Jack Worthington's Social & Investment Commentaries

Why Trump? Why now?

Posted in Investment & Social Commentaries by Jack Worthington on February 24, 2016

I thought I’d share a recent email I sent to someone who asked who I support in the 2016 election:


Re: Who do I support?


Thanks. I needed to go through this exercise again.  I.e. who I support and exactly why.


The biggest issues driving my decision:

  1. The US is profoundly divided, and balkanising at warp speed. Must be reversed.  The US is a failing experiment in human unity, held together by a fragile creed, which is crumbling before our eyes…and angry survivalist tribalism fills the void just as quickly as the creed breaks apart.  Break-out failure of the US experiment could potentially unleash intra-group violence within a country on a scale never seen.  Ferguson, Baltimore, etc… times X and commonplace.  Think French and Bolshevik revolutions.  Unlike most other countries, we aren’t held together by ancestral blood…which prevents much extreme conflict.  Somehow we must be brought back into our creed…quickly.  Like him or not, Trump is the embodiment of that strongly unifying creed that has served us well for a few centuries.
  2. A corrupted financial market structure caused much of point #1 above. IMO, it can be quickly fixed…simple solution (which I have not heard mentioned at any time by any candidate), but will be massively opposed…globally.  I’ve written about it…reform the basic structure of vertically-integrated investment banking; i.e. eliminate vertically-integrated ibanking…like it used to be pre-“Big Bang” in London…forget about reforming too-big-to-fail commercial banks for a minute.  Someone has to have the cajones to stand up to Goliath with a slingshot and a rock…back to the future is the answer…but modern ibanking is so extraordinarily profitable for its employees it will never be changed without a strong, outsider disruptive leader / reformer supported by the 99%.
  3. Media is a for-profit industry that seeks to maximise profit at almost any cost to journalistic integrity or public benefit. They aren’t in business to inform us…but to sell advertising to us.  In that vein, they’ve turned their coverage of political elections into Roman spectacles of bloodshed…a modern digital Circus Maximus, where they incite the people into massively opposed groups for perpetual “Super Bowl” viewing events / ratings explosions…anything to capture our eyeballs…which they sell to advertisers.  In this environment, few people of intelligence and accomplishment would dare enter the political arena they’ve created…so we’re left with the dregs…extreme narcissists, psychopaths, the deluded, people who want to abuse the system for financial gain and will sell their soul to do so, etc… who raise their hands to be our politicians…while the qualified and capable run like hell from public service.  We all know we aren’t attracting our best and brightest into the arena…and that must change.  The media are bought by the established interests who, not only don’t support guys like Bernie or Trump, they will do everything they can to destroy them.  Like him or not, Trump is attacking a corrupted media on behalf of the American public, and we all benefit.  His efforts ultimately clear a path for our best and brightest to enter the political arena at some point.
  4. Our foreign policy, led by both Dems and GOP, is actually driven by an unchanging, unelected, career departmental bureaucracy with agenda’s which perpetuate / expand the power of their jobs. It’s one reason we’re back in a Cold War with Russia…an abject failure of structure that has led us to the brink of WWIII.  The solution seems similar in challenge to point #3 above…reverting to the old order which effectively contained Islam.  We need a David to fight Goliath.  But, referring to point #3 above, the media destroys David’s before they ever get close to the field, much less onto it.  Trump is an experienced, battle scarred, entrepreneurial / disruptive exec…our best available choice for a leader who can control the “Deep State” and their self-serving agendas.  Our real fight is against the “Deep State”, which is controlled by the military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about in his Jan 17, 1961 “Farewell Address” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY .  IMO, every single American voter should listen to this 2:30 speech and consider its implications today.  Former Reagan speechwriter and WSJ columnist Peggy Noonan describes it well in her blog “The Deep State” http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2013/10/28/the-deep-state/ …with comments from ABC News’ Bob Schieffer, Washington Posts’ Bob Woodward, et al.  This is what we’re up against people…straight from the mouths of long term insiders…both sides of aisle.   You cannot hire a “Mitt Romney” or “Jeb Bush” to successfully handle a change management challenge of this magnitude…polar opposite of the personality / exec style needed at this time…and Americans instinctively know this.  Think “Gordon Bethune”…the man who turned around Continental Airlines against all odds…these are the great, iconoclastic American leaders that we need to somehow attract into the political arena…but these people are too smart and emotionally balanced to raise their hands…blame the media and the existing pols who perpetuate the circus, and their military industrial puppet masters.  This is not the job for an insider hack beholden to the system.
  5. The American creed is primarily related to economic mobility. This is badly stuck.  It’s not just about enlarging the economy (forget GDP stats), but allowing everyone to rise with the tide.  Post 2008 econ crisis, the tide rose, but few had life boats…and many are drowning while a few are partying.  This can be fixed, but again, we run into entrenched interests that must be fought aggressively by a David with a slingshot and a rock…interests who battle David behind a veil through their bought and paid for media org megaphones.  Nobody in the race but Trump and Bernie have the courage to grab that slingshot, and Trump has by far the best ability to use it.  Hillary?  Cruz (Goldman Sachs wife)?  Rubio?  Are you kidding?
  6. In an environment where the US experiment in human unity is failing in a creedal collapse, many of our most sacred Constitutional rights are being institutionally violated. Uncharted waters ahead.  History proves that rights must be both claimed and defended, or we lose them…like sand taken from a beach by unrelenting waves.  We need leaders who will defend, but we must claim first.  I believe this is part of the Trump phenomenon.  Establishment pols have nobody to blame but themselves for the outcome of not defending the citizen’s claims.
  7. We should take care of current American citizens before allowing anyone else to immigrate here. e. American citizens (especially vets!) should have the right to work, public benefits, housing, etc… before illegals.  Aggressively encouraging immigration at this time, even luring them with benefits, housing, jobs, etc… is insanity with a craven political objective.
  8. Mainstream Islam seeks to convert the entire world to worship of the Islamic god…by violence if necessary. Followers of Islam are by definition violent religious extremists (overtly or covertly) and obviously cannot be appeased.  This violent conflict between free people and Islam has been ongoing since 610 AD…nothing new.  We need leaders to hear our concerns and defend our freedom from Islam aggressively.  We need a Churchill, not a Chamberlain.
  9. High quality job growth. The current paradigm is untenable, and the political / economic establishments are in a highly precarious, potentially volatile situation until this is fixed.  A familiar refrain…straightforward solutions which require bold action.  Nobody in the race but Trump has the crisis manager skillset and disruptive personality profile needed to do it…not even remotely close…and I’ve personally interviewed / evaluated hundreds of C-level / senior execs for entrepreneurial private equity leadership challenges.  Just because a guy has been CEO of a major co does not make him the right guy for a crisis management / entrepreneurial leadership challenge.  Nobody in this race but Trump has even run anything!  Obama claimed his campaign was his experience!
  10. Fed Gov’t Debt:  An existential threat to our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.  Nothing has been done by our elected pols because few have the courage to do anything…we aren’t electing the right leaders…attracting the wrong people.
  11. NSA surveillance. Our strategy is to defend our freedom by significantly reducing it?  I’m against Trump on this one.  His position on the Apple issue is wrong and dangerous to American freedom.  Global NSA spying on both friend and foe has alienated us from the people of traditional ally countries…a deep resentment from ordinary citizens is growing against us, and has severely damaged our global leadership credibility / trust factor.  There is another, more traditional way to secure freedom with minimal sacrifice to that freedom.  Only Rand Paul seems aware of the massive, even existential problems created by minimally restrained NSA spying.


