INVESTOR’S first read.com – Daily edge before the open
S&P 500: 2,614
Nasdaq Comp.: 6,941
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 8:58 a.m.
This volatility is EXACTLY what I meant December 27, when I Warned:
“2018: The Wildest One in Years.”
Pre-open futures trading indicates a 400-point drop in the DJIA at the open, based on trade war concerns, etc..
Q1 earnings will begin to flow this month, and they will make good reading. If they have been discounted by lofty price/earnings ratios, the market will decline further. If the Street is willing to ignore excessive P/Es, we can expect a rally this month.
Sellers have been relentless as concerns mount (see below). Doubts about the competence and reliability of the Trump administration are mounting which drives uncertainty.
This extreme volatility reflects a major difference of opinion not present in 2017 when the market notched up without a 5% correction in 14 months.
What’s the difference ?
The bull market and economic recovery are aging. The average bull market lasts 30 months, this one has lasted 109 months. The average economic expansion has lasted 59 months. This one has lasted 107 months.
The BIG money will not ride out a bear market. They were likely selling in Q4 last year and on rallies this year.
The Street was caught by surprise on this one, too caught up in the administration’ hoopla about tax cuts, deregulation and a big spend on the infrastructure and military. The latter is occurring as I write.
A BIG spend by our government ?
Where will it get the money ? Borrowing is less attractive with interest rates rising. Our country is adding more than a trillion dollars in debt under this administration which expects the economy to grow out of this additional debt.
That’s crap because corporate tax cuts at 40% deplete federal government revenues. Worse yet, this administration’s justification of tax cuts does not factor in a recession.
THIS IS HOW BEAR MARKETS BEGIN ! Investors are beginning to get scared, but not nearly so much as after a 35% decline when they should consider buying.
A ONE-DAY REVERSAL OF TODAY”S MORNING DECLINE WOULD LEAD TO A VERY SHARP RALLY AS GOOD EARNINGS FLOW IN.
THAT WOULD BE A GIFT.
Monday – Tuesday:
The major market averages have not yet dropped to the correction levels seen in early February (DJIA: 23,360; S&P 500: 2,532; 6,630), but could test them this week before a technical rebound. That would comprise a double bottom that would support a rebound in my opinion a death rattle for this bull market.
That just doesn’t seem possible. The economy is humming, how then could a bear market begin ? The short and long answer is that bear markets start 6 to 9 months before recessions begin.
Looks like the Street’s algorithms have been reprogrammed to buy more selectively and clearly to raise some cash on rallies.
That means that buyers will run into more formidable selling at higher prices making new highs a stretch.
That does not preclude a Q1 earnings based rally this month into May when I expect a major slide to begin, just not from a brief punch to new highs.
Why has the market weakened after 14 months of unrelenting strength ?
Is the Street worried about a trade war now that China has retaliated to
Trump’s tariffs on Chinese imports with $3 billion tariffs on 128 US
products imported to China.
Is the Street concerned that the Fed will amp up its tightening ?
Is the Street worried about the prospect of an implosion of Trump’s
administration and a big win for Democrats in November ?
Is the Street worried that stock valuations are far too high ?
Does the Street see a recession starting in 2019 (as I do) ?
Business can’t get better, but the economic recovery started nine years ago is due to crap out in face of too much corporate and consumer debt, and the prospect for the unwinding of so many derivatives held by financial institutions.
The consumer is tapped out with credit card debt and depleted savings. March auto sales to be reported tomorrow are expected to show the
Historically the stock market is overvalued. That will correct to more normal valuations when the BIG money looks out 9 months to a year and sees the economy stagnating, worse slipping into recession. That’s when they will sell and I think readers should have an open mind to the possibility the BIG money will use the buying created by Q1’s big earnings gain to sell.
As I have been saying. There is a possibility that we will get one strong surge into May as a result of Q1’s earnings reports which could top a gain of 18%.
Has all this been discounted by the market at these levels, more so at higher levels.
