Submitted by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – Institute for Public Economy
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.” — President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a five-star general in charge of the Normandy Invasion and a popular two-term President of the United States. Today he would be called a “conspiracy theorist.”
Were Ike to be issuing his warning from the White House today, conservative Republicans like Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) would be screaming at Ike for impugning the motives of “the patriotic industry that protects our freedom.”
Neoconservatives such as William Kristol would be demanding to know why President Eisenhower was issuing warnings about our own military-industrial complex instead of warning about the threat presented by the Soviet military.
The presstitute media would be implying that Ike was going a bit senile in his old age, a tactic the presstitutes used against President Reagan as he struggled to end stagflation and the Cold War.
By January 17, 1961, when Eisenhower issued his warning in his farewell address to the American People, it was already too late. Cold Warriors had had their hooks into the American taxpayer for 15 years after the end of WW II, and the military-industrial complex had replaced “mom and apple pie” as the most venerated and entrenched US interest. The Dulles brothers ran the State Department and CIA and overthrew governments at will. (Read The Brothers http://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Foster-Dulles-Allen-Secret/dp/1250053129/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454270231&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Brothers ) Continue reading
Submitted by David Stockman – The Contra Corner Blog
Submitted by William Bonner, Chairman – Bonner & Partners
Socialism is for Simpletons
RHINEBECK, New York – We spent the weekend up north… where people put “Feel the Bern” bumper stickers on their Subarus. In a tavern in Rhinebeck – where we are writing – the “socialist” slap seems to have lost its sting. There is a reverential portrait of FDR near the bar.
“He’s the only candidate who makes any sense to me,” said a local. “You can’t trust Hillary. And the Republicans are all nuts.”
He seems to make a lot of sense… provided your horizon ends roughly at the edge of your plate.
He’s right. You can’t trust Hillary. The Republicans may all be nuts. And socialism “makes sense”… in a simpleton kind of way. Most voters want more stuff. Sanders offers to take stuff from other people and give it to them. That “makes sense,” doesn’t it?
Too bad. Because as Maggie Thatcher pointed out, you soon run out of other people’s money. But the voters of Dutchess County don’t seem to be concerned. Back to the markets… Continue reading
Submitted by Jeffrey Snider – Alhambra Investment Partners
If China and US manufacturing are suffering from what looks like the contours of a slowly progressing recession, we don’t have to go very far to find the genesis. The common denominator is and has been US consumers. That much is evident in very clear fashion through retail sales during the Christmas season that were abysmal. The BEA’s update for full PCE figures shows mostly the same, even though overall PCE is highly influenced by “services” spending in the form of imputations and, where evident, services in the form of a tax (health care).
Real PCE spending was slightly negative in December month-over-month, which suggests another reason why GDP disappointed without too much snow or “residual seasonality.” That makes two of the last three months with essentially zero spending growth despite both what the BEA suggests as somewhat rising income and no “inflation.” This has been an issue with these data points for some time, as the BEA continually suggests that income is rising faster than spending only to revise income lower in persistent fashion. This dichotomy is highlighted by the personal savings rate, which in count of repeated revisions appears as just noise almost without discernable pattern.
Submitted by Mark O’Byrne – GoldCore
Gold prices have continued to eke out further gains today. The very poor ISM data yesterday saw the dollar fall against all major currencies and particularly gold.
Bullion is seeing safe haven flows and gains due to increased concerns about the economic outlook. The narrative that the US economy is in recovery is coming into doubt. The weaker than expected ISM data showed a sharp slowdown in the services sector in the U.S. in January.
This means that the Fed will be more likely to put interest rates on hold. Indeed, as we have long contended we believe that the Fed may in time have to decrease interest rates and may follow other leading central banks and have to adopt negative interest rates in the coming months.
Concerns about the global economy slowing down had seen falls in Asian and European share indices and this was the initial impetus for gold to go higher yesterday.
Stocks have come under pressure again in recent days as corporate earnings have disappointed and earning forecasts are being revised lower.
There are also increasing concerns about banks and bank shares have taken a hammering in recent days. Credit Suisse reported worse than expected fourth-quarter results that sent the bank’s shares to a 24-year low and Deutsche Bank shares have fallen 20 per cent since they issued a profit warning on January 20.
Gold has broken above the 200 day moving average which is bullish from a technical perspective. Were it to close above this level this week, it would suggest we may see further gains in February.