Good Trump, Bad Trump

Well we’ve already learned one thing.  Trump misspoke when he said that once in office he’d act so “Presidential” that we’d all be bored stiff.  And I think we are beginning to see that the quality of his actions will depend on whether he’s being advised by sensible conservatives (the Supreme Court pick) or the alt-right wing of the administration (immigration, trade, civil liberties, etc.)

But you gotta love the loyal Trump supporters:

1.  Trump supporter #1,  Yeah! Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to ban Muslims!

2. Trump supporter #2:  How dare you suggest this is a Muslim ban!  It’s nothing of the sort.

3.  Trump supporter #1:  We gotta keep out refugees from poor countries, they are too lazy to work.

4.  Trump supporter #2:  How dare Starbucks give jobs to refugees; “Americans” need those jobs.

5.  Alt-right Trump fan #1:  Immigrants are lowering our nation’s collective IQ

6.  Alt-right Trump fan #2:  That’s right, which is why Trump doesn’t plan any crackdown on all those family reunification immigrants or seasonal agricultural workers, but instead will go after the Chinese and Indians getting H1-B visas.

7.  Trump fan #1:  Trump’s finally telling the Germans, Japanese and Chinese that they gotta let their currencies rise.

8.  Trump fan #2:  Yeah, I read that if the Chinese let the yuan float it would “rise” from 7 to the dollar to 8 to the dollar.

9.  Jeff Sessions lecturing Sally Yates on how important it is for the Attorney General to disobey unlawful orders.

10.  Trump:  You’re fired!

An early example of my Trump derangement syndrome occurred when I claimed that General Flynn was deranged.  Now even the Trump administration is coming around to this view:

Flynn was a favorite of Trump’s when the retired general was heaping contempt upon Hillary Clinton, but Flynn evidently hasn’t worn well with the boss since he vanquished her. Sources tell the Times that Flynn is seen as talking too much and his Pizzagate-enabling son has been a thorn in the administration’s side. There are also whispers about Flynn’s being too close to certain fringe characters, which is true but also profoundly self-serving since Bannon and Trump himself are closely tied to the same elements. According to the Times’ juicy dish, Rex Tillerson, Jim Mattis and Mike Pompeo convened a meeting this week and didn’t invite Flynn — because he was the subject of discussion. The claws are definitely out.

PS.  The conservative argument that Trump will help the economy (which is not completely implausible) is based on the assumption that the good Trump will outweigh the bad Trump.  That may be.  But a word of caution; it’s a lot easier to be destructive than to be constructive.  I know how to destroy a house.  I don’t know how to build a house.



54 Responses to “Good Trump, Bad Trump”

  1. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    1. February 2017 at 09:10

    So far, the stock market has done well under Trump. This may well be because of the perception that his regulatory, tax and spending priorities will enrich corporations (i.e., their shareholders), albeit at the expense of everyone else. That would be a reason not to use the market as a proxy for the economy.

    Your characterization of Trump supporters is spot on. Who needs cognitive dissonance?

  2. Gravatar of CMOT CMOT
    1. February 2017 at 09:48

    9. Jeff Sessions lecturing Sally Yates on how important it is for the Attorney General to disobey unlawful orders.

    In her letter Yates says “nor am I convinced the Executive Order is lawful”. If she thought the order was unlawful she would have said that outright.

    What she said is lawyer talk for “the Executive Order is lawful but I wish it wasn’t.” Seriously, that’s what she said exactly means.

  3. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    1. February 2017 at 09:58

    I actually agree with the tone, humor and substance of this post.

    When two political morons agree, its just evidence that randomness can appear at any place at any time

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. February 2017 at 10:00

    Foosion, Stocks may be up due to expected corporate tax cuts, not the economy. As you say, it’s tough to tell.

    CMOT. Yeah, she should have simply resigned.

  5. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    1. February 2017 at 10:39

    Interest rates are up a lot. That may be because of trump and higher growth. That may be because they wanted to rise anyway because growth was picking up.

    But I’d consider interest rates as a better tell than equity valuations for economic growth.

  6. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    1. February 2017 at 11:25

    Real rates (10 yr TIPS) were 0.1% on Nov 1 and are now 0.4%. Is that a lot? They were 0.55% a year ago.

