Many liberals’ opinions are reflexively just the opposite of whatever Trump says.
They overreach from their criticism of Trump for silencing Dr. Fauci to then speculate that there must be a financial tie — “follow the money.”
Warning: video contains swearing if you listen to the whole thing, but not the brief segment.
Peter Schiff predicted a collapse of the U.S. financial system. The bust-up he didn’t foresee was the one that made mincemeat of investors who took his advice in 2008.
Mr. Schiff’s Darien, Conn., broker-dealer firm, Euro Pacific Capital Inc., advised its clients to bet that the dollar would weaken significantly and that foreign stocks would outpace their U.S. peers. Instead, the dollar advanced against most currencies, magnifying the losses from foreign stocks Mr. Schiff steered his investors into.
Investors open accounts at Euro Pacific to take advantage of Mr. Schiff’s investment advice, which generally involves shunning investments in dollars. Individual returns can vary. Some investors may like gold-mining stocks, while others prefer energy-focused stocks.
Most had one thing in common last year: heavy losses. A number of investors said their Euro Pacific portfolios lost 50% or more in 2008, worse than the 38% drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index last year. People familiar with the firm say that hardly any securities recommended by Euro Pacific brokers gained ground in 2008.
Such losses came as something of a surprise. Mr. Schiff’s prescient call for the collapse of the U.S. housing market and the weakening of the financial system helped him gain fame as an economic guru and savvy investor who promised shelter from the financial storm.
In his 2007 book, “Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse,” he recommends that investors pile into gold, commodities and overseas stocks that spit out steady dividends.
When global markets were soaring, many Euro Pacific investors’ accounts experienced strong performance. For several years, investors saw returns in excess of 20% a year as foreign stocks and commodities surged, according to people familiar with the firm.
In 2008, investors nervous about the state of the U.S. economy who were impressed by Mr. Schiff’s track record poured money into Euro Pacific, nearly doubling the number of accounts to 16,000. But many did so at the worst time possible, much like investors who piled into Internet stocks as the dot-com bubble peaked.
Mr. Schiff, 45 years old, says the downturn in his strategy is a short-term setback. He argues that it is only a matter of time before the dollar collapses, pressured by massive government bailouts, triggering outsize returns for his investors.
“I think the dollar is going to get destroyed,” he says. Investors with the staying power to wait out what he sees as a temporary phase of irrational confidence in the dollar will reap huge rewards, he argues.
Mr. Schiff is still riding high on his housing-market call. This week, he spoke at a global competitiveness conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, alongside former heads of state, prime ministers and American gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps. He is the subject of more than 3,000 YouTube videos, including one called “Peter Schiff Was Right.”
His admirers even created Web sites supporting a possible run for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Mr. Schiff, who was economic adviser to Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul in 2008, says he has no plans to run for the Senate but “anything’s possible.”
Critics say Mr. Schiff’s strategy is much riskier and more aggressive than many investors realize. David Yeske, managing director of Yeske Buie, a Vienna, Va., money manager, says Mr. Schiff’s investment strategy was a focused bet on a single outcome, rather than risk management for investors looking to protect assets from an economic collapse. “He’s a speculator; he thinks he can see the future,” says Mr. Yeske, former chairman of the Financial Planning Association. “That’s not really risk control.”
One of Mr. Schiff’s biggest forecasts was that many overseas economies would “decouple” from the U.S., gaining strength even as the American economy struggled. Instead, overseas stock markets plunged as much or more than U.S. stocks in 2008 as the global economy skidded. Prices for commodities also tanked, torpedoing another favorite investment theme of Mr. Schiff’s. After last year’s losses, his firm has about $845 million in assets.
Early last year, Richard De Gennaro, a retired Harvard University librarian, put $100,000, about 15% of his assets, into a Euro Pacific account that included Canadian Oil Sands Trust, which focuses on crude-oil projects in Canada, and the India Capital Growth Fund, which holds investments in companies that do business in India.
Both investments took big hits in 2008, compounded by the fact that the Canadian dollar and the Indian rupee fell 18% and 19%, respectively, against the U.S. dollar. The 83-year-old retiree’s account is now worth about $37,000, a 63% plunge. Mr. Schiff “goes around saying that he was right,” says Mr. De Gennaro. “He was right about one thing and wrong about everything else.”
Among investors who turned to Mr. Schiff’s firm just as his strategy began to falter, Brian Kullberg, a design engineer in Portland, Ore., says he started to worry about the state of the U.S. economy in early 2008. He put $70,000 into a Euro Pacific account, hoping it would benefit as the U.S. economy and the dollar weakened. By late January 2009, his investment had shrunk to about $25,000.
