The Antidote to Optimism
The Antidote to Optimism by Bill Bonner – Bonner and Partners
BALTIMORE – It is always brightest before they turn the lights out.
You can quote us on that, Dear Reader.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get better… guess what?
They don’t. They go dark as a dungeon.
Antidote to Optimism
Our task today and tomorrow is to show that however wonderful things may appear in today’s markets and economy, they may not be all that great.
We put our backs into this grim work neither for love nor for money, but simply out of a sense of stern duty.
If not us, who? If not now, when?
Someone must put forward an antidote to the optimism now raging through markets around the world.
Someone must make the case for cynicism, suspicion, and mockery.
Someone must take the other side of the trade.
And so… the work, like shucking oysters on a cold day, falls to us. We open them up… hoping to find a pearl.
Donald Trump, Davos Man
Instead, we find claptrap.
“The elite gathering at Davos [including Donald Trump],” begins a Financial Times article, “takes place against a backdrop of improving economic activity across the world.”
The IMF says it is the “broadest synchronized global growth upswing since 2010.”
The FT goes on to tell us that the world economy is supposed to grow a healthy 3.9% “this year and next” thanks, at least in part, to the sweeping tax reform measure just implemented in the U.S.
Well, well, well. Gosh, it looks as though we were wrong about everything. You can predict the future after all.
As for the tax cut, we didn’t believe that the tax measure would have any positive consequences other than giving us more money.
What economic benefit could be reaped by taking money from one pocket and putting it in another?
Unless Swamp spending were reduced, we reasoned, there could be no net gain from cutting taxes.
Just goes to show what we know.
Over at The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, the tax cut has touched off celebrations worthy of VE Day.
Andy Puzder, the former CEO of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. restaurant chains, praises employers for sharing out their extra tax-spared loot with employees.
He also thinks employers should use the opportunity to indoctrinate workers about where the money came from, “otherwise employees may take their pay increase and bonus and not give Republicans the credit they deserve.”
What praise Republicans deserve for switching government funding from above-board tax revenues to surreptitious debt is not clear to your editor.
But now that we know that it is creating such a powerful, worldwide boom, we wonder why they don’t do more of it.
Perhaps they should cut taxes to zero for everyone and just print the money needed to pay for their boondoggles. What a boom that would set off!