“We had a terrible winter in France… Yet I was still alive, the sun started to return, the days to lengthen, the spring to come, the trees and gardens to regain their verdure, all nature to laugh, and to me, happiness.” — Benjamin Franklin (1784)
Special Note: The early bird special ($399, are you out of your mind?) for FreedomFest ends TODAY, March 31. The rates go up on April 1. No foolin’. Sign up today! (See below for a list of NEW speakers.)
Yesterday, the federal government released more evidence that the U.S. economy is facing a year of stagflation and a slump.
Gross output (GO), which measures “top line” spending in the economy, grew at the slowest rate since the lockdown ended. Real GO grew under 4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, less than real gross domestic product (GDP) of 6.7%.
According to our model, when GO grows at a slower pace than GDP, it means the economy is struggling. Indeed, economists are now predicting that real GDP will be under 1% in the first quarter of 2022.
For my latest press release, go to www.grossoutput.com.
I am not expecting a full-scale recession, but the United States is facing strong headwinds.
In the face of double-digit-percentage inflation, interest rates are rising sharply. The Fed plans to raise short-term rates six more times this year. Mortgage rates are now approaching 5%.
The Challenge of Our Times
Consumer sentiment is in sharp decline. It is easy to get depressed regarding…
— The never-ending spread of the COVID-19 virus;
— A disastrous foreign policy (the disgraceful exit from Afghanistan);
— A weakened West that emboldened Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine and wreak havoc on innocent people;
—Skyrocketing prices and food shortages around the world;
–A global chip shortage and supply-chain disruptions that are creating a new shortage of cars, trucks, computers and iPhones and
— A Marxist/Communist takeover of Venezuela, the site of the largest oil reserves in the world.
And at home:
— Washington continues to pay Americans not to work, leading to severe labor shortages, even as homelessness is at an all-time high;
— The highest gasoline prices in history;
— Government deficit spending at its highest level in history… plus, the return of double-digit-percentage stagflation and rising interest rates and
— The Cultural War continues to heat up: A Supreme Court nominee can’t define a “woman” (even worse — her favorite book demonizes the Constitution she is sworn to uphold).
How Long Will the Bear Market Last on Wall Street?
Not surprisingly, we are facing a bear market on Wall Street, and retirement funds are shrinking due to stock prices and inflation.
On the positive side, subscribers to Forecasts & Strategies are actually now up for the year. We have invested in commodities and high-income stocks and funds that have countered the sharp selloff in technology stocks.
Good News to Come
In my press release on GO, I found some good news hidden in the economic data: Business spending (B2B) is still growing faster than consumer spending. That suggests that as the global economy grows out of the pandemic panic, and the war in Ukraine ends, an economic recovery is likely.
We are also still benefiting from the Trump tax cuts on business (the corporate tax rate was reduced to 21%). The Biden administration has proposed an extremely complex and dangerous new tax bill that will hurt all Americans, but I suspect it will not survive the Senate.
November is a mid-term election year, and according to www.electionbettingodds.com, the Republicans are heavily favored to take the House (83% chance) and the Senate (75% chance). If the Republicans take over Capitol Hill, the chance of radical tax increases and other legislation will be nil. Gridlock, here we come.
FreedomFest is Turning the Tide
We are launching a full-scale counterattack at this year’s FreedomFest, July 13-16, 2022, at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Our theme is “turning the tide.”
Last year, a record crowd of 2,757 people came to FreedomFest in South Dakota, and, this year, the crowd might be even bigger.
Lisa Kennedy, one of the most popular and outspoken anchors at Fox Business, will emcee the entire conference. View our complete line-up of speakers at www.freedomfest.com.
New Conspiracy at FreedomFest
Was the 2020 election rigged against Trump? Did Communist China deliberately release a biological weapon (COVID-19) from a Wuhan lab? Is Biden secretly in bed with the Russians and Chinese? Who really killed JFK and Bobby Kennedy? And what’s the truth about 9/11!
Science investigator extraordinaire Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, will reveal his answers to these burning questions in a new talk you won’t want to miss: “Conspiracies, Real and Unreal,” based on his forthcoming book, “Conspiracy.”