“It’s curious,” says one longtime client of Mr. Schiff’s who works in finance. “His thesis of how things are going to collapse and crumble and fall apart isn’t effectively executed in [my] account.” The account, which is largely invested in gold, mining and infrastructure stocks from Canada to Australia, was down roughly 35% last year, the client estimates. The Australian dollar weakened 19% against the U.S. dollar in 2008.
Mr. Schiff says one year’s poor performance doesn’t prove he was wrong. He has admitted in notes to clients that his investment thesis hasn’t performed as expected, particularly with respect to the U.S. dollar. But he holds fast to his convictions and has been telling investors to scoop up a number of depressed stocks.
Some clients are inclined to agree. “The decoupling he talked about has not happened,” says Barbara Hearst, a clothing entrepreneur who splits her time between Charleston, S.C., and Bridgehampton, N.Y., and has invested with Mr. Schiff since 2000. But “longer term or medium term, I don’t discount what Peter says.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s mantra that homes should be for living in is falling on deaf ears, with tens of millions of apartments and houses standing empty across the country.
Soon-to-be-published research will show roughly 22 percent of China’s urban housing stock is unoccupied, according to Professor Gan Li, who runs the main nationwide study. That adds up to more than 50 million empty homes, he said.
The nightmare scenario for policy makers is that owners of unoccupied dwellings rush to sell if cracks start appearing in the property market, causing prices to spiral. The latest data, from a survey in 2017, also suggests Beijing’s efforts to curb property speculation — considered by leaders a key threat to financial and social stability — are coming up short... “Should any crack emerge in the property market, the homes to be offloaded will hit China like a flood.”
.. One solution that the government could use is property or vacancy taxes to try to counter the issue, but neither appears imminent and some researchers, including Gan, say what actually counts as vacant could be tricky to determine... The vacancy rate, which excludes homes yet to be sold by developers, was little changed from a 2013 reading of 22.4 percent.. There’s an economic cost to vacancies too because they’re a drag on supply, which puts upward pressure on prices and crowds young buyers out of the market
Russian journalists belonging to the nationalist camp are somewhat confused. Although they advertised Trump for several months, his victory was not only unexpected, but also struck a blow at their worldview, since according to it Trump just could not win. The more correct his ideology was from the point of view of a Russian conservative, the fewer chances he had to achieve success in the corrupt liberal America.
.. The victory of an outsider, who opposed the establishment and the financial capital, proves that democracy exists in the US, even if it is limited by the size of the candidate’s bank account. But acceptance of this fact shatters the whole propagandist concept. Our conservatives did not criticize the power of money, they rather criticized the power of the liberal media establishment propped up by the might of the deep state, which decided not to allow a Trump presidency. Now they have to admit that either the deep state does not exist, or it is not as potent as they were trying to prove…
.. Trump’s victory is not a result of an unpleasant coincidence; it is a result of a systemic social-economic crisis due to the fact that the current capitalist model of development is completely exhausted. It is not that the system will collapse because of the Trump’s success, but rather his success is caused by the collapse of the system.
.. he won precisely because their time has gone, their methods and strategies stopped working. The public opinion was just a reflection, albeit a delayed one, of the changes in the economics and the real world.
.. It still may happen that it will be Russia controlled by oil tycoons that will stand as a last bastion of economic liberalism. But even here the positions of the ruling class will be weakening under the pressure from the new realities of the world markets.
.. if he will be even partially successful in fulfilling his promises and plans, it will not cancel the urgency of a large scale social modernization, including creation of universal and affordable healthcare and education systems, extension ofthe trade union rights, and expansion of the public sector. On the contrary, the economic growth will make these demands more convincing and popular, and will strengthen social movements advocating for the reforms.
Trade unions, workers’ movements and wage-earners feel much more confident in the conditions of the economic growth. The conflicts will not be fading away, they will grow.
.. Both Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and voting for Trump, demonstrated, the last one to a higher degree, that the lower classes of the society are willing to consolidate, independently from the appeals of the self-proclaimed “defenders of the minorities”.
An African-American laborer realizes that he has much more in common with a “white male” laborer than with a privileged liberal smugly reasoning about the need for political correctness. A single mother fighting for survival understands how alien are the interests and the views of a feminist who distributes multimillion gender related grants among her friends and clients.
.. The 2016 elections signified the collapse of the politics of political correctness, and created the preconditions of its substitution by the politics of solidarity.