[T]here never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword.
– Ulysses S. Grant
BALTIMORE – Mr. Trump is still assembling his lieutenants for his triumphal march on Washington.
Yesterday, he chose Steve Mnuchin, a Goldman guy, as his Treasury secretary.
He will be the third U.S. Treasury secretary from Goldman, following Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson. But Mnuchin is probably more Goldman than any of them. His father worked there. So did his brother.
Trump was supposed to “shake things up.” He promised to “drain the swamp.”
With only two months until the inauguration, there should be crying and gnashing of teeth on Capitol Hill.
You’d expect terror and panic up and down Connecticut Avenue. The Chevy Chase Club should be cleared out as the insiders run for the hills with their silver and their daughters.
But things are calm on the Potomac. The swamp critters show no sign of alarm. Instead, they seem to be collected and complacent, sure that no harm will come to them.
Maybe they know something…
McMansions in McLean
Washington has seen new administrations come and go.
The Republicans come in. The Democrats go out. One Goldman guy arrives. Another Goldman guy departs. The gators, snakes, and slugs have seen this show before. They’ve watched the reruns. And every time, the ending is the same. No matter what happens to the rest of the country, the Parasitocracy on the Potomac grows richer and more powerful.
It has always been thus… thus will it always be.
Over on the Virginia side of the river – the most treacherous part of the swamp, where the “military-industrial complex” that President Eisenhower warned us about resides – the calm has turned into euphoria.
Realtors walk with a spring in their step; the market for McMansions in McLean is picking up. Bars in Alexandria are spilling out onto the brick sidewalks.
Happy days are here again.
Whatever else may happen with the arrival of the Trump team, the Virginia swamp people are sure to prosper.
Candidate Trump said “our military is a disaster.” He also vowed to “defeat radical Islamic terrorism,” “bomb the hell out of ISIS,” and “decimate al-Qaeda.”
The president-elect has already pledged to spend more money on weapons, ships, and veterans’ benefits.
No doubt his intentions are good. He wants to defeat the enemy and take care of the common foot soldier whose legs have been blown off in some godforsaken hellhole.
But that is not the way of the swamp…
Damn the Drones!
Trump says he will make up for the extra spending by “cutting waste.”
But there is no waste in this bog. Every penny spent serves a purpose – to enrich the swamp people. From their point of view, the more “waste” the better.
Little of the “wasted” money will go to the victims of war – neither the amputees nor the displaced families. Instead, it will disappear into the pockets of the retired generals, the contractors, the cronies, and the lobbyists.
The U.S. stock market has already set new records in anticipation. Northrop Grumman of West Falls Church, VA, and SAIC of McLean, VA, should do well.
Ship maker General Dynamics, also of West Falls Church, VA, may do even better. Trump says we should have 350 ships.
“Damn the drones… Full speed ahead. If World War II breaks out again, we’ll be ready for it!”
Yes, dear reader, Donald Trump has not even left his New York headquarters, but the real winner of the election of 2016 is becoming clear.
It’s the deepest part of the Deep State…
Way of the Swamp
Poor Mr. Trump wants to be a winner. But that’s not the way of the swamp, either.
The war in Afghanistan has been going on for 16 years. The war in Iraq – though pronounced “won” twice – is still going on after 13 years.
“Operation Iraqi Freedom” came to an end in 2010. It was replaced by “Operation New Dawn,” which was later superseded by “Operation Inherent Resolve.”
In the lowlands of Fairfax County, VA, the slime-coated critters have a sense of humor; it should be called “Operation Eternal Resolve,” they joke.
U.S. forces in Iraq are on their ninth commander; none of the previous eight could wrap it up.
It is almost as though they never intended to win. And why should they?
They know that the longer the war goes on, the more money flows into the swamp… and stays there.
BY CHRIS LOWE, EDITOR AT LARGE
America’s rich get richer… no matter who sits in the White House.
Today’s chart shows the wage growth of the average U.S. worker since 1973 versus the top 5% of the population.
As you can see, the average wage has grown 43% for the top 5% of the population population, while the average working stiff has seen a wage increase of just 4%.
P.S. As Diary readers know, one secret of the “super rich” is to own gold. And Bonner Private Portfolio star analyst Chris Mayer has discovered a way to potentially make a lot of money with gold year after year regardless of its price. To get all the details about this new opportunity, click here now.
Why You Will Need Gold
These days, there are fewer and fewer places that are safe to keep your wealth… And gold is the only significant asset that remains out of the government’s grasp.
Trump’s Wall Street Adviser Is a Longtime Swamp Dweller
President-elect Donald Trump’s transition-team adviser on financial policies, Paul Atkins, casts himself as an advocate of small government. But in reality, he’s a longtime swamp dweller…
Romney Does a U-Turn on Trump
Mitt Romney has called Trump a “fraud” and “phony.” Now that he’s in the running for a plum job on Team Trump, he says the president-elect “is the man who can lead us to that better future.”
Not everyone sees eye to eye with Bill on what’s going on in Washington… or agrees with him about Trump’s prospects for “draining the swamp.”
Here’s the latest batch of feedback in response to yesterday’s Diary, “Obama’s Parting Gift… With Fuse Attached.”
You write, “Mr. Reagan could enjoy a boom, as people took advantage of falling inflation and dropping interest rates. Mr. Trump, alas, cannot. He will suffer a bust caused by rising rates and increasing prices.”
Japan has been doing this for over 20 years. Please explain why Trump and the rest of the world cannot do the same? Nothing in the history of finance says it cannot be done!
– William C.
Like so many, you underestimate our president-elect. A shrink wrote that Trump has an IQ of at least 156. [Genius IQ is considered to start at about 140.] This psychiatrist was judging by Trump’s entrance scores to be accepted into Wharton.
A genius in the Oval Office is not a “breath” of fresh air. It’s a hurricane of fresh air. President Trump is going to be greeted by a tsunami of problems – true. It’ll take every ounce of his genius to pull America out of harm’s way (as tsunamis are deadly).
But the man loves a challenge. His short attention span, as has been reported, is because everything bores him. Now, finally, he has something he can sink his teeth into… if the Swamp Things don’t kill him.
– Marilyn G.
It must be great to be Bill Bonner and holier than thou on so many areas of investing, government, social issues, and, well, everything – the consummate critic of all people, institutions, and things.
Are Romney and Petraeus from the same swamp? What’s wrong with picking the brains of all comers? It is said Mr. Trump listens well, and he most certainly has sufficient mental material to have done pretty well for himself up to this point.
He may be almost as intelligent as you, Mr. Bonner. The difference is that he volunteered to take on the most important and serious job of all time, while you simply rattle the bars of your own cage.
Stick to finance and investing, Bill. Trump knows business in a very different way than you do. He actually makes things. And, as I’m sure you know, our country is a business.
– William M.
You have to laugh at the guy from Mississippi [in yesterday’s Mailbag] who thinks Thanksgiving is not a Yankee holiday. It was a day for the Union to give thanks for victories over the Confederates.
So, he can go ahead and celebrate our holiday… and his loss.
– William M.
In Case You Missed It…
There are less than 12 hours left to find out about Porter Stansberry’s Big Trade. It’s his plan for profiting from “the great unwinding of the corporate bond markets” that will begin next year.
If you missed his live webinar, you can watch his follow-up here. But, again, please hurry. This opportunity ends at midnight tonight.