Judge Him on His Actions, Not on What We Fear

Now that he has taken office, Donald Trump is beginning to take action and make good on some of his promises. Glenn and his cohosts reacted to some of Trump's early executive actions on radio Tuesday.

"Let's judge him on his actions, not what we fear," Glenn said. "Can we do that?"

Listen to the clip above or read the transcript below.

GLENN: Okay. Let's judge him on his actions, not what we fear. Can we do that?

STU: Of course.

PAT: It's fair.

GLENN: So just on this action, not what we fear -- because what I fear is the same thing you fear: We start putting up trade barriers and we start moving into the things that he's also said he's going to do and we move into the area of tariffs, and we're in real trouble. But he hasn't done that. On this, I think this is a good thing getting out of TPP.

STU: You know, there are risks to it.

GLENN: China will be able to write all the rules. Right.

STU: You know, obviously if our issue is China with trade, now China is going to be writing the rules likely for this entire group of countries, which will be their negotiating starting point for anything going further. Of course, you know, Trump would say that he's going to be able to negotiate better deals. And he may very well -- he might. So to this one, I'm not thrilled in that. But I know I'm in the minority for sure.

GLENN: You happy, Pat?

PAT: Yeah. I think that's a good thing.

GLENN: Reinstating a ban on funding some abortion services. Trump's order yesterday reimposes a ban initiated in 1984 by Reagan on government support for international aid groups that provide or counsel women on abortion services. To receive any US aid, nongovernmental organizations will now have to certify they do not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning. This ban is called the Global Gag Rule, lifted by Obama after he took office in 2009.

What it doesn't do, it doesn't affect family planning or abortion policy here in the United States.

I think it's a step in the right --

JEFFY: It's a start.

PAT: However, good for -- what the hell are we funding abortions anywhere, but especially foreign countries.

GLENN: Yeah, yeah.

STU: That's an A-plus for me.

PAT: That's huge.

STU: And also, you know, it's been one of those things that every Democrat has not enacted and every Republican has. So Reagan had it on. Then the Clintons took it off. Then Bush put it back on. Then Obama took it off. So this is very consistent with past Republican policy since Reagan. And obviously as somebody who is pro-life, it's important.

GLENN: Third, ordering a government-wide hiring freeze.

Here's what the order does: The Trump administration directed the leaders of all federal agencies and departments to freeze hiring of new personnel. Any vacancies in the federal workforce as of noon on Sunday must remain unfilled, and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances, the order stated.

The decision is meant to counter the dramatic expansion of the federal work force since the Clinton administration, from 1.8 million civilian employees, to 2.1 million. The cost in health and retirement benefits are unsustainable, says the administration.

There's, frankly, to some degree been a lack of respect for taxpayer dollars for a long time, says Spicer.

What the order does not do: Military is exempt from the freeze. Each department or agency can also exempt any position that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.

I think that's good. Just through attrition, you will cut the size of the government down dramatically.

STU: Yeah, I'm certainly a big fan of this one as well.

The left is -- their point is, just so we know, because it's always important to know -- their argument is essentially, of all the things that have expanded during the Obama administration, federal employment hasn't really expanded.

A lot of that is to do with economic collapse and that kind of thing. But he left office about the same employment level federally as he got into office, which is sort of surprising, I think.

GLENN: Really surprising.

STU: Because it did drop initially. And then it has come back up to even. So that's just something to note, if you care.

But, I mean, as a principle, I think it's a good idea. We obviously know the federal government is way too big. And this is -- you're right, a way of doing attrition without having to lay people off constantly and have all those negative headlines

GLENN: And it's hard to fire people.

STU: It's hard to fire people. You don't want to fire good people. When people leave, you don't replace them. And that has to go along with obvious cuts in the structure eventually. But there's enough fat on there that you don't have to think about that for a while.

GLENN: Yeah. Going to turn the federal workers against because how many times have we worked in a company where they just didn't hire replacements, and then you get -- congratulations, no pay increase, you get to do their job too. And you're like, oh, crap. So it's going to be bad on the morale of government workers.

He has announced his intention to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, with Canada and Mexico.

He is in conversations with Canadian/Mexican leaders. Trump has made clear his intention to renegotiate the deal, though no formal steps have been taken. He has also convened his generals and informed them that they have 30 days to submit a new plan for defeating the Islamic State group.

So these are the -- some of the promises that he made. Remember, he was out and he said, "We're not going to fight this the way -- I'm going to go to the generals, and I'm going to tell them, you scrap what you're doing and come up with something else. I'm going to do that day one." This is where TIME magazine is like, well, he didn't do that.

