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Commentary on The Capital Markets
2018-01-17 06:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 4 references
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It's amusing, really.

Yesterday the President's doctor takes to the lectern and the press spends an hour trying to find some way to spin his medical exam.

There really wasn't one, by the way.  I know how to read a medical chart including all the basics on a metabolic panel and what I heard was right up the middle.

Trump is 71.  He's overweight, borderline obese.  But his A1c is 5.0 which isn't just good, it's really good.  At his body mass he should be running somewhere around 6.0, which is "high normal" but still in-range.  Instead he's up-the-middle normal.  His fasting glucose is 89  Again, up-the-middle normal.  Blood pressure?  Normal.  Ejection fraction?  Normal.  Exercise tolerance?  Normal.  Low-exposure CT? Normal.

Cholesterol?  Immaterial, really.  Seriously.  If he's not evidence that the so-called "lipid hypothesis" is horse**** what is?  Here's a guy who eats hamburgers all the time, lots of saturated fats, and guess what -- lots of cholesterol in his blood.  But -- no heart disease and no diabetes.  Why?  That's simple -- low systemic inflammation.

Guess what it appears he doesn't eat a lot of?

Refined carbs and vegetable oils.  Steak and burgers for the win, to be blunt.

But heh, you know, it doesn't matter really whether he does or doesn't.  When the doc was drilled on how the hell a guy can eat like that and not wind up a walking heart attack he had a one-word (true) answer: Genetics.

Yep.  Luck the dice, basically.

Well, and a few other things.  No tobacco, especially, and no alcohol consumption.  At all.

Genetics is luck.  Choosing not to smoke is a choice.  So is not eating the fast carbs, which it appears Trump doesn't.

I didn't get a VO2Max from that presser, but I'd like one.  "Very good for age" doesn't tell me much -- I want a number, and the doc had one, since he did a stress test.  But that's ok.  It's probably not as good as mine (51-54, depending on where I am in conditioning for a race) but then again Trump has 15 years on me.  If mine is 51 in 15 years I'll eat the paper this can be printed on.  Then again while my metabolic numbers are normal too I'm also 15 years younger.

There were questions as to whether golf counts as exercise (duh, really?)  It'd count more if he walked the course and even more if he carried his own bag, but the latter is not something a billionaire would do.  Oh, and the former?  Most courses won't let you any more, because there are too many people who turn a round of golf into a 6+ hour ordeal if they walk, mostly because they're 300+lb tubs-o-lard that more waddle than walk, and that makes play miserable for everyone else.  If you want to know how I know this it's because I carried bags for some of them when I was a teen.  Never mind that I understand he'd kick my ass on the golf course as his handicap is said to be an amazing 2.8 -- way ****ing better than damn near any 71 year old, even a retired PGA pro.  I know how to play this game and used to pretty-regularly.  I've seen videos of him hitting the ball and looked at it frame-by-frame.  I'll never hit it like that on a consistent basis folks; he really does pretty-much have it dialed in.

Yeah, Trump is fat, but let's cut the **** folks, there are some people who can be fat -- at least somewhat fat, not morbidly obese -- and healthy.  Not many, but some.  Trump is one of them.

As for cognitive impairment, that's off the table too -- assessed at Trump's request.

So now what?

Lose 10-15 lbs as the doc said?  **** him; Trump should lose 30-50.  But he won't, and he got a good genetic draw, so unlike me and the rest of the US it doesn't matter.  No elevated A1c, no elevated fasting glucose, no elevated BP and his ejection fraction is normal so you get to shut the **** up eh.  No, not everyone gets a participation trophy in this game called life.

Look folks, not one in a thousand will get away with what Trump has thus far.  Myself included.  Which is why I stopped being a fat-ass seven years ago.  I'd like to see 71, and maybe 81 or 91.  I knew I wouldn't if I didn't cut the crap.

You may not like Trump -- I sure as hell don't for all the lies on "fixing" health care and going after the banks that have robbed us all -- but he's not going to drop dead during his term, and almost-certainly won't if he wins another one.

You're not going to get that gift folks -- nor will you get him on cognitive impairment.

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2018-01-16 11:21 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 229 references
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Oh rotten (or, more-likely, mythical) heart of Jesus for not striking the Googleplex with an asteroid...

Google's Arts & Culture app was first launched in 2016, offering "virtual access" to some of the most famous art collections in the world, and many stories about arts and culture from around the world. The latest update of the app, however, makes use of Google's extensive knowledge of machine-learning-based facial recognition, and the front camera of your smartphone, to find your fine art doppelganger... just 'cause.

The new feature lets you record a selfie and receive a list of portrait artworks your self-portrait resembles. While the user interface is extremely simple, Google is using highly sophisticated facial recognition algorithms to compare your facial characteristics to the portraits among the 70,000+ works of art in its Google Art Project database.

Uh huh.  Note that this is not available in many other nations.

Why not in, for example, the EU?

Because the EU now has a data protection law that prohibits retention and abuse of personal information and thus such an "app" unless it protects your private data such as your face, while it has it, and then deletes it, is illegal.

