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November 8, 2016 | Have Half the Voters Been Bribed?

Is an American author of books and articles on economic and financial subjects. He is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, and author of the daily financial column, Diary of a Rogue Economist.

BALTIMORE – “Hey, it says here it is a federal crime to accept a gift in exchange for your vote.”

Elizabeth was examining her absentee ballot as we drove down I-95.

“I thought half the population got some form of aid from the government. Shouldn’t they at least be disqualified from voting?”

Paying for the Grease

Yes, half the population gets a “gift” of sorts.

Food stamps, welfare, low-interest loans, subsidies, contracts, jobs – not direct Election Day bribes; these are indirect bribes, reminding the voters where their bread is buttered.

This is the big day, when the electorate… that great mass of delusional or suborned voters… must pay for its grease.

It has gotten the stolen goods already. And has been promised much more. Now, it must deliver its vote.

But to whom? The fool or the knave? The showman shyster… or the cool criminal?

Yesterday, the stock market surged and gold fell as investors recovered their confidence.

FBI Director James Comey gave Clinton a get-out-of-jail-free pass. Then it was clear: The fix would stay fixed.

The Dow rose 371 points. Bloomberg says there’s more where that came from. If Hillary wins, expect a continuation of the “relief” rally.

Cut Down to Size

You’ll recall that investors – like the rest of the zombies and cronies – owe half their fortunes to the fixers.

Eight years ago, the U.S. stock market was at less than one-third of today’s levels.

The excesses of the Fed’s low interest rate regime… and its fake money system… were being corrected by a terrific debt deflation. Houses, real estate, collectibles – all were being mercilessly sold off.

Wall Street was being cut down to size, too.

In September 2008, the big banks, trading houses, funds, and financial groups all seemed to be headed to the scrapyard of financial history. Anyone who could get his hands on his money was taking it off the table – fast.

But then the phones started ringing. Treasury Secretaries Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner were on the horn with their friends on Wall Street. Within minutes, the deals were done and the fix was in. Paulson, Geithner, and Ben Bernanke, the new Fed chief, had given investors a “put” option… They had to make good on it.

(Later, Geithner went on to head Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm. And Ben Bernanke now collects $250,000 a pop for giving blah-blah speeches to finance companies.)

You’ll recall that a put option gives the owner the right to sell a stock at a predetermined “strike” price. This protects him from the risk of his stock falling below that floor.

And so it came to pass. The feds waded deeply into the markets, fake money spilling out of their pockets… waving around buy orders and bailouts… along with an emergency interest rate scheme.

They cut the Fed’s key lending rate to “effectively zero” and left it there, allowing all financial assets to reinflate themselves at the public’s expense.

Every dollar worth of resources that got shifted to the zombies and cronies had to come from somewhere.

Savers and honest workers lost wealth. The insiders gained it.

Completely Uncorrected

Donald Trump supporters didn’t necessarily understand what was happening. But they’d been working hard for the last 40 years with little to show for it. They knew the fix was in.

And they were right…

The feds stopped the correction in 2009, leaving things completely uncorrected. Now, with fake money, fake interest rates, fake statistics, and fake elections, things have returned to a kind of fake normalcy.

Stocks are up again. They are only a few points below their all-time high, with investors confident that the “put” option is as good as ever.

Unemployment fell back below 5% this week, largely by not counting the people who stopped looking for jobs. The Wall Street Journal described the technique on Monday:

Employers added 161,000 nonfarm jobs in October. […] The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.9% owing to a dip in the number of people participating in the workforce.

And now, eight years later, the Fed is considering a move to “normalize” its rate policy.

If nothing goes wrong – and the market doesn’t sell off… or the economy doesn’t soften… and as long as it doesn’t rain… or the Federal Open Market Committee members aren’t feeling a little down – it says it will begin to prepare for an initial stage of getting ready to… possibly… raise rates in December. Provided it still feels like it.

By tomorrow at this time, nearly half the nation will be looking for their passports and subscribing to our International Living magazine.

But at least we here at the Diary won’t be disappointed. We always look on the bright side and took a hands-off, laissez-faire approach to the election.

To the annoyance of both sides, we refused to pick up either tar baby. And now, at least our conscience… and our hands… are clean.

Whoever ends up in charge at the White House, we will be confident and happy.

The rich will still be rich. The fix is still fixed. And the “put” stays put.

Or maybe not…




The original article can be read here

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November 8th, 2016

Posted In: Bill Bonner's Diary

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