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Hard Rexit.

Let's see, where do we start with the crazy?

Let’s see, where do we start with the crazy?

Donald Trump fired America’s top diplomat on Tuesday and the (former) Secretary of State found out about it on Twitter. So that was a “tremendous” start.

Tillerson held a press conference later in the day where he did his best impression of himself by staring at the floor and mumbling some scripted comments that, when they were some modicum of intelligible, sounded a lot like thinly-veiled criticism of Trump. Here’s the Russia comment:

As you can see, he also sounded like he was out of breath, which is understandable.

Also out is Trump aide John McEntee, who apparently had to go because he’s under investigation by DHS for “serious financial crimes.” It’s not immediately clear why that’s a problem. After all, Jared Kushner and Trump himself are likewise under investigation for financial crimes that I’d be willing to bet are far more “serious” than anything John ever thought about doing.

As the New York Times notes, “the under secretary of state for public affairs, Steve Goldstein, was fired, and the status was unclear of Mr. Tillerson’s chief of staff, Margaret Peterlin, and his deputy chief of staff, Christine Ciccone.”

And then here’s Haberman (who Trump absolutely loves):

Then, just a little over an hour before the closing bell, Politico reported the following:

President Donald Trump is getting ready to crack down on China.

Trump told Cabinet secretaries and top advisers during a meeting at the White House last week that he wanted to soon hit China with steep tariffs and investment restrictions in response to allegations of intellectual property theft, according to three people familiar with the internal discussions.

During the meeting, which hasn’t been previously been reported, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer presented Trump with a package of tariffs that would target the equivalent of $30 billion a year in Chinese imports. In response, Trump urged Lighthizer to aim for an even bigger number – and he instructed administration officials to be ready for a formal announcement in the coming weeks, according to two people involved in the administration’s trade deliberations.

So yeah, the “Trump train” is now entirely off the tracks and just to top it all off, he flew out to San Diego to “inspect” those 8 border wall prototypes that are gathering dust in the middle of the desert. Here’s a video of his arrival:

Yeah. It’s full retard, folks. It really is.

Meanwhile, markets were open and people were expected to try and trade around all of this crazy shit. The CPI print was inline with estimates and there was definitely a “Goldilocks” narrative to spin there but the only “Goldilocks” that mattered today was this one:


To let Evercore tell it, the Tillerson news is bad. “Donald Trump’s ouster of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is negative for markets,” senior political strategist Terry Haines wrote in a note before continuing as follows:

Continuing staff “merry-go-round” highlights instability at White House [and] markets one day may become exhausted if the staff turnover and perceived White House instability continues. Trump and the administration will have some work to do to reassure markets.

Moving from Tillerson to Trump’s intended replacement, Mike Pompeo, can be viewed as another victory for the trade hardliners.

Pompeo brings to the table a harder-line national security background and bent that signals a fundamental shift in State’s role away from conventional negotiator and smoother of diplomatic difficulties to one that may be more confrontational on all sorts of relationships, including trade.

Changing out the head of diplomacy in the runup to the North Korean initiative is not reassuring.

Pompeo will have to be confirmed, and Congress may insist on hearings sooner rather than later. If so, those hearings will be very revealing for the short- and medium- term future of Trump foreign policy and so could be a market inflection point.

How does that sound to you?

Futures tell the story:


Nasdaq snaps a 7-session win streak, falling more than 1%:


The dollar was under pressure all day, although there were peaks and valleys around the various headlines, political and otherwise:


Treasurys bull flattened as the long end was supported by haven demand and a solid 30-year auction. Here’s 10Y yields:


Semis finally came off after shaking off the Broadcom/Qualcomm drama to trade at new highs.


Things definitely didn’t need to get any worse for GE, but they did anyway as JPMorgan said the company’s 2018 EPS target of $1-$1.07 is “disconnected” from its FCF guidance of 75c.


EIA forecasts for shale output in the U.S. continue to weigh on crude, which fell more than 1%.

The Tillerson news hit European shares hard, with the Euro Stoxx snapping a 6-session win streak:


It was all downhill after the Rex headline:


The stronger euro didn’t help:


It’ll be interesting to see what transpires in Asia overnight following Tuesday’s hard-ass Rexit.

Oh, don’t forget to fill out your bracket…




6 comments on “Hard Rexit.

  1. Until now I figured the GOP to be business friendly, supportive of our allies and deficit hawks. What next?

  2. GOP no longer stands for Grand Old Party. It stands for Graft Oligarchs & Payoffs.

  3. Jamal James

    McEntee was immediately hired by Trump’s campaign. They don’t worry about serious financial crimes. Reportedly, anyone exiting the White House will be hired by the campaign, as long as they remain loyal. Maybe Rob Porter could be assigned to shore up the women’s vote.

  4. Way to go Jamal, excellent. The revolving door of madness continues and the China tariffs are coming soon to a store near you. Inflation, “we don’t need no stinking badges”. The “Liar in Chief” our own Prez Dennison is now viewing the only wall that will be built it is about 30 ft.long and sits not on any border and never will.

    Here is a sample of how our southern neighbors feel about this sh*t.

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