Navarro is now walking back his ‘its over’ comments!

White House Trade Adviser Navarro is now speaking with the Wall Street Journal denying the trade deal with China is over.

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Earlier:
  • Peter Navarro declares trade deal with China is over
  • Risk trades getting smashed on the Navarro comments that trade deal with China is over
  • More on White House trade adviser Navarro announcing the trade deal with China is over

Now this:

  • Navarro tells the WSJ his comment about China trade being “over” not as seems.
  • Says he was trying to make broader point about “trust.”
  • ‘Its over’ was not about the phase 1 deal, that remains in place
OK, so the lack of comment from Trump was the tell – Navarro was wrong to say what he did. This is an epic f*ck up from Navarro. Says he was making a point about trust … what, not to trust a thing this idiot says?
Still, if you caught some of the moves its all good!

Tokyo Olympic exec floats idea of postponing the Games

A piece in the Wall Street Journal, posting as an ICYMI:

  • Haruyuki Takahashi is a member of the Tokyo Olympic Committee’s executive board, says if the Olympics can’t go ahead (scheduled to commence in July)  the most realistic option would be to delay the event by one or two years
Japan has a lot riding on the success of the Games, huge investment has already been poured into preparation and a cancellation would have a terrible impact on tourism, retail and such.
Other execs have expressed confidence in proceeding as planned:
  • “Not a chance,” Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori said Friday when asked whether the Games could be pushed back
A piece in the Wall Street Journal, posting as an ICYMI:

US to begin testing coronavirus vaccine in late April, results in July or August

For those looking for a shot of hopium, the WSJ have you covered.

  • Drugmaker Moderna has shipped the first batch of its rapidly developed coronavirus vaccine to U.S. government researchers
  • first human tests … by the end of April to start a clinical trial
  • Initial results could become available in July or August
Link here. (Journal may be gated)
“Late” April is what, two months away? Ugh.
Until then…
For those looking for a shot of hopium, the WSJ have you covered.

USTR calls out trade news speculation in latest statement

Specifically points the finger to the Wall St Journal ForexLive “Washington, DC –  Bob Davis and Lingling Wei at the Wall Street Journal, based on anonymous sources, have reported at least three times this week that the United States negotiators offered to cut by as much as one half the tariff rates on approximately $360 billion of Chinese imports in exchange for certain purchases.While we do not comment on the content of negotiations, we have said publicly and on the record that this is totally false, untrue and baseless.It did not happen. In addition and to be completely clear, we have personally, and on the record, told Mr. Davis and another Wall Street Journal reporter repeatedly that this is utterly false. No such offer was ever made to China by the United States. There is not a single knowledgeable American negotiator who would support this falsehood. Further, there is no Chinese negotiator who could honestly be this source.We will not speculate on why the Chinese or an American uninvolved with these negotiations would manipulate the story. This is another example of reporting on an  important alleged event based on secret sources, some of which may have obvious bias. The Wall Street Journal should make very clear that those actually involved for the United States have so clearly indicated that they are untrue, fabricated falsehoods. It should also expose possible biases of the anonymous source.” was the article in question that they are specifically referencing. To be fair to the WSJ, there will also never be any proof to substantiate the claims made by the USTR above.

China wants 15% tariffs imposed on Sept 1 removed in trade deal

Politico report

China is in a ‘full court press’ to get the 15% tariff imposed by Trump on $112B of goods removed before it signs the Phase One trade deal, according to Politico.
U.S. officials are currently struggling over how to make sure China lives up to its side of the deal. The main enforcement mechanism being considered is that all the tariffs could be re-imposed, one of the people said.
They cited a White House official who said the deal is almost there but there are still hangups on forced technology transfers and IP protections.
China hasn’t decided yet on signing the deal in the US or a neutral location.

China has offered for Trump to meet Xi in Macau as alternative to Chile

Fox News report

Edward Lawrence from Fox News reports that China has offered that the Trump travel to Macau to sign the Phase One trade deal, rather than the planned meet-up in Santiago, Chile.
Earlier today, Chile cancelled the APEC summit planned for November because of huge protests that have hit the country related to the high cost of living.
Markets wobbled on the initial announcement of the cancellation of the APEC summit but I don’t see it as any true obstacle to a Phase One deal. It’s a logistical problem but no reason to walk away from an agreement that — by all accounts — is very close to completion.

FOMC meet today – rate cut is widely expected but its ‘what’s next?’ of most focus

Via the WSJ a good in summary look at what will be the focus in the
  • Without signs of a sharper deterioration in economic data, officials on Wednesday may seek to tamp down on expectations that they will keep cutting rates-including at their final scheduled meeting of the year in December
  • At the same time, soft economic data of late could make officials uncomfortable delivering an “all clear” signal, particularly because any residual damage from the U.S.-China trade war may not yet be fully reflected. 
The Journal characterize Powell press conference as him walking a tightrope given those two points they make.
Other metaphors include:
  •  “The challenge is threading a needle where the eye has become extremely tiny,” said Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley
Link here for more, may be gated.
Earlier previews of the Federal Reserve Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting are here:

Crypto news – Visa, Mastercard, reconsider involvement in Facebook’s Libra network

The Wall Street Journal report second thoughts from big payment companies on the cryptocurrency.

  • Visa, Mastercard and other key financial partners that signed on to help build and maintain the Libra payments network are reconsidering their involvement following backlash from U.S. and European government officials, according to people familiar with the matter. 
  • Wary of attracting regulatory scrutiny, executives of some of Libra’s backers have declined Facebook’s requests to publicly support the project, the people said.
  • Their reluctance has Facebook scrambling to keep Libra on track. 
WSJ is gated, but here is the link if you can access it
Meanwhile, BTC price chart update:The Wall Street Journal report second thoughts from big payment companies on the cryptocurrency.

ICYMI – White House Kudlow says US and China may never reach a trade deal

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaking Tuesday (US time) in an interview. In brief:

  • United States and China may never be able to reach a trade deal
  • Due to the difficulty in resolving the remaining issues
  • said he was an optimist by nature and still believed a deal was possible
I wonder what finally tipped Kudlow into this realisation?
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaking Tuesday (US time) in an interview. In brief:

WSJ reports that ‘Iran Threatens to Pull Out of Nuclear Treaty, Like North Korea’

A piece in the Wall Street Journal on the threats from Iran (in case you missed them) that it will potentially follow the path of North Korea

  • Iran warned that if the 2015 nuclear agreement unravels, it make like NK and depart the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Says the Journal – “threat, voiced by an Iranian official to reporters”
Link here for more (WSJ is gated)
Middle East tensions continue to simmer away.
A piece in the Wall Street Journal on the threats from Iran (in case you missed them) that it will potentially follow the path of North Korea Takes notes! CC in Iran!