PARIS – We begin with kvetches. Complaints. Grumbles.
From dear readers…
Anyone who opposes Trump is anti-American.
Listen, you are smart enough to know that if you keep banging the president, a lot of us are leaving. You have to get it through your liberal head that Trump is far better than the other choice and we see that.
– John B.
You have no faith in President Trump or his desire to make the country greater. You must think that Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and AOC are on the right track to make this country great again with their brand of corruption and socialism. Well, I could not possibly disagree with you more. I completely detest what they have done and are trying to do to this country with their “dark state” opposition.
– William H.
Dear Readers took offense. They accused us of having a “liberal bias.”
Of course, they may be right.
We thought we had a traditional conservative bias.
One of our earliest careers was at a taxpayer advocacy group. We came within a handful of votes of launching a constitutional convention and forcing the government to add a “balanced budget” amendment to the Constitution.
Since then, we have hardly ceased denouncing Big Government, Washington, the Deep State, Clinton, Bush, Obama… the Empire… the Fed… the fake money… the waste… the deficits… the chicanery, claptrap, and lies that keep “the system” – with all its insipid entertainments and hollow pretensions – in business.
But a bias is not something you buy “off the shelf.” Like a weed at night, it takes root without your consent or knowledge. It is “software” that you don’t build or install; instead, it comes to you as part of your culture and your DNA.
One element of this software, deeply etched, is the idea of “bias” itself. That is what the Dear Reader mail confirms.
If we criticize Mr. Trump as a failure and fraud, we are clearly not biased towards him. So… we must be biased against him.
And who is biased against Trump? Liberals! Therefore, we must have a “liberal bias.”
This, of course, has been our point: that this “us vs. them” software limits our thoughts. There are only two possibilities – for or against, pro or contra. So, if you think Mr. Trump is a jackass, that is proof of a bias in favor of the other team.
And there is more proof. Dear Readers say we didn’t criticize Mr. Obama so harshly. And yes, it is true. We didn’t.
We saw nothing in Mr. Obama to criticize. He never pretended that he would buck the system or turn things around; and he didn’t try. He was an empty suit. Criticizing him would be like kicking a lame dog or making fun of a retarded kid. Where was the sport in it? What was there to gain?
Ah… but Mr. Trump… the Great Disruptor. Here was an outsider, a man who didn’t mind confronting the elite and mocking their precious codes.
When he slouched into town, a bright star was seen by millions… high above Flyover America. A messiah, they said to one another, is given unto us.
Occasionally, it seemed like Mr. Trump might actually be the savior they sought. He seemed to understand how the insiders had corrupted the system and how they needed to be brought to heel.
He would balance the budget, he said. He would pay down the debt. He would bring home the troops. He would pop the “big, fat, ugly bubble” on Wall Street.
Yes, he said outrageous and moronic things, too, but there was hope: Perhaps he only appeared to be an idiot to get the idiot vote, which is always decisive in American politics.
Act of National Stupidity
But now… after two years… you don’t need a “liberal bias” to see that Mr. Trump will not “make America great again.” The insiders are still getting richer. The feds are becoming more powerful. And the country is falling further into debt.
And what will happen when the next debt crisis comes?
That’s where Mr. Trump and the “liberal bias” element – both “us” and “them” – will come together in a great act of national stupidity.
They will stand before the cameras and fight over walls, shutdowns, trade wars, energy policies – and other irrelevancies. But they will lock arms and march over the fiscal cliff… together.
Here’s former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan, making the same point, at Bloomberg:
While American politicians on both sides of the aisle have been mostly silent as the U.S. deficit swells toward $1 trillion and beyond, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says the lack of attention won’t last.
“This is an extremely imbalanced situation,” Greenspan, who led the Fed from 1987 to 2006, said in a phone interview. “Politically, budget deficits really don’t matter. What matters is the consequences.”
Deficits don’t matter to Ms. Pelosi or AOC. They don’t matter to Mr. Trump, either. He is, after all, a “low interest guy” and the “King of Debt.” (His words).
But they matter to you, dear reader, because of the consequences – which you will have to suffer, one way or another. And that’s where the “us vs. them” won’t help you. The crisis ahead is bipartisan.
The liberals are always in favor of more spending. More taxes on the rich. More debt.
And now, with their new Modern Monetary Theory – a logically correct, but thoroughly idiotic and ultimately disastrous, approach to public finances – they feel liberated to spend, spend, spend.
Once upon a time, you could count on the “conservatives” to oppose them. But they were the ones who just approved a $1.2 trillion deficit – in a booming economy.
And now… all they both need is a crisis. Then, if there is any residual good sense – in either party – it will evaporate quickly.
The next downsweep of the credit cycle will cut stock market prices in half, and set off a recession.
That will get their attention!
And neither a liberal bias nor a conservative bias will prepare you for it or protect you from it. That is why the “us vs. them” is so damaging. In foreign policy, it leads to war. In domestic policy, it leads to blindness and bankruptcy.
Red or Blue…?
MARKET INSIGHT: YIELD CURVE NARROWS
By Joe Withrow, Head of Research, Bonner & Partners
Today, we are checking back in on the 10-year to 2-year Treasury yield curve, which has been speeding towards inversion since the middle of last year.
The Treasury yield curve maps the “spread,” or difference, between the 10-year Treasury yield and the 2-year Treasury yield. This tells us how much more 10-year Treasury notes yield compared to 2-year Treasuries.
