Brexit Has Implications For Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump In Upcoming Presidential Election

June 25th, 2016 Comments off

 

The decision by Britain’s electorate to leave the European Union will have monumental consequences for the future world order. Ian Bremmer, the respected geopolitical analyst and head of the Eurasia Group consultancy, tweeted thus, “Brexit is the most significant political risk the world has experienced since the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Stock markets are withering, the British currency is plummeting and  Prime Minster David Cameron has announced his resignation,  as the economic and political aftershocks are only beginning to be comprehended. However, it is the geopolitical tremors that will have the most far-reaching impact globally. That includes the United States, which is in the midst of an increasingly vitriolic and divisive presidential campaign.

What has stunned observers about the outcome of the Brexit campaign is that the referendum’s result ran counter to what the analysts, supposed expert prognosticators and well-compensated pundits had so confidently predicted. The established experts had even convinced supporters of Brexit that they would likely lose the referendum, in the hours before actual voting occurred. That is why bourses across the globe soared, and the British pound reached record highs, until reality radically reversed those trends. The odds-makers clearly were convinced that British voters would choose to remain in the European Union. The actual, unpredicted outcome was an unmitigated defeat for the UK’s political establishment across the political spectrum, and that aspect has the greatest resonance with the battle between Clinton and Trump to succeed Barack Obama as America’s 45th President.

Just as with the Brexit referendum, America’s own class of political consultants and expert commentators for months assessed Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to be a megalomaniacal joke, with no chance of prevailing in the Republican Party’s presidential Primary. When Trump  emerged victorious in the GOP presidential selection process before Hillary Clinton had secured the Democratic Party’s nomination, the same experts, rather than being reflective and self-critical, have largely double-downed on failure, and remain steadfast in their prediction that Trump has no realistic possibility of winning November’s presidential election.

Setting aside the occasional diatribes of Trump that tend to obfuscate a cogent analysis of his campaign’s actual strength, it is clear that the political dynamics that led to the stunning vote in the United Kingdom to exit the European Union are also at play in the United States, to the benefit of the real estate mogul. The British electorate revealed itself as being alienated from their nation’s political establishment, with public policy on immigration a crucial driving force in shaping attitudes prior to the Brexit vote. In the U.S. Primary campaign, similar forms of disenchantment underpinned Trump’s ability to vanquish his GOP competitors.

In November 2016 American voters will choose between one candidate being the quintessential representative of the discredited and abhorred political establishment, and the other candidate powerfully branded as the ultimate anti-establishment figure. The legion of America’s political experts who, despite evidence that the domestic  electorate seeks change  in 2016, remain fixed in their view that Trump cannot win, may prove, as with their British counterparts, to have been unduly confident in the validity of their political estimates on the mood of the voters.

 

 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

 

U.S. Jobs Report For May A Disaster – – Only 38,000 New Jobs Created

June 3rd, 2016 Comments off

The U.S. Labor  Department has issued its employment data for May, and it is an unmitigated disaster. A mere 38,000 new jobs — many of them part-time — were created, while the supposedly stellar jobs numbers for previous months were revised downwards.  This is an appallingly bad employment report, yet the same Labor Department claims that the unemployment rate in the United States actually declined to  4.7 percent

It should be recalled that to keep pace with population growth, the American economy must add at least a quarter of a million new jobs each month.  If the result of a dismal 38,000 jobs in May is a supposed decline in the unemployment rate in the U.S., the only explanation is that many discouraged job seekers have supposedly “left” the work force, meaning that they are no longer considered by the Labor Department to be unemployed.

The jobs report for May, a disaster by any definition, explains the official and unofficial realities of the U.S. economy in 2016. The Obama administration maintains that the employment situation in the country is excellent; the data , devoid of spin, displays the exact opposite.

 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

U.S. Economy Stalled in First Quarter of 2016 – – What Are The Implications For The Presidential Election?

April 28th, 2016 Comments off

In a presidential election year, this is not a good harbinger the Hillary Clinton, the likely nominee of the incumbent party in power. Results for Q1 of 2016 show that the American economy grew by a paltry 0.5 percent. That is essentially zero-growth, after seven-years of multi-trillion dollar fiscal stimulus by the Obama administration, plus trillions more in monetary stimulus courtesy of the Federal Reserve.

