Wednesday, February 1, 2017

How to make Mexico pay for the wall


All the Trump people have to do is tax this Mexico USD account with the $47B account balance for the $10B and then Mexico would be paying for the wall in USDs.  And btw they better act fast the account is in free-fall.

But they probably are too stupid to understand this and instead look at it as somehow an account of what the US owes Mexico like a loan balance or something...






87 comments:

Auburn Parks said...

How do you tax someone's TSY CD?

Matt Franko said...

Just direct the Fed move some of the securities into the Treasury's own securities account...

Or have Treasury redeem some and move the USD balances into the Treasury's USD account...

Probably numerous ways to do the accounting.... let the accountants figure that out that is what they do....

Trump wouldnt even need Congress to approve this (not that anyone there understands any of this...) he could implement his own border tax by Executive action...

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/23/news/economy/trump-tariff-power/

Penguin pop said...

It always seems people have these things backwards when it should be so apparent it's the contrary.

Footsoldier said...

WTF ??

Ireland 3rd dollar zombie on the list ?

Matt Franko said...

It's a libertarian utopia penguin ...

Matt Franko said...

Apple...

Footsoldier said...

Are you sure this is a correct table ?

Those aren't the UK state's beneficial holdings at the Fed (total UK foreign exchange reserves, everything included, gold, the lot) are $136bn (gross).

Footsoldier said...

Ireland being 3rd on the list is setting alarm bells here.

Where did you get this list from ?

Matt Franko said...

It's total national not just official... click on the link total official is at the bottom but not broken out by nation...

Matt Franko said...

From the US Treasury there is a link in the first sentence...

Matt Franko said...

I believe Apple has most of their $bazillions stashed in Ireland... they just published they have about $246B in "cash" of some nations...

Footsoldier said...

It would be a 'nuclear option'. US default would end financial markets as we know them.

If Trump tried it with other countries. They could just add them back again at their central bank ? Using the currency the US holds at their central banks.

Footsoldier said...



What if Mexico transferred its holdings into CEDEL/Euroclear?

They'd all be mixed in with Chinese and Japanese holdings, all apparently held by Belgium (CEDEL/Euroclear are in Brussels).

Over to you, Mr. Trump.

Tom Hickey said...

How do you tax someone's TSY CD?

Easy. Tax financial assets including tsys. Tsys are tax credits in savings accounts at the cb. Owners of tsys in aggregate will have to sell tsys to convert them to tax credits in the form of settlement balances, which are the tax credits used to pay taxes, or else convert the settlement balances to cash. These operations are handled by the taxpayers bank through the bank's account at the cb, which is then reflected in the taxpayer's account at the bank. The cb uses monetary operations to ensure that all transactions clear seamlessly.

Tys are simply the tax credits that the government leaves in nongovernment as a buffer stock from which to pay taxes by accommodating net saving in aggregate in the currency.

Tom Hickey said...

Ireland 3rd dollar zombie on the list ?

Tax haven. US corps locate in Ireland owing to favorable tax treatment.

Tom Hickey said...

It would be a 'nuclear option'. US default would end financial markets as we know them

More like a neutron option. It would kill all living tings leaving infrastructure intact as the global economy comes to a screeching halt and everyone starves to death.

Matt Franko said...

He could direct the Fed not to do the transfer....

I wonder if all of these people who stash USDs offshore understand that Trump has direct access to those accounts via a border tax if he wants them without even having to go thru Congress.... hmmmmmmm

Jure Jordan said...

Such stupidity coupled with nastiness. I hope he will not be able to do it.
Its like saying, i owe money to my naighbour so i will charge my debt to him to pay for fixing my pool liner. He was using my pool few times so i can do it.

Well, that would be a better option then making money by getting mexican criminals to trade drugs across the border and better option then making money on underpaying on illegals, or better option then meddling in their election in order to install drug lords as presidents to Mexico.

Why such nastiness is creeping up on MMT people?

Matt Franko said...

Its not "nastiness!" its called "getting even!"... "eye for an eye!", etc... this is Trump's M.O.

btw the account is falling rapidly anyway it might be all gone soon then Trump is up a creek..

They have had it real good for the last 10 years it might now be turning around and they are going to have to suck it up and be satisfied using their own currency system...

Jure Jordan said...