    There is a perception that the bond market is more rational than the stock market.

  7. Gravatar of foosion foosion
    1. February 2017 at 11:34

    Yates: it depends on whether you think she works for the country or the president. Resigning seems more appropriate if the AG works for the president, staying seems more appropriate if her obligation is to uphold the law. I acknowledge that others have threatened to resign, e.g., Ashcroft under Bush.

  8. Gravatar of Benny Lava Benny Lava
    1. February 2017 at 12:13

    Love this post. Also you might add how the trumpeters are so quick to congratulate Trump for the market less than a month after taking office but quick to dismiss Obama, who presided over one of the best bull markets ever. That is just a bubble! Hilarious.

  9. Gravatar of bill bill
    1. February 2017 at 13:03

    @Benny Lava,
    They will suddenly remember it was a bubble if it ever drops.
    :- )

  10. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    1. February 2017 at 13:43


    Interest rates aren’t up that much and they can be rising due to higher inflation expectations, since we’re near full employment, and/or expectations for higher interest rates due to deficit spending.

  11. Gravatar of Jg Jg
    1. February 2017 at 14:25

    what’s up with Scott? yesterday he quotes from Vanity Fair and today Salon’s Heather Digby Parton. She has written some other interesting articles in Salon:

    Behind Trump’s bogus investigation of voter fraud lies the GOP’s long crusade to keep people of color from voting

    Freeing Chelsea Manning was the right thing to do — why is Obama ignoring the case of Don Siegelman?

    Meet Mike Pompeo, the far-right Christian zealot with Islamophobe ties who will lead Trump’s CIA

    Wolf in sheep’s clothing: Mike Pence conceals his far-right radicalism with a sedate debate performance

    Clinton and Warren: It might be exactly the right ticket at the right time

    “It is happening again”: David Dayen on the epidemic of mortgage fraud and the rigged economy that sets it in motion

    Religious right’s next crusade: What they want to throw women in jail for now

    It’s disgusting, and it’s still about race: Southern Republicans simply don’t want minorities to vote

    The media’s most destructive meme: Why we need to admit that the GOP’s extremism is virtually unprecedented

    American police’s bloody, vengeful delusions: How a “chicken-crap” traffic stop ends in cold-blooded murder

    Ted Cruz’s Reagan strategy: What’s behind his sinister plan for 2016

  12. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. February 2017 at 15:32

    Sean, Good point. An expected increase in the budget deficit might be another factor affecting interest rates.

    Benny, Yes, I made that point a few weeks ago.

  13. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. February 2017 at 15:43

    “3. Trump supporter #1: We gotta keep out refugees from poor countries, they are too lazy to work.

    4. Trump supporter #2: How dare Starbucks give jobs to refugees; “Americans” need those jobs.”

    Actually, there’s no inherent contradiction. Lazy refugees consume resources like medicine and housing. Starbucks refugees lower the value of blue collar labor.

    If we only let in doctor refugees Trumpers would get cheaper medicine AND more landscaping jobs.

    But the bigger issue is one of signalling. Howards’s pledge to hire 10000 refugees would be deeply offensive and un-American if you substiututed in “Whites” or “Christians” for refugees. People pay attention to that just as they paid attention to Hillary’s deplorables and irredeemables. Trumpers want to blow up the peddlers of such non-sense since it shows an unprincipled moral compass, one where they are at the bottom of the totem pole.

  14. Gravatar of Joe Joe
    1. February 2017 at 16:12


    That is a very broad stroke of “Lazy Refugees”. My family were refugees, and have been very successful in the country. Did you really mean “Lazy People” or were you assuming that “Refugee=lazy”? The language matters, it exposes our biases and fears. Anyone could agree that lazy people are not effective at much…but refugees in general.

    Also, you need to recognize that Starbucks is a Global Company (I have had their coffee in: Australia, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Hing Kong, Switzerland, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Germany, France, Spain, UK: I never saw them in Rome, which has a very deep established coffee/cafe culture which would make starbucks not appealing). So I coud imagine Howard Schultz saying “We have all of these locations..lets hire motivated peopel that others may be over looking…

  15. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    1. February 2017 at 16:16

    In every storm a silver lining….

