Category Archives: Business

The Vaccine Karens, by Ann Coulter

Karens seemed like a good term when the only thing they were demanding was that everyone wear a mask. Vaccine Karens seems too gentle for people insisting that we all get shot with experimental gene therapies masquerading as vaccines that are throwing off plenty of adverse side effects, including death. The more appropriate term is Vaccine Nazis. From Ann Coulter at anncoulter.com:

If I weren’t already staunchly pro-vaccination, the vaccine zealots would turn me against the COVID shot. The proof that they’re practicing religion and not science is their refusal to acknowledge the great heaping hunks of immunity a person gets from natural infection.

Obviously, you don’t want to contract COVID just to get all that boffo immunity, but lots of people have already been infected, so why can’t we count them the same as vaccinated?

The current research — and that’s all we have for the vaccines, too — indicates that natural immunity is not as good as vaccine immunity — it’s better! Study after study keeps finding that the previously infected have stronger, broader and longer-lasting immunity than people who’ve received the vaccine.

When the vaccinated, with their pipsqueak immunity, stop browbeating the already-infected, I’ll believe this is something other than a cult.

Why is the only proof of virtue — I mean, “Trusting the Science™ — a vaccination card and not a positive COVID test? Why don’t sports teams, concert halls and foreign countries accept proof of prior infection the same way they accept proof of vaccination?

     Nope. Your prior infection is no good here! We are accepting ONLY vaccination cards.

Whatever that impulse is based on, it’s not “science.”

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Fed’s Lowest Lowball Inflation Measure “Core PCE” Spikes Further. Highest 3-Month Rate since 1982, by Wolf Richter

Don’t worry, inflation is transitory, even if there’s no end in sight to the monetary policy that’s producing it. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

“Way above target”: Fed Chair Jerome Powell.

As push came to shove toward the end of the FOMC press conference on Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, fidgeting on the hotseat of inflation and struggling with “transitory” and “temporary,” admitted that the recent rate of inflation was “not moderately above” the Fed’s inflation target but “way above target.” Today, the inflation measure that the Fed uses for this inflation target, annual “core PCE,” spiked further.

The Fed uses the “core PCE” inflation measure because it is the lowest lowball inflation measure that the US government provides. It excludes food and energy, which can be volatile, and it is structured differently than the Consumer Price Index, and it is nearly always below “core CPI.”

This Personal Consumption Expenditures price index without food and energy jumped by 0.45% in June, from May, after having jumped by 0.5% in May, 0.7% in April, and 0.4% in March, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis today. This lowest lowball inflation measure available in the US was up 3.5% from June last year, the highest year-over-year rate since May 1991:

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The Shadow State: Twitter Suspends Commentator for Criticizing Vaccine Policies, by Jonathan Turley

The government’s social media arm won’t allow any question of or deviations from the government’s propaganda on Covid. From Jonathan Turley at jonathanturley.org:

Twitter LogoI recently discussed how the Biden Administration was actively encouraging corporations to limit speech and impose vaccine mandates as a type of shadow state. Rather than take such actions directly ( and face both legal and political challenges), the Administration is relying on its close alliance with Big Tech and other companies to carry out such tasks. That surrogate relationship is particularly clear in the expanding censorship program carried out by Twitter, Facebook and other companies. Twitter’s action against political commentator Dave Rubin is an example of how these companies are now dispensing with any pretense in actively barring criticism of government policies and viewpoints.

Rubin was locked out under the common “misinformation” claim by Twitter. However, his tweet was an opinion based on demonstrably true facts. One can certainly disagree with the conclusion but this is an example of core political speech being curtailed by a company with a long history of biased censorship, including the barring of discussions involving Hunter Biden’s laptop before the election.  With a new election looming, these companies appear to be ramping up their censorship efforts.

In his tweet, Rubin stated:

“They want a federal vaccine mandate for vaccines which are clearly not working as promised just weeks ago. People are getting and transmitting Covid despite vax. Plus now they’re prepping us for booster shots. A sane society would take a pause. We do not live in a sane society.”

Even President Biden admitted yesterday that he was wrong weeks ago when he assured people that if they took the vaccine, they would not be at risk for the variants and could dispense with their masks. There are breakthrough cases that have taken many officials by surprise. It is also true that there is now talk of likely booster shots.

Rubin takes those facts and adds his opinion that we should “take a pause.” Twitter declared that to be a violation of its policy “on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”

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Countdown To The Next Lockdown: Biden Says “In All Probability” US Will See More Restrictions, by Tyler Durden

If at first, second, third, etc. you don’t succeed, try the same thing again. The difference this time is that people see through the bullshit and they’re completely fed up with it. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

By now the narrative has gotten so absurdly grotesque and stupid, it’s as if a platoon of monkeys or, worse, woke SNL writers put it on the back of a shampoo bottle.

