Build the Fatherland. Kill a student.
– Pro-Perón graffiti on buildings in Buenos Aires,
BALTIMORE – “I’m not superstitious.”
The answer showed such charming insouciance and in-your-face bravado that it might have come from the mouth of America’s president-elect.
Instead, it was the reply given by former Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón – another in the “Great Man” tradition of national leaders – after the 59-year-old was asked about his relationship with a 14-year-old.
The girl in question – obviously underage – had been invited to the Casa Rosada, Argentina’s equivalent of the White House, to take care of dogs.
The dogs Perón had inherited from his dead wife, Eva. The girl, Nelly Rivas, he got on his own.
The affair went on for several years, until Perón was finally overthrown by a military-Catholic coup d’état. He fled up the Río de la Plata on a Paraguayan gunboat, leaving Nelly behind.
Backstops and Bailouts
Today, we’re looking at Perón as a model for a Trump presidency. But before we return to politics, we will mention that this is a big day for us.
For a full 10 years – from 1998 to 2008 – scarcely a day went by that we didn’t mock, belittle, or criticize former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.
“Bubbles,” we called him. Or “the most famous public servant since Pontius Pilate.”
It was not just that Greenspan was wrecking the economy with backstops, bailouts, and EZ money. Our disappointment went deeper than that: Alan Greenspan should have known better.
He was married to a member of the Collective, a libertarian group in New York. Ayn Rand herself said, when Greenspan went to join President Ford’s Council of Economic Advisers, that she now had her “man in Washington.”
And back in 1966, Greenspan had written a famous essay – “Gold and Economic Freedom” – in which it was clear he understood the need for money with integrity.
Unlike Bernanke and Yellen, who have never shown any interest in how real economies work, Greenspan has a curious mind and enough intellectual independence to see through the cherished delusions of modern economics.
But when push came to shove, he shoved his free-market principles into a convenient drawer and did what he had to do to retain his power, influence, and status in the inner circles of the Deep State.
Today, Dr. Greenspan has come to Baltimore to visit us.
In a few minutes, we’ll ask the key question: Was it really worth it?
For now, let’s return to our role model for Donald Trump: Juan Perón, the man who gave Argentina “Peronismo.”
“Trumpismo” is what we expect for the next four, maybe eight, years here in the U.S. It is a style of government that is not necessarily bad or good. But it is different. It is personality-driven and idiosyncratic.
It’s what happens when a strong leader, with no traditional party loyalties or ideological convictions, takes charge.
If he is smart – and lucky – he becomes the hero of the nation’s story. Later, he becomes its enemy.
Juan Perón was an army officer who had the good fortune – in the 1930s – to be sent to Europe to study two apparently successful new political models – one in Mussolini’s Italy, the other in Hitler’s Germany.
He was impressed. Fascism, he explained in letters he sent home, managed to bring the working classes and the nation together, unified behind a strong head of state.
Three times Perón won Argentina’s presidential election. He did so by appealing to the urban masses, providing meager benefits to his “low-information” supporters… and rich plums to his well-informed insider associates.
He was neither conservative nor liberal, but instead held a middle ground by force of personality, lavish infrastructure and military spending, and adroit political maneuvering.
It was said to be a “third way” between communism and capitalism. Perón took many of the worst features of both systems – crony deals and zombie handouts – and combined them into a dysfunctional, wealth-destroying, civil-liberty-undermining government.
After World War II, Perón gave 10,000 passports to Nazis on the run.
Some were called on for advice on how to run a modern secret police. Others brought new technology and set up factories.
But Perón still relied on the mobs when there was dirty work to do. They attacked leftist students and socialists when it suited him. They ransacked churches, too – including the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral – after Perón was excommunicated.
And when “terrorist” bombs went off in Buenos Aires (no one ever found out who did it or why), Perón turned the mobs loose against the old, conservative, land-owning elite at the Jockey Club (which they burned down) the following day.
But the more he threw his weight around, the more enemies Perón made. Finally, there were too many of them. The church and the army struck back in 1955 in a bloody golpe de estado.
Perón fled to Venezuela and then Spain, where he continued to try to keep his hand in Argentine politics without offending his host, Spain’s military dictator Francisco Franco.
In 1973, Perón returned home and was elected for a third term, with his third wife, Isabel, as his running mate.
But he died a year later. And then “keeping his hand in” got to be a joke.
Buried in the Chacarita cemetery in Buenos Aires, grave robbers dug up the body, cut off his hands, and offered them for ransom.
The crime was never solved.
