en Macron And Le Pen Move To The 2nd Round: What Happens Next, According To Goldman And Citi <p>Most of the results are in, and while it remains close, Macron will likely be the winner of the first French presidential round and is set to face Marine Le Pen in the runoff. </p> <p>What does that mean for various asset markets and the bigger macro picture?&nbsp; Here are two forecasts, just released from Goldman and Citi.</p> <p><em>First, Goldman Sachs:</em></p> <ul> <li>Emmanuel Macron will face Marine Le Pen in the run-off of the Presidential election on May 7, according to exit polls. We maintain our view that mainstream candidate Mr. Macron will likely win the French Presidential election. <ul> <li>In the two week-period before the run-off, both Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen will resume their campaign. A televised debate between both candidates will be held on May 3 (9pm Paris time). </li> <li>Polls carried out prior to the outcome of the first round indicate that Mr. Macron has a 25pp lead over Mr. Le Pen. Reflecting France’s political realignment between mainstream pro-European and populist Eurosceptic voters, we expect the gap in polls between Mr. Macron and Ms. Le Pen to widen in favour of Mr. Macron in the run-up to the second round. </li> <li>We expect the ECB to maintain its existing refinancing facilities (namely the fixed-rate full allotment (FRFA) and the emergency liquidity provision (ELA) via the Bank of France) in the coming weeks, to sustain market functioning and continuity of pricing in the systematically relevant market segments. In the face of a politically-induced spread widening, this is also likely to be accommodated through its asset-purchase programmes, as long as it proves to be temporary.</li> </ul> </li> <li>We think the equity market has already largely priced the outcome and concerns about the elections have not prevented European equities and the CAC 40 from performing well on an absolute basis since the beginning of the year (+5% YTD for both). <ul> <li>We expect European equities to remain broadly flat during the two rounds of the election given that the outcome of the first round corresponds to what was broadly expected, and given that the probability of Ms. Le Pen winning the election cannot be completely ruled out. </li> <li>While we think Emmanuel Macron will win the presidential election on 7 May, we think this outcome has the potential to lift European equities only slightly (about +2%-3%), given our view that very little 'election risk premium' has been discounted in European equities (unlike in the bond and the equity derivatives markets).</li> <li>The French election has not prevented European equities and the CAC 40 from performing well on an absolute basis since the beginning of the year (+5% YTD for both). Likewise, the performance of European equities versus the US has reflected pretty accurately the positive moves in fundamentals. Europe has seen inflows from US investors (after a year of selling in 2016) and has started to outperform the US.</li> <li>Since the beginning of the year, the equity risk premium has declined by 40bp in Europe, while it has risen by 50bp in the US. </li> <li>&zwnj;There is also evidence that European equities have moved in line with economic fundamental data, as they have recently started to outperform the US when earnings expectations have started to rise more rapidly in Europe than in the US </li> <li><strong>&zwnj;In the event Ms. Le Pen is elected in the second round (not our base case), European equities would be particularly vulnerable given how little this scenario seems to have been discounted.</strong></li> <li>We estimate that the equity derivatives market is pricing a 5% absolute move for the SX5E for the election. Based on our assumption that it reflects a 20% probability of Ms. Le Pen being elected, it implies a 12% downside move for the SX5E and a 15%-16% downside move for the FTSE MIB and the CAC 40 if this scenario were to materialise. </li> </ul> </li> <li>We expect today's results to generate some relief for the FTSE MIB, French and Italian banks and a very minor relief for the CAC 40. That said, as this has largely been the central expectation priced into the markets, we would expect any rally to be modest. French domestic stocks and the CAC 40 have not underperformed significantly as of late, and we do not expect them to rally materially following today's results, or after the second round of the election. <ul> <li>That said, as this has largely been the central expectation priced into the markets, we would expect any rally to be modest</li> <li>French domestic stocks and the CAC 40 have not underperformed significantly as of late and we do not expect them to rally materially following today's results, or after the second round of the election. </li> </ul> </li> <li>In rates space, French bonds had incorporated some political risk premium, and traded more idiosyncratically. We expect the 10-year OAT-Bund spread to narrow by as much as 15bp on short covering, to around 50-55bp – or within 1 standard standard deviation above our macro-econometric model measure of 'fair value'. We would expect the daily correlation with German Bunds to remain somewhat below the 90% observed since the beginning of the ECB's PSPP on account of residual uncertainties in the run-up to the second round. We would expect a similar re-pricing in intra-EMU spreads in the periphery markets, where BTPs and Bonos spreads to Bunds could go back to trading closer to a range of 170-190bp in the coming weeks (from around 200bp on Friday's close) and 120-130bp (from around 140bp on Friday) respectively. We think that political uncertainty around the Italian political outlook will weigh on BTPs.