Global Thoughts — 3 June 2019

Axe throwing at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Yes, I actually did hit the target on that throw. I hope I do the same with this article.

I haven’t posted anything since March and I’ve been sitting here for the first half of May drawing a blank trying to think of what to write about, but all the topics I wrote about 2 months ago are still at the top of the list and nothing has really changed. I don’t want to write the same stuff about Trump, the state of the Democratic party, the Israeli elections, issues with China, Brexit and tariffs. Haven’t done much traveling since February, with few plans till August. So what’s left, you might ask? I’m wondering too. So this posting was going to be a bit shorter but I was trying to deliver something to you. But then the news started to pick up toward the end of May. There is actually some interesting stuff to follow.

In Central Park, a guy playing guitar and singing songs asked what Jesus would say these days about a whole bunch of things. He concluded as I do that if Jesus lived today he’d be ignored. Maybe he’d have a Facebook page but it’s awfully hard to get noticed. Everywhere you go someone on the sidewalk is preaching in his name off his past reputation, but unless he could work miracles in plain view it’d be hard these days to get noticed in the first place. It’s amazing how a story from 2,000 years ago has captivated the world ever since, while such a story originating today would be hardly noticed.

Here is a thought for you at the Passover / Easter / Ramadan season: One of the pleasant and universal things about the Jewish religion is that this religion believes that the ultimate redemption at the end of history will be for the benefit of the entire world, not just members of its own religion. This is an important message of the Passover Seder ritual – the first half of the evening tells the story of the Jewish exodus. The second half looks forward to the final redemption but it is a universal view for all mankind. The exodus from Egypt has its roots in the fact that a non-Jew plucked Moses out of the river and was kind to him. Before Moses becomes a leader, we only know that he saved several non-Jews and in essence returned the favor. Therefore, Jewish history has its roots in its interface and in good deeds involving non-Jews. It’s worth remembering such things in a time when anti-semitism seems to be picking up around the world. On one hand the world seems to be more tolerant than ever and on the other hand, it seems like it’s becoming open season for people of hate. It’s bad policy – hate and building walls around your country doesn’t work.

Memorial Day Parade in Williamsburg

Hungary is a perfect example – on one hand the head of state gets along with the local Jewish community; on the other hand, there are very worrying developments in that country in terms of anti-semitism from media he controls, nationalism and anti-immigration policy. But this cocktail is not working. Hungary recently passed a law allowing overtime and also allowing employers to delay overtime payments for several years. Companies who might benefit from this are not trying to benefit because it is essentially a program of indentured servitude and the PR ramifications in the multi-national arena are enormous. Why go this route? Because there is such a labor shortage in the country that they need work to be done at any cost and they are dead set against any immigration. A Hungarian aid agency that provides home health care to the elderly just returned several million dollars to its US benefactor because they had nobody available to do the health care. In the US, as well as in Europe and Asia, the population is greying and the population replacement rate is going below what is required to maintain a stable work force that will pay into the system what elderly people will take out of the system. The US is trying to restrict immigration but the price will be paid in another generation when there is nobody to pay in to social security what today’s workers will be taking out. Japan has been in perpetual recession because of this and China has similar prospects in its future. Germany is bringing in immigrants because it is desperate, and finally they are seeing a return on its immigrants in the work force in part because they were smart enough to tinker with their asylum rules to encourage employers to hire these immigrants. For instance, they guarantee that an employer who gives an immigrant an apprenticeship will not lose the immigrant to a rejection of asylum or citizenship for a certain number of years. Otherwise, no employer would agree to invest in the immigrant. Germany works in part because the country’s political and corporate sectors work together to integrate policy for the benefit of the country. (Sometimes this nexus is a fault when it is abused as we will see below in terms of the FAA and Boeing in the US, but at its best it works.) The US needs to learn its lessons and make sure there is a healthy amount of immigration to keep its social safety net tight for the next generation. Trump in his late 70’s and well off for himself and his kids is not at all concerned with this problem.

Science is cool!

One good thing about the Boeing crashes and the company’s evasive attitude throughout is a welcome reminder that government regulation of industry has its place and ultimately serves to benefit industry. The FAA is finding itself completely discredited around the world as a regulator as each country takes matters into its own hands. Boeing is not trusted because they could not police themselves. Much more money and time will be wasted making each faction of the industry happy (and this will cost billions of dollars to everyone from airlines to all sorts of vendors and also hurt Boeing shareholders) and ultimately passengers will have to learn to trust somebody again because everyone involved let passengers down. It is much more efficient to have one regulatory body that everyone trusts do their job.