"getting even" for what?
Whos abusing whoom? US is abusing Mexico or is other way around? What history has to say about that?

Bob said...

Better than dropping tons of bombs in order to "get even".

MRW said...

They have had it real good for the last 10 years it might now be turning around and they are going to have to suck it up and be satisfied using their own currency system...

Yeah, let's shoot ourselves in the foot and get rid of the USD as a reserve currency. That's the ticket. Impoverish ourselves. Destroy the credibility in our own currency because we don't like running deficits to provide the world with liquidity as the reserve currency holder.

lastgreek said...

"getting even" for what?
Whos abusing whoom? US is abusing Mexico or is other way around? What history has to say about that?


The TV reality host from Queens and self-declared pussy-grabber believes that Mexico, since NAFTA, has been making out like banditos.

Btw...

NRKocherlakota ‏@kocherlakota009 Jan 26
If anyone should be wondering about NAFTA, seems like it should be Mexico: no sign of any convergence to US standard of living since 1/1/94.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3Hur0vXUAAfzvK.jpg:large

lastgreek said...

Better than dropping tons of bombs in order to "get even".

Unless of course Mexico is made to pay for those bombs. Ever think of that, Bob? Eh?

Bob said...

LOL
A variation of this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullet_fee

John said...

There's no doubt that mechanisms exist to transfer money from Mexico's account and make it pay for the wall. The question is will Trump come to his senses and decide this is a bad idea. A country has the right to do what it likes on its territory. If it wants to build a wall, it has that right. If it wants to paint flowers or swastikas on it, it has that right.

The question is, why should Mexico pay? What has it done for the US to steal its money? If the US wants to renegotiate Nafta such that enough money comes back the other way to pay for the wall, and Mexico agrees, then that's a legally negotiated treaty. What Trump and the Trumptards are calling for is not law but theft.

If Trump were honest, a hard ask admittedly, he would state that it is the US that has made out like bandits. Working people have suffered but the US has done well out of Nafta and other globalisation treaties. He can't say any of that because it would take away from his insistence that all previous presidents have been "losers" and "stupid", especially the black Kenyan Muslim, who clearly was an illegal president, and was also, you know, BLACK.

Bubba who was an exception to all previous presidents being "losers" and "stupid". According to Trump, the former rapist in chief was a "great president" and had to put up with the ludicrous circus of impeachment and the "loser" Paula Jones. Perhaps Trump sees a fellow spirit in the former rapist in chief., declaring that it would be difficult for him to run for office because:
"Can you imagine how controversial that would be? You think about him [Clinton] with women. How about me with women."

Matt Franko said...

" it is the US that has made out like bandits."

Arent you guys the ones who get all triggered by the "inequality!" issue ?

Sure the top end has made a lot of munnie but they are not who voted for Trump...

and the risk for Mexico is if they run out of USD will they turn into another Venezuela...

the times they are a changin'....

lastgreek said...

Every mornin' at the mine
you could see him arrive. He
stood six-foot-six and
weighed two-forty-five

Kinda broad at the shoulder
and narrow at the hip, and
everybody knew you didn't
give no lip to Big John.

(Big John, Big John...)

BIG BAD JOHN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy7arhKbQkQ

Jure Jordan said...

Matt
On both sides rich made out like bandits and on both sides poor are treated as bandits. Everyone is a bandit in NAFTA.

John said...

Matt: "Arent you guys the ones who get all triggered by the "inequality!" issue ?"

I don't deny that, but we're just making factual observations. Working America has done badly and corporate America has done extremely well, which are the crude GDP figures economists concentrate on when judging if a country, not the people, has benefited, because to them the two are pretty much synonymous. I don't think that anyone can make a seriously argument to the contrary about working and corporate America.

lastgreek, and here I am with the body of a long distance runner! Anyway, who wants to look like an NFL piece of rotting meat that's been pumped full with steroids, leaving the hapless victim all but brain-dead?

Jeff65 said...

"getting even"

What the fuck did Mexico ever do to the USA?

Matt Franko said...

"we’re being ripped off with China, ripped off with Japan, ripped off with Mexico at the border and then trade, "

http://www.ibtimes.com/donald-trump-accuses-china-india-vietnam-mexico-poaching-american-jobs-2320969

They have been ripping us off for over 10 years... now its time to "get even!"...