Today, when we discussed how US consumers have already burned through almost all of their savings from Biden’s fiscal firehose…

… just as the next burst of inflation is about to come and unleash a stagflationary recession or worse, we said that “there is just one event that could short circuit what appears to be a near-certain recession heading into 2022 and mid-term elections which would be devastating for Democrats faced with an imploding economy: another multi-trillion stimulus, just enough to kick the can by another 4-6 months. But for that to happen, the US economy needs to be shut down again which will only happen only once there is enough covid Delta-variant fearmongering. Which should also explain everything that’s happening right now.”

Well, guess what: after the CDC’s legendary flipflop which has steamrolled the credibility of “science”, and concurrent narrative whiplash it has made even the head of ultra-left liberals spin, today the president who earlier needed an aide to tell him he has “something” stuck to his chin, laid out the Delta endgame when he said that the US will, “in all probability,” see more guidelines and restrictions amid rising coronavirus cases…

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The Latest Lie from on-High: An “Independent Federal Reserve”, by Matthew Piepenburg

Central banks are never independent from the governments that create them. From Matthew Piepenburg at goldswitzerland.com:

Earlier in July, U.S. President Biden came away from a meeting with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and calmly announced that in addition to inflation being “short term,” we should fear not, as Biden also “made it clear to Chairman Powell that the Fed remains independent,” but “will act as needed.”

Whewwww. Where to even begin in unpacking the lighthouse of reality behind so much verbal fog?

When it comes to market analysis, no one wants to hear political opinions within finance reports, left or right.

We get this.

Thus, rather than run the risk of offending the left, right or center, I’ll be frank in confessing my foundational view that nearly all politico’s (and Fed Chairs) have been universally comical when it comes to math, history or blunt-speak.

In short, the math, facts and warning signs rising by the hour (and outlined below) make it easy to be an equal-opportunity cynic when it comes to fiscal leadership or political “truth.”

So, let’s get back to Biden’s recent observations…

Deconstructing Biden-Speak

As for inflation being “short-term,” we’ve written ad nauseum about our stance on this fiction many times elsewhere.

But as for Biden’s declaration about the Fed being “independent,” let me wipe the coffee I just spilled on my shirt and speak plainly: That’s a lie.

First of all, if the Fed were as “independent” as Biden claims, then how can Biden be so certain they “will act as needed”?

Aren’t “independent” actors supposed to act as they, rather than the politicians, decide or “need”?

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Game Over, by Sven Henrich

Central banks have put themselves in a bind from which they cannot extricate themselves. From Sven Henrich at northmantrader.com:

Game over. Occam’s Razor: The simplest explanation is often the best one. Central banks will never extract themselves. Whether they ultimately end QE is besides the point. They won’t reduce their balance sheets. They can’t. Powell’s “performance” yesterday was not an accident. He’s been running on the same theme of offering absolutely zero specifics. Why? 3 reasons: 1. There are none as there is no plan. 2. To maintain flexibility and not to be held accountable or anything 3. To not upset markets.

We saw this recently when he actually got challenged on MBS and QE. He couldn’t and wouldn’t offer a rationale as to what is actually economically accomplished by it:

More importantly.

He doesn’t know. And why would he? There is zero precedent for this much combined liquidity from the fiscal and monetary side along with a rapid economic reopening with consumers’ pockets stuffed with free money from the government.

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Covid Jab? by Jeremy Parfitt

A lot of good reasons not to take any of the Covid vaccines, from Jeremy Parfitt at lewrockwell.com:

Dear Lew,

I wrote this at the request of a friend who is receiving enormous pressure to take the jab. She asked me to write something to help her explain why she won’t take it.

An enormous amount of pressure is being placed on people, from politicians, public health officials, the media, celebrities and friends, to get vaccinated. Many go so far as to claim that researching the issue for oneself and doing a careful cost/benefit analysis is selfish. As with all things Covid, this obsessive push is unprecedented, and is not remotely supported by evidence. It is understandable why people are afraid, and mostly misinformed, about Covid in general, and these vaccines in particular. For 18 months we have been subjected to a non stop, entirely one sided, campaign of fear, censorship and misinformation. Factual information from the most credible experts in the world has been labelled “fake” and suppressed. Meanwhile misleading, and often false, information is simply asserted as fact, and those who challenge the narrative are criticized and suppressed. Something very strange is going on here.

Until recently, suggesting that making decisions about one’s own body is selfish, would be mostly unthinkable. Now it is commonplace. Determining what one puts in his body is a basic human right, it is important that we do not sacrifice it. Everyone has a right to assess their own risk and decide for themselves.

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to take these vaccines.

– How dangerous is Covid for you should you become sick?

It is well known that the risk of Covid varies widely due to age and health. If you are old and sick, it might make sense to take the vaccines, if you are not, it is reasonable to decide not to. Here is the IFR (infection fatality rate) breakdown by age.

