Does “Just following orders” excuse criminality? From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:
“Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” is a line from Jesus of Nazareth.
Typically clever, and almost evasive, it left open the mischievous question – “What is Caesar’s?” – for roughly 2,000 years.
Moral philosophers had been bedeviled for even longer: If you want to do the right thing, can you just obey the authorities… or do you have to figure it out for yourself?
Finally, last week, like Moses coming down from Mount Sinai, legal and biblical scholar, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions – who previously distinguished himself by sponsoring a bill to name September 2016 as “National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month” – handed down the answer.
More on that shortly. But first…
The Dow was down again yesterday… but only slightly. That makes it the seventh straight day of losses for the index, the worst losing streak in over a year [more in today’s Market Insight].
Where it will go from here, no one knows. But there are good reasons to think that the “top is in.” If so, we’re in for a long dry spell.
If we’re right, U.S. stocks will “underperform” for many years. Readers are advised not to expect to get rich in the stock market, unless they are very lucky or well-advised. Las Vegas is likely to be more rewarding than Wall Street.
We’ll leave it to the technicians and cycle-watchers to make their own case. Here at the Diary, we focus on fundamentals.
Obviously, U.S. finances are worsening. Government deficits are increasing, just as the Fed is putting up interest rates. This is bound to lead to trouble.
But the bigger, or more insidious, problem is Caesar himself; he seems to want more and more things rendered unto him. And our observation is that the more Caesar gets, the less is left for everyone else.
To continue reading: They Were Ordered to Shoot…