Just A Note Of Caution…

If there’s anything you don’t do, in any competitive forum, whether it’s sports or business, is this: You never, ever, ever (did I say ever?) celebrate or announce anything until it is officially over. i.e., You run through the finish line tape – then you celebrate. You wait until you, or it, is officially declared you’ve have indeed won the race, or accomplished X – then you celebrate.

Or, and is just as important in business and politics: You don’t ever say you’re moving on, retiring, whatever, now that X has been accomplished, when Y and Z have yet to be signed off. For in doing so you enable the potential combination of Y and Z turning X – into complete excrement. All before the proverbial door hits your own backside. It’s one of the biggest no-no’s.

Why? Because any and all bargaining power, whether it’s soft or hard, that came from your original position of hierarchy will be lost. For once you say, “That’s it, I’m done.” Anything that comes after that statement is now viewed as “who cares – they’re now old news.”

Immediately after the words leave your mouth – nobody cares what you have to say from thereon in. Because there’s no longer any reason to pay attention to you. After all, “You’re done.” and you said it yourself. People will take your words faster on that news, than anything you may have said all years prior. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Why do I bring this up? I do for this reason. As I type this Politico™ just released a lengthy essay stating House Speaker Paul Ryan will be leaving congress in 2018. The reason why this caught my attention was two-fold. First: it’s not a short article, rather it looks and reads like it was it all ready in-the-can, ready to go, today being for whatever the reason to publish.

Which brings me to my second point, and that is: Why would you allow (meaning: assumed, sanctioned by the Speaker) an article claiming victory (i.e., the tax bill) when it has yet to be voted on? There is still the possibility that it might not pass. You could lose votes on either side, and yet, where’s the negotiating power as to get members to “tow the party line” when they all now know you’re outta-there?

This could possibly turn into the most unmitigated, disastrous, political gaffe, with onerous consequences that I’ve seen in quite a while.

Who knows, possibly it ends up meaning nothing. However, if something does go awry with this tax bill vote and its passage? This supposed swan song article might turn into a reputation cinder-block overnight.

I just can’t think of anything I’ve seen, as of late, that qualifies as such a foolish possible misstep. Here’s a sample of why this is always true: “Why you should never celebrate too soon.”

© 2017 Mark St.Cyr

 

Is Facebook’s ‘Messenger Kids’ Social Media’s ‘Joe Camel’ Moment?

For those not remembering the aforementioned, “Joe Camel” it was the cartoon advertising mascot employed by R.J. Reynolds™ to promote Camel® cigarettes in the late 80’s. It ran for about a decade ending in 1997.

Although it was said to be an attempt to bring attention back to an already established brand. What it did in conjunction, was bring attention to the fact via a 1991 study published in the Journal of American Medical Association™, that by the time children were of age 6, they could correctly associate “Old Joe” with cigarettes, as well as they could associate the Disney™ logo with Mickey Mouse®.

This was that defining moment when everything seemed to change when it came to smoking. I know, because I was an avid smoker myself at that time. The moment this product and habit was seen for what it was (e.g., a true physical and psychological dependent habit) where a link, whether intentional or perceived, could be argued that the intent was to link a brand or logo to children as to perpetuate or indoctrinate the idea that smoking was cool or hip – everything changed. And I mean just that – everything.

Just a bit for context: Near overnight, suddenly “lighting up” anywhere indoors was seen as the equivalent of fumigating the area for roach infestation, while demanding everyone remained in the room. The office, restaurants, airplanes, cars, et cetera, et cetera slowly became, “No Smoking” areas.

Not entirely at first, but little by little. First, quarantine areas were set aside for the “smokers” where one was now demanded to be sequestered from polite society to go “enjoy” our “filthy”, “vile”, “disgusting” (their words, not mine) habit, away from the upright, oh-so-better-than-thou, non-smoking community at large. Till it seemed the entire planet became a “smoke-free-zone.”

Personally, I only quit out of aggravation of needing to find an abandoned coal mine shaft every-time I felt the urge. But I digress.

So with the above for context, let’s see where we stand in comparison to this entire “social media” phenom shall we?

For a moment let’s move away from “the children” per se, and move into the adult arena.

