On August 21st many Americans witnessed the moon cast a historic but short-lived shadow across the United States. One day later, President Trump reversed his previously stated position on the 16 year old Afghan War, thereby eclipsing the possibility that the United States would finally come to its senses and rethink a failed strategy that is likely to fail for years, perhaps decades, to come. The abrupt change, in what had been a central plank in candidate Trump’s appeal to voters thirsting for change in American foreign policy, came hard after the departure of Steve Bannon from the White House. As a self-avowed nationalist, Bannon had represented a true break in interventionist Republican thinking that had entangled the United States in intractable conflicts around the globe. To put an exclamation point, Sebastian Gorka, the last remaining proponent of the Bannon perspective, was forced out of the White House. The counter-revolution appears to be complete. Continue reading
After building out Merrill’s mortgage trading floor basically from scratch, then moving to the buyside at Pimco, several weeks ago Harley Bassman, more familiar to many traders as the “Convexity Maven” – a legend in the realm of derivatives (he helped design the MOVE Index, better known as the VIX for government bonds) – decided to retire (roughly one year after his shocking suggestion that the Fed should devalue the dollar by buying gold).
But that did not mean he would stop writing, and just a few days after exiting the front door at 650 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach for the last time, Bassman wrote his first full article as a “free man”, in which the topic was, not surprisingly, derivatives and specifically the recent collapse in vol – and convexity – what prompted it, but most importantly and what everyone wants to know: what threshold would be sufficient to finally launch the next “critical mass” market move (i.e. crash) and, just as importantly, what could catalyze it. Continue reading
The former U.S. comptroller general says the real U.S. debt is closer to about $65 trillion than the oft-cited figure of $18 trillion.
Dave Walker, who headed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said when you add up all of the nation’s unfunded liabilities, the national debt is more than three times the number generally advertised. Continue reading
This falls into the case where immigration is used as a means of economic warfare. Statistically, the situation is not sustainable.
EUROPEAN Union supporter George Soros has claimed Europe should take “at least a million” refugees every year and let them choose where they want to live.
The human rights activist, who is a notable backer of the European Union, called on the EU to accept more refugees and cover the cost of housing health care and education for each refugee for the first two years.
The billionaire businessman was last week accused by Hungary’s prime minister of deliberately encouraging the migration crisis.
An older article from 2011 that couldn’t be more relevant today.
The talk in global political circles is that the U.S. is washed up. America’s defense secretary, traveling to China in January, addressed the gossip. “I’ve watched this sort of cyclical view of American decline come around two or three times, perhaps most dramatically in the latter half of the 1970s,” Robert Gates said. “And my general line for those both at home and around the world who think the U.S. is in decline is that history’s dustbins are filled with countries that underestimated the resilience of the United States.”
Maybe. But it seems hard to underestimate the U.S. these days.
The secretary’s words ring especially hollow when you look at where he was heading. China has plenty cause for a low estimation of the United States. America owes it probably a trillion dollars. And China looks poised to single-handedly neutralize America’s robust, decades-long influence in the Asia Pacific thanks to a military spending binge that will yield aircraft carriers, stealth planes and aircraft-carrier-killing missiles. Continue reading