The Great Debate … Round I

“The Great Debate … Round I”
Ty J. Young Editorial

Super Bowl-level TV audiences watched the first Trump-Clinton Presidential Debate Monday night, on September 26, 2016.

Historically, debates have played an important role in presidential elections:

1. Nixon-Kennedy 1960: Those who listened on the radio thought Nixon won. But TV magnified Kennedy’s performance and good looks. Nixon, with the sweating upper lip, never recovered.

2. Reagan-Carter 1980: “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?” With that one line, “The Gipper” sealed the election and made Carter a one-term President.

3. Bush-Gore 2000: People often forget Gore was winning slightly in the polls, and most thought he was winning the first debate. Until his creepy “in your space” moment when he walked right next to Bush while he was answering a question. Bush’s cool response helped turn the polls in his favor.

4. Obama-Romney 2012: The tale of two debates … all pundits proclaimed Romney wiped the floor with Obama in the first of their three debates. Many left-wing media outlets were in a state of panic. Obama rallied with a factually questionable, but sterling performance in debate number two. The moderator, Candy Crowley, rebutted Romney on a Benghazi question in which she was factually incorrect. He failed to correct the record, and the damage was done. Romney never recovered in the polls as Obama had a decisive win.

Many Presidential races are not going to turn on a single debate performance. However, given the personalities involved this year, most believed the debate would play a huge role in helping undecided’s become decided.

So what did the spin rooms have to say about the first debate in this historic Presidential election year:

I. Spin Room – 3 Reasons Trump Won:

1. Trump has presidential temperament. Clinton has only herself to blame –her campaign repeatedly attacked Trump on his temperament prior to the debate, saying he was unfit to hold high public office. By not attacking Clinton and remaining restrained most of the evening, Trump appeared more presidential.

2. Trump hit her on emails, foreign policy judgment. When he had the opportunity, Trump was able to remind the public of Clinton’s felony behavior. One of his best lines included: “I’ll release my tax returns—against my lawyer’s wishes—when she releases her 33,000 emails that have been deleted.”

3. Trump won the debate with the moderator as well. There were questions on the birther issue and tax returns, but no questions on Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation. Fox News had Lester Holt, the moderator, interrupt Trump 33 times and Clinton only 19 times. Clinton repeatedly went over the time limit and Holt did not interrupt. When Trump went over, Holt was quick to correct. Lastly, Holt had his “Candy Crowley” moment – when he corrected Trump on the facts when it was he, the moderator, who was wrong on the facts! Holt claimed “stop-and-frisk” was unconstitutional, when in reality, it is constitutional under the historic case of Terry v. Ohio. The public can sense the unfairness and the sense of the elites “rigging” the system … a biased moderator which Trump defeated.

II. Spin Room – 3 Reasons Clinton Won:

1. Clinton was polished, prepared, in command of her narrative. From paid family leave to China, Clinton clearly had the advantage in debate prep and policy skills. It was clear she had prepared and was on top of her game.

2. Clinton got to Trump on tax returns and his business dealings. Clinton undoubtedly had Trump on the defensive when talking about his tax returns and his business dealings. If Trump had been better prepared, this would have been easy to fend off. Instead, he wasted critical time trying to defend his business actions when the window had opened to counter-attack. It proved once again he can be baited … advantage Hillary.

3. Clinton put to bed the questions of stamina. Her answers on stamina, related to her service as Secretary of State, as well as her TV appearances, helped refute Trump’s attack lines on stamina.

Charles Krauthammer also had another important conclusion, “The draw goes to the challenger.” Post-debate polls were essentially green room focus groups, and not the sustained polling effort, which is conducted over several days. But the immediate numbers were a mix:

“Who won the debate?”
Time Magazine: 59-41, Trump
CBS: 54-45, Trump
CNN/ORC: 62-27, Clinton

As you can see, it is hard to determine a winner from these push-dial polls taken during and right after the event. More polling data will come out over the next week or so, and will give a more accurate picture as to how the debate affected the race.

It seems neither party landed a knock-out punch, but Clinton clearly shored her position. Some tracking polls in battleground states moved in her favor the next day September 27, 2016. Although those results were over several days and not just from post-debate polling.

In the end, the race appears to be getting down to the wire and it has an uncertain outcome. But you do not have to be uncertain with your investment portfolio. Many people have their money at risk in the stock market, and may not even realize the amount of risk they are taking. You can protect your retirement money against stock market losses and earn a reasonable rate of return. Our advisors are specialists in the area and will explain exactly how it works. Call today at 877-912-1919.



