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Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

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A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A Black Swan Skeptic

Or maybe I’m just one of those “nothing surprises me” skeptics.

For example, the creeping Trump dictatorship, about which most people are still in denial, hasn’t surprised me for one second.

Nor would it surprise me if he and his sycophants are overwhelmingly defeated in the next election.

It would also not surprise me if there is no election, or if it is rigged for him to win.

A military coup would not surprise me. A White House coup would not surprise me.

The end of constitutional government would not surprise me. I’d be more surprised if a functioning constitutional government of laws re-emerged. I’d like to think it can happen. I just think that the trend isn’t exactly promising.

With Black Swans Everywhere, Wall Street Says, “Close Your Eyes!”

And I surely don’t think that the collapse of the housing bubble and the ensuing financial crisis were black swans. Millions of people recognized the housing bubble. And many, many observers recognized it, foresaw what would happen, and even ran websites chronicling the housing bubble and warning of its demise.

I should know. I was one of them. But that was nothing special. There were hundreds of us, all with thousands, or tens of thousands of regular visitors and commenters. Millions of people were paying attention and talking about the bubble risk in 2004-2005-2006. They just weren’t Wall Street bankers or economists, who were too busy trying to shove your head up your ass so that you didn’t see all those black swans swimming with the sharks.

black swans and drone strikes are common.

Everything is foreseeable, predictable, and actionable, as long as you don’t have your head stuck up your ass.

Was the Drone Strike a Black Swan?

A drone strike on a Saudi oil facility hardly seems surprising. The idea that drones can attack an oil facility is not a black swan.

We are in a fluid situation. Rapidly advancing technology and the spreading twin cancers of nationalism and widening wealth disparity mean that, “Anything can happen,” And probably will.

Bad things.

Black Swans Don’t Turn Markets

And besides, black swans don’t turn markets anyway. There are always years or decades long, recognizable bubble and topping processes that precede the so called “black swan.” The problem is that when extreme situations last a very long time, they begin to seem normal. We have long been an environment of normalizing depravity. Drone strikes and Donald Trump are just the natural progression of those extreme processes. They become normalized because we become numb. We are no longer shocked by them.

Only when we look back on them in the historical concept do most people recognize how shocking they were. Those who warn about these trends contemporaneously are ignored, or dismissed and ridiculed.

So, in reality, there are no black swans, if you are paying attention. Plenty of people have already thought about, foreseen, written about, warned about and acted upon everything that can happen.

However, there are plenty of economists, Wall Street analcysts, and assorted self-excusing establishment shills who want you to think that there are black swans. Central bankers and former central bankers come to mind. CNBC talking heads and Wall Street “Journalists” come to mind.

Most of them are in the business of selling their positions to you.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep looking for possible black swans, and calling your attention to them, just as I have for the past 20 years, right here at the Wall Street Examiner, and Lee Adler’s Liquidity Trader.

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Lee Adler

I’ve been publishing The Wall Street Examiner and its predecessor since October 2000. I also publish LiquidityTrader.com, and was lead analyst for Sure Money Investor. I developed David Stockman's Contra Corner for Mr. Stockman. I’ve had a wide variety of finance related jobs since 1972, including a stint on Wall Street in both analytical and sales capacities. Prior to starting the Wall Street Examiner I worked as a commercial real estate appraiser in Florida for 15 years. I also worked in the residential mortgage and real estate businesses in parts of the 1970s and 80s. I have been charting stocks and markets and doing analytical work since I was a teenager. My perspective is not of the Ivory Tower. It is from having my boots on the ground and in the trenches of the industries that I analyze and write about today. 

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