Dump Trump

…and those who support him. The website #grabyourwalltet identifies all the companies that contribute in someway to the Trump family wealth.

Wikipedia indicates that Trump’s stock portfolio is valued somewhere between $33.4 million and $87.9 million . Public stock investments within his portfolio include General ElectricChevronUPSCoca-ColaHome DepotComcastSanofiFordConocoPhillipsEnergy Transfer PartnersAlteraVerizon CommunicationsProcter & GambleBank of AmericaNikeGoogleApple Inc.Philip MorrisCitigroupMorgan StanleyWhole FoodsIntelIBMBristol-Myers SquibbJohnson & JohnsonCaterpillarKinder MorganAT&T and Facebook. His financial market investment accounts are kept at JPMorganBarclaysDeutsche Bank and Oppenheimer. His Barclays account includes investments in 32 entities and cash worth between $49,021 and $396,001 and having stock in two accounts at Deutsche Bank that contain cash, treasury bills, and stock in 173 entities. His investment account with Oppenheimer contains cash and has 31 positions worth between $10,380,031 and $33,301,000. His account with JPMorgan contains stock in 60 firms valued between $1,251,008 and $2,617,000.

Trump has also invested $1 to $5 million in Advantage Plus, $1 to $5 million in AG Diversified Funds, $2 million in MidOcean Credit Opportunities, $4 million in Paulson & Co., and around $5 million with Angelo, Gordon & Co.. Trump’s biggest fund holding has been in Black Rock‘s Obsidian Fund, where his stake is estimated to be between $25 million to $50 million. Nearly all of Trumps’s open end mutual fund investments are concentrated in Baron Capital Management, a mid-sized mutual fund family headed by mutual fund mogul Ronald S. Baron.

The easiest to avoid will be anything with the Trump name on it and boy are there a lot.

Trump Financial, Trump Sales and Leasing (residential sales), Trump International Realty (a residential and commercial real estate brokerage firm), The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative (a for profit business education company, formerly called Trump University), Trump Restaurants (Located in Trump Tower and consisting of Trump Buffet, Trump Catering, Trump Ice Cream Parlor, and Trump Bar), GoTrump.com (a former online travel search engine), Select By Trump (a line of coffee drinks), Trump Drinks (an energy drink for the Israeli and Palestinian markets), Donald J. Trump Signature Collection (a line of menswear, men’s accessories, and watches), Donald Trump The Fragrance (2004), SUCCESS by Donald Trump (a second fragrance launched by the Trump Organization and the Five Star Fragrance Company, released in March 2012), Trump Ice (a line of bottled water), the former Trump Magazine, Trump Golf, Trump Chocolate, Trump Home (home furnishings), Trump Productions (a television production company), Trump Institute, Trump: The Game (1989 board game with a 2004 re-release version tied to The Apprentice), Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon (a business simulation game), Trump BooksTrump Model ManagementTrump ShuttleTrump MortgageTrump Vodka, Trump Steakhouse[117][128] and Trump Steaks. In addition, Trump reportedly receives $1.5 million for each one-hour presentation he does for The Learning Annex. Trump also endorsed ACN Inc. a multi-level marketing telecommunications company. He has spoken at ACN International Training Events at which he has praised the company’s founders, business model and video phone. He earned a total $1.35 million for three speeches given for the company amounting to $450,000 per speech.

Finally Kushner Industries as owner Jared Kushner lead Trump’s campaign.

198 Methods of Non-Violent Action

Pondering the many ways of showing opposition to the current administration and their attack on the middle and lower classes I did an online search. I found a marvelous list of 198 Methods of Non-Violent Action. Some of my favorites are: Symbols, Mock awards, “Haunting” and Taunting officials, Marches, Pilgrimages, Political mourningMock funeralsTeach-ins, Walk-outs, “Flight” of workers, National consumers’ boycott, Withdrawal of bank deposits, Quickie walkout (lightning strike), Slowdown strike, Nonviolent raids, Alternative markets, and Overloading of administrative systems. Michael Olschimke and his 198 methods. Take a look and see which ones work for you. And if you can think of others please let me know.

The Value of Homespun

With Mr. Trump’s current focus of rewarding billionaires and millionaires I wonder if it might not be prudent to take wisdom from the actions of Mahatma Ghandi. Ghandi was an unfaltering advocate for the poor, undertaking a number of hunger strikes to protest the oppression of the poor. In order to insure India’s economic independence from the Colonial policies of England he participated in and encouraged others to participate in an ascetic lifestyle. The most popular images of him are in a loincloth and a shawl. As part of his struggle to gain economic independence for India he advocated the manufacture of homespun cloth. He did this as an alternative to expensive imported textiles, effectively creating a boycott on items he felt disadvantaged India’s poor.