Despite rosy – -and highly manipulated figures – –  for unemployment in the United States, the reality is that the U.S. economy is at stall speed, with growing signs of economic contraction across the globe, in conjunction with a sustained and devastating collapse in oil prices. If a recession, real or perceived, emerges by the fall, the most likely Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, will receive an immense advantage in the contest for the 45th president of the U.S.

 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

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Wealth Destruction On China Stock Markets

March 7th, 2016 Comments off

A recent statistic puts in perspective what has been happening on the major equity exchanges in China, the world’s second largest economy. In June 2015 the capitalization of China’s stock markets attained a peak value equal to ten trillion U.S. dollars. Eight months later, in February 2016, the figure had declined to 5.7 trillion dollars. This massive decline in value of 4.3 trillion dollars, represents a contraction of 43 percent – – close to half of the peak value of Chinese equities..

Losing more than forty percent of the value of the stock markets in the world second biggest economy in only eight months may not be attracting great headlines at present. However, what has been happening represents China’s unique version of the 1929 stock market crash on Wall Street that launched the Great Depression of the 1930s. Food for thought.

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

IMF Issues Dire Warning On Global Economy

February 25th, 2016 Comments off

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just released a report warning  that economic growth worldwide is so fragile, policymakers in the top 20 economies, the so-called G20, must immediately prepare contingency plans. With repeated downgrading of its global growth forecasts, and further lowering of its projections likely, the IMF is in effect warning that the world stands on the precipice of a new global recession. It is urging policymakers in major sovereigns to prepare for future fiscal pump priming as a last measure to prevent further demand destruction.

Not surprisingly, the IMF report identifies two primary drivers of the underlying fragility of the global economy: China’s  slowing economic growth combined with turmoil in her equity markets and the collapse of the benchmark price of oil, inflicting massive fiscal turmoil on the world’s leading petroleum exporting nations. These factors have decimated global commodities and equities and have sown panic in financial markets across the globe.

Is this a repeat of the period just before the onset of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, or perhaps something different, and even more ominous? Time will tell.

 

 

 


 

DONALD TRUMP  or HILLARY CLINTON — Who Will Be Elected the 45th President of the United States in 2016?

Available on Amazon Kindle – – HILLARY CLINTON VERSUS DONALD TRUMP

 

Is Donald Trump Headed To The White House After New Hampshire Primary Victory?

February 10th, 2016 Comments off

Trump as a presidential candidate and political phenomenon challenges any attempt at a balanced appraisal. The Republican Party’s presidential frontrunner has offered an admixture of divisive diatribe with cogent observation  (as with his excoriating critique of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq), forming a complex puzzle. This bewildering political persona’s complexity and contradictions prove frustrating to the objective observer seeking to comprehend Trump and his message, while inviting partisan supporters and critics to define Donald Trump to their respective constituencies. In particular, major segments of the mass media have chosen to join with conventional political insiders, especially actors within the Republican Party’s establishment  and old guard, in constructing an oversimplified caricature of Trump, and then using their own mythology to justify prognostications that the Trump presidential campaign was a “joke” and publicity stunt, which would end as soon as the self-indulgent narcissist tired of the enterprise. The one description that would never appear in the lexicon of these pundits and observers was that Donald Trump was very serious about his presidential aspirations, and that his campaign was far from being an exercise in humor.

When Trump quickly ascended to the status of frontrunner in the GOP’s presidential primary, the pundits and political consultants affirmed that this “summer of Trump” was a seasonal anomaly that would soon dissolve when the Republican electorate became more focused on the unfolding presidential campaign. When the “autumn of Trump” soon followed, these same Washington beltway experts and commentators merely adjusted their rationale while their conclusion remained immutably fixed; when the actual primary voting began, the Trump campaign would inevitably implode.

Donald Trump’s decisive win in the New Hampshire Primary may have put the final nail in the coffin of conventional and establishment theories on presidential campaigning in the United States, as a new paradigm has arisen. Its author is Donald J. Trump.