So do you really think this is about the virally-taken up "purpose" allegedly put forward -- to be the "fun source" of comparing your mug to that of portrait artworks?  Google is really going to expend the storage, transmission and compute resources to do this "for you" for no revenue-generating purpose for them whatsoever?


The most-likely and obvious actual purpose to build a facial recognition database of everyone in the country both for Google's and the government's use for whatever the hell they want so that they can sell that to anyone with a camera pointing anywhere, instantly identifying you no matter where you go anywhere in public or, for that matter, in private homes and businesses.

Google claims it won't store or use the photo for any other purpose but what recourse will you have if it is later discovered they're lying?  Let's remember that Google has recently been caught lying when it comes to Android location data; even though you had it shut off they were collecting your location through both visible WiFi networks and cell location data and using it.

Did they face any sanction whatsoever for being caught in that lie?  Did anyone go to prison for lying, or was the company even fined and forced to disgorge any (say much less all) of the value they obtained therein back to the consumers who had their location data collected while they had it explicitly turned off on their phone?


Everyone involved in that company -- just like the rest of so-called "big tech" -- needs to go to prison -- right now.

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2018-01-16 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 202 references
[Comments enabled]  

I generally like David Stockman's work and read it from time to time, so when I see him go off the rails with utter nonsense while refusing to actually put analysis to his work, which he claims to do, it forces me to give him the slant-eye on a forward basis.

He's earned that with this piece.

Let's start with the up-front nonsense he leads with in the third paragraph:

Indeed, even prior to yesterday's outburst it was hard to deny that Trump is a semi-literate bully and that he never got (read) the memo on racial comity and respect. But we actually happen to think that the Donald's potty-talk eruption resulted not from some dark place in his mind and heart, but from sheer frustration as the intractability of the immigration issue closes in on him.

Instead of presenting a case Stockman instead decides to use the infantile debate tactic of poisoning the well in an attempt to lend legitimacy to everything that follows -- and he does it early, right in the first three paragraphs.

That's sad for several reasons, first and foremost because it's utterly unnecessary.  The more-serious charge is that fully half the nation will stop reading right there, and indeed that's part of the point of his rant -- he doesn't want people to actually take in and process his argument, so he pulls that card immediately, thereby giving those on the left what they want in the form of a dog whistle while at the same time dissuading anyone from actual analysis on the case he tries to make.

I wish the sins ended there but they're just beginning, including his own contradictions.  First, there's the truth right up front:

What we mean is that neither party has its cards face up on the matter----which goes way beyond the potential deportation of the 800,000 dreamers, chain migration, the diversity lottery and the Wall. Underneath it all there is a brutal, raging political struggle for dominance which is almost existential in import.

To wit, the sundry Dem caucuses want more immigrants, and the browner the better, because it's their only route to electoral dominance. By contrast, the hard core GOP immigrant-thumpers are desperately attempting to hang-on to Red State rule in the face of the forbidding demographic math of the white population---and the fact that not many Norwegians want to come to America anyway.

True.  But when you are in a froth-induced rage to the point of the first paragraph I cited you tend to forget what you said just a few column inches later.  Specifically:

At the end of the day, there is only one way out of the impending fiscal catastrophe. Namely, a revival of the old-time fiscal religion within the GOP, and a Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus conversion among Republicans on the matter of immigration.

That is to say, America does not need Walls; it actually needs tens of millions of younger and working age immigrants who can function as tax mules to carry the burden of 105 million baby-boomer and retirees.


Just a few inches above Stockman got done telling us that Democrats want lots of brown immigrants because they will vote for them, and their policies grant ever-greater handouts.

A nation full of immigrants that are tax sinks, which on balance all of these "brown" immigrants are, will not save anything.  In fact they'll make it collapse faster and harder!

Look at just the public school cost in these areas of the country -- indeed, virtually everywhere.  It's north of $10,000/year/pupil.  This is an utterly-obscene amount of money and it means that for each new "immigrant" that is either a near-school-age child or any offspring they produce each of them causes the nation to go in the hole by nearly $250,000 before they graduate High School -- if they graduate.

Now add another $100 large on that for a 4-year college degree.

Both of these costs exist because the policy of unbridled and illegal immigration have led to extraordinary expenses that are mandated and the financialization of both events.

Remember too that the "payback" on that is not lifetime earnings -- it's taxes paid, discounted for the current value of the money.  The odds of the average immigrant managing to pay taxes of $350,000 over the ensuing few years (remember, discounted cash value folks -- if it takes them 40 years then at a 3% discounted cash value they need to pay well north of a million dollars in tax) is effectively zero.

That is, statistically speaking exactly none of those immigrants will ever pay $1 million in taxes during their lifetime and that is without subtracting back out all of the tax-paid benefits beyond the age of 18 such as welfare, SNAP, Section 8 housing, Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare.

That there are a few you can point to who did (e.g. CEOs of companies such as Intel) today doesn't change the statistical reality, which is that you cannot fix this problem through importing people from third-world ****holes, and in fact the more of them you import and the more of them you allow to stay who are already here the worse your fiscal problem gets.

