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Dumping on the Donald

Rembrandt van Rijn The Adoration of the Magi 16xx

I still had some things I didn’t talk about in Sunday’s Trump Derangement International, about how the European press have found out that they, like the US MSM, can get lots of viewers and readers simply by publishing negative stories about Donald Trump. The US president is an attention magnet, as long as you only write things about him designed to make him look bad.

The Guardian is only too happy to comply. They ran a whole series of articles on Sunday to do juts that: try to make Trump look bad. Note that the Guardian editorial team that okayed the articles is the same as the one that allowed the fake Assange/Manafort one, so their credibility is already shot to pieces. It’s the magic triangle of today’s media profits: spout non-stop allegations against Russia, Trump and Julian Assange, and link them when and where you can. It doesn’t matter if what you say is true or not.

Anyway, all the following is from the Guardian, all on December 23. First off, Adam Gabbatt in New York, who has painstakingly researched how Trump’s businesses, like Trump Tower and the Trump store, don’t appear to have sufficiently (as per him) switched from Happy Holidays to Merry Christmas. Sherlock Holmes would have been proud. A smash hit there Adam, bring out the handcuffs.

Trump’s ‘Merry Christmas’ Pledge Fails To Manifest

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign he talked often about his determination to win one particular war. A war that had been raging for years, he said. Specifically: the war on Christmas. But despite Trump’s repeated claims that “people are saying Merry Christmas again” instead of the more inclusive “happy holidays”, there are several places where the Christmas greeting is absent: Trump’s own businesses.

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Happy Landings


The blow-off orgy in the stock markets is supposedly America’s consolation prize for what many regard as the electoral bad acid trip of the Trump presidency. Sorry to tell you, it’s just another hallucination, something you’re going to have to come down from. Happy landings!

While the markets have roared parabolically up, in Technicolor, with sugar-on-top, that ole rascal, Reality, is working some hoodoo in the other rings of this psychedelic circus: namely the dollar and the bond market. The idiots on NPR’s Marketplace and the Cable TV financial shows haven’t noticed the dollar tanking the past several months or the interest rates creeping up in the bond markets. Well, isn’t that the point of living as if anything goes and nothing matters, the mantra of the age?

Alas , things are connected and consequences await. It would be rich if a flash crash ripped the Dow, S & P, and the Nasdaq to shreds twenty minutes after the Golden Golem of Greatness finished schooling the weenies of Davos on the bigly wonderfulness of his year in office. In fact, it would be a crowning comic moment in human history. I can imagine Trump surrounded by the fawning Beta Boys of Banking as the news comes in. Poof! Suddenly, he is alone in the antechamber backstage, nothing left of his admirers but the lingering scent of aftershave. The world has changed. The dream is over. In the mirror he sees something that looks dimly like Herbert Hoover in a polka-dot clown suit, with funny orange wig….

A financial smash-up is really the only thing that will break the awful spell this country is in: the belief that everyday life can go on when nothing really adds up. It seems to me that the moment is close at hand. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told the Davos crowd that the US has “a weak dollar” policy.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

If Currency Wars Have Indeed Started, This Is What Comes Next

Even as overall volatility remains tame, things are rapidly changing in the world of currency trading where FX vol has spiked to the highest level since early October after this week’s dramatic FX rollercoaster which saw the US Treasury Secretary get this close to launching currency war, and required the verbal intervention of both (a rather angry) Mario Draghi and Donald Trump himself to normalize things, if only for the time being.

While some were quick to point out that what Mnuchin did with his “weak dollar” commentary was a dramatic reversal of decades of US “strong dollar” policy (which is nothing more than lip service as Hank Paulson showed so very well when he launched QE1 in 2008), others such as FX strategist Alan Ruskin saw a more innocuous explanation: as we noted earlier, he suggested that what you have here “is two officials who like a weak(er) USD in the short-term that will help the US trade accounts and support growth, albeit to the point where strong growth will eventually support a strong USD longer-term.”

In Alan’s view this is a way of saying that in the short-term a weak USD is good for US trade, and in the long-term a strong USD is good because it is indicative of strong growth a healthy economy. Still, Ruskin concedes that that this is clearly a very confusing message to convey and it’s unlikely to either be reported or understood correctly, which doesn’t really help the message.

And then there is the less subtle explanation: that trade wars have indeed broken out. That’s the assumption used by DB’s Masao Muraki, who today writes that it his view that the Trump Administration, having completed the tax reforms, will shift focus to trade policy.

 

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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