Friday, December 16, 2016

Today's Links

1--Trump backtracks already-- Donald Trump Says U.S. Should Establish Safe Zones in Syria

When I look at what's going on in Syria, it's so sad … and we're going to help people," Trump told a crowd at a Hershey, Pennsylvania, stop on his continuing "thank you" tour, according to The New York Times. "We'll build and help build safe zones in Syria, so people will have a chance."

2--Trump's Safe  zones NYT

And it featured a familiar mix for him: a lovingly detailed recap of his victory on election night, along with campaign appeals to populism, economic nationalism, and anti-immigration and anti-free-trade sentiment.

“We salute one flag, and that is the American flag,” Mr. Trump said. “We’re going to make sure the American flag gets the respect it deserves,” he added. “We’re going to maybe have to do something about that” — an apparent reference to his earlier suggestion that people should face penalties for burning the flag, despite a 1989 Supreme Court ruling that found that such actions were protected speech.

3--Trump's troubles: Yellen and the buck

"I believe my predecessor and I called for fiscal stimulus when the unemployment rate was substantially higher than it is now," she said. "So I would say at this point that fiscal policy is not obviously needed to provide stimulus to help us get back to full employment."

Seeming to realize she had strayed a little to close to telling the incoming president what to do, Yellen attempted a partial walk-back. "Let me be careful that I am not trying to provide advice to the new administration or to Congress as to what is the appropriate stance of policy."

4--Wall Street's 2017 Forecasts Are Doomed If Trump Doesn't Follow Through On Campaign Promises

Buyback nirvana--trump creates perfect environment for financial engineering on steroids

BNP Paribas: "In 2004, Congress implemented a 5.25 percent tax holiday on foreign profits for U.S. multinationals which resulted in $362 billion being brought on onshore. This led to dividend + buyback growth of +46 percent/+26 percent in 2005/2006 on top of adjusted earnings per share growth of just +12 percent/+15 percent over the same period. Markets have started to price the potential for a repatriation tax holiday as a part of corporate tax reform."
  • Deutsche Bank: "If a repatriation holiday is introduced at a ~5 percent rate, as opposed to the generally proposed 5-14 percent rates, 10 percent even by Trump, then we think ~$500 billion will be repatriated in 2017. These funds will go to a combination of dividends, buybacks, onshore debt reduction, M&A and capex. We think a permanently more tax efficient means to access offshore earnings via a lower U.S. corporate tax rate, and thus lower repatriation tax, causes many S&P Tech, Health Care and Staples firms to boost their dividend payout ratios."
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.: "Cash repatriation alone could boost shareholder payouts by ~$350 billion over multiple years, with possibly even greater payouts coming from freed up cash on the back of a reduced tax rate — we estimate that buybacks from repatriation alone could add ~$1.30 to S&P 500 earnings per share, assuming that 60 percent of potential payouts come in the form of buybacks."

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch: "The Trump electoral victory is likely to lead to substantial U.S. fiscal easing, helping push the U.S. dollar up and yields higher," the firm writes, adding that it expects the Euro to trade at 1.02 vs. the dollar by mid-2017 and the yen to hit 120.

    Bank of America Merrill Lynch: "The U.S. election was a game-changing development for markets, with single-party rule likely leading to significant fiscal stimulus. We look for a stronger U.S. dollar and higher U.S. yields in 2017," the analysts write, adding that they are targeting a U.S. 10-year rate of 2.65 percent for the end of next year.
  • Credit Suisse: "In our judgement, President-elect Donald Trump's policies are stagflationary at worst, or reflationary at best. Either way, bonds face challenges."

  • 5--Long-Shot to Block Trump Lands at Electoral College Monday

    6--CPI Fail!  Fed still failing to hit its 2% target after years of trying, and after years of forecasting that it would hit its 2% target:

    7--Economists chop growth outlook after consumers shop less than expected

    — Between the miss in retail sales and softer industrial production, JPMorgan chopped its forecast to 1.5 percent GDP growth from 2 percent for the fourth quarter, a disappointment after the third quarter’s 3.2 percent pace.

    Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius said he lowered tracking fourth-quarter GDP to 2 percent from 2.1 percent, and Barclays lowered the tracking pace to 1.8 percent after weaker retail sales and industrial production.

    “When the economy is running at 2 percent-ish … portions of the economy are kind of in recession at any point in time. There are cracks. We had some concerns about the strength of imports. Imports of consumer and capital goods are soft. The business spending side still seems quite soft to us. We have concerns auto sales will come down just because the pace is unsustainable,” said Gapen.

    8--Waning GDP

    This line shows total GDP growth over the prior 10 years. It makes the point as to just how sudden the latest drop off was and how severe it continues to be. It’s just screaming ‘lack of aggregate demand’ begging a fiscal relaxation of maybe 5% of GDP annually for a while.

    Bottom line: It’s always an unspent income story.

    The 2008 financial crisis led to a sharp fall off in private sector deficit spending (credit expansion) that had been offsetting desires to not spend income, which I call ‘savings desires’. And it was in mid 2008, for example, that I proposed a full FICA suspension that would have allowed spending to continue, but from income rather than from debt. However, what happened instead was an attempt to restore private sector credit growth with a zero rate policy that was soon supplemented with quantitative easing, and to date has failed to restore output growth and employment.

    The Fed, however, believes the spark has been ignited and will likely move to ‘remove accommodation’ with a another small rate hike, even as all the indicators I can see continue to decelerate as previously posted and discussed.

    9--GDP, Consumer confidence (lower inventories and the Trump Bump)

    10--Aleppo Liberation Exposed Mainstream Media and Their Lies About Syria

    11--While decrying “massacre” in Aleppo, US steps up bloodshed in Mosul

    12--The US media’s neo-McCarthyite campaign for war against Russia

    Behind the banner headlines and vituperative editorials, real steps are being taken to prepare for warfare on a scale not seen for 60 years. Earlier this year, US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley told the Association of the United States Army that the military must prepare for wars against great powers, which will be “very highly lethal, unlike anything our Army has experienced since World War II.”

    The campaign that has developed over the past two weeks makes clear what the policy of a Clinton administration would have been. The Democratic Party and its allied media outlets have rooted their opposition to Trump not on the basis of his losing the popular vote by nearly three million ballots, or that he is appointing a cabinet dominated by right-wing, reactionary billionaires, bankers, business executives and generals, but on the charge that he is “soft” on Russia. That is, the Democratic Party has managed to attack Trump from the right.

    13--The "Elite" Coup Of 2016 Must read

    There is an "elite" coup attempt underway against the U.S. President-elect Trump.
  • The coup is orchestrated by the camp of Hillary Clinton in association with the CIA and neoconservative powers in Congress.
  • The plan is to use the CIA's "Russia made Trump the winner" nonsense to swing the electoral college against him. The case would then be bumped up to Congress. Major neocon and warmonger parts of the Republicans could then move the presidency to Clinton or, if that fails, put Trump's vice president-elect Mike Pence onto the throne. The regular bipartisan war business, which a Trump presidency threatens to interrupt, could continue.
  • Should the coup succeed violent insurrections in the United States are likely to ensue with unpredictable consequences.
  • The above theses are thus far only a general outlay. No general plan has been published. The scheme though is pretty obvious by now

    14--Scapegoating Hillary blames Putin and Comey for election loss

    15--Obama  Vows Revenge Against Russia for ‘Election Hacks’

    President threatens Russia despite woeful lack of evidence

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