The Swamp Strikes Back

Authored by Pepe Escobar, originally posted at,

The tawdry Michael Flynn soap opera boils down to the CIA hemorrhaging leaks to the company town newspaper, leading to the desired endgame: a resounding victory for hardcore neocon/neoliberalcon US Deep State factions in one particular battle. But the war is not over; in fact it’s just beginning.

Even before Flynn’s fall, Russian analysts had been avidly discussing whether President Trump is the new Victor Yanukovich – who failed to stop a color revolution at his doorstep. The Made in USA color revolution by the axis of Deep State neocons, Democratic neoliberalcons and corporate media will be pursued, relentlessly, 24/7. But more than Yanukovich, Trump might actually be remixing Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping: “crossing the river while feeling the stones”. Rather, crossing the swamp while feeling the crocs.

Flynn out may be interpreted as a Trump tactical retreat. After all Flynn may be back – in the shade, much as Roger Stone. If current deputy national security advisor K T McFarland gets the top job – which is what powerful Trump backers are aiming at – the shadowplay Kissinger balance of power, in its 21st century remix, is even strengthened; after all McFarland is a Kissinger asset.

This call won’t self-destruct in five seconds

Flynn worked with Special Forces; was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); handled highly classified top secret information 24/7. He obviously knew all his conversations on an open, unsecure line were monitored. So he had to have morphed into a compound incarnation of the Three Stooges had he positioned himself to be blackmailed by Moscow.

What Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak certainly discussed was cooperation in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and what Moscow might expect in return: the lifting of sanctions. US corporate media didn’t even flinch when US intel admitted they have a transcript of the multiple phone calls between Flynn and Kislyak. So why not release them? Imagine the inter-galactic scandal if these calls were about Russian intel monitoring the US ambassador in Moscow.

No one paid attention to the two key passages conveniently buried in the middle of this US corporate media story. 1) “The intelligence official said there had been no finding inside the government that Flynn did anything illegal.” 2) “…the situation became unsustainable – not because of any issue of being compromised by Russia – but because he [Flynn] has lied to the president and the vice president.”

Recap: nothing illegal; and Flynn not compromised by Russia. The “crime” – according to Deep State factions: talking to a Russian diplomat.

Vice-President Mike Pence is a key piece in the puzzle; after all his major role is as insider guarantor – at the heart of the Trump administration – of neocon Deep State interests. The CIA did leak. The CIA most certainly has been spying on all Trump operatives. Flynn though fell on his own sword. Classic hubris; his fatal mistake was to strategize by himself – even before he became national security advisor. “Mad Dog” Mattis, T. Rex Tillerson – both, by the way, very close to Kissinger – and most of all Pence did not like it one bit once they were informed.

A “man of very limited abilities”

Flynn was already compromised by his embarrassingly misinformed book co-written with neocon Michael Ledeen, as well as his juvenile Iranophobia. At the same time, Flynn was the point man to what would have been a real game-changer; to place the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff under White House control.

A highly informed US source I previously called “X”, who detailed to Sputnik how the Trump presidency will play out, is adamant “this decision makes Trump look independent. It is all going according to script.”

“X” stresses how “the NSA can penetrate any telephone system in the world that is not secure. Flynn was a man of very limited abilities who talked too much. You never hear from the real powers in intelligence nor do you know their names. You can see that in Flynn’s approach to Iran. He was disrupting a peace deal in the Middle East relating to Russia, Iran and Turkey in Syria. So he had to go.”

“X” adds, “the Russians are not stupid to talk among themselves on unsecured lines, they assumed that Flynn controlled his own lines. Flynn was removed not because of his Russian calls but for other reasons, some of which have to do with Iran and the Middle East. He was a loose cannon even from the intelligence perspective. This is a case of misdirection away from the true cause.”

In direct opposition to “X”, an analytical strand now rules there’s blood on the tracks; the hyenas are circling; a vulnerable Trump has lost his mojo; and he also lost his foreign policy. Not yet.

In the Grand Chessboard, what Flynn’s fall spells out is just a pawn out of the game because the King would not protect him. We will only know for sure “draining the swamp” – the foreign policy section – is doomed if neocons and neoliberalcons continue to run riot; if neoliberalcons are not fully exposed in their complicity in the rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh; and if the much vaunted possibility of a détente with Russia flounders for good.