Currently the S&P 500 sells at a price/earnings ratio close to twice the norm based on Shiller’s calculations (Cyclically adjusted price earnings – CAPE) which is adjusted for inflation over 10 years. It now runs at 31.7 versus a 16.1 average over 10 years. CAPE has its critics who say it runs too high, but relative to past years, it is higher than all past levels except the 1999-2000 internet bubble (44.2) which preceded a 50% drop in the S&P 500. The S&P 500’ price to sales ratio is 2.2 verses an average of 1.44. Before the 2007-2009 bear market it stood at 1.5 x.
The message here is what it has always been before big corrections/ bear markets – CAREFUL !
If we get the Q1 earnings rally it will be playable by savvy traders, but risky for investors taking new positions, because it will look like easy money.
SUPPORT “today”:DJIA:; S&P 500:; Nasdaq Comp.:
RESISTANCE “today” DJIA:; S&P 500:; Nasdaq Comp.:
While I believe we have seen the highs for the 2009 to 2018 bull market , at least for the S&P 500 and DJIA, I have referred to the possibility of one final break out to new highs before June, similar to that which took place before the bull market top preceding the 2007 – 2009 bear market, the one that took the S&P 500 down 55%. (see above)
A move like that is becoming increasingly likely, and would be fueled by Q1 earnings, which are projected to grow by 17% over a year ago and will be reported in April/May.
The Nasdaq Comp has already topped its January high of 7,505, but the DJIA and S&P 500 must cross DJIA: 26,616 (S&P 500: 2,872) to follow suit.
The market should move higher as the Q1 earnings report period nears, and especially when sharply higher earnings reports roll in.
Trump and the 25th:
Always lurking out there is the possibility President Trump will attempt to obstruct the Mueller investigation, and that could adversely impact the market and in time, the economy, as uncertainty about governance mounts.
This would create a constitutional crisis, and an attempt to remove him from office. This Republican Congress would never impeach him, it can’t conduct an impartial investigation of the Russia meddling issue on its own.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment is a possibility, but that would require a vote to remove by 8 of the 15 Cabinet members. See below: “Removing Trump From Office”)
This may explain what the remake of Trump’s new cabinet is all about, the construction of a firewall against the removal using the 25th.
Flawed trickle down economics is back with Larry Kudlow soon to be the new head of the National Economic Council. Pssst ! It doesn’t trickle down, corporations keep it all for themselves.
When the recession comes, it will be the consumer who triggers it. They are tapped out, too much debt, too little savings and no meaningful increase in pay adjusted for inflation for decades.
Corporations got a 40% tax cut. What will they spend this freebie on, capital goods investment, or stock buybacks ? Probably mostly the latter. With a recession looming in the future, why would they spend a lot on capital expansion ?
Last week’s carnage was an example of the kind of freefall I have warned could happen if a lot of institutions bailed out simultaneously.
There is still a possibility of one last surge as indicated above, but new highs are doubtful. That rally should top out in April/May as the full impact of Q1 earnings hit.
The Fed’s FOMC meets last week with a press conference by newly appointed Fed Chief, Jerome Powell, on Wednesday at 2:30. Expect another rate increase to 1.75 from 1.50. Street is looking for assurance the Fed won’t be raising rates four times this year rather than three. I don’t think we will see even a hint of that until the June 12-13 meeting.
Sinclair Broadcast Group (BEWARE !)
One of my greatest concerns has become reality – Sinclair Broadcast Group is using its clout as owner of 193 television stations as a lever to manipulate local station viewers’ minds pitching it’s right wing propaganda. Viewers tend to trust local stations programing over national networks.
I called attention to this danger in my September 1, blog, warning that Sinclair’s reach to 80 markets gave it unfettered power. In recent days, Sinclair required news anchors in 200 of its local TV stations to warn viewers that unnamed media are always biased, and publishing fake news. This is a classic example of “projection” where one guilty of doing something wrong actually accuses another of that deed. Sinclair accuses liberal media of manipulation when in fact it is the one doing it.
What is more, conservative, Ajit Pae, appointed to FCC Chair by Trump, is trying to push FCC approval of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Broadcast Group which would greatly expand its reach into New York, La and Chicago markets with an addition of 42 more stations. Currently, the FCC is weighing the pros and cons of such an acquisition. Reportedly, if Sinclair is compelled to divest of a number of stations to bypass anti-trust issues, Fox Broadcasting may be the company to pick them up ???