Bob said...

When they aren't "great" they're ripping us off. Trump's world is a black and white world.

John said...

How so? How can China, Japan and Mexico rip off the US off by selling products that Americans want, after signing negotiated trade treaties with the US? That only makes sense in Trump's head, along with Obama not being a legal citizen. If he were to say the Dems and the Reps ripped off working America, that would be one thing, but this is something else. Or perhaps it's just more nationalistic grandstanding that has zero truth but is meant to raise the blood of the "'Murica, Fuck Yeah!" crowd?

Bob said...

Big Bad John was one hell of a man... unlike Donny Tiny Hands.

Matt Franko said...

"If he were to say the Dems and the Reps ripped off working America,"

That is exactly what he is saying and exactly why he won, he wasnt running against Mexico .... he ran against both Dem policy and the GOP establishment economic policy...

Dems remaining clueless... GOP establishment may be coming around...

And btw all the Mexico guy has to tell Trump is that they are going to work with him to run this account down to zero and balance the current account over a 3 year period and he would like to work with him to put a transition plan together and all of this goes away...

Then LOL the loonie left would say "he didnt build the wall!" like the idiots they are....

John said...

Jeff65: "What the fuck did Mexico ever do to the USA?"

It let half its territory get stolen by its northern neighbour.

As Trump would say, "losers". Just like "loser" rape victims, while the rapist was a "great president". And just like the "loser" Obama who had no right to even be president, being a Kenyan Muslim, probably, and, you know, BLACK.

John said...

Matt: "he wasnt running against Mexico ...."

Who are you kidding?

Trump: "They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

"Some, I assume," meaning the majority aren't good people. And it's only at best an assumption, and is more likely for the opposite to be the case: none are good people.

If he wasn't running against Mexico, why say Mexico has to build the wall? The US can build a wall ten miles high if it wants. Trump wasn't making that case, was he? He was making an anti-Mexico case. And all the "loonie left" and "idiot" gibes don't change those facts.


Matt Franko said...

He was appealing to part of the US electorate... via "the wall!", "Mexico!" metaphors...

You have to "win!" to get in... he was persuading people to vote for him... so you use language techniques, etc to convince people to vote for you...

Seems like the old breakdowns are gone... things like "labor", "1%", etc... not applicable...

Seems like "globalists" and "nationalists" is becoming the new "left" and "right"... old "labor" is folding into "nationalists" cohort... 1% is in "globalist" cohort...

Left: globalist

Right: nationalist

this is the whole "alt-right" thing... ie alt-right is "we dont need you and we dont want you..."

The US is turning inward (perhaps)... if so, ROW better figure it out...

Neil Wilson said...

"What Trump and the Trumptards are calling for is not law but theft. "

Is it, or is the Mexicans refusing to buy goods and services in the USA theft?

The US dollar is a US owned public monopoly. The US can cancel all dollars held overseas if it wants to - much like the Indians cancelled Ruple notes.

Hoarding notes as an export surplus is a form of theft. It is a theft of circulation and exporters do that to make space for their own exports. It's a deliberate policy.

There are several ways of dealing with damaging export surpluses in your currency. Taxation is one option. Cancellation is another. 30 days notice to spend or lose it is a third.

Or you can accommodate the saving via government purchasing the stuff Mexico doesn't want to buy and deploying it for the public good. Which is of course the MMT approach.

John said...

Neil, if the US buys something from Mexico, Mexico is under no legal obligation to buy anything from the US, under any law that's applied for as long as countries have been buying from and selling to each other. That cannot be considered theft. At an individual level no one would ever have any savings if they were always obligated to buy from the rest of society what they have just sold to any one member.

Moreover, leaving the legal argument to one side, who pushed for Nafta? Who has it affected most? Northern Mexico is a war zone. Should Mexico have signed Nafta? Probably not, but as we know, developmental economics is not easy and the pressure put on Mexico was immense. It's not as if those who signed it didn't know the likely outcome, not least the US who negotiated it almost in total secrecy. Unions were warning against signing it, and that's of what they were allowed to see.

"The US dollar is a US owned public monopoly. The US can cancel all dollars held overseas if it wants to - much like the Indians cancelled Ruple notes."