Can you think (be honest now) of anyone that can’t put their smartphone down, or not pick it up every-time it chimes, for more than a minute? If you can say yes, to even one, how about if you increased the time to 10 minutes?

Here’s an even better question: Can you? Have you tried? What if I said no social media perusing, notifications, or messages of any type would be allowed till after 12 noon? Of course official work duties or necessities are exempt.

How about – how many times are you in a meeting, or out to coffee, supper, or just trying to have a conversation with someone and there’s more importance paid to the conversation on their phone, rather than the conversation that’s supposed to be taking place with you?

Have you ever asked them to put the phone aside for a moment, then watched as they twitched, fidgeted, and stirred until they could finally get “a hit?” Sound or look like anything familiar? (cough-smoking-cough)

During this period (i.e., 90’s) was when the entire sue-them-into-oblivion campaigns arose like weeds. Everyone wanted a piece of the tobacco industry’s check book. Individuals, States, and more began suing in one form or another.

Yes, there were legitimate health reasons against deceptive practices as a prime motivator, but another motivation was also there in the forms of great mountains of real money available if their cases could win. And in 1998 the, “Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement” was entered between the four largest U.S. tobacco companies culminating in $206 Billion over the first 25 years of the agreement.

Hmmm, big four, with that kind of wallet. (i.e., large, very large.) Now where could that same analogy be applied?

For those whom may not remember, this was a period where “secret documents” and “whistleblowers” were all the news of the day when it came to “big tobacco.” The companies CEO’s and more were brought before congressional committees where they were asked and responded, “…that they did not believe that cigarettes were addictive, but they would rather their own children did not smoke.”

I could go on and on, with example after example, for comparison. But let’s just use the above, for the moment. Because the similarities are striking, indeed.

Suddenly you have calls coming from everywhere to regulate social media for the “fake news” issues alone. Watchdog groups, government “think tanks”, government agencies, social justice warriors of all stripes are calling for some form of regulation to satisfy their concerns, starting with non-intrusive oversight, to out-and-out Orwellian styled authoritarian control.

Hint: Once the “government” gets the idea that control may be warranted, and there’s money to pay those presumed hefty fines? You can bet your bottom dollar some form of legislation is forthcoming – it’s only a question of when, and how much, both in oversight and money.

What’s a little different this time is that we don’t need any “secret documents”, “whisleblowers”, or congressional summonses to get the creators of this product to tell us what the powers-that-be are thinking about it behind closed doors. For they’re actually holding conferences and professing it to anyone that’ll listen via their own mouths.

Here are a few excepts made by Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook executive in a recent talk at Stanford Graduate School of Business™. To wit:

When asked how he feels about Facebook: “Tremendous guilt.” About the dopamine-driven feedback loops they created: “…destroying how society works.” Does he let his own children use it: “…aren’t allowed to use that shit.”

I would suggest you watch the entire talk and come to your own conclusions, Yet, notwithstanding, do you see the cigarette/tobacco/ parallel here? How about a little more? This time from the founding president of Facebook, Sean Parker speaking at a recent Axios™ event. Here are a few highlights, again, to wit:

“… It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'”

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

And what I see will be used as the coup de grâce by the army of attorneys salivating for the next big class-action battle in front of a jury…

“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”

Let that sink in: “And we did it anyway.”

Once again, let me implore you to read, or watch, the above interview and come to your own conclusions. Lest I remind you – we are now talking about actively marketing via brand and product to 6 year olds.

But just like “big tobacco” executives of the past, big social media exec’s like those employed by Zuck and Crew are more than willing to tell you, like this response to a question from Wired™:

“It’s important to remember that Messenger Kids does not have ads and we don’t use the data for advertising. This provision about sharing information with vendors from the privacy policy is for things like providing infrastructure to deliver messages.”

Well, if that’s the case – then why offer any service designed for 6 year olds in the first place? After all, when Buzz Feed News™ asked Messenger® head, David Marcus, if this was a cynical attempt to get kids hooked on social media, the response was:

“The goal is not to get kids onto Facebook,” he said. “There’s really no other reason for us to do this than to actually enable kids to communicate with their parents and vice versa, and kids to communicate with their friends within a safe zone that’s controlled by the parents.”

