Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Whom Do You Believe: Peter Or Erin?

Peter and his people are confident that they have the MOJO while Erin and his team claim to be ahead, at least in endorsements.

Nice window dressing but the truth lies in your average CPC member's gut. It's up to each of you to feel it out and then make a decision. I can tell you one thing for certain: this race is already polarized with undecideds likely being few and far between.

Some will vote for ideas, other principles but it's a pretty safe bet most will make a first choice based on who can win against Trudeau.

You know where I always come from: namely, that winning isn't everything but that it's the only thing. IMHO, MacKay has righted the ship and has the wind at his back.

I think MacKay has what it takes to beat Trudeau. I could be wrong but I don't see O'Toole being able to pull it off, not at all.

But your decision is between you, your conscience and your God. All I ask of each and every one of you is that you vote -- and not often! LOL.
Thank you.

Friday, 26 June 2020

CPC: Those Nightly Phone Calls.

Right up front: I'm supporting MacKay and that won't waver. However, local Conservatives asked me to at least hear out other candidates. I was of two minds about this: I didn't then and I still now don't think it's appropriate for someone to do a meet and greet with a candidate when you're already spoken for. As a result, I did not attend an O'Toole event held in Quebec City.

However, in the interest of fair play, I did listen in on O'Toole and Lewis video or phone calls just to hear them out. I wasn't there to spy with my little eye and evidently did not pass on codes or material to any other candidate. 

Political calls are a strange thing: they go best if there isn't too my fawning or deliberate sucking up, either by other MPs, former party candidates or those with hopes of eventual "prospects". So, please keep that to a minimum for the benefit of viewers and listeners.

Another rookie mistake is, of course, anointing your candidate as the next leader or future PM. That smacks of rank amateurs running the show, at least on these calls.

But the one that blew me away was one hell of a whopper: did I hear correctly that one candidate actually claimed to have two thousand, or thereabouts CPC members on the French-language call? Do I need hearing aids, or perhaps that can't possibly be right?

There again, would any campaign actually be foolish enough to dick around with the numbers on the call and then try to pass it off as Gospel? I hope not. You know, when they start getting proactively defensive and accusatory towards the tail end, you get the sense that desperation has started to sink in. You get the idea that the other guy, or gal, already knows they haven't got the numbers and have no reasonable shot of finally getting there. Given all of that, would you really go even further and inflate your call numbers in Quebec -- or anywhere else -- or am I simply barking up the wrong tree? 

In any event, things are starting to really shake out. I'm not here to make bold predictions in favour of my candidate or anyone else. But I will say that I'm at peace with our campaign. 

So, it's now up to each and every one of you who happen to be members. May you use your best political instincts, your honed judgment and your highest intellect in making your choice. But above all else, ask yourselves who can win -- and then go with that person as your first choice.  

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Can Justin Lose?

Depends on whether you go for conventional wisdom and easy answers -- you know, those same people who fall for the BS otherwise known as stock market wisdom: in both cases, up, up, up and away in my beautiful balloon!

Under such a scenario, Justin is Superman having bought off as many Canadians as possible, along with their dogs and cats. Nice move to also bribe the financially-stressed media into even more favorable and preferably brain-dead coverage. Justin can't lose they'll tell you.

But I'm with Martin: Justin is Prime Minister until he ain't. And that so-called miracle can happen in any number of ways:

Trudeau can call an election while the CPC is still stuck with Scheer;

Trudeau can go to the voters before MacKay's leadership slippers have even become warm;

Trudeau can drop the writ after releasing the CRA hounds, albeit prematurely, on the entitled CERB recipients;

Trudeau can simply #FuckThingsUpRoyally and not realize it, due to Liberal blinders, etc.

So, MacKay has to hold his course right through the leadership selection process and beyond. Peter has to do a steady Eddy and keep it relatively moderate both in tone and action.

Yes, for now, Team MacKay is fortunate to have the mojo and is sentient enough not to deliberately or otherwise blow it.

