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Mark's Market Blog
#406 7-24-16: Slow Week.
by Mark Lawrence

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Distribution of Income
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I recommend FireFox

The stock market seems to be topping. Or perhaps just pausing. But I think topping.

S&P 500 January 26 2015 to July 22 2016

More terrorism this week, more cops killed. I don't have must to say about that, as it's already been covered here and everywhere else.

Italian banks continue to go downhill. Lots of noise is being made about how to bail them out, but nothing is actually being done. In true EU fashion smoke is not enough, there will be no firemen until the entire building is on fire and walls are coming down. I'm convinced this is the start of the next financial crisis and it's going to happen very soon, like weeks, not years.

I feel a little strange writing this, but I believe it to be true. Russia and the US are positioning themselves for and moving towards war. I'm not by any means saying that war is inevitable or even likely, but tensions are higher than at any time since the 70's. The situation bears watching; and it's very difficult to watch in the US, as our press is covering up the tension completely. We have been incredibly provocative towards Russia in eastern Europe in general and Ukraine in particular, and Putin has responded by establishing a seemingly permanent presence in Syria and is making progress towards a reconciliation with Turkey. Putin is actively threatening Germany and the US over missiles in Romania and Poland, claiming he can destroy NATO in a few weeks. I believe he can.

Tensions are also growing quickly with China, especially over the south China sea. China is warning better than weekly that they're willing to go to war over this, and we're continuing to use our navy in provocative fashion. It's also extremenly likely that China will devalue their currency soon, which is edging towards an economic war. If we get to a place like FDR found himself, where there's a depression and nothing short of a war will fix it, there's a couple wars just sitting around waiting to be picked up.

For most of my adult life the democrats represented themselves as the enemy of war, of big business, of big banks, and the friend of unions and the little guy. Hillary seems to be changing all that: lip service to unions and minorities, but her real loyalties are to banks and big business and globalization and the military industrial complex. The democrats of the previous generation were all about Jim Crow, but LBJ turned that completely around in about six years. Republicans were supposedly the bought and paid for representatives of business and free trade and the military, but Trump asserts he's in favor of a smaller army, of withdrawing from being the world's policeman, of reinstating Glass-Steagall, of championing the middle class and bringing jobs back from the 3rd world. I'm beginning to feel like I'm watching a major generational realignment of the parties. Will it happen? Can or will a president Trump follow through on his positions? I'm getting very interested to find out.

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Revised Friday, 05-Aug-2016 06:43:14 PDT
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