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February 27, 2017 | It’s Crash Awareness Week

BALTIMORE – Here’s an opportunity for you, dear reader… A Los Angeles spec house is on the market. It has seven bedrooms and 20,000 square feet of living space. It comes with a gold Lamborghini Aventador and a gold Rolls-Royce Dawn. You also get a wine cellar, a pool, and the usual claptrap amenities to […]

February 25, 2017 | The U.S. Is in Real Trouble

Editor’s Note: This weekend, we’re sharing a must-read essay from Bill’s old friend and legendary investor Doug Casey. In short, Doug believes this is the worst crisis any country has seen in the last half-century… And he explains why every American should be concerned. “Making the chicken run” is what Rhodesians used to say about […]

February 24, 2017 | Why the 21st Century Sucks

BALTIMORE – What an awful century! Worst we’ve ever seen. Household incomes are down. Employment is down, with 7 million people in the U.S. of working age without jobs. Productivity growth is down. GDP growth is down – to only about 0.5% per capita last year. Even life expectancies are down. Drug overdoses are up. […]

February 23, 2017 | America’s Druggy Stupor

BALTIMORE – The Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq remain near record highs… and are up about 10% since Election Day. Fed officials say they could raise interest rates “fairly soon.” Blah… blah… blah… Learning Machine Remember, the economy is a learning machine. So is a person. We’re not talking about the kind of […]

February 22, 2017 | A More Terrifying Enemy on Our Ranch in Argentina

I went down Virginia, seeking shelter from the storm. – Creedence Clearwater Revival BALTIMORE – We rushed down to Virginia last week with the sound of an angel band playing in the background. Mother was on her last breath… ready to give up the ghost at any minute. But she surprised us again. “Am I […]

February 21, 2017 | Will the Establishment Stab Trump in the Back?

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA – The public spectacle continues… There are so many ways to look at it, we scarcely know whether to laugh or gasp. On Friday, President Trump took the sound and fury up a notch by way of his Twitter account: The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my […]

February 18, 2017 | What Really Separates the Rich From the Poor

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA – On Wednesday, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq closed at record highs for the fifth straight day. The last time this happened was in 1992. Meanwhile, President Trump held his first presidential press conference. It was an amazing affair… unlike anything we’ve ever seen. But beneath the newness is oldness. […]

February 17, 2017 | Cometh the “Exterminating Angel”

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA – Amid all the sound and fury of the Trump news cycle, hardly anyone noticed. There is a specter haunting this economy. It is the specter of inflation… Exterminating Angel Bloomberg has the report: The U.S. cost of living increased in January by the most since February 2013, led by higher costs for […]

February 16, 2017 | Should Trump “Unleash” Wall Street?

LOVINGSTON, VIRGINIA – Stocks show little movement. Investors are waiting for something to happen. And wondering… Corporate earnings have been going down for nearly three years. They are now about 10% below the level set in the late summer of 2014. Unleashing Wall Street Why should stocks be so expensive? Oh, yes… because the Trump […]

February 14, 2017 | An Homage to Love

BALTIMORE – St. Valentine’s Day. Today, we pay homage to love. As mysterious as central banking. As sublime and incomprehensible as negative interest rates. As baffling as Trump’s budget plans. At first glance, love seems well away from our normal beat here at the Diary. But on closer inspection, we find that it is right […]

February 10, 2017 | Will Private Property Disappear in Our Lifetimes?

BALTIMORE – As we told you yesterday, we were just at a meeting in Miami with some of the best “big-picture” thinkers in our business. One of the provocative ideas came from our old friend and Casey Research founder Doug Casey: “Private property in the U.S. will disappear in our lifetimes,” Doug announced boldly. It […]

February 9, 2017 | A Government for Old People

MIAMI – “The CQ certainly went down when you came into the hotel,” said one of our two sons here with us. “What’s the CQ?” “The cool quotient.” The Edition hotel in Miami’s South Beach has so much cool, your fuddy-duddy editor barely put a dent in it. Sleek… white… expensive… It would be a […]

February 8, 2017 | Ripped Off by Your Own Money

MIAMI – In our recent meeting in Baltimore with former Fed chief Alan Greenspan, the wily old fox tossed a grenade. The discussion had arrived at the biggest topic in finance: WWDD? What would Donald do? Then the bomb exploded: “Tax cut? A tax hike is more like it…” Divided Readers Mr. Greenspan was explaining […]

