The Gods Laugh…Mortal Investors, Take Cover

The days trickle down. To a precious few.

But the dots explode into a whole galaxy of known unknowns…along with a universe of unknown unknowns…one of which is sure to blow up.

We saw on Monday that corruption is warping America’s institutions.

Going after Donald Trump, the FBI turned itself into a partisan, lying, Soviet-style Cheka. The military has become fat and incompetent, pushing trillion-dollar wars only to reward its crony suppliers. The press has made itself into a craven shill for the Deep State, never even questioning its self-serving antics. The Republican Party has totally surrendered its old, conservative standards to crackpot theories, get-rich promises, and jackass leaders.

And the trade war has opened up a whole new section of low-lying Swamp…with lobbyists now making thousands of petitions to the feds to get their companies exempted from tariffs.

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When the money goes

When the money goes, everything goes. The feds sent the dollar on its way in 1971. It was then that they took off the golden handcuffs. Since then, the dollar has been picking everyone’s pockets. Compared to the pre-1971 dollar, it’s lost 98% of its value.

And the Federal Reserve soon degenerated, too. From the stern and sober guardian of America’s money — which it was in former chair Paul Volcker’s day — it has become a reckless enabler of Deep State debt, funding extravagant deficits and dangerous delusions. CNBC:

Former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan issued his latest warning Tuesday about the fiscal situation in the US, saying that larger budget deficits ultimately will cause inflation.

The spending shortfall has surged under President Donald Trump, rising to just shy of $1 trillion in fiscal 2019.

Greenspan told CNBC that ‘inflation is inevitably going to rise’ and pose larger threats to the economy.

The gods must laugh. Mortal investors, take cover.

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Deep state enclaves

Meanwhile, the real economy withers. Here’s Bloomberg:

‘A Third of America’s Economy Is Concentrated in Just 31 Counties’

While America’s economy has grown for over a decade, that growth is increasingly concentrated in 1% of the nation’s counties.

Just 31 counties, or the top 1% by share, made up 32.3% of U.S. gross domestic product in 2018, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Economic Analysis that included nearly 20 years of county-level GDP data. That’s despite these counties only having 26.1% of employed Americans and 21.9% of the population last year. Their combined GDP share is also up from a recession low of 30.1% in 2009.

The distribution of wealth is heavily skewed towards a few places — 1% of the nation’s counties, according to the Bloomberg reckoning. Need we mention that these places tend to be Deep State enclaves?

The Bloomberg telling is in line with our own research. As you’ll recall, our team found 2,278 counties with ‘depressed’ conditions. That’s 73% of US counties. (You can download the full report, America’s Hidden Depression, by following this link.) And it confirms a casual observation…

If you drive to visit Washington, DC or Manhattan, you will no doubt pass through areas with Trump signs in the windows…few fine houses…few nice restaurants…and little in the way of new industrial/commercial activity.

Often, depending on the route you take, you will pass through towns that appear to have peaked out 50 years ago…and rural areas that are little changed — except for wear and tear — in the last 30 years. Then, arriving at your destination, you will be surprised by the prices…the luxury…and the money.

Rigged game

Washington is one of the most favoured areas. It’s home to The Swamp and has benefited from the growth of government, bureaucrats, the military, lobbyists, hangers-on, chiselers, zombies, and bloodsuckers.

Manhattan’s silky zip codes are also among the 1%. No area of the country has gotten more of the Fed’s funny money…nor made more money by front-running its foolish policies.

In other words, neither Washington nor Manhattan has earned its wealth honestly. Instead, the game was rigged in their favour.

And therein lies a critical point. While the folks in rural counties may now have more movie selection than ever…and 100 times more computing power at the tips of their fingers…

…and perhaps they can buy — with their time — more bushels of wheat than any other time in history…

…so what?

What matters is not absolute wealth, but relative wealth. No one really minds being poor… so long as everyone else is poor, too. No one can really appreciate being rich…unless he has some poorer in-laws to whom he can feel superior.

And nobody likes it when someone cuts in line ahead of him…

Stay tuned…

Regards,

Signature
Bill Bonner,
For The Rum Rebellion


Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Bill has been a weekly contributor to The Rum Rebellion.


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