#MAGA

Now media has an issue with Trump’s $3,100 stake in Sanofi

The story just keeps getting more deranged. Now The NY Times is taking umbrage at the fact that Trump’s family has a $110k stake in a Dodge & Cox global mutual fund that just happens to have Sanofi, the maker of Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine sulfate), as its largest holding. A whopping 2.9%! Which means his family stake would be c.$3,100.

One imagines if that same fund owned stakes in GM or Boeing that he should be accused of skimming off the top because he is ferried in The Beast and flown around in Air Force One. FedEx is in there too. Better keep an eye on Melanie and Ivanka’s outgoing courier mail to ensure that UPS is also getting a fair share.

For the benefit of The NY Times, it might help to know that Trump has no legal control over the asset allocation choices made by a global mutual fund other than choosing to buy or sell it. Furthermore Sanofi has been a dud stock over the last 5 years in terms of performance.

It would be better had the NYT taken pot shots at Trump’s dreadful choice in asset manager given Sanofi has been such a dog.

Perhaps it would be nicer to think that the drug actually works. Certainly seems more promising than anything else out there to date.

Sad to think that The NY Times would seemingly prefer the drug fails and people die than Trump get an windfall off his 401k.

When the people you least expect praise Trump on COVID19 response

The View, hosted by Joy Behar is about as liberal as a show can get. The members of the panel are all suffering chronic Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Instead of wishing that Americans are safe, she tried to pillory California Governor Grant Newsom over his positive remarks about Trump, making out as though he was kissing the ring to get help. He replied,

Let me just acknowledge the frame of your question. We’re involved in over 68 lawsuits with the Trump administration, and so there’s no question we have had our differences of opinion on many issues but I just want to remind you that you and many others that maybe are not aware of this. We have been at this since late January. California got a head start in many respects where no one was really paying much attention. We started working with the administration directly to get these repatriated flights from mainland China into the state of California. Many states turned their back on those flights and those repatriation missions. California embraced them. We also had that “Grand Princess,” that large cruise ship where we worked very collaboratively with the federal government developed strong relationships of trust with emergency planning and how we can bring those passengers back into our diverse communities and all across the rest of the country.

As a consequence of that, our relationship began earlier than most, and so from that perspective, all I can say is from my perspective, the relationship has been strong and I’m not doing it to kiss the ring. I’m not doing it in a way, you know — I’m just being forthright with the president. He returns calls. He reaches out. He’s been proactive. We got that “Mercy” ship down here in Los Angeles. That was directly because he sent it down here. 2,000 medical units came to the state of California, these fms, these field medical stations, and that’s been very, very helpful and to the extent we’re going to need more, and I’ll let you know in a few weeks if that relationship continues.

What were we saying about media narratives that are so removed from the truth?

MSM relishes trade of economic depression via pandemic over Trump as POTUS w/ no virus

Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) knows no bounds. Yes, the mainstream media (MSM) is celebrating the milestone that the Dow is below the level when Donald Trump was inaugurated.

We have always said that if Trump continued to boast about market gains he would have to wear it on the downside too. Alas, he is being hoisted by his own petard.

Sadly, as much as CNN and others relish the though of Trump out of office, we sincerely doubt the vast majority of Americans would trade a pandemic with catastrophic unemployment over business as usual before the WuFlu with a Trump at the helm.

Markets are forward looking. They anticipate where corporate earnings are likely to be. This market rout has little to do with Trump’s policies in isolation.

We’ve said repeatedly that global central banks have created a debt bomb through reckless monetary policies over the last two decades. They have proved just how little impact cutting rates to zero or throwing $850bn in handouts has on markets. They’re out of ammunition. Confidence is shot. We’re in uncharted territory.

Boeing is the perfect canary in the coal mine. The 737MAX debacle which is imminently due to be on sale again to a market that has effectively vanished. Airlines are cutting routes and it will be up to the zombie lending cycles of aircraft leasing companies to renegotiate rates so they can keep the patient alive. Airlines will push out deliveries.

However before Boeing’s core business troubles, the management embarked on short term incentive chasing buybacks to the tune of $43bn since 2013. The company is trading negative equity and has drawn down ALL of its credit lines ($13.8bn) and now wants a handout.

