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August 15, 2018 | Bad News for Our “Sh*thole Portfolio”

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 – The Feast of the Assumption POITOU, FRANCE – Today is a holiday in France. The 15th of August recalls the day when the Virgin Mary was assumed into Heaven. It also typically marks a change in the weather. The locals say the heat of summer tends to end on the […]

August 14, 2018 | How Turkey Derails the Financial World

  POITOU, FRANCE – We led off yesterday with the Turkey story… …and Friday’s tweet from Donald J. Trump: I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. […]

August 13, 2018 | Are Interest Rates Evil?

POITOU, FRANCE – “Do you follow what is going on in Turkey? That guy is a real moron…” Thus began a conversation at a party we attended last night. Reuters provided some background: The Turkish lira has long been falling on worries about Erdoğan’s influence over monetary policy and worsening relations with the United States. […]

August 10, 2018 | “Good News” From Venezuela…

POITOU, FRANCE – Here at the Diary, we walk on the sunny side of the street, even at night. So today, we look at the bright side of bad news.   Accidental Healthcare For example, yesterday we saw what a disaster the Nicolás Maduro government has made of Venezuela. Consumer prices may be rising at a million percent […]

August 9, 2018 | How to Buy a Million Gallons of Gas for a Dollar

POITOU, FRANCE – The delusional, rock ’em-sock ’em, baroque news just keeps coming. We laugh readily; but even we are having a hard time keeping up.   American Grifters Forbes claims that our Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, may be “one of the biggest grifters in American history.” He stands accused, by a long list of […]

August 8, 2018 | Trump’s “Genius Hypothesis” Revealed

POITOU, FRANCE – In a weekend tweet, the president of the United States of America made a stock market forecast. He said that prices will go up “dramatically” as he brings his Art of the Deal methods to international trade negotiations. Never before in the history of the nation has a president – aided, abetted, and advised […]

August 7, 2018 | Did We Underestimate Trump?

ime will prove that the US eventually makes a fool of itself. – People’s Daily, official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party POITOU, FRANCE – We’ve made two bold, perhaps reckless, predictions. As to one of them, we’re beginning to have doubts.   Peculiar Rates Our first prediction was that the Fed will never normalize interest […]

August 6, 2018 | Why the Boomers Are Going Broke

POITOU, FRANCE – We were taken aback on Friday by the ferocity of our dear readers’ comments. [Read more in today’s Mailbag.] What were they so sore about? we wondered.   Son of Satan Of course, we are frequently wrong about a great number of things. When connecting the dots, we are bound to draw […]

August 3, 2018 | How “Devilish Theories” Return to America

POITOU, FRANCE – Yesterday, we guessed that The Donald would back down on his threat to impose a 25% tariff on Chinese goods coming into the U.S. Not because it would be a $50 billion tax on his own base – consumers who are already living close to the edge. The president’s fans are solid. They […]

August 2, 2018 | Why Trump Won’t Start a Real Trade War

NORMANDY, FRANCE – Oh boy… the plot thickens. The New York Times reports: President Trump escalated his trade war with China on Wednesday, ordering his administration to consider more than doubling proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent, as talks between Washington and Beijing remain at a standstill. […]

August 1, 2018 | The End of the Republican Party

ON THE HIGH SEAS – Yes, we are at sea… rounding England from Ireland, on our way to Cherbourg, France. We’re doing far more back-and-forth traveling this year than we would like. With a little luck, though, we’ll be able to settle into our new digs in Ireland next year, and not have to move […]

July 31, 2018 | How $9 Trillion Disappears

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – As a republic matures, it slides down-market… The rails are silently greased by the cronies and grifters who control policy measures for their own benefit… while the rabble rallies to campaign slogans and admires TV idols. The media – dependent on the mass of consumers for ad sales – sinks, too… stooping […]

July 30, 2018 | How the Republic Ends

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – “The real question is whether the new dictatorship is one of the right or the left. I think the left is the bigger danger.” A friend, who prefers to remain anonymous, had asked us to imagine what would happen if there were a disputed result in the next presidential election. Could the […]

