Stocks are getting hammered today in part because the idiot POTUS, who understands economics even less than I do, said maybe there will be no trade deal with China until after the 2020 election. Trump has lied several times about progress in talks with China, causing markets to soar temporarily every time he tells a big fat whopper.
He implied an agreement was all but a done deal a couple of months ago, which caused the Charlie Brown traders to go nuts. As usual, the Chinese delegates proved the more reliable narrators, throwing cold water on those expectations, but not until after Trump made maximum hay of stock market gains.
In light of these developments today, CNBC Washington correspondent Eamon Javers revealed a bizarre conversation he had with Kellyanne Conway yesterday:
Given Trump’s new comment that he may want to wait until after ‘20 for a China trade deal, here’s an exchange I had with Kellyanne Conway at the WH yesterday. I asked her if the president was wrong to announce the trade deal in October, before it was actually done.
Conway said: “No.”
I said: “Now here we are in December and we don’t have a deal.”
KC: “why do you think we don’t have a deal? Because you haven’t seen it?”
EJ: “Is there a deal we haven’t seen?”
KC: “Are you saying the president lied that we don’t have a phase one deal?”
EJ: “We haven’t seen the deal.”
EJ: “Well that’s significant.”
KC: “So you’re saying was the president wrong to say there was a deal and there isn’t a deal. Is there a deal or not?”
EJ: “Did he put himself in a bad negotiating position by announcing there was all but a deal?”
KC: “No, of course not.”
EJ: “Did he put himself in a position where the Chinese could embarrass him?”
KC: “The Chinese have not embarrassed President Trump, that’s for sure.”
Conway is a lying ass-weevil. Generally, my opinion is that the straight news networks shouldn’t give her air time because she actively makes viewers dumber. But this exchange with Javers is revealing, in a sense. Conway’s prickly evasions strongly suggest what most of us here have suspected all along: there is no strategy, at least not on the US side, to manage trade relations with China, at least not in a way that advances US interests (as opposed to Trump’s personal interests).
Probably the only thing that’s saving Trump’s ass right now is that the Chinese want an idiot in charge of American trade policy. I would, if I were them. I’d want someone stupid and needy like Trump, someone easily manipulated so I could run circles around him and improve my country’s bilateral bargaining position while expanding its global influence.
The Chinese want access to our markets, and the trade war is undoubtedly hurting them. But they don’t have to worry about elections, so they can wait Trump out. I don’t know what their strategy is. But the Charlie Brown traders should figure out which Lucy is really holding the football. It sure as hell ain’t Trump.