Saturday, March 30, 2019

Quotes of the Day

While I've disagreed plenty with Mark Zandi, Moody's chief economist, over the years, I strongly believe (as I've preached herein and in client meetings an nauseam) that he's spot on when it comes to the economic and political consequences of not soon settling the trade war with China.
"I don't think they can save the day, especially if the President doesn't settle this trade war. That's been very damaging and will do us in if he doesn't settle it," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics. "The next two years are going to be much tougher than the past two, which were juiced by fiscal stimulus — pure, raw, mainline fiscal stimulus."
"You've got to settle this trade war with China," Zandi said. "Otherwise he's going to make things much more difficult for himself when he runs for election."
I'd add that it's also critical that the Administration not look to incite a trade war, as threatened, with Europe after settling the present China affair.

While the above, the second quote in particular (I'd say the following with regard to any politician alive in any jurisdiction anywhere on the planet), has me feeling pretty good about the odds of resolution soon, the following quote from the President's top trade negotiator, however, somewhat quells my optimism:
"I'm not an economist, I'm an attorney." 
Robert Lighthizer

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