Let's talk about Syria and how what's happening there is affecting the markets.
I see oil rising to two-year highs. I see gold rising to three-month highs. Let's see, what else is being affected? Oh, that would be nothing.
And today we find out that, with a touch of some levers somewhere, U.S. GDP growth wasn't really 1.7% in the second quarter, it was really 2.5%.
Let's talk about the GDP growth revision and how that's affecting the markets.
I see oil coming off its Syria-inspired spike and gold giving up some recent gains. Let's see, what else is being affected? Oh, that would be nothing. Well, maybe bonds just a bit.
Let's talk about the U.S. government - the government of the most powerful nation on earth - and how its incompetence and interference and manipulation are affecting the markets.
Right this way...
I've seen bonds rise and yields collapse, and now some backing-up on both fronts. I've seen stocks rise because bonds rose and interest rates collapsed. I've seen the headline unemployment number fall because a lot of people are being hired part-time and a heck of a lot more people have given up looking for careers, jobs, or hamburger-flipping gigs.
I've seen a lot of banks pay a lot of money... where does all that money go, anyway?... in fines levied for civil "crimes" they never say they are guilty of, because it's a pay-to-play game and the House is always collecting from the suckers in the grand casino.
What does it all mean? It means that manipulation is a zero-sum game. Stuff is taken from some people and given to others. It doesn't have to be that way. If only the free markets were allowed to be free, one plus one wouldn't equal one, it would equal two or three or...
Let's talk about Syria, or Iraq, for that matter, or Iran, or Saudi Arabia, heck, let's talk about all of them and how they're affecting markets.
They're only affecting markets and the rest of the world because they are in the Middle East. But the Middle East would be neither here nor there, just some place in the middle, if it wasn't for oil.
The conflicts in the Middle East are mostly based on religion, mostly the same religion. Most of the conflicts are about how to follow Islam, which from Arabic translates to "submission." Al Qaeda, which translated means "The Way," is a movement by a bunch of radical Islamists to force their version of Islam, their meaning of submission, on everybody else's version of Islam. And when Westerners took sides with the governments of the other Islamists who controlled their people, which most Westerners don't care about as long as the oil is flowing, The Way became a war against Westerners.
But here's the thing. If the United States was self-sufficient in oil and energy production, which it always could have been, the Middle East would be some place in the middle of that giant continent and only important because we have an ally smack dab on the precipice of the Middle East. But I'm not going there.
The U.S. government likes to meddle in other people's business when our supposed business interests are at stake. But those interests are increasingly the interests of the oil companies and the war machinery that's the business of defense contractors.
So, while markets aren't doing a whole lot, just waiting in limbo to see if the U.S. fires some Tomahawks or cruise missiles at some safe-houses or storage dumps or runways, we might want to ask our government what they are going to do in Syria after they pockmark it.
Are they going to do there what they did in Afghanistan after they armed the Mujahideen with Stinger missiles to oust the Soviets and then abandon them to the Taliban and their rivals promising The Way? Are they going to do what they did in Iraq and hold back the forces of civil war long enough to claim victory over the evil Saddam Hussein, whom the U.S. backed when they wanted Saddam to fight a border war with Iran for 20 years and watch a million men die? Or are they going to do what they did to Egypt and support a Hosni Mubarak with aircraft and money and then abandon him when a popular and democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood regime worked its way into power, only to stand by and watch the military claw back the reins over their people?
The markets want to know. They're waiting to see how this will affect oil and gold and stocks and the perpetuation of interference and war and wasted American lives.
Let Syria be. There's no proof that Assad used chemical weapons any more than there was proof Saddam had WMDs. There's evidence that someone used chemical weapons, but it could have been the opposition. Or some interested party who will benefit by regime change could have unloaded the chemicals. Think about it, have we seen any pictures of opposition combatants dead and dying from the supposed chemical attacks? If Assad used them, why would he use them on civilian non-combatants, the women and children we see on our T.V. sets? All I'm saying is, why are we rushing into a situation we can't control any more than we could control Afghanistan, or Pakistan, or Iraq, or Iran?
That brings me to managing GDP growth. By the same hand that purports to know how to resolve religious and civil conflicts halfway around the world, are we to believe that hand can successfully manage the free will and entrepreneurship of the American people?
I hate bad government, and that's what we've got, a bad government. This government can't manage the economy any more than it can manage strife in the Middle East. It ceded economic control to the Fed, which it hides behind when things go wrong. This government interferes to make our economy constipated and 1,000 times worse when it should be on a self-correcting path.
I'm sick and tired of America's natural potential being sold up the river by our government to banks and oil companies and warmongers for their profit and patronage.
We have to free ourselves of this bad government, which acts like a Venus flytrap.
We have to free our free markets and let the forces of creative destruction clear out unproductive and insolvent institutions, like the big banks that keep getting propped up time and time again, even after they bring the nation to its knees with their fraudulent schemes.
We have to free ourselves of the oligarchs that make the economy a zero-sum game by taking from the population what is hard earned by hardworking people.
That's what's affecting the markets...
About the Author
Shah Gilani boasts a financial pedigree unlike any other. He ran his first hedge fund in 1982 from his seat on the floor of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange. When options on the Standard & Poor's 100 began trading on March 11, 1983, Shah worked in "the pit" as a market maker.
The work he did laid the foundation for what would later become the VIX - to this day one of the most widely used indicators worldwide. After leaving Chicago to run the futures and options division of the British banking giant Lloyd's TSB, Shah moved up to Roosevelt & Cross Inc., an old-line New York boutique firm. There he originated and ran a packaged fixed-income trading desk, and established that company's "listed" and OTC trading desks.
Shah founded a second hedge fund in 1999, which he ran until 2003.
Shah's vast network of contacts includes the biggest players on Wall Street and in international finance. These contacts give him the real story - when others only get what the investment banks want them to see.
Today, as editor of Hyperdrive Portfolio, Shah presents his legion of subscribers with massive profit opportunities that result from paradigm shifts in the way we work, play, and live.
Shah is a frequent guest on CNBC, Forbes, and MarketWatch, and you can catch him every week on Fox Business's Varney & Co.