Weekend Reading: Renter Nation

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

“The psychological factors are harder to assess. People aren’t flipping condos for sport the way they were during the bubble when mortgages were available to anyone regardless of whether they had income or assets. Yet it seems there’s a widespread desire to own assets – stocks, bonds, and real estate – regardless of price. It’s not an obviously happy mania, where people are motivated by promises of great wealth. It’s more like a need to be an asset owner in an economy that continues to hurt workers without college degrees and becomes more automated. Nevertheless, the price insensitivity of many buyers is enough to cause concern.” – John Coumarianos read more

“Everyone Wins In A Trade War”? Stocks, Bonds, Dollar All Soar After Tariff Tantrum

“No one wins a trade war” they said… Well for now, everyone is winning – US, Chinese, and European stocks are up; the dollar is stronger; and the long-bond is up…

Bonds and Stocks are bid post-Trade-War-Tantrum…


For now Russia is winning the trade war (if stock markets matter)

Chinese Stocks love Trade Wars…


European Stocks love Trade Wars (apart from Spain and Italy)…


US Stocks love Trade Wars… read more

You Now Can’t Leave The U.S. Unless The IRS Lets You

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

When it comes to human migration, nearly everything we hear nowadays in relation to the United States and Europe is related to immigration into North America and Europe.

Historically, however, governments have often been as concerned with emigration as they have been with immigration.

This is not surprising since government have always attempted to “monopolize the legitimate means of movement” as noted by historian John Torpey. For Torpey, author of The Invention of the Passport: Surveillance, Citizenship and the State, a preferred method of “regulating international movement” has been the passport. Wendy McElroy puts things less subtly when she describes the passport as a tool the state can use to “exert social control by refusing travel to ‘enemies of the state.'” read more

El-Erian: Why The US Is “Winning” The Trade War

Mohamed El-Erian, Allianz’s chief economic advisor, declared Friday that the US will prevail in its trade war against China because China is a “less open economy” than its western rivals.

Mohamed El-Erian

El-Erian said that earlier this week, which ended in relative terms, we are winning and we will win the trade war,” according to CNBC.

“When people realize that at the end of the day, the US will prevail, because [China] is a less open economy, because [the US] is a more dynamic economy, that ultimately you may end up in a situation where the US’ position in global economic terms is better off,” he said. read more

Kunstler: Hope And Change Are At Hand

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

It seems unfair that the earnest polymath Elon Musk should go broke in the electric car business while Kylie Jenner becomes a billionaire at age 20 hawking lip gloss on Snapchat, but that’s how the American Dream rolls these late days of empire. Perhaps the lesson here, for all you MBA wannabes, is that Mr. Musk could switch his production facilities from cars to lip gloss. Of course, to successfully market his new line of cosmetics on social media, Elon might have to consider sexual “reassignment” surgery — unless he could persuade American men via Facebook and Twitter, that lip enhancement boosts male self-esteem almost as much as the purchase of a Ford F-450 pickup truck at a laughable fraction of the cost. read more

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Delivers Remarks on New Initiative to Combat Deadly Fentanyl Crisis

Thank you, Halsey (Frank), for that kind introduction and for your nearly 31 years of service at the Department of Justice—including 28 years as an AUSA.  You’ve got a track record of taking on drug traffickers and firearms offenders.  You can take a lot of pride in that as a prosecutor.

The President just nominated a Supreme Court Justice who is the son of a prosecutor.  He grew up with a mom who was practicing closing arguments at the dinner table.  He understands and appreciates the value of the work that we do and he is committed to interpreting the law as written.  He serves under the law—not over it.  read more

Eight MS-13 Members Indicted in Dallas on Charges Including Racketeering Conspiracy, Attempted Murder and Assault With a Dangerous Weapon

A federal grand jury has indicted eight MS-13 members, on charges in connection with their MS-13 gang activities, including racketeering conspiracy; attempted murder in aid of racketeering; assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering; conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; and use, carry and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

The indictment was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox for the Northern District of Texas; Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Dallas Office; Chief Jeff Spivey of the Irving, Texas Police Department; Chief U. Reneé Hall of the Dallas Police Department and District Attorney Faith Johnson of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. read more

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks Announcing the Indictment of Twelve Russian Intelligence Officers for Conspiring to Interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election Through Computer Hacking and Related Offenses

Remarks as prepared for delivery

Today, a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel’s Office. The indictment charges twelve Russian military officers for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Eleven of the defendants are charged with conspiring to hack into computers, steal documents, and release documents in an effort to interfere with the election.

One of those defendants, and a twelfth Russian officer, are charged with conspiring to infiltrate computers of organizations responsible for administering elections, including state boards of election, secretaries of state, and companies that supply software and other technology used to administer elections. read more

Grand Jury Indicts 12 Russian Intelligence Officers for Hacking Offenses Related to the 2016 Election

The Department of Justice today announced that a grand jury in the District of Columbia returned an indictment presented by the Special Counsel’s Office. The indictment charges twelve Russian nationals for committing federal crimes that were intended to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. All twelve defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian Federation intelligence agency within the Main Intelligence Directorate of  the Russian military. These GRU officers, in their official capacities, engaged in a sustained effort to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, and released that information on the internet under the names “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0” and through another entity. read more

Nebraska Man Sentenced to Prison for Viewing Child Pornography

A Nebraska man was sentenced yesterday to 76 months in prison for accessing with an intent to view child pornography, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Joseph P. Kelly of the District of Nebraska. 

Donald Blevins, 65, of Norfolk, Nebraska, pleaded guilty on April 4, to accessing with the intent to view child pornography.  U.S. District Court Judge John M. Gerrard of the District of Nebraska sentenced Blevins and also ordered him to serve 10 years of supervised release. read more