</li> <li>Our FX analysis suggests that a sizeable decrease (to close to 0 percent) in the probability that investors assign to Ms. Le Pen becoming President, or to a break-up of the Euro area, that is close to its lows in July 2014 <strong>could push the EUR higher versus the USD and the JPY, pushing EUR/USD close to 1.13</strong>. <ul> <li>That said, how positive and persistent the market reaction will be after the election will depend on other factors, including the economic and inflation outlook and communication from the ECB at this week meeting and other central banks on the near-term policy stance. Political uncertainty and the threat of a break-up of the Euro area will remain a latent risk that is likely to resurface at times, with the next pressure point being the Italian elections, which are likely to take place in 2018Q1.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><em>And here is Citi's take:</em></p> <p><strong>Polls were right: preliminary results show Macron and Le Pen through to the second round</strong>: According to partial estimates based on votes counted social liberal Emmanuel Macron (~24%) and Far Right Marine Le Pen (~22%) are through to the second round of the French presidential election to be held on 7 May. Fillon and Mélenchon are joint third (~20%), while Hamon came in a distant fifth place with ~6%. We expect Macron to win the second round and to become the next French president, on the basis that the candidate closest to the centre of the political spectrum has the best chance to win.</p> <p><strong>Narrow gap between the top four candidates</strong>: The gap between the top two candidates is ~2pp, while the gap between second and third/fourth place was 2pp, meaning that the top four are within the four points indicated by the average of polls before the election. These small margins imply potential risks in terms of legitimacy.</p> <p><strong>Turnout was on the low side: </strong>Estimates of turnout are around 77%, compared to the 79.5% in the first round in 2012 and 83.8% in 2007. We know from the 2007 and 2012 Presidential elections that while the turnout typically increases between the two rounds, the number of valid ballots drops by around 1 million. Some voters choose to deface their ballot, perhaps expressing their frustration about having to make a choice between two finalists that they don’t have much affinity for. In 2002, however, the number of valid ballots rose by 2.5mn in the second round between Le Pen's father and Chirac, showing that the prospect of a National Front President mobilised mainstream voters. For the second round in two weeks, we expect turnout to be slightly higher (but the number of valid ballots to be lower) in keeping with the historical trend.</p> <p><strong>Declarations of support from defeated candidates are important: F</strong>illon has announced his support for Macron (on the grounds that voters should do not abstain, and vote against Le Pen and therefore in favour of Macron). Hamon is also supporting Macron while Mélenchon has not said anything yet, but seems unlikely to support the National Front.</p> <p><strong>&lrm;The margin of victory for Macron in the second round is likely to be sizeable </strong>– Our calculations show that the likely gap between the finalists in the second round could be around 25% (62.5% vs. 37.5%), assuming that Le Pen could convince around 35% of undecided voters to cast a ballot in her favour. <strong>Even if Le Pen managed to convince 100% of the 6.2mn of undecided voters (according to the various scenarios tested for the second round), Le Pen would still fail to defeat Macron and create a surprise in the second round</strong>. Note that an average of eight polls testing the second round combination of Macron vs. Le Pen showed that Macron would be on 63.5% to Le Pen’s 36.5%, with 21% of voters undecided.</p> <ul> <li><strong>June legislative elections likely to yield co-habitation</strong> – Based on the relative share of the mainstream Left vs. Mainstream Right, the most likely outcome of the legislative elections (11 &amp; 18 June) would be a ‘co-habitation’, meaning that Macron might have to choose a probable centre-right Prime Minister supported by the reformist part of the Socialist Party.</li> <li><strong>A newly elected President Macron would likely be able to carry out some of his reforms, but political fragmentation could be an issue</strong> – We suspect that the strict deficit targeting approach championed by Macron would be implemented, and that the government would be able to push on relatively quickly with its reform of the public sector, albeit not on the scale favoured by the Right. Co-habitation would probably take some getting used to and lead to increased uncertainty in the first few months of governing. This might dampen business confidence somewhat.