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2018-12-12 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 243 references
[Comments enabled]  

You won't though.

First, from the female point of view:

Our culture is so saturated with feminism that even conservatives and devoutly religious people like me think inside its wheel ruts. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that feminism is antithetical to human flourishing, both individually and corporately, because it has a false view of human nature.

No matter how the evidence piles up in heartbreak after heartbreak, many women continue to give themselves cognitive dissonance. We all want to believe that we’re exceptional, that patterns of human behavior don’t apply to us. That while bad things happened to other people who did the same things we are or want to, those bad things won’t happen to us, too. We’re special. We’re different.

The author goes on to tell how she, well.... ditched feminism.  By accident, mostly.  And then with intent, when she realized it was a false God.

There are some things that I can tell you up front though that are absolutely right.  One of them is the graph posted toward the end about how men see women when it comes to "pretty."  Ok, let's cut the crap -- sexually desirable.  Hint: Wait until you're 30 and you've got bad odds.  Wait until you're 35 and, well, I hope you like *******s.  Statistically, that's who's left among men, which means it's either that or a vibrator.

But there's a second problem that arises, which comes back to an essay I wrote a long time ago called "In A Perfect World."  It's no longer in publication; I will have to try to find it, but I certainly remember the gist of it.  You wouldn't like it if you're a "progressive thinker" but it was really only recapping what we've known for 10,000 years or so.  Not that the "post-modern" people think that's important.

It's simply this: Men and women are different but complimentary.  By trying to deny this through various mechanisms -- to make both more same in regard to policy and everything else around us we destroy both.

I can't speak to the female perspective in that first article above, except by observation of people I know who happen to be female.  Of course that makes my knowledge of her side of the subject second-hand at best, and that assumes I'm getting the straight story.  I'm probably not, even if unconsciously.

But then let's turn to the other side -- men.  That one I can speak to -- because I am one.

The first client was a high-end programmer who was bringing in a handsome salary in Austria.  He was 33, no debt, had his own place, and was in decent enough shape to turn ahead or two.  He spent his time traveling, enjoying life, sampling various cuisines in Europe, but he also enjoyed sampling something else - Austrian women.

Not that he was dating them.  They were prostitutes.  Prostitution is surprisingly legal in an otherwise stuffy country like Austria.  And he would have one or two prostitutes a month, allowing him to satisfy his sexual urges, as well as getting a variety of women which is at the core of all male genetic programming.  He could have gotten a girl through "traditional methods," but didn't want to waste the time because it was just easier, cheaper, and higher quality, to pay $150 Euro for a tight, in shape, 20 something to show up in a cute lingerie outfit, have sex with him,...and inevitably leave without drama or antics at the end.

The author goes on to talk about the basic problem, which dovetails with the first article -- if you're a highly-successful man, or on the path to become one and know it, why would you put up with the crap that many if not most young women dish out these days?

You don't have to.  You can fly to Austria and for $150 (Euros) you can have a nice *****, legally.  Or, for that matter in the United States, go out to Nevada where with two county exceptions prostitution is also legal.

That is, if you just want sex.  Of course there are the far less-honorable ways of obtaining it; playing with people's heads mostly.  It's not very smart though on an analytical perspective; it's definitely cheaper and far less dangerous all the way around to get on the plane.  No drinks, no dinners, no entanglements, no #metoo false allegations when she's bent the next morning that she slept with you. With a prostitute it's a simple business transaction: Money, screw, done.

Yeah, I know -- crass.  So what?

What makes it worth it for a man to want more?  Well, you have to give him a reason to want more.  And what's that?  A 50% chance he can actually raise a child in a 2-parent home?  Those are the odds nowdays.

Now think about this one folks -- what's coming out of our schools and what is being taught to our kids?  Where's the money being spent?  What's with all the "women's studies" degrees?  What value do they bring to the human enterprise?  How many ways of moving people and things, innovative drugs or procedures, and new technologies will "women's studies" produce in the next 10,000 years?

ZERO.

And more to the point, do any of these women want to raise a family and be a wife?

What if I'm 20 and I want to be a husband?  You know, me Tarzan, you Jane?  Yeah, I know, quaint, outdated, male pig.  Talk to me about "pig" when some 220lb thug kicks down the door at 0-dark-awcrap hellbent on rape; do you want soyboy or Mr. Bang-bang in bed with you?