Here are two new words for our age: Amazonesia – what you get when you receive a package 2nd day shipping and still forgot what’s inside… I assume this is why they want to get into next day or same day delivery. “Maddensomnia” – what you feel when you wake up in the middle of the night and hear football referees’ whistles going off every few seconds. At least I hear them since I am so used to my son playing Madden.

Jeremy told me that he felt uncomfortable having so much cash around in the house, so we went with a stack of crumpled dollar bills to make an ATM deposit. It took time but we got it done. All of $33.

I’m not sure why Trump’s advisors are trying to push a war with Iran. It might be because the Iranians have set up missile bases in western Iraq that threaten various areas in the Gulf and Levant. All of a sudden I see reports of Iranian-faction-hosted missiles threatening all kinds of areas in the Middle East, even from Gaza.

My friend Oded in Israel writes in April post-election: “Bib can win forever, even after he dies.” He writes that even a general can’t win with the Labor Party; the majority vote for Likud and Bibi Netanyahu controls that party. People are loyal to the team, even if they don’t particularly like him. It was said that if Chelsea and Manchester footballers switched jerseys, the fans would boo them because they are loyal to the Team more than the Player. And so it is with Israel’s election. The Oslo Accords are generally viewed as a flop inside Israel; they view the second intifadah and the chaos of Gaza as its results. The earlier pullout of Lebanon was also viewed as a flop. There is virtually no constituency in that country for a liberal or “peace” party and it will be a generation before anything like Labor rises again. What this means is that the Israel you see is probably the one you can expect to get for the next 20 years. If you live in its neighbor, you either resign yourself to dealing with it or you just remain opposed and probably sulk on the sidelines. Increasingly, people in the neighborhood are dealing with it. The fact that the Palestinians are divided helps make the choice easier. That was April, now it’s June and what was taken for granted – that Netanyahu would form another government – didn’t happen. I will come back to this topic later.

Trump is succeeding in changing the face of American business in terms of China. People are getting used to the idea that there will be a cold war between the two countries and that alternatives to supply chains going through China need to be arranged. This 5G matter is serious because it promises to be the backbone of telecom technology for the next generation. America is trying to make sure the world does not rely on Chinese technology and that that reliance does not yield a strategic advantage to China which might use it to spy on everyone or shut down everyone at a time of its choosing. The problem is that the Chinese standard is much better and the rest of the world does not want to choose sides and deny itself the best of technology, especially if they think the Americans are exaggerating the threat. The foreseeable problem is that the world will wind up in two camps of technology, instead of an interlocking global village. It will be less interdependent but those who choose sides may wind up on the losing side of technology as they are shut out of greener grass in use around the world. 40 years ago it was Beta vs VHS for video tape technology. Sony’s Beta standard tried to become a monopoly and shut out everyone else; VHS licensed its technology to whomever wanted it. VHS was the clear winner. Same thing today – Trump is not positioning the US to be in a good position in the world if Chinese technology turns out to be far superior and most of the world has gone onto their standard. He will be dealing the US into a corner. The current campaign to bar Huawei is a great example – he can succeed via executive order in barring US companies from dealing with Huawei. But it’s not going to be good for those companies if the rest of the world adopts their standard and the US companies turn out to be using technology that doesn’t talk well to the rest of the world. We are in a globalized world and it is just silly to be making fun of” globalists” and thinking you can shut yourself off from it and outperform. Either adapt or die. Trump has got all these people around him thinking otherwise and I’ve never seen any country adopt this position and succeed.

Right now, I am reading that the US is using its superiority in computer chip technology to put China in a weak position by cutting off access to US companies that produce chips. But you can be sure that China will make domestic chip production Priority One and within a few years they will probably wean themselves off reliance on the US for this. Other countries will probably be buying their chips. So we’ll see who wins – the US might win this round but the Chinese will make sure they don’t lose the war.

Europe, Russia, Asia – everyone is looking to escape the dominance of the US Dollar because they don’t want to be caught up in every round of US sanctions that attempts to punish business that the US doesn’t like. Crypto-currencies might be nutty but at some point they could accomplish this. America under Trump is like the kid holding the football insisting that everyone play according to his rules. That’s fine as long as he’s the only kid with a football. Once someone else has a football, all the other kids can tell the kid to screw off. I’m going to return to this subject at the end of this posting.

