Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
– Bertrand Russell, “An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish” (1943)
A few days ago, we talked about America’s No. 1 export in the 21st century: easy money.
Today, let’s talk about America’s No. 2 export: violence.
We’ve been at this game since shortly after the end of World War II.
Indeed, when it comes to American Empire’s security operations over the past 70 years or so, you could well paraphrase Stalin’s brutal secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria. At Yalta, his boss called him “our Himmler” when he introduced him to FDR.
Beria once boasted, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.”
Well, Imperial Washington dances to a variation of that tune: Show its fetid ecosystem of agencies, operators, contractors, lobbyists, and think-tank commandos the money and they’ll show you the threat.
It never occurs to the Imperial City’s busybodies that their intervention is not welcome.
And, of course, they’re clueless to the fact that the massive sacks of “walking around” money filled in pursuit of “hearts and minds” are more often plundered arbitrarily by whatever local bandit-faction gets a Warfare State’s cutout’s ear first.
Imperial Washington’s paws are deep in the meddling business.
And when it gets to these levels – the right hand not knowing what “black op” the left is into – resentment and blowback are absolute certainties.
Now, the Donald’s dirty when it comes to easy money.
But he’s spot-on when it comes to how we deploy our Warfare State assets.
That’s why Imperial Washington is so red-hot with Trump antipathy. It’s all in the foundational “Russiagate” document, the January 6, 2017, report entitled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.”
Yeah, well… This report is now well understood to have been written by outgoing CIA Director John Brennan and a hand-picked posse of politicized analysts from the CIA, FBI, and the NSA.
It’s a political screed disguised as work-product of the professional intelligence community. It was designed to discredit and sabotage the Trump presidency.
All we’ve seen is the declassified form, all gussied-up with caveats. This “for public consumption” version implies that the real dirt is in the “highly classified” iteration.
This is a Deep State trick: When they can’t prove “assessments” and “judgments,” they claim the evidence is “top secret” and that revealing it would betray “methods and sources.”
What happens if the Donald ever gets the joke and really exercises his power, his Twitter pulpit notwithstanding?
He has the Constitutional authority to hire and fire his own cabinet, sub-cabinet, and upwards of 3,000 executive branch policy jobs.
He can also declassify anything lurking behind Imperial Washington’s wall of secrecy if he deems it in the public interest.
For the Donald, wrecking the Deep State is as simple as that.
The question, more and more clear by the day, is whether the Deep State will wreck the Donald first.
Bubblevision – which now includes the opinion page of The Wall Street Journal – is begging Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to stop “normalization” now.
They’re acting like it’s March 2009 or July 1932.
The S&P 500 Index is about 13% from its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has backed up 11.4% below its peak. Even the “riskier” benchmarks, the Nasdaq Composite and the Russell 2000 Index, are just 16% and 20% off their own records.
It’s clear now that only Wall Street matters – inside the Acela Corridor it is the economy.
As one observer put it, “If Powell caves on Wednesday, all adult supervision is gone. And it won’t come back.”
The kind of drawdowns we’ve seen this fall and early winter used to be normal. We called them “corrections” for a reason.
They “corrected” mispricing. But that was back when markets were meaningful sources of honest information.
Today, markets are corrupted by monetary central planning… And the road back to “normal” 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…