Arsonists don’t make the best firefighters — hoocoodanode, amirite?
"It doesn’t seem like anything was actually agreed to at the dinner and White House officials are contorting themselves into pretzels to reconcile Trump’s tweets (which seem if not completely fabricated then grossly exaggerated) with reality." – JPM trading note
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) December 4, 2018
Valued commenter A Ghost to Most alerted us to this Raw Story piece, which has more details, in the morning thread:
A new note from investment bank JPMorgan advises traders to not buy into the hype that President Donald Trump has ended his own trade war with China.
As reported by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, JPMorgan is telling investors that Trump’s declaration this week that China will immediately drop all tariffs on American cars has no basis in reality.
In particular, the note said that investors should have “valid reason for caution” when it comes to investing on the hopes that Trump is on the verge of a major breakthrough with China.
“It doesn’t seem like anything was actually agreed to at the dinner and White House officials are contorting themselves into pretzels to reconcile Trump’s tweets (which seem if not completely fabricated then grossly exaggerated) with reality,” the note states.
This is new, right — a pathological liar in the White House causing several-hundred-point swings in the stock market by casually tweeting big, fat whoppers, necessitating investment banks to issue cautionary statements because the president is a fucking liar who can’t be trusted to tell the truth about anything?
Someone must’ve clued Trump in, because he tweeted out this garbled dog’s breakfast of moronitude:
The negotiations with China have already started. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina. Bob Lighthizer will be working closely with Steve Mnuchin, Larry Kudlow, Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro…..
……on seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible. If it is, we will get it done. China is supposed to start buying Agricultural product and more immediately. President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will. But if not remember,……
….I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN
I was an English major at a Southern football school, and even I know consumers eat the costs of tariffs, but it doesn’t sound like the Wharton grad with superior genes gets that.
OMFG, Mr. Mueller — please do something before this moron wrecks not only what was once the world’s most stable democracy but brings the entire global financial system to ruin because he needs a “win.”
Gin & Tonic
The markets are rendering their opinion in real time.
Last time to make plans. Well I’m a tumbler, I’m a tariff man.
I wonder who’s making bank by shorting stuff. Probably someone in the Trump Family.
I’d rather have Sully (the Pilot) or Sully (the Dog) as President.
In fairness, scamming working folks out of their money and smothering their suspicions in bullshit might be the single skill he took away from Wharton’s curriculum.
And the field narrows by one: AVENATTI OUT FOR 2020!
Whew! That was gonna be a close one…(eyeroll)
It’s almost as if someone has the power to move the markets and invests accordingly.
Dear corporate overlords: I hope that tax cut was worth it.
Signed, all the rest of us.
Trump: “When the Vikings come to burn our towns, rape our sheep and steal our women, I insist that they pay me a piece of the action first.”
@Gin & Tonic:
The traders in the market are all idiots catching up with reality the hard way.
@TenguPhule: Trumpgeld is the classiest geld you can imagine.
J R in WV
And he still doesn’t know or understand that US tariffs are paid 100% by the consumers and businesses of the US, not by foreign traders.
What a maroon. You don’t even need an econ class to know that!!
J.P. Morgan suggested that the president “completely fabricated” an informal agreement with China on tariffs. It’s getting harder to act as if things are normal even for people who are really, really, willing to pretend that’s the case.
Politco: Emails of top NRCC officials stolen in major 2018 hack
Looks like Russia decided its time to spice things up a notch.
Do you know the Tariff Man, the Tariff Man, the Tariff Man?
Do you know the Tariff Man, who is going to destroy us all?
I just assumed he lied. It’s not hard to be right; everything he says is a lie. There are people who still believe what he says? Remarkable. I can no longer imagine being that person. “Donald Trump said..” is the first three words of a joke, right?
I don’t even know where to start with how much is just plain wrong in that tweet.
Because Betty said this is an open thread, I’m just going to leave this rant here:
Well, it’s the Xmas season again and (for those of us who actually support a household playing music) an entire month of repeatedly performing the same 20-25 tired ass “Holiday” tunes that the cretins know & love. I’d like to discuss one little ditty in my Xmas repertoire that beautifully encapsulates our current political situation, “Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer”.
A cute children’s song, right? Wrong! It’s insidious. You all know the song. Sing the lyrics to yourself. Go ahead, I’ll wait…
OK. Let’s see what it’s actually saying:
Rudolph was born with an obvious birth defect. As a result he was ostracized, humiliated and abused by his entire community – even as a child.(No reindeer games for you, freak Mofo!). This shunning continued unabated until one year, a climate crisis created a situation in which the community could use Rudolph’s affliction to their own benefit. And all of a sudden he’s a fucking hero. Sure. Of course.
