It’s been a week of very provocative Afternoon Editions. I say that not as a matter of just qualitative assessment, but also as a matter of quantitative analysis. That analysis is based on the unusually high number of interesting and thoughtful reader responses we’ve had since last Friday’s issue.
Recall that we started the current string of topics featuring Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders with a discussion a week ago about why the two seemingly polar opposite candidates have such strong appeal with their core supporters.
The topics this week all had some relationship to either the Trump phenomenon, or the appeal of Sanders.
On Monday we told you about chess champion Gary Kasparov, and why he disagrees with the solutions to our economic problems posed by Bernie Sanders.
Tuesday we went over the importance of what political types were calling "Super Tuesday 2.0." We included many reader responses as to what you thought of the current hot-button issues.
Wednesday we concentrated on the Federal Reserve and its "dovish" decision on interest rates. Still, there was so much more reader response about how politicians are addressing our economic issues, we included even more of your feedback.
Yet it was Thursday’s issue that really got reader juices flowing. We presented an assessment from the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Forecasting Service that called a Donald Trump electoral victory one of the top 10 global risks.
Now I know for some of you, you’re probably tired of reading about Trump, Sanders, Clinton, Cruz, Kasich, etc. And, I totally understand that politics isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially in a year where that tea tastes decidedly bitter.
Still, it is incumbent upon us to know about what’s taking place in the country, if even just for the completely selfish purpose of how it affects our money.
So, if you’re tired of politics in the Afternoon Edition, rest assured next week we’ll venture into more diverse ground.
Today, I had to devote one more issue to your extremely thoughtful feedback on the "global risk" concept. Here the opinions ranged from complete agreement with the Economist to complete dismissal of the notion. Of course, the most-interesting reader responses were those that saw a bit of truth in both extremes.
While I have always respected the Economist, I feel that they fell into the easy trap of taking Mr. Trump at his word, which makes him an easy target for the popular press looking for dramatic headlines. The man is no blustering fool. His stances on issues resonate with many Americans as the voting shows, and he realizes that negotiation is the key. A skilled negotiator does not does not start with "half measures."
Is Trump a threat? Yes! His business resume is not inspiring unless you like bankruptcy and lies. His understanding of foreign policy is almost nil. And don’t get me started on the wall. Would you really consider this blowhard know nothing to be the commander-in-chief of the most powerful military in the world? If this somehow happens, I truly fear for the future of our country.
F Voltz writes:
Whoever wins will be a threat to the establishment and the status quo in politics and big business. Bernie would jettison the last vestiges of capitalism remaining in the U.S., sending the worldwide economy into depression. "Hillbillary" will dither and always look for the politically correct approach to any issue, i.e., the one that maintains her power for the maximum period of time. Her perpetual dishonesty should be cause for any rational person or foreign government to pause and wonder whether anything she says can be relied upon. The traditional media, such as the Economist, doesn’t like a politician they can’t control or who doesn’t follow a linear, dogma-based approach to elective office.
Although I don’t agree with Trump’s economic policies, I disagree with their [Economist] assessment. China does manipulate its currency and free trade is two-sided. You can’t have free trade with one side not having any tariffs and the other having 100% tariffs. The group is jumping on the anti-Trump bandwagon and unless they’ve met payroll or actually produced something that people want to buy, I take their comments with a grain of salt.
Excellent article. I do agree with many of the dangers of Trump’s positions on numerous issues. I like many things about the man, however, in many ways he is dangerous (I am aware of that fact at the gut level).
While the Economist is well-written and has outstanding coverage of all regions, it is a member of long standing of the British Establishment, which, much like the European and American Establishments, will say or do anything to maintain the status quo which is obviously in trouble. They couldn’t care less if the peasants suffer as a result of trade, taxation, welfare and immigration policies. Trump is not my candidate (Cruz is), but the hostility to him tells us that the Establishment feels very threatened by him.
Brad response: I think there are many unknowns with a Trump presidency, and the unknowns combined with the extreme Trump rhetoric are understandably of great concern to thoughtful people.
Arguments in favor of Trump’s policies, and hopefully more details on those policies, will come to light further if he does win the nomination. But for now, it’s a bit too early to deem him a top global risk the way the Economist has.
Of course, if you’re worried about the unknowns of a Trump presidency, well, I understand that sentiment completely, and I share your concerns.
OK, here’s another chance to weigh in on a week of politically oriented Afternoon Editions.
Stocks finished off another week in positive territory, as traders continue to bid up equities in the wake of the dovish Fed meeting early this week. The S&P 500 now is in positive territory for 2016, the first time we’ve been able to say that this year.
Elsewhere in the news today:
• One oil rig returned to operation this week, according to Baker Hughes’ data. There are currently 387 oil rigs operating in the U.S., which is about 75% fewer than their October 2014 peak. WTI crude closed nearly 2% lower in Friday trade.
• Anbang Insurance Group’s $13 billion cash bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (HOT) could become the biggest U.S. deal by a Chinese company. Marriott International, which is in the process of buying Starwood, has until March 28 to counter the offer. HOT rose 5.5% today.
• Apple’s (AAPL) "Let Us Loop You In" event on Monday is set to be a non-event as far as new products, as the latest-and-greatest iPhones typically debut in the fall. Apple followers suggest that a 4-inch version of the iPhone, plus a new iPad and perhaps new Apple Watch accessories will be on Monday’s announcement list.
Good Luck and Happy Investing,
Uncommon Wisdom Daily