Well, he's informed them, and he's convened them. And he's telling them that they now have 30 days.

Glenn created "The Senate Fails to Condemn INFANTICIDE" in response to the Senate not passing Nebraska Senator Ben Sasses' bill banning infanticide early this year. In an effort to help support pro-life charities, Glenn first posted this for sale on eBay before being banned multiple times before we finally had enough and put it up for sale on bidpal.net.

At the time of this post, the bid was up to $4,700 — but we can do better than that. Please help us raise money for a good cause, you don't even have to display it anywhere in your home, you can just keep it in storage or something! If you want this priceless piece created by one of the most influential people in the world of art, place your bids here.

Can you remember the economic crisis of 2008 and how you felt when the news broke that Lehman Brothers had collapsed? I have found an economic threat that everyone needs to be aware of, so you can prepare yourself in case we see another 2008 type collapse. I am going to present the evidence to you and I urge you to verify everything and to form your own opinion.

What is that threat?

It is a bank called Deutsche Bank. They are by far the most dominant bank in Germany which is the world's fourth-largest economy. In 2018 they had €2.08 Trillion worth of assets and the second-placed bank (DZ Bank) had €506 Billion worth of assets. To show you how dominant this bank is, they have more assets than the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th sized banks combined.
When we review a business there are three key parts to analysis:

  • Market sentiment
  • Business numbers
  • Technical Analysis

Market Sentiment

Deutsche Bank has a long history of potential scandals including going all the way back to World War 2 and dealing in Nazi gold. Below are five recent stories which have increased the negative sentiment around Deutsche Bank.

  1. In 2007, they purchased a portfolio of loans worth $7.8 billion and purchased insurance from Warren Buffets Company. It was discovered they did not set aside enough capital to cover any potential losses. Over the course of the ten years, they lost $1.6 billion, and when they sold the loan they did not update their financial statements to include the big loss
  2. The Panama Papers are an ongoing investigation looking for many things including offshore tax havens. These investigations have resulted in several heads of state resigning including in Iceland and Pakistan. Last November, 170 police raided 6 different offices in Frankfurt looking for evidence of money laundering.
  3. Estonia is a small country in Eastern Europe. It has a population of 1.3 million people and a GDP of €26 billion. In January, it was discovered Deutsche Bank got involved with a Danish bank called Danke Bank and processed over $230 billion worth of cross country payments (including from Soviet Russia) through one bank in Estonia.
  4. There have been rumors of issues with Deutsche for a while now and one of the solutions put forth was a merger with a bank called CommerzBank. The leaders of both companies met and they even got support from politicians. In April, news broke that the merger talks had failed because over worries the risks and costs would be too great.
  5. Last week in France, Investment banking boss Garth Ritchie and others were arrested in France over illicit tax transactions.

Business Numbers

Deutsche Bank is already struggling as they are losing staff, losing market share, and bonuses are expected to be down at least 10% and further rounds of cost-cutting to come. Now imagine the impact if business costs start going up.

The banking industry works in a very simple way. They raise funds through large bonds at low-interest rates and then sell those funds to business and individuals thru products like loans and credit cards at a higher interest rate which results in a potential profit.

Earlier this year, Deutsche Bank tried raising money through several bonds. They paid 180bp (basis points) on a two-year bond and 230bp on a seven-year bond. Let me put this in context for you. There is a small bank in Spain called Caixabank which paid 225bp on a five-year bond and one of the larger banks in Spain, BBVA paid 130bp on a five-year bond.

  • How and why is a small bank in Spain getting a better deal on bonds than a huge bank in Germany?
  • Why is a large bank in Spain getting a bond 100bp cheaper than a German bank?
  • What does the market know that we do not?

Stock Price

Deutsche is also missing revenue projections which further hurt the business ability to survive and prosper. As you can imagine all of this news has a deep and lasting impact on its stock price which is in deep trouble. Before I share the stock price, I need to put this into the context of the market and the industry compared to the big economic crash of 2008. Below you will see a chart of some banking stocks from around the world with their peak price prior to the 2008 crash, the low of the 2008 recession and the price today:

As you can see from the above chart the banks in America have recovered from the 2008 recession by anywhere up 375% and JP Morgan has not only recovered its price in full but is constantly setting new high's. Ireland went bankrupt and had to be bailed out by the EU/IMF following the 2008 crash and even our national bank has more than doubled its price since 2008. The worst performing bank I could find was Societe Generale which has issues but is still hovering around its 2008 low price levels.

Now let's put that into the context of Deutsche Bank. Not only has the stock not rebounded but it is over 65% below its 2008 low at $6.75.

