The Alternative Viewpoint: The 5 Scenarios Of Donald Trump

Submitted by Mark Jeftovic via,

It truly boggles the mind that we are living in a world where we are facing an election for the world’s most important spokesmodel and the candidates will be Donald Trump (narcissistic, serial bankrupt) and Hillary Clinton (known racketeer and influence peddler).

The rise of Trump has captivated all (contrast with the rise of Hillary which seemed a forgone conclusion from the word go, even when reality threatened to intervene….), it seems so freakish.

I’m not alone however, in suspecting that The Donald, is not really the “anti-establishment” loose-canon candidate he is being made out to be.

Trump could very well be playing a well defined role within the usual backdrop of manipulation of the masses and ensuring that any choice Americans face in November is purely illusory and ceremonial.

Let’s look at 5 possible scenarios that could explain the phenom.

#1: Trump is there to clear the path for Hillary Clinton


This was the first theory posited by  Catherine Austin Fitts over at Solari Report: that Trump was there to neutralize the other Republican challengers to pave the way for Hillary Clinton to win the election.

It is still possible that this is what is happening, given that Trump is now the Republican nominee he is being held out by most mainstream media as some kind of “Unthinkable Scenario”. It now hinges on the idea that the public finds the spectre of a Trump presidency something to be avoided at all costs, thus putting the voters behind whoever isn’t Trump. Which, given the mainstream media’s recent complicity in hijacking the Dems nomination process, will be Hillary.

Seeing that Bill Clinton had at least one back channel conversation with Trump prior  to his entering the race, this scenario looks plausible:

“The talk with Clinton — the spouse of the Democratic presidential front-runner and one of his party’s preeminent political strategists — came just weeks before Trump jumped into the GOP race and surged to the front of the crowded Republican field.”

The Clintons at the Donald's wedding in Palm Beach, 2005. They look cosy, don't they?

The Clintons at the Donald’s wedding in Palm Beach, 2005. They look cosy, don’t they?

#2: The purpose of Trump was to make Jeb Bush look electable

The entire world knows that the US needed another Bush presidency like it needs a third world war or a flu pandemic, yet Mr. Global wanted to make sure they (as usual) had “their kind of peeps” on either side of the equation. Hillary on the Dems side, check.

On the Republican side it wasn’t so clear cut. The batch of contenders put forward by the GOP this cycle came across as so utterly sociopathic and balls-out nuts it didn’t even look like they were trying to appear credible. Under this scenario Trump was there to make sure none of those whack jobs (Cruz, Carson, Fiorina) got anywhere close by simply out-cray-cray-ing them all, and he would thereby  make the blandest, least charismatic and most heavily tainted with well deserved crappy baggage (Bush) look appealing to voters.

This scenario breaks out into two sub-scenarios:

Sub-scenario A): Trump goes off-script and steals all the marbles

Ever seen the movie “Power Play” with Peter O’Toole? He plays a tank commander recruited into a military coup in some hypothetical Eastern European nation with an abysmal human rights record. Only O’Toole executes a “coup-within-a-coup”:  No sooner is the president deposed by the plotters does O’Toole tie the leader of the coup, the presumptive new president, to a stake right beside the deposed government and they all face the firing squads together. O’Toole is now in charge.

Something like this may have played out under this model. Trump was originally in play to neutralize the Republican clown squad and then decided to go for all the marbles anyway.

Sub-scenario B): Jeb’s implosion leads to “Plan B”, time to improvise

In this sub-scenario, early indicators were that even with all the Bush crime family’s apparatus behind him, it wouldn’t be enough to make the country bend over and say “ahhh” for another Bush presidency. Bush II was just that bad.

With Jeb out so early (gunning for a VP ride perhaps?) the GOP now has to improvise, or fall back on a “Plan B”:

#3: The Republicans are running a brilliant “unmarketing” gambit

Histrionics sells. Scandal sells. Reverse psychology works. The Republicans have a lot of baggage. They have names like: Nixon, Bush, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Dennis Hastert and this year it looks like they emptied out a looney bin to fill out their roster:

  • Ben Carson: Believes evolution is a Satanic conspiracy.
  • Ted Cruz: So rabidly anti-gay it’s possible he’s secretly gay.
  • Carly Fiorini: Lists “Wrecking HP” on her resume as career accomplishment.
  • Rick Santorum: is Rick Santorum.


The rest of the slate was an homogenous puree of uninspiring sludge, out of which Jeb Bush was presumably “the anointed one” on the GOP side of the race.

It didn’t take Republican strategists to understand that no conventional track would lead them to the White House, even if they were running against a congenitally corrupt sociopath like Hillary Clinton.

No, the GOP needed to think outside the box, they needed to be bold, and why not run the tried-and-true Reverse Psychology play? Put in The Donald and immediately start screaming hysterically that this man “does not represent the Republican Party” and wildly denounce him?

