The Downright Sinister Rearrangement of Riches

Let’s begin with facts.  Cold hard unadorned facts.

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit at standard atmospheric pressure.  Squaring the circle using a compass and straightedge is impossible.  The sun is a star.

Facts, of course, must not be confused with opinions, which are based upon observations.  Barack Obama throws like a girl.  The Federal Register is for idiots.  Two slices of chocolate cake are one too many.  Are these opinions right or wrong?

The answer depends on who you ask.  What’s certain about opinions, however, is that like bellybuttons, everybody has one.  Moreover, unlike free drugs from the government, everyone is in fact entitled to their own opinion.

Moving on from facts and opinions, the next classification we encounter is the wholly asinine.  This broadly contains the absurd and ridiculous.  Take most university teachers, barring physical science professors, for instance.  They’re wholly asinine.  The wholly asinine also extends to editors at the New York Times, Washington Post, circus hunchbacks, and the like. Continue reading

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Tales from a Late Stage Bull Market

An endearing quality of a late stage bull market is that it expands the universe of what’s possible.  Somehow, rising stock prices make the impossible, possible.  They also push the limits of the normal into the paranormal.

Last week, for instance, there was a Bigfoot sighting near Avocado Lake in Fresno County, California.  But it wasn’t just one Bigfoot.  According to a local farmer, there was a family of five or six Bigfoot running across his ranch in the middle of the night.  Paranormal expert Jeffery Gonzalez offered the following Bigfoot sighting anecdote:

“One of them, which was extremely tall, had a pig over its shoulder.  And the five scattered and the one with the pig was running so fast it didn’t see an irrigation pipe and it tripped, with the pig flying over.”

What to make of it?

Bigfoot sightings, no doubt, are pro-growth.  They’re bullish for stock prices.  So, too, are warnings from North Korea that nuclear war “may break out at any moment.” Continue reading

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The Donald Can’t Stop It

The Dow’s march onward and upward toward 30,000 continues without reservation.  New record all-time highs are notched practically every day.  Despite yesterday’s 31-point pullback, the Dow’s up over 15.5 percent year-to-date.  What a remarkable time to be alive.

The President, Donald Trump, is pumped!  As Commander in Chief, he believes he possesses divine powers.  He can will the stock market higher – and he knows it.  For example, early Wednesday morning he blasted out the following Tweet:

“Stock Market has increased by 5.2 Trillion dollars since the election on November 8th, a 25% increase.”

Four minutes later, he sent out another Tweet:

“…if Congress gives us the massive tax cuts (and reform) I am asking for, those numbers will grow by leaps and bounds.”

Who knows?  Maybe President Trump is right. Continue reading

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Federal Reserve President Kashkari’s Masterful Distractions

How is it that seemingly intelligent people, of apparent sound mind and rational thought, can stray so far off the beam?  How come there are certain professions that reward their practitioners for their failures?

The central banking and monetary policy vocation rings the bell on both accounts.  Today we offer a brief case study in this regard.

Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is a man with strong convictions.  He’s what the late Eric Hoffer would’ve classified as “the true believer.”  According to Hoffer:

“It is the true believer’s ability to ‘shut his eyes and stop his ears’ to facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy.  He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacle nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence.”

For starters, Kashkari believes the Federal Reserve, an unelected board of appointments, can crunch economic data into pie graphs and bar charts and draw conclusion as to what they should fix the price of credit at. Continue reading

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