If you're arguing the case that after getting the goods and services from others, the recipient can bounce its own cheque, then yes that's clearly true. But it's also clearly true that that is the very definition of theft.

"Hoarding notes as an export surplus is a form of theft."

Come on now. It isn't any form of theft whatsoever. It was a legally binding contract, and everybody subject to it knew the details beforehand. Failure to honour the contract is theft. Mexico sold goods and services to the US. The US paid Mexico. End of contract, as international law understands it. We can add the last step, if you wish. Mexico hoards dollars, which is legal and something the US has not only never complained about in the past but actively encouraged. Now it is suddenly theft? It may be an unwise policy, but it isn't theft in any way, shape or form, except from perhaps their own people in allowing themselves to be bullied into accepting a bad treaty.

Would it be beneficial if Mexico took your advice? Yes, but that isn't the point here. The point is that there was no theft. Only retrospectively changing the understanding of the terms and conditions of the contract will make Mexico's hoarding of dollars theft.

Matt Franko said...

"The US can cancel all dollars held overseas if it wants to -"

Neil and if you read this:

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/23/news/economy/trump-tariff-power/

It doesnt even take an act of Congress the Executive has this authority on his/her own... SCARY!!!!

Do these people understand this?

Thought all of their "money!" was safe and sound in their offshore accounts?

they perhaps should be s-ing their pants....

John said...

Matt, all you're saying is that at no stage should we take Trump's declarations seriously because he's using metaphors, but we don't know where and when, appealing to different constituencies, but we don't know where and when, and the old breakdowns of language are sometimes relevant but sometimes irrelevant, but again we will never know where and when this may be. That is to say, Trump is always right.

Although Trump may inform us of this when he feels the time is ripe, but even then that is subject to reinterpretation when he decides. So he will always be right, even when he's wrong, because he can just say that when he was wrong he was in fact right and that people should get with the new linguistic program of Trump speak. Now, this crystal clear new language of five-year-old syntax boils down to: I should just accept that when Trump isn't making any sense it's because he's the guru speaking from a higher spiritual dimension.


John said...

Matt: "It doesnt even take an act of Congress the Executive has this authority on his/her own... SCARY!!!!"

I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case with most countries.

The UK's House of Lords decided that when you hand over your money to a bank, it is no longer yours. The bank is under no legal requirement to give it back to you. Perhaps the law has been changed since then.

Ignacio said...

Acquisitors will never hurt the acquisitor class overall, it didn't even happen over the course of WWII.

Trump is not an idiot, he won't ever touch foreign claims of USD as it would be REALLY, REALLY bad for his own personal business and others around him. Same reason why he is running an hypocritical foreign travel ban on some countries.

Is all fake nationalism and you are getting conned just like Obama supporters were conned by all the "Hope." bullshit.

The ruling class hasn't changed they still are still basically the same capital globalists with a slight different flavor.

Penguin pop said...

"
Acquisitors will never hurt the acquisitor class overall, it didn't even happen over the course of WWII.

Trump is not an idiot, he won't ever touch foreign claims of USD as it would be REALLY, REALLY bad for his own personal business and others around him. Same reason why he is running an hypocritical foreign travel ban on some countries.

Is all fake nationalism and you are getting conned just like Obama supporters were conned by all the "Hope." bullshit.

The ruling class hasn't changed they still are still basically the same capital globalists with a slight different flavor."

Bingo. I don't know how else to explain the obvious to people. The adolescent dummy-in-chief conned you all. The apologetics for this moron astound me. I still have people trying to argue with me about this guy being so wealthy when I see the whole tax return thing as the kind of crap he pulled years ago hounding Obama for his birth certificate and not being able to take the same treatment thrown back at him.

In other words, same shit, different day. This is why I'm so fed up with politics and these change candidates that pop up every 8 years and don't do anything good at the end. All hot air and pure bullshit as far as I can tell and I don't read any mainstream news outlets either, so don't think what I'm saying has anything to do with George Soros, Koch Brothers or whatever distraction you want to use.

Matt Franko said...

John he is not an academic that is a big change from the Obama people...

These acquisitor class people communicate differently... everything is "a deal!" to them... its not like they are going to write a peer reviewed paper to put in some Journal or wtf to make their points...