TRUMP – A human Wrecking ball ? My headline on January 3, 2017
Cambridge Analytica is center stage again. Palmer.com reports someone behind the scenes is trying to block Britain’s Channel 4 News from airing an expose into Cambridge’s role in using Facebook (FB) to influence voters to vote for Trump and not Clinton. On Friday, Facebook banned Cambridge’s access. Palmer speculates the Mercers are behind the attempt to prevent Channel 4’s expose. I was on Cambridge’s case back on June 22, noting that billionaire Robert Mercer was connected to Cambridge through Canada’s Aggregate IQ through an intellectual property agreement and worked to influence voting in the Brexit referendum. Aggregate is a data mining company. While Aggregate denies any connection, the story won’t go away. Palmer sees a connection between Cambridge and John Bolton’s SUPER PAC. Palmer notes that UK Parliament is investigating the connection between Cambridge and Brexit and documents referred to by Cambridge whistleblower Christopher Wylie reveal the firm gave stolen Facebook user data to Bolton’s PAC (receiving stolen goods ?), though it is not known how Bolton used the data if his PAC even received it. (See below: Mercer on the run ?)
Remember the name Felix Sater, former business associate of Trump, convicted Russian mafia money laundering figure, and key FBI informant.
Another name to watch is Ted Malloch who Palmer.com reports was served a subpoena relating to the Trump/Russia probe. Malloch is a U. S. citizen living in London with close tire to Roger Stone, Brexit leader Nigel Farage and the Trump campaign. As noted above in Cambridge Analytica, there is a connection to parties involved in Brexit and Trump’s campaign.
George Nader, Who he ? Possibly a key source of information. This is highly complicated with new information pending. Nader has long-standing ties in the Mid-East and Washington over many years. What appears to be important here is he is cooperating with the Mueller probe not as a wrongdoer, but as a source of information. He has had ties with the Trump administration through Steve Bannon and reportedly attended a meeting in the Seychelles Islands January 11, 2017 along with Blackwater founder and former Trump associate, Eric Prince, and Kirill Dmitriev head of a U.S. sanctioned investment firm with close ties to Putin. Reportedly Nader represented United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
I referred to the Seychilles meeting on April 5, 2017 noting the Washington Post reported the meeting was intended to encourage Russia to curtail support for Iran and Syria (Trump wish list) in exchange for lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia.
“Protecting guns and profits have become more important than protecting the lives of young people” Henry A. Giroux, Truthout , March 4.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IMPLODING. TRUMP SETTING STAGE FOR FIRING SESSIONS .
When the boss starts to find fault with an employee for little things, out of nowhere, and for little reason, it’s lights out.
It looks like a death spiral for this administration is unfolding, 30 aides just lost top secret clearance; communications director, Hope Hicks, resigned . My guess is she has struck a deal with Mueller, who is ratcheting up the pressure on the big Kahuna.
Is this how General Custer felt in the last hour at Little Big Horn ?
Tsunami of anti-gun sentiment finally raging. High school students in Florida are organizing to force Trump, Congress and the NRA to take action. Banks considering measures to deny credit financing of gun purchases and advertising.
Less than a week after the Parkland shootings, Florida lawmakers rejected an attempt to ban assault rifles and large capacity magazines. Big mistake.
These lawmakers can be replaced, the dead students can’t.
The outrage is just beginning. It is estimated that just 3% of Americans own half of the 265 million guns in the country. The NRA and supporters are out- gunned.
Why are so many Americans beholden to guns ? It could be their sense of security was rocked by 9/11 plus the Great Recession/Bear Market. Then it could be racial, a fear that people of different colors will eventually outnumber them, prompting the need (in their paranoid minds) to stage a forceful change in governance (revolution). This makes little sense, but from their point of simplemindedness, they feel more secure with a dozen guns and cases of ammunition in house just in case.
