There was no shortage of Trump headlines on Thursday, that’s for fucking sure.
He kicked things off bright and early with a series of characteristically ridiculous tweets about Syria and Mueller and then proceeded to dominate the tape all day long, from start to finish.
For one thing, he’s “deputized” Kudlow and Lighthizer to look at re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move that would be a welcome development for the international community, but which would appear to be politically risky if what he’s trying to do is appeal to his base ahead of the midterms. Who knows.
— Richard L. Trumka (@RichardTrumka) April 12, 2018
He spoke at the Rose Garden about all manner of shit from cutting EPA “red tape” (ostensibly to speed the permitting process along for manufacturers) to China to America’s roads to “draining the swamp”. Here’s a sample:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) April 12, 2018
As far as Syria goes, everyone is just waiting to see what he’s going to blow up, because thanks to Wednesday morning’s truly outlandish tweets, the entire world knows he’s planning on some manner of retaliatory action. A source who spoke to NBC suggested the military is looking at eight potential targets for strikes including two Syrian airfields, a research center and a chemical weapons facility. But you know how it goes when it comes to incinerating “gas killing animals” — “we’ll see what happens”:
President Trump on Syria: "We're having a number of meetings today. We'll see what happens." pic.twitter.com/pVKBNxXSfN
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 12, 2018
The White House says he talked to Rod Rosenstein at some point recently, but not about firing him:
- TRUMP, ROSENSTEIN MET ON ROUTINE DEPT BUSINESS: WHITE HOUSE
You get the idea. This is just non-stop. He’s all over the place and there’s no script to any of it. He gets up every single day and just wings it from 6:30 a.m. in the morning to the time he emerges from the bedroom at 11:30 until 4:00 p.m. when he calls it a day and tells someone to go grab him a bucket of chicken from KFC.
Stocks were up sharply – there was a brief dip to the post-cash open lows when the “eight targets” headlines hit, but other than that it was a good day:
Good day for the banks ahead of earnings:
Although you know, there’s the curve and all – 5s30s inside of 37bp now:
Another fresh three-year high for oil (geopolitical tensions, OPEC report, receding trade war jitters):
The euro was weaker after the ECB minutes were read by the market as dovish (more here):
That helped European shares along as did Trump’s early morning tweet suggesting that the missiles he promised were “coming” yesterday might no be coming all that soon after all.
The lira has been talked off the ledge temporarily after a harrowing decline to all-time lows precipitated by that fucking lunatic Erodgan and his penchant for insinuating that anyone who raises rates to stanch the FX bleeding will be bleeding themselves. Today it was Cetinkaya saying officials will tighten further if necessary. Obviously it’s “necessary”. If the market gets anything less than a 100bp hike to the late liquidity window on April 25, then you can expect things to get worse.
The ruble got some respite today as well following yesterday’s Mnuchin bailout. Russia’s UN ambassador said the “top priority is to avert war in Syria” but he did note that he doesn’t rule out a possible conflict with U.S.
Finally, for you moment of zen, here is Mike Pompeo – our soon-to-be Secretary of State – refusing to answer a simple question about whether he thinks it’s a perversion to be gay:
Mike Pompeo refuses to answer if he thinks being gay is a perversion. We cannot allow this man to represent our nation. pic.twitter.com/QJRSAbbaB5
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 12, 2018