    PS: no one cares that Trump sent American mercenaries to Yemen where they killed a bunch of women and little girls? But hey, they got some computer equipment…

  16. Gravatar of Major-Freedom Major-Freedom
    1. February 2017 at 16:42

    A lot of falsehoods in this post, Sumner. A lot of FAKE NEWS. This is becoming a daily practise on this blog. Is this an Econ blog or is it Buzzfeed?

    The EO of putting a 90 day halt on immigration from the 7 countries is not “unlawful”. As a matter of fact, it was reviewed and confirmed as lawful by the very department the former AG headed. It was after that confirmation that the acting AG then suddenly refused to defend it.

    Where we you when Obama halted immigration from Iraq for 6 months in 2011? Where we’re the leftists and democrats calling that order “unlawful”?

    Yates likely did this for political reasons. She knew she would be gone in a month anyway. She also never said it was unlawful.


  17. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    1. February 2017 at 17:57


    You said, “what’s up with Scott? yesterday he quotes from Vanity Fair ..”

    And I would note that the quote from Vanity Fair is patently false.

  18. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. February 2017 at 18:19

    Joe – Scott used the term “lazy” in his caricature of Trumpers. I was responding to that.

  19. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. February 2017 at 18:26

    My God. How do people not see the simplicity of the messaging, or the way folks keep mirroring Trump rather than rebutting him?

    Trump: America First! Refugees come second.
    Schultz: 10000 Refugees First! Americans come second.

    It’s entirely about signalling loyalty. His supporters don’t care about details that are wrong, only about the larger message.

  20. Gravatar of Massimo Heitor Massimo Heitor
    1. February 2017 at 18:33

    Sumner, you are completely ridiculous on the Sally Yates issue as CMOT points out. Sally Yates didn’t even attempt to claim that the Trump order was unlawful.

    NR’s editors do a better job:

    And you are linking…

    Sumner is making ridiculous arguments on purpose to troll us? And I am slow to catch on? I’m not sure what is the purpose in doing that.

    @Major Freedom, I agree with you. Don’t waste your breath here.

  21. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    1. February 2017 at 18:46

    Something for the Trade Trumpkins: the dreadful burden of free trade in a (relatively) small country. According to Gallup, Australians now have significantly higher median household incomes than Americans and Canadians.

    Amazing what 20+ years without a technical recession will do.

    (Yes, Scott, I know you don’t like income statistics, but presumably they are equivalently bad so the relative levels still matter.)

    On the other hand, we currently have PM Maladroit …

    Then again, we’ve had a sequence of poor, bad, clumsy, etc PMs since Howard lost, and things have burbled on happily, so grist for your “The Donald is awful and it matters much less than folk think” line.

  22. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    1. February 2017 at 19:04


    On a PPP basis, these tables indicate Aussies are doing about the same, better or worse than US’ers.

    On capital flows in Australia:

    I suspect there is a difference from capital flows that go into developing a nation—mines, farming, infrastructure—and flows that just jack up the price of extant housing.

    I read a typical house in Sydney now retails for more than $1 million. Yet Aussies make about the same as US’ers. Ouch!

    You are on the ground there, so I will defer to you. But I suspect the Aussies have the same problem as Canadians and US’ers. Capital pouring into housing markets, but property zoning restricting supply.

    The Fed found that nations that run big trade deficits have ballooning house prices.

    This aspect of modern economies—ubiquitous property zoning deeply embraced by the propertied and financial classes—does throw a monkey wrench into a lot of “free-trade utopia” stories.

    Of course, we can advise, “Due to the imperatives of globalism, you can no longer enforce zoning in your neighborhood.”

    Or, we can pretend there is no problem, and keep saluting the nirvana that globalism will bring!

  23. Gravatar of CMOT CMOT
    1. February 2017 at 19:25

    “CMOT. Yeah, she should have simply resigned.”

    That’s not where I was going with that.

    Scott, you’ve provided a valuable service by pointing out the nonsense and contradictions in Trump’s policies, but the zero value-add regurgitation of mood affiliation from social media detracts greatly from that.

    You’d have much greater impact if you stuck to the stuff you actually do well.

    Thanks for good work you do.

