a strange but telling 48 hours

It started when China unveiled its version of the Trans Pacific Partnership on Monday. Trump pulled out of the original TPP, a US-led coalition formed to check the influence of China in Pacific trade, when he became president. That (senseless, in my view) move put the US at a disadvantage in trade with the Pacific. Now the situation is worse for us, with the new coalition being formed by China to limit the influence of the US.

The pandemic is worsening in the US, threatening again to overwhelm hospitals’ ability to treat the infected. Two causes: colder weather, and Trump urging followers not to take elementary safety precautions. Continuing silence from Trump, however, including denying Biden’s transition team access to virus-related planning data.

Two low-level Republican officials in Wayne County, Michigan refused to certify election votes in the predominantly black city of Detroit–which had voted heavily in favor of Biden–while okaying them in predominantly white nearby towns. No credible reason why, except maybe that they were lauded by Trump for doing so. After three hours of non-stop criticism on the county Zoom call, the two reversed their stand and certified the ballots.

What to make of all this? For stock market investors, it’s that Trump continues to wreak economic havoc even in his final days in office. This implies to me that interest rates will stay near zero for longer than the consensus expects.

PS: less surprising, Trump fired the Homeland Security official who was responsible for election cybersecurity said the recent election was the most secure from cyberthreats ever.

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