Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion’s Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.
– The Iliad
OUZILLY, France – The dogs started barking at 6 a.m.
Then the crunch of wheels on the gravel. Then voices. About a dozen men talking.
Hunting season is open in our area. This was the first hunt on our farm.
The hunters assembled in front of the farmhouse across the road.
A leader drew them – mostly middle-aged farmers from the surrounding area – together. Then he explained the strategy.
They were to take positions around one of the large woods in the area… spreading themselves out in a line… and keeping about 100 meters between each of them. Then they were to send in the dogs.
The dogs would drive the wild boar out of the woods and into the open. The hunters would fire their guns only when they had a clear shot… and be careful not to shoot one of the other hunters, each of whom wore a bright orange jacket to avoid being mistaken for a boar.
There are strict rules and local customs. Licenses are required. Ammunition can only be sold to a licensed hunter. And every group of hunters must report to the local authorities and get permission before organizing a hunt.
The hunters got their orders. They went back to their trucks and left for the rendezvous point, about a half-mile from here. As we write, at 7 a.m., we have heard the dogs but not yet any shots.
In the financial world…
The U.S. stock market continues to dillydally, with no clear destination.
These are the “dog days” of summer: hot… slow… with little happening. But there are evil portents… and fevers to come.
In Italy, an earthquake has killed 10 people…
Here in France, the gendarmes in Nice have forced a woman on the beach to remove her “burkini.”
Wearing it, she was obeying Muslim law. But the city of Nice… along with 14 other local authorities… requires her to obey their secular law. One law says she must cover up; the other says she must uncover.
And the German government is now advising its citizens to prepare for “emergencies.”
As reported in German newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, for the first time since the Cold War, Germans are being urged to stock food, medical supplies and, significantly, cash.
And Deutsche Welle, Germany’s equivalent of the BBC, elaborated:
A wad of cash is another important part of any household’s emergency supplies. There may not be time to rush to a bank, and ATMs won’t work if the power is out.
It’s part of a “civil defense” plan being debated in the German cabinet. The plan says people should prepare for an unspecified event that “could threaten our existence.”
Here at the Diary, we always hope for the best. But it’s not a bad idea to take precautions against the worst.
Note that a mystery hacker group known as the Shadow Brokers, breached the NSA’s elite hacking unit and stole some of the agency’s most powerful “cyber weapons.”
The hacker group is now holding a Bitcoin auction for them. Whoever is the highest bidder will receive a file with the crypto-booty.
If mercenary hackers can break into one of the most secure systems in the world, couldn’t they also breach the electronic money system and wipe out all bank account records?
Our advice: Follow the Germans’ lead. Stock some food and some cash.
Meanwhile, with Elizabeth still laid up after her horse-riding accident, we are growing accustomed to household work.
On Monday, we learned how to cook a mushroom omelet.
Yesterday, we figured out how to operate the washing machine and how to give a sponge bath to an immobile patient.
Later, we hung up the clothes on the line to dry.
Yes, we are learning useful things – things we’d rather not learn at all.
The first thing we learned is how much time it takes to look after an invalid.
There must be millions of older people who know this routine well… calling the doctor… arranging visits with a nurse to give shots… going to the pharmacy to buy drugs… raising the patient… lowering the patient… preparing the meals… cleaning the house…
Yesterday, the local doctor came to visit. Dr. Resnier is a colorful man who looks a little like Otto von Bismarck, with a bushy moustache and a belly that hangs over his belt. He drove up in a Jaguar, an unusually expensive car for these parts.
We explained what had happened. He examined the patient. He called the emergency service for a discussion with the doctors there.
“Didn’t they tell you?”
“Tell us what?”
“There’s no wonder she’s in such pain and is fainting. Her back is broken.”
“No, it’s not a serious break… and not the kind of break that will cause permanent damage. Just little splinters. They are not really dangerous, but very painful.”
He prescribed more painkillers… charged €33 ($37) for the home visit… and was on his way.
Friends have been helpful, too. Word is getting around that Elizabeth is bedridden. Knowing that she now relies on her husband for everything, they must feel sorry for her.
One neighbor came with hot soup. Another left an entire meal on the table. Our part-time gardener collected some tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden, sliced them up, and sprinkled them with onions.
It was a shock seeing him in the kitchen. He is a rough man, only half-shaven, with hands as hard as nails, and a cigarette permanently dangling from the side of his mouth.
“Damien… I didn’t know you were a chef.”
“Well, when you’re single, you have to know how to cook. Otherwise, you’ll starve.”
By David Stockman, Editor, Bubble Finance Trader
When the new Congress convenes next February, the forward budget projections will make a scary truth suddenly undeniable – the nation is swiftly heading back toward trillion dollar annual deficits under existing policy and even before the impact of a serious recessionary decline.
The reality of rapidly swelling deficits, even before enactment of a massive helicopter money fiscal stimulus program, will scare the wits out of conservative politicians, and much of the electorate, too.