These are finally good days for Peter and Company. The point is to turn them into exceptionally bad days for Justin and his government.

Something tells me that Peter is perhaps for some, surprisingly up to that challenge.

But in the final analysis, it remains within the prerogative of the political Gods. 

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Pray For The Economic Dead And The Undead Will Pray For You.

The worst Depression in United States history is on the way -- and not far off -- it's only a matter of months at most. But the market continues to go up, almost exclusively propelled by retail investors...
high net worth individuals, institutions and hedge funds are long out of this market. What we have now folks is a rising ponzi stock market rising only due to the inexperienced and na├»ve with Robinhood accounts. God help them if their trades and accounts freeze when the shit hits the fan and they're suddenly desperate to get out. You know, in times when buying that new judge authorized issue of a given stock happens right after the company went into bankruptcy protection and speculators holding the old stock were wiped out. No bankruptcy judge has ever done anything close to that before. That judge must be a disciple of The Fed. Poor him, and more importantly, poor us! 

Some of you think I'm full of shit, as usual? Well, maybe not. Reality tells you that the investment and money center banks are already insolvent, in business only because of The Fed counterfeit money printing press. Did they learn their lesson since 2008? Please. They once again ruined the financial system with garbage derivatives and other leveraged products. They used cash injections for share buy-backs to artificially prop up their stock price even as earnings and profits dropped. America's top banks are a house of cards and a strong wind is coming.

Last September's Repo Crisis was the first attempt to stave off a large bank-wide collapse and it worked by delaying the inevitable. Then, The Fed started buying treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. That also worked but wasn't enough to break the declining economic cycle so The Fed moved to purchasing Bond ETFs and guess what, an economic turnaround did not happen. So...……...now The Fed is buying high yield bonds (translation: junk bonds) to keep already bankrupt zombie companies afloat. And that doofus move isn't and won't do the trick either.

Like the old saying goes in data: garbage in, garbage out. That tells you all you need to know to confirm that the Depression is right on our door step. The Fed is the only one buying treasuries from the banks, China and Japan have taken a pass and now we're waiting for the other shoe to drop when they likely massively dump treasuries.

Add to that U.S. dollar weakness and an eventual loss of its status as the Petrodollar and economic ruin is ahead. Sure, the American buck will remain as the reserve currency for worldwide economic exchange but many alternatives are already being examined as an alternative.

Unemployment is now likely at 20%, they claim it's only 13% while the official figure for the number of unemployed is 46 million, with everyone already knowing that it's much higher than that. Retail sales in April were down 17% and meat-price inflation increases are up only 40%.

That means the worse is yet to come so brace yourselves and get out of stocks accordingly. If you have profits, take 'em now and if you have any knowledge or expertise in gold or silver stocks, then take a long, hard look at them pronto. Stock markets are probably the biggest bubble in American history. And because a bubble is always a bubble, gold and silver stocks will without a doubt end up doing exactly the same with people losing their shirts.

Precious metal stocks means doing a lot of homework for your likely profits but know when the end is near and that will no doubt come right after base metal stocks are on their way to the moon. That, without a doubt will be the end. Then it'll be time to get back into large cap and dividend growth and momentum stocks. Meanwhile, value stocks will be worth looking at right after the upcoming crash and within months of it. But with value stocks, mispriced assets not properly related to solid fundamentals, or recognized by markets, is always king. Free cash flow, dividends and most importantly, profits will be the rule of the day. In closing, the best of luck to all in these markets. 

Friday, 19 June 2020

MacKay vs. O'Toole.

I won't bullshit you. Before these debates, I was worried like hell -- wondering how successful Team O'Toole might already have been in sewing up second choice support. It's quite frankly rather comical to see either O'Toole or MacKay trying to make a play for social conservatives when they each have so little in common with them in the first place.

But if the debates taught me anything it's that O'Toole has that deer in the headlights look. He now comes across as panicking and desperate to seal the social conservative deal. That makes me think that he hasn't got the numbers to prevent MacKay from reaching the holy grail of 50% + 1 on the first ballot.

