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July 24, 2017 | Team Trump’s Claptrap on Trade

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – The Trump team welcomed its newest member over the weekend. Henceforth, communications will be controlled by Goldman Sachs alum Anthony Scaramucci, aka “The Mooch.” This brings to five the number of Deep Staters from Goldman Sachs dominating the administration – Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin, Dina Powell, Steve Bannon, and now another King […]

July 21, 2017 | A Warning From the Future

POITOU, FRANCE – A young man drove up yesterday. Shaved head. Earring. Nice car. Sad look. “Monsieur Bonner?” After the introductions, he got down to business. “Damien [our gardener] told me you were looking for chickens. I’ve got about 10 of them I’d like to get rid of.” “Why do you want to get rid […]

July 20, 2017 | The NEXT Credit Crisis Has Already Started

POITOU, FRANCE – “My father told me to plant trees,” said a neighbor last night. “It was right after I bought this place. Of course, I was young… I was busy… I didn’t have time to plant trees. “Now, I tell my sons to plant trees while they’re still young. So they can enjoy them […]

July 19, 2017 | Why Trump Won’t Stop the Debt Crisis

POITOU, FRANCE – Sound the alarm. Take your money off the table. Pack your socks and your passport. There’s going to be trouble. The Washington Post reports: “Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s treasury secretary, is hurtling toward his first fiasco.” Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress. Yet they cannot do the one thing they all agreed they […]

July 18, 2017 | The Evil Genius of Obamacare

POITOU, FRANCE – “GOP reeling after healthcare collapse,” reads a headline on a political website. From The Hill: Republicans offered competing ideas for what to do next on healthcare Monday night, now that the current ObamaCare replacement effort has fallen apart. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged late Monday that the chamber’s current approach would fail […]

July 17, 2017 | Is It “Embarrassing” to Be an American?

POITOU, FRANCE – President Trump implies that America isn’t so great anymore. He was in Paris last week and dined with French President Emmanuel Macron in the Eiffel Tower. Jamie Dimon, head of JPMorgan Chase, is fresh from an overseas trip, too. He told reporters that being an American abroad was “almost an embarrassment.” Wait […]

July 14, 2017 | America’s First “Declinist” President

POITOU, FRANCE – Public figures and public events are almost always fraudulent in some way. France’s Bastille Day is no exception. It is hailed as a landmark of liberty. But the storming of the Bastille prison by revolutionaries, on this day in 1789, led to the liberation of only seven miserable perverts and half-wits. And […]

July 13, 2017 | Which Is Worse? America or France?

POITOU, FRANCE – “Which is worse? America or France?” The question must be put in context. We were invited to dinner with local farmers last night. Jean-Yves and Arlette live in a modest house in the nearby town – an efficient and cozy place built about 25 years ago. They’ve added a solarium to the […]

July 12, 2017 | America’s Elites Are on Top of the World

POITOU, FRANCE – Poor David Brooks… This morning, while waiting for one dose of claptrap, we were whacked by another. Fed chief Janet Yellen was scheduled to speak before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill at 10 a.m. Waiting, we read a column by Mr. Brooks in The New York Times: Recently I took […]

July 11, 2017 | How Dumb Is the Fed?

OITOU, FRANCE – This morning, we are wondering: How dumb is the Fed? The question was prompted by this comment by former Fed insider Chris Whalen at The Institutional Risk Analyst blog: [O]ur message to the folks in Jackson Hole this week [at the annual central banker meeting there] is that the end of the Fed’s reckless […]

July 10, 2017 | How America’s Wealth Is Drained

POITOU, FRANCE – What does our Doom Index tell us now? Here’s a quick update from Joe Withrow in the Bonner & Partners research department: We are still waiting for second-quarter data to come in before we can update the index for the new quarter. But I have the monthly metrics updated… and there was one interesting […]

July 8, 2017 | No “Trump Bump” for the Economy

POITOU, FRANCE – “Nothing really changes.” Sitting next to us at breakfast, a companion was reading an article written by the No. 2 man in France, Édouard Philippe, in Le Monde. The headline promised to tell us how the country was going to “deblock” itself. But upon inspection, the proposals were the same old claptrap about […]

