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Audacious Oligarchy

IMG Auteur
Published : September 22nd, 2022
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Category : GoldWire

"This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful, and to despise, or, at least, to neglect persons of poor and mean condition, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments."

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759


"But the complaint is damning because what James alleges is not especially complex and does not require much imagination or financial numeracy.  The figures are all right there in filings and documents, rather than lost in the miasma of vagueness and mob-boss talk Trump often uses in other venues.  Either the documents say what James says they do and Trump was juking the stats, or they don’t and he’s been unfairly maligned.

At the very least the claims accord with lots of existing evidence, uncovered by WNYC, ProPublica, and other news organizations.  They match up with rumors that have swirled around Trump for years, and with the disdain with which many actual New York real-estate titans treat the Trump Organization.  And they also fit in with what we know about Trump’s dealings in other ventures, like the fraudulent 'Trump University' or the Trump Foundation, the self-dealing so-called charity that James forced to shut down in a 2019 settlement.

The schemes alleged are so remarkable because they don’t involve tricks like filing false documents. Trump wasn’t doctoring the numbers on forms; he was just brazenly telling different things to different people and assuming that he wouldn’t get caught, and that if he did, he could settle (as he tried to do with James this month) or bluff his way through or it make it go away with a countersuit.  For a long time, he was right.  Any prosecutor with the will and the manpower could have connected the dots on parts of this alleged fraud long ago.

The parallels between this alleged approach and Trump’s presidency are easy to see.  I have written that Trump ran his campaign and administration the way he did his businesses, but it is also the case that he ran his business like he did his administration: by saying whatever he needed to say at any given moment, not sweating contradictions, and overall treating reality not as a fixed thing but as something malleable and contingent, to be warped according to his needs at any given moment.

If James is successful, those conditions could be a fatal blow to the Trump Organization, effectively ending its run as a family business and a going concern in New York. Whether that will happen, of course, is up to a judge and not up to her, and Trump will have his chance to respond. He is likely to do so with blustering brazenness and flagrant misrepresentations, and given his past record, that just might work."

David Graham, The Atlantic, It's Fraud All the Way Down


"We are coming apart as a society, and inequality is right at the core of that. When the 90 percent are getting worse off and they’re trying to figure out what happened, they’re not people like me who get to spend four or five hours a day studying these things and then writing about them — they’re people who have to make a living and get through life. And they’re going to be swayed by demagogues and filled with fear about the other, rather than bringing us together."

David Cay Johnston,  Inequality's Looming Disaster, May 2014


“Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.”

Tacitus


More bread, more circuses.

Are you not entertained? 

At least distracted?

The Fed raised 75 bp today as expected, but it was the projections of future increases that threw the risk markets for a loop.

I have highlighted them in the daily economic data report that I posted below.

The Dollar rocketed higher on the expectations of higher rates, sinking a close on the 111 handle.  Wow.

This is the highest that index DXY has been since 2000.

Gold and silver finished slightly higher, most likely diverging from stocks on a 'flight to safety.'

Interestingly the VIX finished relatively flat.

I have often wondered if the large number of gold and silver contracts that certain banks post on the COMEX clearing reports for 'customers' include the funds and ETNs for which they have custodial responsibilities.

Let's see what the rest of the week brings.

Have a pleasant evening.

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