"Looking out for the little guy" used to mean protecting him. Now it sometimes means "Look out! He might get some of what we got!" as the Establishment protects itself from him.
This partially explains why the powers-that-be gamed the electoral system against President Trump last year. It partially explains why Twitter competitor Parler.com was taken down by GoogTwitFace. And it explains why the system was gamed against a group of regular-guy GameStop investors on behalf of billion-dollar hedge funds.
The GameStop story is now all over the news. For some background, know that hedge fund Melvin Capital "had a massive, and very public, short position on GameStop," explained the Federalist. "Enter Reddit. A bunch of Redditors who followed the stock market realized that this billion-dollar hedge fund had a problem on its hand: Due to a combination of factors, GameStop somehow ended up with more short positions than outstanding shares."
"The Redditors realized they could pull off what's known as a 'short squeeze,'" the site continued. "If they started buying up GameStop stock and refusing to sell it, they could crush the hedge fund as its short positions came due, potentially even driving it into bankruptcy, all while profiting in the market by purchasing a stock that was once in the single digits and watching it approach $50 and then $100 and $200 and even $300."
It worked, too. The GameStop short sellers' losses were enormous, approaching $5 billion, and Melvin Capitol required an infusion of $2.75 billion from a still larger hedge fund to survive. It was too big to fail, apparently.
"And that's when the Wall Street empire struck back," the Federalist also tells us. "Suddenly, the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, which purports to be a Wall Street regulator but instead operates as little more than a Wall and Broad soothsayer to a public skeptical of Wall Street's power, weighed in and intimated that it might investigate or even shut down the trading of GameStop stock to prevent the price from getting even higher."
"Then the Wall Street-backed trading apps and the Wall Street brokerages joined in, announcing they would no longer allow their users and retail investors to buy GameStop stock," the site further informs. "The result? When you can no longer buy a stock, its price can only go in one direction: down."
Thus did GameStop's shares fall 40 percent on Thursday as a result, convincing people the fix was in. "The limits mostly came off on Friday, and shares rocketed higher," writes Breitbart. "Robinhood, the popular app-based broker, said it had restricted trading in response to regulatory requirements and not at the request of big Wall Street players such as Citadel."
Whatever the case, don't think that the Redditors' behavior is unusual or considered beyond the pale. In fact, "Wall Street has a long, storied history of viciously crushing short-sellers. It's something of a local pastime," the Federalist also writes, and then explains:
"Just ask David Einhorn, who wrote an entire book on the industry's efforts to destroy him for the crime of shorting the stock of a bank that was covering up the fact that a huge chunk of its loans were garbage and would never be paid back. The GameStop saga isn't about the benefits, or evils, of short-sellers."
Not at all. Rather, it's another front in the Establishment-populist war, another example of the pseudo-elite vs. the street. "The rules here are simple: Heads Wall Street wins, tails you lose," as the Federalist puts it. But the larger picture is that it's "heads the Establishment wins…."
In fact, with the Wall Street rules having been changed mid-game, the Redditors' plight parallels what befell President Trump in the election. Certain states, circumventing their state legislatures, changed their election laws unconstitutionally and late in the game, and five swing states paused vote counting while Trump was ahead - much as Establishment Finance paused purchase of GameStop stock.
The reason was the same: To allow the Establishment to achieve the gains it desired: power in one case; money in the other.
But there are many examples of the Establishment-fix phenomenon. For instance, we'd often hear when conservatives complained of Big Tech censorship, "If you don't like it, start your own social media company."
But when Parler.com did just that and was successful, Establishment Tech decided to scuttle it by denying it the infrastructure it needed to stay online. Again, the rules were changed mid-game.
Don't complain about it, either. After the aforementioned Robinhood app-based broker was inundated with negative online reviews over its GameStop actions, Google deleted 100,000 of the reviews.
And so it is always. Mail-in voting is a health imperative until it concerns an Amazon-employee unionization vote; then it's a threat. Rioting is tacitly (and occasionally openly) approved when it serves Establishment ends and is normalized, but then is condemned when populists (allegedly) do it. Questioning election outcomes at first "denigrates" our system, as Hillary Clinton put it in 2016, but then became reflexive with a Trump win; now that an Establishment figure is back in office, though, it's a "threat to our democracy."
