Tag Archives: President Trump

Bulldog Britain Hears Master’s Voice, by Finian Cunningham

If the UK leaves the EU, it will be that much more beholden to the US. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

Since Boris Johnson took over as Britain’s new prime minister three weeks ago he has been holding intensive phone calls with US President Donald Trump, according to media reports. There is a buzz that the much-vaunted “special relationship” between the US and Britain is finding new ardor.

But this supposed special alliance is never about equals, despite pretensions. It’s all about Britain doing the bidding of its master in Washington. So when the pair are patting each other’s backs that means potential trouble for the rest of the world from abuse of power by Washington and its enabling British lackey.

The intensity of renewed alignment between Washington and London saw Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton visit the UK capital this week. During two days, Bolton had a flurry of meetings with top figures in Johnson’s hardline Brexit cabinet. It was reportedly the most senior American delegation to Britain since Johnson took over in 10 Downing Street on July 23.

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Trump’s Fed Bashing is a Self-Inflicted Wound, by Tom Luongo

President Trump blames the Fed for things like a too-strong currency when it’s his policies that are responsible. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Donald Trump is an economic ignoramus. I say this all the time.

I keep hoping I’m wrong, but every time he opens his mouth he confirms my worst impression of him.

Trump isn’t dumb, he’s very smart. But, like so many smart people, including myself and FOMC members, he’s over-confident in applying that which he’s been mis-educated about.

Trump is surrounded by monetarists, like Larry Kudlow. Kudlow still believes the Phillips Curve has validity for pity’s sake. Behind the curve doesn’t begin to describe the situation in the White House.

And yet that’s what they think of the Fed.

The Fed is staffed by Keynesians, or more accurately Samuelsonians. All of them have truly bonkers ideas about how markets actually work in the real world versus how they do in their textbooks.

Trump is likely the only one of them with any real world experience. And even he, as a real estate developer, only understands things from his tiny perspective.

In his latest round of anti-Fed tweets Trump lit off a litany of economic bromides as to why the Fed is the problem. And, so help me, Donald Trump is so out of touch with reality that I have been reduced to defending the Fed against him.

Trump is right that the dollar is strengthening. But he’s dead wrong about why.

On the one hand he wants a weaker currency but then he lauds, in the same Tweet thread, to the high heavens that money is “pouring into the U.S by the tens of billions” because of safety, security and interest rates.

And worse, that that money pouring is money China isn’t getting. And then, after destroying mutually beneficial trade with China he’s going to spend more of our grandkids’ money (because that’s what record budget deficits are) bailing out farmers whose businesses he ruined.

The stupid, it burns.

He invites capital investment into the U.S through a massive corporate and middle class tax cut and then doesn’t expect the dollar to strengthen? The Fed isn’t the cause of this dynamic.

Sure, the Fed could have held off on raising interest rates but that would only have changed the slope of the capital inflow curve, not the direction.

Germany is collapsing, Hurricane Don. The money has to go somewhere, you know, like water.

Trump seems to think the Fed is all-powerful, that all it has to do is snap its fingers, lower interest rates and all will be well again. No. The Fed is a slave to market forces just like everyone else.

And market forces, set in motion by Trump himself, through his responding reflexively with tariff increases and demonization of China.

Trump seems to think the Fed saved the world alone in 2008. He forgets that global ZIRP was only possible because the Chinese economy had the capacity to take the money printed and put it to work.

Without that capacity, as David Stockman pointed out cogently in his book Peak Trump and my interview with him, there would have not been the last decade of muddle through here in the West and explosive growth of China.

So, Trump blaming the Fed for a rising dollar is silly. What’s causing the rising dollar is the very instability he’s creating with his ‘tariff the world/sanction the world’ policy to force change.

The Fed needed to raise rates and force some sanity on the world. It needed to start rewarding savers to rebuild the pool of real savings within the U.S. economy, gutted to rebuild the banks on Wall St. who are now staring at an abyss of red ink from the oil boom and bust Trump thinks will Make America Great Again.

Russia and Iran have something to say about that.

