What Really Happened in Helsinki?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Melbourne, Australia
By Bernd Struben

  • Unleash the thought police
  • Avoid this costly trading mistake
  • ‘Could This Be the Last Nail in Brexit’s Coffin?’

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.’

George Orwell

Holy moly. Donald Trump really stirred up a hornet’s nest in meeting with Vladimir Putin, didn’t he?

Going by the mainstream headlines he’s revealed himself to be ‘treasonous’, ‘disgraceful’, ‘wrong’, ‘shameful’ and ‘bizarre’…to name just a few heartening descriptions.

I’ve been anticipating this meeting for weeks. Partly to see what good might come from it. But even more so I was looking forward to seeing how the global media covered the event.

And they did not disappoint!

I read through no less than seven separate news sources this morning…as I do most mornings. And from the left leaning Age to the right leaning Australian, the message was the same.

A bumbling Trump has handed a clever Putin — your sworn enemy and mine — an easy victory.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) ran all of the following headlines in articles topping their page this morning:

  • ‘Trump is nothing short of treasonous’
  • ‘Trump has “abased himself before a tyrant”’
  • ‘The Trump Doctrine: coherent, radical and wrong’
  • ‘Putin wins simply by sitting down’

But wait…they’re not done yet! A little further down the page the AFR had one more zinger, ‘Trump’s ‘capitulation all but complete’’. That article stated:

Even by the upside-down standards of 2018, the sight of a US president standing alongside a Russian one and attacking an investigation by this country’s Justice Department was disgraceful.’

That’s your takeaway from the AFR. So how about Bloomberg?

Here are the four headlines Bloomberg ran with this morning:

  • ‘Trump Gives Putin a Win in Finland, Kindling New Outrage at Home’
  • ‘Trump Calls Mueller Probe “Disaster” While Standing Next to Putin’
  • ‘Republicans Call Trump Summit Remarks “Shameful” and “Bizarre”’
  • ‘Trump Risks It All … For What?’

This leads me to an important question.

When virtually every mainstream media outlet is telling you the same thing, do you believe it?

As a subscriber to at least one of our paid advisory services — and as a reader of the Port Phillip Insider — I suspect that question will at least give you pause.

For me, this kind of mass uniformity of reporting raises immediate red flags…not communist ones, mind you.

It tells me the Deep State is deeply concerned about the prospects of peaceful relations with Russia. And they’ve pulled out all the stops on their thought police to ensure you’re deeply concerned as well.

More after the markets.

Markets

Overnight the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 44.95 points, or 0.18%.

The S&P 500 lost 2.88 points, or 0.10%.

In Europe the Euro Stoxx 50 index finished down 5.46 points, or 0.16%. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 lost 0.80%, and Germany’s DAX rose 20.29 points, or 0.16%.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 is up 209.75 points, or 0.93%. China’s CSI 300 is down 1.13%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 is down 33.92 points, or 0.54%.

On the commodities markets, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is US$68.12 per barrel. Brent crude is US$72.30 per barrel.

That’s a 3.7% fall in WTI over the past 24 hours, and more than 10% over two weeks. But, as I’ve been writing to you for the past three months, I expect WTI will drop back below US$60 by the end of northern summer.

Though with large increases in supply in the pipeline, it now looks like it may fall to that level even sooner. Russia, eager for the cash and to be seen as helping the West is a key player in that supply.

As the AFR notes:

Russia and other oil producers could raise output by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) or more if shortages hit the market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Friday.’

But it’s not just Russia and OPEC. US producers are continuing to ramp up output. And Colorado is leading the way.

From Bloomberg:

Booming oil production in Colorado is fueling record output in the Niobrara basin that spans four states…

Output reached 451,000 barrels a day in April, only slightly less than California. Niobrara production is expected to reach an all-time high of 611,000 b/d in August, the EIA said.’

It looks like Trump will get the lower petrol prices he’s been gunning for well ahead of the 6 November midterm elections. Even without tapping into the US’ 660 million-barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

That’s sure to see lower prices at the pump here in Australia too. Welcome news following the school winter holidays break that saw unleaded petrol prices leap past $1.60 per litre. Ouch!

Turning to gold, the yellow metal is trading for US$1,237.90 (AU$1,670.36) per troy ounce. Silver is US$15.74 (AU$21.24) per troy ounce.

One bitcoin is worth US$6,731.27. That’s a gain of 6% since I wrote to you yesterday. Big money is still being made — and lost — in the crypto world.

The Aussie dollar is worth 74.11 US cents.

Unleash the thought police

So why is the Deep State — think entrenched politicians, intelligence and military agencies, and lobbyists — so alarmed at Trump’s overtures to Russia?

Simple.