Call me skeptical, but the last time I heard something similar, it was CEO’s saying something to the effect that they believed “cigarettes were not addictive.” After all, I hear all Mark Zuckerberg wants to do is “connect people.”

I have a feeling the next “connection” coming towards everything social will be via settlements directly into government/lawyer coffers. After-all – when it comes to anything about “saving the children” the government loves a blustery, righteous indignation, feel-good campaign made possible via someone elses wallet. And social media has one, very large wallet to affix a bullseye on.

On an aside, I also believe the smart phone, as it is used today, will be seen going forward in the not-so-distant future the way smoking in general morphed into an unsightly or unruly habit.

Did I mention that lawyers and politicians just love, love, love big, stuffed, bull’s-eyes? If not.

Just ask “Old Joe.”

© 2017 Mark St.Cyr

F.T.W.S.I.J.D.G.I.G.T.

(For those who say I just don’t get it…get this!)

Over the course of the last week or so I’ve received not only push back, but rather, shrugs and more when queried on my take on the proposed tax cut bill, its process, progress, and what it might all mean for everyone, not just business. It would seem as long as every dip in the “market” gets bought – everything else is considered noise. (You can read my latest view here and here.)

There’s a real sense of blasé on the matter. In other words, people ask for your opinion or view, yet you can infer they really aren’t that interested with the answers. It’s not just me, for I’ve watched this happen when the discussion didn’t involve me directly, where I was only a bystander. It’s not overt, but if you watch and listen carefully, as one should. You can see it quite clearly.

Most today are under the guise (much like many a pol) that passing a tax bill of any measure is going to be a “good thing.” I couldn’t disagree more. It’s one thing for the average worker or employee type to state that. But for a business person? It shows just how little one has thought it all through. From my purview that’s near inexcusable, whether you’re a solo-practitioner, CEO of a global concern, or just someone following the path of the entrepreneurial mindset. (i.e., you may be employed by someone, but you are the one who is truly in charge, and responsible for you.)

When it comes to this current legislation – It’s going to have effects far and wide, and those effects may very well be onerous to those giving it nonchalant attention.

Case in point: From the Wall Street Journal™ Sunday evening. To wit: “The Taxman Cometh: Senate Bill’s Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some”

“WASHINGTON—Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100% under the Senate’s tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan.

That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.”

That is currently “in the bill.” Yes, the very same bill everyone jumped up and down last week in celebration.

The above example hits the solo-practitioner with an effective tax rate of over 100%. i.e., You would, in-effect, have to pay the government for the privilege to work, then give them all the proceeds of that work, netting you below zero. That’s actually worse than an example using “slave wages.” And it’s not hypothetical. If the bill is passed, as is – that would now be your tax bill.

But not too worry, after all, it must be the only such oopsy contained in the remaining 499 pages or so, that no one took (or had) the time to read and weigh the consequences before passing it, right? Surely there could not be anything remotely concerning within the House’s version, that will now be added to all this, so it can be passed in the remaining few weeks, right? Right?

© 2017 Mark St.Cyr

Footnote: These “FTWSIJDGIGT” articles came into being when many of the topics I had opined on over the years were being openly criticized for “having no clue”. Yet, over the years these insights came back around showing maybe I knew a little bit more than some were giving me credit for. It was my way of tongue-in-cheek as to not use the old “I told you so” analogy. I’m saying this purely for the benefit of those who may be new or reading here for the first time (and there are a great many of you and thank you too all). I never wanted or want to seem like I’m doing the “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” type of response to my detractors. I’d rather let the chips fall – good or bad – and let readers decide the credibility of either side. Occasionally however, there are, and have been times they do need to be pointed out which is why these now have taken on a life of their own. (i.e., something of significance per se that may have a direct impact on one’s business etc., etc.) And readers, colleagues, and others have requested their continuance.

Why All Politicians Should Worry About, The ‘Great’ Tax Cuts Bill

As we sit here today, the bill now known as “The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act” is being pounded out behind closed doors. The word “pounded” is a fitting description, because that’s precisely what is happening in all phases and forms. i.e., Members of both chambers are being pounded into submission via threats or payoffs for their support, while there will undoubtedly be more “pork” pounded within – it would make a real sausage blush.