What these whackos don’t understand is they can’t use their guns outside of their homes for fear of injuring or killing an innocent person which not only sends them to jail, but opens them up to a lawsuit where they lose their stock portfolio, car, house and all those “blankies” that go bang. ………………………………………
A quasi-fascist state would give Trump the untethered power he craves.
Read: The Ghost of Fascism in the Age of Trump
Number 3 at DOJ, Rachael Brand, resigns at DOJ (see below)
WILL TRUMP FIRE MUELLER ? LOOK FOR THIS TIP-OFF
Trump can’t fire Mueller directly, it must be done by the Department of Justice. Trump would have to find someone to do it. A new appointment to the DOJ may signal Trump’s intent.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein isn’t going to do it, so Trump must find someone from DOJ who will. Rachel Brand, a conservative who supported Sen. Cruz in 2017 would be in line to take over from Rosenstein, but she just announced she is resigning from DOJ (2?9/19) Trump must find someone in DOJ to fire Mueller if he wants to do it.
DOJ’s Dana Bounte’s resignation last October and his recent appointment by FBI Director Christopher Wray as general Counsel for the FBI takes him out of the running, though it is doubtful he would have fired Mueller. He served as the U.S. Attorney General from the Eastern Dist. of Virginia, as well as, acting assistant attorney general for the National Security Division of DOJ.
Trump has appointed (pending confirmation) former Boeing General Counsel, John Demers, to assume Boente’s position as U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. He could do it, but he has promised to support the Mueller investigation.
Unconfirmed rumors are that EPA’s Scott Pruit has shown an interest in the DOJ, is a possibility for a post. there. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russian/Trump “investigation” March 2017.
REASONS NEEDED TO FIRE MUELLER: Trump would have to have good reason to fire Mueller. Grounds must be, misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or other good cause, including violation of policies of the Department of Justice, and failure to follow Justice Departments guidelines and violation of applicable canons of ethics.
CAN TRUMP RESCIND SPECIAL COUNSEL REGULATION ? Yes, it’s possible but many legal hurdles would make it difficult and possibly so time consuming as to make the action worthless. There is no clear cut answer. This would be decided in court, the legal ramifications just very complex.
FYI: The S&P 500 gained 36.6% in Obama’s first year, but only 23.7% under Trump. Obama inherited the worst bear market since the 1930’s, Trump inherited an accelerating bull market supported by a stable economy. If Obama’s first year gain is calculated from the Bear market bottom March 6, 2009 shortly after he assumed office, the gain would be 74.2%.
U.S. Ranking globally and domestically is plunging under Trump
Global approval of U.S. leadership from 134 countries has plunged to 30% from 48% in just a year. Clearly, Trump isn’t making America Great Again in the eyes of all other countries. The downside of this is we need the support of those countries. Our nationalistic policies are opening doors throughout the world for China. A Gallup poll shows Germany replacing the U.S. as the top-rated power in the world.
Under Trump, the United States has dropped to 11th place in the Bloomberg Innovation Index, which in addition to R&D spending, includes post secondary, or tertiary, education-efficiency category, which includes the share of new science and engineering graduates. Value-added manufacturing also dropped. South Korea ranked first, followed by Sweden, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Finland, Denmark, France, Israel.
Also under Trump, Americans’ trust in institutions (government, companies and the media) has suffered the greatest loss on record according to a poll conducted by Edelman New York. The poll, including 33,000 “informed” individuals showed the U.S. dropping to 43 out of a possible 100, down 23 points in a year. He is a human wrecking ball.
SOLUTION for our nation’s problems: Deport Trump’s base. Not the Republicans who vote their party because they are genuinely conservative, but the racist, violent, abusive element that opts for dumbing down solutions for issues because experienced and intelligent people remind them how incapable they are of emotionally and mentally developing rational, unbiased conclusions for issues without bias that serve the best interests of all Americans.
According to the Washington Post, Trump’s false or misleading statements (lies) now exceed 2,000 after his first year.
WOULD ANYONE WANT their spouse to lie repeatedly ?, their child ?, mother ?, father ?, minister ?, child’s teacher ?, coach ?, employer ?. IF NOT, why would they support President Trump who is on record with telling 4.5 lies per day, 2,000 lies since his inauguration on January 20 ?.
