Reading time: 2 – 3 minutes
Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.
The graph shows the upward trend of St. Petersburg stock prices for decades before the downfall of the Romanov Dynasty in 1917.
In the end, politics and war trumped technical analysis, price-earnings ratios, and long-term investor optimism.
Prudent investment calls for awareness of what is going beyond capital markets
On this site, possible effects of politics and war are discussed in many essays.
Top-down analysis: excerpts
Here are entry points to articles about US politics and war on this blog:
|US Politics: Opinion and analysis of political trends, with implications for investors, inflation, deflation, capitalism, and taxation.|
|War: Discussion of international conflicts in which the US is or may be involved and implications on the stability of the dollar and the national economy.|
Top-down analysis: list of articles
These essays are focused mainly on US politics and international conflicts.
- US Politics - America grows with legal immigrationLegal immigration has resulted in solid growth of the US population, despite declining birth rates and an increasing number of old people. This is good news for investors in stocks and real estate . Despite loud railing against illegal immigration by Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs, Michelle Malkin, and Pat Buchanan, the real story is the size and scope of legal immigration. Illegal immigration appears to be less than 5% of legal immigration, and legal immigration is at an all time high.
- US Politics - Barack Obama: The last US presidentIgor Panarin, a Russian academic, is making headlines predicting the end of the United States in 2010. With his connections in the intelligence community, one might wonder what Professor Panarin might know about Barack Obama and his radical cabinet of 'czars' that is unknown to the American people?Panarin's map of the proposed breakup of the United States seems to exhibit a profound mis-understanding of American political history and culture. However, the non-democratic behavior of the Pelosi-Reid Congress does raise questions as to the future of the country.
- US Politics - Consequences of a Democratic victoryThe Democratic Party and its supporters have indicated a willingness to enact legislation that will reduce demand for bonds, while increasing supply: a recipe for lower bond prices and higher yields. Questionable economic policies are expected to include support for Fannie Mae, protectionist trade measures, and large pensions for unionized civil servants.
- US Politics - Deporting illegal immigrantsA ball park estimate of the cost of deporting illegal immigrants from the US would be somewhere north of $200 billion dollars — in the first year.However, the presumed economic advantages of mass deportation seem illusive, while the political disadvantages to whatever Party were to try to enforce mass deportation, seem immense, even suicidal.The solution to the US illegal immigration problem is an issue fraught with unintended political and economic consequences for all involved.
- US Politics - Dodd-Frank spurs sub-prime loansThe immediate cause of the worldwide financial Crash of 2008 was the extensive granting of sub-prime mortgages.The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill introduced in Title XII, "IMPROVING ACCESS TO MAINSTREAM FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS", a new, fraud-prone solution to a non-existent problem, the granting of $2,500 loans to middle and low income borrowers.In combination with other political funds, this program could be an extremely powerful tool for voter fraud. In fact, it is difficult to imagine why else it would be inserted into the Dodd-Frank Act.
- US Politics - Economic uncertainty escalatesOn March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. No one knows the full economic impact of this law. Never has legislation of such complexity and importance been passed by Congress and signed by the President on a purely partisan vote, against the wishes of the majority of the American people. The outlook for inflation has changed suddenly from a high level of probability to undetermined — uncertainty as to disbursement timing, combined with the outcome of elections in 2010 and 2012, provides possible scenarios under which things could get radically worse, or better.
- US Politics - Effective financial reform unlikely in 2010The financial reforms of the New Deal lasted for over fifty years and were based on two years of work by the US Senate Pecora Commission, spanning two administrations with bipartisan support.In contrast, the Obama "reforms" are being concocted in secret to be rushed through the Pelosi-Reid Congress, already famous for passing substantial legislation in the dark of night, without reading the text.Historically, slap-dash, one-party 'reforms' have not survived a Congress controlled by the other party.
- US Politics - Fat municipal pensions spell troubleMunicipal pension fund problems are primarily the fruit of unionization of public employees. Over the last generation, trade unions have turned from their traditional base of industrial workers (eroded by factory closings due to excessive labor demands) and have fixed on the juicy target of tax-supported government workers. This could result in higher interest on municipal bonds of cities with powerful government service unions, along with increased taxes, and downward pressure on real estate values in certain cities.
- US Politics - Governor Sarah Palin waves goodbyeOn the 4th of July weekend, former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, resigned her position as Governor of the State of Alaska. This has raised questions as to her political future.Sarah Palin and her family have been severely, viciously, and unfairly attacked by far left ideologues who hate her and her family as a representatives of a traditional, Norman Rockwell America. Is Sarah finished? Her enemies hope so.
- US Politics - New pension law stiffs workersThe Pension Protection Act of 2006 uses a technical trick to dissuade retirees from transferring from company pension plans to privately insured plans. When a worker is stuck with an under-funded company plan, their lump-sum payment option has been effectively reduced by Congress. Not only workers, but life insurance companies are stiffed by this provision.
- US Politics - Obama offers inflation plus unemploymentAs of this writing, the term "stagpression" gathers only 145 hits on Google. This is probably because the term — meant to suggest high unemployment plus high inflation — does not convey this meaning effectively.So we're stuck with the term "stagflation". Or maybe something like, "stagflation on steroids", although this seems a bit hackneyed.Under President Obama, the Carter combination of inflation and unemployment are likely to return — with a vengeance. Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke, seems to have read the wrong books about the Great Depression.
- US Politics - Obamacare and the future of US doctorsPresident Obama wants to increase the number of people covered by subsidized health insurance. However, his plan does not call for an increase in the number of doctors. He claims the plan will be paid for by greater efficiency, without explaining how this will be achieved.One thing is sure, the very rich and powerful will continue to get the best treatment, while fraudsters will benefit from increased government regulation. For the rest, rationing and higher costs seem inevitable.
