The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars.

– H.L. Mencken


We were taken aback by some dear readers’ anger last week.

Conservative… liberal… Republican… Democrat – readers were almost unanimous. They didn’t appreciate the mocking tone in which we described our president and his role in the U.S. government.

To the left, this is no joking matter. To the right, making fun of the president is practically an act of treason.

Laugh and Know

But making fun of the high and mighty is what we do here at the Diary.

“Laugh and know,” said the Roman poet Martial. You can understand the pretensions… the foolish contradictions… and the absurd fantasies… only if you’re able to laugh at them.

Specifically, we were laughing at the way The Donald has bamboozled his own base. He talks their talk. But he walks the walk of the Deep State. Mr. Trump is a showman.

And as a helpful Dear Reader reminded us, quoting Frank Zappa, “politics is basically the entertainment arm of the military/industrial complex.”

We would add that it serves the social welfare/Wall Street complex, too. Trump – veteran reality TV star and professional wraslin’ fan – distracts the voters while the insiders pick their pockets.

And yet, not only do readers disagree; they think there must be something wrong with us for saying so.

Here’s one piece of feedback from last week’s Diary mailbag:

Mr. Bill Bonner, you are quite smug, and disrespectful to our president. Maybe you’re just so jealous of his success – in spite of detractors like you, pretending to be hidden away in some remote area – that you, too, are part of the misinformation media trying to extract money from the ignorant. Go hate yourself. You deserve it.

Another:

You’ve tried again and again to put Donald Trump down, and you have lost all the time. Maybe he is not an intellectual like you, but he is doing what he can with morons like you and others (Dems, media, GOP insiders, etc.) and still, he is getting better results that your pal Barack.

You are a nobody who believes you are successful, but forgets that success is not to have money, but to have real friends, a good family, and also decency and honesty, not abuse the system. Because a lot of people are like you (losers). It is easy to throw rocks at everybody and believe that you are over and above everybody.

Have a good life. But do not send me another of your boring tales about your ranch, your stupid family, or yourself.

And here’s another that we received on Thursday:

What prompted the switch from blaming Nixon and fake money creation to robbing the working class for all the ills you see in the world? And why does it all seem to culminate with the election of the “oaf”?

Aren’t you a bit blinded by envy, perhaps? After all, anybody could become president, right? And you and Donald have lots in common, except he has a much bigger bank account. Some kind of incompetent oaf he must be.

Not content with the punch in the face on Thursday… this Dear Reader delivered a left hook on Friday!

Once again, Bill, I enjoy your writing and wit. But lately, you often go a bit over the top. I am glad you love and thank our president for the good he’s done you. For some reason, however, you still feel the need to diminish him and his accomplishments for the county – and, yes, for the forgotten men and women in “flyover country.”

Now that you are saving 22% on your tax bill, that you think is undeserved, I expect you to give it back to subscribers or to the workers from whom you claim it was robbed. I bet you are just as much a phony as you make Trump out to be – one who pretends to be for the little guy, but has a deal with the devil or Deep State. What do you have to say to that?

Scoundrels and Frauds

Oh, Dear Reader, ask us something harder!

Here at the Diary, we’ve never claimed to be for the little guy.

Little? Big? Republican? Democrat? Zoroastrian? What do we care?

It’s claptrap and quackery we take aim at… no matter where they come from. And since they almost always come gushing from the mouths of public figures, we are prone to making fun of them all – no matter their political persuasion or sports team affiliation.

As for giving our tax savings to others… we can assure you that every penny will go to others. That is just the way of the world. Nobody keeps his money forever; after all, they don’t hitch U-Hauls to hearses.

But if President Trump and the U.S. Congress went to all the trouble to put this money in our hands, they must have had a good reason, right?

They claim it will be for the good of the nation. Wouldn’t it be ungrateful… or even unpatriotic… to part with it too soon?

Of course, our critics may be right. We always reserve the right to be wrong. And maybe sometime in the future, we will see that we were wrong about “The Donald” all along.

Perhaps he will commit some redemptory act of grace and courage… maybe even intelligence.

Or maybe, Melania’s memoir will reveal the genuine charm and sweetness of the man’s soul… behind the role he plays on TV. Then we will doff our cap… sing his praises… and apologize.

But we’ve been laughing at public figures for many years; never have we seen one who had risen to a high level of power who was not, at least in some way, a scoundrel or a fraud. Our only regret about most of them is that we didn’t laugh more.

Lifelong Celebrity

In the meantime, we take strong issue with the idea expressed by more than one correspondent that we are just “jealous” or “envious” of the Blond Bombshell.

Why should we be?

Yes, he has much more money than we do; we’ll give him that. And yes, he has had far more success; after all, he’s POTUS.

Oh… and he has fame as well as money. He was a reality TV star and a lifelong celebrity before becoming president of the United States.

And he has more responsibility for the state of the world. He meets with the world’s leaders. He plays golf. And gives good speeches. And his sons are making big deals with foreign governments.

And he’s fatter than we are. And has more hair.

But other than that, we’re about even.

Okay, so we’re jealous of his hair, we admit it.