CORPORATE TAX CUT IRRESPONSIBLE
“It's pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth, as Republicans have promised,” Bloomberg continued. Had Congress actually listened to executives, or economists who study these issues carefully, it might have realized that. The tax bill is an economically indefensible blunder that will harm our future” – Michael Bloomberg – billionaire business man former mayor NYC
I don’t doubt some corporations need, and deserve a tax cut, but to reduce the rate from 35% to 21% is inexcusable, reckless, unjustifiable, and outright subversive to the best interests of America.
Corporate income taxes comprise 9% of federal government receipts. If corporate taxes are slashed by 40% (from 35% to 21%), the government’s receipts from corporations are reduced by 3.6% from 9%.
Individual income tax payments comprise 47% of federal government receipts. At this point, I have no idea how much of an impact Congress’ tax cuts will have on this source of federal revenues, but it stands to be significant.
The Republican administration expects economic growth will be triggered by a sudden change in heart by corporations to abandon stock buybacks and the repatriation of billions stashed abroad to plug the big hole left in federal receipts by tax cuts with a surge in hiring and capital expenditures.
That assumption is flawed. For one, why would a corporation go on a hiring and cap-ex spending spree with an economic expansion that is 8-1/2 years old, 3 years longer (73%) than the average over 65 years (1945 – 2009).
For another, are they naïve enough to assume there will be no recessions within the next 10 years ?
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy released a study on “Corporate Tax Avoidance by Fortune 500 Companies”: The report includes 258 corporations that were consistently profitable over an eight-year period between 2008 and 2015. Some conclusions:
-of 258 Fortune 500 companies studied, the effective federal income tax rate was 21.5%
–18 of the 258 paid no income tax and 48 paid an effective tax rate of 10%.
–83 companies (32%) paid a tax rate less than 17.5%
–109 companies (42%) paid a tax rate between 17.5% and 30%.
–66 companies (26%) paid a tax rate greater than 30%
NOTE: The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School estimates the effective tax rate for corporates will drop to 9.2% as a result of tax reform. ……………………………………………………
RED STATES NEED FED’s HELP THE MOST
The twelve most federally dependent states are Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, West Virginia, South Carolina, Montana, Tennessee, Maine, Indiana, Arizona, Louisiana.
The twelve least federally dependent states are Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Kansas, Nevada, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Utah, and Nebraska.
Red states (Republican) are 67% more dependent on federal government aid than Blue States (Democratic).
So why all the whining about the Feds being in their space ? Want to go it alone ? Careful
what you wish for
The BIG question is, do American morals and respect for our republic have to hit bottom before Congress and the American voter opts for decency, honesty, integrity and a moral compass ?
Currently, odds favor neither will have a change of heart even if the findings of the Mueller probe uncover untold crimes against the constitution and American people.
The current extremist Republican Party is morally bankrupt, as are many of its supporters. Much of the Republican Congress is comprised congressional anarchists, determined to raze time-tested checks and balances, and oppose any and all new proposals that do not pass their muster.
It wasn’t enough that they obstructed progress for eight years of the Obama administration, they are now dismantling the things he did accomplish. Our republic is being mugged in plain sight.
There are a lot of very fine Republicans out there, but someone needs to tell them someone hijacked their party.
This isn’t Reagan, this isn’t anything close to the Republican Party I grew up with.
This is what the right wing has been waiting for – total control of the presidency, both Houses, and the Supreme Court. (and Fox News) They want total control. This is how democratic, representative republics perish.
America is the biggest enchilada on earth. Why wouldn’t a group of extremists want to wrest permanent control from its people ? Americans must stop multitasking, and have the guts to endure the day-to-day angst that accompanies being well informed. They need to return to values.