The New Hampshire primary is history, with the South Carolina primary soon to follow, and Trump’s double-digit lead in the polls appears unassailable. This poses the following questions: Why did the media get the Trump campaign so wrong?  What does New Hampshire suggest for the outcome of the GOP presidential primary? Finally, what do these recent campaign developments reveal about the presidential general election in November?

1. The media largely failed to perceive the power and strategic sophistication of the Trump presidential campaign due to its intimate connectivity with the political establishment in Washington. Journalists covering national politics largely depend on inside sources for the formation of their own insights and estimates of the political landscape. In other words, much of America’s political reporting is funneled through the prism of beltway politicians and consultants, who themselves were to  demonstrate a profound alienation from mainstream American public opinion. Trump shrewdly perceived the distrust bordering on universal contempt that a large section of the American electorate harbors towards the political class, and utilized his expertise in branding and messaging to latch on to that deep social malaise. The media largely missed this unfolding phenomenon simply because it took seriously and uncritically the thinking of conventional political insiders, who have proven to be historically flawed in their misjudgment.

2. Trump’s win in the New Hampshire primary only reinforces his already massive  and consistent dominance in the polls in the other upcoming state primaries. Early and decisive wins in South Carolina and Nevada will quickly kill any lingering expectations of a brokered Republican convention or a last stand by a still unidentified GOP establishment savior. It would appear at this point that Donald Trump will win the Republican presidential nomination, with no serious impediment to that outcome.

3. There is a new wave of theoretical conventionality in analyzing presidential politics that holds that even if Trump wins the GOP presidential nomination, he stands no chance of defeating the most likely Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton. The same experts and commentators that assured  their audiences that Trump’s campaign was a flash in the pan – – and later that he stood no chance of winning his party’s nomination – – are now thumping their chests with assurances that Hillary Clinton will defeat the real estate mogul in a landslide. I suspect that this thinking is as flawed as earlier predictions of Trump’s imminent political demise.

A Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton battle for the presidency will be a no-holds barred test of power and wills between two political celebrities.  Separating Trump the business and political strategist from the unfiltered commentary he often unleashes to the distress of many, it is clear, at least to this writer, that far from being impulsive, Donald Trump and his political organization have carefully mapped out a campaign strategy that provides a clear path to victory in November.  We already have early clues from the manner in which Trump has attacked Hillary Clinton on a host of issues, including her email controversies, her perceived failures as Secretary of State and the scandals involving her husband and former president Bill Clinton. A lack of concrete accomplishments in the course of her public life, alongside the present difficulties  she is encountering with a challenge for her party’s nomination from a 74-year old independent socialist senator, Bernie Sanders, points to Hillary Clinton being far from invulnerable as a political campaigner on the national level. Her defeat to Barack Obama in 2008 – – then a newcomer to national politics – – is a reminder that Hillary Clinton is not universally admired even within her own party. In a presidential election that will in part be  a referendum on the Obama administration, and with Trump far more likely to arouse enthusiasm from his supporters than his presumptive Democratic challenger from hers, it is inexplicable as to why the political establishment , including its media complex, still clings to their theory that there exists no credible chance of Donald Trump being elected 45th President of the United States.

 

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

 

Sheldon Filger's photo.

 

 

U.S. Economy Stalled In Last Quarter of 2015

January 29th, 2016 Comments off

The revised data released by the Commerce Department indicates that America’s economy expanded by an anemic 0.7 percent in the final quarter of 2015. This level of GDP “growth” is essentially stall speed, indicative of the world’s largest economy being stuck in stagnation, reminiscent of Japan’s  L-shaped recession.

Despite Labor Departed figures that are spun to suggest a robust economy based on artificially low unemployment rates, the GDP data is more reflective of reality; an American economy that is stuck in the mud. And this, despite a recently increased projected deficit for the U.S. federal government of $544 billion for 2016.

Massive deficits combined with a stalled economy that may face a recession as global economic disarray grows will likely impact the upcoming 2016 presidential election, in which it appear more likely now that Donald Trump will challenge Hillary Clinton.

 

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

 

Sheldon Filger's photo.