July 6, 2017 | Another Government Scam

POITOU, FRANCE – “You can’t take that car into Paris.” Our gardener is our source of local news and universal wisdom. “You don’t have a green sticker,” he explained. The French are always finding ways to make life expensive, difficult, inefficient, and unproductive. In the latest installment, they have instituted a system that is meant […]

July 5, 2017 | Putin Is Right About Our Democracy

Oliver Stone: Donald Trump won. This is your fourth president, am I right? Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, and now your fourth one. Vladimir Putin: Yes, that’s true. Stone: What changes? Putin: Well, almost nothing… everywhere, especially in the United States, the bureaucracy is very strong. And bureaucracy… rules the world. – The Putin Interviews POITOU, FRANCE – We […]

July 4, 2017 | “America First” Does Not Mean “Americans First”

Recently, I saw this quote from Steve Bannon. He described his core belief… It is that “we’re a nation with an economy, not an economy just in some global marketplace.” When I read that, it sounded familiar. Then I realized… it is almost a direct translation of a remark by Juan Perón: “The nation does […]

June 30, 2017 | The Place Where All the Bubble Money Goes

PARIS – Global warming has yet to get a firm grip on Europe. This week, the weather in Ireland turned in the direction you might expect. It is midsummer, but in Baltimore, it could pass for a bad day in February. It was rainy, windy, and cold when we left this morning. Even with a […]

June 29, 2017 | Yellen Against the Gods

“Even God Himself could not sink this ship.” – Titanic crewman… The ship sank four days later “It is our will that this state shall endure for a thousand years.” – Adolf Hitler… 10 years before the Reich was destroyed “Long-Term Capital Management” – Hedge fund headed by Nobel Prize winner, bet against things that […]

June 28, 2017 | Is Donald J. Trump a Neanderthal?

DUBLIN – Is Donald J. Trump a Neanderthal? Yes, of course. We all are. One of the most interesting stories we’re following is some 300,000 years old. It is the story of our species. What does this have to do with money? We’ll get to that… Prehistoric Hanky-Panky Two weeks ago came news of a […]

June 27, 2017 | Why Gold Goes Up

DUBLIN – Gold dropped sharply yesterday. The yellow metal fell about 1% to as low as $1,236. A “fat finger” was blamed, meaning it was probably a mistake. According to reports, a single trader sold 1.85 million ounces of gold and 5,000 ounces of silver on the Comex exchange… before buying it all back again. […]

June 26, 2017 | How to Really Make America Great Again

DUBLIN – Today, a simple proposal for making America great again… But first an update on our recent trip to Ireland. When we left you on Friday, we were visiting our headquarters in the town of Portlaw in County Waterford, Ireland, where we have become the biggest employer. Portlaw is not a fancy town. It […]

June 23, 2017 | Make the Dollar Honest Again

PORTLAW, IRELAND – Last night, we drove over to the harbor town of Dungarvan for dinner. The Irish countryside was idyllic – with rolling hills, forests, and hayfields. Then, arriving at Dungarvan, we saw the Atlantic shining in the distance. Down at the harbor, the tide was out. Boats lay in the mud on their […]

June 22, 2017 | Why Tax Cuts Won’t Make Us Richer

And perhaps you’re alive And perhaps you’re dead Hoo ha ha Hoo ha ha HOO HOO HOO KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK – “Fragment of an Agon,” T.S. Eliot PORTLAW, IRELAND – We’ve always wanted to quote the lines above. But we never had the right occasion. Perhaps this is it. […]

June 21, 2017 | Investors Have Become Brain Dead

DUBLIN – Oil fell below $43 yesterday. Brick-and-mortar retailers are being emptied. The auto industry – including $1.2 trillion in auto debt – is stalling. Meanwhile, restaurants are having trouble filling their tables. Consumers aren’t buying, perhaps because their incomes have gone approximately nowhere for decades. House ownership is at its lowest level in half […]

June 20, 2017 | Is Trump a Modern Caesar?

Mayor: Drebin, I don’t want any more trouble like you had last year on the South Side. Understand? That’s my policy. Drebin: Yes. Well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of 100 people, I shoot the bastards. That’s my policy. Mayor: […]

June 19, 2017 | Political Correctness Claims a Victim…

DUBLIN – Poor David Bonderman. He said the wrong thing. He should be ashamed of himself. We’ll come back to him in a minute… Stroll Through the Park In the meantime, if you want to enjoy summertime as it should be, take a walk through St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin on a sunny day in […]

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