Fed Fired Thursday – Sessions Gone, Powell Speaks
Trump finally fired his whipping boy, Jeff Sessions and, while we may forget it because he's become a National joke, thanks in large part to the way Trump has demeaned him for two years, he is/was the Attorney General of the United States of America and firing him is a big deal. And Trump's reasons for firing him are very similar to Nixon's reason for firing AG Archibald Cox in the summer of '73 – to derail an investigation into the President's corrupt dealings.
Like Nixon, Trump is placing a loyal stooge in Sessions' place (one who is not technically qualified to be the AG, in fact), Acting AG, Mattthew Whitaker, was hand-picked by Trump and was once a US Attorney in Iowa but then joined the board of World Patent Marketing in 2014 saying:
> “As a former US Attorney, I would only align myself with a first class organization. World Patent Marketing goes beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translates them into action.”
The Federal Trade Commission last year accused World Patent Marketing Inc., of Miami Beach, Fla., of scamming would-be inventors by charging them thousands of dollars to patent and promote their inventions. The company “provided almost no service in return” and threatened people who complained, the regulator said.
The FTC alleged that the scheme, which it said was promoted through “bogus ‘success stories’ and testimonials,” began in early 2014. The agency found that consumers lost about $26 million; some allegedly ended up in debt or lost their life savings.
> World Patent Marketing promotionalvideosandphotosshow Mr. Whitaker reviewing invention ideas with the company’s founder, and the FTC included in court exhibits an email from Mr. Whitaker acting on behalf of the company and threatening a customer who complained with potential “serious civil and criminal consequences.” TheAugust 2015 emailwas reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Usually something like that in an attorney's past would immediately derail any chance they had of becomming the Attorney General of the United States of America but this is the Trump Administration where consumer scams, tax frauds and sexual harassment are resume highlights for those who serve the President.
None of that matters today. It took a full year for Nixon to finally resign after his "Saturday Night Massacre" so firing the AG was an effective strategy that bought Nixon another year before he finally fell as he had the US Justice Department (on his side) and was able to ignore subpeonas for tapes, etc. for quite a while. And, don't forget, the Republicans in the Senate and Congress finally got Fed up with Nixon while the current GOP Senate pretty much has Trump's back so it's likely going to take an election to remove Trump at this point – even if Mueller does get to finish his investigation (now doubtful).
Still, Trump hasn't been bad for the markets so now it's up to the Fed to keep the party going and we have a rate decision from the FOMC at 2pm this afternoon and Powell has become another whipping boy for Trump to blame his problems on and it's not that likely he will stand up to the President and raise rates now that he's seen what Trump is willing to do to those that displease him.
Notthing has really changed in the markets and we're still fundamentally overbought and that mild correction hasn't changed anything nor did earnings justify higher values than the very high ones we're already trading at so generally, we remain well-hedged – certainly into today's Fed decision and then over the weekend while Trump is possibly going to have Whitaker fire Mueller or curtail the investigation which would then lead to a not-yet-in-control-of-congress Democratic melt-down.
And Russia and China Trade and Saudi Arabia and Italy and California shootings and Inflation and Debt…. Yep, we'll be keeping those hedges…