Friday, December 30, 2016

Trump Economy - What To Expect

Big Daddy's Big Daddy
Understanding Trump's Dreams
 By Looking at Trump's Role Model
Vladimir Putin is unquestionably the richest man in the world.

A good look at individual role models and their influence on "historic notables" can often present an understanding quite beyond what might, otherwise, be gleaned from the historical anecdotes about the notables themselves. Because there is very little to be "gleaned" from examining the opaque persona -- even when one's information is accompanied by whatever meager facts about such things as family, childhood, experiences and so forth -- of the President-elect, investigating the man's role model might reveal something interesting which had been intentionally obscured.

In this case the "man" is Donald Trump, and the "role model" is Vladimir Putin.

When the President-elect is "snuggling" into his $10,000 bed, he is probably dreaming of being even richer than his brutish Russian ideal. If anyone is still "missing the picture," the money which will make him the richest man in the world will be coming from you. Traditional Republicans are famous for their almost obsessive penchant for looting. In this case MeanMesa feels obliged to replace the term "looting" with a slightly darker, more aggressive alternative, "harvesting."

Dzengis Kahn -
the glory days before ROSNEFT
Vladimir, at least perhaps in the "more innocent" [less sociopathic] years of his earlier life, could have been comfortably classed as a merely a "looter," but based on his more recent behavior, his standing as the world's greatest "harvester" in modern times is quite well justified, Think of it as "moving" from from being merely a violent, monopolistic, Robber Baron to something closer to a successful, "winner take all" autocrat such as Genghis Khan.

As to MeanMesa's "snarky quip" about Vladimir being the richest man on the planet, don't take it lightly. The Federation's President, probably thanks to all the dirty tricks he studied as a KGB officer, is utterly masterful at presenting a completely opaque image of himself to the world press. While media reporting on the matter remains somewhat conjectural, if there's smoke, there's probably fire. Here's an example from a year ago as reported by the UK INDEPENDENT. [This article contains a great photo of Vladimir's $1 Bn Russian palace.]

Vladimir Putin 'corruption':

Five things we learned about
the Russian President's secret wealth

A BBC investigation speaks to exiled former 
Kremlin insiders, who allege wide scale corruption under Putin's regime.

By Adam Withnall
January 26, 2016

[Excerpted. Visit the original article here UK INDEPENDENT]

Sergei Kolesnikov told the programme he worked for the Kremlin to collect money from the super-rich, which they believed was to be spent on healthcare, but which was ultimately used “to help build a $1 billion palace for Mr Putin on the Black Sea coast”.

The BBC said it had seen documents from one of the offshore companies that diverted millions of dollars to the palace, which was constructed during Mr Putin’s first term as president.

It said that, according to Mr Kolesnikov, the owner of the company, Lirus Investment Holding, was Mr Putin himself.

Mr Kolesnikov was also allegedly filmed discussing Mr Putin’s secret fortune – investments of up to $440 million – with another Kremlin insider.

Sergei Pugachev, an exiled oligarch who says he helped Mr Putin become president, told the BBC he was “preoccupied with wealth from the start”. He said he visited one of the presidential palaces with Mr Putin during his first term. “We talked about it, he didn’t hide it, he knew he wanted to leave office a wealthy man,” he said.

 Glimpses of a Russian "Success Story"
Scratching and Clawing Your Way
To the Top of the Russian Federation
The American version has, typically, been somewhat more civil.
Still, setting an unavoidable example for an American oligarch with big ambitions.

While it might be somewhat satisfying to simply conclude that Vladimir is a notably successful equivalent to an American mobster, we must remember that this post is about his "service" as a role model for our new President. It should surprise no one that, as a dynastic oligarch, Putin's elevated position of fabulous wealth and power would very quickly attract the admiring attention of an awkwardly un-directed "financial wizard" such as The Donald.

MeanMesa suspects that this "attraction" would be more accurately described as an "obsession."

