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April 21, 2017 | Fed Will Blink

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – The Dow rose 174 points yesterday. And Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said we’d have a new tax system by the end of the year. Animal spirits were restless. But which animals? Dumb oxes? Or wily foxes? Probably both. But what caught our attention were the central bankers strutting across the yard and […]

April 20, 2017 | Central Banks’ $13 Trillion Problem

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – The Dow was down 118 points yesterday. It should be down a lot more. Of course, markets know more than we do. And maybe this market knows something that makes sense of these high prices. What we see are reasons to sell, not reasons to buy. Paycheck to Paycheck Nearly half of […]

April 19, 2017 | The Last Time This Happened Was in 2008

CAFAYATE, ARGENTINA – The Dow fell about 100 points yesterday. It’s not hard to see why… Factory output dropped the most since last August, led by declining auto sales. Meanwhile, housing starts are at a four-month low. Bank loans are slipping. Commercial property is “rolling over.” Consumers have tapped out. And the Fed’s GDP growth […]

April 18, 2017 | Where to Put Your Money Now

CAFAYATE, ARGENTINA – We drove down from the ranch yesterday to the tourism and wine town of Cafayate. With our own 4×4 truck, we could have easily made it through the pass where we got stuck two weeks ago. But the track was so rocky, we decided to avoid the wear and tear by taking […]

April 17, 2017 | America’s “Forever War” in the Middle East

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Last week, we rounded up the cattle. For a more literary account of the yerra, here’s Elizabeth’s recollection of it, as sent to the children. This week, we round up the grapes. Delicate Sensibilities The gauchos will get off their horses tomorrow and begin the harvest. In a conciliatory gesture to our […]

April 15, 2017 | Trump Is an Insider Now

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – “U.S. stocks fall on Trump talk…” began a headline at Bloomberg. Or it may be Trump action. We had already counted six major campaign promises – including no O’care repeal and no “America First” foreign policy – already buried (some for the better). Then came four more major policy reversals on Wednesday. […]

April 14, 2017 | Yipping and Yelling

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – The full moon was still up in the west when we got up yesterday. We put on a pair of jeans, boots, a flannel shirt, a scarf, a sweater, gloves, and a hat. It was dark, but riders were already heading down the allée from the house toward the campo adentro – […]

April 12, 2017 | Charged by an Enraged Bull

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Our annual roundup… or yerra… began yesterday. We go out on horseback early in the morning with our gauchos Gustavo, José, Samuel, and Natalio. Pedro has a bad back and no longer rides. The technique is simple: It takes two or three hours to get to the far end of the valley. […]

April 11, 2017 | Heavily Armed Swamp Critters

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – By our calculation, it took just 76 days for President Trump to get on board with the Clinton-Bush-Obama agenda. Now there can be no doubt where he’s headed. He’s gone Full Empire. Not that it was unexpected. But the speed with which the president abandoned his supporters and went over to the […]

April 10, 2017 | Our Ranch Is Becoming a “Death Valley”

Day after day all the earth wearies, drooping unto death. — The Earthstepper GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – “Two of them called me Elizabeth,” said Elizabeth. She was referring to one of the cowboys’ wives and one of the local women. “And one of them sided with the originarios [the local indigenous people claiming property rights over […]

April 7, 2017 | “High Noon” for Stocks

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – “Bill, you are living in a dream world,” our local lawyer began (not using these exact words). “You are a smart guy. But you’re not that smart. You bought a marginal ranch. It’s getting more and more marginal every year. “Every year, we lose more money. You thought you were smart because […]

April 6, 2017 | Fake News From the Fed

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA — Our adventure in the desert was “real news.” It happened. To us. Close in space and time, with little room for interpretation, it is about as close to the “truth” as we can get. What you see in the media, by contrast, is mostly “fake news.” Reuters had this story yesterday: Most […]

April 5, 2017 | Doom Index Says Beware!