IMO, they didn’t go far enough. If Trump’s goal is a different trade dynamic, a stronger dollar is the path to doing that. The Fed was helping him get what he wants. But because he’s, frankly, a spoiled Baby Boomer he wants it all and he wants it now.

What’s even sadder about this is that not only is Trump getting me to defend the Fed he’s getting me to agree with the shitlibs who say he doesn’t have the temperament to be President. *reaches for The Road to Serfdom*

He clearly doesn’t.

That doesn’t mean I pine for Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office. This is not an “If Not A, then B” situation. Just because Trump is not fit to be President doesn’t mean Hillary was either.

Like everyone else, I’m just trying to make the best of a bad situation rapidly deteriorating. Trump’s inability to grasp the basics of capital flows and the inadequacies of government accounting is yet another catalyst for a global meltdown that the U.S. will be the last one to feel the worst effects of, because the Fed’s ZIRP policy blew the biggest bubble of all time, denominated in, you guessed it, dollars.

There’s more than $50 trillion in dollar-denominated debt out there trading at already historically-low interest rates. What in the actual fuck does Trump think another 25 basis points is going to do?

Cure Cancer? Or get him re-elected so he can terrorize the world with his victimhood mentality he still clings to from when he was a Democrat.

The Fed can’t reverse the capital flowing into the U.S.. Trump started that the right way, he cut taxes and continues to cut regulations while changing the face of the judiciary.

But like the malignant narcissist that he is he refuses to take responsibility for doing so. His inflexibility will doom his presidency but he won’t see that until it’s too late.

So the blame game goes on. When he’s blaming the media and the increasingly bizarre behavior of Democrats trying to oust him from power, he’s spot on. When he tries to make sense of the interface between politics and markets he’s lost in a wilderness of mirrors.

I have only one word of advice at this point.

Duck.

 

The War on White Supremacist Terror, by C.J. Hopkins

All Trump voters are terrorists. From C.J. Hopkins at unz.com:

If you enjoyed the global corporatocracy’s original War on Islamicist Terror, you’re going to love their latest spinoff, The War on White Supremacist Terror. It’s basically just like the old War on Terror, except that this time the bad guys are all white supremacists, and Donald Trump is Osama bin Laden … unless Putin is Osama bin Laden. OK, I’m not quite sure who’s Osama bin Laden. Whatever. The point is, the Terrorists are coming!

Yes, that’s right, some racist psycho murdered a bunch of people in Texas, so it’s time to “take the gloves off” again, pass some new kind of Patriot Act, further curtail our civil liberties, and generally whip the public up into a mass hysteria over “white supremacist terrorism.”

The New York Times Editorial Board is already hard at work on that front. In a lengthy op-ed that ran last Sunday, “We Have a White Nationalist Terrorist Problem,” the Board proposes that we would all be safer if the government — but presumably not the current government — could arbitrarily deem people “terrorists,” or “potential terrorists,” or “terrorist sympathizers,” regardless of whether they have any connection to any actual terrorist groups, and … well, here’s what the Editorial Board has in mind.

“The resources of the American government and its international allies would mobilize without delay. The awesome power of the state would work tirelessly to deny future terrorists access to weaponry, money and forums to spread their ideology. The movement would be infiltrated by spies and informants. Its financiers would face sanctions. Places of congregation would be surveilled. Those who gave aid or comfort to terrorists would be prosecuted.”

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We’re All Currency Manipulators Now, by David Stockman

With universal fiat currencies backed by nothing, every government is a currency manipulator, including the US government. From David Stockman at lewrockwell.com:

Call it the monetary theater of the absurd. After all, here is what a determined currency manipulator did between September 2002 and July 2008.

To wit, it pumped about $200 billion of new dollar liabilities into the world financial system, thereby expanding the Fed’s balance sheet by 26%. Clearly, global traders and US trading partners didn’t welcome that flood of freshly minted fiat currency because during the same period, the traded-weighted dollar exchange rate plunged by 25%.

Moreover, there can be little doubt that the severe slump in the US dollar shown below was deliberate. During much of that period, the Fed conducted an aggressive campaign to slash interest rates, goose domestic growth and perk-up the inflation rate. The last objective in particular was the brain child of newly appointed Fedhead Ben Bernanke, who falsely warned Greenspan & Co. about the dangers of an imminent “deflation” that never remotely happened.