Do women really believe their own bull**** these days?  If they do then why do they pen articles like this?

One female journalist has declared that “women-only seating sections on planes” is the way to a safer future in the high skies, avowing that the armrest in commercial passenger seating is a “gender political issue” in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Really?

I thought all women were equals of men.  Now they want segregation because..... they're the weaker sex?

Oh my.

I know, I know, you're not her and everyone's special.  Go back and read the first quoted paragraph again.

You're not special chicky, and neither are you dude.

You're damned ordinary when it comes to how you're actually wired.

Does that mean that out of the "ordinary" 10%, 20% or whatever might not want -- ever -- to have kids?  Not at all.  There are women who are business tigers.  That's their thing.  They might even use their sexuality as a weapon in business (which is no less legitimate than a man using his money and power) but they don't want to use it to make babies.  That's because you can't do both and truly be successful at both.  It's not possible; there are only 24 hours in a day and the kid(s) want all of them.  The lie that you "can" have both and be successful at both is why there's this push for "paid parental leave."  It's bull****: The answer to that problem is that the couple picks one parent and he or she stays home and raises said children.

Don't tell me that's more "male sexist pig" either because I did exactly that when my marriage blew up and I ditched being a CEO of a successful company I built from the ground up to do it.  So take your sanctimonious bullcrap, ladies, and stick it up whichever hole you prefer.

There are a few men like tiger lady too; they don't give a damn about family -- at all.  Some of them have trophies for wives; for some it's a business deal, others cycle through women because one or the other wasn't completely honest.  Being that cranked in one area tends to do that; you're a prick in every other area, mostly because you have to be.  The focus is that intense.  It's ok -- but that's not the 90th percentile of people and trust me on this, because I've been where I could have gone down that road and turned it down: If you have ever considered it the wrong choice it is the wrong choice. 

If you chase that path anyway it will destroy you.  It is the very odd person who is wired this way and if you try to force yourself down that road and are not in that couple of percent you'll drive yourself insane and wind up severely depressed, on drugs or chronically drunk and probably dead.

Go read the first article link again.:

My apathy is coming out in weird ways. I’m drinking too much, and when I do see my friends on occasion, I end up getting drunk and angry or sad or both and pushing them away. And with men I date, I feel pressure to make something of the relationship too soon (move in, get married, ‘I have to have kids in a couple of years’; fun times!). All the while still trying to be the sexpot 25-year-old I thought I was until what seemed like a moment ago.

I used to think I was the one who had it all figured out. Adventurous life in the city! Traveling the world! Making memories! Now I feel incredibly hollow. And foolish.

Down that road she went, and she wasn't in the 2%.  Now she's ****ed because you can never get back the time you spend.

For everyone else -- that's the 98% of us -- there's how men and women really are wired.  We've done our level damndest best to destroy it with lies and trillions of dollars.  Every ****ing school system in the land today runs this crap from kindergarten onward.  The majority of "students" in college today are running up debts chasing worthless nonsense spewed by people who don't give a damn about anything but their own paycheck.

Don't do it folks.

Look, men are not mostly pigs.  We're just different than women.  But if women want real relationships with men then there has to be a deal on both sides that recognizes those differences and yet bridges the gap so that a man is not a second-class citizen in that deal.  It's a choice, not a sexist trap.

Yet that's exactly what both men and women are being told today.

Look, I'm quite an old bastard by most standards today.  I'm way past the point where any 20 year old woman finds me interesting.  I can still run faster than most women that age (with a few really notable exceptions) but that's just testosterone at play which she lacks the bodily parts to make.  I'll lose that too; if I can do it at 60 I'll be pleasantly surprised.

That's a good thing by the way; it's why I think she's cute, and why I thought she was cute when we were both 14 too.

No, this piece is for those reading who are younger.  If things go sideways for me I'll be ok living on my own.  See, that's another difference -- men are much-less likely to have this sort of thought:

You have other concerns when you get older and you live alone. Who’s going to take you to your medical appointments? If something should happen to you, there’s no other income there to help you. 