Brian Benczkowski was nominated by President Trump in June to be U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. My Sept. 15 post called attention to this since he previously represented one of Russia’s largest banks Russia’s Alfa Bank. Having advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, his nomination is pending full Senate confirmation. He once served under Jeff Sessions. If confirmed, he pledged independence, recusing himself for two years from any dealings with alfa Bank. Sen. Feinstein voted against Benczkowski concerned that he never served as a federal prosecutor and the fact he would sit in on meetings with special counsel Robert Mueller with Russia probe. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., was concerned his major qualification was his connection with Sessions.
Mercer on the run ? Bannon and Breitbart bankroller, Robert Mercer is rapidly severing financial ties to Breitbart News and support of Steve Bannon and alt-right’s Milo Yiannopoulos. Mercer was a major supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz’s effort to gain the Republican nomination last year, but switched his allegiance to Trump when he won the nomination.
In my March 21 post, I wrote, “Years from now, I suspect Mercer will be relaxing at his Long Island waterfront retreat, Owl’s Nest, or on his 200-foot yacht, Sea Owl, and look back over his illustrious career tarnished by one regret – he backed the biggest con job in our nation’s history.”
Six states (Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Utah, Wisconsin), are planning to require poverty stricken people on Medicaid to get jobs or lose the coverage. Maine, Utah and Wisconsin want to put a time limit on coverage, the latter wants to drug-test people. Excluded: People with long-tern disabilities, the elderly, and children. Isn’t it bad enough these people are in poverty ?
Vox Media reports that 9.8 million Medicaid recipients don’t have jobs due to: Illness/disabled (35%), retired (8%), taking care of home or family (28%), going to school (18%), cannot find work (8%). The remaining 60.2 million Americans on Medicaid work full-time of part-time. I’m not sure what’s the Republican beef here.
TRUMP’S PARDON POWER
The President has the power to grant conditional pardons; to commute sentences; remit fines and forfeitures; and grant amnesty. This power can be exercised at any time after the offense has been committed, before conviction of after. Pardons cannot be limited by or controlled by legislative action (US legal.com)
Expect Trump to attempt to pardon anyone he wants, including himself. It’s a way out of facing responsibility very much like dodging the draft. Like when he justified his numerous bankruptcies, saying he only used U.S. laws to his advantage. Well, “pardons” are his prerogative, in many, not all cases. He would take advantage of whatever loophole to avoid consequences, sort of like dodging the draft, or did I already say that ?
The President cannot pardon people for “state” crimes, and it is doubtful he can pardon himself.
Can the Mueller investigation survive Mueller’s firing ?
Slate.com’s July 21 article, “Trump can’t Escape the States,” says “YES.”
1-A state [NY] could hire Mueller and team.
2-State attorneys general could use their quo warranto power to investigate Trump’s organization for fraud and money laundering from Russian sources.
3-A Congressional committee (Senate Intelligence Committee) could hire Mueller or create a Joint select Committee.
4-Congress could pass a new veto-proof independent counsel statute.
FINALLY: If Trump resigns and Pence takes over, Pence could pardon Trump, as Ford did Nixon.
THE GREAT AMERICAN EXPERIMENT UNDER SEIGE: Not since the Civil War has the spirit and future of our nation been at such great risk, from within. This administration, Congress and U.S. Supreme Court is surgically dismembering efforts over many years to ensure the safety and well being of “all” Americans.
The sooner, Americans recognize these are not genuine Republican conservatives, but extremists determined dismantle that which has been achieved over the years and replace it with “their” brand of a quasi-fascist state. Ben Franklin was right when asked what kind of government the Founding Fathers had given us. “A Republic, if you can keep it,” was his respons.
TRUMP looking for a “Get Out Of Jail Free Card if the Feds close in?”
Why not, he dodged military service with 5 deferments during the Vietnam era (1964 – 1970).
Reportedly, he has asked advisers about his power to pardon family members and himself relating to Mueller’s investigation.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETED ? If the Special Counselor concludes it is “necessary and appropriate” he is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising out of the investigation, which he does after submitting a report to the attorney general explaining his reasons.
REASONS NEEDED TO FIRE MUELLER: Misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, good cause (??), violation of Department policies.
