So When Are You Gonna Act, America?
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-12-02 07:11 by Karl Denninger
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So When Are You Gonna Act, America?
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That would be "never", right?

You'd think I'd killed a cat on national television yesterday with my article on where Trump sits right now in regard to Flynn's guilty plea.  The claims of incipient (in other words, "you're guilty even though you haven't done it yet") bad faith on my part, including "wow, man, I'm gonna archive this post before you change it" crap on Twatter, never mind the hate-email, rivaled that which I got back when I started the series on Obama and his little document forgery exercise.

Never mind more than 10 years of reporting on political sleaze in this country on both sides of the aisle.  I call 'em like I see 'em, and who gets pissed off about that doesn't bother me in the least.

Here's the real issue and why it's barely worth the time to write on anything any more.  Despite utterly irrefutable evidence, as it's been admitted, that Hillary not only broke the law when it comes to classified information our government has, in prison right now, people it has jailed for doing far less than she did, some of whom were active service members that never let any of the information travel beyond their personal devices (unlike Hillary who both did and intended to -- cough-Huma-cough-cough), despite clear evidence and admissions that our own FBI and BATFE intentionally ran guns into the Mexico, including weapons that were then used to murder a border agent, despite proof that Herr Clinton sold targeting technology to the ****ing Chinese in exchange for illegal campaign contributions in the 1990s while knowing at the time that the Chinese had stolen an advanced nuclear warhead design from us not one economic or political retributive action was taken in response and in fact hundreds of billions a year in trade deficit has continued to accumulate since under every single Administration and Congress forward, both Republican and Democrat.

The fact of the matter is that irrespective of any of this there has not been one response by anyone in the American public that is not partisan horse****.

Not one.

There has been no concerted economic effort (legal, I remind you) to demand that this crap stop instantly under pain of economic and political destruction.

There has not been one concerted economic effort (legal, I remind you) to demand and enforce over the last two election cycles that those "big three megacap silly valley enterprise" (that would be Google, Facebook and Twitter) which in the last election cycle had their employees display a 96.7% to 98.9% preference in campaign contributions for Hillary Clinton stop censoring fully half of the opinion in this nation or they will be legally and economically destroyed by said censored half through targeting every single one of their advertisers and other economic partners they rely on to remain in business, never mind their employees and families who made those political contributions. Every single one of these individuals and firms are fair game legally, economically and socially when they abuse their political preference and amplify same through corporate visages either as owners or employees to silence dissenting voices.

Instead the attack any time someone points out that yes, sleaze and tolerance of same crosses the aisle (like, for example, the 1995 "Abuse your Sexatary Act") and is damned near unitary in our Government is directed at the person who points out same by those same partisan hacks who remain silent when their own side does the same ****ing thing.

I wake up this morning to McConnell's grinning visage as he just horse-****ed America once again with the Senate's "tax cut" bill that in fact monstrously increases tax preference for hedge funds and their "2 and 20" profits when the owners of same's personal capital is NOT at riska tax preference zero common Americans will ever be able to take advantage of.  This is one of the biggest and most-blatant quid-pro-quo campaign "contribution" scams in history and yet half the country is cheering it on and letting it go forward without so much as a whimper.  That son-of-a-bitch McConnell should have been hauled off the floor of the Senate in irons and yet.... where are handcuffs?  The passed package was and is a fraud yet it will obviously be signed into law and you will be immediately abused through higher deficits (much higher; I remind you the CBO always gets this wrong, and always does so in one direction -- they understate the deficit impacts every single time due to the rules on how they "score" bills), teased with a little scrap of bacon on the table while these *******s eat the whole steak in front of you.  While the Democrat side of the aisle have and will scream (but do nothing) the Republican side, including all the Trumpers, will cheer their own demise as the health care monopolies feast on your fat-ass diabetic carcass and asset-strip you to your underwear.

Let me know if and when the paradigm shifts but as far as I can tell that is a lost cause and so is what was America.

America isn't a place, it's an idea.

An idea sold out to a bunch of spineless screaming and willful tolerance of fraud, theft and abuse so long as it comes from the "correct" side of the political aisle.