All of this is the product of two decades of mindless expediency. Governments are just as culpable for allowing greed to override common sense. No lessons have been learnt since 2000 and especially 2008. Blue chips like Boeing and GE are now heading to record lows because of it. Ford Motor is rated junk. How long before Boeing and GE fall foul of the same problem?

We are particularly interested in the next set of results from Parker Hannifin. It is like the global industrial hardware store. All of the major manufacturers use Parker for parts – pumps, hydraulics, pneumatics, valves, hoses etc. When we see Parker’s upcoming report on order flows we can gauge how bad it is at the manufacturing coal face.

This time we are staring at a “global depression” and it would be nice to think the MSM would try to put some context around the ramifications of this virus and the raft of economy killing policies governments around the world are introducing instead of just blaming Trump. Yes, he’s been his normal self during this but is he responsible for the actions of other countries going into shutdowns? Seriously? Do the US Coronavirus stats stack up poorly vs countries like Italy on a relative or absolute basis? No. Moreover COVID-19 cases in the US are a mere fraction of H1N1 swine flu cases which the media made nowhere near the level of hysteria as now. It’s a disgrace how far the media will go for clickbait.

Had the world’s central banks behaved sensibly to stop excessive debt and allowed markets to function freely, this pandemic would have had far less effect than it is now because we would have had the ammunition to fight this war of attrition. Now all our governments and regulators are doing is moving phantom armies across maps trying to stop economic Armageddon.

Bernie can whip up crowds too

17,000 showed up to Bernie Sanders’ latest rally in Washington. We shouldn’t underestimate the scope of his support despite not being able to cost healthcare for all, free education or canceling student loan debt. Some pundits put it at $60 trillion.

While we still think Trump will win 2020, the Democrats need to carefully weigh their hatred of the president vs their dislike for Sanders stealing the Democratic nomination as an independent. The DNC is no stranger to dismissing democratic process in the primaries.

How the Bottom 50% in the USA have fared over the last 30 years

fredgraph (3)

Thanks to the SOTU, this chart from the St Louis Fed (FRED) gives us a great read across on how the Bottom 50%’s fortunes have fared over time.

Since the series began, FRED shows their aggregate wealth peaked in 2Q 1991 at $4.3 trillion. In Q1 2009, that net wealth plummetted 61% to $1.7 trillion. It sunk to a rock bottom of $300 billion in 2Q 2011, 93% down.

Under Obama, net worth for the Bottom 50% declined from $1.7 trillion in 1Q 2009 to $1.1 trillion, down 35% over his two terms. This might do some explaining as to why the “forgotten” wanted large scale change.

Under Trump, the latest net worth is back to $1.6 trillion. Still well off the highs of 3-decades ago, but one imagines if things keep improving out to November, then these people won’t want to risk their fortunes reversing again.

Of course, many will ponder the unfair wealth gap of the Top 1% at $34.5 trillion in the latest figures.

Democrats should be outraged that the ultra-wealthy have done much better under Obama with a 100% gain in net worth under his term vs the paltry 15.3% so far under Trump. Is this the real reason why Nancy Pelosi is so upset?

If you want to see how much members of Congress are worth please check out Roll Call. While some politicians come from inherited wealth, many on the public purse have managed to do pretty well on a paltry government salary.

Whose state of mind should be shredded? Fact checking Trump’s SOTU claims

Really? Nancy Pelosi defended her actions at the SOTU by saying she “shredded his state of mind!

We fact check Trump’s claims below beyond the unemployment figures we put forward yesterday.

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CLAIM: “In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people DROPPED OUT of the workforce. In just three years of my administration, 3.5 MILLION working-age people have JOINED the workforce.”

TRUE

During Obama’s two terms in office, the participation rate dropped from a high of 65.7% to 62.7% by the end. Since President Trump took office, the rate has grown from 62.8% to 63.2% which sums to c.3.7 million more people joining the workforce.

Source: BLS

——

CLAIM: “The median household income is now at the highest rate ever.”