Ignacio, imo he is just signaling what the deal should be over to the Mexicans but it remains to be seen if the Mexicans understand this type of approach and/or are willing to meet halfway...

Some deals can be "win/win" or some can be "win/lose".... Trump is saying it has been "win/lose" and wants to change it to "win/win" but there is a way to do this back and forth...

But again he might be assuming the Mexico people are like him... they might not be understanding what he is doing...

The US mainstream press certainly does not but they are not in his acquisitor class either...

All we can do is try to stay a half step ahead of all of this if we are lucky...

John said...

Ignacio and Penguin, right about the fake nationalism over the travel ban. It has nothing to do with terrorism. If you wanted to do something about terrorism, you'd go after the Saudis and the other Gulf states.

Matt and company, I'm waiting for Mexico to call his bluff. You can be sure the Rep and Dem high commands are telling Mexico that Trump is a bluffer, and that they'd be doing everybody a favour if they called him out. If and when Trump folds, he'll look like a pussy, and whoever has to negotiate with him in future will know he's all bluster. It's high stakes, and Mexico, as is fitting, gets to be the first country to take a swing at the champ. Knowing Mexico's, penchant for suicidal stupidity, it may turn into a Mexican standoff, the Mexicans shooting themselves and with the gringo calmly walking out looking supercool like Clint Eastwood.

John said...

Matt: "But again he might be assuming the Mexico people are like him... they might not be understanding what he is doing..."

I think it's safe to say nobody understands what he is doing, either because that's his strategy of unbalancing everyone or he's crisis prone even at this early stage, but there is a lot of truth in the observation. This is a situation that can veer out of control because one or both sides misunderstand the other. It'll be the trade equivalent of "The Guns of August". If anything, Trump should assume that the government of Mexico are not like him and do not understand him because he is such an outside character.

Kristjan said...

The wall has almost nothing to do with illegal immigration. If Americans wanted to get rid of people working there illegaly then they could copy the model of Canada or almost any other country in the world. Illegal Mexicans are paying federal taxes when they work. If IRS repoprted to INS the fake ss numbers or whathaveyou then every illegal would be cought pretty fast. Trump Wall is an empty talk, just like many other presidents before him have done: "toughen border security". It gets them points but doesn't take care of the problem. I don't know if it is corporate lobby or something else but many presidents before Trump have earned those points without results. They can't be that stupid? This is not unconstitutional what I am talking about?

And it is not just about the anti immigration people. Illegals pay federal taxes without the benefits, they are "second class citizens". No wonder Mexicans are in gangs. I am pretty sure the politicians before Trump had no intentions of fixing this. It might be too early for Trump yet but It seems he is not going to fix It.

John said...

Kristjan: "The wall has almost nothing to do with illegal immigration."

Exactly. The vast majority of illegal immigration goes on through the ports. When was the last time...scrap that... first time you heard Trump talking about the ports? Good government is about policies that actually work. Going on about a wall is a nationalistic PR exercise. If Washington wants to build a wall into space, fine, but it'll have little to with immigration. It's like the defence budget has nothing to do with actual defence.

Ignacio said...

Matt how are Mexicans going to pay for a wall that they won't have ownership over? That's a steal!

It will be owned by the US government then has to be paid by the US government. They would be dumb to cave in any of this nonsense, specially knowing Trump will NEVER really retaliate.

Ignacio said...

It was a mistake for him to say "... and Mexicans will pay for it!", he will use marketing and time to fade that part of the promises to the public and be done with it (that's if the wall is ever done).

André said...

I'm not familiar with USA legal system, but it seems to me that this time you are out of touch with reality. I may be wrong, but USA is a democracy and there is the concept of "due process of law". The president can't suddenly create a new kind of tax or default in public debt without enough democratic debate.

Matt Franko said...
"Just direct the Fed move some of the securities into the Treasury's own securities account..."
"Or have Treasury redeem some and move the USD balances into the Treasury's USD account..."

First of all, this is default in public debt. I can’t see how it’s good to anyone. Although I can be wrong, because I don’t know much of USA politics, I guess the president doesn’t have the power to do that. I guess it would have to go through a complex debate in Congress. That’s not easy at all, and, in my humble opinion, it would do more harm than good.


Tom Hickey said...
"Easy. Tax financial assets including tsys."