Until next year when the weather is clear and he’s back in the shithouse.
So, to recap: If somebody is “different”, fuck over them unless & until you can derive some personal benefit from exploiting their condition. Then they’re cool until the crisis is over. Afterwards, Oh, well…
IS THIS WHAT WE WANT TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN?
TO ALL BECOME REPUBLICANS?
Excuse me, Gotta go. I just got a request to play “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas”.
@TenguPhule: It means that Mexico isn’t going to pay for the wall.
We’ll be seeing these in the NYTimes. right? Where have all the transparency mavens of 2016 gone? Weird how the only private communications we see are those that are stolen from Democrats.
@Ajabu: I stopped going caroling with my neighborhood association because they refused to sing real Christmas songs. Why bother?
Adam L Silverman
Also, this happened:
Much, much more at the link.
@J R in WV:
I’m going to pretend for a moment that I’m Sarah Huckabee Sanders:
“Pah. That is mere fact. Donald Trump is the bestest President of The United States ever, and unlike any President before him he has authority over the facts. He, not the facts, determines what is true. So there. Pout.”
@TenguPhule: His capitalization habits are atrocious.
Russia just collecting more blackmail material.
@dmsilev: And the spelling and the math fuckups.
Adam L Silverman
@Kay: I’m sure GG is on top of getting them from Wikileaks so he can publish them in the Intercept as I type this.
“We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.”
Doing the lumbar limbo is a work requirement in this woebegone White House.
“How low can you go?”
“Just wait, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.”
The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion
@Barbara: Real Christmas songs? As opposed to . . . ?
@Adam L Silverman: 2019 is when everything starts falling apart. Its going to be a long slide down.
A long way down.
All I want is to breathe.
Could you pull Chet’s nuts out of the fire? Smells like they’re burning.
@Ajabu: I always interpreted the rejection of Rudolf as wrong, both in the song and the cartoon. Yes, almost everybody is insensitive to mean but as a child I thought that pretty realistic and I haven’t seen much to revise my opinion, other than there should have been a few more sticking up for Rudolf.
@The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion:
Speaking of hacks, someone in an earlier thread mentioned the hack of one of the Manafort daughter’s iPhone and all the salacious and incriminating material it contained. Guess what “transparency” organization refused to make a searchable database of that info available to the public?
To paraphrase one of our valued commenters from the other day (can’t remember who, sorry), it appears deeply personal information that can cause pain to specific individuals only “wants to be free” when the source is a Democrat.
A Ghost To Most
Wow, there’s a first.
I see the market is pissed about being lied to.
And the senators who were briefed by Haspel came out truly steaming. One said “no smoking gun, a smoking bone saw” (Corker or Graham).
Ajabu, I see the Rudolph story like this: A character who is obviously different from his society is bullied and made fun of, but goes on to connect with others who are also different. They band together as friends, fend off danger and rescue a community of other outcasts. Rudolph earns his own sense of strength and pride, then helps Santa carry out the Christmas deliveries.
That’s how I feel about it. I’m sorry your holiday carolling isn’t enjoyable. It should be fun.
As is his serial adjective abuse-overuse.
Sort of like the original X-men.
A Ghost To Most
@Betty Cracker: GOP omerta.
A Ghost To Most
@The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion:
“Mrs. Claus’s Kimono”
@The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion: “I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus” or “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” or “Up on the Rooftop ho ho ho,” or “Frosty the Snowman,” etc.
Also keep in mind that when Rudolf was written and animated segregation was still the law in many states. Our whole concept that society should be just and fair is a very recent one, the work of the New Left contemporaneous with the Rudolf animated show. Rudolf certainly depicts society as cruel, but I don’t see how that means the fictional works approve of the cruelty.
A Ghost To Most
@A Ghost To Most:
@Burnspbesq: Won’t you breathe with me?
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Ajabu: For me, the main beef I have is that the animated show gave us “Holly, Jolly Christmas”. I imagine you have feelings about that one.
How do you feel about “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”? It’s not actually a Christmas song, but radio stations break it out this time of year and put it into Christmas rotation anyway. I’ve seen a lot of heated discussion about that one and how the lyrics are a little too date-rapey and we should maybe put it on the shelf.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: I don’t read “Baby It’s Cold” that way but I can see how people would. And while the male character isn’t actually forcing the woman against her will, there is certainly a “no means yes” element to it. The woman says she should say no, but doesn’t really want to, and really wants to be talked into staying. So yeah, it’s not a great message.