What is that bull****?  That's not just my age (55) talking either; I've never had that sort of thought centered in my mind.  Ever.  I always saw it differently -- if something happened to me then I die.  If I can't get to the doctor then I die.  And?  We all die.  It doesn't scare me.  It never did.  Is that a sex thing?  Hell, I don't know -- but I do know that among the men I've hung out with this has never been a topic of conversation: "I want a wife so when I get old and feeble she can cart my ugly ass to the doctor!"

Then there's the other cliche.....

....it’s lonely when you see your friends having children, going on vacations, planning the lives of their children, and you don’t do anything at night but come home to your cats and dogs…

This one has a nice meme:

You don't really want that.... do you?

Well then change your mind while you're young enough to have it matter, lest that show up on your door.

There's a rumor going around the Internet that you can get it on Amazon.

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2018-12-11 19:03 by Karl Denninger
in Foreign Policy , 139 references
[Comments enabled]  

This much is clear.

Trump should immediately call upon Congress to issue a conditional letter of Marque and Reprisal, to become active if Meng is discovered to have violated any condition of her bond, including but not limited to leaving Canada.

Valid worldwide.

Bring me her head, in short, and $10 million in US Currency is yours.

She's going to honor the Rule of Law and appear?  Fine.  No problem.

She doesn't?

Then a bunch of privateers find her and bring her back.

In pieces.

To all of Congress: You say you're serious about the Iran sanctions, state-sponsored spying by China and intellectual property theft?  Then you either do this, right now, or you're lying and every last one of the 535 of you can STFU now and forevermore.

By the way this is perfectly Constitutional.  Go see Article 1, Section 8.

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2018-12-11 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Market Musings , 178 references
[Comments enabled]  

The selloff is claimed to be all about program trading (e.g. computers) and not "fundamentals."

Uh huh.

Buybacks of stock were illegal prior to the 1980s.  Why were they illegal?  Because they are invariably used to steal from shareholders and transfer their wealth to the executives, while duping the shareholder and market in general into believing that they're "creating value."

A buyback does no such thing.

There is supposed to be a pushback from share grants (whether through options or outright shares) to executives and other "key people" in that such awards increase the share count and thus dilute ownership for the shareholders.  For this reason they should only be able to be awarded to people who truly provide extraordinary value to the enterprise far beyond the amount of dilution.

Buybacks inherently hide this because the smaller float pushes up the EPS (but not the total earnings) by making the divisor smaller.  At the same time they make the percentage of the float owned by executives larger and that owned by the public smaller!  This is theft from the shareholders and the increased EPS and thus "multiple expansion" it produces in the short term is a ruse used to cover that fact.

It used to be recognized that this was an inherent fraud upon the public, and thus they weren't allowed.

But starting in the 1980s and continuing to today nobody goes to prison for fraud any more as long as they operate or are involved with a publicly-traded company.  I challenge you to show me one prison term that hasn't been associated with an already-failed company such as Enron -- and even then they're rare.  Good luck.

The other problem with buybacks is that they are never economic in a rising rate environment; corporate debt has never decreased over longer terms including the 2007-2009 crash!  It always goes up.  Therefore corporations en-masse do not pay down debt - - they roll it over.

So let's say you issue debt at 2% (you were a really solid firm) and buy back stock with it.  Then the price of your stock goes down and rates rise.  You get it in both holes; not only is there an immediate loss from the share price decline compared with what you paid for the shares in the buyback but worse, when the debt matures the amount of cash you must have to service the rolled-over bond rises.

Of course the various market mavens and similar have said "this will never happen."

Well, it's happening.  In fact the interest-rate environment had nowhere to go but flat or upward since 2009!

But into this known fact CEOs and boards still authorized and executed share buybacks that had no chance of having their continuing funding costs decrease in the future, as was the case from the 1980s until 2008.  No chance whatsoever.

Now it is certainly true that if you bought back stock at the 666 SPX lows you did nicely in terms of paying far less than what you would pay today.  The smart board would re-issue those very same shares at today's prices, 3-4x what they were in early 2009!  But exactly nobody has done that; instead they have continued to buy them back at ever-higher prices and funding costs.

There is something I learned a long time ago when it comes to business:

You never make your money actually selling things.

You make all your money buying things.

