Cohn’s departure impact: Meh

Well what do you know, the sun came up Thursday morning just as it did before Gary Cohn was fired for insubordination from the White House for his Tariff Tantrum.

Oh and the market sell off that the media warned about? Futures are green this morning after a tepid down day on Wednesday.

Cohn was asked to step aside after failing to voice support for the president’s directive to place tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. In an Oval Office showdown Cohn declined to answer Trump when asked.

The key word in Cohn’s title was White House Economic ADVISOR. Pretty foolish of him if he didn’t realize that the President takes advice from many quarters and decides.

The alleged architect of the Trump tax overhaul, which certainly is a misnomer since much of the tax plan was devised during the campaign, while Cohn was still finding busy work to do at Goldman Sachs.

And two points on these dreaded tariffs. One, Trump said on the campaign that he would try to help the little remaining metal-processing industries left in the rust belt states and two, the import taxes charged for the metals is more token than hardship for the manufacturers buying the raw material.

What I don’t understand is how Cohn and the media were surprised by the tariff move. The Trump administration has always been more nationalistic than globalist on trade agreements and economic initiatives.

So all of a sudden now a trade war is striking fear in the hearts of Washington? Or is it that Cohn was a Democrat?

Anyway, good riddance. Gary take your now tax-free half a billion dollar buyout from Goldman and ride off into the sun set, because the sun did come up today.


Stock answer is we don’t know about next 6 months

How can the equity markets trade looking six months out — as is the traditional metric — when it doesn’t know what the next six minutes will bring?

The Dow Jones traded down 274 Thursday on, pick your poison:

  1. Terrorist attack in Barcelona,
  2. White House finance chief Gary Cohen’s departure.
  3. Algos in control since its August
  4. All of the above

It has to be near impossible to be able to formulate an earnings picture looking out the next quarter, when a 140-character tweet can throw all the analysis into the trash bin.

Here’s a analyst’s note on Friday morning, explaining very succinctly what he is up against when figuring direction of the market:

“In a week where we started by worrying about nuclear war, markets have quickly moved on from this, with yesterday’s weak session more of a response to fears that Mr Trump’s strategy for the economy and business is falling apart and later the terrible terrorist attack in Barcelona,”
Deutsche Bank analyst Jim Reid.

So off of that note we haveĀ  stocks marginally down for the week. I say that’s not a bad performance even without mentioning the civil unrest in Virginia last weekend.