What’s certain is that the fratricide war between the Trump administration and the most powerful Deep State factions will be beyond vicious. Team Trump only stands a chance if they are able to weaponize allies from within the Deep State. As it stands, concerning the Kissinger grand design of trying to break the Eurasian “threat” to the unipolar moment, Iran is momentarily relieved; Russia harbors no illusions; and China knows for sure that the China-Russia strategic partnership will become even stronger. Advantage swamp.

In Fiery, “Surreal” Press Conference, Trump Launches War On The Media

President Trump blasted the "out of control" dishonesty of the mainstream media during a Thursday press conference, accusing reporters of distorting facts to help special interests.

At the start of a nearly two-hour announcement, which was meant to introduce the new pick for Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta and promptly turned into a fiery, at times rambling back and forth with members of the press more reminiscent of his campaign speeches, which covered leaks to the media, Russian relations, immigration policy, the final fate of ObamaCare and a multitude of other subjects, President Trump rejected portrayals of chaos in his administration and claimed "incredible" progress in his first four weeks in office, lashing out at media organizations he said "will not tell you the truth."

"I'm not ranting and raving, I'm just telling you you're dishonest people," Trump told the press.

Trump opened the speech with what Bloomberg dubbed a 25-minute tirade in which he pointed to the stock market’s performance as evidence of his early accomplishments and said news organizations work "for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very broken system." He mentioned that a Rasmussen poll found that he had 55 percent approval – Gallup’s most recent tracking poll found he had 40 percent support — and said "the stock market has hit record numbers, as you know."

"I’m here today to update the American people on the incredible progress that’s been made the last four weeks since my inauguration," Trump said. "I see stories of chaos. It’s the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine."  "There’s zero chaos" he claimed, and pivoted to Obama: "To be honest I inherited a mess," Trump said. "It’s a mess. At home and abroad."

The president then launched into a laundry list of issues on which he has claimed victories and progress, including border security, combating the Islamic State, job creation and a reduction of government regulation.

“In each of these actions I'm keeping my promises to the American people. These are campaign promises,” Trump said. He said the steps he’s taken in the four weeks since he was sworn in should surprise nobody, especially in the media.

But the highlight was his all out attack on the press :

“I'm making this presentation directly to the American people with the media present, which is an honor to have you, this morning, because many of our nation's reporters and folks will not tell you the truth. And will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve."


"Many of our nation's reporters and folks will not tell you the truth and will not treat you with the respect you deserve"


"Much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks for the special interests and for those profiting off the obviously very, very broken system.


“The press has become so dishonest that if we don't talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk about it. We have to find out what's going on because the press honestly is out of control."


“In other words, the media is trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made, and they are not happy about it, for whatever reason. But a lot of people are happy about it.”

There was much more, including some of the key exchanges with the members of the press corps:

  • He warned that bad relations with Russia could result in nuclear war, as a way of explaining his attempt to remake relations with President Vladimir Putin. “Nuclear holocaust would be like no other,” he said.
  • He signaled that he was softening on immigration policy, saying that he’d deal with President Obama’s executive action unilaterally easing immigration law “with heart.”
  • He said he did not “know of” any official on his presidential campaign having contact with Russian officials during the election, though he had to be asked three times before giving an answer.
  • He said he’s instructed the Department of Justice to look into the leaks coming out of his administration.
  • He conceded that the leaks reported on by the press were correct, despite claiming news organizations continually get things wrong. “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake, because so much of the news is fake,” he said.
  • He scolded an Orthodox Jewish reporter for asking about rising anti-Semitism in America.
  • He asked a black reporter whether members of the Congressional Black Caucus are friends of hers.
  • He predicted that the press would claim that he was “ranting” and “raving.” “Tomorrow the headlines are going to be Donald Trump rants — I’m not ranting and raving,” he said.

And some further details:

Trump discussed his popularity and how well the administration is doing…

Trump lauded a new poll from the conservative-leaning Rasmussen that found he holds a 55 percent approval rating, significantly higher than other recent polls.

Additionally noting that Mike Flynn "did nothing wrong"

Clarifying that the economy has problems and they are Obama's fault



“I’m here again to take my message straight to the people,” POTUS stated. “As you know, our administration inherited many problems across government, and across the economy.”