This sounds backward but it in fact isn't.  In any competitive market trying to make money selling things means you must either charge more money or cut prices and sell enough more of that your revenue and margin makes for an even better bottom line.  The former invites competition immediately and the latter is really hard to pull off since you're damaging your per-unit profit every time you cut prices.

Let's assume you have something priced at $1.00; round numbers are nice.  You sell 1 million of them for $1 million in gross revenue.

To be "more competitive" let's say you cut the price to 90 cents.  Now you need to sell 1,111,111 of them to gross the same million bucks.  You lose the margin on that 10 cent price cut; it comes right out of your operating revenue!

If you raise prices to $1.10 you invite someone else to come in and try to sell it for a buck.  If they succeed you're hosed; you'll sell far fewer than the 909,091 of them (note, you must sell more than 10% less) to break even on that strategy.  In fact you might lose 20% or more of your sales, which would be catastrophic.

Instead what you want to do is figure out how to make the thing for 75 cents instead of 85 cents.

In other words you want to buy more cheaply.

If you think this isn't what drives all the offshoring you're nuts -- it most-certainly does.

But stock buybacks into a flat-to-rising rate environment are always the direct opposite of this!  They are in fact always paying more for something not only today but on a forward basis forevermore, on top of being a barely-concealed fraud upon the shareholding public.

What happens when the market figures this out -- that paying $200 for a share of stock that today could have been bought for $150, and what's worse is that you borrowed the money to do it and the cost of keeping that borrowed money out will only increase over time?

It blows up.

Has the market figured that out yet?

No.

What we have thus far is so-called "trade tensions."

Uh huh.

Will the market remain stupid in this regard forever?

No, it will not.

What happens when that debt load and interest expense can't be met?

People get fired en-masse as firms fail and the result is a recession -- a nasty one.

The market is going higher, eh?

Uh, no.  Not when the game was to borrow $1 million at 10% interest with a $100,000 coupon, then rates drop to 1% over the next 30 years and that $1 million winds up being $10 million outstanding, all of which has gone to goose "earnings" through buybacks and other corporate games instead of building plants and innovating -- all the alleged "productivity improvement" has in fact come from offshoring and abusing wage and environmental parity.

Game's up folks and Trump, who likes to call the market his "scorecard", is about to get a big fat "F".

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2018-12-10 08:20 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 236 references
[Comments enabled]  

The amazing thing is that he doesn't even realize he did so.

Federal criminal prosecution is not beanbag. The courts have ruled many times that prosecutors, FBI agents and police may lie, cheat, threaten, intimidate, coerce and deceive to extract cooperation and obtain evidence from witnesses. This is the dark side of the criminal justice system. It requires a strong stomach. It can be used against even the president.

And yet here is a man who claims to be a Judge, and who has not in fact set aside from that, discredited it, called for it to be reformed, those who do such things punished or in any way sanctioned.

In fact by his continued use of the title "Judge" he affirms, confirms and approves of such actions.

Lie, cheat, threaten, deceive, intimidate and coerce?

That is the legitimate toolbox to be employed by federal criminal prosecution?

The premise of civil society -- that is, the principle that if I think you've done something wrong to me that I will take such a complaint to the courts or police -- rests on the principle of fair play and Lady Justice with her blindfold and a balance beam on which the evidence is weighed.  Lose that belief within a society and someone with a beef has little reason to not take care of business themself -- including just shooting you immediately.

The gang-banger doesn't shoot his rival on a street corner over a drug territory dispute because he's an ass.  He does it because he can't take the other guy to court and there is no civil, reasonable way to resolve his differences in which everyone agrees on the rules of the contest and that they expect the outcome to be fair.

Courts can rule however they want.  But as soon as they, and the commentators cheering them on in the media start approving of, using and allowing lying, cheating, threats, deception and intimidation there is no set of scales being held by a blind woman any more.

"Lady Justice" has been replaced by a gangster with a Tommy Gun.

Faced with that do you let him stick it up your nose or do you shoot him before he knows you're there?  Remember -- he's got a machine gun and a hundred rounds in that drum.  What do you got?

Is this any way to run a nation or its justice system?  Obviously not.

Is the outcome of this sort of thuggery apparent, given enough time?  You bet it is.

Indeed, it is exactly this sort of tactic that led to Concord -- and all that came after it.

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2018-12-09 11:16 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 279 references
[Comments enabled]  

So now we have the "sentencing memo."

