See no evil.

The McLeod River Post - - Front Page -

Money talks un­for­tu­nately and how of­ten have we seen be­fore where a per­son, en­tity or na­tion for that mat­ter is be­hav­ing ap­pallingly badly, deny­ing every­thing and but be­ing al­lowed to con­tinue be­cause of trade maybe, jobs maybe or sadly maybe down­right cor­rup­tion.

Just like kids some­times, if bad be­hav­iour is over­looked with no con­se­quences more bad be­hav­ior can fol­low. This is not a new story but has bro­ken into main­stream head­lines lately. The United Na­tions be­lieves there is cred­itable ev­i­dence that China has and is de­tain­ing a mil­lion eth­nic Uighurs in a se­cret de­tain­ment camp or camps. We’ve seen this kind of thing be­fore, haven’t we? We’ve ig­nored this kind of thing be­fore, too haven’t we? How did it end? Hor­ror is the only word I can find.

Jour­nal­ism can be a dan­ger­ous pro­fes­sion. It’s bad enough that my col­leagues are killed and maimed cov­er­ing con­flict zones but to be al­legedly mur­dered by one’s own state in one’s own con­sulate. I’ve read re­ports that the Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties have au­dio and vis­ual ev­i­dence that jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi was killed in­side the Saudi Ara­bian con­sulate. This stacks up as bad as or worse than the Rus­sian nerve agent poi­son­ing in the UK. The U.S. has a lot of in­flu­ence with Saudi Ara­bia. Is the gov­ern­ment go­ing to step up to the plate and protest and maybe more or will it hang back be­cause it’s wor­ried about U.S. jobs and con­tracts? This is one of the times where true lead­ers can show their worth.

It’s storm sea­son. We shouldn’t be sur­prised at see­ing them. What is sur­pris­ing though is the fe­roc­ity and strength of them as we’ve seen in the U.S., Ja­pan, UK and more re­cently In­dia. Blame what you will. They are a fact and hun­dreds of thou­sands, even mil­lions of peo­ple are af­fected. I ex­pect worse to come as the seas and oceans con­tinue to warm. One can’t stop the storms, but au­thor­i­ties can de­fine vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas and maybe start bury­ing power ca­bles and chang­ing codes so that out­lets and switches are half­way up the wall in­stead of above the base­board both mea­sures might be a useful start.

Is the stock mar­ket bull run com­ing to an end? There’s been a pretty se­ri­ous cor­rec­tion. Will it con­tinue? Do you feel lucky? I’ve thought that stocks have been over val­ued for some time. I be­lieve many stocks are trad­ing at 16, even 17 times earn­ings. That’s OK I guess if a cor­po­ra­tion’s bal­ance sheet re­flects a de­cent amount of as­sets. But with many smaller com­pa­nies sell­ing for three times earn­ings or less I can’t help but won­der what would hap­pen if some of these cor­po­ra­tions came onto Dragon’s Den with their val­u­a­tions. The fear this time is gen­er­ated by ris­ing in­ter­est rates, ris­ing bond rates and, get this, wor­ries about China, such as the trade war, and maybe a de­clin­ing Chi­nese econ­omy and com­pa­nies with com­mit­ments to and in China. I’ve been warn­ing about that for years. Oil prices are likely to fall too folks.

The Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been some­what out of the news what with the nas­ti­ness over the U.S. Supreme Court nom­i­na­tion. Have the Repub­li­cans traded a court seat for con­trol over one or both houses? We’ll have to see. Ad­vance vot­ing in some states for the mid-term elec­tions has al­ready be­gun. Back to Mueller, I’ve read that lawyers for the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and for Pres­i­dent Trump are ne­go­ti­at­ing over writ­ten ques­tions to be posed to the Pres­i­dent. I did think Mueller’s re­port may be is­sued be­fore the mid-term elec­tions. Now I’m not so sure.

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