That discussion made me think of a song from my own youth and young adulthood, “Fire” by the Pointer Sisters. (Yes, my youth involved leisure suits and disco. Don’t judge me. Oh, heck, go ahead and judge me). I liked that song, but even back then the lyrics made me a little uncomfortable:
You’re pullin’ me close
I just say no
I say I don’t like it
But you know I’m a liar
@Fair Economist: The TV special presents it as normal that the father would denigrate his son for being different. And presents it as normal and expected that the adults would stand by and say nothing as the kid who did nothing wrong is teased and ostracized. If the “good” characters objected, I’d see that as the special arguing that the treatment was wrong, but to the best my recollection, no one does. Everyone just goes along with it like it’s normal and expected.
@Whitney Barnes: My point is that at the time there were many, many things that were “normal” and horribly wrong, such as barring interracial marriages, explicitly racist immigration quota, medicalized torture of GLBTQ, etc. The idea that normal things are necessarily OK or at least not too bad is more recent than Rudolf. It’s not really true yet anyway, just less false than in 1964.
So, does Trump not know that the importer pays the tariff, or does he know and is just trying convince everyone else that he’s bringing back $ from China?
Really, there should be a frontpage story in WaPo and the NYTimes about Trump’s continually incorrect assertion about who pays tariffs. It’s a big deal.
@Ajabu: My 3-yr-old twin grandchildren love their book with “The Little Red Hen” story. It is the children’s Ayn Rand.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym: “Fire” is actually a Springsteen song, covered by the Pointer Sisters. It’s ultimately about a couple whose physical chemistry is too strong to resist, even if they know better in their head. I don’t think there’s anything too troubling about that.
I like the gender reversal of the cover; it shows that women, too, can initiate, so to speak.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
The answer to all questions that start that way is “No, Trump does not know”. He seems to be appallingly ignorant about everything. EVERYTHING. Except crafting his own image and grifting. He’s one of the best we’ve seen at that. He bragged that he could make a profit on a presidential run and by FSM he did it.
@Barbara: My daughter, who has spent her life singing in elite choruses, and rarely hears Christmas vocal music she doesn’t know by heart, explained to me that there are Christmas songs (secular) and Christmas carols (religious). Is this the distinction you are trying for?
When 2016 happened I was working at a financial institution. I overheard (repeatedly) the senior management eagerly discussing the brave new world Lord Dampnut would usher in, and how the financial services sector would blossom.
They got quieter over the next year-plus. Can’t imagine why.
Magic 8 Ball: Yes, it’s almost as if.
@bemused senior: There is schlock and not schlock. Secular and religious can be in both camps. The older carols tend to survive in a winnowing out process that hasn’t hit modern pop music, and tended to be more religious, so the split may seem to be religious vrs secular, but isn’t in my opinion.
@Hitlesswonder: I feel like he somehow got the idea that a tariff is like a toll, and now that it’s in his head it’s never going to go away. You could tell him something different but he’s going to keep coming back to that. Because he’s really deeply fucking stupid.
s/is going to /shall/ scans better.
Do you know the Tariff Man, who shall destroy us all?
that’s how I see the Rudolph story.
The Other Bob
So much for tariffs helping the little guy….
“Ford Motor Co. says it expects tariffs on steel and aluminum to cut profits by $1 billion by the end of next year. If so, that translates to $1,000 that President Donald Trump’s trade war has taken from each Ford hourly worker — many of whom voted for Trump on the belief he would help their economic security.”
@TenguPhule: I had a wingnut acquaintance tell me that same $250B/yr.
1. It was pure fantasy, It also confused one time costs with yearly costs – whocoodanode?
2. It also forgot any possible benefits. I think I know why.
@Adam L Silverman: One thing that makes interpretation of Treasury yield curves more difficult now is that the Fed has been using them for some time now (well over a year, maybe back to Yellen) to calibrate their rate increases to be at just the right pace in order to avoid inverting. The goal has been to raise interest rates enough to keep the nominal yield curve on the edge of inverting. The real (inflation adjusted) yield curve has been inverted since mid summer.
