FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Time is money. Money is time. Get over it.
We lost a lot of time yesterday. We were meant to fly to Buenos Aires from Frankfurt. But things often go wrong… Our flight from Dublin was late, so we missed the onward plane.
Then, Frankfurt Airport turned into a bad French movie – with hundreds of passengers (including your editor) wandering around like zombies in a dead-zone area… and no way to get out.
Finally, a fat man on a bicycle came along and showed us the way to liberate ourselves.
We also complicated our situation by leaving a small bag on the plane…
Size matters. In a small airport, such as the one in Cork, Ireland, we could have just told someone… They would have retrieved the bag for us, and we would have been on our way in minutes.
But the airport at Frankfurt is immense. There is no one to ask about anything. And since many flights had been delayed by a sudden storm, as ours was, hundreds of people were lining up to ask the clerks to reroute them.
It could have been worse.
They could have been starving people lining up for food. Or refugees trying to get out of a war zone. Or a mob of millions… whose credit cards no longer work after the credit market collapses.
Out of Time
Out of money and out of time, people become desperate. But there will be no use raising a fist and howling at the cosmic injustice of it. Neither money nor time will care… and neither should the Supreme Court.
The bull market on Wall Street is running out of time. The economic expansion, too, is at the end of its life expectancy. A trade war is heating up, which could cripple the Chinese economy… and flatten that of the U.S., too.
China depends on its surpluses with the U.S. But so do the Deep State moneybags. If trade seizes up, it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing blows up. And the Supremes, as we showed yesterday, are partly to blame.
But what ho! A new accuser! And maybe another 100 million hours spent on the story!
This time, a woman alleges that she got drunk at a party. And with the aid of lawyers and the media… she was able to recover a hazy memory of the Supreme Court nominee taking off his pants!
(Readers are invited to get used to exclamation points! We’re going to need a lot of them to get through the story!)
We didn’t even know it was an offense to take off your pants at a party! Shows how out-of-it we are!
And here we connect some dots… perhaps unwanted, and surely unwelcome.
But time is not to be trifled with. The minutes leave; they don’t come back. It doesn’t matter what anyone remembers… what they want… or how they feel about it.
The press reported yesterday that the elite students of Yale Law School want a chance to tell the nation how their personal lives – as women, gays, whatever – could be affected by a Justice Kavanaugh.
But to make a long story short, neither time, money, nor the Supreme Court give a damn.
Yes, dear reader, here at the Diary, Trump’s true believers are mad at us because we have our doubts about him… Trump’s enemies are mad at us because we have our doubts about him… And now, women are mad at us, too.
Why? Because we have our doubts about the entire thing.
“Believe the women!” they say. And yes, we believe the women are telling what they think is the truth. But what difference does it make what we believe… or what truth the women are telling?
Ah, there it is… Right there, out in the open… like a giant slain by a sling.
The mighty Supremes… the (pre-1971) almighty dollar… the supreme might of time itself – they are supreme because they are all indifferent.
They don’t care what we… you… or the Yale Law School students think.
Do you have to be a nice guy to enforce the Constitution? Of course not.
Do you have to go to Georgetown Prep to travel in first class? No, you just have to have the money.
Does it matter if you’re running late for your flight? Nope. The plane takes off without you.
The Constitution was set in place to protect the liberties of states and individuals against the federal government. It lays out what the feds can do. Everything else, it says, is left for the states and the people.
Does it matter what you think? Does it matter how you feel about it? Does it matter how it affects your personal life?
Would it matter if a Supreme Court justice believed in angels, hated women, and smoked dope in public places? Not at all. He is only supposed to make sure the liberties of the people and the prerogatives of the states are protected.
Time doesn’t slow down, even if you need more of it to save for your retirement. Real money doesn’t get easier to get just because you are running short. And a disaster isn’t avoided just because the president thinks the economy is doing great.
The world turns, whether you like it or not.
And tomorrow… we’ll look closer at what time, the Supreme Court, and funny money have done to Americans’ real wealth.
MARKET INSIGHT: AMERICA’S LEVERAGED LOAN THREAT
By Joe Withrow, Head of Research, Bonner & Partners
Leveraged loan issuance in the United States is exploding…
Leveraged loans are loans extended to companies that already have a heavy debt load or poor credit history. Lenders consider these loans high-risk, and the loans carry higher interest rates because of that.