We are entering a new era of imperialism, one not unlike that of England in the beginnings of the 20th century. I fear if we are not careful we will see that a larger and larger percentage of our wages will end up in the hands of the wealthy imperialists in our country. That is why I advocate for keeping more of those wages for ourselves. To do this we must recognize the power we have to drive the economy. We must give ourselves a raise by buying local.  We must cut our costs by spending less, buying usedsaving half of what we make and growing our own food. The rising use of pesticides in the production of our food as an impact on our health. Growing our own food gives us the control over our health and it is neither expensive or time consuming. It also decreases our reliance on Big Pharma.

It will take time and commitment to change our world and with food and housing taking up more and more of our income we find that we have less time to engage in those things we love. The beauty of living on less is that we end up having more time for those things we love. We all suffered in the recession of 2008. Looking at the make up of the current administration it is very possible that the recession can happen again. Let’s prepare for that eventuality by following Ghandi’s lead and becoming more self sufficient. Let’s create our own homespun.

What Do Banks Produce?

Bernie Sanders says banks have assets equaling sixty percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Bloomberg says banks are bigger than the GDP. But what is GDP? Well, according to Investopedia “The gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country’s economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. You can think of it as the size of the economy.

GDP is the size of the economy. Why would banks representing 60 percent or more than 100% of the economy be important? Well, the economy is the total dollar value of goods and services produced over a specific period of time. If GDP is used to gauge the health of the economy then it should follow that if banks are bigger than the economy then their health reflects the health of the economy. Anything that negatively affects banks negatively affects the economy. We felt that effect in the 2008 recession.

When you think of banks, what goods and services do you see them producing? The only thing tangible I ever see coming out of a bank is money. But banks don’t produce money, the federal reserve does right? That is partially true. The federal reserve prints paper money and the treasury mints coins. So the banks don’t physically produce anything. But how can they represent more than the GDP?

That’s where things get interesting. Again, according to Bloomberg banks are not required by U.S. accounting standards to record the full amount of derivatives and mortgage backed securities on their balance sheets. If they were required to then they would be twice as big as they are because derivatives and mortgage backed securities are considered assets. That’s where we may get to the difference between Bernie’s assertion and Bloomberg’s. Bernie might just be looking at what is recorded on the balance sheets and Bloomberg is looking at the additional securities that are not recorded.

What are derivatives and mortgage linked securities and why are they so important to the health of our economy? A derivative is a contract between two or more individuals based upon a specific asset. It’s total value is determined by the price of that underlying asset and has absolutely no ownership interest in that asset. So you have an asset like JPMorgan which closed at a price of $78.83 this last Friday and you have a derivative of JPMorgan. Let’s say the derivative is a call option at a strike price of $79 with an expiration date of December 2, 2016. The last traded value of that option was $.63. Now that call option gives me the right to buy JPMorgan stock for $79 and it costs me $.63 to buy that option. It’s cheaper to me to buy the option than it is to buy the stock but if the stock goes down then I lose my $.63. In order for me to make money the stock has to go above $79.63.

But why would anyone buy an option like that? Say the stock went to $80. If I bought the stock I would have made a dollar. If I bought the option I would make $.37. Not that great of a deal right? But if you look at it in terms of the return on my investment, investing in the option has afforded me a greater return, 58.7% vs 1.2%. In order to buy that option you have to pay JPMorgan’s market maker $.63.

So you have the stock’s intrinsic value and you have the value of the derivatives of that stock. To give you an idea of how large that derivative market is let’s look at just JPMorgan’s call options. The strike prices available range from $50-$115 in increments of $.50 for a total of approximately 120 different strike prices. Multiply that by 15 different expiration dates and you have 1800 different options you could invest in.  Now consider that JPMorgan can offer 50,000 of each of these 1800 different options for sale and you have significant amounts of money being gambled on the price of JPMorgan stock alone. Now multiply these numbers by 3831 which is the number of optionable stocks and you begin to see that Bloomberg is probably right when they say banks are bigger than the US economy.

But what does that mean for you and me? It means that as long as we invest in any of those 3831 optionable stocks there is a chance that once again our investment could be halved by a recession. My suggestion? You’ve heard it before buy local, buy used, compare prices, give yourself a raise, do your research and change the world by directing where your money goes.