The US and its allies must have their enemies. Powerful foes that help unite their citizens under their own flags and distract them from their own governments’ shortcomings.

These dangerous rivals enshrine the need for our spy agencies and ensure the continued flow of funds into the defence industry.

Today the defence industry is thriving to the tune of AU$2.3 trillion (US$1.7 trillion) per year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute. The US alone spent AU$818 billion (US$610 billion) on its military in 2017.

Russia has been the West’s favoured enemy since the end of the Second World War…during which they were allies. That’s 73 years of international antagonism…and counting.

73 years that saw the US and Russia build enough nuclear weapons to destroy the entire world several times over. 73 years where the two nations routinely supported opposite sides in regional conflicts…ensuring those conflicts roil on and on rather than working together towards a solution.

Is seeking an end to that 73-year running conflict really so shameful and bizarre?

And if Trump is so far off base, what is the solution? You can read plenty of criticism, as demonstrated by the headlines above. But you’ll read few, if any, alternatives to maintaining the status quo.

A status quo that will see Russia remain a dangerous enemy for decades to come.

Now don’t get me wrong. Putin is no saint. Far from it. And Russian agents have undoubtedly been up to some nasty work, including foreign meddling, spying, and killing.

But what do you reckon some of the frontline CIA or NSA agents have been up to? Or our own ASIO and ASIS boys and girls for that matter?

So what did Trump say in Helsinki that’s gotten the Deep State so agitated?

Here’s his tweet a few hours after meeting with Putin:

I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people. However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along!

We should look to a brighter future where the world’s two largest nuclear powers must get along? How dare he!

Making the picture even bleaker, Putin also spoke of the importance of the two countries working together. Which comes after Trump pressed NATO members into increasing their own military budgets…hardly a win for Putin.

And in Trump’s final insult to all we hold dear, he said that Russia is not solely to blame for the poor relations between East and West.

I hold both countries responsible. I think the US has been foolish. We’ve all been foolish,’ Trump said.

What a buffoon, right?

With that said, it’s time to return to our primary beat…stock markets.

Avoid this costly trading mistake

When you look for stocks to trade, do you generally stick to the bigger ones? Say the top 100? Or even the top 200 that you’ll find on the ASX 200?

If so, you’re far from alone. But according to quant trading legend, Jason McIntosh, that could be a costly mistake.

Today is the first day of Jason McIntosh ’s free online training seminar, ‘Trade Secrets’.

As I told you yesterday, the seminar runs for seven days. And Jason will explain some of the most important aspects to successful stock trading.

He’ll also reveal five of his best kept trading secrets. These are some of the same methods that saw him make millions from his own trades…and retire by the age of 37.

These days Jason is the brains — and editor — behind our premium trading service, Quant Trader.

Below is an excerpt from an update he sent to subscribers on 6 July:

The ASX has over 2,000 listings — far too many for most people to analyse. This often causes traders to focus on the larger stocks in the ASX 200, or even the ASX 100.

But there’s a problem…

The best returns often come from outside the big names. These are the emerging stars that few people know about — until of course they become much bigger. Three-quarters of Quant Trader’s best performers are from outside the ASX 100. People solely focusing on the biggest stocks are missing a lot of opportunities.

And to be clear, I’m not talking about tiny speculative stocks.

The companies in the “Outside Top 500” category have an average market cap of $138 million. These are serious businesses with the potential to get a lot bigger.

By the way, this isn’t one of Jason’s trade secrets. It’s just an example of the actionable advice he passes along to his readers every week.

To discover his secrets and other useful trading tips, there’s still time to sign up to his seven-day online training seminar. Remember, it’s free to our paying subscribers. You only have to sign up.

You can do so here.

And please do write in to letters@portphillipinsider.com.au with any thoughts or feedback.

Whether that’s on trading, interest rates, the Helsinki summit, or whatever’s on your mind…we always like to hear from you. If we publish your letter, we’ll only use your first name.

Finally, here’s the latest on Brexit from The Australian Tribune:

‘Could This Be the Last Nail in Brexit’s Coffin?’

In less than nine months, on 29 March, 2019, the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU. But as The Australian Tribune has warned since the beginning, vested interests on both sides of the Channel are determined to scuttle the divorce proceedings.

It’s been two years since the majority of UK voters cast their ballot in favour of “leave”. But the closer the UK draws to Brexit, the more divided the country and its government become.

Prime Minister Theresa May has…’

If you’re fed up with sanitised, politically correct dogma cut and pasted from one mainstream source to another then The Australian Tribuneis for you.

And it’s absolutely free.

Sign up here to get The Australian Tribune delivered free to your inbox five days per week.

You can visit our website at https://www.theaustraliantribune.com.au/ to read the complete article above now.

Cheers,
Bernd