TRUE

The U.S. Census has been tracking median household income since 1984. In 2018, the last year recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau, household median income was at $63,179, the highest number recorded.

Source: Census Bureau

——

CLAIM: In the Democratic response, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said that more than 275 bipartisan bills sit on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk.

TRUE

Source: Congress roll calls

——

CLAIM: “Under my administration, seven million Americans have come off food stamps and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.”

TRUE

“Food stamps” aka U.S Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) data shows seven million less people than there were before President Trump took office. Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance saw a roughly 4.7 million person decrease.

Source: SNAP

——

CLAIM: President Trump claimed that America has gained 12,000 new factories under his administration after losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations.

TRUE

The Bureau of Labor tracks manufacturing establishments every quarter. US had 398,837 factories at the start of Bush’s presidency in 2001 and 343,972 manufacturing establishments at the end of Obama’s presidency in 2017. That’s a drop of 54,865. The preliminary data for 2Q 2019, reveals 356,046 factories. +12,074 since 2017.

Source: BLS

——

CLAIM: “Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far.”

SLIGHTLY MISLEADING

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. has been the #1 producer of oil and natural gas in the world since 2013 before Trump took office.

Source: USEIA

——

CLAIM: “Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage earners has increased by 47 percent, three times faster than the increase for the top one percent.” 

TRUE

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED), the reports the net worth of the bottom half of the population was $1,070,183mn at the start of 2017. As of the third quarter of 2019, it was 1,668,034mn. That’s an increase of 55.86%, more than Trump quoted. The Top 1%, had $29,955,829mn. In 3Q 2019, it was $34,533,370mn, or 15.3%

Source: FRED Top 1% and Bottom 50%

——

CLAIM: “I have raised contributions from the other NATO members by more than $400 billion, and the number of allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled.” 

TRUE

NATO Europe and Canada are expected to raise defense spending by a cumulative $400 billion US dollars by 2024 to meet the 2 percent of GDP obligations – though those obligations were agreed to in 2014.

Source: NATO

——

CLAIM: “Last year, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 120,000 criminal aliens charged with nearly 10,000 burglaries, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 violent assaults and 2,000 murders.” 

TRUE

Source: ICE

——-

CLAIM: “As a result of our unprecedented efforts, illegal crossings are down 75 percent since May — dropping eight straight months in a row.”

TRUE

May, 2019 saw 144,116 apprehensions. Arrests have dropped every single month since that rime, reaching 40,620 in December, 2019. January data not released but apprehensions down 72%.

Source: CBP

——

CLAIM: “In the last three years, ICE has arrested over 5,000 wicked human traffickers.” 

TRUE

ICE has made 5,387 human trafficking arrests.

Source: ICE

——

CLAIM: “We have now completed over 100 miles and will have over 500 miles fully completed by early next year.”

MOSTLY TRUE

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced the completion of the border wall’s 100th mile. 400-450 miles of wall would either be completed OR under construction by the end of 2020 — not 500.

Source: DHS

——

CLAIM: “Since 2016, the violent crime rate in America has fallen nearly 5 percent after rising each of the two years before President Trump took office.”

TRUE

Violent crime fell 4.5% between 2016 to 2018. Preliminary 2019 numbers show a further decrease.

Source: FBI

——

CLAIM: Trump claimed drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in nearly 30 years.

TRUE

2018 was the first time in nearly 20 years that the number of drug overdose deaths declined and only the second time in nearly the last 30 years.

Source: CDC

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CLAIM: “Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed.”

TRUE

In March 2019, U.S.-backed forces in Syria captured the Islamic State’s last physical territory. In 2016, the ISIS held about 37,530 sq miles in Iraq and Syria.

Source: The Wilson Center

—–

Judging by her actions, should we believe “there is no such thing as eternal animosity.”

She sure has a strange way of showing it.

The only truth Pelosi spoke was that she “didn’t need lessons in dignity from the president.” She has that base well and truly covered.

The only truth in Pelosi was her denial.

Impeachment pens for sale

Nancy Pelosi’s week just gets worse. One meme doing the rounds said,

Gold Impeachment pens for sale. Used only once. Didn’t work