Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665

We don’t see the storm building over the markets. Distractions. Shiny things that draw the eye and ear. A war of words between a North Korean dictator and the president. Kneeling football players and the Tweeter In Chief. Meanwhile, the long expansion in the markets may be about to end. A heads up for you on how and why in Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665.

Watch The Shiny Thing

We don’t look beyond the distractions in the media to see what they conceal. No amount of pointing and saying ‘look’ is going to change it. We have not had a serious market or financial crisis since 2008. Our economy has been on life support ever since. Now the DNR order has been signed. Find out why in Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665.

Market Shocks Have Political Consequences

Remember 2008? The market crashed. The banking system was going to seize up, they said. A republican administration suddenly bailed out the banks, insurance companies and big car companies. The shock changed politics. A new administration came in, in 2009. New banking regulations, more government spending and a very large stimulus package was passed by congress.

Hey! What Happened To The Punch Bowl?

The Federal Reserve, bank of last resort, began a program called Quantitative Easing in 2009. Over the next eight years the FED added trillions of dollars to its balance sheet as it ‘injected’ money into the US economy. QE one, two three and four indirectly supported the stock market through the purchase of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of securities. What happens when they take that away?

Pay Attention

So this is a simple heads up that it might be time to start paying attention. While we’re talking about things that don’t matter they are doing things that do. That storm roiling to the west, might be rolling in anytime. In Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665.

Sponsored by Brush Studio In The West End Saint Louis Park, and by Ryan Plumbing and Heating in Saint Paul.

Storm Clouds Gather Over The Bull Market-Podcast 665

 

 

 

Podcast 422

Waking Up. A fall night podcast live from the deck, with wind blowing in the trees, leaves falling, planes landing and weird noises. You hear a lot of talk these days about ‘waking up’. What does it mean? There’s an awful lot about ‘waking up’ on the Internet if you bother to do a search, from Anthony De Mello and other Theologians, to spiritualists, evangelists and regular everyday people. What do they mean by ‘waking up’? Does waking up mean moving from one dream to another? What does it mean to you? With bouncing ball ‘Schadenfreude’ news coverage the rule these days, binge viewing TV Shows (Editor’s Note: I am guilty of this one, and my list of favorite shows is in this podcast.), alcohol, weed, drugs the doctor prescribes and all kinds of other drugs from being too busy, to not being busy enough who is to say what waking up really is? Does it start with observing without action? Being actively silent? Living in the Now? Being religious? What does Yoga teach a podcaster about self awareness? Bottom line, some of us are very stubborn, but waking up is fun, even if its with just one eye open. Sponsored by X Government Trucks and Pride Of Homes

Podcast 371

The Islamic State. Now What? Just recently the perfumed princes in Washington were thrilled about a Delta Force Operation that killed one of the Islamic State’s top leaders and included the arrest of his wife. It was the kind of adventure story the American Media loves, and they gleefully turned the raid into a cartoon complete with reports of casualty free hand-to-hand combat and lurid reports of the freeing of a slave held by the couple. It was a good story and served as a narrative the White House used to prove the President’s strategy was indeed ‘degrading’ the ISIS military capabilities. I decided to wait to talk about this story, because I knew another shoe would drop. Sure enough, within a few days we were greeted with grim reports of the rout of the Iraqi Army defending Ramadi, in the Anbar province, less than 70 miles from Baghdad. Even worse, as the Iraqis ran, they left lots of shiny new military equipment from the United States, which will now be employed against Iraqis and ultimately Americans. Within a few days it has become clear President Obama’s strategy isn’t working. Now what? The problem is, this country’s media, its politicians, and its leaders have no idea what to do about this problem. We need to have a conversation that starts with what the Foreign Policy of the United States is, and what it should be, rather than fifty reporters chasing a 68 year old woman around Iowa, while she has breakfast with ten or eleven people at a time, or demanding a former governor and head of a super pac tell the country what he would have done in 2003. Don’t hold your breath. Given the fast food nature of America’s media and political environment, I am surprised anyone even knows where Anbar province is, unless they had the honor of serving there. Yet the question remains. Do you want to invade Iraq again to stop ISIS? Should we stop ISIS, since they’re fighting Iran? What are we doing, when our allies don’t understand or trust our President, and 38 people are running for President? Are we in favor of early interventions in problem areas? Does it work? A new world is being birthed, and whole sections of the planet are slipping back in time, rather than progressing. When economies in the West, and in Asia start growing in earnest again we’re going to move very quickly forward. Some places are going to be left behind. When that happens, we’re going to see some bad things happening. Are we prepared? Are you prepared? Do you know what to advocate? Do you have an opinion about what’s best for the United States? Is there a politician that can articulate and execute that idea, after 2017. Because chances are, the next black swan event that changes the world will either be economic, or foreign related, or both. As ISIS beheads, burns, cages, kills children and adds to the chaos that is the Middle East these days, the US political clown show, including the one in the White House, doesn’t give me much faith. What about you? Sponsored by X Government Cars. (Photo from the New York Post) 