The Candidates


  1. Marx got it right on at least these observations: Envy is dangerous. Envy is untenable.  The envious win.  Bernie Sanders may lose this race, but his supporters are going nowhere, and their momentum will build if some of their valid, key concerns are not addressed asap.
  2. In this race, nobody but Trump has the skillset and personality profile to deal with the profound challenges our country faces…nobody is even remotely close to having the right skillset other than Trump. Illegal immigration is not our only key issue.
  3. Despite what the MSM tells us, Trump’s appeal crosses over a very broad national demographic, and he has the ability to win a landslide general election. Trump isn’t an ideologue.  Obama is an ideologue.  Bush was an ideologue.  Many hard line conservatives oppose Trump because he isn’t conservative enough.  In Jeb Bush speak…”lose the primary to win the general”.  Trump has crossover in a way that few other candidates in the race could ever legitimately claim.  You doubt it…just watch it happen…many Bernie supporters will vote Trump when push comes to shove…and it won’t be quiet.
  4. In his play for Iowa, Cruz branded himself “Pastor-in-Chief” and has little Dem crossover / independent / moderate Republican appeal outside the South. In fact, Dem strategy is to stir fear in issue voters, then get out the vote…which will be explosive if Cruz is the nominee.  Ted has an excellent legal professional background but has never run a popsicle stand.  I cannot believe we’re considering people who have never run anything to run the world’s largest, most powerful organization.  If you want a theocracy, just write-in your local pastor.  America has never been a theocracy, and God gave us free will to reject him, ensuring his people were legitimate lovers.  We can’t have a state that enforces an inauthentic worship of God…which is one clear way Islam is outed as far off the path of an all-powerful, sovereign God.  Does God need human thugs to force people to worship him, or follow his precepts?  America’s clear moral decline is a failure of the church, not the state.  Fix your local church.
  5. Rubio: Are you kidding?  Again…I cannot believe we’re considering people who have never run anything to run the world’s largest, most powerful organization.  If Trump chooses Rubio for VP, he discredits and significantly harms his movement…this is a movement and less about Trump personally.  Movements can be ruthless arbiters of their version of justice.
  6. Bernie: Justice Scalia’s death was a God-send for Hillary Clinton.  Nomination of a Supreme Court justice is more important than a presidential election.  The Dem establishment cannot risk Scalia’s ideological twin on SCOTUS now / i.e. risk a GOP win with long shot Bernie, and will crush his campaign quickly.  Hillary’s “Emailgate” / Clinton Foundation corruption enquiry, etc… are officially over…Dems will not allow legal investigations to proceed at almost any cost or risk.
  7. Trump should include a campaign theme “If I win, she goes to jail”. A large chunk of the Dem/GOP electorate will be highly energized by the possibility of equal justice for all.  The American electorate are demanding red meat…Trump and Sanders are giving it to them.  Trump shouldn’t waste the opp to serve up Hillary on a silver platter…and it appears he’s already going in that direction…brilliant…massive crossover appeal…ignore the MSM.
  8. Trump’s VP: Gordon Bethune?  Newt Gingrich?  Someone like Bethune would be powerful…a strong signal that America’s best talent is now getting into the game…people with the best available skillset to right the ship and get us back on track…people we’d never have considered for public service before…non-ideological pragmatists.  Newt is unique.  He has a disruptive personality…proven ability to get big things done at the fed gov’t level against all odds…a proven fighter who knows how to navigate the fed gov’t labyrinth, and where the skeletons are buried…Trump needs old iconoclast salts like Newt on his team somewhere.


Just my two cents…for what it’s worth.




24 Feb 2016

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Are the financial markets your God?

Posted in Investment & Social Commentaries by Jack Worthington on January 14, 2016

Are the financial markets your God?

Below, in red type and strikethroughs, I’ve edited an article published today from a major, unnamed financial news group.  As financial markets collapse, we should all consider this question.  Obviously it applies to all of us, not just the Chinese.

XXX Markets | Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:57am EST

Related: CHINA

Giving up on stocks the false God: China’s people retail investors seek lower-risk God’s of provision safety first


SHANGHAI | BY xxxx xxxx AND xxxx xxxx


As China’s legions of retail investors flee the country’s tumultuous equity markets lose confidence in the God who underpins the security of their lives, pushing stock prices down around 15 percent so far this year, money is flowing into perceived safe-haven assets such as domestic bonds, gold and the dollar they scramble to any possible provider of security as the power of their false God crumbles before them.