“To be honest, I inherited a mess. It’s a mess,” he added. “At home, and abroad, a mess.”


“Jobs are pouring out of the country — you see what’s going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places — low pay, low wages, mass instability over seas, no matter where you look, the Middle East, a disaster. North Korea.”


“We’ll take care of it, folks,” he reassured his audience. “We are going to take care of it all. i just wanted to let you know, I inherited a mess.”

Trump then slammed reports of his advisers and associates being in contact with Russians during campaign:

"it's all fake news."



Some additional excerpts include:

“Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars”

"My administration is running like a fine-tuned machine"

"US 9th Circuit Court is in turmoil and chaos"


"The tone of media coverage is full of such hatred"


"I'm really not a bad person"

"I didn't divide this country, it was divided when I got here"

"There are two Chicagos – one is posh, safe; one is crime-ridden"

"Rep. Cummings said meeting Trump would be bad for him"

"I'm the least racist person, least anti-semitic person around"

"The whole Russian thing is a ruse"


"Nuclear holocaust would be like no other"

Trump then touched on the topic of a Russian reset, which he explained as follows:

"I watch CNN. It's so much anger and hatred and just the hatred. I don't watch it anymore"


"The leaks are real, the news is fake"

Finally, President Trump was called out on his 'alternative fact' about the electoral college votes.. "why should Americans trust you?"

* * *

Summing it all up…

The full "unorthodox" press conference below:

Munger’s Musings: Trump’s “Not Wrong On Everything”; “Young People Should Shop Less, Learn More”

Charlier Munger, the 93 year old billionaire vice chairman of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway who once said Trump was not “morally qualified” to be President, seems to be warming up to the new administration.  Well, at least he doesn’t think Trump is quite as bad as Hitler anyway, which is a start. 

In speaking with a group of investors and students for nearly two hours yesterday at the Daily Journal’s annual meeting, on a wide range of topics, Munger said that he’s “gotten more mellow” when it comes to Trump and is now convinced that “he’s not wrong on everything.”  Per Yahoo Finance:

“Well, I’ve gotten more mellow,” Munger said at the Daily Journal’s 2017 meeting on Wednesday, adding, “I always try to think about the good as long as it’s not good.”


“He’s not wrong on everything. And just because he isn’t like us, roll with it. If there’s a little danger, what the hell, you’re not going to live forever anyway.”


“And when Donald Trump says he wouldn’t touch Social Security and Republicans have all kinds of schemes for revising Social Security — I’m with Donald Trump. If I were running the world … I wouldn’t touch [Social Security].”

When asked about the disaffected, millennial protesters around the country, Munger blasted the “agitators” saying that short of Trump turning into “Hitler” he’s not in favor of “young people agitating and trying to change the whole world because they know so much.”  He also encouraged America’s entitled, know-it-all youth to “learn more and shop less.”

“I don’t like all that. Basically, I’m not in favor of young people agitating and trying to change the whole world because they know so much. I think young people should learn more and shop less, so I’m not sympathetic to anybody. Young people are out in the streets agitating—that’s not my system. I think if you’ve got Hitler or something you can agitate. But short of that, young people should learn more and shop less.”



Meanwhile, in addressing Berkshire’s recent investments in Technology (AAPL) and Airlines (DAL, AAL, LUV and UAL), Munger sought to assure the crowd that he didn’t think the so-called ‘Oracle of Omaha’ had “gone crazy” but was “adapting” to changing markets.

On Tuesday, Berkshire revealed multi-billion-dollar stakes in all five companies, marking a reversal of its longstanding aversion to the technology sector and antipathy to the “joke” that Munger said airlines once were.


“The nice thing about the game we’re in is that we can keep learning,” Munger said.


“He’s changed when he’s buying airlines, and he’s changed when he’s buying Apple,” he said of Buffett.


“I don’t think we’ve gone crazy,” Munger added. “I think we’re adapting.”

And here is the full 2-hour meeting for your viewing pleasure:

The Road To Hell Was Paved With College Safe Spaces

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

That isn’t what this resistance is now doing. What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, like the CIA with its history of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup where they take the elected President and prevent him from enacting his policy. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that.


