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Trump crashes the market not so much

Nothing like failure to make you successful...not

The Freedom Caucus have got their man, and he's screwed!  The lack of effort in passing TrumpCare will make of Paul Ryan and President Trump "Freedom bitches!"  Nothing will pass congress without their support, and they know what they want:  To make government small enough so that it can be drowned in a bathtub (except for the military...).

This will be an intersting week, don't think that Ryan will last very long in his current job.  On the one side you've got the extremist that cannot be budged, they have gerrymandered their district so that they are unmovable and will continue their crazy talk, and on the other side you've got the moderates (as they are), that are squishy in their demands and needs.

Now the big one are trade reform and tax reform followed by the Wall and infrastructure projects.  We must not forget the April 29th deadline to increase the government obligation/ability to continue to pay its …
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Health care reform not this year

Today is the day, where the GOP's healthcare reform was to meet's its "first" hurdle which is the house of representative -- a few minutes ago the vote was pulled with 33 no and 9 undecided.  33 no was the death march of the law.

How did this happen?  The GOP had seven years to figure something out, and the end result is a big fat failure?  This was the litmus test for Ryan and Trump and yet the whole thing was mismanaged from the start:

It was done in secretNone of the natural constituencies where included in the processIt was done very very fast (3 weeks instead of 14 months for ACA)It was almost impossible Bottom line the GOP has been lying to itself.  David Frum suggested, in 2009, that the GOP work with Obama to make a good law.  Instead the GOP lied. made up stuff (death panels) and exaggerated.  Trump who's ADHD made understanding the healthcare problem impossible jumped on the bandwagon of this disaster.
How will Trump pass his tax reform now?  He had limi…

Italexit? Odds are saying Yes!

Poll after poll in Italy are showing the five star movement (not a radical right wing group) ahead in the poll.  In fact, just 6 points shy of a majority in the Italian Parliament (majority is at 40%).  Taking all the anti-Europe political parties together and you get a 56% coalition.

Italy is the weak link in core Europe, with 12% of the zone's GDP (a grouping of 27 countries) an economy in tatters, with 12% unemployment, and 37% unemployment among those below 25.  A banking system reeling from accumulated bad debts:  One bank alone absorbed 110% of the Italian government "authorized" rescue fund for its entire banking network.  The sickest bank, Banca Monte dei Paschi de Siena had non performing loans in the range of 30% -- at the peak of the S&L crisis in the 1980s the American banking non-performing loans were less than 5%.  Other Italian banks are in the low double digits -- still not healthy, but better.

The Italian economy is uncompetitive and has no tools (a…

Owning up to being wrong!

Over the past few weeks the truth has been largely absent from the American political scene. The truth is what you want it to be; Illegal voters was the reason Trump lost the popular vote, Obama spied on Trump etc etc.

It is the new normal in a way that politicians will understand; Trumps' sin is that he's gone "full retard" -- politicians lie, its the nature of the beast! Policy is complicated and people want simple answers to complicated questions, and are impatient for results, they don't understand how government functions -- they probably don't understand how a company works either!

Most politicians will use "little lies" to make their supporters happy, the difference with Trump is that he has no check and balance -- he says that the number of Americans at the inauguration was greater than under Obama -- and he will not change his mind confronted with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Its not that he's shameless he just doesn't care…

Doing the unexpected

Donald Trump has been president for slightly more than 7 weeks (has it only been seven weeks) and yet he has already filed papers to run for elections in seems a little premature, but really is a brilliant move.  Donald Trump keeps on doing the unexpected, in a way that is redefining politics and policy:

By running his upcoming speech in Nashville as a political rally (financed by his campaign for re-election) he can choose who he admits, use it on TV ads, make it available to the network that will run it on prime time and show DJT in full glory with adoring fans -- while keeping protesters far away, ideally showing pictures of protesters attacking the police -- you know good stuff!  [and sell stuff to his adoring fans]Trump has repeatedly said that the current US government is only for those who voted Republicans (although Trumpcare seems to be more about giving to the 1% than anything else), and can be ignored by elected officials -- a clear break from the tradition that th…

The culture of hype: Another blizzard downgraded to a snowstorm

I don't really care about snow storms on the East coast, but I use it to illustrate a bizarre American phenomenon; the use of hyperbole for everyday mundane events.  It starts with giving it you 150% (which is patently impossible...) and goes all the way to 24 hour coverage on multiple channels about the upcoming blizzard -- that has now only going to be s snow storm, a good one for sure but really a typical heavy snow storm with anywhere between 15 and 20 cm of snow.  An inconvenience for sure but not the end of the world in the northwest.

24/7 news cycle has given birth to these kinds of hype over nothing.  The 24 hour coverage of something largely unimportant -- simply buy a bit of extra food, have a plan B if the power dies and keep your cell phone recharged -- oh and stay home Tuesday.  Instead we get this panic mode.  I first noticed this kind of hype for the year 2000 -- when suddenly all the computers were suppose to stop and the world come to an end -- no so much.  There …

Every punter says oil prices are on the rise: Oil hits $48/bbl -- lowest since September 2016

What the hell?

How could this be, punters, advisors, investment bankers all agreed commodity prices  in general and oil prices in particular are on the rise...its a brave new era for producers and exporters -- finally the world is back and demand is going through the roof, except not so much!

What happened?  Well energy is complicated, the world operates in a balance -- 30 days of physical reserves is about all we've got (seriously) this is a just in time business.  So the long term trend always gets hit by short term variations.

Global production over the past 12 months has risen by somewhat less than 1.5% per annum.  As the world market changes production becomes less energy intensive (maybe), but the reality is that the world is growing more slowly -- America Q4 GDP growth was around 1.9% (annualized) Europe is going nowhere fast (the GDP growth in Germany is overshadowed by the lack of growth in France, Italy, Spain (lets say 27 Euro members generated a total GDP growth of 1.2…