Not clear what predictive information the yield curve gives now, after it is part of the algorithm on how far and fast to raise rates. One theory of how the yield curve works is that getting higher short term rates dries up long term investment. Why bother to invest in bonds for long term and put up with the extra risk of a long duration bond, when you can get more by investing in short term? But long term investment is mainly structures, and both residential and non-residential real investment in structures has been stuttering for almost a year now, and they stutters seem just as driven by other macro factors, such as demand for housing, than interest rates, far more than in the past. And the brilliant 2017 GOP tax scam bill seems to be on average reducing growth in real investment, not increasing it.
So, significance of Treasury yield curve isn’t clear.
And, to clarify, seems like there should be a huge demand for homes and apartments, but in economics you have to be both willing and able to pay for a good in order to contributed to demand. The ‘willing’ is there, but the ‘able’ is not. Residential housing finance is so messed up that few can afford what developers want to offer.
Edit: and brilliant GOP tax heist bill is designed to work through a channel of higher interest rates and bigger trade deficit. That story is just unfolding now, though seems so far to work more through deficit and its effects on trade balance, than increases real investment inside US (which is not happening).
@jl: Could you help me with this:
I understand that the fed had owned lots of bonds, and now has presumably $50B/month fewer bonds. Does that mean it borrowed money from the Treasury to
buy the bonds (expanding the balance sheet) and is now returning cash to the Treasury? Or where does the money come from to buy those QE bonds?
@catclub: I don’t keep up with the mechanics, I’m interested in the macroeconomics, and how that impacts us ‘lesser’ people.. QE 1 and II, IIRC, started with a massive FED buy of US Treasury securities. So the Fed lent the Treasury money (aka, buying the bonds). QE III extended the Fed buys to mortgage backed securities and corporate assets. So, one of the problems of reversing QE is to do in a way that does not make the FED a huge net effective borrower of funds from the Treasury.
Last I read about the mechanics in detail, the Fed is not selling anything back. It is just letting all the QE debt instruments it holds mature, and drastically scaling back, or stopping, new purchases. So the amount of assets held by the FED gradually declines.
The general issue is that reversing the QEs changes the Feds position from being a net lender (increasing money liquidity in the financial system) to a net borrower (decreasing money liquidity in the financial system)). Maybe an expert on it cam comment if I got any of that wrong. When, eventually, all the nets net out, the Fed won’t be such a huge lender to US Treasury or corporate sector. The trick is to do it gradually, so the reduction in money liquidity from the Fed doesn’t disrupt financial markets.
@jl: i should always check wiki first. Looks like purchases of mortgage backed securities were always part of the mix in all the QEs, but as went from I to II, purchases of mortgage backed securities decreases compared to Treasuries, and then in III, Fed bought up pretty much anything that could be construed to be sound debt.
The Federal Reserve keystrokes that money into existence, the money is on the liability side of the balance sheet and the Treasuries are on the asset side. This is why the US sans the stupid debt ceiling can never default on its debt, all Federal debts are denominated in dollars, the Fed can create unlimited dollars.
Another feature of this is that “excess profits” made by the Federal Reserve are periodically swept out of the Fed’s accounts into Treasury’s general account. So any interest paid to the Fed on US Treasuries comes back to the Treasury. This is why debt held by the Fed really shouldn’t be considered as part of the National Debt, it’s basically like loaning yourself money.
And of course, the Fed got the cash to pay for all this stuff from the Fed. It gave out ‘cash’ that was really Fed high power money IOUs that banks could use as reserve money, which is what banks use to back their loans and stay in regulatory compliance with required reserve ratios.
Please watch Bloomberg cabal financial news. Every nite the have a show when the Asian markets open. Last nite there were 2 male host and they were laughing at Trump. If they had been standing they would have been slapping each other on the back.
Yeah, I think Rankin and Bass realized there were some problems with the story as presented in the song and expanded it out. The adults are wrong to be so mean to Rudolph and let the other deer bully him, but those characters coming to understand that they were wrong is part of the arc of the story. If everyone was nice and stopped the bullying at the beginning, there would be no story!
Also, “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” is about a guy who murders his wife and frames Santa for the crime, and his family is too stupid or too cowed to confront him about it or turn him in.
There’s a reason “The Good Place” shows that song as being a favorite of demons. ?
Steve in the ATL
That’s just the DNC clearing the field for Hillary’s coronation
China Is Paying for Most of Trump’s Trade War, Research Says
That’s the conclusion of a new paper from EconPol Europe, a network of researchers in the European Union. U.S. companies and consumers will only pay 4.5 percent more after the nation imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, and the other 20.5 percent toll will fall on Chinese producers, according to authors Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek and Gabriel Felbermayr.