Over the last several weeks, the market has gone through various fits of panic over whether a global trade war, sparked by the US, might imperil the global economy. However, over that period, sentiment has generally improved, with most investors now thinking a trade war unlikely. That view may be far off the mark, as two major disagreements are worsening. The first is between the US and Europe, on whom Trump may impose additionally steel tariffs imminently. Europeans have vowed to retaliate. With China, the situation is eve more worrisome, as the country has refused to even respond to Trump’s requests tha it slash $100 bn from its trade surplus with the US and lessen its backing for industrial upgrades.

FINSUM: China seems to feel it is finally big enough to stand up to the US. It is probably correct, which means we may end up in a big standoff with Beijing. Here is the big question though—will that ultimately (e.g. 3-plus years from now) be bad for the US economy?


In what will likely lead to a sigh of relief from Congressional Republicans, Trump made clear yesterday that he will not take any action to shut down the DOJ investigation into his administration’s ties to Russia. The comments came shortly before the Senate judiciary committee passed a bill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. That bill has very little chance of becoming law, however, because of the composition of Congress and the position of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

FINSUM: We think this is a very wise move from Trump. No only does it make him appear more innocent of any wrongdoing, but it also makes him look more committed to the investigative process.

(New York)

Those close to Michael Cohen and the situation say that the lawyer seems poised to turn on his friend, Donald Trump, if put under pressure by investigators. At least that is what long-time Trump legal advisor, Jay Goldberg, is telling the president. Goldberg was a former prosecutor who has advised Trump since the 1990s. Trump reportedly called Goldberg asking for advice, and the Wall Street Journal quotes Goldberg as saying “On a scale of 100 to 1, where 100 is fully protecting the president, Mr. Cohen ‘isn’t even a 1,’”. He explained that if Goldberg were faced with criminal charges, he would tell all.

FINSUM: So it looks like Goldberg is going to tell all, but what nobody knows is how much of value he might really have to say.

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