 

Snake Oil Salesman Unite

The Medicine Show in Washington has begun. Snake Oil Salesman of any ilk will be coming out of the woodworks. That means that they will be vying for our hard earned dollars. What does that mean for us? If we look at who’s on the Trump transition team we can take steps to keep that hard earned cash to ourselves. Ron Nicol is director of agency action. His focus has been telecommunications and airlines. Keith Kellogg who is in charge of defense has worked for a variety of defense and homeland security contractors. Cindy Hayden, Jim Carafano and Ronald Burgess are responsible for national security. Combined these individuals have expertise in the areas of tobacco, defense and national security in a social media age. David Malpass assisting with economic issues was an economist at Bear Stearns which failed in the 2008 market crash. Myron Ebell, Mike McKenna and Steve Hart. Combined these three represent climate change skeptics, Dow Chemical and Koch Industries lobbyists and de-regulation.

What this tells me is that in years ahead the following industries should benefit greatly by de-regulation and tax incentives: telecommunications, airlines, defense, military and police contractors, tobacco, internet security, spyware, investment banking, oil & gas and food production. That de-regulation will mean higher costs to us and the environment. The easiest way to defend against higher costs in these areas is to reduce our dependence on these industries. Again, I advocate getting involved in your local economy and eat organic. Talk to your neighbors, visit local businesses, stay away from national chains, support the people who live and work in your community. If we do this then they will support us as well.

Your Spending Drives the Economy

Economics, specifically microeconomics is the study of how consumers and producers make their decisions. This includes three major players: the consumer, business and the government. All three of these players are important in making the economy run smoothly and efficiently. When one or another of these players does not spend money the economy comes to a halt. This happened in 2008 with the real estate bubble. Because banks had not reflected the true value of their real estate assets the market crashed and consumers saw 1/3 of their wealth evaporate. With this reduction in wealth consumers couldn’t spend. That left it to business or the government to spend money. In 2008 businesses did not step up to the plate and spend the money that needed to be spent in order to keep the economy rolling. That left it to the government. If the government had not spent the money they did at the time, then the economy of the entire globe would have come to a screeching halt. You remember this right?

Business could have spent the money. Banks could have spent the money. They didn’t. The bailout money the government gave them to help spur the economy, they kept. All this is said to emphasize what power the consumer has to direct the economy. Where we spend our money. Where we keep our money. These decisions affect the direction of the economy. Why do you think you get ads on your computer, on your FB page, in your email, on your phone, on the radio, on billboards? It’s because businesses are vying for your money. They need you. If you don’t spend your money they don’t survive. So spend it wisely.

Spend your money at those businesses that support your values, that support your community, your region of the country. You want to know why the Rust Belt voted for Trump? It’s because he identified with the reality that nobody is spending money in those regions. No businesses are spending money in those regions. You want your region to come back economically? Quit waiting for someone else to fix it. Take the money you have and spend it in your community. Quit shopping at Walmart, they’re based out of Arkansas. You want your money to go to Arkansas? Quit buying Budweiser. That money goes to St. Louis. Quit buying from Amazon. That money goes to Seattle. Get to know your community. Drive around. Stop in those businesses. Find out what they sell. Buy from them. Don’t shop online.

Stop Trump

You want to do something to prevent Trump from taking office or rolling back all the progress Obama has made? Then you have to do your research. Find out what political process, civil means including disobedience and class actions that will allow that to happen and organize.

As of today we have not elected a president. We have elected an electoral college. On December 19 they will elect a president. And they can elect who they choose. One elector has already chosen not to vote for Trump. We must convince them to elect someone other than Trump. You can find more about faithless electors, Robert Satiacum, Bret Chiafalo, Baoky Vu and Chris Suprun, in this Time article. Here is a list of the presidential electors for 2016 by state. They are the ones who will elect the president. We must convince them we don’t want Trump.

In the event that doesn’t work then we can attack Trump on other fronts. We can help those Trump has sexually assaulted file a class action suit against him like Zalkin Law Firm in California did against Baylor University.

We need to support those who uphold our values. We can do that by writing our congress people and by making sure that every cent we spend goes only to those who support those values. We can do that by supporting each other and by taking care of ourselves, by eating healthy food, boosting our nutrition and growing our own food, it’s easy it’s cheap and it’s super nutritious. We’ll need it for the fight. We can do it by buying used because most of the money we spend stays in your community with the people who support what we believe in.

You remember what it was like in 2008.  The recession can happen again? But we can prevent it. We do that by identifying every business that supports Trump and the uber rich, then boycotting those businesses. Do your homework. Find a way. Let me know what I can do to help. We can stop this from happening but we’re going to have to work together to get it done.