Michael will also debate bestseller author Eric Metaxas, “Is Atheism Dead?” Not to be missed!
Mock Trial Announced
Speaking of debates, our popular mock trial this year will put “Drug Legalization on Trial.” The House is expected to vote this week to legalize marijuana on a federal level. Cannabis stocks are moving up. Bill Bennett, the former Drug Czar under President Reagan, has arranged for his top anti-drug expert Seth Leibsohn, a DJ in Phoenix who led the battle against legalizing marijuana in Arizona, to be the prosecuting attorney. The defense attorney will be Catherine Bernard, who has defended some high-profile drug cases in Atlanta.
And our judge will be the ever-dynamic author and talk show host Wayne Allyn Root. Wayne will also be speaking on his new book, “The Great Patriot BUY-Cott Book,” which lists all the great companies that support capitalism and conservative values.
The keynote speaker is John Cleese, the famous British actor, comedian and producer. Not to be missed!
Other big-name speakers include publisher Steve Forbes, actor Ben Stein, economist Art Laffer, former congressman Justin Amash, reporter Glenn Greenwald and libertarian comedian Dave Smith. (Our first Libertarian Comedy Fest is filling up fast.)
We also have a great line-up of financial experts for our three-day investment conference at FreedomFest, including Oxford Club’s Alex Green and our own Eagle Financial investment guru Jim Woods, as well as foreign investment guru Adrian Day and coin expert Van Simmons. Plus, special guest star Jim Rogers will visit us from Singapore!
LAST CALL for Early Bird Discount — It Ends TODAY!
Don’t forget: The early-bird discount ends today, March 31. If you register today, you pay only $399 per person, and you can bring up to three guests for only $299 each. On April 1, the registration goes up to $499, and guest tickets will cost $399 each.
Use the code EAGLE to get the early-bird discount of $399 for you, and $299 each for up to three guests. To register, go to www.freedomfest.com, or call Hayley at 1-855-850-3733, ext. 202.
Good investing, AEIOU,
You Blew It!
Hollywood Nominates a Disaster Movie about ‘I Love Lucy’
Hollywood loves to destroy our heroes. Two of them are Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, the stars of the most successful TV sitcom ever, “I Love Lucy,” which spanned six years and 180 half-hour episodes. The actors still sparkle with delight 70 years later. I’ve watched many episodes time and time again.
This year, “Being the Ricardos,” a biopic of the show, was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Nicole Kidman for best actress. Thankfully, the R-rated film didn’t win a single Oscar, though Kidman did win best actress at the Golden Globe Awards. Kidman is a first-rate actress, but she didn’t have the capacity to be a first-rate comedian.
Her performance is so unlikeable, you feel sorry for her and Lucille Ball.
Even the audience gives it only three stars.
Kidman reminds me of another great actress, Meryl Streep, who played Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.” Her portrayal of the former prime minister was depressing. Let me tell you: I met Margaret Thatcher. She was a determined, honorable and adorable woman, worthy of much praise. Meryl Steep is no Margaret Thatcher. But Hollywood thought otherwise: she won best actress at the Academy Awards in 2011.
You Nailed It!
Watch this Delightful Doc, ‘Lucy and Desi’ Instead!
Meanwhile, a delightful documentary, “Lucy and Desi,” was just released, exploring the legendary partnership between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The producer, Amy Poehler, told a very different story about the celebrity duo, how they found each other, worked together and faced the difficulties that led to a divorce. Unlike “Being the Ricardos,” you come away from this film uplifted.
The film does not ignore the fights and struggles the couple faced as actors, lovers and parents, but you come away with a sense of compassion and admiration for the two, who were friends until they died.
You can watch it on Amazon Prime. It is highly recommended: Five stars!
I should also mention that the biopic “Reagan,” starring Dennis Quaid, will be making it to the theaters later this year. I’ve seen previews and it tells a positive story of President Reagan. We hope to show it at FreedomFest this year. (Dennis Quaid was interviewed at last year’s FreedomFest in South Dakota.)