Economy

Can the Donald Tame the Beast?

By David Stockman  |  August 27, 2019

The Federal Reserve’s easy money is the lifeblood of the 21st century American Empire.

As is revealed day after day after day, you can’t build the Empire and drain the Swamp at the same time. The Swamp is the Empire. And it’s the reason the Donald is being steadily undone.

The Gravy Train

Look no further than the trillion-dollar military-industrial-surveillance-international aid complex. That’s what feeds the contractors, “specialists,” spooks, think-tankers, lobbyists, lawyers, and all-purpose grifters who’ve turned the District of Columbia into Imperial Washington.

For these courtesans, missions are always creeping. Threats are always inflating. There’s always a foreign adversary – sometimes even domestic – worth demonizing.

Their narratives – along with our monetary central planners – sustain an unseemly, ill-gotten, and treacherous prosperity.

And the gravy train’s been growing like topsy under the Donald.

The tab for defense, security assistance, foreign aid, international affairs, and the residue of the Warfare State complex will run to about $792 billion in fiscal 2020. That’s up $150 billion, or 23%, from the already vastly bloated $641.7 billion we spent just five years ago in fiscal 2015.

But that gravy train’s been running since well before the Tweeter-in-Chief rolled into town.

A Fool’s Game 

Iran is the exemplary case – in that Iran represents zero threat to the United States of America. Iran has never engaged in any hostile action on U.S soil. Nor has it even threatened the same.

To the contrary, Imperial Washington’s massive naval and military arsenal in the Middle East is the occupational force of a naked aggressor. Our presence has led to decades of mayhem throughout the region.

We’re still there in pursuit of the fool’s gold of “oil security,” though the neocons seem to have convinced themselves and some others that a demonic Iranian regime is more than worthy of absolute isolation.

But, as we’ve seen, the best cure for high oil prices is high oil prices – that is, the global market is the best way to reconcile imbalances of supply and demand. We don’t need the Fifth Fleet for that.

At the same time, the American people have no dogs in the political hunts of Imperial Washington’s so-called allies in the region.

We’d be no worse for the wear were the U.S. government to dispense with its idiotic sanctions regime against Iran’s oil industry and to allow all exporters in the region to produce and sell every single barrel they can extract.

The truth is, right now, the Donald is carrying water for Imperial Washington’s neocons, Bibi Netanyahu, and the Saudis. He doesn’t really understand what he’s doing. In the process, he’s betraying “America First”…

In recent days, he’s stepped back from the brink of an utterly unnecessary conflagration that could upend the global economy. But it’s worrisome that the President of the United States can be put together this way.

This is the Duopoly’s work.

And this has been the Duopoly’s work since well before Ike named the “military-industrial complex” on his way out of the White House in January 1961.

Global Hegemony

The No. 1 priority of these denizens of Empire is to keep that gravy train rolling. That’s why they invent far-flung and misbegotten missions; they’re designed to extend and reinforce Imperial Washington’s global hegemony.

Consider what’s beyond the Empire’s purely military dimension. There lies a vast stratum of economic and financial warfare. The U.S. currently has sanctions – on trade, financials and proscribed nationals – targeted against more than 30 countries.

That includes highly visible alleged malefactors like Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea. But there’s also Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria, to name a few small fry.

And we’ve unleashed a whole new layer of “soft” war… or “cyber” war… and the Chinese are trying to develop ways of making us pay for it many times over…

The instruments and objects of 21st century warfare are, quite literally, at your fingertips… mobile phones… tablets… laptops…

They’re all capable of and vulnerable to penetration by agents of government, both domestic and foreign, with ultimate intentions impossible to decipher.

You think “cybersecurity” is a thing now? Wait until we get to “quantum computing.” Don’t know much about quantum computing? Well, China does…

We’ve ventured far, far beyond Jefferson’s “Empire of Liberty,” friends…

Free Your Portfolio…

Desperate times call for… “common sense” measures.

And these are desperate times… Markets are corrupted by monetary central planning. They’re confused. And the road back is going to be treacherous.

We’re looking at a major re-pricing for all financial assets. And thousand-point intraday or day-to-day swings are part of that equation. Those can be frightening… for “buy and hold” investors.

I have a different approach, one that combines strategy and tactics into a plan flexible enough for you to survive and thrive amid the coming chaos. It’s called “The Stockman Model.”

All we’re after is a little stability, perhaps a chance to pocket a windfall when opportunity presents…

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David Stockman

David Stockman is the ultimate Washington insider turned iconoclast. He began his career in Washington as a young man and quickly rose through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.MORE FROM AUTHOR