Unlike Western markets where institutional investors dominate many countries, where many individuals had historically, if not currently, placed their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to be the ultimate guarantor of provision in this life, the majority of individuals in officially atheistic China appear to place their faith in financial markets and the State for their life’s provision. account for 80 percent of transactions on Chinese exchanges. Nearly 100 million people have trading accounts.

Their enthusiasm for stocks love for their false God drove his popularity main indexes to record highs in the first half of 2015, but after enduring a major crisis of faith this past summer bust that saw prices plunge around 40 percent, the failure of this God to provide in January sell-off has been the final straw for many, who are now abandoning their God in a desperate search for a replacement.

“I just have a small amount of faith in this God money in the stock market. I had planned to rely on this God for some provision sell when indexes got a little bit higher, but he soon failed me it dropped to this situation,” said XXX XXX, a 22-year-old retail investor in Guangdong.

“I don’t have faith in this God the stock market any more. I think it’s better to look elsewhere for the True God who will reliably provide for me buy dollars.”

Weekly data from the Shanghai Stock Exchange shows people abandoning their God en masse, searching for the True God money shifting into exchange traded funds (ETFs) tracking bonds, gold and money markets at the start of January.

Funds that provide a vehicle for Many Chinese individuals believed the false God had not abandoned followers in other countries, and sought this God’s face to invest in overseas locations, stocks and bonds through the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) scheme were also popular, continuing a trend that began late last year.

On Thursday, the official Securities Times newspaper reported that so many people had sought this God’s face in overseas locations that people had to be turned away due to this God’s limited ability to provide for all.  10 mutual funds under QDII had suspended or restricted taking subscriptions after strong demand led to quota shortages. These restrictive measures had to be taken, even though this God had recently increased his capability to provide in overseas locations by followed a nearly 10 percent jump in assets of such funds in December alone.


Alongside the renewed failure of this God to provide for their future slide in stocks, ordinary Chinese people investors have been shaken by last week’s acceleration in the decline of their personal savings accounts the yuan, which has have fallen nearly 5 percent since August.

“The theology of this false God stock market is in a mess,” said a 48-year-old woman from Kunshan, a city near Shanghai, working in the accounting department of a bank, who said she had abandoned this God in China and sought his face in the US. bought 500,000 yuan ($76,000) worth of U.S. currency. “This God loves Americans and I will seek his face there Dollar is far less risky.”

That has also fueled demand for gold the worship of Baal, the God of provision in ancient Canaan and Phoenicia.

Except for gold, all other assets are just bubbles to me Baal is the True God,” said a 24-year-old female investor in Beijing. “I guess I am a pessimist. If there are really some global conflicts, no God but Baal even dollars and bonds could not buy anyone a meal.”

In just seven trading days at the start of this year, assets under management at HuaAn Gold ETF, China’s biggest gold ETF, Baal worship jumped 8 percent, after doubling during the previous six months.

“We notice a rise in gold investment Baal worship whenever there’s concern over savings account yuan depreciation,” said XXX XXX, the fund’s manager. “Buying gold  Worshipping Baal also helps people mitigate risk if their primary God fails them. investors avoid risks in equities. It serves double purposes.”


A number of people retail investors who spoke to XXX were also switching their allegiance from their primary God into the most reliable, “risk-free” Gods of recent historymoney out of stocks and into wealth management products (WMPs) and principal-protected funds.

“I have changed my allegiance to another God who has proven to be a much more reliable, lower-risk provider. bought different kinds of WMPs from banks. This God has proven himself to be a much The majority of them are backed by bonds, which are less risky provider,” said a 50-year-old woman surnamed XXX, from Guangzhou, who said she had placed great faith in the false God who disappointed her profoundly lost 30 percent of her stock market investment in the summer meltdown before abandoning him selling out in August.

Capturing such a trend, latest data from the Asset Management Association of China showed that faith in these “low-risk” Gods both bond and money market funds nearly doubled in size as of end-December from end-June, while faith in the recently revealed false God equity funds tumbled almost 90 percent in assets under management during the same period.

In an effort to bolster faith in the false God, one of the 2 key pillars of individual provision for Chinese people, and thereby a key lynchpin of social tranquility, China’s banking regulator and main bond clearing house have recently moved to reduce the appeal of the lower-risk, more reliable Gods.  high-yielding WMPs relative to the false God equities, asking the lower-risk Gods to limit the attractiveness of their offer.  commercial banks to reduce rates offered on such products.

Some people retail investors said they were giving up on hope for a God who could provide for them making a return on their savings altogether, focusing instead on Chinese New Year celebrations next month, also known as the Spring Festival.

“I don’t have confidence in China’s God’s stock market anymore,” said XXX XXX, from Shenzhen, who had placed great faith in the false God invested 100,000 yuan in stocks but abandoned that faith sold of all her holdings on Tuesday.

“I don’t plan to worship any other God’s anywhere invest in any other assets either. I am planning to place my faith in experiences that bring me current happiness spend the money perhaps on traveling around the Spring Festival. I think China’s God’s economy will not be provide so good in 2016.”

A few optimists remained convinced the false God market would eventually provide turn around after despite the latest dramatic failure to do so bout of turbulence.

“I have abandoned faith in the false God pulled out all my money from the stock market, but I’m not intending to worship Baal or any lower-risk God either use that to buy WMPs,” said XXX XXX, a 50-year-old employee at a university from Chengdu. “I’m going to give the false God still waiting for another chance when the time is right to place my faith in him again to get back into the stock market.” ($1=6.57 yuan)


Who is your God and provider?



