Douglas Casey’s Predictions for the 2020s

Douglas Casey is a perceptive and incisive analyst of the economic, political, and investment scene.  It was his 1979 book, The International Man, (now hopelessly out of print and an overpriced collectors’ item) that set me on the trajectory which got me where I am today.  On his International Man Web site, he has posted his “Top 7 Predictions for the 2020s”, which I list and summarise below.

#1 Demographics: “First, it’s good to remember that demographics have a life of their own. That’s not good from the point of view of those of us of European descent. We’re only 10% of world population and falling rapidly. Worse, it seems we’re responsible for all the world’s problems and therefore aren’t very popular.”... [Read More]

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Global Strategic Change in Sound Bite Form

The best part of the UK Election result is it is the last linchpin for a new economics of the planet. The post Nixon era of globalists buying congress and the Federal Bureaucracy to keep the money , assets, skills , intellectual property and jobs flowing out of the US is crashing down. With the incentives for relocation of the supply chains out of China (both from tariffs by the USA and Chinese blatant piracy), the rejection of NAFTA and TPP, we are forming a group of the USA, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and now the UK , with potential for Australia and Brazil to join who will implement fair trade and real win win economics. Canada will eventually come along politically out of necessity. The UK -US deal will begin the complete destruction of the EU as an economic cartel.

The implications are staggering for the chance of keeping freedom alive for a few more generations.... [Read More]

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Job Opening: Paranormal Hedge Fund Advisor

X-Files logoJust posted two days ago on indeed.com is this opening for an “Expert Hedge Fund Advisor”, a part-time position paying US$ 125,000 to 225,000 per year, with The Soul Rider, LLC of San Francisco, California.  Extracts from the posting (emphasis and capitals are as in the original):

Using Supernormal Cognition our private fund aspires to provide a 75% accuracy rate in the prediction of near-term financial markets. You will be our private fund’s advisor. Your long expertise and great reputation in financial investments are paramount. You must have 20 years as a financial industry expert AND as an advisor to 10-figure funds.... [Read More]

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The Dog Is Still Not Barking

Debt bombBack on August 3rd, 2019, I posted a piece titled “The Dog that Did Not Bark” on the occasion of the U.S. congress enacting and the president signing a “budget deal” which suspended the statutory limit on the national debt until July 2021.  A few days before, the House defeated an amendment which would have renamed the bill “A bill to kick the can down the road and for other purposes”.  I remarked that neither any of the Democrat presidential hopefuls nor President Trump had mentioned the deficit or the debt in any of their “debates” or rallies.

The only Presidential candidate who was talking about these issues was South Carolina former governor and congressman Mark Sanford, who was attempting a primary challenge to Trump with the debt and deficit as central issues.  On Wednesday, November 12th, Sanford “suspended” his campaign, just 65 days after announcing.  Sanford’s statement said, “I am suspending my race for the Presidency because impeachment has made my goal of making the debt, deficit and spending issue a part of this presidential debate impossible right now. From day one, I was fully aware of how hard it would be to elevate these issues with a sitting president of my own party ignoring them. Impeachment noise has moved what was hard to herculean as nearly everything in Republican party politics is currently viewed through the prism of impeachment.”... [Read More]

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Black Lives MAGA

Trump and his campaign launched a new “Black Voices for Trump” outreach initiative in Atlanta on Friday dedicated to “recruiting and activating Black Americans in support of President Trump,” according to the campaign. Much of that effort will focus on highlighting ways that African Americans have benefited from the Trump economy, according to advisers.

“The support we’re getting from the African American community has been overwhelming,” Trump told the crowd, which included supporters wearing red “BLACK LIVES MAGA” hats.

He predicted victory in 2020, and said, “We’re going to do it with a groundswell of support from hardworking African American patriots.”

Continue reading “Black Lives MAGA”

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Sympathy for the Devil

Here is Mark Zuckerberg, whose Zucker-butt was summoned for six hours in the witness chair before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to testify about Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.  The committee was chaired by that world-renowned authority on finance and economics, “Mad” Maxine Waters.  Here is a link to the full hearing.

During the interminable proceedings, questioning passed to intergalactic-scale economics savant, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for her five minutes in the spotlight.  It almost makes you have sympathy for Zuckerberg.... [Read More]

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China outlook

I heard this on NPR:

“I think there’s a pretty major impact if you just look at the numbers,” says Victor Shih, a political economist at the University of California, San Diego, who studies the Chinese economy. China exports more goods to the U.S. than to any other country in the world, and those exports have dropped by more than 12% this year alone, he says.... [Read More]

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International Tax Competitiveness Index, 2019

Tax shakedownThe Tax Foundation (founded in 1937, they are the people who compute Tax Freedom Day every year) have just released the 2019 edition of their “International Tax Competitiveness Index” [PDF].  It evaluates the 36 countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for their rates and policies for five kinds of taxation: corporate, individual, consumption (sales/VAT), property, and international tax rules, computing a ranking in each category and an overall rank merging category scores.

The top ten ranking countries for 2019 were:... [Read More]

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Repo Creepo

Something funny is going on in the very short-term money market.  That’s funny as in “uh-oh” rather than “ha ha”.  A “repurchase agreement” or Repo is a widely-used instrument for managing cash needs in banks, corporate treasuries, government agencies, financial institutions, and the Federal Reserve.  In a Repo, a party with an immediate need for cash sells a security, often a government or agency debt instrument such as a Treasury bill or note, to a counterparty, who pays in cash, providing liquidity to the seller.  Under the Repo contract, the seller agrees to buy back (repurchase, hence the name) the security after a short term (often overnight) for slightly more than the funds received from the sale, compensating the buyer for the use of their funds.  (This can be looked at as a kind of interest on a very short-term loan.)

This is a huge market: between US$ 2 and 3 trillion in Repos are outstanding most of the time and much of this turns over on a daily basis.  Normally, the equivalent rate of interest on Repos closely tracks that of short-term money market interest rates such as the federal funds rate.  If the Repo rate rises substantially, it is an indication of a “cash crunch”, where borrowers who have an immediate need for cash have to pay more to lay their hands on it.  Usually the Repo market is stable and predictable, but in the last few days it’s been behaving distinctly oddly.  It started in the overnight market between September 16 and 17, when a vertical spike in rates went from 2.25% to 4.75%, something rarely seen except in unusual circumstances such as the end of a quarter when corporations need to raise cash to pay taxes, dividends, and coupons on bonds.... [Read More]

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Depressed Growth

According to this guy, the US has been in a depression since 2007, using an idiosyncratic definition of depression. Putting aside the semantics, I was skeptical of, yet intrigued by, the claim that there was a significant, persistent change in economic growth since the 2008-9 recession. Using data from FRED, I plotted real GDP per capita. The plot is on a semi-log scale, where a constant percentage growth appears as a straight line. The quarterly FRED GDP data are plotted in red. Exponential fits to the 1947-2007 and 2009-2019 are plotted in green and blue, respectively. The fits have been extended to highlight the difference between the two annual growth rates (2.15% & 1.56%). The difference between the green and blue fits in the current year is more than $10k per capita: nothing to sneeze at.

... [Read More]

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