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User Info So When Are You Gonna Act, America? in forum [Market-Ticker]
Pezhead
Posts: 185
Incept: 2009-09-22

NC
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"America isn't a place, it's an idea"

Pretty much sums it up.

Ds vs Rs when both will F you... with impunity in the open.

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We're rich! We broke even! We're in the poor house...
-- Simpsons 'Enron'
Whitehat
Posts: 191
Incept: 2017-06-27

New York City
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consider yourself lucky Karl. right now people hear you, lots of people. your work has probably been used, plagiarized, profited from and molested in many ways.

people cannot perform the general strike that you advocate as they have two issues. they cannot fathom how to survive it, as in living indoors and eating and perceive themselves as having something to lose and nothing to gain. more importantly, they do not trust those around them to join, no one wants to be first or the fool. people do not even trust their spouses anymore. every time i have seen a man do the right thing in his professional or community life, the first thing that happens is his wife leaves him in ruin. the lifestyle comes first you see. the revolution was not sexual other than it was between the sexes; it was consumerism replacing culture and values.

more practical example, who wants to be the first business owner to incur the cost of not hiring illegally for his workforce and properly withholding. they are waiting to be forced by the same authority that is promoting unethical and immoral behavior.

no one wants to put himself out of business personally or financially for something that will never change.

if you could organize a general strike, you would have problems. right now people only hear you. when they start to listen to you is another story.

even if you do not care about yourself, you have family. i have seen evil and wish that you do not get the chance to discover it for yourself.

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There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.
Seadog
Posts: 7
Incept: 2009-12-28

Desert Southwest
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I think the deck has been stacked against the Commoner acting. In theory, we have three boxes from which to choose--the soap box, ballot box, and the bullet box. The first may include avenues such as social media, letters to editors and Congresscritters, etc. This requires a great deal of public attention in order to be effective. It is also highly controlled. There was a degree of outrage over the perv hush-fund Congress has, but nothing became of that. The ballot box is continually under assault to preserve the status quo. The third is extreme and illegal under normal circumstances.

I believe that in order to change the top, the efforts must start at the bottom, meaning locally. However, many cities are so addicted to federal and state handouts that it is hard to balance fiscal conservatism with the "gimme" mentality of the populous, not to mention re-election.

Furthermore, change is a slow and gradual process. Interestingly, we are now in a national tizzy over sexual misconduct allegations. What actions can Americans take that will be effective in capturing the public's attention to this degree when it comes to political misconduct?

Sadly, I think those that truly care are fading away and are being replaced by a generation of "Whatever" thinkers. I believe the powers that be got us right where they want us: those who want change are unable and those who don't want it could care less so long as they have their Internet-based devices and entertainment.

So what actions can America take that will be effective?

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Trust but verify except if the government is involved then just verify.
Supertruckertom
Posts: 1560
Incept: 2010-11-07

USA
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Free, Moral, Self Actualized Individuals don't need a leader.

As a percentage, there are very few people left in America today that fit that description.

Disengagement is now the logical course of action for them.

I had that conversation with someone last night.
Told them to find joy in some small way every day with the people closest to them.

Enjoy your life.
There are no guarantees on anything.

We are surely being enveloped by more and more people, ideas, and organizations that want to steal our joy, wealth and health.

Use it or lose it.

Now.



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Preparing to go Hunting.
Rollformer
Posts: 90
Incept: 2013-02-13

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The corporate tax cut is going to rock the healthcare industry's world.

Looking at the effects of the pay out 80% of your premium rule, I have taken a look at Aetna and a few other insurers. Aetna gives the clearest disclosures. The thing about the insurance companies is they don't get to play the tax game. Aetna pays 44%; United pays 40%, and Humana usually runs aobut 47%, and Humana paid 60% in 2016. So they're going to get all of it.

This creates an interesting dynamic of the P&L. Aetna's commercial business looks like this. In 2015, they increased premiums by $2,575 million, lost $480MM in customer volume, and incurred for a grand total of an additional $7 million in margin. In 2016, they increased premiums $797 million, lost $313 in volume, and face increased costs of $1,116. That was a loss of $632 in gross margin. In my base case, in order for them to grow their net income 5% a year, these customers get screwed to the tune of premium increases of 9% a year, for the next five years.