July 26, 2018 | The FAANGs Will Crash

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – Poor Mark Zuckerberg. Rumor has it that he is some sort of advanced robot, “reptilian,” or alien. “Lord Zuck,” the kids call him.   Lord Zuck Yesterday, his company lost $151 billion in stock market value. The stock fell 20% after hours. Today, if after-hours trading trends continue, Facebook will suffer its […]

July 25, 2018 | Trump’s Farm Bailout Is Win-Lose

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – What a spectacular summer! People may be frying eggs on the sidewalks of Algiers and fighting forest fires in Sweden, but here in Ireland, the heatwave is a delight. Farmers are grousing, of course, but we are enjoying daytime temperatures in the mid-70s and beautiful, clear skies. Farmers are grumbling in the […]

July 24, 2018 | The Real Genius of Trump

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – The markets seemed to hold their breath… still, like dead leaves before a hurricane. The Dow barely moved yesterday. Jim Cramer, of TV’s Mad Money, says we’re waiting to see if the EU “caves” in Donald Trump’s trade war. Then, he says, the market will go much higher. Other reports say the market […]

July 23, 2018 | Was the White House Wrong About Everything?

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – It’s official. The White House says its tax cut didn’t pan out the way it expected. Instead of a projected deficit of $526 billion in 2019, the Office of Management and Budget now estimates Trump’s proposed budget would lead to a deficit of more than twice that much – over $1 trillion. […]

July 20, 2018 | The Fed Can’t Stop What’s Coming

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – The show is Donald Trump. And it plays to sold-out audiences, 24/7. Meanwhile, in the back of the crowd, the Deep State goes about its work – picking pockets. The political world thus unchanged… we move back to the financial world.   King of Debt But wait… here comes politics again, sticking […]

July 18, 2018 | Deep State Turns on Trump

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – We left off yesterday with a provocative question: Has Trump really gone to war with the Deep State? Or was he just mouthing off in Helsinki… off message… and out of control? There are a couple more hypotheses, too… but we’ll get to them in a moment.   Off the Reservation Even some of […]

July 17, 2018 | Donald Trump: Traitor?

YOUGHAL, IRELAND – Yesterday, the world’s press once again erupted in outrage. The hacks were upset… appalled… indignant. Of course, it was The Donald that set it off. But this time, they charged him not with being a boor or a nincompoop. This time, the charge was the sort that could get a man hanged, […]

July 16, 2018 | Why We Defended Trump in London

LONDON – London is abuzz. Aflame. Doubled up in laughter. Shrieking in outrage. The U.S. president came. He saw. He went bonkers.     Down-Market At least, that’s how the UK press puts it. “Trump leaves chaos behind him…” said one report. And The Sunday Times reported that both Prince Charles and Prince William had refused to meet […]

July 13, 2018 | Brett Kavanaugh: Deep State Man

POITOU, FRANCE – Today, we will look at a handful of dots. You’ll have to connect them yourself.   Lonely Sentry First, we went to a lawn party yesterday. It took place in a little village about 20 minutes away, where two couples each celebrated 50 years of marriage. Towns in this area were built […]

July 12, 2018 | The Market Gods Are Laughing

POITOU, FRANCE – President Trump escalated the trade war yesterday, making a kamikaze attack on a vast armada of Chinese imports – $200 billion in total – headed for California. The Chinese say they will retaliate.     Phony Wars Last month, we opined that the trade war wouldn’t go any better than Vietnam… or […]

July 10, 2018 | America’s Phony Economy

POITOU, FRANCE – Investors chose to look at the half-full part of the glass yesterday. Our suggestion: They should look more closely.   Empty Part In the empty part of the glass were the trade war… the deficit… the Fed’s QT (quantitative tightening)… rising interest rates… bubbles everywhere… the growing dark power of the Deep […]

July 6, 2018 | Scott Pruitt’s Real Crime

POITOU, FRANCE – It was a slow week, interrupted by the Fourth of July holiday. Stocks bounced around a bit, going nowhere special. Even the Trump Show had been relatively calm, with no new ratings boosts. Rumors of a deal on auto import taxes helped buoy up stock prices yesterday. Electric car maker Tesla’s share […]

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