Technical Analysis

When you are dealing with the stock market, you also have people who study pricing through technical analysis. Experts look at things like FIB sequences, trend lines, and support levels. Support levels are a key metric for a stock failing because are looking to find where it will find support and potentially bounce higher.

We are very close to a key support level ($6.40) and if the price goes below this level, there is no saying exactly how low the price could go. At least one company expects Deutsche to fall below this support level, as several weeks ago UBS downgraded the stock to a sell order. This news was compounded last Friday when rating agency Fitch, downgraded their credit rating to BBB or two levels above JUNK status.

Other Information

I know you are likely reading this and thinking "this bank must have smart people in charge and surely they have a plan, right?" I am sure there is a plan and while they have kept their cards close to their chest, they have spoken in the past about the areas they foresee having growth for the company – they include business in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Egypt. Do they strike you as countries which are stable and will offer steady and reliable growth? Do you have to think really hard to imagine how this could go potentially very wrong?

Questions

I believe there is at least a solid case Deutsche is in a LOT of trouble. So what are possible scenarios for the future? I will lay out the key questions below but I must stress that it's impossible to say for sure what exactly will happen. One of the key numbers to remember here is they have roughly €50 billion worth of derivatives.

  • How likely is it that the bank can turn things around and survive?
  • How likely is it the bank continues to run into trouble, its stock price fails and eventually fails?
  • If you think it is likely it will fail, the question becomes what will the fallout be? Who will be affected?
  • Will they be bailed out?
  • If so, by whom? The German government, ECB, IMF, the Federal Reserve?
  • What will the German government think? Some members recently spoke out saying they would block public money for the proposed merger? Will they block funds if it failed?
  • Will other banks be exposed and affected? Will they have to take losses?
  • Will those losses be spread around or will one or more bank be mainly affect?
  • Will this affect the sentiment of the banking sector and cause a panic?
  • If there are issues and it starts affecting the stock prices, what will be the impact on other industries?

Last Question

The last question revolves solely around the banks and the regulators? How secure are the other banks? We all hear about how banks are now put through "stress tests" but how much trust do you put in those results? How much trust do you have in the regulators?

I know this may make me sound like a conspiracy theorist to some but it's an honest question. The Fed is on public record saying they want to keep this economy strong as long as possible. If a bank did not perform strongly in a stress test or even barely failed one, do you think they would report it?

Can you imagine the pressure that body would come under to stay silent? Can you imagine the rhetoric they would face with questions like, "Are you really going to fail one bank? Do you know how many people will lose their jobs if you do that?" Am I saying this is happening? No, but can you really rule it out 100% as a possibility?

I urge you to ponder on these questions, do your own research and find YOUR answers.

Update: The most freaquently asked question I have received from this column / show is how much time do we have to prepare. This is an impossible question to answer, as it could fail tomorrow, next week or might be next year. However I want to provide you a potential date for your diary – July 24th. That is when Deutsche will release their next earnings report and if it comes in below expectations, it could cause a further drop in price casting more doubt over the future viability of the bank.

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Survey: Where do you stand on these conspiracy theories?

Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Have you seen this survey on the most-believed conspiracy theories in America?

It's no surprise the survey has been getting so much attention. The results are actually a pretty disturbing.

Infographic: Belief in Conspiracy Theories in the United States | Statista

I decided to put together a quick survey of my own, with slightly different wording.

Up-vote the ones you agree with and down-vote the ones you disagree with.

I believe Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK alone. However, I would not be surprised to find out the government sealed evidence that others were involved.

If by "deep state" you mean long-time Washington power brokers who are used to calling the shots and now feel threatened by Donald Trump not listening to their advice or council — yes, I do believe that many people like that are working against him and his administration.

Whether alien bodies are in Area 51 or not, I do believe the government knows more about UFOs than they have told us.

I do not believe the U.S. government was involved in 9/11, but as we know, NSA advisor Sandy Berger was caught destroying documents from the national archives related to both Bush and Clinton. All U.S. administrations have been to close to the Saudis, and the Saudis were involved in 9/11 at some level.

I believe the climate is always changing — it's natural. I would be willing to accept that man MAY play a role in this. But I do not believe in the solutions currently being discussed, nor do I believe the intention of most political activists are pure.

Any talk of the Illuminati provides the true dangers to man's freedom — like very powerful NGOS and men like George Soros — a perfect cover.

The U.S. government has done some horrible experiments on people and land — I also suspect they will do more things in the future. But I do not believe in the systematic spraying of chemicals using chemtrails.

The moon landing was real, but I see a time coming when people will not be able to trust their eyes due to deep fakes.

What do you think?

Let me know in the comments section below.