Trump vs. Clinton … It’s Getting Tighter

“Trump vs. Clinton … It’s Getting Tighter”
Ty J. Young Editorial

Polls continue to tighten in the presidential race. The most recent 4-way race polling at Real Clear Politics now has Trump up by 1 and 7 points respectively, and the average of the polls – which included some taken months ago – has Clinton’s huge post-convention 8-point lead all the way down to 0.9.

The battleground states are tightening as well, as Trump has pulled ahead in Florida, Ohio and Iowa. The most recent polls in North Carolina, Colorado and Nevada show he is now tied or in the lead. What is contributing to the Trump surge? And why are Clinton’s “for-sure” Presidential chances collapsing?

There are a lot of reasons, and some are pretty obvious. Below are our top 5:

Top-5 Reasons Trump has Pulled Even or Ahead in the Presidential Race:

1. Islamic Terrorism is never called “Islamic Terrorism. It would be one thing if blonde-haired, blue-eyed surfers were flying planes into buildings, or Catholic Priests were beheading apostate non-believers. However, when a bomb goes off in Paris or New York City, you have better than Vegas odds it is a Muslim terrorist. It is embarrassing and completely dumb-founding to people when Hillary and the Democrats do NOT call it what it is. Trump does, and people have noticed. People are afraid, and rightfully question, whether you are doing all you can to protect them when you refuse to even say the enemy’s name.

2. Hillary’s health is now a big question. Not telling everyone about your pneumonia brings up real questions about whether that is all there is to it. Hillary’s stamina appears not up to the task. That does not mean she is not up to the task. It just appears that way for many people – based upon the available evidence.

3. Immigration disasters, mixed with terrorism, will not go away as an issue. As of this writing, the Department of Homeland Security admitted to “losing” 900+ illegals who were meant to be deported, instead granting them citizenship. Not failing to deport … not granting a longer stay … not catching and releasing … but actually granting them citizenship by mistake. You could not make this stuff up if you tried. Some of these are people on the terror-watch list, set to be deported, who we instead gave citizenship. The majority of the public, as they learn more, even the most liberal of voters, would consider the idea of keeping more immigrants simply a criminal act of stupidity. The public worries about their children’s safety, and why law-breakers are not prosecuted like they would be.

4. Calling a large number of Americans ‘deplorable.’ Were you given the ultimate badge of honor to fit the description of what Hillary Clinton called a “basket of deplorables?” A major candidate for the Presidency of the United States called a large percentage of voters deplorable and irredeemable. Even Christ came to redeem everyone. A large portion of the public can sense the snobbery, and they are repulsed.

5. Media Bias is obvious and worse than ever before. No longer hidden, and Orwellian in scale, the media has picked sides and is essentially telling us who we should vote for. As Hugh Hewitt was quoted as saying in the Washington Examiner:

“… Donald Trump’s surge after a summer of stumbling and Hillary Clinton’s recent fumbling is fueled by many factors. The biggest of them all is the overpowering impulse to turn the table over on elites and their newspeak about IEDs and stabbings. “Intentional acts” that terrorize but aren’t terrorism — well, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio certainly gave Trump a little extra lift with that winner of a phrase late Saturday night. Call a bomb a bomb, please, and terrorists with knives terrorists.”

It is not just the strange play on words, political correctness running amok, or the obvious snobbery – all listed in 1-4 above. It is columnist Maureen Dowd being told by her Upper East Side friends to not write stories about Trump. It is New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof calling Trump a “crackpot.” The public can sense the elites, the power brokers, the D.C. establishment – Democrat AND Republican – are not giving Trump a fair shake. They are telling the rest of us what we should believe and how we should vote. Most importantly, it is sending a signal to the public that something is horribly wrong among the leadership class. That is driving the polls towards the outsider candidate.

There may be good reasons in the voter’s mind to support one side or the other. But most Americans are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the behavior of our political and elite leadership, including the media.

How that relates to your money is equally concerning:

The same experts in the financial industry who said to leverage your entire portfolio in the Wall Street casino and who said if you diversify in 2008 you’ll be fine … Those are the same people who got things so disastrously wrong. And now, in many cases, they are speaking out against safe investments and structured products. Are we going to make the same mistakes again? “Fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me.”

The public has lost faith and trust in many American institutions. That is justified – those in power have gotten things so badly wrong, and not just once or twice, but for almost a decade. It is time to consider newer, better – and with your money – safer ways of thinking about our collective future. To have your money protected against market losses and growing, call us at 877-912-1919.