</li> <li><strong>Economic baseline to be marginally adjusted </strong>– Based on the issues discussed above, we might be tempted to shave a couple of decimal points off our 2017-18 real GDP growth trajectory in the next forecast round (currently 1.4% 2017F, 1.7% 2018F), but acknowledge that there are also some upside risks to our forecasts based on stronger surveys.</li> <li><strong>Relationship with Germany likely to be strengthened – </strong>A Macron presidency could mean potentially a strengthened relationship with Berlin, especially if Martin Schulz were to become the next German Chancellor in the Federal elections to be held in September.</li> <li><strong>The future of Europe now looks more stable given a likely mainstream win </strong>– This French presidential election has the potential to have far-reaching consequences for Europe. Given Macron’s pro-EU platform, the outlook for Europe ought to be strengthened, in our view. The Italian election (likely to be held in February 2018), is the next big political risk for Europe</li> <li><strong>Next steps: </strong>polls for the second round will restart on Monday, as will the campaign. The next and final televised debate will be held on Wed 3 May, co-organised by TF1 and France2.</li> </ul> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="448" height="259" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bank of France Bond CAC 40 Central Banks Emmanuel Macron European Central Bank European monetary union European people European Union Fail France François Fillon French people French presidential election Germany goldman sachs Goldman Sachs Jean-Luc Mélenchon Marine Le Pen National Front National Front Politics of France Risk Premium Runoff voting Socialist Party Socialist Party Two-round system Sun, 23 Apr 2017 21:11:31 +0000 Tyler Durden 593955 at Trump To Discuss North Korea In Sunday Call With China's Xi, Japan's Abe <p>While the world is focused on the outcome of the first round of the French election, which is playing out much as the market had largely anticipated with Macron and Le Pen set to face each other in the runoff round, the North Korea threat remains, and according to Reuters, Donald Trump will speak on Sunday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, citing a administration official. </p> <p>The topic of discussion is expected to be North Korea.</p> <p>Tensions have risen sharply with North Korea over its advancing nuclear and missile programs. Pyongyang said on Sunday it was ready to sink a U.S. aircraft carrier to demonstrate its military might and detained a U.S. citizen on Saturday as he attempted to leave the country.</p> <p>It is possible that should the rest of Trump's planned events for the week fail to impress, or perhaps even lead to a government shutdown that coincides with the 100th day anniversary of his administration, that a North Korean "distraction" attack may be inevitable, and perhaps today's call is to obtain pre-clearance; there is of course the possibility that Trump is simply seeking a diplomatic solution. </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="602" height="364" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Alt-right American people of German descent China Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump Fail Japan North Korea Politics Politics Reuters Shinz? Abe The Apprentice United States WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 23 Apr 2017 20:55:14 +0000 Tyler Durden 593954 at New Poll Suggests Trump Would Now Win Popular Vote <p>Despite<a href=""> historicaly <strong>low approval ratings</strong> (before his recent warmongery bounce)</a>, nearly all of those who supported him in the November election say it was the<strong> right thing to do</strong>.</p> <p>All told, the <a href="">latest ABC News/Washington Post poll</a> shows that<strong> 42 percent of Americans approve of Trump&rsquo;s performance as president</strong>, while 53 percent disapprove. That compares to an average of 69-19 percent for past presidents at or near 100 days in office &ndash; for example, 69-26 percent for Trump&rsquo;s predecessor, Barack Obama.</p> <p><a href=""><img height="414" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>However, <a href="">as we noted previously, </a><strong>Trump&#39;s &quot;favorability&quot; rating according to Rasmussen has upticked notably </strong>in the last two weeks since his sabre-rattling and &#39;Tomahawk&#39;-ing began.</p> <p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><a href=""><img height="365" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Moreover, while Democrats find solace in this national poll&#39;s results, the fact remains that ABC/WaPo find <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>no evidence of buyer&#39;s remorse among Trump supporters</strong></span>.