Not easy at all. Creating new taxation is not a simple matter. It is actually very hard. Again, I’m not familiar with USA legal system, but I believe that new taxes are born after long and complex debates and negotiation in Congress. But at least this seems better than defaulting in the public debt.

Don’t use your MMT knowledge to do evil. Use it to do good. As spider man’s uncle once said, “with great power comes great responsibility” :P


lastgreek said...

When was the last time...scrap that... first time you heard Trump talking about the ports?

Here's the "genius" recently talking about ... pipelines!

"These are big pipes. Now, the only way I can imagine they [ship them] is they must have to cut them. Because they're so big, I can't imagine — they take up so much room — I can't imagine you could put that much pipe on ships. It's not enough. It's not long enough," he said.

LOL ... what a goofball!

Trump gives an inaccurate explanation of how pipelines are built and shipped

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/30/pipelines-trump-gives-wrong-explanation-of-how-theyre-built-shipped.html

(via Mosler's site)

Six said...

Why doesn't the orange half-wit like Mexico?

John said...

lastgreek, as usual you have to read and reread and reread Trump's comments to gauge what it is his brain is trying to communicate with his mouth.

For further comic relief, the birther in chief added: "So I assume they have to fabricate and cut, which hurts the pipe, by the way." It "hurts the pipe"! The "I assume" is an absolute killer, but the "by the way" leaves you crying with laughter!

Hilarious stuff. Dubya can't believe his luck. He's starting to look smart.

Maybe this is Trump's trade negotiating strategy. The Chinese and Mexican negotiators will give in to his demands to save themselves from death by laughter.

John said...

Six: "Why doesn't the orange half-wit like Mexico?"

Maybe he's obsessed with their barbaric treatment of pipes!

Matt Franko said...

Oh hold on Update: Looks like he may invade instead....


https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-mexico-care-bad-hombres-us-might-231304076--politics.html


-"You have a bunch of bad hombres down there," Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. "You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn't, so I just might send them down to take care of it."

I like my idea better.....

Can't even make it up.....

Magpie said...

lastgreek said...


NRKocherlakota ‏@kocherlakota009 Jan 26
If anyone should be wondering about NAFTA, seems like it should be Mexico: no sign of any convergence to US standard of living since 1/1/94.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C3Hur0vXUAAfzvK.jpg:large


But... but... but... didn't globalisation and free trade lift millions of people out of poverty?

----------

That's what I like about economists of the "let's defend capitalism" variety: when it comes to defend the interests of capitalists, they have no scruples or shame to argue A and not(A), counting on people's short memories.

Those older among us may remember (kiddies will have to take our words for that): when those economists began peddling globalisation and free trade, the idea was that everybody (workers, capitalists, consumers), in the third world (say, Mexico) and in the first world (say, US) would be better off.

Decades pass and eventually it becomes impossible to deny that first world (say, US) workers are not better off; in fact, they are worse off. But we cannot stop free trade and globalisation: first world workers (say, US workers) must make a sacrifice, must be philanthropic, because free trade/globalisation/capitalism has lifted millions of people out of poverty in the third world (say, Mexico).

With Kocherlakota comes the final step: in fact, third world workers (say Mexicans) have actually lost, so US workers should stick to free trade. They may think themselves poorer, but that's just because they are so dumb.

I suppose now they'll ask Mexican workers to be philanthropic.

Give me a break. Capitalism sucks, big time.

Penguin pop said...

The new Law and Order president then. Taking a page from the Nixon playbook. Oh yeah.

John said...

Matt, I thought that was more dry humour on your part, but I clicked the link and it's true! Holy pinata, it's true!

As with all such cases of embarrassing truths coming out, the Mexican foreign office is denying it, but independent sources are nevertheless sticking to the story that Trump threatened to invade Mexico and take care of the ill-defined "bad hombres", who may or may not be hurting pipes.

Moreover the reports claim that Trump was "confrontational" and "humiliated" the President of Mexico.

Trump's either got a great poker face or the man is a lunatic.

So we've had Trump go full retard on Mexico, Iran, EU, China, hmmm, who's next?

Penguin pop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penguin pop said...

Theresa May will call Trump a sexist behind his back and Trump will get into a pissy Twitter war with her. That's one of the possibilities. Maybe something with Canada in the future. Who knows?

