Despite my refusal to self-identify, I am comfortable stating that I’m a firm supporter of populist movements and appreciate the instrumental role they’ve played historically in free societies. The reason I like this term is because it carries very little baggage. It doesn’t mean you adhere to a specific set of policies or solutions, but that you believe above all else that the concerns of average citizens matter and must be reflected in government policy.
Populism reaches its political potential once such concerns become so acute they translate into popular movements, which in turn influence the levers of power. Populism is not a bug, but is a key feature in any democratic society. It functions as a sort of pressure relief valve for free societies. Indeed, it allows for an adjustment and recalibration of the existing order at the exact point in the cycle when it is needed most. In our current corrupt, unethical and depraved oligarchy, populism is exactly what is needed to restore some balance to society. Irrespective of what you think of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, both political movements were undoubtably populist in nature. This doesn’t mean that Trump will govern as populist once he is sworn into power, but there’s little doubt that the energy which propelled him to the Presidency was part of a populist wave.
Anyone seeking clarity on the energy picture a decade or two out is to be forgiven for finding a thoroughly confusing divide. On the one hand, we have reassuring projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) that assume current production of fossil fuels will remain steady for decades to come. Coal will continue to decline as a share of total energy consumption, and renewables will rise modestly. In other words, everything’s hunky-dory, there’s nothing to worry about.
John Hathaway of Tocqueville Funds says the physical gold market will defeat the paper gold market leading to a much higher price for the monetary metal in the coming months and years in his Tocqueville Gold Strategy Investor Letter (Fourth Quarter 2016 Investor Letter):
Gold rose 8.5% for the year while gold-mining stocks (XAU – Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index stocks) rose 75%. On an annual basis, results were highly satisfactory. However, there was considerable drama beneath the surface that left precious metals investors in a state of anxiety by year-end. Precious metals and mining shares rose sharply through August, and then spent the rest of the year giving back much of the first-half gains. The second half downtrend accelerated into early December, following the unexpected victory by Trump and a hawkish statement after the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.
The question of the hour is whether the 2016 gains were merely a countertrend rally following a four-and-a-half-year decline from all-time highs in 2011, or the beginning of a new leg in the secular bull market that began in 1999, during which gold rose from less than $300/oz. to $1900 in August 2011. We judge the weight of current sentiment, mainstream media opinion, and technical analysis to be extremely bearish, comparable to year-end 2015 just prior to the dramatic gains that followed. We believe that, based on prevailing negativity, the next big change in the gold price will be substantially higher. If so, the 2016 second-half correction will have established a durable higher low from the advance that began at year-end 2015, and would be the precursor to the continuation of the secular advance that began in 2000.
We discuss whether or not the Democratic party could ever again become the party of freedom. In the second half, Max interviews James Howard Kunstler of Kunstler.com about the wheels coming off Trumptopia.
The article is lengthy, and can be confusing at times given all the moving parts, but I highly encourage you to read it. Ukrainian interference in the election can be traced to essentially two sources. First, there was the apparent collaboration between the Ukrainian embassy in Washington D.C. and a highly paid Ukrainian-American DNC consultant, Alexandra Chalupa. The second angle is far more disturbing, and involves the publicization of a so-called ledger demonstrating corruption between Paul Manafort and pro-Russian elements in Ukraine, by a parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko. Bizarrely, the investigation was effectively dropped after Trump won the election, making you wonder if there was anything really there in the first place.
Gold prices have had a good start to 2017 and has made gains in the majority of currencies, building on the strong gains seen in 2016. So far in 2017, gold is 3.5% higher in dollars, 2.3% higher in euros and 4% higher in sterling.
Gold Annual Returns During First Four Years Of Obama Presidency – Goldprice.org
Increasing nerves regarding the Trump Presidency likely account for some of the gains. Although the fundamentals of the gold market remain strong even were Trump not becoming President of the United State of America.
A backdrop of financial repression and global currency debasement involving ultra loose monetary policies and near negative interest rates, a push for cashless society, a still massively indebted U.S. and global economy and still very fragile banking systems all bodes well for gold prices in the coming years – not too mention positive supply demand fundamental that is peak gold.
Trump is icing on the cake in this regard. While it is always best to fade short term noise about breaking news and the latest market developments, ignoring Trump in the White House as an investor is very much a case of trying to ignore a giant white elephant in a very small room.
We discuss the bull market in corruption. In the second half Max continues his interview with Tyson Slocum, Director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program, about Rex Tillerson, Trump’s pick for Secretary of State and what Trump’s domestic and foreign policy might look like.
Welcome to “everyone I disagree with works for Putin,” the UK version.
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sits on the polar opposite of the political spectrum in most respects from U.S. President elect Donald Trump, yet they are both being accused of the same blasphemy — wanting peace with Russia. Here’s what I’m talking about…
The global markets slumped on January 12, 2017 after a news conference by President-elect Donald Trump. Assets declined across the globe with European, Asian shares and S&P 500 futures all falling, while the dollar slumped against most currencies. The conference disappointed the institutional investors with reveals to very little details as to economic and trade plans. This element of uncertainty resulted in a major slump in US dollar trading after recovering from a three week low. Surprisingly even after so much market commotion …