The world swoons with amazement as Donald Trump displays his super-human skills as a negotiator and deal-maker. “We let your exporters/our consumers off the hook on a tariff increase. We’ll fixate on your currency rather than things that matter. Seeing you’re my good friend, we’ll probably let Huawei’s Ms Meng go despite alleged bank fraud/sanctions-busting because you seem to like her so much. And let Huawei/ZTE Chinese intelligence loose on our telecoms networks. And let you continue protecting your domestic markets while stealing/fleecing our companies’ technology. And we will carry on needlessly alienating Western allies at every opportunity to avoid inconveniencing your ‘rise’. And I am flattered that you agree with me and Putin that my intelligence services are peddling lies to me. And in return you will buy some soybeans. Done!”
Not only is the trade war postponed, but also the latest Brexit final deadline, Chinese deleveraging, a return to nasty and painful sane monetary policy by all central banks worldwide, dental appointments, tax due dates, and human mortality. Sadly, Hong Kong officials are proceeding with their annual Budget-as-kindergarten-announcement ritual.
Some interesting (or sobering, or inconvenient) reading to start the week off. A namby-pamby Panda-friendly interpretation of Trump’s laughably lame folding as realist statecraft. China’s entrepreneurs feel unwelcome at home as the neo-Maoist state seems to take over. A (paywalled) essay on the world’s biggest building as metaphor for China’s economy; and for bay Area fans, a Youtube video on a foreigner buying/selling more modest property in the mainland. And this week’s one-day-it’ll-happen prediction of China’s/everyone’s coming collapse.