Note that for those under 55, the IFR is similar to the seasonal flu. But, and this is very important, these broad demographic categories include large numbers of very unhealthy people. Within each demographic, the IFR is an average of people at higher and lower risk. According to the CDC, 94% of those reported to have died from Covid had severe comorbidities (average of 2.6). This suggests that your health is the most important factor to consider when assessing risk. If you are healthy, not obese, don’t have diabetes or a heart condition, your actual risk will be significantly lower than the average IFR in your group. Under age 65, the risk to you, if you are healthy, is likely to be similar to, or less than, the risk posed by the seasonal flu. In younger groups, if one is healthy, the risk is negligible. The bottom line is that, if you are healthy, Covid is not very dangerous.

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David Stockman on Why Money Printing Doesn’t Generate Economic Growth

How can the simple act of printing out scrip or making an electronic bookkeeping entry generate anything real, like increased productivity or real economic growth? From David Stockman at internationalman.com:

Fed stimulus

To understand the Fed’s culpability for the inflationary disaster afflicting the American economy, it is necessary to start with the Big Lie that underlies all of its destructive machinations: the claim that market capitalism gravitates toward cyclical instability, recession and chronic shortfall from its potential Full Employment path.

From this presumption, there flows an alleged requirement for continuous central bank “stimulus.” Deft action by the central banking arm of the state is purportedly needed to compensate for the inherent prosperity-retarding imperfections of the free market.

If Fed policy has actually been reducing cyclical instability and pushing the $21 trillion US economy ever closer to its Full Employment potential, then productivity growth should be rising over time commensurate with the Fed’s more aggressive deployment of its “stimulus” policies.

In this context, it should be noted that productivity growth is a purer measure of monetary policy impact than total real GDP growth. That’s because the latter is in part driven by long-run demographics and the annual growth of the labor supply.

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One Lockdown from Disaster, by MN Gordon

The next lockdown may well be the knockout blow to the economy. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

The popular economic tune being played by the popular press drones on.  You know the melody by now…

That the post-pandemic boom is alive and well.  That growth is enduring.  That blue skies are here to stay.

If you listen closely, however, several notes ring sour.

The Commerce Department reported on Thursday that second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annualized rate of 6.5 percent.  This may sound good, initially.  But economists with Dow Jones had estimated an 8.4 percent Q2 GDP increase.  Once again, extreme fiscal stimulus, at the expense of a long term debt burden, drifted off key.

The monetary policy refrain was also lacking.  This week, at the Federal Open Market Committee meeting press conference, Fed Chair Jay Powell remarked that, “we’re some way away from having had substantial further progress toward the maximum employment goal.”

Thus the Fed will continue to hold the federal funds rate near zero and will continue creating credit from thin air at a rate of $120 billion per month to purchase Treasuries and mortgage backed securities in the amounts of $80 billion and $40 billion, respectively.  By now these damaging actions have become exceedingly mindless.  The aim for maximum employment will ultimately prove to be a shortsighted calamity.

If the economy was really strengthening, the Fed would be tapering back these security purchases and even normalizing its balance sheet.  At the very least, it would be talking about tapering.

But the economy’s not really strengthening at all.  Rather, the economy and financial markets, handicapped by extreme intervention, are entirely dependent on this monetary stimulus.

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The Auctoritas of the EPA, by Eric Peters

The regulatory and administrative state, not contemplated in the Constitution, exercises vast and unaccountable power over the American people. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Crime doesn’t matter – but compliance does. The distinction is important because it conveys something important about the true nature of the government we endure.

Crime – actual harms caused to real people – goes largely unpunished because it does not threaten the government. Last summer’s “peaceful” protests are an obvious example  but there are many others, including the recent decriminalization, in some areas, of theft up to a certain arbitrary value of goods taken; just walk on in and help yourself.

Compliance, on the other hand, is essential to maintaining the government’s auctoritas – as the Romans referred to the prestige of Authority. When that is affronted, the consequences are severe – as witness the manner in which the government responded to the far more peaceful rally in DC this past January. As witness the brutal persecution – including the jailing – of VW executives when it was discovered that software in the automaker’s diesel-powered cars had been programmed to snooker federal emissions certification testing. Not a single actually harmed person – a victim, which used to be the essential defining element of a crime – was ever produced but VW was given the full Hut! Hut! Hut! because it had the temerity to affront the auctoritas of the government’s regulatory apparat, the Environmental Protection Agency.

So it is no surprise to find  out that the EPA – a federal regulatory agency and not a law enforcement agency – has been siccing armed Hut! Hut! Hutters! on garages and repair shops that affront its auctoritas by performing power tunes on cars, installing not-allowed parts such as aftermarket exhaust systems and so on.

These may or may not result in higher-than-allowed “emissions” of whatever the EPA regulations say is permissible, but the interesting thing is that regulations were once upon a time distinct from laws, the latter requiring passage by a legislative body at least somewhat theoretically accountable to the populace, via the election of legislators. The idea there being that if a legislator proposed an obnoxious law he could be replaced come election time with another legislator, who might get rid of the obnoxious law.

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