    BTW, I voted for Trump knowing most of his polices were wrong, but I figured the Supreme Court was the one thing that couldn’t be deflected, delayed, or fixed later. That’s why, Scott, I need you on that wall …

  24. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    1. February 2017 at 19:54

    Scott’s Trump posts are reasonable. Many reasonable people on the left and right are saying similar things. Read Pethokoukis, Frum, Gerson, Douthat, David Brooks, Mike Murphy, George Will, etc. They’re as deeply disturbed by most of what’s going as liberals are.

    Trump voters have no room to complain about anything. You inflicted Trump on us and our allies, now you take the blame. He’s obviously a hyper-narcissistic, moronic, bigoted disaster. You own this.

  25. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    1. February 2017 at 20:12

    One of the most shocking trends lately is how previously self identified libertarians have seamlessly morphed into Trump fascists. Best example in the commenters here is Major Freedom.

    Trump’s declared policies are some of the most antiliberal I have seen in decades in a Western country. Telling people who they can hire, where and what they can produce, rescinding existing visas to restrict freedom of travel without an emergency, massive taxes / tariffs promised, rule by tweet or decree singling out specific persons and businesses (the hallmark of despotism), and finally, the tearing up, promised or real, of contractual obligations meaning that basically, you can’t trust the US anymore. All of Trump is a diametrical opposite of classic liberalism or libertarianism. Yet a lot of self professed libertarians are/were besotted by Trump.

    Which brings me to my next point. Steve at 18:26 has it right. It is entertaining to read about the irrationality of Trumpism but sadly, this does not diminish its appeal because Trumpism has nothing to do with rational thought. It’s about mood, blind, hypnotized flag waiving, and about identity, us vs. them. No pointing out of reality will change that. This disease has to be fought with a powerful and emotional counter narrative, to include everyone in the “us”. Not with facts, I’m afraid.

    Corollary, if Trump’s policies lead to major economic disaster, a breakdown of international relations and a decline in US median income by half, the average Trumpster will still blame it on the Chinese or some other boogeyman, just like they now support banning Iranians when Iran is actually actively fighting ISIS on the ground today as has been for years (think about it, the irony!).

    People follow Trump like the Germans followed Hitler. Because he promised the dream of greatness. People go for dreams over reality any time. Us liberals have to create a new liberal dream. We have to find the 3rd cheer for capitalism and freedom. Reality is on our side, always has been. We now have to sell it better.

  26. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    1. February 2017 at 20:57

    Yawn. Boring. (((mbka))), a girl IMO, makes good points, but it’s not Hitler gaining the Chancellery today as much as it’s akin to an ideologue like Reagan (a populist) taking over. Remember the meme “Experts agree, Meese is a pig” (a T-shirt slogan of the 1980s)? Similar to the claims today that Sessions is incompetent.

    Wake me when Donald Titler starts making torchlight parades, but until then, he seems more like a buffoon than a real menace. — (((Ray Lopez)))

  27. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    1. February 2017 at 20:59


    Good comments. It’s obvious that the Trump opposition needs to be more unified. Real conservatives, libertarians, and liberals need to recognize that right now, we have much more in common that matters than otherwise. We can hash out disagreements later.

    I hope everyone opposing Trump is contacting their representatives daily, writing letters to editors, speaking out on social media, and even considering running for public office.

    I may even run for a House seat if this chaos continues.

  28. Gravatar of Virginia Virginia
    1. February 2017 at 21:46

    First of all, quinnicapac, Rasmussen, and Reuters all ran polls that showed the majority of Americans supporting the ban of immigrants from those 7 countries. In fact, those 7 countries were also on Obama’s list as countries that wouldn’t qualify under the visa program. So here is the question: is this a democracy where peoples voices get heard, or is this a place where only few get to decide policy? Second of all, I think people are a bit sick of so called “elitists” telling them what is and isn’t good for them, while those same elitists are enjoying privileges and a standards of living far exceeding their own. I have spoken to Trump, on two separate occasions, and I never got the feeling he is racist or xenophobic, and it is really unfair to categorize him as such. Eccentric, maybe! But eccentric isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

  29. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. February 2017 at 22:03

    Ok, a couple points about Fake News.

    This story got widely published a few days ago:

    The claim (which was a naked lie) was that a 75 yr old Iraqi woman travelling on a green card with family, died because she couldn’t get back into the US due to Trump’s ban.