If Trump was a punk rock band he would be certified multi-platinum by now. November is his shot at a Grammy. And the crazy thing is it could totally work. The Republican elder’s may be laughing their asses off when they’re off camera.

So we put in Trump and then we totally Freaked Out and said "We can't back this nutcase!"

So then we put in Trump and acted all freaked out saying “We can’t back this loose canon!” It totally worked…

#4: Trump is just another Obama

I’ve already said it, I don’t buy this “anti-establishment” narrative for a couple of reasons:

  • Obama was also, in his own way “anti-establishment” and look where that went. Nowhere. If ever there was a illustrative demonstration of the term “linear extrapolation” the entire Obama presidency is it. “Change you could only believe in”.
  • If Trump truly posed a threat to the establishment, he would have been neutralized by now. Certainly before he became The Nominee. The Republicans are masters at that and they would of come up with something that would stick (i.e body of an underage hooker in the trunk of his car, whatever).

It is important to watch who lands in key positions around Trump as we head toward a possible presidency. Steve Mnuchin, for example, is his campaign finance chairman. He’s a former partner at Goldman Sachs and worked for George Soros.  You can’t get much more “Establishment” than Ye Olde Vampyre Squid.


Perhaps Trump is tapping Mnuchin because he has prior experience as a fund manager on presidential runs, in 2008 he worked for …Hillary Clinton. The rest of his organization looks well-heeled inside the Beltway, these guys aren’t anti-establishment outsiders. These guys are the establishment, or at least they’re a crew of establishment fixers.

#5: Trump is setting the stage to make a military coup look palatable

It’s as if a military coup hasn’t been planned and attempted before: “The Businessman’s Plot” wasn’t even that long ago, where a bunch of bankers (who else) tried to recruit the most decorated military general in history: Smedley Butler to overthrow Roosevelt in 1933. Butler went along with it long enough to blow the whistle on them and scuttle the whole deal. He went on to pen “War is a Racket”, which it is.

A Trump presidency could go one of two ways:

Either he is like the rest, and merely carries on implementing agendas which have been decided behind the scenes and would be carried out regardless of which party wins in November (TPP, globalisation, Bretton Woods II, Common Core, etc), OR he continues pulling The Nutjob Act.

I think this latter path is the remotest and most immediately dire scenario. Because if he does the latter, we could be playing out scenario 5: Softening us up for a military coup.

Ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden  exemplifies  these initial hints at military recalcitrance in heeding some “Mad King’s” crazy edicts. Be on guard for more subtle pre-positioning of the military in the role of the calm, helpful fatherly adult supervision that may need to step in and take the toys away should El Presidente go too far. For our own good.

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As has been observed in popular culture: This is how Liberty dies… with thunderous applause. A coup d’etat goes a lot easier when the populace is hoping for one.

I started writing this a couple weeks ago, before Hillary swindled the Democratic primaries to become “The presumptive nominee” (don’t get me wrong, not a Bernie Sanders fan either), I was favouring Scenario #1 already and I am calling that the most likely one with a minor twist: Trump may have entered the race at the Clinton’s behest to “white out” the rest of the Republican field, but he may double-cross them and try for the whole enchilada.

Who could have possibly seen that coming?

via Tyler Durden

Forget Weather, Kenyan GDP Threatened By “Marauding Monkeys”

In developed countries (like America) with sophisticated capital markets, complex adaptive supply chains, and experienced PhD economists running the economy, it is the weather that is to blame when data disappoints and throws cold water on a status-quo-maintaining narrative. But in Kenya, there is a force far greater than Mother Nature when it comes to potentially destroying the economy… the vervet monkey!!

A vervet monkey triggered a nationwide blackout in Kenya after it fell onto a transformer at one of the nation’s main hydroelectric plants, Kenya Electricity Generating Co. said. As Bloomberg reports,

The monkey climbed on to the roof of the Gitaru facility and may have been thrown off balance and onto a transformer, tripping the equipment and causing an overload on other machines at the plant, according to a statement e-mailed by the Nairobi-based power generator, known as KenGen. The animal survived the incident, it said.


The primate accessed the plant even though KenGen’s facilities are secured by electric fences designed to keep out “marauding wild animals,” the company said.


KenGen supplies 80 percent of the electricity in East Africa’s biggest economy.


The incident resulted in the loss of more than 180 megawatts from the plant, setting off the blackout, according to the utility. Supply has since been restored and power-generating units are operating normally, it said.

Perhaps it is time for Janet to import some monkeys because we suspedct we are going to need something other than weather to explain this…

via Tyler Durden

Saudi Arabia Forces the United Nations to Remove it from a List of Child Killers

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The United Nations is not just worthless, it is downright dangerous.This is because it maintains an air of humanitarianism while its true purpose is to defend and shield the barbarism and war crimes of its most powerful sponsors.