Simply put, a higher reading on this chart means that the difference between the two yields, or the “spread,” is increasing. Ten-year Treasury notes are paying relatively more compared to 2-year Treasuries.
A lower reading means that the yields on the 10-year and the 2-year bonds are starting to converge… 10-year Treasuries are paying relatively less compared to 2-year Treasuries.
And when the reading goes negative, that means 2-year Treasuries yield more than 10-year Treasuries… which is known as an “inverted” yield curve. And remember, an inverted yield curve has preceded both previous recessions.
As you can see, the 10-year to 2-year Treasury yield spread has fallen to 17 basis points, or 0.17%. That’s down 20% from the end of 2018… and it is down 45% from the start of last November.
In healthy economic conditions, the 10-year Treasury would yield significantly more than the 2-year. Longer-term investors are rewarded more for waiting longer for the bond to mature. But when the yield curve inverts, it suggests that short-term risks outweigh long-term risks.
Going back to 2000, the yield spread has hit this level on the way down twice… and it went negative within a few months on each occasion. From there, the U.S. was in a full-blown recession within the next 12-24 months.
This is another reason to be cautious right now.
We know small business sentiment is waning… manufacturing demand is declining… and the Fed’s reversal of rate hikes suggest that an economic slowdown could be on the way. Add an inverting yield curve to the mix and the bearish case gets much stronger.
So, our advice remains the same. Hold cash… hold gold… and don’t get carried away with the current snapback rally in stocks.
– Joe Withrow
Two Catalysts for Higher Gold Prices
Gold is looking like an attractive buy, according to one Wall Street firm. Global debt is growing and central banks are gobbling up gold… It all points to one thing: Higher gold prices ahead.
And read also…
Why Billionaires Buy Gold
Some of the world’s most iconic billionaires own caches of gold. But it’s not always for the same reason. See why the global “one percent” are stocking up on the precious metal.
The Real Reason the Government Wants You to Drive an Electric Car
Electric cars are the future. Just ask the government! The U.S. has spent billions trying to convince Americans to drive electric. The official reason: To protect the environment and boost economic development. And that’s true… sorta.
In the mailbag, pointed words for Bill and his “liberal bias…”
After this review of the SOTUS, your liberal bent is obvious. Why do I say this? Not just because of your back-handed compliments and damning with faint praise, but because you never made any negative comments about Obama. Obama ran the country into the $20-trillion-plus hole that you so blithely laid at Trump’s feet… as if Trump created it. Even applying $800 billion of that to Bush, Obama still piled more debt onto the backs of this country’s taxpayers then every president before AND after him.
I subscribed for the financial information from your group, not to listen to your liberal bias. Keep your liberal diatribe. I’m done.
– Gary N.
I’m really getting sick of your constant Trump bashing. Talk about claptrap. You’re the one full of it, seems to me. You’re so arrogant. How would you do and how would you fare in that position? You have no solutions or else you’d be spouting them off constantly. You’re just a windbag blowing in the breezes of arrogance, trying to impress your mailing list. Yes, there was no mention of the debt, but I’m sure he sees the dire straits and wants to give out some hope and encouragement. All you want to do is complain, criticize, and cower behind your computer.
– Barbara J.
Of course, it’s very easy to criticize other people, especially the president, whom half of the country is trying to stop at every step. I have not seen other presidents who did so much for the country, except Ronald Reagan. Our socialist Democrats don’t know what it is to live in a socialist country. I can say the same about you, Mr. Bonner.
– Kyubov G.
I totally disagree with your assessments of our president and your negative comments concerning him and his actions! As of today, I have unsubscribed from your newsletter because I find you unpatriotic and unwilling to even listen to the leader of our nation! Without even knowing your party affiliation, I am sure you are a Democrat by the anger and negativity evident in your writing about our president and his leadership of our nation! It wasn’t him who got us in the debt mess we are currently in, but rather the Dems who have more than likely gotten us into a debt that is impossible to repay!
– Chris C.
You are the one who doesn’t know what’s going on with your criticism of everything! Go away!
– Goliba O.
Give up or run for president if you’re so much more qualified. But please stop the whining.
Whining is so French. I am French. Thank God that you are not French. Stop whining.
– Alain S.
But some dear readers still appreciate Bill’s dot-connecting…
I greatly appreciate your realistic, factual critique of the State of the Union speech. If the speech was delivered as you indicated it should have been, the speech would have had to conclude with a course of action to be undertaken. Would the American public have been able to accept the reality of their situation and the future they would have to confront?
– Peter G.
Bill, I have been reading you for many years and wish to say that I have appreciated your insights, your lack of political reverence, and your sense of humor of the absurd. I spent a long career inside the belly of the beast and saw, first hand, much of which you write. I suspect that most of your critics (on both ends of the spectrum) have limited personal experience relevant to support challenging your analysis. Keep up the good work for those of us who understand and appreciate what you are doing.
– Jo Elle N.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Here’s something that won’t surprise you…
Internet service providers – companies that hook up internet to your home – are the most-hated companies in America. They charge Americans exorbitant prices and they never show up on time!
But Jeff Brown, Bill’s go-to technology expert, says that’s all about to change. And smart investors stand to make a small fortune when this “Wi-Fi killer” hits American homes. Full story here.