Although the important "supporting evidence" of Mr. Trump's "business prowess" remains hidden within his "missing" tax returns and shadowy speculation still absent any forthcoming "revelations" as to the details of his success, his oligarchic ambitions, on the other hand, can no longer pose as an exciting, "romantic secret" lodged somewhere in the intestines of a trust fund baby. The hill billies and bigots representing his electoral support may have been -- temporarily -- inebriated with this artificial "tale of exciting mysteries," but now that all these flamboyant wet dreams are scheduled to become material, we may well see more desperation than we were anticipating.

MeanMesa suspects that it is a fairly safe prophecy that The Donald is planning a "miraculous cash track" which will prove quite similar to Vlad's own "rags to riches" scheme.

The takings for pillaging the United States are significantly sweeter than those to be found in the Russian Federation. In the words of Presidential contender, Senator Bernie Sanders,

"This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: 'you can’t have it all.' You can’t get huge tax breaks while children in this country go hungry. You can’t continue sending our jobs to China while millions are looking for work. You can’t hide your profits in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens, while there are massive unmet needs on every corner of this nation. Your greed has got to end. You cannot take advantage of all the benefits of America, if you refuse to accept your responsibilities as Americans."

It turns out that the "patriotic minority" who voted to elect Donald Trump do intend to hand over "all of it" to the oligarchs who have been salivating in the wings. With his role model, Vladimir Putin, as an "ideal" Mr. Trump clearly intends to replace the current, "richest man on Earth" with a bright new "contest winner" from glittering Manhattan. You know, a "successful apprentice."

If Putin's the Model,
What Should We Expect From Trump?
Vlad's had some "expensive quiet time" with Obama in the White House.

Well, getting rid of that troublesome "quiet time," turns out to be one of the very finest jewels in the newly opened treasure chest. Yes, yes, we already understand that with Trump's nomination of EXXON's Tillerson to be CEO of the State Department, the rubles will start gushing in almost immediately. However, the half trillion dollars from the ROSNEFT deal, we can be certain, will only be the first installment.

Just as The Donald tricked the mindless Trumpkins during the campaign with his unending insinuations about Hillary's non-existent "business in as Secretary of State," the real Donald has already mapped out his multi-billion dollar, "harvesting wet dream."

To put this in perspective MeanMesa has selected a few "educational" snippets from recent reporting on just how things have been for hard working Vladimir. Have a look at the following excepted articles on the subject. [Links to the respective original articles are provided in each case.]

A Putin New Year
Nasty Old 2016 Ends On
 January 20 For the Russian Federation
Getting to know Trump's Hidden Hero

President Obama has been pretty hard on the oligarchs surrounding Vladimir Putin. Many of them have been "singled out" specifically to have travel restrictions and sanctions placed on their holdings in US banks. Obama's energy policies have reduced the value of Russian oil on the international market. There has even been a "wee bit" of State Department/NATO "bristling" about the security of the Baltic countries in the face of Vlad's Soviet Resurrection Dreams.

Take a look at the following [excerpted] articles to see what the international press is reporting about this. Remember, Putin had to be seeing some "high stakes" to make it worth while to openly scheme to elect a "friendly President" in the US.

Foreign Affairs

SNAPSHOT July 26, 2016

Putin Is Still Standing
The Elites That Keep the President in Power
By David Szakonyi

[Visit the site here -Foreign Affairs You have to pay to read the remainder of the article.]

Over the last two years, there has been no shortage of predictions that the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin would soon collapse under the crushing weight of falling oil prices and Western sanctions. After all, Russia’s economy was weak even before the start of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Ukraine in 2013. The annexation of Crimea in early 2014 and the conflict with the West that followed might have boosted Putin’s popularity at home, but as the argument goes, it dug the country into an even deeper financial hole. Without sound structural reforms to promote investment and growth, the roof would simply cave in under widespread protests, and soon.