The true issue at hand is this: They (e.g., GOP) believe it’s all about passing a tax cut bill in name only, with some great sounding sound bites and headlines to campaign on into the next election cycle, so substance ranks secondary. If one has any doubt, just look to any Sunday talk show for clues, the rhetoric is pure unadulterated fantasy land type arguments. And that’s just  the moderators.

We are at a moment in time both politically, as well as economically, where everything can go awry faster, and far more severely, than those currently trying to estimate their current Bitcoin™ net worth. Hint: In a heartbeat – it could all be over.

And just to be clear, neither party will walk away unscathed. i.e., An abstention strategy like that being proposed by the opposing Party (e.g., Dem’s) will not act as the shield afforded the GOP after the Obamacare debacle, in my opinion.

Why? Let me put it this way: People are sick of it – been there, done that.

Healthcare is now an unmitigated disaster needing far more than just a “clean up on aisle 9” response. It needs a full teardown and rebuild requiring both parties to work earnestly as to remove the government’s intrusive tentacles, not probe them deeper. (I know, I can hear you through my screens, and I’m with you: “pure fantasy.”)

But yet, playing fast and loose with tax policies, on top of it? Turns the healthcare headaches up to 11, and the ensuing backlash throughout everything else exponentially so. (Remember, healthcare is 1/6th of the economy – taxes and regulations touch 100%. Think about it.)

The past election cycle showed that the electorate was fed up with “dancing around the edges, fiddling and diddling pols”, while taxpayers of all stripes were bloodied and beaten with higher taxes, regulations, and a “guaranteed” insurance policy that fewer and fewer Dr’s, along with entire “Exchanges” willing to issue/take said “insurance” with a deductible that’s now equivalent to a down-payment for a home: every – calendar – year.

The current powers-that-be are absolutely clueless just how ticked off everyone is. Again, on both sides of the aisle, especially the business community.

The business community wants (and needs) meaningful (think: “Bigly”), and near instant (think: within the same calendar year) change to much of the status quo in regards to healthcare, taxes, and regulations. Anything short of what was sold presumed as the first meaningful steps toward true government and institutional reform will be met by many a politician with immediate, knee-jerk type responses in much the same manner as the analogy conjures. The “markets” in-turn may get the full effect of a full-on drop kick.

I’m sorry for using this term so often, but it needs to be stated: Remember – this was to all supposed to be passed with the assurance, if-need-be, along purely partisan lines. If this procedure is wasted as to only do around-the-edges styled legislation. It will be seen as an outright betrayal. And the resulting backlash, fury is currently unknown. But make no mistake – a reckoning there will be. And the daily drip of what is being considered, as well as dropped, is adding fuel to that ire.

Again, if what gets passed in the end is nothing more than specious headlines, requiring a purely partisan vote to do so will be considered a complete and utter waste of political capital along with any remaining voter goodwill. Period.

This will be met along the lines fitting description, using terms like, fire-and-brimstone, as just one example. This, in my estimation, will be seen as reason to jettison them all. (“all” meaning entrenched re-elected, after re-elected purely partisan, establishment types.)

In other words, the ire of the “great unwashed” will grow in such tsunami type fashion that current party elders, from both sides of the aisle, could find themselves walking down the political plank, into oblivion. For just like a tsunami needs a catalyst – the tectonic upheaval that may arise from a watered down, pork laden, near 500 page filled tax reform joke book may indeed be that very catalyst, because the warning signs of seismic tremors are already appearing with frequency, as well as intensity.

The issue that will be almost to indignant to bear, again, on both sides, is Mr. Trump just might be – the last man standing.

I know, heresy too some, and requiring smelling salts for others. But if one thinks about it objectively, it’s not that far of a stretch, again, when contemplated (Trigger alert!) rationally and objectively, not emotionally. (Hint: He would still hold the argument of “I signed the best offered to me. Send me people who will do more, and I’ll sign more!” Don’t shrug that idea off, it’s not as crazy as some may want to argue. Truly think about it.)

This isn’t an endorsement of any politician or party over the other. This is about what both the business community expected, as well as the “markets.” You can’t disappoint one and not the other, they’re intrinsically linked, regardless of what’s currently taught in academia.

