On Friday morning, in my daily column for Dealbreaker, I suggested that making sense of Donald Trump’s trade “strategy” is probably an exercise in futility at this point.
That’s because either i) he’s playing some kind of complex game of three-dimensional chess that the rest of us don’t understand, or (far) more likely, ii) his “strategy” doesn’t make any fucking sense.
BofAML seems to think the latter is the case:
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) June 22, 2018
This week has been defined by trade tensions both with China and with Europe and on the heels of Daimler’s guidance cut (and the associated plunge in European autos) just about the last thing anyone needed was for Trump to tweet something else about car tariffs on Friday. Alas…
And so Trump decided to remind everyone that he’s still planning on ridding 5th Avenue of German cars, leading directly to a new leg lower for the beleaguered STOXX Europe 600 Automobiles & Parts Index.
But to truly appreciate the schizophrenic, nonsensical nature of this entire thing, don’t let it be lost on you that Friday’s OPEC decision to boost output was of course a concession to Donald Trump. And when that decision came down, we had just one question:
The question now is how long it will take for noted commodities strategist David Dennison to deliver his quick take on the deal.
Sure enough, just 15 minutes before the tweet shown above, Trump said this about OPEC:
Hope OPEC will increase output substantially. Need to keep prices down!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Let that sink in. In the space of 15 minutes, Donald Trump tweeted in support of lower prices at the pump and higher prices for cars.
It’s time for this clip again:
trump summing up this month so far… pic.twitter.com/SBWf5Z7zMl
— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) April 5, 2018