Playing the Trump


Wow, talk about waking up to a different reality! It is very interesting to hear the opinions coming from the all corners of the world with regard to the 45th President of the United States. But whatever your opinion, here are some things that you might want to consider:

1.       New administrations make mistakes. Inexperience and the shifting of power from one bureaucracy to another, and the new administration trying to figure their way in the world. Most would agree Trump and his team are less experienced than most coming into their positions. Consequently the mistakes could be greater than normal. Hopefully time will correct most of this chaos and there will be more normalcy.

2.       Some of Trump’s policies are what you would expect from a Republican, such as lower taxes and deregulation. But there are some from the other camp as well: borrowing for infrastructure spending and protectionism. And Trump definitely beats his own drum, regardless of opinions and the wailing cries of those who are against or hurt by his policies.

3.       Middle America elected him. He needs to respect this by delivering to them jobs and higher wages. If he brings on a trade war with countries like Mexico, it could result in higher prices in stores like Walmart. These important constituents won’t be too happy.

4.       Diplomacy in communication isn’t his style. He is much more direct, both in his approach and the mediums he uses compared to any previous President. There also seems to be little in the form of checks and balances in how he communicates with anyone including the media and other politicians. This has forced him to have a number of retractions. But this isn’t uncommon for many political leaders, those silver tongued devils. Likely, given Mr. Trump’s tendency to tweet, we’d better get used to him rattling any cage that is in his way, or maybe even in spitting distance. But likely it will become much like living by a train track. You don’t even hear the train rolling by after a while.

5.       Trump played not only his own party to win the candidacy, he then played the media, and probably a lot of those who voted for him. One has to wonder if he is doing the same now with his negotiation tactics.  Most of the world needs to do business with the US. If it becomes very unpredictable as to what you would get from the US, maybe take whatever it offers? Call him a businessman, gamesman or whatever you like. Trump’s unorthodox approach to almost everything and everyone seems to be what is consistent. As far as the markets are concerned, the brief Trump rally we experienced was a very short honeymoon. It is all about what he can deliver and if there is a consistency that both the US and the world can live with.

Like all Presidents before him, President Trump is racing the clock. Getting legislation through congress can often be limited to mid-term elections. So have no doubt, that this is not a marathon, it is a sprint.