WOULD MUELLER BE REPLACED ? Unclear. If the Democrats controlled Congress they could appoint another Special Counselor
“Connect the Dots.” This investigation is open-ended. These are people were part of the Trump team, or in a position to know information relating to activities before or after the 2016 election, though not necessarily in any way guilty of any wrongdoing.
Nigel Farage – President Trump- Hope Hicks, Jeffrey Sessions – Robert Mercer – Cambridge Analytics – Bannon- Carter Page – Kushner (Jared and Ivanka) – Eric Prince – Donald, Jr. and Eric Trump – Wilbur Ross – Michael Cohen – Ezra Cohen Watnick – Michael T. Flynn – Michael G. Flynn ( son) – JD Gordon – Christopher Steele – Michael Caputo -Breitbart News – Roger Stone – Julian Assange – Paul Manafort – Rick Gates – Jill Stein – Sam Clovis – Kellyanne and George Conway –Dana Rohrabacher – Bill Browder – Peter W. Smith (deceased: suicide), Paul Behrends – Brad Parscale – Sam Nunberg – Dan Scavino – Keith Schiller – Alex Van Der waan – Ted Malloch -Boris Epshteyn, Ike Kaveladze, and Russia’s alfa Group – Felix Sater – Rob Goldstone – alfa Group – Emin Agalarov – Sergey Gorkov – Sergey Kislyak, ambassador to the U.S., Natalia Veselnitskaya, Oleg Deripaska all connect directly or indirectly to the Trump/Russia investigation and some have a connection to Brexit, as well.
According to the “Observer,” Mercer’s Cambridge Analytica was connected with Canada’s AggregateIQ through an intellectual property agreement and worked together on the Brexit referendum. Aggregate is also a data mining company. While Mercer was a big supporter of Trump, there is no known connection between AggregateIQ and Trump’s campaign staff.
REMOVING TRUMP FROM OFFICE
Can Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, U.S. Constitution – Remove Trump ?
It’s a stretch. The key for his removal is ”that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Section 4 mentions nothing that he is unfit, delusional, unbalanced, crazy, impulsive, irrational, impaired, sociopathic, psychopathic, narcissistic.
That would be the threshold that would have to be crossed if Trump is removed from office via Section 4 of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. There is no precedent
It isn’t just Democrats, liberals, moderates and reasonable people who find Trump caustic, and dangerous, conservatives like George Will, David Brooks and Ross Douthart are also urging his removal.
First, there are four ways to get rid of Trump – death, resignation, impeachment and Section 4 of the 25th Amendment.
The procedure employing the 25th Amendment requires the Vice President and the majority of the cabinet of 15 (8) to vote to remove the president. They would submit their declaration in writing to the President pro tempore ( Sen. Orrin Hatch) and Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan) that the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and the Vice President will immediately assume to office as acting president.
However, the president may contend the move by submitting his own letter to the President pro tempore and Speaker of the House, that he believes he is capable of performing his duties, in which case he will resume the office of presidency.
The Vice President and Cabinet members may then resubmit their declaration at which point Congress would vote within 48 hours if in session. If not, Congress will act within 21 days where a two-thirds vote would be required to remove him.
However, as “Business Insider.com” noted on Jan. 9, 2018, Trump could simply fire the Cabinet members who voted to oust him from office.
A Consult/Politico poll shows 43% of Americans want Congress to begin procedures for the impeachment of President Trump.
The U.S. Constitution enables Congress to remove a president for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Initially, the House votes on one or more articles of impeachment- if a majority vote is reached, he is impeached. BUT, impeachment only means indictment. The Senate holds a trial overseen by the chief justice and Supreme Court. A group of House members serve as prosecutors and the Senate as jurors. If two-thirds of the senators find the president guilty, he is removed from office and the vice president takes over.
Note: Source of weekly economic calendar and good recap of indicators: mam.econoday.com
Investor’s first read
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Investor’s first read, is a Game-On Analysis, LLC publication for which George Brooks is sole owner, manager and writer. Neither Game-On Analysis, LLC, nor George Brooks is registered as an investment advisor. Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. References to specific securities should not be construed as particularized or as investment advice as recommendations that you or any investors purchase or sell these securities on their own account. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment in keeping with their tolerance for risk.