As for the GameStop manipulation, it has been condemned by figures as disparate as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Barstool Sports head Dave Portnoy even called for the arrest of complicit Wall Street figures.
But here's the problem: These aren't the people who go to jail.
They're the people who decide who goes to jail (and they never pick themselves).
Just ask Roger Stone or Paul Manafort or Michael Flynn.
You could even ask John Brennan, James Comey, or Jim Clapper - all of whom committed the crime of lying before Congress - if you could administer a strong truth serum.
Based on recent developments, one might conclude: The Establishment decides who goes to prison, the Establishment decides who wins elections, the Establishment decides who can have a prominent forum to express ideas, the Establishment decides how much you can complain about what company, and the Establishment decides who makes billions via market influence.
Oh, that would be an exaggeration - at least somewhat. The truth is that the Establishment "increasingly" can do the above. But I've heard people condemn the Redditors as a "mob." Accepting this characterization, however, what should we call Establishment types whose appetites for power, money, or prestige are insatiable? Can the battle being waged here be called, then, the mobs vs. the slobs?
Whatever you call it, this is, tragically, the stuff of which revolutions are made. And it's why it is so vital to use our freedoms to save our freedoms, by restoring election integrity, using the proper power of nullification to declare unconstitutional federal acts "null and void" at state borders - and spreading the Truth.
IS SILVER THE NEXT GAMESTOP?
By David Dierking - thestreet.com
As the war between Reddit board traders and hedge funds continues to be waged, the number of stocks being targeted by this group seems to only be growing.
What started with GameStop has also swept up BlackBerry, AMC, Nokia, Express and others. Even Dogecoin and long-forgotten Blockbuster are getting caught up in the action.
If you scan the WallStreetBets message board lately (or have the algos do it for you), you'll see that the Reddit traders may be zeroing in on their next target. After manipulating the price of many stocks with high short interests, silver may be the next security to go wonky.
To be fair, the Reddit poster above makes some fair points. There is a strong demand for silver for production of many of the products listed. Silver could also benefit from the return of inflation (which I also believe is a growing risk right now). I don't know if I'd go quite as far to say that silver should be at $1,000 an ounce right now, but I am a believer that silver, silver ETFs and silver miner ETFs could be top performers in 2021.
Among the silver ETFs that could be potentially impacted in such a move:
iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF (SIVR)
Invesco DB Silver Fund (DBS)
Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL)
ETFMG Prime Junior Silver Miners ETF (SILJ)
iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners ETF (SLVP)
SLV is clearly the biggest fund of the group and would easily garner the most attention if the Redditors were to go after it. An interesting target would be DBS since it only has about $25 million in assets and could easily be swung all over the place.
I did receive some comments earlier today from ETFMG's Director of Sales, Stephen Gardner, on the uptick in silver and what is driving that demand. ETFMG manages the SILJ ETF mentioned above, which currently has nearly $700 million in total assets. SILJ was up 10% on Thursday and another 3-4% on Friday.
He says this about silver demand, and trading volume on SILJ:
COVID-related government money printing, artificially low yields, and a substantial supply/demand imbalance (lesser supply due to COVID shutdowns at mines earlier in the year and pent-up demand for the metal), is creating upward pressure for the metal.
On top of that, the Reddit day trading community has shifted their attention to silver as a potential short squeeze candidate as many banks have been heavily net short silver for years.
Biden ushering in a focus on expenditures for clean tech and solar power will also increase demand for silver as silver is used for things like solar panel fields.
If you ignore the potential impact of the Reddit crowd for a moment, the macroeconomic background for silver and other precious metals is very favorable at the moment.
Inflation risk is rising. The demand for silver for use in consumer products is also rising. Fed and government activity is quickly devaluing the dollar making precious metals, in general, look more attractive. Silver could be headed for a big year based on fundamentals alone.