Matt Franko said...

Magpie it's based on the theory of Comparative Advantage in Economics from the gold standard era....

It is still being taught out there....

Also looks like Trumps first call with your PM didn't go too good:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/no-gday-mate-on-call-with-australian-pm-trump-badgers-and-brags/2017/02/01/88a3bfb0-e8bf-11e6-80c2-30e57e57e05d_story.html?postshare=6171485996562150&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.43292e607003

Matt Franko said...

John,

Looks like Australia see the link above... seems like he is intentionally trying to piss all these people off....

John said...

Penguin: "Maybe something with Canada in the future. Who knows?"

Whatever happened to that law suit against the Daily Mail for printing Melania being a former prostitute? Perhaps it'll be the Daily Mail who'll next get ripped a new one, but Matt's link shows Trump haranguing Australia's PM!

Australia's so supine it makes the UK look positively recalcitrant, and yet he takes the Australian PM apart! Interesting that Trump blasted Turnbull for the "worst deal ever". It's a nervous tick, With Trump everything is "the worst deal ever" and everyone is a "loser".

DoD, State, CIA, etc must be getting seriously worried by this behaviour.

John said...

Matt, I don't get this at all. Pissing off your enemies is one thing, but pissing off your friends? I mean, WTF? I'm going to try it later in the day and see how it works out. Perhaps there's something to it!

John said...

"At one point Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin — and that “This was the worst call by far."

No shit.

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, I don't get this at all. Pissing off your enemies is one thing, but pissing off your friends? I mean, WTF? I'm going to try it later in the day and see how it works out. Perhaps there's something to it!

Intimidation.

Generally, presidents get tested shortly after they take office. DJT knew this himself, or his advisers told him, and he is just getting ahead of the curve in his own "New York" in-your-face style.

Matt Franko said...

Tom,

All of this goes back to your "rent" issue imo... oil rent was just too damn high and for too long...

The rentiers are all atrophied and the payors are all pissed off....

John said...

Tom: "Intimidation."

Perfectly true, but eventually countries like Australia will tell him to go fuck himself. What's he going to do? France and Germany did it to Dubya when he wanted them on board for the Iraq war. Developed countries can always assert their own independence. They'd rather work with Washington, but after a while you say enough is enough, go fuck yourself.

Tom, what would you do if you were PM or Prez of a developed industrial country? Let yourself and your country be a doormat? No, you have to give as good as you get. Turnbull did a bit of that, and that's why Trump ended the call. Ask yourself, other than having a hissy fit, what could Trump do to Australia? Tell them stupid stories about pipes being hurt?

That's why the call with Putin was "the worst call". Putin basically told him in diplomatic terms to go fuck himself. Russia has interests, and bromance or no concocted media bromance, it means nothing. The rubber met the road, and Putin told him how things are. China will do the same, but more forcefully because they know what's coming. It's big boys rules in the toughest arena there is, and even the PM of Australia showed that backing down is not an option. The President of Mexico showed that. The only person who hasn't is, to no one's surprise, our very own PM of the United Kingdom! Any PM or Prez of an advanced country who does not tell Trump to go fuck himself has no sense whatever. After tearing the Oval Office apart, he may even respect you for it.

John said...

Matt, you're posting links that make Trump look kooky. Looks like even you're getting a little nervous by your boy's behaviour!

Tom Hickey said...

The American elite in general and not only Trump strong believes that it holds the "trump" card in having the largest economy and the biggest market. The implication of this is that others should "pay admission" or be put at a disadvantage, as in an offer you can't refuse. "Nice little country your got going there; it would be shame if anything happened to it."

Btw, Tillerson was just confirmed and is already talking publicly about ousting Maduro in Venezuela.

The US likely to be very macho under Trump.

Bob said...

If this continues we're going to have to build a wall to keep American refugees out of Canada.

John said...

Tom: "The implication of this is that others should "pay admission" or be put at a disadvantage, as in an offer you can't refuse."