Think what happens in little countries around the world doesn’t matter? Think again. Because of a corruption scandal in Austria leading to a snap election, my wife’s trip there next month is not happening, and now I get out of having to take Jeremy to a school assessment the day she was to be away.

I think it is a good bet that the minute a Democrat takes over the White House you’ll see a major revision or reversal of many of Trump’s policies virtually everywhere, such as Israel, Russia, China, government regulation, interest rate policy and immigration.

Let’s talk about gender mainly because it’s unavoidable these days. My 7th grade daughter recently endured a month of gender studies at school where they retaught her the alphabet with virtually every letter standing for some kind of gender. We had some lunch guests recently from various countries and it seemed that each family had someone who was not heterosexual, so you can’t say this is some New York City bubble thing going on. In one case, a young adult (in her early 20’s) being referred to was not sure if he or she were male or female. I think that teenagers have a lot on their plate without having to worry on top of it what sex they are, and I seriously wonder if all this doubt would be occurring if it weren’t being constantly being blasted at them by agenda-driven ideologues in school, the media and society. I have no idea if gender is driven by sociology, genetics or something else and I’d love to know, but I don’t know what data to trust and feel it is a bit like climate science – so much of what we hear is pushed by people with agendas that people are not willing to trust climate science because they think it is being manipulated on both sides. (I do notice that more people in middle America are accepting that climate science has validity now that they see hundred year floods occurring every few years and their family farms are at stake.)

We know that there is a percentage of the population that is not heterosexual but I don’t think we know what that percentage is. A generation ago people were told it was probably 10% of the population and that figure was considered high. Wikipedia says it is now about 2.5%. It seems though that in this generation it is rising significantly. Is it something in the processed food we eat? Is it just that people feel more comfortable expressing themselves since there is all this validation around them? Or is it a cop-out from people who would otherwise be frustrated singles saying to themselves – “Why should I try to figure out how to mate with somebody from the opposite sex who is wired differently than I am and look at the prospect of years of singledom (especially these days where people are marrying later and divorcing more) when I could just avoid this by choosing some same-sex friend and going the easy route and just hooking up when I feel like it without having the pressure to have kids and manage a family which make marriage a rather intimidating affair?” Not to mention the money involved – you could buy a big house or a Manhattan apartment on the money it takes to raise a kid. I estimate that my annual expenses will go down by two-thirds once my kids are out of high school and college. If you opt out you get your parents off your back instead of them always clamoring about a wedding and grandchildren. I’m really wondering how much all this gender stuff is really a cop-out way of choosing the latter route in life. I truly don’t know and am not trying to be flippant about it but I do have some real wonder within about the distinct uptick of this phenomenon and the apparent benefits involved.

How about millennials? I’ve hired a bunch of them and every single one of them sucked. They just didn’t do their jobs and totally didn’t care. Showing up to work was hard to do, and quitting came in emails saying “maybe I shouldn’t be working here.” It was not impressive. The first question on my mind is – are millennials truly any worse than what older people say about every generation of 20-somethings? If yes, then why? I think that telephones offering instant gratification each and every waking minute and 15-second attention spans may have something to do with it.