Needless to say, the impolite word for a policy of suppressing domestic interest rates and goosing inflation is trashing your own currency. All things being equal, foreigners will lighten their dollar holdings and trade the dollar down when authorities promise to reduce its purchasing power and to push yields lower relative to alternatives abroad.

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Finally Time for DNC Email Evidence, by Patrick Lawrence

Are we finally going to get around to uncovering the true Russiagate scandal? From Patrick Lawrence at antiwar.com:

The crumbling of Russiagate focuses attention on the considerable evidence that Russian intelligence agencies charged with intrusion into DNC servers had nothing to do with it.

Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak. The mini-empire of allegations, presuppositions, fallacious syllogisms, leaps of logic, imagined connections and mis– and disinformation marshaled to support charges of Russian interference in the 2016 elections is more or less a ruin.

The total collapse of the Russiagate orthodoxy now appears within reach – this for the first time since the Democratic National Committee set the narrative in motion after its email servers were compromised during the Trump–Clinton presidential contest. There is a good chance – though this is not a certainty – that Attorney General William Barr’s just-launched investigation will fully expose the numerous charges of Russian intervention as fabrications. Evidence of these fabrications, long available but ignored in a remarkably prevalent case of willful blindness, continues to grow such that it may be difficult to obscure it much longer.

It is now officially acknowledged that there is no credible evidence that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. At this point, the demonstrably bogus assertion that Russian intelligence hacked into the DNC’s email system in mid–2016 is the one remaining feature of the Russiagate orthodoxy that is commonly considered rock solid.

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The ‘Special Relationship’ Is Collapsing… and That’s a Good Thing, by Matthew Ehret

Somebody is getting played in the so-called special relationship between the US and the UK, and it’s probably the US. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

British Ambassador Kim Darroch’s return to London from his failed mission in America is being hailed by many naïve commentators as yet another proof that President Trump is a crazed ego-maniac who cannot take criticism from a seasoned professional diplomat.

During the weeks since the “Darroch memo” scandal erupted, mainstream media has totally mis-diagnosed the nature of the breakdown in US-British relations, and has brushed over the most relevant evidence that has been brought to light by Darroch’s cables. This spinning of the narrative has made it falsely appear that the Ambassador merely criticized the President as “clumsy, diplomatically inept, unpredictable and dysfunctional” and was thus unjustly attacked by the President causing the poor diplomate to resign saying “the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.” Former British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt went so far as to say that Darroch was “the best of Britain” and encouraged all diplomats to continue to “speak truth to power.” International press on both sides of the ocean followed suit portraying Darroch as a hero among men.

Hog wash.

The reality is that Darroch’s messages to the British Foreign Office go much deeper and reveal something very ugly that challenges the deepest assumptions about recent history and modern geopolitics.

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The War Party Is in Control, by Daniel Lazare

The government has been completely captured by the bipartisan military-industrial-intelligence complex. From Daniel Lazare at consortiumnews.com:

Republicans and Democrats alike are blaming U.S. crises on foreign adversaries instead of themselves, writes Daniel Lazare.

A few things are clear after Robert Mueller’s testimony last week.  One is that the former special counsel is an out-of-touch figurehead who doesn’t even seem to have read his own report.  Another is that Russiagate is a stinking sack of excrement – as California Republican Tom McClintock more or less described it (quote starts at 3:40:45) – that Democrats would never again mention if they had half a brain (which they don’t).

A third is that America is now dominated by a war party that includes everyone on Capitol Hill other than a few isolationists on the right and the Bernie Sanders-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faction on the left.  To be sure, there’s disagreement as to whether the enemy is Russia or Iran.  But such minor details aside, the logic is otherwise the same.  Foreigners are out to get us.  They are responsible for all our troubles.  Americans must mobilize to stop them.

Elementary concepts like evidence meanwhile fall by the wayside.  During a visit to India last month, Mike Pompeo described Iran as “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror” (quote at 27:15).

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