BY Nick Giambruno, Editor, Crisis Investing
Trump could go down as the worst president… but it will not be his fault…
History books remember Herbert Hoover as one of the worst American presidents.
Hoover, a Republican, was a rich and successful businessman with investments all over the world. He was also somewhat of an outsider, having never held elected office until he was inaugurated in March 1929.
Today, people associate him with massive infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam as well as the Mexican Repatriation Program, which deported over 500,000 illegal Mexican immigrants.
Hoover also placed tariffs on foreign products entering the U.S. and established other protectionist trade policies.
Of course, when people think of Hoover, they mostly think of the Great Depression.
Throughout the 1920s, the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies helped create an enormous stock market bubble.
In August of 1929, the Fed raised interest rates and effectively ended the easy credit.
Only a few months later, the bubble burst on Black Tuesday in October 1929, barely seven months after Hoover took office. The Dow lost over 12% that day. It was the most devastating stock market crash in the U.S. up to that point. It also signaled the beginning of the Great Depression.
This happened on Hoover’s watch. And because of that, people pinned the blame squarely on him, regardless of where the fault lied.
Hoover was an easy target. The Democratic National Committee’s publicity chief coined the term “Hooverville” for the countless shantytowns that sprung up across the country.
The term was such a hit, they tried coming up with others.
Newspapers were “Hoover blankets.” The cardboard used in a worn-out shoe was “Hoover leather.” A “Hoover wagon” was a car with horses hitched to it because the owner couldn’t afford gas.
Blaming the Great Depression on Hoover was easy for Democrats. In the minds of many people, Great Depression = Herbert Hoover.
It was obvious a Democrat would win the next election, which is exactly what happened. It took Republicans another 20 years to take back the White House.
Now there’s a good chance Americans have elected Herbert Hoover II.
Stock Market Bubbles
Hoover inherited a stock market bubble near its peak – fueled by the Fed’s easy-money policies.
I think Trump has, too. And he knows it. In recent months, he’s called the stock market a “big, fat, ugly bubble.”
There’s an excellent chance this bubble will burst on Trump’s watch. And Democrats will pin the blame on him, just as they did with Hoover.
Trump is the perfect scapegoat. If new shantytowns sprout up, they won’t be Hoovervilles – they’ll be “Trump Towers.”
All this is why what happens after Trump’s inauguration could change everything… in sudden, unexpected ways.
This is exactly why Doug Casey and I put together a time-sensitive video explaining how it could all go down.
You absolutely must see this urgent video before Trump’s inauguration in the coming days. Click here to watch it now.
– Nick Giambruno
What Trump Means for Your Personal Finances
Gold guru Doug Casey explains what President-elect Donald Trump could mean for your personal finances, specifically bonds, real estate, stocks, and commodities like gold.
A Plan to Replace Your 401(k)
A handful of retirement experts are advising President-elect Trump to scrap the whole 401(k) system and replace it with a guaranteed retirement account run by the federal government and managed by investment firms.
The Euro Is Dying
Wracked by high unemployment and an ever-increasing mountain of debt, Europe’s fragile economy is on the verge of collapse. And the ECB is quickly running out of options to keep the euro afloat.
Before we get to your fellow readers’ responses to yesterday’s Diary, some high praise from two appreciative subscribers…
Bravo. I love the work of people who are fascinated with and devoted to what they are passionate about. I am one of them, actually, but this isn’t my field at all. So, bravo to you.
– Emily S.
Gentlemen: I want to thank you for your wonderful site. I have been following Bill Bonner for years – admire this fella big time.
– Maurice R.
And now, some other dear readers chime in with their thoughts on yesterday’s Diary essay – “The Age of ‘Trumpismo.’”
So Trump is to be compared to a former Argentinian president? Well, maybe we got Juan, but I’m not sure Evita would be any better.
– Bruce A.
Bill… first things first. Your insight always provides clarity with a shot of much needed humor. While we can agree watching the president-elect provides a much-varied approach to leadership we have seen in the recent past, our country requires – demands – an unconventional approach. Time will tell if this is the methodology needed.
– Calvin D.
The reality show he is now entering will jolt just about everybody, including Trump. The only thing that bolsters my optimism so far is, at least we are not looking at another Clinton. That’s it. This will be like a surgical procedure, it’s going to hurt a long time until it heals. I wish him lots of luck.
– Michael C.
In Case You Missed It…
Bill’s longtime friend and colleague Doug Casey put together a must-watch video explaining how a Trump presidency could be a boom or a bust. More importantly, it shows what you need to do to position your finances for either scenario. But you must act before Trump takes office on Friday.