- Greta Thunberg’s maddeningly vague climate-change agenda
- The perfect “global” problem demanding “globalist” solutions
- Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a stock market rally out of my hat!
- Congress demands the impossible of Apple and Facebook
- Overseas National Guard deployments: Sooner State showdown
- Your experience with inflation… and the Fed’s.
Does anyone even care nowadays who’s named Time’s “Person of the Year”?
Used to be that designation mattered — back in the day when the magazine was owned by the influential media baron Henry Luce. But Time has fallen victim to the internet like the rest of the “legacy” media. After a succession of owners who couldn’t figure out what to do with the thing, today it’s an ego vehicle for Marc Benioff, the founder of Salesforce.com.
Anyway, Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old Swede who in the summer of last year began demonstrating every Friday outside the Swedish parliament, demanding “action” on “climate change.”
“In the 16 months since [her protests began],” says Time, “she has addressed heads of state at the U.N., met with the pope, sparred with the president of the United States and inspired 4 million people to join the global climate strike.”
Thunberg still isn’t a household name in the United States. In Europe, she’s a rock star.
Your editor follows European media more closely than most. “Climate strikes” are a weekly occurrence over there. Organizations like “Extinction Rebellion” regularly disrupt daily life in major cities to make their point — for instance, shutting down London’s subway system in October. (Wait, doesn’t the climate-change crowd support public transit?)
The most striking thing when you watch or listen to news coverage of these demonstrations is that the protesters are always and forever demanding that politicians and bureaucrats take “action” — while rarely specifying what those actions should be.
A typical Thunberg quote: “It feels like we are at a breaking point. Leaders know that more eyes on them, much more pressure is on them, that they have to do something, they have to come up with some sort of solution. I want a concrete plan, not just nice words.”
For a few years now, well before Thunberg burst on the scene, we’ve said the climate-change scare isn’t about carbon, or even about climate. It’s about control.
“Let me tell you what the most dangerous policy action in the world is,” wrote former investment banker and government whistleblower Catherine Austin Fitts in 2014.
“It is to decide that a phenomenon such as climate change is our No. 1 problem, that we need urgent action on it before understanding who is going to control the policy discussion and implement the solutions. Build a consensus that man-made climate change is our No. 1 problem and I assure you that our mystery governance system will use it to achieve a global taxation system and more centralized control.”
“Climate change is a convenient horse for elites to ride in the implementation of a new world order,” wrote our Jim Rickards in his 2016 book The Road to Ruin.
“Debating the science of climate change is beside the point. There are heated views on both sides; some science is settled, some not. Global elites treat the debate as settled to mask a larger project. For elites, a global problem once defined conjures a global solution. Climate change is the perfect platform for implementing a hidden agenda of world money and world taxation.”
In the three years since that book was published — and as the rhetoric from the climate-change crowd has ratcheted up — Jim has become more emphatic on the topic.
“Climate change is a real phenomenon,” he wrote his readers this week. “I lived for 10 years on Long Island Sound. It has a rocky coast because it used to be a glacier, frozen solid from Orient Point to New York City. It melted. That’s climate change. The problem is that this happened 20,000 years ago and took thousands of years to play out.
“And that’s the point. Climate change is real, but it’s slow, complex and unpredictable,” Jim says.
“Here are some facts: CO2 levels are rising, but there’s no evidence that CO2 causes warming. The evidence points the other way, that warming causes CO2 to be released from permafrost and the oceans.
“Sea levels are rising, but the pace is about seven inches in 100 years. That minimal rise will not inundate the New York subways or drown island nations. The rise that is occurring will likely be reversed due to feedback loops long before any seven-inch increase.
“By the way, sea levels have risen 400 feet since the last ice age and people adapted just fine. Remember Al Gore’s polar bear extinction scare? He hopes you don’t because the evidence is that polar bear populations are thriving.
“Moreover, a mild global warming episode appears to have ended around 1998. Claims of ‘record’ temperatures since then are based on dubious measurements (including putting land-based thermometers in asphalt parking lots; satellite infrared measurements show no warming), and the results are within the margin of error.
“Climate does change,” Jim sums up, “but not because of carbon dioxide and not in ways that humans can control.
“Since that’s the case, what’s the elite hidden agenda using climate alarmism as a Trojan Horse to advance?
“Because climate does not respect political borders, any response to climate change must ignore borders also. In short, climate change is an excuse for global governance, global taxation and intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states by unelected global bureaucrats.
“Unfortunately, investors cannot simply ignore this con job, because the activists are coming after energy companies, transportation companies and the entire free-market system.
“Climate activists may be frauds,” Jim concludes, “but their agenda threatens your portfolio to the core. It’s time to push back, call them out and, above all, diversify.”
To the markets, which are in rally mode on positive trade war news.
[Hearing the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel in our head…]
“U.S. negotiators have offered to slash existing tariffs by as much as half on roughly $360 billion of Chinese-made goods as well as to cancel a new round of levies set to take effect on Sunday,” reports The Wall Street Journal, citing “people briefed on the matter.”
The president isn’t quite so specific, but he’s conveying the same vibe…
And with that, the Dow has powered back above 28,000. At last check the Big Board is at 28,137 — less than 30 points below its record close notched the day before Thanksgiving. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are likewise solidly in the green.
On the other hand, gold has surrendered all the gains registered yesterday after the Federal Reserve’s nonannouncement about interest rates. The bid is $1,465. Treasuries are likewise backtracking, the yield on a 10-year note at 1.89%.
A bipartisan coalition in Congress is demanding the Big Tech companies perform a physically impossible act.
From the Reuters newswire: “U.S. senators grilled Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. executives over their encryption practices on Tuesday and threatened to regulate the technology unless the companies make encrypted user data accessible to law enforcement.”