Jackson Square, New Orleans

New Orleans has a jazz festival the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May. This year it came out right after Passover so we went. The festival is a lot of fun and the gospel tent has always been my favorite; it was the favorite of my kids as well. Even Karen grabbed an umbrella and twirled away with the ladies. There was a much higher variety of food there than I expected; the last time I was there was 30 years ago and the food was basically stuff that moves around while still on your plate. Last time tickets were free; now it costs a lot more so you see a mostly white crowd. The Windsor Court hotel is the best of the lot in the city and it did not disappoint. The whipped orange juice at breakfast was real good; they used to serve that at Café Du Monde in that city; they don’t anymore. You need to book these rooms months in advance and take out travel insurance since there are no refunds. Taxis here are pricey; they charge per person and kids are considered people too. Uber can be half the price. New Orleans Custom Tours has a great sightseeing tour; we saw the city in 3 hours which is all you really need. Our guide Tyler was very good. If staying longer, visit the World War II Museum, take a walking tour of the Garden District, enjoy music on Frenchman Street, and go shopping along Magazine Street. Other than that, there is not that much to see in the city apart from meandering around the French Quarter and visiting the Garden District. A tip: Instead of standing in a long line for Café Du Monde at Jackson Square, go to one of the other locations in the city such as at Riverwalk near the major hotels. It’s the same food (not that good really), and zero lines. It’s just some fried dough with powdered sugar; you can get that stuff at any street fair these days and they would be smart to update the recipe to include fillings or toppings such as chocolate, praline or jam. The city is mostly lowbrow and it’s not attractive walking the streets at night or off the main drag. Preservation Hall is a good 45-minute intimate show with Dixie Land jazz. Get the Big Shot tickets in advance so that you are assured a seat; it is a very small theater and otherwise you might get in but have to sit on the floor or stand in the back. We were in the city for a day in a half and it was a good first visit. During the city tour we saw a lot of places hit by Hurricane Katrina 14 years ago. The damage was not so much from the hurricane as from the floods caused by the breaking of the dam walls, because of a lack of care. Poverty is so widespread here; it goes on forever and you drive all over and all you see are poor areas. The state of Louisiana ranks #50 in education in the US. The local FBI director in charge of investigating corruption recently resigned. Basically, the people in charge take almost all the money the district gets for fixing stuff up and stuff it in their pockets. Corruption is deeply rooted and people are apathetic. The population in the area is decreasing and few think there is any hope for this area. Only cosmetic things are being done to save people and property from future floods.

For Memorial Day Weekend we went to Colonial Williamsburg which is an hour’s drive from Richmond Virginia’s airport. Other nearby airports are Norfolk or Newport News. The best of the hotels on the property is the Williamsburg Inn. Although we were disappointed that they no longer have dinner and dancing to an orchestra on weekends, we enjoyed the hotel. Next door is the Williamsburg Lodge, a Marriott property. The Inn has only around 60 rooms and is run at a high standard. The concierges can’t get you tickets to things if they are already sold out, so it is best to book night activities and daytime walking tours in advance of your visit. There is a nice spa and gym on the property as well as two outdoor and one indoor pool. Food was excellent throughout and the breakfast menu was particularly innovative and not exactly the southern fare I was expecting. Rather than biscuits and cornbread you are more likely to see chia seeds and quinoa. The rooms were quite large; two connecting standard rooms run over 1,000 square feet. We enjoyed several days here; the kids liked the escape room evening activity and axe throwing. Karen and I enjoyed the historical presentations and hardly went off property. If you want rides and more fun, there is Busch Gardens about half an hour away. Some of the weekend was quite hot with temperatures in the mid-90’s but it generally cools off in the evening and it is pleasant to walk around the area after the day-trippers leave. There were 5 weddings in the hotel that weekend which strained things a bit, but it was still pleasant. Other kinds of night activities you can attend are a ghost stories walk, a trial of an American colonialist patriot or of a witch. During the day you can walk into various shops, a museum, sit out at the pool, and enjoy various programs such as learning how to march, fife and drum concert, monologues of political philosophy by characters playing historical figures. Kids might not be all that thrilled, so it is best to pace yourself and allow for breaks. The theme of the place is that you are set in the 1770’s while still a British Colony. Expect to say “God Save the King” a lot. Karen and I could easily come here again, but probably a second visit would be better without the kids. There’s just so much political history and philosophy they can bear. They try to be non-partisan here and leave you with the idea that democracy is an experiment that requires everyone’s participation and that it is ultimately up to you to chart the nation’s course.

Ronen Bergman’s Rise and Kill First is a 631-page history of Israel’s history of assassinations. It took me 3 months to find the time to read all of it. Turns out Israel is one of the biggest perpetrators of state-sponsored targeted killings on the planet. Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other Western country, according to the author. The book is an entertaining read of tales of derring-do, successes and foul-ups and it is very well researched. Many important people talked to the author. He has written quite a few books and is one of the country’s top investigative reporters. There is no real ending – it just ends at a certain point in time about a decade ago, and you get a sense of the futility of it all. Killings prevented other killings but generally somebody was always ready to take someone else’s place in the terrorism apparatus, so life and death just go on. In Israel, the heads of intelligence and the military tend to become dovish as they round out their careers; they spend their lives doing their duty but come to the realization that they are a band-aid on a problem and that the solution is ultimately going to be political. The strategic point of this book in one or sentences is that occasionally the enemy opponent surprised the Israelis with their tactics, but the Israelis learned from their mistakes and ultimately outwitted the enemy.

