The Dow is up a couple of hundred points. The night before it was down a couple of hundred points. Gold is making a recovery from its December 2015 lows.
With all this down-up-down activity on markets, chartists are having a field day of late…support lines going everywhere.
Will the Dow break through and head to new lows or stay in the trend channel and resume its upward climb?
Support line or no support line, this market is headed a lot lower at some stage. The more important support for the Dow is the US economy and it is not the recovering debt addict we are led to believe.
The Dow Jones Transportation Index is the price-weighted average of 20 US transportation stocks — railroads, airlines, trucking, shipping, delivery services and logistics companies. And it’s fallen 26% since late 2014…if people were buying things — we’d see more transportation activity.
Reuters’ headline on 15 January 2016 was ‘US retail sales end 2015 with a whimper’. Walmart is closing 137 stores in the US. Manufacturing is down. Employment data is tortured to within an inch of its life to give a positive spin on the jobs front.
Against this backdrop of this ailing economy — that’s being paraded as spring chicken, provided you don’t look too hard — we have a US Presidential campaign.
Candidates all have their own cures for the economic ills — more jobs (code for even more data torture), more growth (code for more printed money and deficits), better healthcare (code for rewarding our buddies in the health insurance companies for their donations), more access to higher education (code for more unpaid student loans).
On 8 November 2016 US voters — those who choose to — go to the polls to choose between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.
The two major party candidates will be chosen at the respective National Conventions in July 2016.
We may also see former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg step forward as an independent candidate — spending in excess of US$1 billion on his campaign.
But let’s put the option to vote for Bloomberg to one side and pretend the choice is between Clinton and Trump.
Also let’s pretend there is compulsory voting and you cannot ‘donkey’ vote. You must cast your ballot one way or the other.
Who do you choose?
Do you vote for Clinton because it’ll be good to have the first female President? Personally I don’t think this should matter…otherwise when Bruce Jenner stands for President the logic is the US needs its first ‘transgender’ President. It should be about ability, not gender. However some will vote on the gender basis alone.
Others will vote for Hillary because they can’t stand Trump. He’s an egotist. In this politically correct world he is easily lampooned as a sexist, loud mouthed buffoon.
However Hillary is certainly not without sin. Past scandals are proving hard to shake. According to one recent poll:
‘American voters say 60–36 percent that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. Trump is not honest and trustworthy, voters say 59–35 percent. Sanders gets the best honesty grades among top candidates, 59–28 percent, with Carson at 53–34 percent, Rubio at 49–33 percent and Cruz at 43–39 percent.’
Both Hillary and Donald are viewed as the least trustworthy of candidates…and with good reason.
Personally I would not like to do business with Donald Trump. You wouldn’t know which way was up. If you left a business meeting with him and he was happy with the deal, you can bet your bottom dollar (and you probably just did) that if the going gets tough, you’ll get stuffed.
Hillary on the other hand has played the political game for so long, her moral compass lost its north bearing a long time ago.
Enough people have worked out that Hillary is in this for Hillary and Bill’s retirement fund.
The Wall Street Journal did a little digging recently and uncovered an astonishing coincidence:
‘…more than two dozen companies and groups and one foreign government paid former President Bill Clinton a total of more than $8 million to give speeches around the time they also had matters before Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.
‘Fifteen of them also donated a total of between $5 million and $15 million to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, the family’s charity, according to foundation disclosures.
‘In several instances, State Department actions benefited those that paid Mr. Clinton.’
Whoodathunk that could happen? Surely it must be the universe just happening to synchronise Bill and Hillary’s diaries. Bill and Hillary will tell you they are there for the good of the people, not their own pockets.
Hillary is determined to keep Obamacare — also known as the (un)Affordable Care Act. She won’t only keep it, she will improve on it:
‘All of the Republicans candidates for president are determined to get rid of the Affordable Care, I will tell you, I am not going to let them rip away the progress we made, I am not going to let them tear up that law, kick 16 million people off health coverage and force this country to start the health care debate all over again. Not on my watch.’
From what I’ve read on Obamacare it seems like it is one of those feel good, sounds great, warm and fuzzy political initiatives that simply cannot be afforded…but what the heck. Obamacare is a bureaucrat’s dream and a honey pot that keeps on giving for the health insurance companies — no prizes for guessing which companies would be lining up in the future to pay Bill for speeches.
Economist Stephen Moore wrote this in The Washington Post in February 2015:
‘If there were a contest for the biggest lie in Washington over the past 30 years, it would be hard to compete with President Obama’s boast that he would put 30 million more Americans on Medicaid and Obamacare subsidies, and this would reduce the budget deficit. That’s got to be right up there with President Clinton declaring, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
‘A new Congressional Budget Office report has blown the lid off the Obama whopper fib. The Congressional Budget Office reports that through the first four months of fiscal 2015, federal spending is rising at an 8.2 percent clip. Most components of spending are relatively flat and national defense outlays — the most important function of government — are falling. Still, one area accounts for almost the entire budget blowout: Obamacare.’
Never mind the US budget is bleeding red ink and public debt levels are closing in on US$20 trillion, Hillary intends to ‘improve’ Obamacare. Whenever a politician says ‘improve’, you have to ask; improve for who?
Donald’s platform is straightforward — more guns, close the borders, stop all imports, wipe out the Middle East, have Mexico build a 10 foot wall (Mexico may just do that to stop Mexicans returning to Mexico) and most importantly, to have more big breasted blondes on the White House payroll.
Well I may be stretching the truth with a couple of things on Donald’s to-do list — except the last one — but you get my drift. Donald is politically incorrect — personally I like that. We’ve become way too serious and sensitive. We need to lighten up and take the ‘mickey’ every now and then.
That’s why I’d vote for Donald. The world needs a laugh and to laugh at itself. We need someone who can’t be taken seriously. You want to see those cringe worthy moments when he greets the Queen with ‘Hello Liz, that Kate’s pretty easy on the eye’ or rings up Arnie and Sylvester to ask for their advice on how best to invade any country that ends with ‘stan’.
The Clintons are sneaky grafters…pretending to be do-gooders while really it’s all about the money. At least Donald is an open grafter…it’s all about the money to him and if he happens to stumble upon doing some good, that’s a bonus.
All jokes aside, whether it is Hillary, Donald or Mickey Mouse sitting in the Oval Office, the US is not going to change course. The die is cast.
I recall a bright eyed US Senator in March 2006 who said:
‘The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US government can’t pay its own bills… I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.’
The senator’s name was…Barack Obama.
When Obama took office in January 2009, US public debt was US$10.6 trillion. When he leaves it’ll be close to US$20 trillion.
Whoever wins in November really doesn’t matter. It’ll make absolutely no difference to the influence Wall Street has over the running of the nation’s finances, the NRA’s muscle against gun control, the weapons manufacturers control over defence spending and the health insurers’ determination to maintain the (un)Affordable Health Care Act.
These are extremely powerful and well financed lobby groups that are deeply embedded in Washington.
Debts and deficits will continue to grow. Graft and corruption will continue to flourish. The middle class will continue to be squeezed. The welfare queues will continue to lengthen. Bureaucracies will continue to expand. And sadly, gun related incidents will continue to headline our news.
I can hear the responses now to this rather dire forecast. Negative. Pessimistic. Naysayer. Gloom and doomer. Personally I prefer — realist.
When it takes more than US$1 billion to run for office, there is no way any mainstream candidate can raise this sort of money without owing something to a whole lot of somebodies.
As the US (and the rest of us) continue down the path of never-ending debt and deficits with our final destination being economic and social upheaval, let’s at least have a few laughs along the way.
Vote 1 for Donald.
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