"Starting around 1980, American society began to undergo a series of deep shifts. Deregulation, weakened antitrust enforcement, and technological changes led to increasing concentration of industry and finance. Money began to play a larger and more corrupting role in politics. America fell behind other nations in education, in infrastructure, and in the performance of many of its major industries. Inequality increased.
As a result of these and other changes, America was turning into a rigged game—a society that denies opportunity to those who are not born into wealthy families, one that resembles a third-world dictatorship more than an advanced democracy."
Charles H. Ferguson, Predator Nation
“When the system is rigged, when ordinary citizens are powerless, and when whistle-blowers are pariahs at best, three things happen:
First, the worst people rise to the top. They behave appallingly, and they wreak havoc.
Second, people who could make productive contributions to society are incented to become destructive, because corruption is far more lucrative than honest work.
And third, everyone else pays, both economically and emotionally; people become cynical, selfish, and fatalistic. Often they go along with the system, but they hate themselves for it. They play the game to survive and feed their families, but both they and society suffer.”
Charles H. Ferguson, Inside Job
It was a risk off day in the markets. No doubt about it.
The purported reason was the disclosure by the ex-FBI Director Comey that President Trump apparently asked him to forego the investigation of the ex-Security Advisor Flynn.
Personally I am stunned that the markets were able to overextend as far as they had gone. This Trump drama is just the trigger event. The more extended the market becomes, the less significant of a trigger event is required to begin the reversal.
If Trump were impeached, then the Tea Party Conservative Mike Pence would assume the presidency. He is a GOP old boy and friend to Paul Ryan. It would almost be better for the GOP if he did become president because he doesn't use twitter.
In other words, the problems are far more substantial than the egos and personal power trips of a few Washington plutocrats and pundits. Without a serious overhaul, the financial system is going to go off the rails again.
There was late day commentary here about the action in stocks and metals.
Have a pleasant evening.