</p> <p>Among those who report having voted for him in November, 96 percent today say it was the right thing to do; a <strong>mere 2 percent regret it</strong>.</p> <p>And<u><strong> if a rerun of the election were held today, the poll indicates even the possibility of a Trump victory in the popular vote among 2016 voters</strong></u>.</p> <p>Among Americans who say they voted in the 2016 election, 46 percent say they voted for Hillary Clinton and 43 percent for Trump, very close to the 2-point margin in the actual popular vote results. However, while Trump would retain almost all of his support if the election were held again today (96 percent), fewer of Clinton&#39;s supporters say they&rsquo;d stick with her (85 percent), <em><strong>producing a 40-43 percent Clinton-Trump result in this hypothetical re-do among self-reported 2016 voters.</strong></em></p> <p>President Trump was quick to notice (what the mainstream media seemed unwilling to admit)...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">New polls out today are very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative. Would still beat Hillary in .....</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">...popular vote. ABC News/Washington Post Poll (wrong big on election) said almost all stand by their vote on me &amp; 53% said strong leader.</p> <p>&mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="467" height="218" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> ABC News Alt-right American people of German descent Barack Obama Business Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Politics Politics Politics of the United States ratings Stop Trump movement The Apprentice United States WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 23 Apr 2017 20:15:07 +0000 Tyler Durden 593910 at Venezuela On The Verge Of Revolution As Hyperinflated Currency Crashes To New Record Low <p>Venezuela, a country with only $10 billion&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">left</a>&nbsp;in reserves to run on, is <strong>in trouble</strong>. As the currency hyperinflates to new record lows against the dollar...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="312" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="">James Holbrooks points out</a> that the people are&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">starving</a>. The government has gone full-on&nbsp;<a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">authoritarian</a>, and now desperate human beings are dying in the streets. From an <em>Associated Press</em> <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">report</a> on Friday:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Authorities in Venezuela say 12 people were killed overnight following looting and violence in the South American nation&rsquo;s capital amid a spiraling political crisis.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><a href=""><img height="446" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>Continuing, the report further highlighted the gravity of the situation:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em>&ldquo;Most of the deaths took place in El Valle, where opposition leaders say 13 people were hit with an electrical current while trying to loot a bakery protected by an electric fence.&rdquo;</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>These are people without options, forced to turn to thievery to stay alive. </strong>And they died because of it.</p> <p>On April 6, <em>The Economist</em> <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">reported</a> that<strong> over the past year, 74 percent of Venezuelans lost an average of 20 pounds. </strong>Venezuela, incidentally, has <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">topped</a> <em>Bloomberg</em>&rsquo;s Economic Misery Index for the past three years.</p> <p>The country began its slide downward into chaos with the election of President Nicolas Maduro, who immediately began implementing socialist programs and has since taken extreme measures to secure his position.</p> <p><strong>At the end of March, for instance, Maduro effectively <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">shut down</a> Venezuela&rsquo;s congress &mdash; his primary political opposition &mdash; and gave those legislative duties to his puppet Supreme Court.</strong></p> <p>The latest news coming out of the South American nation &mdash; aside from the deaths of people trying to steal bread to live &mdash; is that General Motors, whose Venezuelan production facility was overtaken by local authorities, has now <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">ceased</a>&nbsp;all operations in the country.</p> <p>To put that in perspective, consider that in 2016, only 3,000 vehicles were <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">sold</a> in Venezuela, a country of 30 million people.</p> <p><u><em><strong>The U.S. Southern Command&nbsp;has <a href="" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">floated the idea</a> of using the United States&rsquo; military to contain unrest in Venezuela, though historically American intervention in South America is both widely unpopular in the region and wildly unsuccessful.