If the Reddit traders truly go after silver and silver ETFs, who knows what could happen. Is a 400% gain in a single week possible like what we saw with GameStop? I'd say it's probably unlikely, but I'll also acknowledge that its a non-zero probability.
As Gardner notes, trading volumes on SILJ are about triple their norms. I checked out SLV and SIL and they're also experiencing significantly higher activity. SLV especially, which experienced 4-5 times normal volume over the past two days.
It's still early message board chatter and there hasn't been a commitment from the Reddit crowd yet, but silver prices are rising, volumes are increasing and there's a strong macro argument to be made.
RINO'S BACK OFF BOGUS IMPEACHMENT
By Luis Miguel - thenewamerican.com
Has the Republican establishment seen the writing on the wall if they go forward with convicting the impeached President Trump?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) previously told colleagues he was open to convicting President Trump for allegedly inciting an "insurrection," but in the days since has instead made maneuvers apparently aimed at hindering Democrats' effort.
As it stands, there appears to be no path to convicting the former president. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday introduced a motion to declare Trump's second impeachment trial illegal on the grounds that he is no longer president. Ultimately, the motion got 45 votes from GOP senators.
Conviction takes 67 votes. The Senate currently has a 50-50 split between the two parties. Even if all 50 Democrats vote to convict, it would still take 17 Republican senators to get on board with the effort for it to happen, a possibility clearly unlikely in light of the vote on Senator Paul's motion.
"Just do the math," Senator Susan Collins (Maine), one of five Republicans to oppose Paul's motion, remarked to reporters after the vote.
Associates of McConnell say he was "furious" after the January 6 breach of the Capitol. The Republican leader has continued to say he will have an open mind to legal arguments made during the trial.
Although McConnell wants the party to move away from President Trump and everything he stands for, the Kentuckian likely hopes to avoid a bitter fight within his own caucus over the conviction of Trump, who remains incredibly popular among the Republican base.
In the House, for instance, Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wy.) and other Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump have received heated pushback from voters and from fellow lawmakers.
A petition signed by more than half of House GOP members calls on Cheney to step down from her chairmanship of the House Republican Conference, a role that makes her the Number 3 member of her party in the chamber.
McConnell, moreover, took several actions prior to the vote on Rand Paul's motion that made it likely the motion would succeed.
For example, McConnell's leadership team told Senate Republicans on a January 21 conference call that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would not preside over the trial. Instead, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate president pro tempore and senior Democratic senator, will preside.
This bit of information solidified for Paul that the trial would be illegal, as the Constitution directs that the chief justice preside over it; moreover, the fact that a Democrat will preside lends to the belief that the whole thing is politically motivated.
Additionally, the vote on Paul's motion was curiously timed to take place right after GOP senators heard a presentation from George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, a vocal critic of the impeachment effort.
One Republican senator told The Hill that the presentation "boxed" them in to supporting Paul.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), one of the five GOP senators who voted against Paul's motion, said she thought it was unfortunate that they were forced to vote immediately after Turley's presentation and before they could hear the other side of the argument.
Also, McConnell delayed the opening of the trial.
He declined Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer's (N.Y.) demands to reconvene the Senate from the January recess in time to begin the impeachment trial while President Trump was still in office.
The delay appears to have let anger over the January 6 storming of the Capitol cool off.
"That's McConnell's game. He knows the longer something waits, the more it fizzles," said a Senate GOP aide. "McConnell knows that if you wait on something, the sizzle goes out."
McConnell even bought more time by pushing for the House impeachment managers to wait until Thursday to present their article of impeachment to the Senate, which would have given Trump's defense team until February 11 to submit a pre-trial brief. Eventually, he and Schumer agreed that Trump would have until February 8 to submit the brief (the trial starts on February 9).
McConnell would like nothing more than to be rid of Donald Trump for good, but, as always for the cunning Republican leader, political expediency trumps personal feelings.
Nevertheless, Americans should realize that McConnell and his loyalists do not have the interests of the people in mind and should not let the Republican Establishment's recent overtures to stop a Trump conviction lead us into a false sense of security that these people are actually on our side.