(A one-piece report this morning due to holiday and markets being closed.)
While many media outlets use the end-of-year period to go through too-many replays of last year’s news, we prefer to look “the other way.” That’s because once something sails by the ever-present Now, it’s gone and you’re left – as in golf – where you’ve landed.
With this in mind, a few remarks about the major Kabuki to anticipate in 2017:
Showdown With the Shadow Government
While the new Trump administration will have its hands full trying to work through their campaign promises with a crooked Congress still in place, the main act will be upper-unelected management of the FedGov.
Think of it this way: In management, there is usually a pyramid that describes how management works. Workers of the rank and file type form the base of the structure.
About halfway up you begin venturing into middle management and then upper management as you move on toward the top.
At the tippy-top you have appointed agency headed – the president’s cabinet.
The difficulty for the new president Trump will be the fact that the Obama administration has used its 8-years in power to move party loyalists and those following the Obama ideology into key positions.
This means that when a tough series of steps is planned at the top of the pyramid, the lower part of the pyramid is likely to drag its feet because the upper layer of government (top of the unelected pile) will have little interest in conforming to radical changes of policy.
To a degree, of course, they will be correct: It’s what keeps progress in government slow (OK, glacial).
However, the upper unelecteds (the real Shadow Government/SG) will cite past presidential dictates and these will need to be rescinded or updated, reviewed, published, promulgated, and likely in many cases litigated before actual change will roll through “the swamp.”
Back in 2015, the website Hot Air reported (here) that “…even spending half the day watching Internet porn doesn’t qualify for immediate termination. Instead, it starts a process that can last as long as two years, and often just means that managers shrug off bad behavior and bad performance …”
Thus, Shadow Government of the U.S. is right before our eyes, a kind of slowly-managed culture which does all of its “storming, norming, and conforming” independent of the Elective Executive or Legislative branches. It does what it does…
And that will be a key thing to watch in 2017 especially in agencies like Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and any of the perps in the upper middle who have gone along with the extra-legal efforts of the Obama administration to swamp American politics with foreign belief systems.
Problems of the Strong Dollar
OMG is this one complicated!
At the macro level first:
The stronger dollar means that American goods sold overseas will be more expensive when denominated in the currency of other nations.
Say the dollar’s value relative to the Euro was to double (not saying it will, this is just a visit to Example Land).
The price of a Boeing built jet from Paine Field in Washington State would be twice as expensive to a European buyer.
This would have a negative impact on the balance of trade and yes, that Chinese knock-off copies of U.S. software would flourish, too. Piracy works best with big spreads in price.
The good news for the Balance of Payments deficit is that while we keep buying loads of crap from elsewhere, the doubled-dollar would halve the price of the Euro-zone autos.
To be sure, BWMs, Porsches, and the like will still likely hold their value (or go up a bit) but not like what would happen were the shoe on the other foot. An old “air-cooler” 930 turbo, for example, will still probably go up in the next year or two, but that’s because the collector value will go up once we get through an economic bump due to the changeover in financial regimens – a bump that could be a two year depression (or longer).
With the dollar going up in purchasing power, the stock market is likely to soar because it will appear that stocks still have only one way to go (up) and bonds will also suffer from one way to go except it will be (down).
In the meantime, Gold will muddle through the $1,000 to $1500 range. Bounding on the low side because of dollar strength (*takes fewer dollars to buy an ounce) and bounded on the upside by total possible demand and the vagaries of fashion.
In terms of the longer-range investment decisions, a person prone to gamble on foreign exchange would certainly have to entertain going long the dollar, short the Euro, and play that spread, driven by the recent discussions in Europe that mention seizing of privately held gold.
The U.S. Take-Down of the European Union?
We have to put on the Machiavellian viewpoint for just a moment to skip over to a BBC report this morning on how 1,100 Muslim immigrants stormed a border fence in Spain overnight.
There are several ways of considering U.S. policy in the Middle East. One is the Nasty Nest of Neocons who have pulled the strings at State since (the) Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton days.
They are actually NOT conservative at all and change their political affiliations regularly in order to promote the U.S. death/defense industries and pursue the failed policies of “regime change” which are spectacular failures at every turn.
What is coming into view, however, is a second view and that is that the Middle East wars, and Syria here recently, has ramped-up the Second Muslim Invasion of Europe which is in full swing with violent outbreaks like the Istanbul mess this weekend.
We would love nothing better than to take a month and go see Europe, but at present rates of mismanagement, Elaine and I will likely sit on the swing here at the ranch (with an AK-47 or AK-74 apiece) and wait for the global revolution to show up here, which we have no doubt it will, given enough time.
The “neocons” hold to the idea that history can be “shaped” to conform to a plan – a notion that is as bankrupt as America has become fighting wrong-headed wars.
As the leaking Mexican border demonstrates (in addition to traitorous management of our Borders), history is moved by populations and large tribal migrations.
One has only to sit back and reflect on the re-tribalizations afoot in the world today to comprehend an outline of a plan. Thus, although we are looking at age 70 soon enough, the impetus to move to a “big city” is light given the soaring tax burdens and increasing crime rates.
Not to mention the joys of food independence, which will still hold to be one of the highest-value assets an average person can develop.
Climate Scam to Fade
We have already seen the beginning of the fade of this (largely) made-up issue, designed initially to stampede the world into a Global Tax which in turn would press the UN’s Agenda 21 and in turn would move the U.S. into a position of further subservience to non-elective government.
While Scientific American continues to write stories like Yes, Some Extreme Weather Can Be Blamed on Climate Change, other sources like Gizmodo report “Good News! Humans No Longer Caused Climate Change, According to the State of Wisconsin.”
You would be well-advised to instead pay closer attention to the increase in global volcanism in 2016 (see details here).
We don’t care how much in the way of financial assets governments manage to scam, we can think of a practical way to shut off the biggest drivers of climate change which are the volcanoes and solar output.
In the end, the climate change battle is more a marketing/tribal cleaving process than in-your-face reality. The New American headlines “Global Warming Alarmist NY Times Discovers Cold Is 17 Times Deadlier” while Eco Watch is convinced of “18 Signs That Show We’ve Reached the Tipping Point.”
What continues laughable to us is that UrbanSurvival and Peoplenomics have both been solar-powered since 2008 when we put in 3.5 kW of grid-interactive solar panels.
Lesson for longer-term readers: We walk the talk while the rest of the herd is being rounded up by the Monetizers and cleaved into marketing segments suitable for financial harvesting.
And so it goes…
Around the Ranch
Elaine and I would like to thank our neighbors Coy and (*the other) Elaine for a marvelous New Years Eve.
We did the “Southern thing” – eating black-eyed peas on New Years Eve for luck. We’ll let you know how that rolls…
George II spent New Years Eve camped out again up at Wellington/Tye Washington. He was whining about how hard it is to snowshoe through 3-feet of fresh powder snow but dialed that back when dad explained “Son, let me tell you how hotels work.”
That got me pricing Inmarsat phones and the price of minutes for them. No wonder the kid is broke, lol.
We have one of Elaine’s sons coming in this morning for a week.
And speaking of climate change, snow in the forecast for Friday morning as that big chill pill comes down from Canada, although with less than an inch expected, we don’t anticipate opening the Chair lift on the hill. January maybe?
Back to our usual tomorrow…go have coffee and gin up a good excuse for being up so early on a holiday morning. You’ve just read mine.