The Nobel dimension

The stock market leaps gracefully this morning as – Phew! – China and the US agree to end the massive world-shattering trade war before it has even begun. Both sides remove tariffs that they piled on in fits of righteous wrathful fury just days earlier, and everyone will now live peacefully and harmoniously ever after in mutual win-win friendship, with free-flowing soybeans, and new improved corporate governance at ZTE later.

Meanwhile, the rest of the planet beyond the stock market still doesn’t rule out unprecedented economic mayhem on the grounds that Trump and Xi (in their own ways) might just be overestimating their respective nations’ bargaining positions and cannot make pragmatic concessions for fear of face-loss.

There are all sorts of little details no-one wants to think about. Surely, if China lowers tariffs on US products, it must do the same for all other countries? How can the US increase exports of commodities when the producers are already operating at or near full capacity? What’s the point if the international flow of beans is simply redirected among markets – China buying more from the US, forcing everyone else to buy more from Brazil, leading to a net change of zero?

The answer to this last question is that to Trump’s infantile and superficial mind, the fall in the US trade deficit with China equals a Big Win. If Xi and his regime can restrain their own over-aggressive insecure instincts, it should be easy to fob Trump off.

Now a horrible complication enters the picture: Trump (says William Pesek) is factoring a Nobel Peace Prize into all this by way of Kim Jong-un under supposed guidance of Leninist uncle-substitute Xi (it all goes back ultimately to the Kenyan Nemesis who won the accolade, which has lost much of its integrity since the Scandinavian medal-bestowing sages got a Panda-mauling for honouring Liu Xiaobo – but of course Trump has trashy taste).

Pesek notes that this does not bode well for emerging markets. Does Trump playing four-dimensional chess over a delusional prize for a delusional deal with North Korea courtesy of delusional warm-and-fuzzy cooperation from Beijing bode well for anything?

Even more horrible thought: Xi senses a strategic opportunity, and gets what he wants out of Donald (US troops out of Asia, free soybeans for life) in return for persuading the Nobel bureaucrats (still guilt-stricken for hurting the Panda’s feelings over Liu Xiaobo) to give Trump his tacky prize. I mean – this is 2018.

 

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4 Responses to The Nobel dimension

  1. Knownot says:

    A Consensus Has Been Reached

    Sitting proudly in the West,
    Clever Donald Trump:
    Cleverer than all the rest,
    Very sure that he’s the best,
    And other men, at his behest –
    Obediently jump.

    Coming proudly from the East,
    Inscrutable Chinese:
    Smiling while their trade increased,
    Not embarrassed in the least
    By the noisy, menacing beast –
    Who they can appease.

    So Inscrutable Chinese
    And clever Donald Trump
    Both say ‘Thank you’, both say ‘Please’
    And, though there are no guarantees,
    Say that everyone agrees –
    And nobody will jump.

  2. oldgit says:

    Because of politics, in 1975 I missed the Vietnam War by two weeks, thank goodness. The survival rate was one chance in three. The older generations weren’t so lucky. So I don’t care if someone want a prize. All I care about is peace.

  3. Joe Blow says:

    Knowing the Scandinavians, there is ZERO chance they will ever give a Nobel to you-know-who.

    Hell will freeze over, the Germans will develop a sense of humor and the French will stop being annoying before that ever happens.

  4. Stanley Lieber says:

    The elites may sneer, but Mr. Trump is doing the world a service by confronting them.

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