Podcast 271

Gas Oil Collapse. Energy and Oil and Politics. We may be at the beginning of the end of an era in the energy markets, politics and economic policy but people are never going to figure it out with the terrible job the media is doing reporting on these topics. Gas is below two dollars in 13 states, crude trading at 55 dollars a barrel, with more drops expected. Meanwhile, OPEC refuses to cut production, even refuses to hold a meeting to discuss it. The drop in oil over the last few months of 40 percent so far, most of it in the last two months is beginning to have an effect. OPEC’s price war on Frackers in the US, Canada and Brazil, the international version of a gas war, is beginning to have economic and political effects. When the cheerleaders talk about oil ‘acting like a tax cut’, remember there is a lot more to this story. If energy production in the US is a big piece of the manufacturing boom, what happens when lower prices curtails exploration? Will lower oil and gas prices still act like a tax cut? What about disinflation, or outright deflation in commodity prices? What about dropping demand due to economic slow downs in China, Europe, and Latin America? Do you think the US is ‘decoupled’ from the rest of the world’s economies? On Wall Street, the story is completely different. There, investors are moving money from the market to long term Treasury Bonds, an indication of expected weakness? Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve will be hard pressed to raise interest rates (which its wants, and perhaps needs to do) in the face of declining commodity prices. This isn’t just an international problem. A Minnesota State Legislator wants to reduce farm property taxes, due to the decreased revenues farmers are seeing on their crops. As the sun sets on the Democrat Senate Majority, and rises on a huge Republican majority in the US Congress as well as state legislatures and governor’s mansions, we’re also about to enter a new era in politics, or perhaps close an old one. How will the last two years of the Obama administration differ from the previous 6? Despite the President’s progressive rhetoric, does the budget deal indicate will be a little different when it comes to horse trading with Congress? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating and Depotstar

Podcast 234

Market Plunge. If it wasn’t for Ebola, this week’s Market Plunge would be the top story and we’d all be talking about it. Was it really less than a month ago that President Obama said the market and economy had come roaring back? And this week the market gave back all the gains so far of 2014. Will it come back. Analysts aren’t so sure. As the rest of the economies in the world contract, all hope was placed in US economic growth which the fantasy world created by the media hyped. Bad retail sales numbers this week dashed those hopes. Meanwhile the world’s governments and central banks that depend on inflation to wipe away debts, are very concerned about disinflation turning into deflation. Are lower commodity prices a good sign, or a bad sign? In the final analysis, the US economy will probably not be enough to act as a counterweight to fading growth in the Euro Zone and China, even with lower commodity prices. The worry on Wall Street? Faltering demand among consumers. Surprise! While the President touts economic ‘recovery’ the number of Americans on SNAP benefits (in other words Food Stamps) skyrockets, the clearest indication yet that the newly employed are in low wage part time jobs, and those out of the work force may stay out as long as government programs pay them to. Not a good combination, and certainly not one that indicates dynamic growth. What’s going on? Steve Forbes has five suggestions that are pretty good. The upshot? We’re a long way from the kinds of radical reforms that will change the scope, cost and size of the Federal Government and get things back on track. It isn’t gridlock causing the problems, its the people. It’s our politics. How do we put away creaky old Keynesian concepts moderate Republicans, democrats and progressives have championed going back to the New Deal? How do we cut away regulation, spending and taxation and reduce government power, so that new decentralizing technologies can empower the individual to innovate, generate tomorrow’s successes, and power the US out of the malaise we find ourselves in? Yes, there are Republicans afraid of radical change just as there are democrats afraid to reduce the size and power of government. We have to stop expecting creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial instincts from politicians. News Flash! Your congressman is not Steve Jobs. Not by a long shot. Some ideas to consider when thinking about the other major story chronicling the failure of ‘big government’ these days; The economy. Sponsored by Depotstar