The true farce of the U.N. was exposed in earnest last year when it named the terrorist state of Saudi Arabia to head up a human rights council. I covered this in several posts, but here’s an excerpt from one of them, Not a Joke – Saudi Arabia Chosen to Head UN Human Rights Panel:

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from Liberty Blitzkrieg

Do We Need The State?

Submitted by Godfrey Bloom via,

The electorate of the industrial democracies broadly seem to accept the role of the State in every aspect of their lives, education, health & pensions being prime examples. This is largely unchallenged by modern press, media and politicians. No matter how great the failure in any aspect of our lives by the State criticism will usually focus on how it failed, rarely if ever will the vital question be asked ‘is this the role of the State?

Collapse of the State is often met with the excuse there was not enough of it. Lack of resources. Hence a failed State usually reverts to communism, fascism or socialism not classical liberalism. Yet ever intrusive government is a relatively new phenomenon.

Let us look at some of the numbers. In England during the enlightenment, post enlightenment and industrial revolution society leaped forward in any number of critical areas. John Locke’s Memoriam (1694) successfully campaigned for a free press, censorship ended in 1695.

This triggered a boom in publishing, by 1740 there were 400 printers in 200 provincial towns, 6000 titles were published in in the 1620s, by the 1790s this had risen to 56,000. Some radical sermons ran to 40,000 copies, extraordinary numbers considering the population of the day.

This huge rise in printing triggered significant advances in literacy rates up to 75% by the mid 19th century. By the end of the century there were over 4,800 newspapers and periodicals in circulation. Some of the great historical names in philosophy, science and writing were coming to the fore. Adam Smith, John Locke, David Hume, William Cobbett, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Defoe, Richard Arkwright, Josiah Wedgwood, Joseph Priestly to just scrape the surface of the illustrious names of that period. Advances for the common man were extraordinary, more so from 1800 to 1900 than in the previous 1000 years. Yet the State played no roll in education at all.

Moreover the people of the age were aware of how they were governed and the principles of English law. That knowledge advanced the cause of representative democracy which produced the political will for the reforms of the 1830s, the repeal of the Corn Laws and other significant benefits for the working man.

The concept of welfarism was restricted to modest help from the parish and much more importantly self help in the form of friendly societies, the birth of these mutual benefit societies gave security to working families for a few pennies a week. By 1801 there were 7,200 societies with a membership of 650,000. These societies grew exponentially for a further 180 years.

Hospitals for the poor were funded by philanthropists, Guy’s, St Thomas’s, The London Free and many others, still here today.

The world is in need of a new paradigm

There is today a need for radical thought, as advocated by the great French philosopher, Frederick Bastiat in his mantra ‘explore the unseen’. Current State education is failing, no English schoolchild even at 6th form level will have any idea how the country is governed or of what the principles of English Law consist, neither in all probability will the average school teacher.

Welfare support which started with the Beveridge report in 1943 as a safety net for the few fallen on hard times is now in many instances a lifestyle choice entrapping recipients in a twilight world of dependency, robbing people of their self respect in a way that the self help of the friendly societies never did. There was a growth in philanthropic wealth creation as part of enlightened policies of Cadbury, Rowntree, Titus Salt, well known Quaker names today for the motivation, education and concern for their work forces, less well known but far from unique was Robert Owen’s Lanarkshire Mills who advanced the welfare or his workers in the same way but with a very ‘Adam Smith’ reasoning, to prevent his workers emigrating to America.

The forerunner of today’s employers who provide health care, pensions, gymnasium membership and subsidised travel. Contrary to ill informed government meddlers good employees are difficult to recruit and retain, what started in the late 18th century has grown apace today. How much more could they provide without the burden of VAT, employment tax and business rates. How much more competitive internationally would an employee be today without income tax, national insurance, high fuel tax and all the other burdens with which the State weighs down the citizen?

The great infrastructure advances came with private enterprise, privately funded roads with the assistance of new road surface technology by John Macadam slashed inter city journey times, entrepreneurs built canals and railways enabling massive cheap movement of heavy goods, particularly coal which reduced prices by seventy five percent. Technology improved iron products and ceramics, consumer goods became readily available throughout the country and at affordable prices.

Into the twentieth and twenty first century and motor car, computer, telecommunications and pharmaceutical advances stagger the imagination. Yet none of these huge leaps forward have ever been provided by the State, indeed much in spite of the State with its appetite for tax and interference at every opportunity. UK Government spending is running at 50% of GDP, grotesque by historical standards. Incompetent, corrupt sometimes mind bogglingly stupid (energy policy!) yet still the millstone around the necks of the electorate grows ever more burdensome.

The failure of representative democracy is largely owing to the scope of government which is too broad. When the government controls every aspect of life no democratic system can cope.