The demands came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “You’re going to find a way to do this or we’re going to go do it for you,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina). “We’re not going to live in a world where a bunch of child abusers have a safe haven to practice their craft. Period. End of discussion.” Democrats joined in the tut-tutting outrage.
So the senators want to build a “back door” into Apple’s iPhones and Facebook’s various messaging services.
The problem — as we’ve pointed out for the entire time this debate has raged — is that there’s no such thing as a back door that only “good guys” can access. If the feds can get in, so can hackers, foreign governments and so on.
But the feds won’t give up. We documented in 2015 how then-FBI director James Comey suggested “it’s not a technical issue” and the companies should “change their business model” to accommodate the feds’ desires.
We’re not always fans of Big Tech around here, but given everything Americans have learned this week about how the FBI abuses its authority… Apple and Facebook should tell the feds to get bent.
For the record: Legislation blocking National Guard deployment without a declaration of war has been introduced in Oklahoma.
We discussed this effort in a handful of states last month as part of our “civil war 2023” scenario.
Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) has filed a bill that reads in part…
“The Oklahoma National Guard and any member thereof shall not be released from the state into active duty combat unless the United States Congress has passed an official declaration of war or has taken an official action pursuant to Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the United States Constitution.”
Pushback from the power elite has already begun. The bill “amounts to a threat of unilateral withdrawal of Oklahoma military support of our national interests,” sniffs the Tulsa World editorial board. The editorial went so far as to suggest Dahm was insulting the sacrifice of every Oklahoma Guardsman who’s fought in every conflict since Korea. (The paper is owned by a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.)
As we said last month, similar legislation will be introduced next year in Wyoming — by the house majority whip, who’s a Navy veteran. To be continued…
“I have to disagree with the common assessment that there is ‘no inflation,’” a reader writes after Jim Rickards’ comments yesterday about the Federal Reserve’s chronic blown forecasts.
“Before the second year of the Obama administration was over you could no longer buy a five-pound bag of sugar. You can buy four pounds for the same price. Sixteen-ounce box of cereal? Try 11.5 ounces. And just recently I’ve noticed bacon has gone from two-pound packages to 1 and a half pounds — for the same price. This was pretty common in the inflationary era of the ’70s and early ’80s. The inflation is being concealed.
“More importantly if the government honestly and consistently measured and reported inflation, cost-of-living allowances tied to inflation would bankrupt Social Security like in 2015 or earlier.
“Seldom discussed but well known in some retirement circles is that you can go to your doctor and complain about pain, get medication paid for by Medicare and sell it readily on the street to make up for your budgetary shortfall. When you go to your doctor for a refill appointment, you show no adverse signs of the drug use (because you aren’t using it) and the doctor reasonably refills the prescription since there are no signs of abuse.
“Sad but widely true. I’ve seen it coast to coast.”
The 5: Yikes.
You might not realize it, although we mention it once in a while: The government started jimmying the inflation numbers in the early 1980s for the express purpose of keeping a lid on Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustments.
Meanwhile, we’ve been wrestling with how we characterize inflation for as long as we’ve published these daily missives — going on 13 years now.
Jim Rickards laid out the conundrum here in 2015, when Janet Yellen was still in charge at the Fed. “Whether I buy into government statistics is irrelevant,” he said. “The fact is Janet Yellen buys into them.
“I’m not sitting here, grabbing a megaphone and saying what Jim Rickards thinks. I’m trying to tell you what she thinks so you can figure out what’s next.
“I understand the flaws, I understand hedonics, I understand the changes, I understand what John Williams [at Shadow Government Statistics] is doing. I talk to my mother. She complains about the price of milk every time she comes home from the store. I get all that.
“But so what? Janet Yellen is a 165 IQ egghead who only works with what she works with. So I try to get inside her head so we can be ahead of the curve.”
Four years later, the faces have changed but our conundrum remains. Only yesterday, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said at his press conference that “inflation is barely moving.” That matters because it means there’s little chance the Fed will revert to interest rate increases (a la 2017–18) in the near term.
Meanwhile, good luck with those shrinking package sizes — to say nothing of anyone paying health insurance premiums or a kid’s tuition bill, right?
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. We’ve notched two winners this week in The Profit Wire. This morning, readers collected 50% on the oil giant ConocoPhillips after a holding time of one month.
But that doesn’t hold a candle to what happened on Tuesday — when they bagged a 100% gain in one week playing the big copper miner Freeport-McMoRan.
As I write, our proprietary QIT-4 indicator is sifting through the possibilities for a new trade next week. You won’t want to miss out. Click here and learn how The Profit Wire can make a huge difference to your bottom line in 2020.
“Millennials are just aging to their PEAK buying years,” says Zach Scheidt. This industrywide shift — and others — makes homebuying a trend to watch… Read More
“This trend isn’t going anywhere,” says our tech maven Ray Blanco. “So how can you invest in SPACs for profit?” Read More
Our biggest beef with GDP is that it’s a nigh-meaningless statistical abstraction. Now for a new spin on one of our long-standing complaints… Read More
The global power elite are set to declare a crisis of confidence in the U.S. dollar… Not that they’ll put it in those terms… Read More
Like it or not, a “greener” world will require more electricity, and — surprise — environmentalists are resorting to nuclear power. Read More
Per the Reddit/GameStop controversy, Ray Blanco says: “The culprit was a short squeeze.” Sure, you can short stocks (and profit), just be mindful of biased information. Read More
Everywhere you look, the business press is telling you the market is a bubble on the verge of bursting — which is almost a sure-fire indicator that it’s not. Read More
Sometimes the people who presume to exercise political power over us become a little too honest about their motives…. Read More
We knew the silver-squeeze story wasn’t over. But we didn’t figure on a new chapter being written so quickly… Read More