Those who frequent these pages are well aware of how surreal (not to mention dangerous) markets have become now that the White House is set to be inhabited by a (possibly unstable) narcissist with an intractable Twitter addiction.
I’ve chronicled the perils of investing in a “140-character world” on more than a dozen occasions over the past several months. On Thursday evening I summed things up as follows:
From Ford’s decision to scrap plans for a new manufacturing plant in Mexico, to a war of words between the President-elect and General Motors, to high profile spats with Lockheed Martin and Boeing over perceived cost overruns, Donald Trump has proven that we truly do live in a 140-character world.
I then posted Trump’s latest attempt to use social media (see tweet embedded below) to brow beat corporations into adopting what is a truly short-sighted (not to mention absurdly juvenile) vision for how to go about “making America great again”.
In Friday’s Daily Kickstart, I took it one step further:
“Meanwhile, a firmer yen and declines in auto makers hit Japanese shares on Friday. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Mazda all fell thanks to one man’s Twitter feed”:
Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017
“You tell ’em Mussolini.”
Some readers likely thought comparing America’s new commander-in-chief to “Il Duce” was a step too far.
One person who apparently does not think the comparison is a stretch is (former) bond king Bill Gross. Here’s what Gross told Bloomberg on Friday:
Some of these pre-term policies, where he’s cajoling companies to move production back into the United States, that’s fine, but it reminds me to some extent of policies in Italy long ago associated with Mussolini and government control of corporate interests. I don’t want it to go too far.
Thanks Bill, for your tacit endorsement…