9 Reasons We Won’t See Fed Rate Hikes

As of today, oil is down, there are worries of oversupply and markets are down… it is apparent a potential rate hike may not have been priced in to current stock valuations.

There is a difference between raising the rates a quarter basis point, and returning to a market-driven, traditional interest rate environment… a quarter point one-time is a drop in the bucket, the latter is a serious rate increase to match the historical norm.  Normalizing rates, which would return to historical interest rate levels, and a token bump to satisfy the rate hawks in the media, are two different things.  A token rate hike could be coming soon, but not a normalization of rates… no way… not anytime soon.

Eight years ago this month Lehman Brothers failed. That served as the seminal moment in what became the world’s largest banking crisis since the Great Depression.  The response to this banking collapse was unprecedented and wrong in most respects.  Having the banks fail instead of being bailed out, then back-stopping the traditional deposit accounts, and then selling off the banks through traditional bankruptcy would have been far more preferable to what transpired instead:  Troubled Asset Relief Program, direct lending from the government to Wall Street, QE1, QE2, QE3, and money printing on an historic scale. This all creates a level of debt the world has never seen before.

One of the most troublesome of all of the policy maneuvers was the decision by the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to zero, and essentially hold them there for going on 8 years.  Oh, we had one rate hike, last December, a quarter basis point.  There is the possibility that another quarter point increase will be forthcoming soon, but it will be meaningless as it pertains to policy.  While many economists debate the importance of Fed decision making, one thing is certain:  the Fed has priced our money at “zero,” and it is not going back up to historical levels anytime soon.


9 Reasons We Won’t See a Real Fed Rate Hike

  1. “American economy is weak”: Fearing a rate hike would hurt economic activity, and knowing our growth has been anemic at best they will not want to tip the economy into recession with a premature or steep rate hike.
  2. “Global economy poor to horrific”: Rate hikes strengthen the U.S. dollar and in turn make imports to the U.S. more expensive, hurt U.S. consumers and those invested in foreign businesses.
  3. “Commodities like oil have been struggling”: If you raise rates, you strengthen the dollar and the price of commodities will drop further. While helpful to consumers, it hurts other actors, such as U.S. producers, U.S. investors, and the local business economy surrounding any commodities industry, such as oil.
  4. “Fed fears negative data”: The data across the board is bearish, despite the market’s resiliency.  Not a single data point – labor, employment, GDP, inflation targets, etc. – none of them support a rate hike at this time.
  5. “2015 International Monetary Fund (IMF) warning spooked the Fed”: The Fed being compliant to an international body’s wishes is a discussion for another day.  But when the IMF urged the Fed to not raise rates last year, it has had a carryover effect on their decision making.
  6. “The Ghosts of 1937”: Believing the worst was behind us, the Fed raised interest rates in 1937 and triggered another crisis, plunging the market and the economy into a steep recession.  Stocks fell another 50% and never truly recovered until after 1941.
  7. “No risk in waiting”:  The economy has anemic growth, but it is growing. The data on labor participation is the worst we have seen in decades, but the unemployment rate is down. Those on welfare and disability are at historic highs, but the numbers aren’t increasing like they did in 08-09. For the Fed, the risk of raising rates is greater than the risk of doing nothing… so they will do little to nothing.
  8. “The Trump effect – some may prefer a Hillary Presidency”: The Fed, in theory, should not be affected by politics.  But many members of the Fed do not want Trump as President, and any downside of the market would feed the Trump Presidential narrative on the economy.  It is therefore not a stretch to believe some of the members of the apolitical Fed could be waiting until after the election to make rate hike recommendations.
  9. “The biggest reason of all – we could not service our debt!”: Imagine if the ten-year bond note went from 1.5% to 6% interest payments. You’re talking about raising the costs of debt service by 400%!  It would be the largest item in our budget to pay, larger than entitlements, dwarfing the size of the defense budget.  Given today’s tax revenue levels, we would immediately be unable to service our obligations and would be functionally insolvent.


We run historic deficits while financing our new debt borrowed each day… imagine our financial circumstance if the cost of financing the debt was to increase 400-fold.  That would be really bad.

This is the financial world we are living in today, and these issues are affecting your investment returns, and the safety of your portfolio.  No longer is the return on your investment determined by whether the company is profitable, or it has a new product.  Today – geopolitical events are impacting your money, and affecting the safety of your investment strategy.

Other than getting out of the market when it goes down, do you have a money protection strategy? Our advisors are specialists in helping people protect their money against market losses, earn a reasonable rate of return, and get guaranteed income if they need it. Call 877-912-1919 today to learn more!