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FrexitYet another week has come and gone, and an interesting on at that. What is more, the week ahead has the potential to prove even more interesting, most and especially due to Sunday’s French elections. Let’s take a look at it.

To Frexit or Not to Frexit

For the past four years of so, every time there’s talk about such and such a country leaving the European Union (EU), the convention has been to tack the first letter or two of said country’s name to the word “exit” to describe the event.

As far as I’m aware, the first time this was done was with Greece back in 2012. At that time, it was common to hear talk about a Grexit (Greek exit) from the EU.

Brexit, British exit, was all the rage last year. An unlike the various and sundry other “-exits” threatened the past few years, it appears that this one actually will happen. The Brexit win in last June’s vote was a joyous occasion, almost enough to make this Yank break out into a chorus of Rule Britannia.

This brings me to the possibility of a Frexit, which as I’m sure you can guess by now is short for French exit from the EU.

The first round of the French elections will be held Sunday, with the top two vote getters moving on to the final round on May 7.

This year, the buzz is all about Marine Le Pen, representative of the National Front party, whose platform includes cracking down on Muslim immigration and removing France from the EU and the ending France’s use of the EU’s common currency, the Euro.

The polls are close, and not being much of an expert on French politics, I won’t venture to predict the outcome of Sunday’s vote. But I will say that if Le Pen succeeds in winning one of the top two spots Sunday, there is an excellent chance your 401(k) plan will take notice on Monday.

This is another way of saying that should Le Pen make it through to the final round of France’s presidential election, we’re probably looking at a period of significant market volatility over the next few weeks, by which is Wall Street code speak for “this sucker’s goin’ down.”

If Le Pen wins the final election on May 7, that likely will signal the end of the EU as we know it. Frexit will be on like Donkey Kong and the euro, the world’s second leading currency behind the dollar, may very well be a thing of the past.

Globalism in the sense of centralized world political authority, of which the EU is but one expression, is ultimately a doctrine of the Roman Church-State. That is to say, it is the product of the mind of the papal Antichrist, who hates self-governing, independent nation states, for they represent an affront to his majesty, power, and right to rule the world.

To the degree that globalism prospers, Rome rejoices. To the degree that it is rejected, the followers of Christ take heart.

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uncle_sam_supplying_federal_reserve_fiat_debt.jpg

Ever since the spring of 2009 when The-Powers-That-Be (TPTB) were out there claiming to see “green shoots” everywhere, the public has been treated to a non-stop propaganda campaign pushing the narrative of economic recovery.

President Obama himself proclaimed his belief in the strength of the American economy, stating for all the world to hear in his 2016 State of the Union Address that anyone who doubted everything was awesome in the main street economy was, to use his words, “peddling fiction.”

And surely Obama couldn’t be wrong. After all, good doctor Ben Bernanke spent several years injecting the US economy with his concoction of Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) and three rounds of Quantitative Easing (QE). How could anyone doubt but that the wise heads at the Fed have cured what ails us? The stock market just set a new record!

But if you dig down beneath the surface, you’ll find that everything is not awesome. Corporate earnings are down for the fifth quarter in a row. According to the report on Factset, “The second quarter [2016] marks the first time the index has recorded five consecutive quarters of year-over-year declines in earnings since Q3 2008 through Q3 2009.” In other words, corporate earnings haven’t had a losing streak this long since the height of the last financial crisis.

Or take worker productivity, a measure of hourly output per worker, which has declined now for three straight quarters. As the Reuters article pointed out, “U.S. nonfarm productivity unexpectedly fell in the second quarter, pointing to sustained weakness that could raise concerns about corporate profits and companies’ ability to maintain their recent robust pace of hiring.” No kidding.

But why is worker productivity in the US declining? The Reuters article fails to provide a reason. So let me suggest one possibility: businesses are no longer investing in property, plant and equipment, the very things that drive productivity. As Forbes reports, “Corporate executives now shy away from capital spending. Companies are spending money to cut costs – labor cost especially, and also electricity – but few companies are increasing productive capacity.”

So what have executive been spending on if not new productive capacity? Stock buybacks that serve to boost earnings per share and increase bonuses. “Stock buybacks by big American companies are near a historical peak [as of May 2014], but the practice appears to do little to improve their underlying operations and robs them of money for research and future growth. USA Today’s John Waggoner calls stock buybacks a ‘sugar high’,” as John Morgan reports.