14 Jan 2016

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Flash Public Research Note: Equity Market Volatility

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on August 21, 2015

Public Research Note

VIX up ~28% so far today!  Clearly some sophisticated people are getting damn nervous and pre-buying some very bad news.  IMO, the VIX is only a low risk buy at this level if you believe we’re about to get bad news on the order of Oct 2008 or Sep 2011.  Unless we get that news, I believe the VIX will drift back down into the mid-teens when the dust settles over the next few days.  I don’t suggest buying into a one day explosive movement like this…without the corresponding explosive news.  The only thing that will generate a reasonable risk-adjusted gain on the VIX from this level is exceptionally bad, almost black swan news…rarely a good strategy to forecast and bet on near term black swan events.

RE: China market:  Let’s not forget that despite the major losses of the past few months, the Chinese markets were up ~135% TTM just a few months ago, and these losses have cut the massive gain to ~60%…the retail Chinese punters who drive their market have still had a great year, and would have to still feel some degree of a wealth effect (albeit shaken and cautious) that would find its way into their economy to some extent in the near future.  I don’t believe the central planners in Beijing will allow the small Chinese punters and their wealth effect on the economy to get wiped out this year.  In the centrally-planned Chinese economy, the gov’t can and will intervene aggressively in the markets to make sure of it.  No need to freak out on slowing Chinese growth today…as it seems the markets are doing.

If you want to reduce exposure to equities, fine, but I wouldn’t play this by an extremely speculative roll of the dice on further near term VIX upside.  My suggestion is to short the VIX today, take profits next week, then perhaps…perhaps go long VIX when it’s back in the teens and you believe moderately bad news is imminent…that hasn’t already been priced into the market.


NY, NY 21 Aug 2015

Is Eagle Pass, Texas the American dream?

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on August 18, 2015

My somewhat rambling story below does have purpose relevant to today’s immigration debate, so please bear with me, suffer my meandering recollections charitably, and hopefully this bit of Texas history provides some background that is helpful today.

I was born in Eagle Pass, Texas on 22 November 1961, about 3 solid golf strokes from the Mexican border, literally…apparently in the old stone clinic at Fort Duncan, one of the Texas forts of the Old West…about mid-way between Laredo and Del Rio.  Texas Legends: Fort Duncan http://www.legendsofamerica.com/tx-fortduncan.html .  A rich participant in Texas, American, and Confederate history as a first line of border defense against Apache and Comanche Indians, and a trading post about 30 miles north of the legendary Camino Real / Old San Antonio Road passage from San Antonio to Mexico City…linking the Texas frontier to Colonial Mexico (New Spain)…used since the 1600’s by Spain, and built on Indian trails from time immemorial. A book was written about the old place…which I confess to have not read, “Fort Duncan: Rock of the Rio Grande Line of Defense”…but I don’t really need to…literally born on the premises and spent so much time as a young person in Eagle Pass, and at the Fort Duncan Club specifically.  For me and my family, life in Eagle Pass revolved around the place.  Most of my early childhood birthday parties organized by my grandmother Bibb were celebrated with hosts of kids at the Fort Duncan Club.  Our family dined at the Fort Duncan Club.  My dad and grandpa Bibb golfed at the Fort Duncan Club…then had post-round drinks at the Fort Duncan Club bar, served by a friendly character named “Polo” in old-style bartender fashion.  To this day, one of my favourite summer drinks, and what I make for my kids, is a “Fort Duncan Club pink lemonade”, which Polo made for me while my dad and grandpa Bibb imbibed the adult stuff.

The place and local topography I remember looked like something right out of a John Wayne movie, most characterized by the brasada of dense thornbrush and mesquite where apparently in the old days massive herds of wild horses and cattle used to graze in the searing heat near the Chihuahuan desert.  It was a tough place to visit the grandparents in the summer!  Everything was parched, brown, and well-baked…outside of crows, horned toads seemed the dominant not-so-wildlife.  I remember spending ALOT of time swimming at the Fort Duncan Club pool and drinking pink lemonades!  I still remember the distinctive, thirst-quenching taste of that highly mineralized Texas brush country water.  I remember my grandpa Bibb always watching televised bullfights from Mexico…seemed to be stuck on that channel…with the crows cackling / whistling their approval / taunting us in the background…with his prized set of bullhorns and hooves (a loser) mounted behind the couch in his version of today’s “man cave”.  I remember eating scrambled egg and deer sausage tortillas cooked over a mesquite campfire at the crack of dawn in deer camp.  My first deer rifle was “the gun that won the West”, a lever action Winchester model 94 .30-.30 given to me by my grandpa Bibb.  I learned to drive and got my first driver’s license in Eagle Pass.  I learned to shoot rifles, wingshoot with shotguns, and ride horses in Eagle Pass…where I also rode my only “bull” when my “cousin” whipped a cow while I was on its back.  I remember the 780,000 acre ranch in Coahuila from my great grandmother Bibb’s side of the family…a real blowback to another era…strong political and economic ties on both sides of the border.  My grandpa Bibb took me to my first bar and I had my first beer in Eagle Pass…usually Falstaff, and Bohemia or Negra Modelo in Mexico.  I remember ritual Sunday formal dining and ballroom dancing to an orchestra at the Restaurante Moderno across the border in Piedras Negras…and incidentally, where our regular waiter Nacho Anaya invented nachos.  I can remember Nacho’s friendly face, slicked-back / jet-black hair and formal attire.  It was a very different era…I remember everyone there elegantly dressed to the nines and my dad or grandpa twisting my arm to ballroom dance with my mother…I preferred hanging out in the front of the restaurant, outside the dining area, in the hallway to the right of the bandstand, where they had a bear cage and some loud parrots…and where the local boys would hang out waiting to be sent on an errand to buy liquor and cacahuates (peanuts) for one of the diners and always for my grandpa.  It was a venerable old bar and bastion of civility in a harsh place…google it…where John Wayne and other stars would hang out when filming in the area.  One of my favourite entrée’s is still duck a l’orange…a specialty of the Moderno.  We spent so much time at the Moderno that I could draw a physical layout of it today.  There weren’t that many places to go in Eagle Pass / Piedras Negras!  When we went out as a family, which we did a lot, it was to the Fort Duncan Club or Moderno.