But seriously, wouldn’t it be more likely that “The Donald” is envious of us?

We don’t have as much money (much less of a burden)… we’re not a TV star (we can get a hamburger at McDonald’s without security guards)… we don’t have to worry about North Korea, ISIS, or al-Qaeda (or whatever the president is supposed to be worried about).

We don’t have to play golf… get into spats with reporters… pretend to be fighting for the common man… send out those goofy tweets… or make a public spectacle of ourselves 24/7.

Huh? What do you say to that?

Regards,

Signature

Bill

Editor’s Note: Bill has been taking some punches from readers recently. But he’s still thankful for every “dear reader” of the Diary. In his most recent “State of the World” podcast, Bill even takes the time to thank a reader for turning him to a solution for a recent health scare.

Bill:

I also had a health crisis when I was last [at the ranch in Argentina]. I thought I was having a heart attack. And I thought, “Oh my God, this is terrible. I’m five hours away from a hospital or from a doctor and I’m having a heart attack.”

So thank goodness, a very dear, dear reader wrote to me and said, “No, you should just take magnesium.” So I started taking magnesium pills, which are totally harmless and very cheap. And sure enough, whatever the problem was, it went away.

MARKET INSIGHT: STOCKS ARE A STRETCHED RUBBER BAND

By Jeff Clark, Editor, Jeff Clark’s Market Minute

What a great way to start the year.

The S&P 500 gained 2.6% during the first week of 2018. That’s almost half the 7% targeted gain many analysts have for the entire year.

“If we can do this every week,” one television talking head cheered on a popular financial show over the weekend, “the market will gain 130% this year.”

“I’ll be happy with half of that,” said another talking head as the rest of the panel nodded and laughed.

The talking heads sure seem comfortable being bullish.

And why shouldn’t they be? Outside of a slight dip during the final hour of the final trading day of 2017, the S&P 500 has traded above its 9-day exponential moving average (EMA) for eight straight weeks. That is a remarkable display of bullish price momentum.

But the rubber band is getting quite stretched.

Chart

The S&P 500 rarely strays more than 30 points away from its 9-day EMA before snapping back towards the line. It rarely trades more than 100 points above or below the 50-day moving average (MA), either.

On Friday, the S&P 500 closed 39 points above its 9-day EMA and 125 points above its 50-day MA.

So the market is vulnerable to some sort of a snap-back move – or at least a pause in the rally that would give the moving averages time to rally up towards the current price of the index. Either way, any further gains in the stock market from here – while the rubber band is already quite extended – are likely to be given back, quickly.

This isn’t a popular opinion, of course. I don’t think I heard any words of caution out of any of the talking heads over the weekend. “Hold your nose and buy,” was the most cautious sentence uttered.

But the market is already quite overbought. The CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) is back in single digits – which is a sign of investor complacency. The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) survey – a contrary indicator – just reported that 60% of investors surveyed are bullish on the stock market versus only 16% bearish. And financial television talking heads are joking about the market rallying 130% this year…

Call me a party pooper if you wish. But I don’t mind holding onto my cash until the rubber band snaps back a bit from here.

Best regards and good trading,

Jeff Clark

P.S. No matter how irrational the market acts, my Market Minute subscribers are always tuned in to contrarian ideas that you won’t hear from the mainstream financial media.

To start receiving the Market Minute at 7:30 a.m. ET every weekday so you can be prepared long before the opening bell rings, click here.

FEATURED READS

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No Bears in Sight
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Will Trump Kill the Marijuana Boom?
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MAILBAG

In the mailbag, more punches from readers…

I don’t know yet what your angle is… but so far, all I have seen is cynicism.

Trump might not be the “ideal politician,” but he is better than what we have been getting in politics to date, and definitely better than the Democratic candidate in 2016. So I would suggest you take a chill pill and look at the results, not the messenger.

– Nadine W.

You wrote, “And most of all… we love him. Here at the Diary, that is. Over the holidays, we got a note from our chief financial officer. He calculated that the GOP tax cuts would shave our tax bill by 22%.” So are you going to reduce the cost of my subscription to the monthly newsletter by 22%?

– Arthur S.

Once again Bill, I enjoy your writing and wit. But lately, you often go a bit over the top. I am glad you love and thank our president for the good he’s done you.

For some reason, however, you still feel the need to diminish him and his accomplishments for the county and, yes, for the forgotten men and women in “flyover country.” Now that you are saving 22% on your tax bill that you think is undeserved, I expect you to give it back to subscribers or to the workers from whom you claim it was robbed. I bet you are just as much a phony as you make Trump out to be, one who pretends to be for the little guy but has a deal with the devil or Deep State.

– Erich K.

I find it unthinkable that you’re soliciting “Thank You” feedback for this ego-bloated disaster of a president. Not from me.

– Sandra K.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

On January 10, legendary speculator Doug Casey will reveal how he became a marijuana millionaire with one penny pot stock.

And the Casey Research team will also reveal their research on five pot stocks set to soar in 2018.

If you want to become a marijuana millionaire in 2018… you’re invited to attend. The event is free, but you must click here to reserve your spot.

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