Tag Archive: On Economy

Tax Reform and Trump’s Chinese Trade Deficit Conundrum

Most things come easier said than done. Take President Trump’s posture on trade with China. Trump doesn’t want a bigger trade deficit with China. He wants a smaller trade deficit with China. In fact, reducing the trade deficit with China is one of Trump’s promises to Make America Great Again.

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As the Controlled Inflation Scheme Rolls On

American consumers are not only feeling good. They are feeling great. They are borrowing money – and spending it – like tomorrow will never come. On Monday the Federal Reserve released its latest report of consumer credit outstanding. According to the Fed’s bean counters, U.S. consumers racked up $28 billion in new credit card debt and in new student, auto, and other non-mortgage loans in November.

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2018: The Weakest Year in the Presidential Election Cycle Has Begun

Our readers are probably aware of the influence the US election cycle has on the stock market. After Donald Trump was elected president, a particularly strong rally in stock prices ensued.  Contrary to what many market participants seem to believe, trends in the stock market depend only to a negligible extent on whether a Republican or a Democrat wins the presidency.

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Several Simple Suppositions and Suspicions for 2018

The New Year is nearly here. The slate’s been wiped clean. New hopes, new dreams, and new fantasies, are all within reach. Today is the day to make a double-fisted grab for them. Without question, 2018 will be the year in which everything happens exactly as it should. Some things you will be able to control, others will be well beyond your control.

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Why Monetary Policy Will Cancel Out Fiscal Policy

Good cheer has arrived at precisely the perfect moment. You can really see it. Record stock prices, stout economic growth, and a GOP tax reform bill to boot. Has there ever been a more flawless week leading up to Christmas?

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How the Asset Bubble Could End – Part 1

We recently pondered the markets while trying out our brand-new electric soup-cooling spoon (see below). We are pondering the markets quite often lately, because we believe tail risk has grown by leaps and bounds and we may be quite close to an important juncture, i.e., the kind of pivot that can generate both a lot of excitement and a lot of regret all around.

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The Rug Yank Phase of Fed Policy

The political differences of today’s two leading parties are not over ultimate questions of principle. Rather, they are over opposing answers to the question of how a goal can be achieved with the least sacrifice. For lawmakers, the goal is to promise the populace something for nothing, while pretending to make good on it.

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The Party of Spend More vs. the Party of Tax Less

The Senate just passed a 500-page tax reform bill. Assuming it lives up to its promise, it will cut taxes on corporations and individuals. Predictably, the Left hates it and the Right loves it. I am writing to argue why the Right should hate it (no, not for the reason the Left does, a desire to get the rich).

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Japan: It isn’t What the Media Tell You

For the past few decades, Japan has been known for its stagnant economy, falling stock market, and most importantly its terrible demographics. For almost three decades, Japan’s GDP growth has mostly been less than 2%, has been negative for several of these years, and has often hovered close to zero. The net result is that its GDP is almost at the same level as 25 years ago.

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Lessons from Squanto

Governments across the planet will go to any length to meddle in the lives and private affairs of their citizens. This is what our experiences and observations have shown. What gives? For one, politicians have an aversion to freedom and liberty. They want to control your behavior, choices, and decisions. What’s more, they want to use your money to do so.

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The Precious Metals Bears’ Fear of Fridays

In the last issue of Seasonal Insights I have shown that the gold price behaves quite peculiarly in the course of the trading week. On average, prices rise almost exclusively on Friday. It is as though investors in this market were mired in deep sleep for most of the week.

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How Uncle Sam Inflates Away Your Life

“Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon,” economist and Nobel Prize recipient Milton Friedman once remarked. He likely meant that inflation is the more rapid increase in the supply of money relative to the output of goods and services which money is traded for.

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Business Cycles and Inflation – Part I

Incrementum Advisory Board Meeting Q4 2017 – Special Guest Ben Hunt, Author and Editor of Epsilon Theory. The quarterly meeting of the Incrementum Fund’s Advisory Board took place on October 10 and we had the great pleasure to be joined by special guest Ben Hunt this time, who is probably known to many of our readers as the main author and editor of Epsilon Theory.

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What President Trump and the West Can Learn from China

Expensive Politics. Instead of a demonstration of its overwhelming military might intended to intimidate tiny North Korea and pressure China to lean on its defiant communist neighbor, President Trump and the West should try to learn a few things from China.

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Heat Death of the Economic Universe

Physicists say that the universe is expanding. However, they hotly debate (OK, pun intended as a foreshadowing device) if the rate of expansion is sufficient to overcome gravity—called escape velocity. It may seem like an arcane topic, but the consequences are dire either way.

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The Downright Sinister Rearrangement of Riches

Simple Classifications. Let’s begin with facts. Cold hard unadorned facts. Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit at standard atmospheric pressure. Squaring the circle using a compass and straightedge is impossible. The sun is a star.

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How to Survive the Winter

One of the fringe benefits of living in a country that’s in dire need of a political, financial, and cultural reset, is the twisted amusement that comes with bearing witness to its unraveling. Day by day we’re greeted with escalating madness. Indeed, the great fiasco must be taken lightly, so as not to be demoralized by its enormity.

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Falling Interest Rates

Amassing Unproductive Debt.Last week, we discussed the marginal productivity of debt. This is how much each newly-borrowed dollar adds to GDP. And ever since the interest rate began its falling trend in 1981, marginal productivity of debt has tightly correlated with interest. The lower the interest rate, the less productive additional borrowing has in fact become.

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Marc Faber, Freedom of Speech & Capitalism

Political Correctness Hampers Honest Debate. What would the world be like today had Europeans never colonized Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, and South Asia? Most of these societies would still not have discovered the wheel. It takes a huge amount of reality-avoidance and ineptitude for outsiders who travel there not to realize that a billion or more people in the Third World still wouldn’t have discovered the wheel.

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Can Switzerland Save the World?

Switzerland: Far from Flawless, but still a Unique Country – An Interview with Claudio Grass. Our friend Claudio Grass has discussed Switzerland in these pages before, and on one of these occasions we added some background information on country’s truly unique political system (see “The People Against the Establishment” for the details).

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