Purim Holiday Costumes

This book merits a mention at this point because as we look forward to a re-run of the Israeli election we can consider the lesson of the book. Challengers Lapid and Gantz ran amateur campaigns against a veteran political fighter Netanyahu and were utterly outclassed and outmaneuvered. But they will learn from their mistakes and probably give him a tougher run in the second go-round. His tactics that have worked rather well for him may not do as well this time; he’s already pulled a lot of rabbits out of his hat and it will be hard to come up with many more. The same incitements may not take as well if voters are tired of dog whistles and voting. There will be 3 and a half months to mount the attack. Lieberman, who brought this on, is not an idiot and may be onto something innovative as a tactic. Nobody knows why he is doing this, but assuming it runs deeper than simple personal animosity, we can guess. He may be gambling that the time is ripe for a realignment of Israeli politics. Netanyahu governed by keeping together a coalition of Rightists and ultra-orthodox religionists. Everyone involved agreed to delay and obfuscate certain issues that offended the ultra-orthodox for the sake of keeping the coalition. Until now when Lieberman broke the ceasefire.

For a generation it was the Rightists against the Leftists and the Right has won, as I’ve stated earlier in this posting. The left is so marginalized that it accounts for less than 10% of the vote at this point, so there is no real point in identifying it as an enemy because that’s not where the votes are. Public Enemy One for Middle Israel is the ultra-religious Haredi parties, and Lieberman is thinking that taking them on might get him secular votes that he otherwise wouldn’t get – the whole point for him is that 5 seats out of 120 is not enough for him to be a kingmaker and he wants more votes. But if you vote for Lieberman you are voting for his right-wing agenda as well, and that’s not where the majority of the country is. The middle of the country is pretty much in the center, although the center itself is further to the right than it was – but it is still not a radical right that you might think. So the question to be answered is whether someone who doesn’t sign onto the Rightwing view but hates Haredim will vote for Lieberman’s party.

That’s the micro issue if Lieberman’s party existed in a vacuum. But the macro issue across the political spectrum is much more complex which is why Israeli politics is so hard to predict. Here is something to think about. Historically, the leftist Labor Party made coalitions with the Haredi parties. Give them their money for their schools and social services and they pretty much leave you alone because they don’t really care about peace policies or the rest of the country. Although this government ostensibly fell over a bill to reduce religious exemptions for the army, the truth is that most secular Israelis do not want the Haredim to serve in the army. Nobody wants them around and they just don’t belong in the army. So the truth is that Gantz and Lapid could make a deal with the Haredi parties and it wouldn’t be out of place from a historical context. The real question is whether doing so would alienate their core voters TODAY because over the past 30 years the Russian opposition to the Haredi monopoly over religious affairs in the country has become intolerable to them and to many other non-Russians around them– Lapid has made a name for himself being the savior of secular Israel and Lieberman represents Russians who are almost all secular and hate the Haredim. I know plenty of old-time Labor people in Israel who would be fine with paying off the Haredi parties and holding their noses. On the other hand, if a government managed to form a coalition WITHOUT the Haredi parties it would save a lot of money for the national budget and allow Israel to get rid of the ultra-orthodox monopoly over religious matters in a country that sorely wants to move on from that. The Russians especially want the haredim to go away because they have been kept at bay from being treated as legitimate immigrants by the custodians of religious purity.