    This story was *widely* republished, including by Maggie Haberman NYT, and retweeted by many friendlies in the media. It simply disappeared from most of their feeds, without a retraction.

    It’s infuriating for lots of reasons:
    1- it was fake
    2- not fact checked
    3- widely republished
    4- NOT widely retracted
    5- a seriously ill 75 year old woman dies in mid-east because she’s dependent on US medical care??? (the lie)

    On point 5, EVEN IF THE STORY WERE TRUE, it’s not newsworthly. People die all the time in the VA system, because they can’t get care. I’ve had family die due to delayed care. Elderly people dying due to delayed care is normal even in the US. But we’re supposed to cry over the misfortune of a very sick elderly woman who died due to delayed care [FAKE] because why? It’s not even newsworthy, otherwise there’d be hundreds of stories a day about that happening in the US.

    But the crazy media looks for “human interest” stories that fit their narrative and runs with the Trump negligent homicide angle because they know partisan followers will love the outrage.

  30. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. February 2017 at 22:07

    A second point on Fake News:

    There was an interchange between a NYT reporter and a Federalist (?) reporter that went like this:
    Fed: You published fake news.
    NYT: No, we sourced it from Politico.
    Fed: Politico sourced from HuffPo, and HuffPo made it up.
    NYT: We relied on a reliable source, Politico.
    Fed: You didn’t fact check?
    NYT: No, we republish “reputable” sources.

    So basically the media (NYT) admits they play telephone with progressive flacks, republishing fake news in a giant daisy chain without fact checking. And they weren’t even apologetic; as long as someone else was supposed to fact check, they’re good!

    This is normal behavior. No wonder people forgive Trump for being a loon.

  31. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    1. February 2017 at 22:17

    Another story that’s going viral in the press is a 1 year old Sudanese boy who can’t get free expensive US health care due to Nazi Trumpenfuhrer Hitler.

    Mmmkay. Sudan and Syria both had genocides killing millions, but we didn’t do anything because it was too complex or something. Hillary even said in her Goldman speech “they aren’t done killing each other yet”. Yay! Now we’re supposed to flip out over not spending $100k or so per sick Sudanese boy, because Nazitrumpenfuhrerhitler?

    Ain’t media narratives great? No wonder people agree with Bannon that the media is the opposition party.

  32. Gravatar of H_WASSHOI H_WASSHOI
    1. February 2017 at 23:50


    How about Mexican central bank’s reaction?
    They are raising rates as peso falls.

    I think that’s serious problem from NGDP perspective

  33. Gravatar of BC BC
    2. February 2017 at 00:10

    Scott, one more to add to the Bad Trump pile:

    Not only is Australia one of our closest allies, I believe Turnbull is from Australia’s center-right party, their version of Republicans. There may not be another foreign leader that is more of a natural ally for Trump (maybe Theresa May?), and Trump couldn’t handle a call with even him.

  34. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    2. February 2017 at 00:19


    Yes, Trump is mentally ill. The sooner the country accepts that fact, the better. Republicans need to remove him.

  35. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    2. February 2017 at 01:58

    Scott Freelander,

    the other thing that needs to happen is the West needs to organize a voice without the US. I can’t be Germany (too easily dissed as domineering Europe) and it can’t be the UK (self inflicted isolation and therefore no credibility). Ideally a smaller EU Nation not seen as dangerous with a head of state that has some ooomph.

  36. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    2. February 2017 at 05:10


    Yes, there needs to be a lot of organized, foreign opposition to Trump. They need to try to send a clear message that they will not be bullied and will not make deals with Trump at all. The US cannot do so much around the world if allies and adversaries alike decide to make Trump’s life difficult at once. Even a competent administration would be overwhelmed.

    Particularly nice would be to see Trump banned in most of the world. I think Americans need some strong humiliation.

    That said, I don’t see much courage or leadership in this respect.

    I don’t know who can lead a resistance in Europe, but perhaps the EU leadership is trying.

  37. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    2. February 2017 at 05:14

    I’ve never hoped for an American President to fail before, but Trump needs to fail as soon as possible. He needs to be seen as a failure by most Americans so the media will pile on and even Republicans might abandon him.

    Trump is obviously uniqely dangerous and his failure now will be less painful than the damage he would otherwise do in the long-run.