That is not *entirely* true. It's what some have called "imperialism by invitation", but no president in history has decided that everyone has to kiss the ring on his mad terms. Usually there is a diplomatic negotiation that ends with something beneficial to both sides, but always more beneficial to the hegemon. The US is only just pipping the EU as the biggest market, but the EU, China and Russia are not going to give in to Trump's ludicrous demands. And neither is Australia, and neither is Mexico. They can't do it even if they were crazy enough to want to. No matter how much Trump huffs and puffs, Mexico is not going to pay for the wall. If Trump stops banging on about it, everyone is going to forget about it anyway. And so it goes with many other international issues. What, China is going to stop building of naval islands because Trump says so? The EU is going to dismantle itself? These are ludicrous demands, and everyone in the world knows it, and some are not even in the interests of the United States!

As the hegemon, you have a responsibility to the world system. Naturally, you take advantage of it because you are the hegemonic power and the rules have, to all intents and purposes, been written by you, but there is a responsibility that goes with that. There is a huge difference between using hegemonic power to take advantage and using hegemonic power to abuse the system, especially against powers that can say NO, and don't think they won't. The current thinking amongst the Trump apologists seems to be that no one before Trump ever thought of just making ludicrous demands, and that everybody would automatically accept. Really, that's their great insight? Well, welcome to the real world, a world in which Russia and China and anybody who is in your crosshairs makes life as difficult for you as possible.

Steve D said...

tired of your nonsensical bullshit Franko-MNE, just go fuck yourselves. No more.

Tom Hickey said...

That is not *entirely* true. It's what some have called "imperialism by invitation", but no president in history has decided that everyone has to kiss the ring on his mad terms. Usually there is a diplomatic negotiation that ends with something beneficial to both sides, but always more beneficial to the hegemon.

It's really a matter of style. Trump is just more "New York" ini-your-face about it. But the deal is essentially the same. Take it or leave it.

Tom Hickey said...

One also has to remember that the deep state and the factions of the US elite opposed to Trump are throwing everything they can muster at him in the media, on social media, etc. Unprecedented. There are a number of posts about how there is a soft coup in the works.

There was huge opposition to FDR, too. But he rallied the people to his cause through skillful persuasion as in the Fireside Chats and his many rousing speeches. "I welcome their hatred." That's mostly forgotten now.

So chill a bit and enjoy the show. There's never been anything quite like this.

Magpie said...


Matt Franko said...

The Donald to Turnbull(-shit): "This was the worst call by far"

Ouch! The Donald giving the member for Goldman Sachs a bad day...

Poor, poor Mal.

God knows I don't like The Donald, but fair is fair. Good on'ya, mate.

Magpie said...


@Matt Franko

Man, I've had a smile in my face since I read the WaPo story. Thanks for the link.

And the thing is that a few years back all the talk was about Turnbull being also a narcissist, just like Trump now is said to be one. This must have hurt Mal real baaaaad.

Oh, Lord. Schadenfreude feels so fucking good.

Matt Franko said...

"ousting Maduro in Venezuela."

Tom I think they will probably try to suck Mexico dry of USDs first... before they would want more supply from Venezuela to come in...

Ryan H. is saying Texas is going good again.... probably headed for export now that is legal and the customers have USDs to spend... but eventually they will probably hit bottom on the USDs they have....

Bob said...

Raising the price of oil won't help to oust Maduro...

Matt Franko said...

"your boy's behaviour!"

He's not my boy LOL.... the point here was to simply point out that they are all going all around trying to figure out how to get Mexico to pay for "the wall!" and they are too stupid to realize they have $47B sitting in a Mexico account right under their own noses at their own bank... they're stupid...

Matt Franko said...

You guys are the ones saying these people have it all figured out and its this big "neo-liberal conspiracy!" and they have the whole thing wired. ... they dont have shit figured out they are all going around thinking 'we're out of money!'... they're idiots..

Six said...

So, Mexico won't be spending their $47 billion in the US private sector. Instead, they will spend $35 billion in the US private sector and pay a $12 billion fence tax via a US-financial-assets-pay-for-the-wall-tax. The US non-government sector would be better off if the US government paid for the wall. Even Matt should agree, because it would increase "top line spending".

John said...

Matt, I understood what you were trying to clarify, but I always thought that was obvious because of the way assets can be easily frozen. Apologies are in order. I thought you were a Trump guy! But I should have remembered that as a GOPer yourself, Trump may yet irreparably split the GOP into many constituent warring parts: conservative Christians, fiscal conservatives, big state crony corporatists, globalist right, etc.