Today’s chart tracks new leveraged loan issuance in the U.S. from 2011 to today:
As you can see, leveraged loan issuance just hit $362 billion this year – an increase of 204% from 2011, when leveraged loan issuance began to recover from the 2008 crisis.
And that means more leveraged loans have been issued through three quarters of this year than in all of 2017.
This is just another sign of the credit bubble that Bill has been writing about – largely caused by the Fed keeping interest rates artificially low for the past 10 years.
The reason this should be on your radar is because the risk of leveraged loans isn’t just being held by a handful of banks.
The investment bank that originates these loans often sells them to other banks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds – thus spreading the high-risk loans throughout the financial system.
But according to ratings agency Moody’s, that could soon become a problem.
In its August report, Moody’s suggested that we are at a “high point in the credit cycle.” It sees a “lethal mix” of credit quality deteriorating and default risk rising… and the market is not pricing in these risks. In fact, the report suggests that the leveraged loans issued today are of lower quality than those issued in 2007 “across every risk category.”
In other words, these leveraged loans are on shaky ground. And if they collapse, it won’t be localized to only a few banks. The fallout would not be as bad as the mortgage-backed securities contagion in 2008… But it would have a widespread impact on the average investor’s portfolio.
– Joe Withrow
How Big Tech Guarantees Its Dominance
Big Tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon are dominant in their respective fields… Google takes in 70% of all web searches. Amazon pulls in half of every dollar from online retail in America. And Facebook has more than 2 billion users worldwide. What accounts for this dominance? The companies pay for it.
The Slowing Gig Economy
The so-called gig economy employs people on a part-time, freelance basis. The term was made popular thanks to ride-sharing app Uber. But what was once heralded as the economic model of the future is no longer as flush as it once was.
This Will Replace the iPhone
The smartphone in your pocket will soon be obsolete. In its place will be a piece of sci-fi tech right off the movie screen. Jeff Brown, Bill’s top technologist, shows why the future of consumer electronics will be smartphone-free.
In the mailbag, Bill’s commentary on the ongoing Brett Kavanaugh scandal has gotten readers talking…
If you were a woman, you might have another take on the Kavanaugh story.
– Sharon R.
Shame on you! You’re as bad as Trump! I’m all for his impeachment, as well as the protesting of Kavanaugh being sworn in. Who cares how long ago it happened (if it indeed happened)? Whether it happened or not, it should be investigated!
– Carole D.
Very disappointed on your position on the Kavanaugh scandal. I had enjoyed your balanced comments on economic issues and the maximization of investment benefits. But you are similar to many waspish men who fail to empathize with the anguish and pain suffered by women who, for decades, have been silent on male exploits almost in deference to the patriarchs.
Have you ever questioned how young boys and men have lived for decades with similar pain caused by sexual abuse at the hands of our Catholic priests? Are they wrong in raising it now?
– Lennox B.
Per his commentary about Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford and the Deep State Swamp: The old Bill Bonner is back and commenting with cynical insight again.
It’s amazing to long-time readers and subscribers like myself how people like Bill get to the top by attracting millions of readers because they provide folks with a valuable service via their enlightening insights and deep analyses pertaining to major issues. Then, once at the top, they seem to forget how they got there in the first place – by being distracted, for example, by inexplicable anger directed at one individual (e.g., President Trump) or matter.
– Frank W.
Meanwhile, a reader considers how it is that America leveraged its future for the present…
I am really glad I read Mr. Bonner’s message today. Now I know why I’m three hours in the hole every week for the last 40 years. And I am so far down that I can’t see the bottom. It is great to be an average American.
Anyway, I would love to have Mr. Bonner do a piece where he explains the road the rich 1% took compared to the rest of us. I went to school and thought I had a good job. But what were the wrong steps I took compared to the 1%? There must be a special path for them. Maybe that piece will help the young people among us.
– Richard B.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Today, the biggest money is being made in tech…
Apple recently became the first $1 trillion company. Amazon soon followed.
Now, one piece of technology is poised to go mainstream starting November 14. And when it does, it’ll send a handful of tech companies soaring. To get the details, and the four stocks on chief tech analyst Jeff Brown’s watchlist, go right here.