Morgan goes on to cite a 1999 quote from Warren Buffett, who said, “Repurchases are all the rage, but are all too often made for an unstated and, in our view, an ignoble reason: to pump or support the stock price.”

Let’s see then, we have stock markets at near record levels, while at the same time corporate earnings are on the decline as worker productivity erodes, which very likely is a consequence of businesses showing greater interest in engineering stock buy-backs rather than in capital spending. Sure sounds like a plan for long-term economic success to me.

I’ve mentioned only a few data points to illustrate that the economy, far from being robust, is in reality quite weak. But for more of the same, consider the following nine ugly charts. Obama’s term in office is highlighted in red.


Things that should be going up in a healthy economy – Labor Force Participation Rate, Median Family Income, Home Ownership – are all going dramatically down. Those items that one would expect to see going down if the economy really were as good as The-Powers-That-Be tell us – Food Stamps, Federal Debt, Money Printing, Healthcare Costs – are going straight up.

These charts tell a very different story from what Obama’s putting out. Maybe he’s the one peddling fiction.

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Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria's Siege

Elisha Prophesies the End of Samaria’s Siege by Nicolas Fontaine, 1625-1709.

 

When beginning the Siege of Samaria series on Biblical economics, I never intended it to go on for more than two or perhaps three posts. Due to an embarrassment of material and positive response from the readers of this blog, the series stretched into five posts.  In no small part the success of this series has been due to the generous support of Sean Gerety over at the God’s Hammer blog, who has been kind enough to republish my posts.

It’s certainly been an encouragement to me to see so many people interested in what the Bible has to teach us about economics. Most of the economic talk one hears in the mainstream media is misleading, and, I suspect, it’s designed to be that way. After all, if too many folks were to get wise to the economic evil troika of central banking, fiat currency and demand-side Keynesian economics, it would be a lot harder for the financial masters of the universe to loot the poor and middle class of the world for their benefit.

The lies of the statists enslave, but the truth of God’s Word makes men free. And it is to the end of furthering this truth that I have presented the series on Biblical economics.

And because Biblical economics is both a fascinating and worthwhile study, it seemed good to me to take this opportunity to share with others the intellectual ammunition I’ve found helpful in developing my understanding of the subject. Below is a list of resources along with my comments.

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meltdown-620Today we may apply the Apostle’s words first to those (rulers) who without cogent cause inflict exorbitant taxes upon the people, or by changing and devaluating the currency, rob them, while at the same time they accuse their subjects of being greedy and avaricious.

    – Martin Luther, Commentary on Romans 2:2, 3

Now, if the laws of buying and selling are corrupted, human society is in a manner dissolved; so that he who cheats by false weights and measures, differs little from him who utters false coin.

    – John Calvin, Commentary on Leviticus 19:35

But if life is an equal value to all, there is something strange, when war comes and large military expenditures are necessary, in requiring the person who has saved for a life insurance policy to lose half its buying power by inflation, while the spendthrift loses nothing and enjoys high wages to boot.

    – Gordon H. Clark, A Christian View of Men and Things, pp. 101-102

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ready for oligarchyWell, there were no gorilla shootings in Cincinnati this week. Or for that matter, giraffe, hippopotamus or hyena shootings either. And we can all be thankful for this. I know for my part I just really can’t take another week of listening to animal rights activists talking nonsense. Perhaps the most egregious offender in this regard was a gentleman from Cincinnati, who was quoted in the local paper referring to the departed gorilla as, “a fellow Cincinnatian” and a “400-pound person.”

Nope and nope. Animals are not people. People are not animals. See Genesis 1 for details.

Now then, let’s move onto the scintillating stories from this week.

Oligarchy and the American Jezebel

As the old saying goes, I was shocked but not surprised Monday night, a night when not a single Democratic primary vote was cast, to hear that Hillary Clinton had achieved the necessary delegates to seal the Democratic nomination for president.

It just so happened that scheduled the following day were primaries in California primary and New Jersey, and several other states. In the week leading up to the vote, polls in California indicated that Bernie Sanders and Hilary were neck and neck. And a loss there would have been a YUUUGE embarrassment both to Hillary and her supporters in the Deep State. In fact, a loss in California may very well have been the end of Clinton’s hopes to take the White House. And such things simply cannot be allowed to happen.