Oil Price Collapse Signals Global Economic Crisis of 2016 – – Recession Very Likely This Year

January 20th, 2016 Comments off

A floor in the price of oil commodities remains elusive, as Brent Crude  touches 28 dollars per barrel. With expectations of another half-million barrels per day soon to enter the already over-supplied oil market due to the lifting of sanctions on Iran, combined with a slowdown in China’s economy, forces exerting a downward price on oil are strengthening.

The oil price collapse with strangle a large part of America’s shale oil industry, while devastating debt-laden oil exporting countries, with Venezuela in particular  facing default. Inevitably, the implosion in oil prices will hit major financial institutions with exposure to loans connected with either oil exploration and extraction, or sovereigns dependent on oil export income for most of their governmental financing. This all points to the high likelihood of a global recession in 2016.

 

 

 

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

 

Sheldon Filger's photo.

China Stock Markets Open 2016 With Massive Implosion

January 7th, 2016 Comments off

For the second time in three days, China’s major bourses have had to stop trading in the early part of the trading session due to drastic sell-offs. Automatic circuit breakers suspended trading when the herd-like dumping of shares sent equity prices in a downward spiral at dizzying velocity. The Shanghai Composite Index declined by 7.3 percent; China’s other major stock index, the Shenzhen Index , lost 8.3 percent of its opening value.

During the course of 2015, Chinese stock markets suffered a number of devastating single-session declines, signaling problems with the Chinese economy and their inevitable contagion effect on the overall global economy. As I have noted in an earlier blog article (China Stock Market Crashing and Burning Before Our Eyes  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sheldon-filger/china-stock-market-crashi_b_7752054.html ), the increasing instability of the Chinese equity markets will have profound  and highly negative implications for all major economies.

What are the likely implications for global economics in the light of the wobbly beginning for China’s stock markets in the new year? To begin with, the volatile character of China’s equity markets is a signal by investors of their deep anxiety over declining Chinese manufacturing alongside the weakening economy of the Eurozone, the largest single market for Beijing’s exports. It also may be a clear sign that a new global recession may be just around the corner.

There never was a real recovery to the catastrophic global financial and economic crisis that arose in 2008. For seven years, central banks have scaled back interest rates to just about zero, while sovereigns accumulated unprecedented levels of public debt to sustain extremely marginal levels of GDP growth, while the real unemployment rate among the major advanced economies stagnated at historically high levels. In effect, all the arrows in the policymakers’ quiver have been expended, leaving sovereigns virtually unarmed if forced to confront a new global recession.

The rout  in China’s stock markets may be the first signs of an annus horribilis for the global economy, with a virulent and economically devastating continuation of the Great Recession that never really ended. The one difference between 2008 and 2016 will likely stem from the implosion of China’s equity markets, as opposed to the sub-prime mortgage collapse in the United States, being the enabler of fiscal and economic crisis and germ of global contagion. An important distinction between 2016 and 2008, in addition to China replacing the U.S. as the center of gravity in a new global recession, is the international climate. The world is experiencing far more instability, multilateral tension and flashpoints than transpired during the initial period of the last global recession.  Geopolitical volatility converging with China’s stock market crash may lead to a global economic contraction that will exceed 2008 in its ruinous impact.

 

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

 

Sheldon Filger's photo.

 

 

U.S Economy Grew At Only Two Percent In Third Quarter of 2015

December 23rd, 2015 Comments off

The U.S. Commerce Department revised slightly downward its already meager assessment of the third quarter of 2015. The updated data reveals that in Q3 the American economy grew at only 2 percent. Overall, the first three quarters of 2015 indicated GDP growth in the United States of two percent. Unless there is an unexpected and massive pickup in Q4, the overall rate of GDP growth  in the U.S. will remain at about 2 percent for 2015.

Marginal growth, far below potential, has been the reality since the “recovery” from America’s Great Recession of 2008, sparked by the global economic and financial crisis. Despite unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, the “recovery” still only generates a level of subpar growth that is not only counter to previous  recoveries, but is at virtual stall-speed. As the Fed begins to ramp up interest rates after nine years, should another major recession strike the U.S. economy, there are no quivers left in the arsenal of government policy measures.

 

DONALD TRUMP 2016: America’s Next President? is available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/DONALD-TRUMP-2016-Americ…/…/B0156PAAVM

 

Sheldon Filger's photo.