December 11: Daily Contrarian Reads

Another Milestone----Total US Debt Outstanding Tops $68 Trillion In Q3

In nominal dollars, Total U.S. System (Non-Financial, Financial and Foreign) borrowings expanded $1.007 TN during the third quarter to a record $68.012 TN. Total Non-Financial Debt (NFD) rose a nominal $732 billion during the quarter to a record $48.635 TN. It’s worth noting that NFD has expanded 46% since ending 2007 at $33.26 TN.

Pentagon Attacked By Lethal Force-----2,400 Auditors

The audit is massive. It will examine every aspect of the department from personnel to real property to weapons to supplies to bases. Some 2,400 auditors will fan out across the department to conduct it, Pentagon officials said.....In 2015, the Pentagon denied trying to shelve a study detailing $125 billion in waste created by a bloated employee counts for noncombat related work such as human resources, finance, health care management and property management.

The Bitcoin Whales: 1,000 People Who Own 40 Percent of the Market

Holders of large amounts of bitcoin are often known as whales. And they’re becoming a worry for investors. They can send prices plummeting by selling even a portion of their holdings. And those sales are more probable now that the cryptocurrency is up nearly twelve-fold from the beginning of the year. About 40 percent of bitcoin is held by perhaps 1,000 users.

Blow-Off Top

Yet we could be sitting on a generational opportunity to sell equities as it could be argued that conditions will never be better for bulls as the game of offering carrots of free money is coming to an end. Indeed, it could be argued that the prospect of tax cuts is the final carrot the free money scheme has to offer. The carrot top. No more carrots. Consider the central banking liquidity game has peaked and is dropping off.

The Enemy Within----The So-Called Intelligence Community

.........It’s absurd to think that this episode is a case of simply getting it wrong: this was undoubtedly a deliberate lie, planted in the media by the same rogue “intelligence community” that invented Russia-gate. It didn’t matter that the truth would eventually come out: look at how many times the original story was tweeted and retweeted over social media, and then consider how many people don’t know it’s been debunked.

RE: Trump's Bonehead Jerusalem Move----Washington Finally Fesses Up

There was huge symbolism in this move that met with universal condemnation.   It means the US is abandoning any chance of a two-state solution, which was the original UN plan for Palestine. Henceforth, Palestinians will subsist in a Jewish unitary state as a powerless, restive underclass.  Washington is violating international law, the 1993 Oslo Accords, and countless UN resolutions.

Mueller "Investigation" Morphs Into The Revenge of James Comey

In the past couple of weeks there have been several developments that cast doubt on whether the Special Counsel investigation has morphed beyond it’s mandate, which was supposed to be Russian interference in the election. With the guilty plea of Michael Flynn to one count of lying about late December 2016 conversations with the Russians, it is clear that Mueller is probing the post-election transition. Which raises the question, "Why?"

The Zealous Pursuit of State-Sponsored Collapse

Government intervention into a nation’s economy is as foolish as attempting to control the sun’s rise and fall by law or force.  But that doesn’t mean governments don’t meddle each and every day with the best – and worst – of intentions.  The United States government is no exception.

It Begins----The Fed's Great Balance Sheet Unwind Is Underway

The Fed’s announced plan is to shrink the balance sheet by $10 billion a month in October, November, and December, then accelerate the pace every three months. By October 2018, the Fed would reduce its holdings by up to $50 billion a month (= $600 billion a year) and continue at that rate until it deems the level of its holdings “normal” – the new normal, whatever that may turn out to be.

Imperial Washington---A City Addicted To War

In a similar fashion, war has become a habit to which the United States is addicted.  Except for the terminally distracted, most of us know that.  We also know -- we cannot not know -- that, in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. forces have been unable to accomplish their assigned mission, despite more than 16 years of fighting in the former and more than a decade in the latter.

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