Perhaps democracy as it's historically understood is fading away under the pressure of secret committees, enabling acts, political courts and minority administrations.

If government restricted itself to a highly limited ‘hand on the tiller’ of the ship of state we could get to our destination quicker, cheaper and more safely. History is our guide.

via Tyler Durden

Deutsche Bank’s Shocking ECB Rant: Warns Of Social Unrest And Another Great Depression

In early February, in a post titled “A Wounded Deutsche Bank Lashes Out At Central Bankers: Stop Easing, You Are Crushing Us“, we showed just how vast the feud between Europe’s biggest – and ever more troubled commercial bank – and the ECB had become. As DB’s Parag Thatte lamented then, “ECB rhetoric suggests additional easing measures forthcoming in March. While a fundamental tenet of these measures, in particular negative rates, has been to push investors out the risk spectrum, we remind that arguably the impact has been exactly the opposite.” And while the DB analyst has been correct, and now NIRP is widely accepted as a major mistake, the ECB proceeded to not only ease even more just one month after this first DB lament, but in what may have been a direct affront to DB, launched the monetization of corporate bonds, something which as we documented earlier today has now led to the complete disconnect between bonds and underlying fundamentals.

It was also led to daily record low yields for government bonds around the globe.

Last but not least, it has pushed the stock price of Deutsche Bank to levels not seen since the financial crisis as DB suddenly finds itself unable to make money in an NIRP environment.

Which brings us to today, when overnight DB’s chief economist David Folkerts-Landau released a scathing report titled “The ECB must change“, one which blows DB’s February lament out of the water, and in which DB accuses the ECB of putting not only its future at risk, but the future of the entire Eurozone, with its destructive policies.

A quick read of the executive summary of this epic rant reveals just how shockingly bad relations between Germany’s biggest bank and the former Goldman partner have now become.

Over the past century central banks have become the guardians of our economic and financial security. The Bundesbank and Federal Reserve are respected for achieving monetary stability, often in the face of political opposition. But central bankers can also lose the plot, usually by following the economic dogma of the day. When they do, their mistakes can be catastrophic.


Today the behaviour of the European Central Bank suggests that it too has gone awry. After seven years of ever-looser monetary policy there is increasing evidence that following the current dogma, broad-based quantitative easing and negative interest rates, risks the long-term stability of the eurozone.


Already it is clear that lower and lower interest rates and ever larger purchases are confronting the law of decreasing returns. What is more, the ECB has lost credibility within markets and more worryingly among the public.


But the ECB’s response is to push policy to further extremes. This causes mis-allocations in the real economy that become increasingly hard to reverse without even greater pain. Savers lose, while stock and apartment owners rejoice.


Worse, by appointing itself the eurozone’s “whatever it takes” saviour of last resort, the ECB has allowed politicians to sit on their hands with regard to growth-enhancing reforms and necessary fiscal consolidation.


Thereby ECB policy is threatening the European project as a whole for the sake of short-term financial stability. The longer policy prevents the necessary catharsis, the more it contributes to the growth of populist or extremist politics.


Our models suggest that in its fight against the spectres of deflation and unanchored inflation expectations the ECB’s monetary policy has already become too loose. Hence, we believe the ECB should start to prepare a reversal of its policy stance. The expected increase in headline inflation to above one per cent in the first quarter of 2017 should provide the opportunity for signalling a change.


A returning to market-based pricing of sovereign risk will incentivise governments to begin growth-friendly reforms and to tackle fiscal stability. Flagging the move should dampen adverse reactions in financial markets.


We believe that normalising rates would be seen as a positive signal by consumers and corporate investors. The longer the ECB persists with unconventional monetary policy, the greater the damage to the European project will be.

And just in case readers don’t have a sense of what “great damage” from a central bank looks like, DB is happy to provide the imagery: think Weimar hyperinflation and even another Great Depression.

Central bankers make big mistakes too


In the 1920s the Reichsbank thought it could have 2,000 printing presses running day and night to finance government spending without creating inflation. Around the same time the Federal Reserve allowed more than a third of US deposits to be destroyed via bank failures, in the belief that banking crises where self-correcting. The Great Depression followed.


That was a hundred years ago but mistakes keep happening despite all the supposed improvements to central banking, from independence to better data and more sophisticated theoretical and econometric models. The so-called Jackson Hole consensus before the latest financial crisis tolerated credit growth moving out of sync with the real economy in many areas of the world. The prevailing dogma at the time was that traditional measures of inflation were low and those bubbles in asset markets shouldn’t really exist. 


The popular dogma shared among central bankers today is that a lack of demand is the source of all evil causing sub-par inflation. Once such a conclusion has been reached, evidence becomes abundant. This is a phenomenon known as confirmation bias in behavioural economics. Other explanations for low inflation today are brushed aside.