People say MacKay did well in both debates but I don't see it that way: that tit for tat dive-bombing between a no-holes-barred O'Toole and give as good as he got MacKay came off as a complete dud in Quebec. It went over really badly in this province. In short, from a Quebec perspective, it was an unmitigated disaster that buoyed both Liberal and Bloc spirits. 

But Thank the Lord for last night. I'm pretty much of the same view as Martin and Ivison. MacKay came to life, as if reborn, and wiped the floor with the unfortunate O'Toole. So, Peter by virtue only of his own performance has finally got his mojo back. It's about time. However, I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth. All I ask God is that MacKay's new upward trajectory continue uninterrupted right up to the ballot counting.   

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Peter Rocked Tonight!

Remember when I said that Peter was at his best when he did his own thinking? Well, MacKay proved that on his feet tonight.

Boy, Peter's really firing on all thrusters. May that continue.

I won't be telling any of you how to vote. But I know who I'm supporting in this race, the guy who's ready for the job on Day One.

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

MacKay: CPC English Debate.

MacKay must hit O'Toole nuclear-hard on breaking Harper cabinet solidarity on the F-35. That took unmitigated gall for Erin to take Peter on in that way. Talk about a Mother of All Hypocrisy Move!

CPC French Debate: O'Toole and the F-35. What?

First off, my twin biases: I'm a MacKay supporter. I'm also resolutely opposed to buying the  F-35 Lightning II, for budgetary reasons.

Here's my spin. I found Erin and Peter's French to be about equal with each candidate making fundamental mistakes. O'Toole's is a bit better.

Normally, I have no problem with a leadership candidate taking on his rival's handling of his or her portfolio. But I found it curious, to say the least, to see O'Toole going after MacKay over the F-35 and the Conservative government's failure to buy that fighter.

Come again? Erin was Veterans Affairs Minister in 2015 -- was he on the record during the Harper government criticizing the government's progress in advancing the selection process for a new fighter? I can't remember O'Toole taking the government to task over the delays. 

The next question is whether he maintained cabinet solidarity on the issue until the government was defeated? My impression is that he did. Finally, around the cabinet table, or in caucus, did Erin raise the  F-35 matter and criticize Defence Minister MacKay's performance on the file? Not to my knowledge. I never heard any talk that he took Peter on privately either in cabinet or during caucus meetings.

So that one was a bit strange. Sort of straight out of the Twilight Zone.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

COVID-19 Redux?

I honestly don't think so. That's all you hear about a so-called second wave come this fall. But that's not how I see it: my sneaking suspicion is that it will go straight through to the end of the year with absolutely no let up. 

A while back, they talked of thirty strains -- God only knows how many there are now. And forget about a highly effective vaccine. Mutation will see to that, no matter how many billions they spend coming up with it.

What we've got now IS the new normal. Might as well try to get used to it. 

Saturday, 13 June 2020

ZeroHedge Nails It.

Just call it TheFedBubble. Over at ZeroHedge, they refer to it as TheCentralBankBubble but either way, we would be in a full-on Depression but for central bank intervention.

Sure, The Fed will be able to put off the inevitable but that isn't necessarily good. In 2008, Fed action seemingly mitigated what would have otherwise been at least a far more serious recession.

That's possible again this time as Powell and Company no doubt believe but that's insane because it defies elementary common sense: the scale of The Fed's intervention proves without a doubt that economic problems are not only unprecedented but beyond remedy. That's precisely why The Fed has to keep pumping the funny money because thus far, no amount has been sufficient to solve the myriad of economic problems -- and no amount ever will.

Fed tapering is no longer possible so at some point they'll have to go cold turkey and that's when all hell will break loose.

The Fed is clueless that it would have been better to cut and run far earlier in this cycle rather than to prolong counterfeiting. By doing so, they've only compounded the crisis beyond all measure and made an already horrible economic situation infinitely worse.

