Category Archives: Government

Gridlock in Washington and the Impact on Equity Markets

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Gridlock in Washington (with the utter failure to pass any kind of new healthcare reform) is the theme, so far, in 2017…with Republicans unable to agree to support their party’s latest bill, which is now completely dead, and Democrats simply obstructing everything in sight.

It looks like everyone is tired and unable to do what they were elected to do.

If everyone’s tired, how will this failure affect the progress of any other political items that President Trump has on his agenda?


His Majesty’s Presence

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I love America. The first words of The Godfather, and three words also deep within my heart. In spite of my distaste for many of its inhabitants (present company excluded), the ideals of this nation are dear to me, and, as on every 4th of July, I read the entire Declaration of Independence with a lump in my throat.

I, too, would like to share with you this magnificent clip from John Adams, in which Paul Giamatti’s character meets King George to try to mend the obvious rift between the newborn U.S. and Britain. It is an extraordinary scene, and I’ve read that this is one of the very few instances where every single word was written down, and those words are precisely presented here:

Can Bonds Rally To New All-Time Highs?

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Since the Fed increased rates in December, the bond market has been rallying. Many have told me that the Fed controls all markets. Many have told me that you cannot fight the Fed. Many have told me that the Fed controls the bond market.

My question is if anyone has told the bond market this?

The Fed has now increased rates 3 times since December of 2016. So, if the Fed truly controls the bond market, and if the Fed truly controls the direction of interest rates in general, doesn’t that mean that overall rates should be rising?

Well, the bond market does not think so. Since December of 2016, the bond market has been rallying, as can be seen in the attached chart below of TLT. Yet, the Fed has raised interest rates 3 times during this rally.


Civil Servants

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I really should know better by now, but I still get amazed when I see the obscene salaries that bureaucrats and civic employees get. I can’t imagine anyone less motivated, industrious, or clever than a government employee, and yet thanks to their unions, they get salaries that far exceed the average compensation at Goldman Sachs (or Apple or Google, for that matter). The truth value of these employees is, I am highly confident, about 66% less than they are paid.

There’s a crummy little town near Palo Alto called Redwood City – – it’s a real shithole, except for a few good taco joints – – that spends over $100 million for its government. This is a “city” of 82,000 people, and one glance will show you the largesse that they’ve granted themselves…..