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Rates hit new lows this month. Symbolically, the 50-year swap rate in Europe dived into negative territory. Bonds as an asset class are in extinction, a major shift in modern finance as we know it, inadvertently turning ‘balanced portfolios’ into ‘long-equity portfolios’. The ‘nocebo effect’ of enduring negative interest rates is such that negative rates […]
Somehow Halper, in his stories to reporters and to U.S. authorities, managed to spin this one, single, completely innocent interaction between Flynn and Lokhova into something nefarious that placed both under suspicion. Was there ever any investigation by the FBI, the CIA, or MI6 into whether Halper’s allegations against Lokhova and Flynn had any merit? […]
Trump’s befuddlement might be understandable considering the carefully managed narrative of the U.S. government and its unofficial media apparatus, which have portrayed the protests as an organic “pro-democracy” expression of grassroots youth. However, a look beneath the surface of this oversimplified, made-for-television script reveals that the ferociously anti-Chinese network behind the demonstrations has been cultivated […]
In sum, asset forfeiture creates a motivation to draft more laws by the legislature, while more laws create greater opportunities for seizure by law enforcement. This perverse incentive structure is having devastating consequences: In 2014 alone, law enforcement took more stuff from American citizens than burglars did. https://ammo.com/articles/civil-asset-forfeiture-policing-for-profit.
Economic nationalism is incompatible with durable peace. Yet economic nationalism is unavoidable where there is government interference with business. Protectionism is indispensable where there is no domestic free trade. Where there is government interference with business, free trade even in the short run would frustrate the aims sought by the various interventionist measures. […]
… the government now believes there were a whopping 501,000 fewer total payrolls gained between March 2018 and March 2019. The current figures put the increase at 2.5 million – a marked improvement from 2017 which had been one of the worst labor market years since 2010. https://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/?p=336030&preview_id=336030&preview_nonce=cb25f9cf61&preview=true.
If there are any virtues of debt instruments with negative yields we’ve yet to realize them. Certainly, we understand that as bond yields fall, bond prices rise, and bond investors are rewarded with capital appreciation. But when capital’s appreciating as a consequence of negative yields, we suspect there’s something fundamentally wrong with the capital itself. […]
I’m sorry but I just don’t see it. The Chinese to me resemble an increasingly frantic regime pushed around by forces way, way beyond their control. In a vain attempt to placate them, authorities continually appeal to the dangerous and disproven. That doesn’t strike me as patient choice, more like running out of choices. that). […]

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