People who are convinced they possess the only correct analytical approach to a problem are labelled hedgehogs in the book Superforecasting by PhilipTetlock. Hedgehogs perceive all incoming information through their one seemingly correct lens, making them blind to alternative interpretations.


In the case of the world’s central bankers, strongly held views are then reinforced by group-think. It is no surprise therefore that ECB president Mario Draghi defends his policy by saying that all other major central banks are doing the same –which by the way does not hold for negative rates. And of course, if a problem persists – such as inflation undershooting yet again – this can only be due to further demand shortcomings rather than other factors such as an oil price shock.


A united front, not to mention unparalleled access to data, means central bankers are hugely respected, or at least rarely accused. But criticisms of current policy is growing, particularly in Germany. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble allegedly blames it for half the AfD’s success in recent elections. Two months ago parliamentary groups attacked the ECB for its zero/negative rate policy and suggested Berlin intervenes – in effect questioning the ECB’s independence.


Such a chorus shows that monetary policy lurching to extremes has consequences far beyond the realm of financial markets and the real economy. It is dangerous for central banks not to consider these wider consequences, especially since it might be argued that they lack the mandate to wield such influence on societies and individual citizens.

DB then points out the biggest logical fallacy of any monetary stimulus: by doing “whatever it takes”, or “getting to work”, central bankers merely remove the burden on politicians to do their job. Instead, everything becomes a function of monetary policy and thus, the stock market. No wonder then that every time Obama speak, his first boast is how high the stock market is. However, the good days won’t last.

The benefits from ever-looser policy are diminishing while the litany of distortions, perversions and disincentives grows by the day. Savers are punished and speculators rewarded. Bad companies survive while good companies are too scared to invest. Moreover, governments no longer fear that failure to reform their economies or reduce debt will raise the cost of borrowing. In fact, total indebtedness in the eurozone has been rising, with the reformed and re-interpreted Stability and Growth Pact as toothless as ever. Risk-spreads have all but disappeared fromgovernment bond markets. Badly needed labour, banking, political, educational and governance reforms have been slowed or abandoned.


Another problem is that games of largess and moral hazard are hard to quit. The ECB has become the henchman of ever more demanding markets, with investors already braying for another extension of quantitative easing by September. There is also evidence that current policy reduces the pressure on banks to increase capital and to clean up non-performing loans (NPLs) and thereby keeping unprofitable companies in business.

Incidentally when DB says investors, it means firms such as Goldman Sachs, Mario Draghi’s former employer. Back to DB, which proceeds to excoriate the negative aspects of the ECB’s policies:

While the ECB is right in saying that it is not running out of ammunition – in purely technical terms the recent debate about “helicopter money” suggests as much – it is on shakier ground arguing that policy has worked as intended….  For example, ultra-cheap loans are providing life support for companies which would not be viable under more normal conditions. This has lead to over-capacity – not to mention disinflation – across many industries in Europe, with revenues falling compared with assets. Last year 40 per cent of companies had no top-line growth. It is ironic therefore that many think productivity can be kick-started via even lower rates.


Another clear negative is that savers have no income certainty over the longer-term, given that it has become virtually impossible to achieve real returns on interest bearing assets. Moreover, survey evidence suggests that consumer thinking has been seriously shocked by negative rates. Rather than rejoicing at free money, most see the move as a sign of distress rates – soggy spending data would support this view. Germans, meanwhile, think the central bank is encouraging indebtedness and profligacy instead of thrift and stability.


Indeed, more institutions are beginning to voice their concerns. At its annual press conference, Bafin, Germany’s financial watchdog, warned that low interest rates were a “seeping poison” for financial institutions dependent on interest rates and is concerned some pensions funds might fail to provide guaranteed benefits. BaFin reckons about half of Germany’s banks have a heightened exposure to interest changes and may therefore have to hold more capital. Bundesbank board member Andreas Dombret warned that banks may have to increase charges to their clients.


Yet another place to look if you question ECB policy is Japan. Its central bank introduced negative interest rates in January and they have been poorly received by financial institutions as well as households and corporations. This has been attributed to the surplus in Japan’s private sector and the preference among households for deposits, bonds and principal-guaranteed products. An increase in projected benefit obligations (PBO) due to the decline in the discount rate also hasn’t helped. The negative impact on Japanese financial institutions is clearer still, in the form of higher holding costs on their central bank current account deposits, narrower lending margins and constraints on credit creation. Ominously for Europe, these repercussions are the result of the simultaneous implementation of quantitative easing and negative rates. And this concurrent policy is also damaging to the Bank of Japan’s own finances.


* * *


Longer-term the negative consequence of ultra-low rates and sovereign bond backstops comes from a lack of economic reform. It was not meant to be this way. Immediately after the crisis the implicit deal was that politicians would reduce public debt levels and implement the necessary reforms while the ECB provided them with the necessary time and monetary tailwind.


