We’re trying to avoid distractions. What is really going on, we wonder? What is really important, we ask?
Donald J. Trump came to Washington, DC promising to ‘drain the swamp’.
Instead, the swamp is draining him.
The media entangles him in fake news kudzu. Establishment bugs nip away at him like mosquitoes at a bayou picnic. Special interests and Deep State operatives slither around him threateningly…while Deep State heavies try to drown him in accusations.
Business as usual
We thought ‘The Donald’ would quickly make peace with the swamp.
He has no fixed convictions…no ideology or principles to get in the way.
We figured he’d go along with the insiders…and become the biggest swamp critter of all.
And when he stuffed his cabinet with generals and Goldman guys, we thought he was on his way.
But the way it looks now, “’he Donald’ just can’t ‘fit in’. Many of the Deep State foxes consider him unreliable. Or embarrassing. They want to get rid of him…or weaken him so he is more or less irrelevant.
The Comey testimony didn’t help anyone as near as we could figure. ‘The Donald’s’ fans came away believing their man was set up by a disloyal ‘leaker’. And the Establishment insiders are determined to keep beating up on him until he falls down.
They might succeed. Or they might not. It hardly matters.
In the meantime, President Trump is taking so many punches, he’s beginning to wobble. Only five months into his administration and he’s looking lame. He couldn’t make any major changes — even if he wanted to.
He’s ready to fall in line with the insiders at any time.
So it’s business as usual. No swamp draining…no serious budget cuts…no tears in the Deep State land…no end to the make-believe wars…no Trump reflation trade…no big infrastructure projects…no ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’…and no change in course. For now.
The feds control — directly or indirectly — half of GDP. And the insiders control the feds. The last thing either wants is real change.
But that doesn’t mean they can stop it.
Change you can believe in
Markets don’t stop just because the insiders want them to stop; markets react to the public spectacle…but they follow deeper currents, too.
Debts don’t shrink just because you can’t pay them. And the future doesn’t wait just because you’re not ready for it. Change happens whether you want it or not.
Sometime soon — most likely before the end of the year (though, recently, no one has lost money by betting against our timing hunches) — the weight of debt, lies, delusions and claptrap is going to cause the floor to cave in.
When that happens, all of a sudden, people are going to lose interest in the spectacle in Washington.
Gone will be any interest in whether Russia meddled in a US election (which never really mattered anyway). Gone will be any interest in whether Comey lied…or Trump lied…or what The New York Times said…or whether ‘The Donald’ acts ‘presidential’.
Instead, all eyes will turn to the spectacle in New York. Crashing prices are bound to get their attention.
The Dow will be cut in half. The big banks, considered too big to fail, will be failing. People who have bought ETFs to be ‘in the market’ will want to be ‘out of the market’. Volatility, so recently like the EKG of a dead man, will begin to rise from the table like Frankenstein.
And then, the call will go up to the president and the chairman of the Fed.
‘Do something! Save us! To the rescue!’
And to the rescue they will come.
With short-term interest rates already near zero…with the Fed already holding more than $4 trillion of government bonds on its balance sheet…with the budget deficit already set to rise by $10 trillion over the next 10 years…
…what can they do?
That will be the next big story…
…not the Trumped-up battle over Russian election meddling…
…not the nuances of Donald Trump’s ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go’ comment…
…not proposed tax cuts…
…not the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord…
No, none of it will matter very much when real change shows up.
For Markets & Money