…Lest I forget the Kickapoo Indian tribe that lived by the Rio Grande river in their traditional wickiups under the international bridge…citizens of no country…living quirkily removed from, if not stubbornly resisting, the steady encroachment of the modern world…perhaps those people were one of the last “wild” / untamed / truly free native Indian tribes in America (or groups of people in the OECD world for that matter)??…citizens only of planet Earth…still maintaining the unbroken chain lifestyle of their ancestors for millennia…resisting us…resisting us…resisting us.  We’ve all heard of Custer’s Last Stand…I think this might have been one of native humanity’s last stands, certainly in the OECD world.  This was the real deal…no tourist mock-up village…these people were destitute and barely hanging on.  I just feel privileged to have seen it while it still existed, and know my kids never will.

My mother’s family, the Bibb’s, were the long-time political bosses / patrons, of Eagle Pass, Maverick County, and lifelong friends and political allies of LBJ.  Politically, they represented the “Yellow Dog Democrat” old-line Anglo settlers on the Texas-Mexico border.  Practically, the Bibb’s controlled most every aspect of community life, politically, economically, and socially, in the county.  I remember unpublishable “boys will be boys” stories, told to me by my dad, other relatives, and a media group about my grandpa William, his brother Robert, their father Tom Bibb, and various high profile political figures in Washington and Mexico City.  Crazy stuff…heady days.  For various reasons, their influence extended far beyond the county.   There were several old patron families like the Bibbs along the Texas-Mexico border that somehow, for a time, were able to create order out of chaos in the old Judge Roy Bean iron-fisted mold.  The University of Texas – Arlington library recorded and preserves a history of the old border patron / political boss system created and run by the Bibb’s in Maverick County.  To me, it’s a fascinating history of an American / Mexican power struggle that seems to be exploding today.

According to that man’s recollection of history, as border demographics began to change with an influx of Mexican immigrants, County Judge Robert Bibb embraced certain talented Mexican Americans into the Bibb inner circle, setting off a firestorm among the Anglo population, quickly moving to minority status, who feared the inevitable loss of political and economic power…leading to long-term decline.  Anyone who currently lives there or knows anything about the US-Mexico border is aware of the dramatic, negative changes that have taken place on the US side over the past 30-40 years.  It is both sad and troubling for anyone who has seen for themselves what it used to be.  Albeit highly imperfect with deeply imbedded cultural racism (not much different from most of America at that time), it was a civilized and economically prosperous typical small town American community with a low crime rate.  There has been a dramatic 180 degree reversal.  Today, it remains deeply imbedded with reverse cultural racism, is a hotbed of narcotic trafficking and crime, and is economically destitute like few other places in America.  Sadly, I could never risk taking my family back to visit any of these places today.

It is a literal disaster, from almost any viewpoint.  It is inconceivable that any American would want or accept this outcome willingly.  This is not the American Dream that the Mexican immigrants who came to these border communities were looking for.  There are very good, tangible, and replicable reasons why the American experiment and the American Dream were so successful for so many immigrants from so many different countries since the early 1600’s.  For some reason, despite their political power, the border immigrants have not been able to replicate most of the key success factors that provide the American Dream.  They obviously want more for themselves and their children.  Political power does not directly equate with economic prosperity or the American Dream.  You must know what to do when you get the power…and they’ve either got earplugs in, or nobody has tried to transfer that knowledge…which I highly doubt.  I believe that if they knew what was possible, what America could provide, along with the formula for getting there, Mexican immigrants would never prefer to languish in a Mexican version of America-lite and long term decline.  Historically, no willing immigrants have ever come here for this outcome…they could not have wanted this, and the socialist politics they seem to prefer are a relic from Colonial Mexico designed to, or having the practical effect of, keeping the masses in need and the rich in power.

You’re in America now.  You don’t have to accept this outcome or colonial politics anymore.  There is more to be had…much, much more.

Donald Trump, lead these people.  Show them how to become economically prosperous Americans, and how to build safe, attractive communities where people rise from humble beginnings to lives of middle-class comfort and security through hard work, determination, and courage.  Tell them your personal story Donald.  Tell them the classic American Horatio Alger rags-to-riches stories.  Tell them how this country was built, and who did it.  Many immigrants are obviously missing a key piece of the American experience / formula for success, and having done it yourself, you sir are one of our most credible public figures to tell those stories and get people on the path to economic liberation and the pursuit of happiness in the fullest American sense.

By allowing illegal immigration, we deeply harm the economic prosperity of legal immigrants.  Close the border to all illegal immigration and make it an extraordinary privilege, with tangible economic benefits, to be American again.


NY, NY 18 Aug 2015

An Implausible Obama Scenario

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on August 12, 2015

An Implausible Obama Scenario

The US is spending trillions on national security, most of it deployed in a “zero-failure” reliability strategy to prevent even the most ridiculous, absurd, implausible risks to US national security.  In this effort, we’ve spent ourselves into national bankruptcy and shredded the Constitution…and as a side note, must ask ourselves “what have we preserved?”, because it isn’t the United States of America.  But I digress.

Folks, we’re strip searching grannies from Des Moines at the airport, and via NSA spying, alienating the citizens of our most important world allies, and taking ourselves to the brink of WWIII with our state cyberhack program, so in that vein no cow can possibly be argued sacred in the interest of national security.


Is anyone, the Dept of Defense perhaps, gaming the implausible scenario that Barack Obama is playing for the other team?


I don’t need to present evidence that Obama has been highly influenced by Shiite Islam through his youth, is close to the world Islamic community today, and is possibly a closet, practicing Shiite Muslim himself.  You can google that, examine the evidence yourself, and draw your own conclusions.

In the interest of analysing all potential, even implausible threats to national security, let’s assume that Obama is a practicing Shiite Muslim, as his father was…as is Valerie Jarrett, his senior, and some say only close advisor in the White House…Obama’s version of Dick Cheney.