And they weren’t.

After Monday’s surprise announcement, Hillary went on to win California by a margin of 55% to 43% over Sanders.

No sooner had the polls closed but the MSM began its hagiography of Mrs. Clinton. And among the worst offenders in this regard, predictably, was CNBC. Their business and financial reporting, the networks raison d’être, is a pathetic mix of stock market cheerleading, Keynesian propaganda, and Federal Reserve worship. I stopped watching years ago. And given the networks ratings in recent years, so has nearly everyone else.

Nevertheless, I do admit to visiting CNBC online several times a day to check the markets. And what did I see there on Wednesday but the headline, “Trump’s going to get demolished by Clinton; Here’s why he needs to drop out now.” Yep. The Donald’s on the wrong side of history, according to the sages at CNBC. Just give up. Go home. It’s over.

I’m not here to flack for Trump, but the man just set a record for the highest vote total EVER in the Republican primaries. Somehow I doubt he’s going to listen to the advice of incompetent journalists at a dying cable network.

But back to Clinton. One thing that is almost never discussed regarding her campaign, even among Christians, is whether it would be Biblical to elect a woman as president. Questions of this sort are never asked by the MSM. Even a survey of blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels will show that almost no one, Christian or not, questions whether a woman could properly fill the role of Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The only question is whether she is qualified intellectually and ideologically to take the helm in the Oval Office.

But at least one Christian author has undertaken to answer that question. Paul Elliott wrote a piece a few years back titled Deborah & Esther: Are They Precedents for a Female President? And his answer to this question would likely shock and offend many, even many in the evangelical community. Elliott concludes,

The Bible tells us clearly that God has ordained male headship, and female submission to that headship, in the home, in the church, and in government…Because this is God’s ordained order, Christians must not seek to put a woman in the place of national rulership, no matter how much we may agree with her ideologically. To do so is, in fact, sin in the eyes of God.

Yes, Hillary is an appalling individual and will make a horrible president if elected. She was a disaster as Secretary of State. She’s an obvious felon. And she will continue Obama’s full-court press to further push the immoral LGBT agenda. In short, she will prove to be an American Jezebel.

But the answer is not for Christians to seek a better qualified woman to run against her. As with all areas of life, we must reason and act according to what Scripture teaches, and not according to the wisdom of this world.

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Crooked Hillary

Hillary Clinton

Eventful times these are. So much so that there’s far more to write about than I could ever hope to adequately address. But hey, there’s no harm in trying. So, let’s get started…

 

Crooked Hillary

I hardly know where to begin when it comes to Mrs. Clinton. She’s an obvious felon. And the best any normal person with her legal baggage could hope for would be a not-too-harsh plea bargain. But when it comes to the preternaturally impervious Hillary Clinton, well, that’s a different story.

One of the most offensive aspects of contemporary American society is the two-tiered justice system. Ordinary Americans can have their lives ruined by a single drug-related felony, while the masters of the universe – or perhaps in Hillary’s case I should say mistress of the universe – can commit all manner of crimes and be rewarded with the highest office in the land.

And almost as if she were going out of the way to rub people’s noses in it, we get a report this past week that four years worth of emails between Hillary and her chief of IT Bryan Pagliano have turned up…..drum roll please…missing! Oh, what a shock!

If you haven’t followed the Clinton email scandal closely, Bryan Pagliano, Clinton’s chief of IT while she was Secretary of State, was the guy who set up the unsecured server on which Hillary stored highly sensitive State Department emails, an act that she undoubtedly knew was illegal. And emails aside, just the act of setting up the server was a felony. As former CIA Officer Scott Uehlinger put it, “The fact that she set up a private server, in and of itself, means she is guilty of a felony right there.”

Nixon only had an 18 minute gap, and that was enough to bring him down. Hillary? She’s got a four year gap. But hardly anyone in the mainstream press cares. As Investors Business Daily reported, “This kind of behavior would normally light a fire under law enforcement – and the press – since these things usually smack of a cover-up. But the mainstream press is asleep at the switch…” Former Department of Justice official Dan Metcalfe commented, “The whole thing stinks to high heavens.”

It’s a good thing that I’m not one of those tinfoil hat wearing wackadoos. Because if I were, I might just begin to think that the Deep State was behind the push for our first woman president…and now that I mention it…

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