– From Glenn Greenwald’s recent interview with Democracy Now

Earlier today, I posted the following tweet:

This observation was merely my latest twist on a theme I’ve been hammering home ever since Trump won the election. Namely, given there are so many obvious things to be concerned about when it comes to Trump (his love affair with Goldman Sachs, support of civil asset forfeiture and a statist mentality overall), why are we being manipulated into focusing all our outrage on a largely invented conspiracy theory that he is some sort of Putin stooge?

The reason is both extremely simple and extraordinarily clever. The main reason Russia is such an obsession within the fake “resistance,” is because it’s a way to demonize Trump while defending the police state apparatus. In other words, it prevents well-meaning people from taking Trump to task on issues that really matter. This way, they can simply distract with Russia noise and continue to loot and pillage society at large. It’s genius really. You create a fake yet salacious narrative and rally the gullible public around it in order to distract from real domestic problems. This way you can be “anti-Trump,” while at the same time being pro-Wall Street fraud, corporatism, war, unconstitutional spying, and the national security state. This is your “resistance” as it stands today.

For example, nobody should cheer the following, which was reported yesterday by The Daily Caller:

The talk within the tight-knit community of retired intelligence officers was that Flynn’s sacking was a result of intelligence insiders at the CIA, NSA and National Security Council using a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” to create a crisis atmosphere. The former intel officers say the tactics hurled against Flynn over the last few months were the type of high profile hard-ball accusations previously reserved for top figures in enemy states, not for White House officials.


“This was a hit job,” charged retired Col. James Williamson, a 32-year Special Forces veteran who coordinated his operations with the intelligence community.


“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Retired Col. James Waurishuk, who spent three decades in top military intelligence posts and served at the National Security Council, said in an interview with TheDCNF. “We’ve never seen to the extent that those in the intelligence community are using intelligence apparatus and tools to be used politically against an administration official,” he said.


“The knives are out,” said Frederick Rustman, who retired after 24 years from the CIA’s Clandestine Service and was a member of its elite Senior Intelligence Service.


The intelligence community’s sprawling bureaucracy is organizing to topple the Trump presidency, Rustman charged in an interview with TheDCNF.

This is a very dangerous game to play. You open this box and there’s no closing it up again. As someone named David Hines so wisely noted on Twitter earlier today:

Which brings me to the next question. How are so many of our fellow citizens being so easily herded into obsessing about Russia conspiracy theories, when we face so many dire, existential problems?

The useless mainstream media is obviously a key part of the problem, but there’s more. Specifically, I think what’s been going on at U.S. universities is equally destructive. Indeed, it seems the minds of our children have been stunted in a very damaging way by the people in charge of “higher education.”

To explain the extent of the problem, I want to highlight a few passages from an excellent article by social psychologist at NYU’s Stern Business School, Jonathan Haidt.

The term microaggression has swept through the academy in English speaking countries in the last two or three years. Lilienfeld (2017, this issue) has done the academy a great service in analyzing the concept and showing why it is not ready to serve as the scientific basis for new policies and programs being rolled out at many universities. In this commentary, I will extend Lilienfeld’s analysis and show why the “microaggression program” (as I’ll call the combination of theory and on-campus applications) is more damaging and less salvageable than Lilienfeld suggests. In fact, it may be the least wise idea one can find on a college campus today.


To write my first book, The Happiness Hypothesis (Haidt, 2006), I read a large number of ancient texts and extracted every psychological claim I could find. I organized ancient wisdom into 10 “great truths.” It’s hard to identify the one greatest truth of all time, but surely one of the top three most important, most generative, and most life-improving psychological insights, discovered thinkers in all major civilizations, is the importance appraisal:


The whole universe is change and life itself is but what you deem it. (Marcus Aurelius, 1964; Meditations, 4:3)


What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of our mind. (Buddha, The Dhammapada, in Mascaro, 1973)


The ancients knew that we don’t react to the world it is; we react to the world as we construct it in our own minds. They also knew that in the process of construction we are overly judgmental and outrageously hypocritical; we urgently need to reduce our moral certainty and cultivate generosity of spirit:


Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? . . . You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye. (Matthew 7:3–5)