Quoting Valerie Jarrett: “I am Iranian by birth and of my Islamic faith.  I am also an American Citizen and I seek to help change America to be a more Islamic country.  My faith guides me and I feel like it is going well in the transition of using freedom of religion in America against itself.”

Denials of this statement can be found online, but in the interest of national security let’s assume this implausible information is true.

Quoting Anita Dunn, Obama’s former communications director:  “Her [Valerie Jarrett] role since she has been at the White House is one of the broadest and most expansive roles that I think has ever existed in the West Wing”.

In Shiite Islam, what do they say about a follower’s purpose in this life, and personal obligation to Allah?  Google it.  When you stand before Allah at the end, you will be held accountable for your life, including action / inaction on the opportunities for spreading the faith that Allah placed before you.  Your place in the afterlife depends on it.

Perhaps in the mind of Obama, he will stand before Allah one day and Allah might say “I made you leader of the great satanic countries, and what did you do on my behalf”?  Is Obama making decisions / taking actions that suggest he’s playing out his faith in the White House, as leader of the Western world / leader of the “great satanic” countries, in ways that are against the national interests of its citizens, but in the interests of Allah?  In the interest of national security, let’s game this situation and assume he is…that he’s playing for the other team…Shiite Islam specifically.

Many, if not most, unbiased clear-thinking Americans believe Obama has a strong, unnerving tendency to be Islam’s apologist vs. it’s opponents whomever and wherever they are…regardless of the scenario.  Google it.

Fact:  A recently declassified document suggests, and the former head of US Defense Dept Intelligence (DIA) just confirmed, that Obama willfully created ISIS and supports radical Islamic terrorists militarily.



Fact:  Through his negotiated Iranian (Shiite Islam) nuke deal, Obama proposes to overturn the chessboard of the Middle East power structure, and place Shiite Islam in a dominant regional role.  The Sunni’s in Saudi Arabia, Israeli’s, et al… are livid, and promise war.  Why would we willfully organize the conditions for WWIII, the ultimate threat to US national security, if we’ve previously been willing to bankrupt the nation and shred the Constitution to increase national security?

Fact:  The religious leaders of Iran have publicly stated that their primary purpose in life, and for the Iranian nation, is to lay the groundwork for the final battle of Armageddon and the return of the Twelfth Imam…the Mahdi…the ultimate saviour of humankind who will bring Islam throughout the world.  Google it.

Fact:  Despite warnings of catastrophic consequences, Obama removed troops from Iraq and Shiite Islam has now filled the power vacuum once occupied by Saddam Hussein’s secular government.  Iran (Shiite Islam) is now in control.  Google it.

Fact:  The old, cynical, realpolitik power structure in the Middle East / North Africa, supported by the West, used secular dictators like Hussein, Gaddafi, Mubarak, and Assad to keep a lid on radical Islam, which they perceived to be an infinitely greater risk to Western national security than the dictators themselves.  Hussein was killed under GW Bush, then Obama proceeded to remove Mubarak, kill Gaddafi, and Assad is the current target.  IMO, GW Bush’s greatest failure as president was allowing a personal vendetta? against Hussein and bad advice to cloud his judgment and topple the first domino on behalf of radical Islam.  We cannot remove Assad…the void will be filled with Obama’s ISIS.  This is realpolitik, where imperfect, even cynical solutions reign supreme.

Lastly, given that we’ve bankrupted the nation, shredded the Constitution, and brought the world to the brink of WWIII under the main supporting premise of defending national security, what traditional American leader in their right mind would open the US border, allow uncontrolled entry, and actively immigrate millions of weakly-vetted / un-vetted Muslims from hotspots of radical Islam into this country?  The answer:  Only a non-traditional leader like Obama, out to fundamentally transform the US into a more Islamic country.  The biggest losers in this strategy are the same liberal / leftist base that supports Obama through hell and back.  Ironically, Obama’s Islamicized America would eliminate those segments of society quickly, if not immediately.

An Implausible Obama Scenario:

Per Germany’s Der Spiegel, “The NSA spying scandal shows that America’s pursuit of terrorists has turned into a mania.  Spying on citizens is as monstrous and unlawful as Guantanamo Bay and drone warfare…America is sick.”  http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-commentary-on-us-internet-surveillance-a-911256.html

Since we’ve taken national security to the point of a sick national mania that threatens world peace, no cows should be sacred.  At this point, who, what media organization, could possibly push back against ANY effort to enhance national security?  Has anyone gamed, and planned for, the equally implausible scenario that Obama is playing for the other team?

It goes without saying that Obama has not proven himself to be the type of open, transparent leader we can trust to run the country in isolation, by executive fiat, un-monitored by Congress.  Given the latest shock disclosure, that he did indeed create ISIS willfully and likely has no plans to defeat his creation, it’s what we don’t know about Obama that we should be worried about.

It’s time to control the border and reign in illegal immigration asap…as a matter of national security.  This has nothing to do with racism, and anyone pushing that narrative on the gov’t side is highly suspect.


NY, NY 12 Aug 2015

Left, right, or center, every American should (must) vote Trump for one reason alone

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on August 11, 2015

The MSM is actively trying to bury this story…one of the most consequential in our generation??

Quote from The Levant Report: “knowledge of the declassified document must make it into every American household”.

In summary, a recently declassified document suggests, and the former head of US Defense Dept Intelligence (DIA) just confirmed, that Obama willfully created ISIS and supports radical Islamic terrorists militarily.



The implications are extraordinary, hard to fully analyse, and frightening, but one thing is clear:  It’s not only what we do know, but what we don’t know that should worry us when monitoring Barack Obama’s presidency.

This is hard evidence for what many have instinctively believed, yet at the same time, denied as unthinkable from our own President.  Did we really get it that bad on Obama?  Yes Virginia, this evidence proves that we did.  Was George Washington really on the side of the British?  Unthinkable.