If you ever get busted for something "real" the prosecutor files this before sentence is handed up by the judge.  Said judge doesn't have to pay a lot of attention to it as that memo has no legally-binding consequence, but they always do -- after all, the judge heard the trial and the verdict, but he didn't have any of the backstory.  That memo gives it to him and it's very, very rare for it to be ignored.

What that memo makes clear is what we've all known as Americans for decades, but nobody cares: Everyone in power, especially in DC, breaks the law on a daily basis.  They don't break it a little, they break it a lot and in felony forms.

Is anyone surprised by any of this?  I'm not even a little surprised.  Hell, read this article for some context -- it's the truth, and you know it:

Welcome to America General Hospital! Seems you have an oozing head injury there. Let’s check your insurance. Okay, quick “heads up” — ha! — that your plan may not cover everything today. What’s that? You want a reasonable price quote, upfront, for our services? Sorry, let me explain a hospital to you: we give you medical care, then we charge whatever the hell we want for it.

If you don’t like that, go **** yourself and die.

Honestly, there’s no telling what you’ll pay today. Maybe $700. Maybe $70,000. It’s a fun surprise! Maybe you’ll go to the ER for five minutes, get no treatment, then we’ll charge you $5,000 for an ice pack and a bandage. Then your insurance company will be like, “This is nuts. We’re not paying this.” Who knows how hard you’ll get screwed? You will, in three months.

Fun story: This one time we charged two parents $18,000 for some baby formula. LOL! We pull that **** all the time. Don’t like it? Don’t bring a baby, *******.

May I note that all of this sort of crap, which goes on literally every single day thousands of times, is a felony?  Yes, it's a felony.  I've pointed it out including direct citation to 15 USC Chapter 1, which says in the header of the statute that it's felony.  How many indictments have been handed up to Hospital Administrators and doctors over the last 30 years of this crap?

Zero.

So why wouldn't Cohen do this same sort of crap?  He's not going to jail -- right?

Oh wait -- this time he did.

Well, that what he gets for being Trump's attorney, not Hillary's, and for being a lawyer for the most-hated politician by a highly-politicized and flat-out illegitimate Stasi-style "Just-Us" department in history.  Ok, ok, not "in history" -- just since Hoover.

Then there's the fact (now known and in the public) that Hillary's campaign paid for the Steele dossier via a circuitous route with Fusion GPS.  That was not disclosed via her FEC filings and it was certainly intended to influence an election, which means that if a felony was committed by the Trump campaign in this regard the same law was violated by Hillary.  Where's the indictment?

Oh by the way, Obama did the same sort of crap during both of his Presidential runs.  No, it wasn't hush money to strippers.  It was, however, all sorts of other nefarious political spending to influence an election, all of which is illegal and which, I remind you, he got caught doing.  We know this for a fact because the FEC came after him and a huge fine was levied, which was paid, meaning he admitted it.  Roughly $2 million dollars worth in Obama's case.

Did he get indicted, or did anyone else get indicted?  No.

Then there's Clinton.  Remember the Chinese bundlers?  Very illegal.  Dateline 1996.  Well north of $100 million was involved, which makes Cohen look like a piker.  There was an arrest there -- of a Chinese national.  There was never anyone in the actual Clinton Administration, including of course the beneficiary of same, one Bill Clinton, who was indicted or imprisoned.

Yet Cohen is going to the big house.  For sure.

I was Treasurer for a US House run.  I insisted that every "I" be dotted and "T" crossed.  When I took over from the previous individual I filed restatements of the previous reports, as I wasn't comfortable with them.  I didn't find anything that had even a whiff of criminality with the previous person's work, but I did think it was sloppy enough that I wasn't happy with it and since in accounting all that you do carries forward from what was done previously I re-filed that which I wasn't happy with back to "time zero."  There was not one shave of a single law or rule that I permitted while holding that checkbook.  That was the deal I made when I took the job and that was what I did.  That campaign was allowed to be closed in record time, from what I've been told of others who have waited months or years beyond when we were permitted to close it out.  Yes, it was a losing bid and for a minority party.  So what?  I did it the right way and did not allow any cheating or "loosey-goosey" nonsense, not a single dime of it, because it's the right thing to do.  It had nothing to do with whether I thought I could get away with it; I simply didn't see the point in cheating or hiding anything and there certainly wasn't any direct benefit to me to be had by doing so.