We aren't at 2008 debt and deficit levels. 2020 debt and deficits are way beyond horrific, so The Fed did us no favours by mindlessly digging in.

So, like every other bubble before this one, it will ultimately pop and economic conditions will be more serious than anything ever seen before, negatively speaking. This coming Depression will make 1929 look like a walk in the park.

Fools, who know nothing and have learned nothing. Typical central bankers, Volcker excepted.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

This Time Is Different !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No, it isn't. What people don't get is that QE to Infinity is only a stopgap measure that artificially puts off reality and temporarily buoys an already troubled stock and bond market. In other words, at its best, QE and MMT can only delay the harsh economic inevitability. These are stock markets up only because of five stocks, on very low volumes. Institutional investors are long gone as are the Buffets of this world. In fact, Buffet hasn't bought a stock since 2019. So, essentially, it's a market of suckers -- buying the dips -- the same suckers who back in 2008 were left holding the bag. They're called retail investors and for the most part are no more savvy about markets than your dog or cat. Like the old story goes: Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. got out of the markets right after the shoe-shine guy got in in 29.

QE, at least initially is a deflationary mechanism as money is continually counterfeited by The Fed to address issues other than record debt and deficit spending. That leads to eventual tax increases on individuals to address budgetary issues and thus personal spending power is reduced over time. And since money printing can't go on forever, the predictable end result is an economy and market scenario where both finally tank.

Where QE puts us on a transition to inflation occurs when the economy is contracting, businesses are slowing down, profits are reduced and sales are decreasing. That leads to rises in business input costs and increases in prices of goods being produced by industry. THAT'S when we start to see the transition to an inflationary environment. Just look at your grocery bill, especially the prices of meats and other items imported from afar. No question, that's exactly where we are now in 2020.

The next logical phase is, of course, hyperinflation where monthly inflation is at least over 50% percent per month. In that environment, the purchasing power of the currency reduces exponentially and economic contraction soars. First, PMI falls off a cliff, then the GDP but other areas also plummet: most notably, consumer spending, housing, retail sales, opening of new businesses and building permits.

Right now, we're seeing people turning into savers and trying to pay off some of their debt. The consumer is scared -- many of them either laid off or already out of a job. Small businesses, the heart of the economy who employ 97% are on life-support or going out of business. Meanwhile, real unemployment, depending on which number you believe is actually 20-40%, if you include those who have stopped looking for work or for who unemployment benefits have already run out. No wonder someone monkeyed with the American unemployment rate for May. As a result, eventual hyperinflation will likely transform into stagflation with unemployed ultimately passing Great Depression level numbers.

Now, why is the stock market going up in extraordinarily bad economic times? Sure, QE is playing a role but it's all about a contracting economy and a currency on the downslope. The more the economy shrinks and the dollar goes down, the more the stock market will go up. Ditto for the bond market, more specifically the 10 Year Treasury. That's precisely what hyperinflation does to markets. It's normal. Individuals make the fatal mistake of trying to use stock markets as an inflation hedge and eventual ATM, so money goes pouring into markets.

Just look at Venezuela where the stock market took off in 2017 and went up 476,000% in September of 2018, then crashed and went up again in late 2018, right through 2020, while the economy battled persistent hyperinflation. HI was pegged at 4,000% in 2017, 66,000 % in 2018 and 20,000% last year and is roughly at 15,000% in 2020. The value of the domestic currency basically went to zero and the ten-year bond yield rose almost to 14% in 2015-16, immediately prior to that crisis. Predictably, bonds then fell off a cliff when the stock market dived in 2018, with the 10 Year Bond flooring at 10% to this day. But risk averse yield seekers simply aren't there, as government bonds are not seen as even remotely secure.

Remember crash and burn because that's our only possible economic future. Again, capitalists can't possibly repudiate the conditions of the business cycle. And retail investors are what they have always been, the most prone to turning into sacrificial lemmings.