It is easy to see the faults of others, but difficult to see one’s own faults. One shows the faults of others like chaff winnowed in the wind, but one conceals one’s own faults as a cunning gambler conceals his dice. (Buddha, The Dhammapada)


The microaggression program teaches students the exact opposite of ancient wisdom. Microaggression training is—by definition—instruction in how to detect ever smaller specks in your neighbor’s eye. Microaggression training tells students that “life itself is exactly what you think it is—you have a direct pipeline to reality, and the person who offended you does not, so go with your feelings.” Of course, the ancients could be wrong on these points, but the empirical evidence for the importance of appraisal and the ubiquity of bias and hypocrisy is overwhelming (I review it in chapters 2 and 4 of The Happiness Hypothesis). As Lilienfeld shows, the empirical evidence supporting the utility and validity of the micro- aggression concept is minimal at best.


I think the section of Lilienfeld’s article that should most make us recoil from the microaggression program is the section on personality traits, particularly negative emotionality and the tendency to perceive oneself as a victim. These are traits—correlated with depression and anxiety disorders—that some students bring with them from high school to college. Students who score high on these traits perceive more microaggressions in ambiguous circumstances. These traits therefore bring misery and anger to the students themselves, and these negative emotions and the conflicts they engender are likely to radiate outward through the students’ social networks (Christakis & Fowler, 2009). How should colleges (and other institutions) respond to the presence of high scorers in their midst? Should they offer them cognitive behavioral therapy or moral validation? Should they hand them a copy of The Dhammapada or a microaggression training manual.


It’s bad enough to make the most fragile and anxious students quicker to take offense and more self-certain and self-righteous. But what would happen if you took a whole campus of diverse students, who arrive from all over the world with very different values and habits, and you train all of them to react with pain and anger to ever-smaller specks that they learn to see in each other’s eyes? 

Indeed, it’s become clear to me that we have more or less raised at least one generation of zombies in this country, and it appears the guardians of higher education are hellbent on creating more. Zombies don’t lead, they follow — mindlessly and destructively. We can see them everywhere, on both the right and the left, as the level of dialogue descends into the gutter and we appear entirely incapable of addressing any of our real problems, let alone solving them.

Meanwhile, if you want to get a sense of where the victim mentally obsession eventually gets you, take a look at what’s currently happening at the University of California San Diego.

Quartz reports:

Chinese students are joining their peers on American campuses in getting woke. Their cause? Defending the official line of the Communist Party.


On Feb. 2, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) formally announced that the Dalai Lama would make a keynote speech at the June commencement ceremony.


The announcement triggered outrage among Chinese students who view the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as an oppressive figure threatening to divide a unified China. A group of them now plans to meet with the university chancellor to discuss the content of the upcoming speech.


The awkwardness doesn’t end there. As the aggrieved students have trumpeted their opposition, their rhetoric has borrowed elements from larger campus activist movements across the United States. The upshot: What Westerners might perceive as Communist Party orthodoxy is mingling weirdly with academia’s commitment to diversity, political correctness, and other championed ideals.


Opposition to the Dalai Lama among Chinese authorities is nothing new, of course. Less recognized in the West is that many Chinese citizens feel the same way as the government. At UCSD, the Chinese-student opposition to the invitation came instantly. Just hours after the announcement, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) issued a lengthy, Chinese-language note on WeChat saying it had communicated with the Chinese consulate about the matter.


UCSD is a place for students to cultivate their minds and enrich their knowledge. Currently, the various actions undertaken by the university have contravened the spirit of respect, tolerance, equality, and earnestness—the ethos upon which the university is built. These actions have also dampened the academic enthusiasm of Chinese students and scholars. If the university insists on acting unilaterally and inviting the Dalai Lama to give a speech at the graduation ceremony, our association vows to take further measures to firmly resist the university’s unreasonable behavior. Specific details of these measures will be outlined in our future statements.


This is not the first time that overseas Chinese students at US colleges have voiced opposition to certain campus events perceived as disrespectful to China. In 2008, hundreds gathered at the University of Washington to rally against the Dalai Lama’s acceptance of an honorary degree. But typically, criticism is couched in familiar tropes like “hurting the feelings of the Chinese people,” rather than failing to account for diversity.