Some ex-central bankers argue that early on a pattern evolved where governments did not deliver on their tasks so that the ECB, as the life-saver of last resort, was forced to step in ever more aggressively. But it is equally plausible, although impossible to prove, that politicians delayed making hard choices knowing that the ECB would “do whatever it takes”, as it eventually said explicitly. With the risks associated with failure to reform their economies or reduce debt removed, courtesy of the self-appointed purchaser-of-last-resort of sovereign debt, elected politicians have not needed any encouragement to cater to national interests. In fact, six years after the onset of the European crisis total indebtedness in the eurozone keeps rising.

And now the conclusion to this epic rant:

The ECB has – probably with very good intentions – manoeuvred itself into a position where market expectations are having an increasing influence on its policy. This is in part the result of the central bank’s tendency to raise market expectations ahead of policy decisions, thereby putting pressure on council members to deliver.


With its “whatever it takes” stance the ECB has removed incentives for governments to reform and has distorted the market-based pricing of government bond yields. Politicians are also stuck because unpopular reforms would probably see them replaced by more national and euro-sceptic politicians, which poses an even bigger risk for the eurozone.


ECB president Mario Draghi has repeatedly said he cannot make the fulfilment of his job description dependent on whether other agents (that is, politicians) fulfil theirs. But real world is what it is – ignoring the wider consequences of monetary policy led to last crisis.


The German Council of Economic Experts argues that a comprehensive evaluation of all consequences of monetary decisions is a prerequisite for a competent monetary policy. Today the balance of consequences points to areversal in ECB policy.

Why does all of this sound familiar? Oh yes, because we have been warning about all of this since the day the Fed launched QE, and we warned that there is no way such unorthodox policy ends well. Seven years later the chief economist of Europe’s biggest bank admits we were spot on. We expect many more strategists and economist to make comparable admissions, if they don’t already behind closed doors.

On the other hand, “groupthink” as DB calls it, surrounding Draghi and the central planners is impenetrable, and sadly all of this will be ignored. Which is why the only real way this final bubble is resolved, is when it bursts. Which is also something we have said long ago: instead of fighting the central banks, just let them achieve their goals as fast as possible.

Ultimately, it is now too late to change anything anyway, plus the economic, finacnial and social collapse will inevitably come, whether in one month or a decade. The best that those who are paying attention can do is prepare. As for everyone else… they can find comfort in their echo chambers which ignore the reality that their actions create.

That unpleasant truth aside, we find that the now official super heavyweight contest between Deutsche Bank and the ECB may be far more entertaining than even that between Hillary and Trump. Luckily popcorn is still plentiful and cheap. For now. 

Source: Deutsche Bank

via Tyler Durden

Neocon Hillary Clinton Launches “Republicans Against Trump”

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I want to conclude with the most important reason of all not to vote for Hillary Clinton come November. If you do, you will be rubber-stamping everything the Democratic Party and the mainstream media has done during this election cycle. Voting for Hillary Clinton will send a message to the Democratic Party that change is unnecessary. That the status quo can kick you, spit on you and laugh in your face for months straight and get away with it.

Donald Trump is not your problem. Of course, Sanders supporters cannot actually consider voting for the man, but don’t let anyone tell you a vote for a third-party candidate or no vote at all is a “vote for Donald Trump.” The fault is not yours if Trump gets elected. The fault lies with the DNC and the media.

Most importantly, all Sanders supporters need to understand that if you sacrifice your principles and shift to Clinton just to defeat Trump, you have psychologically taken yourself out of the real fight to come. By supporting her to defeat someone who you think is worse you are harming yourself and your ability to think clearly and engage in activism going forward. The best advice I can give anyone is to vote third party or sit this charade out. As such you’ll remain engaged in the real fight, and fully prepared to act as much needed resistance to whichever authoritarian is elected, Trump or Clinton.

– From yesterday’s post: Journalistic Malpractice – How Hillary Clinton “Clinched” the Nomination on a Day Nobody Voted

Donald Trump may have won the Republican nomination, but the neocons still got one of their own in the Presidential contest.

Politico reports:

Hillary Clinton is wasting no time trying to woo Republicans turned off by Donald Trump now that she’s the presumptive Democratic nominee, as her campaign has launched a new website aimed at courting disaffected GOP voters.

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from Liberty Blitzkrieg

Rand Paul Wants to End the Draft and Force Congress to Vote on Authorizing War

Rand PaulSen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — the erstwhile “most interesting man in politics” — has laid fairly low since being one of the first high-profile candidates to drop out of the presidential race in February. But in the past few weeks he has made his presence known on two issues near to the hearts of libertarians: ending Selective Service (a.k.a. “the draft”) and forcing Congress to resume its duty and actually vote on the use of military force. 