It’s time to encourage independent, non-US journalists to investigate and report on this story asap.

It’s time for all Americans to watch / re-watch Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016: Obama’s America”, which gives one plausible explanation for the root of our Obama problem.

It’s time to control illegal immigration and secure the border asap.  Again, it’s what we don’t know that should worry us.

Who still trusts Obama to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s most active and unrepentant state sponsor of Islamic terrorism?

It’s time for all American’s, left, right, and center to vote Trump.  He’s the only one with the courage to control our borders.  Does this really require courage?!


NY, NY 11 Aug 2015

Thoughts on the 6 Aug US GOP Debates

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on August 7, 2015

Thoughts on the 6 Aug US GOP Debates

In business or government, Trump / Fiorina would be a powerful leadership team for a failed / distressed organizational turnaround.  Broadly speaking, the American public knows business better than anyone on the planet. Out of the declared candidates so far, who would you choose to lead the turnaround of a failing organization? I can only seriously imagine one of these two. The others don’t have the skillset, experience, or the unique demeanor of a turnaround pro, so critical to the challenge of this job today. Only two of them would be seriously considered for this type of challenge in the business world, when direct personal money is on the line, much less the nation’s future.  The Donald in particular has the archetype demeanor of a successful turnaround leader.  These guys are brought in when blood is in the streets, a company is going down, and nobody knows what to do.  Tough as nails, and mostly unpopular…people who have the courage to grab the helm and do what has to be done to right a sinking ship…rarely are they fully appreciated, except in their paycheck, and perhaps by posterity.

When Americans are existentially challenged, we naturally gravitate towards bold, highly talented, personally-imperfect leaders in the mold of Patton, MacArthur, Washington, et al. This is no time for a milquetoast, scrubbed career pol hack who could only preside over a gracious decline in the most optimistic scenario.

Somehow, we need to start attracting America’s best and brightest…the world’s best…into this corrupted political arena, for even a slim chance of averting national calamity…in the near term.

My hat is off to Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson, and Donald Trump for bringing their formidable private sector talents to the table at this critical juncture in American history. We need more people like them in this game.  We may not agree with everything they say, but their voice in the process is critically important.

Starbucks CEO / Dem candidate Howard Schultz to challenge Hillary?? Let’s encourage this talented man even if we don’t support his views. It’s time for all hands on deck, and a serious national turnaround program to commence…asap.


NY, NY 7 Aug 2015

Time for Germany to Pay the Piper

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on July 9, 2015

Time for Germany to Pay the Piper

As I’ve been unsuccessfully arguing since 1992, as a grad student at Columbia University when professor Robert Mundell, the “father of the Euro”, was conducting his work on “optimal currency areas”…the Eurozone is NOT an optimal currency area and never has been!  I remember being blasted for my position on an Econ final by an Irish professor blinded by Europhoria.

Finally, after 23 years of ignoring reality, the Greek crisis has brought the issue front and center, like a festering, now life-threatening wound.

This is not about Greece…it’s about the fundamentally flawed Eurozone experiment.  Greece is not the only “lesser-developed” Eurozone country hamstrung by the currency union.

I won’t go through the economics again…if you want to see that, refer to earlier commentaries.

The Eurozone was created primarily to benefit German exporters, and Germany has benefitted greatly from the system.  It’s now time for Germany to pay the piper.  Either bailout Greece and keep your captive PIIGS export market intact, or allow a North/South Euro split…the more natural state of affairs.


Option A)

PIIGS, not just Greece, should exit the Euro asap and create a Southern Euro currency union, w/ France as anchor member of the Southern Eurozone and Germany anchoring the Northern Euro.

Expect a quick economic explosion in Southern Europe, as a devalued currency attracts global investment and tourism.  France especially, would reap an economic windfall previously dominated by the Germans.

Option B)

PIIGS sovereignty, self-determination, and higher economic growth potential.  Back to the drachma, peseta, lira, franc, etc…

Let’s see if the French wake up…



9 Jul 2015

RE: Greece & China

Posted in Investment & Social Commentaries by Jack Worthington on July 8, 2015

Publishing client note…

RE: Greece & China

XXXX – IMO, these two current crises are important, uncommon catalyst events that are likely to have a significant impact on the near to 10+ year global economic outlook…and obviously commodity prices including oil.


  • If populist anti-austerity forces prevail in some significant way…if successful in bending the global financial community to their demands…contagion into other emerging markets is likely…a mindset is changed as the stigmas related to default and capital controls are weakened…an irrational, populist “revolutionary” mindset takes over; i.e. the torch and pitchfork crowd gains their voice…”hell no, we won’t pay”. In fact, the Latin Americans have been one of the loudest cheering squads for the Greek “No” vote.
  • Free global mobility of investment capital is not an immutable law of economics…the general absence of capital controls is a relatively recent development in economic history which gained significant momentum in Reagan years. Positive:  Foreign direct investment in the forms of capital and portfolio flows from developed to developing world over the past 30 years, allocated somewhat efficiently, has driven a remarkable improvement in developing world living standards (people moved from the rice paddy to a desk job and car ownership) and general economic prosperity globally.  Negative: A lack of capital controls in a developing economy has significant risks…asset bubbles are created on the way in as large amounts of capital are invested in small markets…and those asset bubbles can be popped spectacularly and sometimes overnight, when spooked foreign securities investors bolt for the door…leaving carnage in their wake.  With the past few econ crises since the 1990’s, capital controls, especially in developing world, are gaining acceptance again and will find their way back into the global economy in some form…guaranteed…it’s coming…just a matter of when, not if.  This is a meaningful and high impact sentiment tide change in recent economic history.  A trivial example of how things used to be…long forgotten: apparently, in the 1960’s Brits were not allowed to take more than £50 out of the country for their vacations.
  • Practical implications: 1) When implemented, capital controls (in various forms) and, or a perceived increase in developing economy investment risk, will reduce the amount of FDI going into developing economies…whose economic growth (and demand for commodities) will slow…yes, they are shooting themselves in the foot…oil, iron ore, copper, etc… down.  2) World equity markets headed into a down cycle.  Equities are technically valued as the net present value of future growth opportunities “NPVGO”; i.e. when future growth opportunities are reduced, the stock price is automatically reduced.  Many of the world’s largest companies have transitioned into truly global organisations, selling products to customers, and investing in production capacity, globally.  When their NPVGO is reduced, their stock price is automatically going down.
  • This scenario is likely to gain steam in the near term. I’ve lived through so many crises over my career (as an expat local in the foreign meltdown economy) that the definition of “near term” could mean anything from beginning today, up to roughly 3 years at outside.  I’ve seen these things explode quickly (Asia) and fester as money slowly drains out (France).  Social unrest in these “back to the rice paddy” scenarios can be explosive and violent…been there, seen that.  At some point, it’s possible that general emerging market disease contagion returns again; i.e. how the localised Mexican Peso crisis of 1994 quickly spread to global EM’s including China.  This Greek crisis has that potential.