That's the math whether Stockman likes it or not and he knows it because he admits this is the very strategy the Democrats are adhered to and why they adhere to it.

David presents many other scary and true facts in his article.  But, his prescription for a fix is factually and knowingly bankrupt.  He demolishes his very own argument within the first few paragraphs but he has obviously forgotten his bit of truth-telling just a few short column inches down the page.

This is the market of an ideologically-married, factually-bankrupt individual; they refuse to analyze on the facts because doing so means they must change their precepts.

To resolve the issue of immigrants coming here and being tax sinks, which on balance they are today we must either get rid of the ability of those people to ever access any public services for which they do not pay or we must throw all of the illegals out who are in fact tax sinks, including all their indirect effects such as their bearing of children and their fiscal impact and bar any future immigrants who similarly are or become down the road said tax sinks.

It is virtually impossible to admit anyone other than a genius-level intellect to the country and not have them be a tax sink and thus destructive given the current cost structure of our public benefit system, whether the issue be primary and secondary education, post-secondary education, medical care and other government handouts such as EITC, TANF, Section 8 and similar.

In order to fix that you have to get the cost structure down to the point that the average immigrant can pay less than $100,000 in federal taxes over their working lifetime instead of $1 million and have the books balance.

There will be those who claim "the answer" is to get rid of all public benefits for immigrants and their offspring.  That's a good start but it's not enough because as Stockman points out (as I have) the root of the problem isn't there -- it's in the cost of those benefits and payment streams flowing to American citizens as well.

So if we're serious about avoiding the detonation of our nation's finances we have to cut the crap.  All of it.

It must start with the medical system and it's monopolies, locking all of those people up and dispossessing them of every penny of their stolen wealth under penalty of imprisonment.  I've written much on this but the fact is that nothing other than the threat of jail or death is going to dissuade them from their thieving, so one of the two it must be.  This is not a choice, it's a mandate: Do it or the nation is screwed.

We must also apply the same to the entire educational system.  No more free public education.  Period.  Have a kid, pay for him or her to go to school or teach him or her yourself.  huge percentage of our so-called "teachers" are either politically biased to the point of uselessness, incompetent themselves or both and our entire "educational system" is chock full of non-teaching entities and money sinks that make it impossible to actually hire qualified people at a rate they'll agree to work for.  We must also remove all public and government-subsidized support, including loans, for so-called "higher education."  If a college cannot demonstrate that it imparts knowledge and ability superior by a wide margin to the cost of attendance in present dollars, not future ones, for virtually every student accepted then that school needs to go out of business -- period.  The means by which that's demonstrated is that students pay for their education in cashwhich means that cost must inevitably be tied to what said uneducated person can earn to pay for it.  It was this way for over a hundred years in the United States and we put men on the moon multiple times with graduates of exactly those schools.  There is no reason it cannot be that way again, right now -- other than the lobbying and theft of these institutions and everyone who works for them.

Finally, Stockman is just flat wrong on the so-called "aging population."  It relies on a premise of continued expansion in life expectancy that is just flat-out bull****; there is zero support for it.  Never mind that the generations to follow are smaller than the boomers who will start dying in the next few years.

Social Security, for example, is designed to stockpile Treasury Bonds with maturities that roughly match the duration of expected payouts.  That's because there are population booms and busts, and during the booms those people pay in before they get paid, thus filling up the bond repository.  That government continues to spend the money and stick "IOUs" in the box doesn't change the structure of the program.  The actual debt taken on is the truth, not the so-called "deficit."  In other words the program is fine; it's funding is close to one dollar in seven earned up to the cap, and your payouts are capped too.

Medicare, on the other hand, is designed under the same rubric but with an assumption that medical spending is 4% of GDP.  It cannot survive in any fashion, say much less as it is now with medical spending at 19% of GDP.  The only way Medicare survives is if we kill all the medical monopolies right ****ing now.  Fortunately the tools to do so already exist, having been in the law for more than 100 years and confirmed through two separate Supreme Court rulings in the late 1970s and early 1980s.   We must kill the monopolists through legal process and blowing up corporate extraction and monopolist schemes throughout the medical and health insurance systems right damn now because the only alternative is that a material percentage of the population will be forced to kill everyone involved in both via other, much more violent and unlawful means if we don't.

Medicaid, which has no tax funding, has the same issue but compounded and thus is even worse.  The reason is simple: The more poor people you have the more people wind up on Medicaid.  If we do not stop the extraction and monopolist horse**** then Medicaid will bury the nation before Medicare does, not that it much matters which goes first.  Oh by the way, the odds of a Medicaid recipient having nothing to lose and thus concluding that "all after the first one are free" is much higher than for a Medicare recipient.  Contemplate that for a while and what it will result in when the money runs out.

That's the math -- but Stockman has joined the left, along with a number of so-called "mainstream" Republicans, who have decided to lie to you, on purpose and with intent, even when they document for you, in their own single column, that they are in fact lying.

Stockman, like so many others, have in fact descended into arguing for the destruction of the nation -- both fiscally and violently.

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