But this reading is fundamentally flawed. The real threat to Putin’s hold on power does not arise from societal discontent, whether it’s from Moscow’s and St. Petersburg’s so-called creative class or the lower class, which has been further impoverished by the economic downturn. Instead, the current Russian government survives because it has successfully placated the elites who have become fabulously rich and powerful thanks to Putin’s crony capitalism. This group of insiders either knew Putin during his early political career in St. Petersburg or worked in the “force structures” (known as the siloviki) within the army, police, or Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB. Over the last decade, they have amassed incredible fortunes, benefiting from the nationalization of oil and gas companies such as Yukos in 2004 as well as insider deals, such as providing banking and other services to the government.

This transfer of wealth into the hands of such a small group of elites has created a system of mutual dependence with Putin: he orchestrated their rise but cannot rule the country or sustain economic growth without their backing. The drying up of oil revenue and restricted access to the West threatened to upend this relationship and shake these elites’ support for the current government.

Russia Loses 23 Billionaires
 to Economic Crisis
[Read the entire article here/MOSCOW TIMES]

The number of Russian billionaires fell from 111 to 88 over the last year as the country's economic crisis gutted personal wealth, according to a Forbes rich list published Thursday.

With Russia suffering a sharp currency devaluation and stalled economic growth, the total net worth of Russia's top 200 wealthiest businessmen shrank by $73 billion, Forbes' Russian edition found.


With Donald Trump as President, Here's What Will Happen to the U.S. Economy
Donald Trump has had a lot of success in business, 
but how will he be for the economy as president?
 Here's how his economic policies will play out.
By Emily Stewart

 [Read the entire article here TheSTREET]

"There's no denying Trump has done a good job of making himself rich -- he's worth somewhere between $4.5 billion and $10 billion, depending who you ask. Can he make the rest of America rich, too?

Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday and in his victory speech at the New York Hilton promised to focus on economic growth when he is sworn in next January. "We have a great economic plan," he said. "We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world."

On the campaign trail, Trump admitted the economy wasn't something he looked forward to tackling. In a January interview with "Good Morning America," he offered up a bleak assessment and added that, in terms of fixing it, it's a task he'd rather skip.

"We're in a bubble," he said. "And, frankly, if there's going to be a bubble popping, I hope they pop before I become president because I don't want to inherit all this stuff. I'd rather it be the day before rather than the day after, I will tell you that."

In an April interview with the Washington Post, Trump reiterated his doomsday view of the economy, suggesting we might be headed for recession. But this time around, he appeared more open to the idea of his being in charge of finding remedies. "I can fix it. I can fix it pretty quickly," he said. And more recently, he maligned the Federal Reserve for creating what he says is a "false economy."
As president, he will now be tasked with accelerating American economic growth and fixing its problems."

The American economy under a President Trump: a primer
Donald Trump has a plan that’s not aligned with those of his party and 
no history of government service to reference, 
so the future economic picture of his presidency is a cloudy one.
But there are some clues.

By Lonnie Shekhtman 
November 10, 2016

Americans sent a clear message during Tuesday’s presidential election: They want radical change. They soon will get their wish. Though what that change will bring for the well being of Americans and the economy, no one can predict, given that Mr. Trump has an economic plan that’s not aligned with the plans of his party, and no history of government service to reference.

"A more isolationist direction for the country could affect global relations, some worry. A decline in trade also could dampen economic growth by raising the prices of imports and reducing the amount of goods and services available in the country."

Tax cuts are tried and true Republican territory, but Trump has also put forward one proposal that is more commonly spotted across the aisle: a massive investment in America’s infrastructure. The president-elect has vowed to spend $1 trillion to rehab America’s roads, tunnels, ports, and bridges in a national project that he says could create millions of jobs.

There is no plan yet for how the government would afford such an investment. But as Merrill Lynch economists point out, if Trump’s administration can get American companies to bring back the $2.5 trillion in profits they have stashed overseas, as he has proposed to do by lowering their tax bill, this could help pay for an infrastructure investment and to offset lower taxes.

President Obama also sought to introduce an infrastructure spending program to boost the economy, but was blocked by a Republican Congress. Trump, who will inherit another Republican Congress, may have a better shot now that Congressional gridlock has been cleared by a full Republican sweep of government.

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