Remember about a month and a half ago when Donald Trump claimed China had called his top negotiators and a trade deal was on its way?
I remember thinking you’d have to have less than 2 pints of creamy brain pâté inside your cranium to actually wager your money based on something Donald Trump said.
Well, I was right. White House aides later conceded that the calls had not happened the way Trump had described them. And, of course, there was no actual deal on the horizon. He’d lied to the country in order to boost the markets.
Well, guess what? It’s happening again.
On Friday, the Dow took off like a rocket based on “optimism” (i.e., more bullshit from Trump) about a China trade deal. Real people were putting real money down based on more Trump spit-up about a big trade deal comin’ ‘round the mountain.
And today, Bloomberg has the real story:
China wants to hold more talks this month to hammer out the details of the “phase one” trade deal touted by Donald Trump before Xi Jinping agrees to sign it, according to people familiar with the matter.
Beijing may send a delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top negotiator, to finalize a written deal that could be signed by the presidents at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next month in Chile, one of the people said. Another person said China also wants Trump to scrap a planned tariff hike in December in addition to the hike scheduled for this week, something the administration hasn’t yet endorsed. The people asked not to be named discussing the private negotiations.
So that doesn’t sound like a pending deal to me. It sounds like Trump counting his chicken wings before they’re inside his gross mouth.
The U.S. and China have emerged from last week’s talks with different takes on what’s in the accord and how close they are to signing a document. Trump said “we’ve come to a deal, pretty much, subject to getting it written” and indicated it might take several more weeks of negotiation. China’s Ministry of Commerce merely said that “the two sides have made substantial progress” and “agreed to work together in the direction of a final agreement.” The state-run Xinhua news agency didn’t mention a deal either.
Here’s a life hack for you: If Donald Trump says one thing and anyone else says something contradictory, you believe the other person, no matter who it is. It’s just common sense at this point.
And even if Trump is being more or less honest (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!) about a trade deal being basically done, you can’t trust him to follow through, because negotiating with Trump is like negotiating with your own irritable bowel. Sure, you have no plans to shit your pantaloons at your town’s annual renaissance faire, but face it — Trump-bowel has other things in mind.
So, no. Don’t buy stock based on Donald Trump’s word. You might as well buy seafood out of the trunk of a stranger’s car. I can’t believe how stupid (and greedy) people on Wall Street are. They deserve to be taken. (And don’t think it hasn’t occurred to me that Trump might be intentionally creating these ebbs and flows in order to enrich himself or his cronies — it would be the easiest thing in the world for a pr*sident to do.)
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