For the record, they have been adding Medicare Advantage members, and the premiums and costs have remained basically flat. This tells us that they CAN control costs.

Now, we have a tax cut. I have a billion dollars to play with. In other words, I can blow out a billion dollars of margin and still grow my net income by 5%. If I am the CEO, I am unable to renegotiate my rates in 2018, so I am going to have a windfall profit from the tax cut. The public will be outraged, because I am an evil insurance company, and I am making a profit.

So I am going to walk away from that margin. I can grow my income 5% (well, from 2017), basically by reducing my costs and premiums by roughly 10% for the commercial customers. I have been screwed by big medicine, and in turn have had to screw my customers for the same. I'm going to be out for blood. The PR from reducing the premiums by 10% will be priceless.

Unfortunately, because I am still limited to 20% gross margin, the screwing will begin again to the tune of 9% a year. If that rule goes away, and I can do even more interesting things. I can control my costs on an ongoing basis, rather than having to assent to financial******from big medicine ever year. Basically, I can grow my commercial business by increasing my premiums by a couple of percent. Big medicine doesn't get their skim.

By allowing the insurance company to be "greedy", which will limit premium increases, the lives of our lower and middle income employees of smaller enterprises (who don't self-insure) is going to get better. The raise budget will not be consumed by premium increases, so they will get raises.

The interesting thing to think about, is how much cost could they drive out if they really wanted to? Maybe we can get major reductions in our medical costs simply by putting in a bill in which we freeze premiums for three years (makes the public happy), but we also say "Mr. Insurance company, during these three years, you get to make as much money as you like, but not ration care. After three years, you reset your premiums. But for 3 years, you have carte-blanche to make as much money as you can."
Click
Posts: 53
Incept: 2017-06-26

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It's the same old story: the ignorant masses get played by the political swamp creatures. And then the truth tellers get swamped...

They killed Socrates. And they killed again and again all throughout history. And they'll kill again. Who are "they"? The Political Establishment, that's who...And anybody who threatens the established order in a meaningful way always gets hurt. Always. An individual may not get killed by broadcasting the truth (or anything close to the truth) but there will be hell to pay for sowing seeds of truth, nonetheless.

So, when I take my valuable time to sit down and sincerely thank guys like Karl for telling it like they see it ( even if I don't completely know for sure if they speak absolutely the reality/truth) it is because I understand how much of a thankless job telling anything close to the truth is really...

So Merry Christmas, happy new year or whatever you believe and whatever good thing that makes you happy may that happen to you, Karl. If you quit the hard work of writing these great articles I won't blame you one bit; however, I do hope you'll continue...

I'm in the process of rereading "The Consolation of Philosophy" and "Saint Augustine Confessions". What a devious bunch the elite have always been! The major difference now is the most powerful people in the world have nuclear weapons... This cycle of rise-and-fall of civilization may be the worst one in history because people haven't changed over thousands of years but the weapons technology has....
Dontezuma
Posts: 28
Incept: 2009-09-10

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My wife asked me why I've given up on participating. I was an activist - I ran for Attorney General of Oregon in 2004, not with the hope of winning, but trying to force dialog in a one-sided race. I had tremendous response, but only managed 6% of the vote. People said, "I love what you said about cutting back administrative regulations, but I'm a Republican, so I can't vote for you." The Democrats said, "I love your stance on cutting back on incarcerations and getting the corporations out of it, but I can't vote for you."

After the Tea Party got co-opted and corrupted and Occupy was vilified, I realized, as it appears Karl has, that we're past self-correction. We are now just coasting.

Personally, I'm just doing my thing, waiting for it to implode, at which point I'll be ready to expatriate. We travel out of the country with our young-teen kids, trying to expose them to life outside the US, but honestly, we have corrupted the culture worldwide, so it's hard to imagine where it will be 'safe' from the US implosion. I got nothing. I see people like Simon Black hawking expat consulting and I wonder if that's the way to go. I just need a few acres and a community. I don't need much beyond that. Dunno. We'll see.

I've been warning people since 2010 that the recovery is fake, fake money, rpinted dollars, but the market has made me a fool, and when it comes, they'll hopefully be safe. But they won't. No one will.
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