But more to the point why wouldn't Cohen cheat while knowing full-well it's illegal?  After all Clinton did it (we know this factually), Bush probably did it, and Obama certainly did it (we know that factually too, since he paid the fine.)  Why wouldn't Cohen do it, especially considering that it appears there was direct benefit to him?

He thought he'd get away with it since all of the last three Presidents almost certainly did and two of them absolutely not only did it but got away with it.

Your local hospital does it every single ****ing day.

"Your" doctor does it every single day.

So does "your" local pharmacy.  All of them.

Now watch the heads explode.  

The major takeaway from the 40-page sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors Friday for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, is this: The president is very likely to be indicted on a charge of violating federal campaign finance laws.

Of course he is.

Well, maybe.

But what's a lot more certain is that the Democrats now are going to impeach him.  They pretty much have to, and this is the entire point of the "investigation."  But fraud and felony is a weapon to be used politically, not a matter of criminal sanction for something that nearly nobody does, and when you do it you get caught.

In fact it is the currency of the realm when it comes to both business and politics and we, the people are the ones who made it that way by sitting on our collective asses and, in many cases, cheering it on.

Witness Amazon and their "sales tax" schemes.  I remind you that intentional evasion of taxes (as opposed to "avoidance") is a crime.  Amazon set up "subsidiaries" in states to run their warehouses and then did not collect tax, claiming that these were "independent firms" and thus they had no Nexus. When challenged on this, eventually, they folded for items "sold and fulfilled by" Amazon.  There was not one time Bezos stuck his middle finger in the air at a state and said "go ahead and indict me, *******, you're wrong and I'm right and if you have the balls to take it to court I'll prove it."  May I add for context that I came up with a very similar idea in the 1990s while running my Internet company when we first expanded to Wisconsin, ran it past my outside corporate counsel and, well, let's just say I got the slant-eye in response.

Now maybe Amazon folded instead of fighting because it was a simple "business decision."  That's right, you're free to believe Amazon willingly collects and forks up 5, 6, 8, 10% of every sale of a product they sell and fulfill while at the same time turning those products "not sold and fulfilled by them", but by third parties, into the majority of what they handle and on which they don't collect tax, much of which is shipped in direct from China in e-Packets!

You're also free to demonstrate that you're so ****ing stupid you'd stick your mouth on your car's exhaust pipe and expect to enjoy the experience.

Take the "farmer", like the one in Iowa that employed the illegal who killed Molly.  He intentionally did not run E-Verify on his "employees."  He has admitted this; that instead of E-Verify he used a tool the Social Security administration provides that checks to see if the number provided was issued and is active.  This tool is specifically stated by the Social Security Administration as not being suitable for employment verification; it is intended solely to check for clerical errors by employers.  If he had run E-Verify instead he would have known that guy was an illegal invader.  That didn't happen, and he didn't get indicted even though at this point one of those "fine, upstanding citizens" stands accused of murder.  Breaking the law is a random, infrequent thing eh?  Suuuure it is.

Why would you run a business in this environment unless you're willing to be a crook and believe you can get away with it?  If you don't cheat you'll go out of business because everyone else does and their operation is 5, 6, 8, 10 or 15% less expensive to run than yours is.  Run a dairy farm and refuse to hire anyone who can't pass E-Verify and give the slant eye to everyone if they show up with what are facially-implausible credentials?  The farmer down the street doesn't care, his milk is 20 cents/gallon less expensive to produce than yours and pretty soon he owns all your land and cows because you go out of business due to him selling below your cost.

You, America, have sat on your ass and even cheered it on.  Half the nation did it with the Clintons and still does today, claiming Hillary was "robbed" of the Presidency despite the Clinton-era finance scam having the name "Hillblazers."  You love that smiley-face box that shows up on your doorstep too.

Worse, you cheer it on even when you get assraped within an inch of your life when you have a heart attack, stroke or have a gushing scalp wound at 3:00 AM.  Heh, it's only $25,000 for 10 stitches, right?  $2,500 a crack?  Who cares -- some insurance company will pay, or Medicaid will.

smiley

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