Paul had previously introduced an amendment into the National Defense Authorization Act which would effectively end Selective Service, but he has rebranded his efforts in the wake of Muhammad Ali’s death in the form of stand-alone legislation which he has dubbed “The Muhammad Ali Voluntary Service Act.”

According to the Washington Post, Paul told reporters this past Monday, “I agree with Muhammad Ali…If the war’s worth fighting, people will volunteer. When we were attacked on 9/11, and when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, they almost had to slow it down, there were so many people coming in.” 

In addition, CN2 quotes Paul as saying, “You know, the criminal justice system I say now has a racial justice disparity, selective service had a racial disparity, because a lot of rich white kids either got a deferment or went to college or got out of the draft. I’m opposed to Selective Service.” The penalty for avoiding Selective Service is “imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of not more than $250,000.”

Also this week, Paul revisited his intention to force his colleagues in Congress to do one of their most important jobs — one which they have simply refused to do for years — and vote on a new Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) to replace the ones voted on in 2001 and 2003, which are still being used to justify military actions in any number of countries we are not at war with. 

At a ceremony honoring World War II veterans and commemorating the anniversary of D-Day, the Courier-Journal reports Paul as saying that everyone knew the war against the Axis Powers would end, but with regards to what used to be known as the Global War on Terror, there is no nation-state to defeat and no definition of victory. Paul reportedly said, “This is a war that will never end. How long will there be radical Islam and people will attack us through terrorism? A hundred or a thousand years? I have no idea. It could go on a long time. That’s why it has to be limited and narrow.” He added, “It’s always important to put a name and face to war,” Paul said. “There is too much eagerness for war. There needs to be more of an argument in the opposite direction, that it should be a last resort.”

Seemingly taking aim at the hawks in his own party as well as President Obama (who has been at war for his entire presidency), Breitbart News quotes Paul as saying, “I think there is a certain amount of weakness that invites war and I would say in many ways [Obama] hasn’t definitively had a foreign policy that gives direction or purpose. And so it seems to list one way or another, and I think that actually weakness causes more wars sometimes.”

Paul used the intervention in Libya — which Obama has called the “worst mistake” of his presidency (but which Hillary Clinton still refers to as “smart power“) — as an example of why Congress must consider and take ownership of military interventions. Per Breitbart News

I think the first thing we should do is, that Congress should vote on whether we should be there or not. There should be an authorization from Congress. The second thing though, is we should be aware of the unintended consequences of intervention. I think our intervention in Libya backfired and has made it less safe in Libya, has given ISIS a foothold in Libya. 

Below you can watch a 2015 Reason TV interview with Paul, in which he talks with Reason’s Matt Welch about his opposition to the Patriot Act, GOP hawks, Edward Snowden, and more.

from Hit & Run

Brock Turner Case Proves That Activists Are Wrong About Campus Rape Trials

Brock TurnerI mentioned this in my previous post about the convicted Stanford University, but it bears repeating: Brock Turner is the reason that cops, rather than colleges, should investigate and adjudicate rape. 

Yes, Turner’s sentence was inappropriately lenient, but the fact that he will spend any time in jail at all is a credit to the criminal justice system. Because witnesses involved the police from the beginning, Turner was assured a fair trial that resulted in a well-deserved conviction. The public can have faith that the verdict was correct: it was arrived at by twelve jurors who determined, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Turner committed the crime he was accused of. 

Many anti-rape activists are condemning Turner’s meager sentence, and rightly so. But there’s a profound irony here: a large contingent of the anti-rape activist community is actually opposed to mandatory involvement of the cops and courts in student sexual assault disputes—even though cops and courts are the only vehicle for obtaining a prison sentence at all

As KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor write in The Washington Post

The backlash against Turner’s sentence is being exploited by a powerful but misguided movement to delegitimize law enforcement as the best way to handle campus sexual assaults. The accusers’ rights group Know Your IX has claimed that even reporting an assault to police could harm campus victims. “#copsoffcampus,” the group recently tweeted. 

Campus activists at Stanford and nationwide have championed secretive disciplinary processes run by administrators who know little about gathering evidence (or about fair procedures). Indeed, had this case been initially channeled through the school, critical evidence — including Turner’s highly incriminating statement to police — might have been lost. 

No one should be in favor of the campus-run rape adjudication system, because it is deeply unfair to both accusers and the accused, produces outcomes that are frequently overturned via lawsuits, and is incapable of ascertaining jail time for rapists. People like Turner should face justice—real justice, not the ill-considered half-measure that colleges supply. 

from Hit & Run

Sign of Progress: Millennial Women Don’t Care That Hillary Clinton Is a Woman.

Her?So Hillary Clinton has made history as the first (presumptive!) nominee of a major political party. Odds are good that she will be the next president of the United States, and our first female chief executive.