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA — We have not had any word from our attorney in the city of Salta, but we assume the case was dropped. Grand theft auto was the charge (catch up in full here). But the alleged wrongdoer, your editor, claimed his actions were motivated by stupidity, not criminality. Our ranch foreman Sergio came […]

April 4, 2017 | Wanted by the Police in Argentina…

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – It took us 24 hours to get here… …during which time your editor drove 350 miles (mostly on dirt roads)… got stuck in the desert… took a long walk by starlight… and was wanted by the police… We will tell the story as it happened… March or Die There is a certain […]

April 3, 2017 | The Credit Money System’s “Doomsday Device”

GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – We arrived at the family ranch in northern Argentina last night… This morning, we rub the sleep from our eyes and look out the window. Whoa… it’s greener than we expected. We were in the second year of a disastrous drought. What happened? We’ll find out… Meantime… — Win-Lose Marriages “You know, […]

March 30, 2017 | An Honest Society Needs Honest Money

An object in motion tends to remain in motion… — Isaac Newton BUENOS AIRES – Day by day, the dots connect… the picture becomes clearer. And now we believe: The Fed will never voluntarily return to “normal” interest rates. Congress will never voluntarily cut spending more than a trifle. The empire will never voluntarily back […]

March 29, 2017 | This Indicator Says Recession Dead Ahead

BUENOS AIRES – We got into Buenos Aires at about 10 p.m. We hadn’t had dinner. So we walked out of the hotel hoping to find a restaurant that was still serving. It was quiet in the Palermo Soho neighborhood. There were few people on the sidewalks. Even the cars bouncing over the cobblestones made […]

March 28, 2017 | Jesus Was No Deep Stater

SÃO PAULO – We arrived on Sunday morning. São Paulo can have terrible traffic. It is a sprawling place of 12 million people. But it was early when we pulled into town; the traffic moved swiftly. We decided to go to mass at the old São Paulo (Saint Paul’s) Cathedral downtown. The area is a […]

March 27, 2017 | The Swamp Claims Its First Victim

Washington [is] a lot more broken than President Trump thought that it was. — White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – On Friday, the much-hyped Trump/GOP Obamacare reform sank into the swamp. If anything keeps us from national bankruptcy, it won’t be entitlement reform. Not under Donald J. Trump. Next up, tax […]

March 24, 2017 | Swamp Monsters Devour White Men

RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – Yesterday, the House put off its vote on the Republicans’ medical care bill. Stocks barely moved. Used car prices dropped last month by the biggest amount since 2008. Homeownership hit a half-century low. Sears may no longer be a “going concern.” And discount footwear retailer Payless is preparing for bankruptcy. Deaths […]

March 23, 2017 | Picnics on Vesuvius

RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – Today could be a big day… The House is supposed to vote on the Republicans’ proposal to amend Obamacare. Most likely, it will fail. That will set back the entire Trump agenda. And it will make people wonder: If Trump can’t reform an unpopular and overly expensive medical care system, what […]

March 22, 2017 | No Quick Fix for the U.S. Economy…

RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – The Dow fell 237 points yesterday, or about 1%. Are investors finally noticing? There will be no “shovel-ready” infrastructure spending in 2017… and no quick tax fix for the economy. This means that the “reflation trade” won’t pay off… at least not as expected. Stay tuned… Meaningless and Misleading Meanwhile… we […]

March 21, 2017 | An Empire Is Hard to Stop

RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – Yesterday, the Dow retreated slightly. But it is still near its all-time high of 21,000 points. And by many measures, U.S. stocks have never been more expensive. Meanwhile, bullish sentiment among investment advisers is at a 30-year high. Consumers are more confident than they’ve been in the last 16 years. And […]

March 20, 2017 | Deep State Über Alles

Money makes the world go around It makes the world go ’round. – “Money,” Cabaret RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – We started out last week with the best of intentions. We were going to take a rest and spend time recalling what we have learned so far. The idea was to bring new readers into the […]

March 17, 2017 | Finally Some Good News From the Trump Team

RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – Yesterday, coming back from Granada with a driver, we learned a little about how the Nicaraguan economy works. [Editor’s Note: You can see pictures from Bill’s travels around Nicaragua after the annual Bonner & Partners Family Office meeting, right here.] We were passing shacks of all varieties and various levels of […]

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