Now, suddenly, there are reports that the so-called “tax cuts” (e.g., Brackets) are suddenly being “adjusted” not lower, but higher, and that’s not all…

Taxes that were supposedly going to be eliminated seem to have more staying power than dandelions. Oh, and all that talk about the “simplification” process? (i.e., The “post card” filing process) If adding more brackets, changing “entirely eliminating” to – above this threshold, and only by this much, if this criteria is fulfilled, along with, not eliminating, but “phasing out” and maybe, by year _____(fill in the blank), can all be calculated on a “”post card?” Let’s just say, I’m highly skeptical, to be polite, shall we?

The reason for concern is this: the moment (actually within hours) the Senate passed its version of the bill one of the key architects for making sure the something that was added (e.g., AMT) as to ensure passage, now wants to eliminate it.

Eliminating any tax is great, but the way this monstrosity is going about making sure every “cut” is “paid for”, is an abomination to any common sense wielding individual. Yet, this one snafu shows just how precarious this entire process now sits. The “Keystone Cops” look like an efficient, synchronized machine in comparison. And we’re only days in, so does this now lose a vote, gain a vote, change a multitude of votes? And if it does, what will it take to regain them? Or worse, what will need to be taken away, or added?

As I warned in a previous article “nothing’s yet been passed, but hot air and gas.” Should further details of the forthcoming “tax cuts” legislation resemble what has transpired over the preceding week with further watering down (think: the corporate rate going from the proposed 20%, to 22% or more, and being phased in over years, just for one) along with the “adding in” of more brackets, or elimination of meaningful deductions in return for “pork barrel” infused additions, will cause those tectonic plates (aka “markets”) to shift from the front-running “Trump trade” of hopium into the leaking lead balloon of deflated tax cut reality.

Oh yeah, and the price tag for all of it gets voted on this week in conjunction, aka FOMC interest rate hike decision.

What could possibly go wrong?

© 2017 Mark St.Cyr

The Tax Bill: Nothing Has Yet Been Passed Except Hot Air And Gas

The jubilation that was rendered by the “market” over the past week, crystallizing in rocket-ship rides to all-time-highs, cheers and celebration, as the Senate worked feverishly into the wee hours of Saturday to finally write in enough give aways of pet cows, pigs, and other assorted farm animals to deliver the President a much-needed “win” was both surreal, as well as comical.

The issue with all this is: They haven’t truly passed anything. This was all about passing what they’ll now use as a template to further negotiate with, or against, what the House passed. i.e., This thing isn’t over – it’s just getting started.

It doesn’t matter what side of the political spectrum one falls on if they’re in business, for there is agreement on one thing when you ask any business owner, whether small or large: The tax code, along with its rates, are both cumbersome and ridiculous.

It is not only hard to imagine, but even harder to concede to the realization (i.e., as in when you have to file and pay those taxes) that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.

This is not only an aberration, but it’s also – an abomination. Allowing it to ever reach the top 10, let alone #1, proves de facto just how far the tax code needs a good overhauling. Yet, hence lies the key. e.g., “good overhauling.”

What we may get in the end is the equivalent of a superficial rebuild, thrown together with shoddy parts by “mechanics” in name only.

The issue that is now coming to light is this: The more we’re finding out what is in this current plan, along with what is not, is beginning to raise quite a few eyebrows. I have a feeling it’s going to raise a lot of ire along with them, as we go along.

As I have warned since this process began: If the “tax reform” bill is found to be nothing more, but a specious headline generating vehicle, rather than a true reform and overhaul? (i.e., at least in actual spirit) All bets are off. And I mean just that – all.

Whether one wants to agree or not, the evidence has now reached beyond questioning. Since the election the “markets” have hitched their bandwagon to not only the idea, but the certainty, that a meaningful tax reform package was going to not only be hashed out, but delivered and signed into law, before the close of 2017.

The “markets” neither waved, or faulted as two of the three-legged-stool consisting of healthcare reform, regulatory reform, and tax reform were annulled. This alone shows you just how important the “tax leg” truly is.

The entire market advance (forgive me for not mentioning “great earnings.” It’s too early in my day for comedy.) has been predicated on a president willing, able, and gladly so, to sign any proposed legislation into law.

Again, for I can not make this point any clearer: Sign into law.