And yet…young women just don’t seem to care a rat’s ass (nor do many older feminists, such as Naomi Klein). Democratic millennials (voter-brats below the age of 35 or so) prefer Bernie Sanders because while he is even older and whiter than Hillary, he’s at least preaching a fake revolution that boils down to “Medicare for all.” Really, what is wrong with the kids these days? They don’t drink, drug, or fuck like they used to, and you can pacify them with the promise of low-co-pay hip replacements and discount Rascal Scooters. Jeez, this used to be such a great country. Three generations from burning bras and ROTC buildings to demanding college presidents wash inoffensive chalk messages off campus sidewalks. Make America great again? Sure, why not.

According to Asche Schow at the Washington Examiner, Hillary doesn’t wow Lady Youth for a variety of reasons, including being stuck in the past:

Clinton appears to be fighting the battles of her generation of women, not today’s. She still tells stories of past sexism (or questionable accounts of current sexism) that just don’t appeal to many young women today. We get it, women had it tough in the past, but today we’re making progress (without government interference) and don’t have to keep whining about the bad old days of “Mad Men”-style offices….

It made it difficult for Clinton to constantly play the “woman card,” because it didn’t need to be said and the prospect of the first woman president doesn’t seem like something necessary to advance women in America….

Clinton just isn’t that inspirational, even if she does check one box for presidential diversity, and millennials — outside of the most stalwart outrage feminists — see that. She’s going to have to do a lot more than constantly remind people she’s a woman to win the rest of the millennials over.

More here.

Let me add also that Clinton has been embroiled for decades now in all sorts of real and imagined controversies and has never acquitted herself with much grace.

Luckily for Hillary, she’s running against the biggest jackass to ever suit up as a Republican presidential nominee (presumptive!). Even still, Clinton is so unappealing that she and The Donald are crepey-neck-and-neck at this point in time.

Just a day or so ago, Reason’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown noted that the response to Hillary Clinton’s pathbreaking (presumptive!) nomination has “been a collective meh.”

Let’s not let this moment pass without giving it its due: That this long-awaited—and long-delayed—watershed is an anti-climax is a tremendous sign of social, economic, and political progress. Women of Hillary Clinton’s vintage (she was born in 1947, about six months after Donald Trump) were born into a world that did not even pretend to treat women equally. Hillary’s cohort had to put up with enormous amounts of horseshit and most of what they got, they had to fight for. The patriarchy—yes, it did exist and still lumbers on, though now like Tor Johnson in an Ed Wood movie—didn’t exactly go gentle into that good night.

Tor JohnsonAs someone who was born at the tail end of the baby boom (I was hatched in 1963), all I can say is thank you to all who came before and fought battles that I never had to engage. My parents were born in the 1920s and I inherited a world that was much freer and fairer than theirs had been, and I know my own kids (born in 1993 and 2001) are living in a world that is better still. But that ongoing social, economic, and political progress also means that Clinton’s gender means less and less as time goes on. Which is exactly as it should be.

Clinton, like her peer Trump, will be judged not on the basis of her gender but the content of her character. Which helps explain why both candidates have historically low approval ratings and why “Democratic, Republican Identification Near Historical Lows.”

This will almost certainly be the last presidential election that will include only baby boomers (Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate is 63). In keeping with my dream of becoming the Vidkun Quisling of my generation, I can only hope it will be the last. The baby boom has already scarfed down too much shrimp and tenderloin in the buffet of life to be allowed to keep doing so. Soon enough, it will be Gen X’s and the millennials’ time to screw things up however they see fit. Indeed, it’s already past time for that to happen. If only they weren’t so lazy or entitled.

from Hit & Run

A Dismal Picture Of Decline

Submitted by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog,

A population of illiterate, non-thinking morons can’t possibly obtain good paying jobs. This country spends $12,000 per public school student per year on education and this is the outcome? The factual data presented below paints a picture of an empire in rapid decline. We are too far gone. No amount of money or presidential election is going to change this course. We chose this path in the 1960s and now we will reap the consequences.


  • In a study of literacy among 20 ‘high income’ countries; US ranked 12th
  • Illiteracy has become such a serious problem in our country that 44 million adults are now unable to read a simple story to their children.
  • 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an eighth grade level
  • 45 million are functionally illiterate and read below a 5th grade level
  • 44% of the American adults do not read a book in a year
  • 6 out of 10 households do not buy a single book in a year


  • According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of middle-class households declined by 4 percent from 2000 to 2014.
  • There are still 900,000 fewer middle-class jobs in America than there were when the last recession began, but the population has grown significantly larger since that time.
  • According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.
  • An astounding 48.8 percent of all 25-year-old Americans still live at home with their parents.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month, and nearly 47 million Americans are living in poverty right now.
  • In 2007, about one out of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that number is one out of every five.
  • The median net worth of families in the United States was $137, 955 in 2007. Today, it is just $82,756.

via Tyler Durden