  • The stock market collapse in China is a unique situation. We can’t look at it in the same way as we do a US or European stock market collapse.  In China, 85% of market participants are unsophisticated, individual, ordinary folk gamblers who move in herd lockstep.  Panic sets in…unsophisticated gamblers sell everything…greed returns…unsophisticated gamblers buy everything.  Boom-bust built into the system.  In contrast, the US market is driven by a very large number of highly sophisticated and informed professional investors, managing a very broad range of investment strategies.  Less boom-bust built into the system…outside of program trading / fat fingers, etc…!  Let’s keep it there for a minute and not complicate the discussion!
  • One of China’s top strategic national priorities is to make the RMB a global reserve currency. To do this, the capital account must be opened to at least the level of the US, where FDI flows rather freely in and out…and a very wide range of investment products and opportunities are available to park your RMB…both within and outside China.  This, in combination with fundamental demand for RMB for global trading purposes, is what will underpin the RMB as an important world reserve currency.  China does not have these fundamentals in place, but is somewhat aggressively trying to move into that direction…but fearful of the negative effects brought by a lack of capital controls.
  • When/if the RMB becomes a competitive world reserve currency, demand for RMB will be at the primary expense of US$. The US$ is now sitting on top of the hill (maximum, and hugely significant benefits currently accruing to US citizens)…when/if RMB ascends, US$ will move to some place further down the hill (significant standard of living benefits transferred from individual American citizens to Chinese citizens).
  • IMO, the Chinese will not allow the Greek contagion mentioned above to impede progress on one of its key national priority interests…to improve the standard of living for ordinary Chinese citizens by gaining reserve currency benefits. IMO, I believe the Chinese will buck the trend on capital controls, and continue if not accelerate financial market liberalisation.  The Chinese need to continue their efforts to attract sophisticated, professional, foreign market participants to help exert guiding influence in their equity markets…reducing the local “gambler” effect.
  • IMO, to have a grasp on the world’s economic and geopolitical future, it’s important to know what the ruling powers of China plan for their own future and place in the world. Fortunately, Xi Jinping gives us that outline in his book “The Governance of China”, available in English, and written for our benefit.  Repetitive and not well-translated…it’s still very helpful.  A good roadmap, written by the leader of the long-term power structure guiding the world’s #1/#2 economy…and rising.
  • IMO, the Chinese gov’t needs to allow the market bloodbath to take place, and animal spirits to re-enter at their natural pace, with minimal gov’t intervention. Their gamblers will be back in full force soon enough if the gov’t doesn’t spook them w/ overly interventionist policies.


De-risk short term, with a long-term China bet.



8 Jul 2015

Iran Deal Warning

Posted in Uncategorized by Jack Worthington on April 7, 2015

Iran Deal Warning

An Iranian Shiite theocracy is, and will always be, a significant national security threat to the US, the West, and every non-Shiite society in the Middle East / North Africa.  One of their key, long term stated objectives is to wipe the US (the debauched, sinful, “Great Satan”) from the face of the earth by any and all means possible.  Obama’s naïve deal attempts to insert Iran into the role of a rational, regional peacekeeper counterweight vs. ISIS and militant Sunni’s in the Middle East.  Theocracies, and nations driven by Islam, unhinged from the rational thought process / M.A.D. which underpinned peaceful coexistence in the Cold War, will start a nuclear arms race and nuclear war will soon follow.  This deal is naïve ivory tower arrogance at its finest, completely disconnected from the reality of “Twelfth Imam / apocalyptic thinking” that drives these Iranian leaders at their core.  Iran’s leaders have publicly stated their intention to facilitate the final battle of Armageddon.  Quoting Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2012: “We must study and remind ourselves of the end of times and Imam Mahdi’s era…We must prepare the environment for the coming so that the great leader will come.”.  Bueller??  Bueller??  Hello??  Obama, following the Neocons, has dismantled the ugly but somewhat effective realpolitik solution that has kept militant Islam at bay for centuries.  A dangerous genie is about to be let out of the bottle, and the world is about to pay an extraordinary price for this ivory tower insanity.

As I’ve said it would over the years on this blog, the Middle East / North Africa is exploding into chaos as a direct result of naïve US decisions to pursue dismantling of the old system, albeit ugly, broken, and hypocritical as it was.  George W. Bush tipped the first domino, and Barack H. Obama wiped the table clean.  I predict every generation of Americans in the future will deeply regret that we did this…that our arrogance brought us to this depth of foolish thinking.  We cannot forcefully shape the world into our own image, and it is foolish to bankrupt the country, destabilize the world, and alienate ourselves from most countries of the earth in pursuit of this psychopathic folly.  Would God want the US to shape the world into its image?  If we’re on the wrong side of that answer, watch out.

Winston Churchill to Neville Chamberlain: “You were given the choice between war and dishonor.  You chose dishonor and you will have war.”  Substitute “we” for “you”.


7 Apr 2015


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