If you don’t believe that premise, look no further for confirmation then how the “markets” reacted to the initial reporting of N. Korea launching a ICBM capable of now hitting anywhere in the U.S. as 3 aircraft carrier battle groups, along with B-2 bombers, and more patrol the peninsula. All while actively conducting war games, upping the potential for the slightest misstep by any, and all involved, potentially unleashing all out thermonuclear war, or WWIII – vs the Flynn plea deal.

The “market’s” reaction? “Look is that a missile? Should we duck and cover?” “Hell no! That’s a dip, back up the truck – and buy, Buy, BUY!!!”

To show the folly of what these “markets” had now become I posted the following chart in a note last week. To wit:

(Chart Source)

As illustrative as the above may be. What is even more so is what the next one should imply. Again, to wit:

Here’s the obvious: If one still doesn’t think this entire rally is based upon Trump? (i.e., Willing, able, and gladly ready to sign almost anything.) I have some really wonderful ocean-front property in Kentucky you can have, cheap.

The reasoning behind such a claim, again, should be obvious. e.g., Two houses controlled by the same party means diddly if there isn’t a president that will sign it into law. And these two bodies can’t get (or keep) enough votes within their own brethren to get something out of committee half the time, let alone, anything veto proof. It’s beyond bewildering.

We are currently finding out that there are hidden taxes, raising of rates, added brackets, not to mention what we don’t truly yet know with what was horse-traded in and out, just to get this thing out of committee, to now be horse-traded, again, with the House.

You could lose prior House votes with the Senate changes and vice versa. What’s worse is you could lose what is now perceived as “good” for something watered down, or worse, eliminated entirely, while something currently unknown gets added in. i.e., Think: more brackets, (again, infuriating!) sun setting clauses, and hidden rate hikes or fees as just a few examples.

Currently, as would be suspected, the politicians are stampeding to any camera, microphone, or media outlet to profess how this current “tax reform bill” is either the greatest since Ronald Reagan, or the worst since. All depends on which side of the aisle the current talking-head is standing. So since they keep continually bringing up the former president, I believe it’s only fitting to look at what Mr. Reagan’s former budget director thinks of all this. Hint: “Con Job.” Here’s a sample from one of his latest articles. To wit:

“During more than four decades in Washington and on Wall Street it is quite possible that we never picked up any useful skills. But along the way we did unavoidably acquire what amounts to a survival tool in those fair precincts—-namely, a nose for the con job.

And what a doozy we have going now as a desperate mob of Capitol Hill Republicans attempts to enact something—anything— that can be vaguely labeled tax reform/tax cut. And for a reason that lies only slightly below the surface.”

The above was before the now “updated” version since passed out of committee. What is yet to come forth is anyones guess. But guess it is, and that’s not what this “market” has been propelled by.

This entire “Trump trade” was supposedly fueled by certainty. Certainty that meaningful healthcare reform would already be passed. Certainty that meaningful regulatory reform would already be passed with further reforms in the queue. Certainty that meaningful tax reform would not only be banged out, but passed and signed into law before the end of 2017. And all we’ve gotten so far is certainty – that certainty  – is anything but. That’s now for certain.

As we now stand this entire “celebration” stands square in the face of a government shut down debate, or debacle, scheduled on the 8th. A Federal Reserve FOMC deliberation ending on the 14th, where the “markets” will find out if the outgoing Chair will deliver a nice great big piece of “holiday cheer” (aka lump of coal) in the form of another rate hike to go along, or spike up the “egg nog”, if you will. (aka as balance sheet normalization.)

Look for Ms. Yellen to be all smiles at the presser as she leaves the stage littered with the tatters of any remaining Fed. credibility to the incoming “clean up crew.” (aka Mr. Powell and the yet named and seated others.)

My gut tells me, the more we find out about what is, and, what is not going to be in this so-called “tax reform” bill. The more hot air and gas of this pre-celebratory party balloon is going to leak out, along with its details. The real issue for the “markets” along with the political class is this:

If this “bill” morphs further along the lines of what Mr. Stockman labeled as a “con job?” Along with the ever-growing concern of a government shutdown and interest rates? This party balloon just might resemble another one. aka: “a lead one.” With similar results.

© 2017 Mark St.Cyr