If you are like the rest of us, you were glued to your TV, Computer, Tablet, Phone or Jumbotron to watch the historic summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un.     Not only has President Trump done what his predecessors couldn’t or wouldn’t do; he has over delivered by signing a deal with North Korea that is the beginning of a new chapter for the world.

You can call it what you will.  Like it or dislike it.   But, sorry to say to all the skeptics and naysayers who have spent the greater part of the 2016 campaign, the past year or more and every waking moment since trying to bring it all down; you must feel a bit ridiculous right about now.   You have all denounced President Trump and continued to question each and every decision.  Statement and action.   But what you cannot ever argue with are results.

Many can say that President Trump’s form of diplomacy is not conventional.   Or at least it isn’t what other politicians have done.  Everyone can agree there.   Yet it is just that very direction that has helped bring about change to a relationship who have hated one another for more than fifty years.  Talk about an unprecedented occurrence in the history of our country, the Presidency of Donald J. Trump and the world.

What most of you may not want to believe and the popular press has downplayed as well as outright said it wasn’t true, is how serious the situation with North Korea was.   The rhetoric and mud slinging being thrown about between North Korea and The United States could have led to an armed conflict or to the unthinkable.   The possible use of nuclear weapons in our lifetime.  If you doubt the possibility then you are just kidding yourself.   The threat was real and completely played with by the popular media.

If you remember back to the months where President Trump was walking tall and carrying the largest military force in the world(a form of stick) and the popular media was appalled over it.   Article after article attacked President Trump for taunting and/or demanding that North Korea stop testing missiles.   A lot of you actually stated that you were afraid President Trump’s “big mouth” would wind us up in a nuclear war.   Do you all remember crying and complaining about it?  We remember the statements, articles and continued bashing.    One day President Trump is an inexperienced politician who is going to get us all killed an now several months later here we go again.  President Trump is a horrible president because he may have agreed to this or that or stated this or that.  What is wrong with you people?

Fast forward a couple of months and the tactics of a President that may not be an old world politician have brought us to a whole new place with a country that does not even speak to us, let alone negotiate for denuclearization.   The man played Kim Jong Un like he has been doing for years in the world of business.  Do you remember the emissary that the North Korean dictator sent to Washington to see President Trump and invite him to meet?  Yes the same despot who was threatening and trying to provoke the President, sent a trusted aide and a letter discussing it before the two have every met.   That is also unprecedented.

Does the popular media give President Trump credit for all of this?  His administration? NOPE.  All the popular media does is down play the agreement signed or criticize the veracity of it all.   It would be nice if once in a while the critics, Democrats and others could accept the fact that they could have been wrong here.  Would it be so terrible for these people to acknowledge that first we are all Americans and what happened in Singapore is great for America?  Second, all of you want credit when you think you deserve it right?  Well sorry America President Trump deserves your credit,  praise and respect too.

He has just done what other administrations could not do for over fifty years.  He has just pushed us back from a possible armed conflict with North Korea.   If he is successful going forward he will be responsible for changing the lives and drastically changing the political, social and economic lives of his own citizens and those of on the Korea pensiusla.

Does it shock you that President Trump’s approval ratings are equal to President Reagan and President Obama at the same time in their presidencies?   Should we give all of you who just fell over time to get up?   You see the popular media likes to babble about anything that keeps the media relevant.  Not any real news.   For once though one would have thought they would give some praise where praise is due.

“Gone is the past that keep us afraid as hope replaces the fear of the unknown future.   Light replaces the darkness”

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If you are like the rest of us you are sitting back this Memorial Day Weekend, enjoying some well-deserved family time.  Not unlike every other day you are still being bombarded with news from multiple outlets that are all basically aggregated together and reiterated throughout the main legs of the social media complex.  But where is the real news about our economy and the policies that go along with it?  Are they really out there or are they pushed aside by the public sentiment and the constant regurgitation of the same concepts.    Are our economic policies being changed by the sentiment coming off of social media?

To put a finer point on it, when was the last time you actually had a distinct conversation with someone about the economy as they see it, or their interpretation of a specific economic policy?  Probably not in a very long time.  As a group who writes about the economy and politics constantly, we find ourselves sifting over lots of information.   A lot of that information is good insightful economic theory.  The rest is a culmination of mountains of the same thing simply restated or retold if you will, with the website’s or individual poster’s own take here or there.