And the prospect that the resulting huge issuance of treasury bonds will be purchased directly by the Fed will only compound the fright.
What fools like Bernanke haven’t reckoned with is that sheer common sense has not yet been extirpated from the land.
In fact, outside of the groupthink of few dozen Keynesian academics and central bankers, the very idea of helicopter money strikes most sensible people as preposterous, offensive, and scary.
Even if Wall Street talks it up, there will be massive, heated, extended, and paralyzing debate in Congress and the White House about it for months on end.
There is virtually no chance that anything which even remotely resembles the Bernanke version of helicopter money could be enacted into law and become effective before CY 2018.
So then comes the crash…
Will the boys and girls still in the casino after the current election gong show is over patiently wait for their next fix from a beltway governance process that is in sheer pandemonium and stalemate?
We think the odds are between slim and none. If Trump is elected, the fiscal process will lapse into confrontation and paralysis for an indefinite spell.
And if Hillary is elected, the Republican House will become a killing field for almost anything she proposes, and most especially the rank Keynesian apostasy of outright and massive debt monetization…
P.S. Tomorrow night, I am hosting a free webinar to discuss the coming election’s impact on the U.S. economy… and the opportunities it is creating right now. Find more details here.
Environmentalism Wreaks Havoc in Europe
A 40-year energy industry veteran says the environmental movement is crushing economies across Europe. And it’s only going to get worse over the next few years…
Retiring Abroad? How to Take Your Money With You
Many Americans are planning to live better for less overseas in retirement. But don’t underestimate how tricky it can be to take your money with you. Here’s a quick guide to cross-border financial planning.
Libertarian Party Candidate Johnson: The GOP Is Dying
Gary Johnson used to be a Republican. Now he is a Libertarian. And he believes that the rise of Donald Trump as the Republican Party’s presidential nominee is the death knell for the GOP.
The flood of much appreciated well wishes from Diary readers, following news of Elizabeth’s fall, continues unabated.
But today, we return to the polarizing world of U.S. politics… and the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump for the White House.
Here are some of your responses to the question Bill posed yesterday: Which is better? The devil you know… or the one you don’t?
You can keep your liberal politics to yourself. If you think that a criminal that is above the law is the same as Trump, your brain is messed up.
– Kevin R.
In the past I have read your writings, but that is about to stop after what you wrote last week about our election.
You sit over in some foreign country, trying to tell us that whichever way we vote is bad, bad, bad. We finally came up with another Ronald Reagan that will try to straight this mess out… and you say he is no better than “Crooked Hillary.”
Can’t see where you could come up with something like that. He’s a damn good man. Look at what he has done in life besides raising a very nice family. I get pretty mad when I see him being compared with Hillary and being no better.
– Clayton D.
The difference between a Republican and Democrat president, if you are an investor, is quite large. Starting with the beginning of the Eisenhower presidency to now… and taking the gain from inauguration to inauguration… Republicans have a 27-point gain and the Democrats have over 17,000-point gain.
This was in Bloomberg News so I wish someone else would check it.
Which would you rather have?
– Paul L.
How good is your investment advice if you cannot see the Hillary problem? I guess selling us all out to her donors and to the “Deep State” that you frequently mention, is not a reality.
– Shirley A.
You are right to imply that Trump will not be able to affect the change that he promises. The Deep State will not allow it to happen. But it is a first step to the awakening of we the “sheeple.”
What I do hope that Trump can do is to shine the light brightly on the cronyism, corruption, and deceit that is rampant in our political system. Maybe he we continue to whip up the people to demand action and change. Probably not. But when all hope is lost, the future is very dire indeed.
– Phil K.
I read your Trump vs. Hillary thoughts and agree – as far as they went. Mr. Trump is something of an unknown quantity. However, let me attempt to simplify the issue.
Consider the Supreme Court – and the appointments the next President will make that will stay with us for 30-40 years. Then hold your nose (if you must) and vote Trump. It’s that simple.
– Mark W.
Hillary should be given a medal for using a different email server than the one run by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The one hacked by the Chinese a year or so ago, stealing my life’s data: mom’s, dad’s, and siblings’ names and numbers; where I’ve lived forever, children’s names, Social Security numbers, my first girlfriend’s name, military record, and finally from my secret clearance application much more personal information.
The OPM reported some 22 million government personnel records were stolen. Probably, double that… truth be known. The OPM gave us victims a free personal security media monitoring subscription, for a year. And I’m just a sand crab pushing paper for DOD.
She’d damn sure better be using an offline server. Smart!
– David M.
No confusion here. Neither candidate is viable. It’s the same stuff, different year. And it wears thin across the backbone of this country.
– Rachel M.
These people writing in the mailbag have not heard a word Bill has said about the Deep State. They are still concerned about who will be elected! WAKE UP PEOPLE!
– Al S.
Wall Street insider, ex-Congressman, and former Reagan cabinet member David Stockman is hosting a free online training event tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. ET.
In it he will reveal a highly profitable investing technique that’s been proven successful for the last 10 presidential elections.