  38. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    2. February 2017 at 06:03

    Pleasing #1 and #2 at the same time is Hegelian dialectic, which can be very successful if done right.

    Ideally a smaller EU Nation

    LOL. Forget about Europe.

    Let’s just see what Le Pen and Wilders can do this year.

  39. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    2. February 2017 at 06:53

    Trump is an ass but there are some hopeful signs here. Trump pushed a poorly thought through executive order and he stirred up a firestorm of protest and now is scrambling to do damage control. Flynn saber rattled and his peers started to work around him. This does not sound like the Hitler administration that mbka compares it to. .

    Trump’s support is shallow. His negatives are high. He has his hard core supporters but the majority of the people who voted for him believed that he was a jerk but at least he would be a competent jerk unlike his opponents and the previous administration. I don’t think his support is deep enough nor his conviction strong enough for him to dig in ideologically in the face of failure and yet still hang on to a huge part of the electorate the way Obama did. Unfortunately, there are some bad policy ideas such as bad trade policy for which he may not get punished because the link between cause and effect is too obscure.

  40. Gravatar of flow5 flow5
    2. February 2017 at 07:18

    Where are the Paul Revere patriots? Armageddon’s almost here. Why does no one see it?

    The bond vigilante’s will come out in full force in August 2017. This nation is in CRISIS. You cannot add $10t of federal debt, esp., will real-incomes falling, and not have the economy slow. You cannot maintain the existing level of entitlements and not raise taxes. The more alarming aspect of the deficits is not the effect on interest rates but the effect of high interest rates on the level of taxable income and the volume of taxes required to service a cumulative debt now exceeding $20 trillion. Both high interest rates and high taxes induce stagflation, thus eroding the tax base, decreasing tax receipts, and increasing the volume of future deficits.

    Barack Hussein Obama II put the US in the precarious position of having to roll a substantial percentage of this unprecedented increase of privately held marketable debt in the next five years – at higher interest rates.

    The bull market in bonds ended in 2012, with the bottom in short-term rates (as long term rates were artificial suppressed during QE3 operations). Federal deficit financing has been crowding out the private sector and raising interest rates ever since.

    Interest rates may respond to influences other than inflation rates, either current or expected. After all, there is a demand side factor (government deficit financing) operating in the loan funds market as well as a supply side factor (inflation rates). Supply side factors will become more pronounced in August.

    – Michel de Nostredame

  41. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    2. February 2017 at 07:39


    I wish I could be so optimistic. By instinct I would say, yes this is what the US constitution was built for, to be resilient in the face of bad government, and there has been worse. But Trump has sailed through a lot of “impossibles” already so I am on my guard now. No one thought the Germans would be capable of a holocaust either, until it actually happened. For a long time whenever they saw abuses, the Germans would just sigh “If the Fuhrer knew about this…”. Venezuelans supported Chavez until the end, in the face of abysmal failure. Mugabe, same in Zimbabwe. There is real support for populism. In the face of failed realities people believe the populist rather than their own lyin’ eyes. Support for the travel ban leads opposition to it by 7 points in the polls, and that’s according to Slate, i.e. the really really liberal press.

  42. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    2. February 2017 at 08:51

    OT – OMG! Has anybody seen this? (nutty but “Jamie Diamond” sponsored Jan 31 letter from Trump’s team to Yellen, saying Basil III agreements unfairly require US banks to over-capitalize). Nuts! Is Fed independence next? (I think money is neutral so it doesn’t matter, but most of you should be up in arms)

  43. Gravatar of Ray Lopez Ray Lopez
    2. February 2017 at 09:08

    @flow5 – “The bond vigilante’s will come out in full force in August 2017. This nation is in CRISIS. You cannot add $10t of federal debt, esp., will real-incomes falling, and not have the economy slow.” – Yes you can, no crisis, because (1) we owe it to ourselves, as most US debt owed is not foreign but domestic, (2) the UK had 250% Debt-to-GDP ratios, in 1800 and 1945, yet survived, while the USA is still at about 100% (same in Japan, they’re at about 120% net once you subtract domestic savings), and, finally, worse case, (3) default and hyperinflation is a way of solving a debt overhang, and not so bad if you have real assets. Lesson learned: diversify, never have all your eggs in one basket, like say US Treasuries.