In the age of “Fake News” one has to ask the question if these sources are actually true or are they just restating someone else’s concept.   Are people reading these ideas and making them their own without really knowing the difference between real economic concept or possible ones?   What has become apparent is that the government here in the United States has for the passed fifteen to twenty years taken lots of surveys and tried to gauge the overall economic feeling of the public on the results.   What is disturbing in today’s world is the possibility that respondents to the surveys are actually just reiterating information they have gleaned from social media sites.   They are not exactly sure whether or not this information is real or more importantly, if they agree with it.   Additionally, there is the question of whether or not the information can be relied upon at all.

While social media is an amazing invention and marketing companies can tell you which pair of shoes is trending currently, it has created the inevitable collateral damage. That is we are inundated with information about social, economic and political situations.   This constant in your face news cycle has created a whole new generation of Americans who are not used to a regular news cycle.   They are also not used to the actual time and ability it takes to decipher the tealeaves and figure out the direction of currencies, stock, bonds and other securities.   Which is what is filtered down into economic policy for central bankers.    Or at least it used to be.

Even the instantaneous market snippets on CNBC have become suspect.   Head lines like, “Dow down for the first time in 5 sessions” or “Down up by 150 points at the high”; are meaningless statements that are designed to sensationalize the market.   These statements do not reflect any known economic or trading metric other than the concept of continually pushing out information for the sake of having information out there.   It is understandable from the media company’s standpoint.  If they do not put some kind of information out someone else will.   Or someone else is putting information out there anyway so in order to stay relevant, they have to be out there too.  But this information only causes more confusion and people who are not in “the know” reiterate that information which finds its way into market data that governments and banks review.

Reliance on market data and survey data that comes from the populace who are not just listening but permanently wired into the constant data stream could put markets at risk.  Imagine, for instance that the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”), who makes monetary policy in the United States, listens to this data.   Now, remember in a global economy that is so intertwined in today’s world that we mind as well all be in the same economy; anything done to United States monetary policy effects other countries.  If not all countries.  So if the information the Fed is getting is not exactly accurate, policy could be decided that would affect the global economy in a particular way.  Another words, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  For example, if we believe our own hype about the economy or current economic conditions, we may make the decision to accelerate the rise of interest rates too soon for the real economic conditions.   The result could be extremely disastrous.

What is the solution? Unfortunately there is no specific solution, as part of the analysis that must be done has to take into account where the information comes from in the first place.  What economists must do is make sure the sampling of information is correct.  That means that it has a broad enough cross section of society that takes into account multiple channels of information verification.  Our society also must not rest its future just on what is trending on social media.   Real economic analysis from verified pieces of information is a must when looking at overall economic and financial policy.

 

 

 

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The Information Age – The Cold Irony…

April 22, 2018

There are many stories recently about hackers gaining access to personal information on the Internet. That plus the use of personal information by certain companies who prey on unsuspecting users who are on Facebook or other social media, is taking center stage of late.   All of these situations point to one specific fact, our online security […]

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The Lost Decade

April 5, 2018

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The Hypocrisy of the Digital Age…

March 23, 2018

One will never forget the invention of the compact disc, which was a digital solution to an analog world.   Music went from being stamped or etched into a record, to being magnetically recorded on cassette tapes and then digitally encoded to a compact disc. Tapes led to the introduction of the first “Walkman”.   The portable […]

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The Bubble Explodes Again….

March 13, 2018

Several market pundits have recently reported on a topic that is not something everyone wants to openly discuss. That is the ballooning amount of debt in the world has reached monumental proportions.   According to one study the overall amount of debt outstanding is over $200 Trillion.   (Yes you read that right) That number is so […]

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#Neveragain

February 25, 2018

Approximately ten days ago Nikolas Cruz opened fire on children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen children were killed because of this tragic event and others wounded.   Since the incident, many groups have pushed to have our country focus on the laws that govern gun purchasing. The types of guns one can buy or […]

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Don’t Let it Happen Again

February 15, 2018

Dear America, Yes today is sad day.   Sad indeed.   Yesterday once again a disturbed young American opened fire on innocent children and staff in a school killing seventeen people and wounding others. What started out as a normal school day at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida turned into every parent’s worst nightmare.   Senseless […]

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ETFs, ETNs and what it all means…

February 11, 2018

When we were growing up market volatility could be easily witnessed at trading desks and on the floors of the various exchanges, as well the trading floors of large trading firms.   People were responsible for the buying and selling that took the markets to new heights and also dropped the market to new lows. In […]

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Too Good to Be True….

February 2, 2018

The day of reckoning for the continued run up of the market has finally reared its head.

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