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Market Rally Never Ends

“We have a deal!” is what Joe Biden announced to the press; his pet project, an infrastructure bill with a price tag of $973bn over five years or $1.2tn over eight years, came one step closer to passage!

The bill includes more than a half-trillion dollars in new spending and could open the door to the president’s more sweeping $4tn proposals later on.

There will also be unprecedented spending on Biden’s so-called “care economy,” which includes childcare centers, elder care, and hospitals.

There’s little consensus on Capitol Hill at the moment, since Republicans have staunchly opposed Biden’s proposed corporate tax increase from former president Donald Trump’s 21% to 28%.

Still, lawmakers have presented the deal as being “paid for” in full. The common-sense view is that the American taxpayer, and particularly the middle class, will bankroll the government’s plan in one way or another.

Yellen threatened the unthinkable, saying that an unprecedented default on U.S. government debt obligations “would precipitate a financial crisis, it would threaten the jobs and savings of Americans at a time when we’re still recovering from the Covid pandemic.”

We all know how the government will respond to this. As always, any debt limits will be suspended or raised. Otherwise, the career politicians’ pet projects won’t be funded and all spending plans will be halted.

Courtesy: wolfstreet.com

Think about it: if the debt limit prevents the Treasury from new borrowing, the government would have to rely solely on tax receipts to pay its obligations, and a bitterly divided Congress won’t allow that to happen.

The Biden administration, for instance, is also seeking a global minimum tax of at least 15%. All of this is happening not only with a looming debt ceiling but amid an economic backdrop that’s mixed, at best.

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    Also flat was the recently released U.S. GDP print, which came in at 6.4%, unchanged from the previous print and also right on top of expectations. Oddly, this was the third (and hopefully final) revision to the Q1 GDP.

    What they won’t tell you is that the prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. residents increased 4% in the first quarter after already increasing 1.7% during the fourth quarter of 2020. Shockingly, energy prices increased by a whopping 45.8% in 2021’s first quarter.

    Courtesy: ZeroHedge.com

    At the same time, the already drastic wealth gap only widened as corporate profits increased 15.5% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2020.

    Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic, for example, admitted that “Inflation is higher and has been well above our target,” which was 2%.

    Bostic also said that “temporary” inflationary pressure “is going to be a little longer than we had expected initially.”

    Meanwhile, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan conceded that the Federal Reserve may need to consider “doing some things to take our foot gently off the accelerator sooner rather than later.”

    Courtesy: Yahoo Finance

    This was reflected in the most recently released dot plot, which indicated two interest rate hikes in 2023 even though the Federal Reserve had previously expected none at all.

    This spooked the stock market for a day, but then the Dow Jones marched right back up to all-time highs as the Fed assured traders that the dot plot is “meaningless” and that they will continue to do everything in their power to bolster the recovery.

    With that, the 10-year Treasury yield stopped climbing and markets around the world jumped for joy – or at least breathed a sigh of relief.

    That’s what they’ve been conditioned to do, but rampant spending and rising prices will have dire consequences sooner or later. That will be the Fed’s ultimate stress test as the markets hold their breath to see if the Plunge Protection Team can save them one more time.

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