So it is a real wild card as to who might either coopt the Haredim into a coalition or who might run against them in the hope of getting more voters from those who hate them. I think that the history of the last 20-30 years shows that running against them will get you just so many votes but not enough to get over the top. All those that did so were flavor of the month parties that fizzled out. You still need them to get over the top. If Gantz and Lapid can figure out how to co-opt them without alienating their core voters they can win. If it were left to Netanyahu, it is a tough nut because the more votes Lieberman gets in the next round, the more he will demand Netanyahu give into him and screw the Haredi parties unless he gains enough votes to enable Bibi to get a majority without them, and I just don’t see how Netanyahu can please both sides unless Lieberman agrees to compromise. He didn’t agree just now, and the elections are a do-over. Everyone knows the math, so the only way to change the calculus is for Gantz and Lapid to figure out a new way to solve the electoral puzzle. Taking the Arab parties on as partners could work but for some reason the mainstream parties always leave the Arabs out. I think it’s a mistake, especially since Gantz and Lapid ought to be able to get along better with the Arab parties than Netanyahu did with his recent law that basically declares them second class citizens in a Jewish state. My prediction is that Gantz and Lapid will be smarter the second time around and figure out some kind of solution that enables them to form a coalition involving a realignment of Israeli political factions including either the Haredi or Arab parties. Unless Lieberman can reinvent himself as a secular rights politician who could live in a centrist government, he is in a corner with only Netanyahu as a possible partner because his party expects him to be on the right. Truth be told, there is probably little daylight between Netanyahu and Gantz/Lapid; it is basically branding and kowtowing. It may also be true that Lieberman would have no trouble sitting in a government with Gantz and Lapid. Netanyahu is likely to be indicted soon after the election and he is not going to be able to pass a law giving him immunity in advance of that indictment now that he has no government to pass it. Some of his allies will have to decide if continuing to back him constitutes a wasted vote. The election will be held September 17th and it will be November before a new government is formed. A lot will happen.

Here’s a quick statistic about tariffs. If Trump gets the tariffs he says he wants, it will be $200 billion a year that Americans will have to pay. That is equivalent to paying back all the tax cuts he gave them.

Tulip Garden in NY City

The Economist has an important article about jobs; it says that people mistakenly think that the jobs market is worse today than it was a generation ago and that good jobs are scarcer than ever. The “Gig economy” accounts for just 1% of the total jobs market. Last year, the employment rate among people of working age was the highest ever in Britain, Canada, Germany, Australia and 22 other OECD countries. The rate of temporary employment has been falling for a decade; in France the share of new hires given long term permanent contracts recently reached an all-time high of 50%. In San Francisco, you’d think half the town was homeless but the unemployment rate there is 2.6%. The Internet has helped match people to jobs and lowered the cost of hiring. A greater share of people with only a secondary education or less is in work now than 20 years ago; so much for the thought that only college would help keep people in jobs and that robots would throw everyone else out. It is also true that more people are going to college. Rising minimum wages are benefiting people. There are issues; the nature of work is changing – 5 years from now America will have more at-home care-givers than secretaries.

I’ll end with a sobering but realistic survey in the Economist about the new cold war between China and the US. I fully agree with its findings and conclusions. They say that the chances of an accidental clash with American planes or ships are too high for comfort. China has achievements but no real friends in the world, only those it rents. China needs to be more than just big and pushy if it wants to get anywhere in the world; if it just scares everyone it will lead to a fragmented world. Putting over a million of its citizens into concentration camps does not help its image. I think that the current leader created more noise than was necessary and scared the world. The US, on both sides of the political divide, is very concerned about China’s attitudes and belligerent moves with its military and its stealing of technology, and is determined not to be the victim of a Chinese-driven Pearl Harbor which could in this generation come from cyberspace. On the other hand, The US is trying to put China down without fully recognizing its own obligation to compete and is trying to get the Chinese to change its system at a time when China believes its system is superior to the US system. The Chinese are working hard, building tremendous infrastructure, creating leading companies, tackling environmental issues and educating their young, while the American government turns away from science and infrastructure, and obsesses about tariffs and trade deficits which do not address real issues of today’s economy. American attitudes are drawing contempt from China and I can definitely see where the Chinese are coming from on this. America will not succeed by trying to force the rest of the world to take its side. The Americans want China to play by its rules, but China thinks those rules don’t work anymore. Both sides do not see win-win; they see zero-sum. It is a sure-fire recipe for mutual destruction and lost opportunity. Beyond whatever each side wants for itself, both sides need the other’s help to fashion a planet that works for either of them. Cooperation is vital. It may need to be on different terms than before and it is true that the aspirations of a generation ago have not been fulfilled, but it would be better to look for mutual interests than to hold the other in contempt and try to go it alone.

All this China scare threatens to bring down the stock market. Some financial advisors around me are thinking of 25-30% corrections. I would hedge away from index funds in case this happens. What is going on right now is unsustainable and I suppose the most important reason Trump may lose in 2020 is that the markets will probably crash going into the election year. The only thing he has going for him is a high stock market and it’s built on air. Take that away and the Republicans will flee from him.

I hope you have a lovely summer. We will have some nice travels and we will see in early fall some interesting elections and there will be new globalthoughts to try and make sense of it.




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