With Congress currently out of session, the nation’s attention was squarely on the terrible mass shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH. Nevertheless, markets were focused on President Donald Trump and his important decisions with respect to the ongoing trade war with China.

In the previous week, the President announced a new 10% tariff on the estimated $300 billion of Chinese imports entering the US that were not already subject to the 25% tariff. He followed that up Monday by declaring China to be a currency manipulator. The combined actions shook up markets, and led to global concerns about a potentially rapidly deteriorating relationship between the two global economic superpowers.

Interestingly, there are widespread media reports that both China trade actions were personally dictated by the President, and that most of his advisers opposed the moves. In fact, the President shot from the lip, as is his wont, tweeting, for example, the currency manipulator announcement prior to any formal determination by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who had seen his Washington stock go up with the recent budget deal he negotiated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was firmly undercut by the presidential currency tweet. He had, just hour...

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