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Bob Mason
NEWS: FEB 21 Donald Trump Rally

It appears as though the U.S Presidential Election race has just begun in earnest…

Almost remarkably, U.S President Trump is on the cusp of defying the odds and making it to the end of his first term.

President Clinton may have been the scandal of the ’90s but Trump must surely have achieved more chaos than any other president in U.S history.

The Euphoria of 2016

In the wake of Britain deciding to go it alone, Trump defied the odds and took the Oval Office by storm.

Whether he had the help of the Russians, Iranians, or any other influencer, including China, now seems to be a moot point.

The Russians, the Iranians, China, and pretty much every other nation, including the Saudis, will be hoping for a changing of the guard.

Not in the 25 years in the financial markets do I recall a President so influential on risk sentiment.

Thanks to social media, Trump has wreaked havoc on the global financial markets. More importantly and, perhaps more poignantly, he contributed to the worst recession since the Great Depression.

As the dust settles, he may even become the U.S President responsible for delivering the worst economic contraction in history. It does remain to be seen whether the U.S can avoid a further slump. It’s not surprising that Trump wants lockdown measures to be removed and at all cost…

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The high points and the low points

For the Trump camp, U.S equities hit record highs and they were not just high but ridiculously overvalued.

Ironically, it was the promise of tax cuts that drove buybacks, which in turn delivered the record highs. Granted, some investors will have benefited but not all will have been American…

When looking at other asset classes that don’t benefit from such manipulation it was a different story.

  • WTI Futures hit negative territory in May.
  • The FED eyed zero interest rates. Not because Trump demanded it but because the FED had little choice.
  • Demands for a slide in the Dollar resulted in a surge rather than slide as fear gripped the markets in the last 12-months.

Geopolitics

Once the dust settled from the 2016 shock election victory, Trump was given the freedom to do as he wished.

  • After an end to the U.S – China hostilities decades earlier, the property tycoon was on a mission. Somewhat red-faced, however, the U.S President will have to acknowledge that it was a trade war ultimately lost. China looks to have made it to November without actually delivering on a single promise.
  • Russian sanctions failed to stop the old enemy from becoming an oil superpower who then united with the Saudis to bring down U.S Oil Co.
  • The old enemy Iran, not only ruffled the feathers of the U.S but also attacked Saudi refineries. Under the watchful eye of the U.S President, Iran also became a major superpower in the Middle East. Who needs uranium…?
  • And the icing on the cake, an impeachment for the U.S President to include in his memoirs. Akin to his bankruptcies, Trump may ultimately consider surviving the impeachment to be his greatest achievement. This is assuming that he recalls the impeachment of course.

So, while cutting the list short, one does need to consider how Trump’s campaign 2.0 will look like…

Presidential Election 2.0

If I was a guessing man, the list would have to include

  • An end to communism in China and beyond.
  • Given the Iranian people a monarchy, once more in the hands of the U.S Government.
  • The reunification of North and South Korea.
  • Restoring oil prices to above $100 per barrel, whilst bringing an end to OPEC.
  • More tariffs and trade agreements to just upset the apple cart.
  • And perhaps more importantly, disclosure of the U.S President’s shareholding in Twitter…

For those covering the global financial markets during the last 4-years, it has been a big ask. Trump’s novice approach to dealing with economic and political issues has been jaw-dropping.

Worse yet, the COVID-19 pandemic came at a time when China was being asked to deliver for U.S farmers.

The 2016 1.0 election slogan was catchy. While Trump may have been supporting U.S manufacturers, however, we did not see the vision materialize.

Minimum wage does not constitute manufacturing to the scales seen in China to support the repatriation of everything once American…

Wishful thinking Mr. Trump.

Ironically, the latest bid to loosen China’s grip on the global supply chain does not involve one-way traffic. The latest move is simply to move the supply chain anywhere but China…

Well, that sounds like a battle lost. It’s too early for Beijing to deliver the Cheshire cat smile but one is in the wings.

After all, China has, in fact, played good cop since Trump took the Oval Office.

Keeping America Great Again

So, while we consider what the U.S President has achieved. One has to consider what is in store for this campaign.

4-years ago, the Russians were accused of delivering the Oval Office to the Trumps. 4-years later it may harder to prove just who had a hand in Trump’s downfall.

The history books will likely say that it was Trump himself. Some “allies” may eventually beg to differ…

A campaign slogan of ‘Keeping America Great Again’ caught my eye on Reuters today.

If someone can pinch me, when did America become great again?

  • Farmers and shale producers in disarray.
  • A surge in unemployment to levels never seen before.
  • An economic contraction to compete with the Great Depression… But with one caveat, “avoidable had Trump listened to just about anyone back in Feb.”
  • Enemy to the G7 and beyond.

Well, at least the U.S equity markets are sitting where they are. Pals at the country club may have had more to do with that, however, than the political prowess demonstrated…

Trump Bashing

Attempts to be impartial are ultimately futile when it comes to the U.S administration today.

News agencies have been chastised and one can imagine what is to come.

One thing is for certain, if the likes of FOX News smell blood, this could be a summer of love for those at their wit’s end.

It is unthinkable that Trump could take a 2nd term. Even Bernie Sanders decided to step down to just make sure that America becomes great again…

Personally, while we are about to experience yet another period of chaos, it will be another life experience to share.

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