- US Politics - Obamacare: Loopholes and enforcementPoorly written law can sometimes be successful when the vast majority of people agree with the intent and there is bipartisan support to correct errors.This is not the case with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.However, the most astounding thing about Obamacare is that the individual mandate is basically a misnomer — there are no penalties on individuals for not buying health insurance. Or are there? ECRV2Y9MMZ86
- US Politics - Pension law reform will alter capital flowsThe Pension Protection Act of 2006 is a major piece of legislation that, like ERISA in the 1970s, will effect capital flows in the US market over the next generation.Passage of the bill was helped along by heavy lobbying by the mutual fund industry trade organization, the Investment Company Institute.Although considered favorable to fund managers, the long run impact is still uncertain.
- US Politics - President Obama and the Lincoln BibleThe Crash of 2008 put Barack Obama in the Oval Office and was the culmination of two secular financial trends: a growing US trade deficit that was the root of easy financing for credit cards and mortgages, and the stock buyback movement that manipulated the equity market and that, in recent years, had become dependent upon easy credit rather than corporate profits.Americans now have an untested, inexperienced leader, with strange radical friends and a leftist deficit spending agenda. Obama must govern 300 million people in a serious economic crisis that he has the power to exacerbate.In Obama's first hundred days, the case of the Lincoln Bible, the Stimulus Bill, staffing problems, and the Maersk Alabama incident, hinted of difficult days to come for the United States.
- US Politics - President Obama’s Lincoln momentIn the Summer of 2009, Barack Obama found that Lincoln's saying, "You can't fool all of the people all of the time," applied to his presidency. Massive deficit spending, an unpopular 'health care reform' bill, and the growing awareness that Obama's campaign promises were largely lies, resulted in the honeymoon coming to an abrupt halt.Obama's growing unpopularity has encouraged Republicans to hope for a return to power in 2010, backed by grassroot revolt of a significant segment of the population.
- US Politics - Securitization of social securityProposed measures for reforming the American social security system call for allowing workers to invest a portion of their payroll FICA contributions in individually owned and directed personal retirement accounts.This would amount to the partial securitization of social security taxes and could channel a significant volume of new funds into the U.S. securities markets.Watching the unfolding of the details on securitization of social security should be a priority for capital flow analysts during the second Bush term.
- US Politics - Should Obama take over Citicorp?There have been suggestions that the Obama Administration should nationalize the 'big bad banks'. Is this a good idea?This article discusses possible consequences of nationalization of Citicorp by the US government.These consequences may include lost of deposits, loss of customers, greater inefficiency, political favoritism in lending, the decline of Wall Street, and an impact on the US dollar as most favored international reserve currency.
- US Politics - The decline of the mainstream mediaDuring September 2009, President Obama dominated television in his attempt to sell his government-run health plan, despite massive public opposition. Over-exposure is already damaging Obama's popularity. Now the Main Stream Media is seeing falling ad revenues and market share as the public turns to the prime source of unbiased information: Fox News.Unpopular policies, imprudent economics, and Obama-linked scandals like ACORN, are weighing on this Presidency.
- US Politics - US households save while Obama fiddlesIn Q3 2009, American households saved 4% of their income, a sharp increase from 1.5% in 2007 before the current financial crisis. Tax breaks in the "economic stimulus" package were directed to savings rather than consumption.Private sector tax payers were incensed by the profligate behavior of the Pelosi-Reid Congress, which gave rise to the Tea Party Movement.
- US Politics - What is the future of private pension plans?Between 1999 and 2002, US private pension funds lost US$ 1.2 trillion in value. It would almost seem that pension fund managers had been speculating with retirement money, attempting to beat each others' short-term performance statistics, with little interest in safeguarding the assets of plan beneficiaries.Political intrusion and trade unionism have debilitated the pension fund industry over many generations. The end of the pension industry may now be in sight.
- US Politics - Why are the Super-Rich often liberals?If we are to believe the old adage that, 'people vote their pocketbooks', why are so many of the Super-Rich ardent supporters of the Democratic Party?Why do the liberal Super-Rich seem to act in a way that is so contrary to their selfish interests and economic well-being?Here I show how capital flow analysis of the Federal Reserve flow of funds accounts provides an answer to this apparent conundrum.
- US Politics - Why Congress will not kill ACORNClosely connected with President Barack Obama, the ACORN group of "community organizers" has drawn censure from the Democrat-controlled Congress as a result of daring investigative reporting by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles.However, effective Congressional action seems unlikely. The HUD grants program is a 'honey pot' that has kept legislators of both parties in slush funds for generations. Take the case of the sidewalk in Sandy, Utah ...
- US Politics - Why Obama is sacrificing House DemocratsIn order to ram through Congress unpopular healthcare legislation that will radically increase the fiscal deficit and decrease the quality of healthcare for hundreds of millions of Americans, President Obama has asked fellow Democrats to 'fall of their swords', voting for his bill even though it might cost them their jobs in November 2010.This article describes how a president that has little regard for the Constitution or historical precedent, with a radical agenda, could, with impunity, do things that few Americans realize.
- War - War between Israel and Iran in 2010?The rapid development of nuclear weapons by an aggressive Iran threatens the world. Could war break out between Israel and Iran in 2010? President Ahmadinejad has announced the 'End of Days' to the United Nation.The US is still the world's major military power. However, American resolve is questioned at this critical moment. The long-festering 'Mideast situation' is approaching the brink of war. Financial market worldwide are threatened. Do you see a solution?