  44. Gravatar of flow5 flow5
    2. February 2017 at 09:22

    Ray, you can remind me later of my accurate prediction.

    I am the world’s best bond trader in history.

  45. Gravatar of flow5 flow5
    2. February 2017 at 09:23

    Trump outworks his lazy opponents. He’s working at 6:00 am and doesn’t quit until late.

  46. Gravatar of JG JG
    2. February 2017 at 09:53

    Scott is clever in a Trumpian way. He knows his web site will get more traffic when people get into debates between Hitler and Trump.

    NGDP targeting – important, but not enough to keep a blog lively.

  47. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    2. February 2017 at 11:32

    @flow5: No, I am the world’s best bond trader in history. Quit lying.

  48. Gravatar of morgan warstler morgan warstler
    2. February 2017 at 12:08

    I have predicted Trump accurately for a year.

    I told everyone screaming about Muslims and the Wall etc, RELAX, Trump is a Country Club owner.

    1. Country Clubs need gates to keep out non-members
    2. You must earn $X – Trump’s new EO hits this exactly.
    3. You must like bikinis – “I, State your Name love what America IS today, I believe that women including my wife / daughters are my legal and Economic equals, I believe that being great is fine and dandy, and I despise and renounce any religion that seek to be the legal authority” – Miler says to expect this
    4. Just your wife and kids.

    From a Libertarian Framework this is optimal foreign and military policy.

    1. BRAIN DRAIN EARTH of all their talent.
    2. Have them earn and spend their money here – the best low skill jobs on earth are Country Club jobs.

    I don’t get why anyone including Scott would be upset with this. I don’t et it.

    We get the MOST IMMIGRANTS. We most quickly alter rest of Earth to be like US.

    It’s OBVIOUS policy. Many other countries do it, they are just not the coolest place to live.

    I dont get it.

  49. Gravatar of flow5 flow5
    2. February 2017 at 12:16

    @ msgkings:

    You’re right. I am 10 times better than anyone who ever traded bonds.

  50. Gravatar of flow5 flow5
    2. February 2017 at 12:17

    I am the Alpha and the Omega. I cracked the code in July 1979. Nothing’s change in 100 + years. I should be awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. My model should be classified as top secret by the CIA. It is worth trillions of economic $s.

    And that’s an understatement.

  51. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    2. February 2017 at 14:42

    Ben C: Yes, regulatory land rationing has been driving up housing prices for decades now.

  52. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    2. February 2017 at 15:03

    Scott, You said:

    “Read Pethokoukis, Frum, Gerson, Douthat, David Brooks, Mike Murphy, George Will, etc.”

    You don’t understand Scott, people like George Will are simply deranged leftists, who need to cower in their safe spaces. Our brave alt-right commenters like Harding and Massimo are much smarter than the George Wills of the world.

    mbka, You said:

    “One of the most shocking trends lately is how previously self identified libertarians have seamlessly morphed into Trump fascists. Best example in the commenters here is Major Freedom.”

    I stopped reading him years ago when I realized he was both boring and wrong about everything. Why am I not surprised he’s turned into a Trumpista? Funny where grouchy old “libertarians” end up. But also —- Sad!

    JG, You said:

    “Scott is clever in a Trumpian way. He knows his web site will get more traffic when people get into debates between Hitler and Trump.”

    If I wanted traffic I’d blog about sex scandals. The last thing I need is more moronic commenters to respond to. Like you.

    Morgan, You don’t seem to understand that Trump plans to keep the current immigration policy, except the H1-b program, where he’s going to crack down. In other words, exactly the opposite of what you want.

    Lorenzo, Did Ben mention zoning? I’ve never heard him discuss that issue before?

  53. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    2. February 2017 at 23:23

    I have “property zoning derangement syndrome.”

    We each have our crosses to bear.

  54. Gravatar of George George
    3. February 2017 at 01:47

    @ flow5

    Perhaps you would need to specify the prediction a bit in order to be taken seriously here. What do you mean by the “bond bubble burst”? Do you mean US sovereign yields rising? Or Japanese, European too? Corporates? By how much? DO you expect it to be due to the rise in inflation expectations or due to the term premium or the risk free rate?
    It’s easy to make a vague prediction and then brag off later in the year that you were right.

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