes” from 1965 to 1984 under terms of a federal-provincial agreement.

CANADA’S BID TO RETURN TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL

Here is a new article from Paul Merkley, reprinted by permission.

Shortly after his election,  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that his Liberal government will be actively pursuing assignment to the next seat available on the United Nations Security Council.

Bits and Pieces – 20170924, Sunday

Commentary: A favourite theme, the impermanence of democracy, is discussed in this article: The Sandcastle. We are near the end for this cycle.

Bits and Pieces – 20170909, Saturday

Commentary: A little unfocused this week. If you’re a goldbug, listen to Andrew Maguire: Whistleblower Andrew Maguire Exposed 14 Days Ago ‘Vampire Squid’ Goldman Sachs Was Moving In For The Kill. Maguire Now Says Admission By Goldman’s Currie Is A Big Deal.I think it was back in July when I  (I hope) drew attention to an earlier interview with him. Anyone who paid attention and purchased call options on GLD and SLV has done very well.

He is talking about a reset of the price of gold to significantly higher levels. Jim Rickards recently did a podcast selling his investment letter with a headline of $10,000 gold based on the premise of a global currency reset to a gold-backed scheme. A plausible argument but I’m not trading it.

Bits and Pieces – 20170901, Friday

Commentary: As food for thought, consider: Two New Totalitarian Movements: Radical Islam and Political Correctness. The former idea is not new new to readers of this blog but the latter may be. Rather it is a popular manifestation of totalitarian thought and practice in the West.

Civil Unrest: An Intimate History of Antifa. Also others are commenting on the rise of violence in division: The Rising Trend of Civil Unrest and Threats of political violence rise in polarized Trump era. Martin Armstron also comments: Extreme Left & Extreme Right Believe in the Same Thing – Oppress all Opposition. Finally, you won’t hear about this on the CBC: FBI, DHS Officially Classify Antifa Activities As “Domestic Terrorist Violence”.

Martin Armstrong identifies an aspect of the civil war in the US at the political level when he notes that Trump has been under continuous attack since he became president: Trying to Force Trump to Resign.

The Night When the Statues Disappeared

The Night When the Statues Disappeared

by Paul Merkley

Last week, answering the call from Black Lives Matter and other statesmen, mobs destroyed or removed statues of leaders of the Confederate cause all across the United States.

At a press conference on August 15, 207, President Donald Trump —  who has, after all, been at the forefront of more movement for change (good or ill) than any figure in recent History — stepped up at once to note the inspiration behind it all.

There were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee, I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally… [But where is it all heading?] … George Washington was a slave owner …So [he asked the assembled reporters] will George Washington now lose his status, are we going to take down statues of George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson, what do you think of Thomas Jefferson? Are we going take down his statue, because he was a massive slave owner, now are we going to take down his statue? You’re changing history, you’re changing culture.

No great gift of prophecy was required to arrive at this, but only a talent for discerning mob mentality. Sure enough: “Bishop” James E. Dukes of Chicago’s Liberation Christian Centre has demanded that Mayor Rahm Emnanuel of Chicago rename the Washington Park.  He finds the First President undeserving of this and all his other honours because he was a slaveholder. So was President General Andrew Jackson – for whom another local park is  named.  Around the country, countless memorials standing on private ground are now in the crosshairs.

Bits and Pieces – 20170824, Thursday

Civil Unrest: I like the following article by Gregory R. Copley as it presents some thoughtful ideas on civil war that are thought-provoking: What Would A U.S. Civil War Look Like? We probably use the term “civil war” without any clear understanding of how we hold the idea. The following should provide some clarity.

In this article Copley sees “a gradual breakdown of law and order” that creates “a massive dislocation of the economy and currency” that in turn causes global economic and social disruption. He identifies the rise of  “urban super-oligarchies” and an”urban-based globalism” as one side in the war. He notes the formidable entrenched powers of this side that are destroying the nation-state:

urban globalists control most of the means of communications [is this new “means of production”; the 21st Century marxian dialectic?] and therefore control “information” and the perception of events. 

On the other side are  “nationalists … operating instinctively, and in darkness”.

From this viewpoint, the infighting that has been going on in the White House suddenly falls into perspective: Why Bannon Lost and the Globalists Won. The 2016 election might be considered to be one of the opening battles of this war. As Steve Bannon notes, the nationalists have lost this battle: Bannon: ‘The Trump Presidency That We Fought For, and Won, Is Over. But as he also notes, many more battles remain.

As a second characteristic dividing the sides in the war he sees the polarization of a fundamentally urban, abstract society against a fundamentally regional, traditional society.

a conflict between people with long memories (even if those memories are flawed and selective) and people to whom memories and history are irrelevant.

The former in turn is characterized by zzz. In other words, it is a conflict between identity and materialism, with the abstract social groups (the urban populations) the most preoccupied with short-term material gain.

At the level of the individual, the divide is between individuals with long memories – national identity – and people to whom memories and history are irrelevant. It is a conflict between identity and materialism, with the abstract social groups (the urban populations) the most preoccupied with short-term material gain.

Trump’s “Make America Great Again” is a nationalist ideal that is pitted against the materialism of an urban society that is fed by the low economic costs of industry controlled by globalists. That the Washington Post owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is so virulently anti-Trump is no accident.

In short, urban globalism sees nations and nationalism as the enemy, and vice-versa.

As for the violence of Charlottesville: “Fear The Majoritarian Mob” – WSJ On The Left’s “Great Nazi Scare Of 2017”.

Bits and Pieces – 20170820, Sunday

Commentary: Trying to write a weekly blog to reduce publication overhead has not been helpful from the viewpoint of content because things are moving too fast. I’m going to try shorter daily posts.

A theme that I have posted links and comments about in the past is the idea of a new civil war in the US. Pat Buchanan writes from the perspective that the war is actually underway: America’s Second Civil War. I would agree.

The left has been working towards totalitarian government for a century and more. The cases where they have succeeded have resulted in some of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the world. The left, including our modern day progressives in academia and the arts are intolerant of any point of view differing from their own. This is why democracy is anathema to them. A totalitarian state where they have absolute control over the individual is their ideal form of government.

As I publish, this just out: Bannon: “No Administration In History Has Been So Divided”.

The US is very far along this divide and violence will be a common feature going forward. It is already a most uncivil war.

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