“If there were an objection to the Dalai Lama speaking on campus 10 years ago, you would not have seen the objection from Chinese students being framed within the rhetoric of diversity and inclusion,” says professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom, who researches modern Chinese history at the University of California, Irvine. “There is a borrowing of rhetorical strategies.”


John Li, a UCSD student and principal member of the CSSA who requested Quartz not use his real name, says the chancellor invited a group of overseas Chinese students for a meeting on Feb. 15. According to him, the group won’t ask the chancellor to disinvite the Dalai Lama. But it will request that he “send out statements that clarify the content of Dalai Lama’s speech,” “make sure his speech has nothing to do with politics,” and “stop using words like ‘spiritual leader’ or ‘exile’” to describe the Dalai Lama.


Li, the CSSA member, says that he hasn’t engaged with any non-Chinese student in person regarding Tibetan history and the nature of the Dalai Lama’s politics. But he’s nevertheless frustrated by a lack of consideration toward the arguments his Chinese peers share on Facebook.


Yet several factors could cause Chinese overseas students to grow more vocal in expressing their opinions in matters of politics, which at times may or may not conform with views held by most Westerners.


For one thing, more overseas Chinese students are studying in the US than ever before. According to the Institute of International Education, more than 304,000 international students were attending university in the US during the 2014-2015 academic year, marking a nearly fivefold increase from a decade prior.


UCSD, along with other public universities in California and in the Midwest, has seen some of the highest uptake in admissions from Chinese international students. Data published in the fall of 2015 placed the school’s total overseas Chinese student population at 3,569—marking 10.6% of the total student population, and 55.7% of the international student population.

These students also tend to pay full tuition. Indeed, some of the complaints among Chinese students on Facebook center around how they find it unfair that that their monetary contributions to the school aren’t reflected in the choice of the speaker.


There’s also suspicion among some academics that CSSA, which represents students at UCSD and dozens of other US universities, sometimes serves as a conduit for Chinese consulates to promulgate Communist Party orthodoxy on overseas campuses. Last week, an official at the Chinese embassy in London reportedly phoned Durham University’s debate society, urging it to cancel an appearance by Anastasia Lin, a Chinese-Canadian beauty queen and vocal human rights activist. The school’s CSSA issued a statement also condemning Lin’s appearance.


In its initial statement opposing the Dalai Lama’s appearance, UCSD’s CSSA wrote that it had “been in contact with the People’s Republic of China Consulate General in Los Angeles at the earliest opportunity since the matter arose,” and “was waiting for the advice of the Consulate General.”


Li tells Quartz that this part of the letter is “a mistake.”

When the Dalai Lama receives more protest from America’s college kids than Lloyd Blankfein, you know something’s very wrong.

Still waiting on the resistance.

BNP Risk Indicator Flashes “Love” Warning Signal For US Stocks

While the market itself has exhibited the exuberance we have all seen before (and never seem capable of learning from), BNP has quantified this love-panic relationship (and the news is not great for the bulls). When in 'love' mode, the average drop in stocks has been 12% in the next six months. The biggest drivers of this "love" have been investor confidence, CoT positioning, short-interest, relative trading volumes, and sectoral outperformance with fund-flows shifting away from "love" suggesting the short-term top is in. The index itself peaked last week at the highest level of "love" in two years…

h/t @Not_Jim_Cramer

BNP explains their framework:

In our Love Panic model, we try to identify distress and euphoria in an attempt to predict forward market returns. In order to successfully predict the market we have chosen parameters with good predictive capabilities during different market cycles but also those that make qualitative sense. Investment should be dispassionate but not automatic. Some investors solve this problem by hiring a mechanic (or quant) to build a machine to invest on their behalf. This indicator is not for them. Instead, this indicator highlights when market sentiment is either overly depressed or excessively optimistic. This helps one at least adjust for ones mood. So we suggest that when the market has reached a level of distress, it’s a good time to buy. Meanwhile, when investors are euphoric,we advocate a sell. As a result we have developed a contrarian indicator model. When our signal is in panic (negative), it indicates a buy. While when the signal reads positive it’s a sell signal. In our Love Panic model, we try to identify distress and euphoria in an attempt to predict forward market returns. In order to successfully predict the market we have chosen parameters with good predictive capabilities during different market cycles but also those that make qualitative sense.

And the market has not done well once investors fall in 'love'…