February 7, 2017 | God Promised to Drain the Swamp

To loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke. – Isaiah 58:1-12 BALTIMORE – The swamp is where the injustice arises. It’s where the win-lose deals are forced onto people. It is where waste, corruption, and larceny steal their time […]

February 6, 2017 | Confessions of an Illegal Alien…

BALTIMORE – The Dow popped back up over 20,000 on Friday. Federal debt approaches $20 trillion. And Donald Trump claimed to have saved $600 million on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet program. (Did he take out the seat warmers or the A/C?) Budget Fight We don’t know what’s ahead for the Dow. But the direction […]

February 3, 2017 | Boondoggles for the Swamp Critters

BALTIMORE – Investors seem to be holding their breath, like a man hiding a cigarette from his wife. It’s just a feeling… and it’s not the first time we’ve had it… but it feels as though it wouldn’t take much to send them all running. Meanwhile… We’re coming to a deep (and to many readers […]

February 1, 2017 | Why Trump Must Drain the Swamp

BALTIMORE – The Dow is back below the 20,000-point mark. Federal debt, as officially tallied, is up to nearly $20 trillion. The two go together, egging each other on. The Dow is up 20 times since 1980. So is the U.S. national debt. Debt feeds the stock market and the swamp. What’s not up so […]

January 31, 2017 | Does Trump’s Travel Ban Make Sense?

BALTIMORE – Thank God for the travel ban! Since the 1950s, roughly 1,000,000 people have been murdered in the U.S., including 2,996 killed on 9/11 by terrorists. We don’t need any more killers in the U.S.; we’ve got plenty already. But wait… You say that native-born Americans are five times more likely to be killers […]

January 30, 2017 | How to “Score” Team Trump

And I can’t help but blamin’ your going On the coming, the coming of the roads. – Peter, Paul and Mary BALTIMORE – “Bill, you just don’t understand how we feel. This whole country was going down the drain. Now we have someone in the White House who might save it.” This weekend, we drove […]

January 27, 2017 | How to Make America Great Again

MIAMI – How do we know if new programs will make the economy better… or worse? Here’s a simple formula: W = rv (w-w – w-l) That is, wealth is equal to the real value of win-win exchanges minus the loss from win-lose exchanges. Yes, dear reader, it’s as simple as that. Like a whittler […]

January 26, 2017 | Stocks Atop a Greased Pole

MIAMI – How about that? The Dow punched through the 20,000 mark yesterday. It could go much higher. Or lower. We’re not sure which – maybe both. But our guess is that it won’t stay where it is for long. Too uncomfortable. Like sitting on top of a greased pole. Besides, the wind is picking […]

January 25, 2017 | Whoopee! POTUS Has Our Backs

BALTIMORE – It has gotten worse… Now, reader feedback in the Diary Mailbag (see below) is running 3-to-1 against us. Which is puzzling. We’re not really against Mr. Trump. We don’t dislike him (we’ve never met). We wish him well. We have no reason to think he will be worse than Ms. Clinton. Still, readers […]

January 24, 2017 | Trump’s Momma Didn’t Raise No Fool

BALTIMORE – Yesterday, Treasury prices rose and yields had their biggest one-day fall in over two weeks. Investors are turning their backs on risky stocks, in other words, in favor of traditionally “safe-haven” bonds. The Trump boomlet seems to be fading. Lion of Queens We left off yesterday after exploring one of two major directions […]

January 23, 2017 | Trump: No Match for the Deep State

BALTIMORE – The inauguration on​ Friday proceeded with all the pomp and ceremony of a coronation, a university commencement, or a mafia funeral. No American who cares deeply about the future of his country could have watched it without laughing. Solemn Ceremony All the great and the good were assembled… The Establishment, the elite, the […]

January 20, 2017 | Trump: The Die Is Cast!

BALTIMORE – This week, Team Trump made its triumphant march into Washington. Yesterday, the president-elect paid his respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, admired his new hotel in Washington, and quipped that his cabinet had the highest IQs of any on record. But the sweetest moment… the delicious, savory victory… will come today, […]

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