</strong></em></u></p> <p>As we look on at the continuing horrors in the Middle East and what seems, at the moment, to be the makings of World War III in Asia, let&rsquo;s not lose sight of the fact that right now, <strong>the people of Venezuela are in pain.</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="677" height="503" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 2014–17 Venezuelan protests Americas General Motors Middle East Middle East Nicolás Maduro Politics Reactions to the 2014–17 Venezuelan protests Supreme Court The Economist U.S. Southern Command United States military Venezuela War Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:38:38 +0000 Tyler Durden 593920 at EURUSD Spikes To 5-Month Highs After Early French Results <p>With projections all confirming Le Pen and Macron into the second round (though varying notably on who is leading), the markets appear comforted by Macron&#39;s position as<strong> EURUSD has spike almost 100 pips breaking above 1.09 to 5-month highs...</strong></p> <p>EURUSD above 1.09...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="314" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To its highest since Nov 11th...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="309" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Breaking above the 200-day moving average...</p> <p><a href=""><img height="316" src="" width="600" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="964" height="504" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Communication design Economy of Italy Equipment Gaming Leisure Macron Map projection Market Pip Playing card Province of Bologna Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:07:25 +0000 Tyler Durden 593939 at Live Feed: French Riot Police Clash With Far Left Protesters In Central Paris <p>Clashes have erupted in Le Bastille in central Paris on Sunday evening between riot police and disappointed far left protesters following the closing of polls in the first round of the presidential election, AP reports. </p> <p>According to local press, the French police have used smoke pellets and are moving toward protesters who started to break the fences at the Place de la Bastille in the center of Paris. After that, police started dispercing protesters, <a href="">Sputnik notes</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="fr">Plusieurs centaines de personnes à Bastille. Dispositif police important. <a href="">#1erTour2017</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Xenia__Sputnik (@XseniaSputnik) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Currently, a protest is held in the French capital. It comes after the voting stations closed in the country as French citizens were voting to elect their next president. Similar to Sunday's protest, a rally against the election dubbed "The Night of the Barricades" was held on Saturday. Over 2 thousand participated in the rally. The police dispersed protesters with tear gas.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="fr">Quelques heurts avec les forces de l'ordre au cours de la manifestation <a href="">#AFP</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#BREAKING</a>: Here are the scene of the protest in Central Paris. (Photos by <a href="">@AmichaiStein1</a>) <a href="">#Presidentielle2017</a> <a href="">#Frenchelections</a> <a href=""></a></p> <p>— BreakingNews Alerts (@BNAlertsHQ) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p> Live feed from Paris: </p> <p><iframe src="" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p> <iframe src=";show_text=0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="775" height="425" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bastille CAC 40 Dispositif police France French police French Revolution May 1968 events in France Paris Politics of France Protest Twitter Twitter War Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:01:52 +0000 Tyler Durden 593938 at Bookies See Almost 90% Chance Of Macron Becoming French President <p>As results begin to trickle in <em>(with pollsters showing Macron leading and official French Interior Ministry showing a Le Pen lead)</em>, betting odds ( according to Betfair) are now <em><strong>giving Macron comfortably over 80% chance of becoming France’s next President</strong></em>.</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="460" /></a></p> <p><strong>As the evening has gone on and the picture becomes clearer, his odds continue to increase.</strong> The market is clearly expecting a ‘Front Republicain’ to form, as it did in 2002, to rally behind Emmanuel Macron and to deny Marine Le Pen.</p> <p>Of course, <strong>bookies didnt quite get Brexit and Trump right...</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="634" height="486" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Accountants Betfair Bookmaker Brexit Business Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron Entertainment French Interior Ministry Gambling Macron Sun, 23 Apr 2017 18:41:01 +0000 Tyler Durden 593936 at "This Is A Monumental Change": Citi Asks If This Is The "End Of Two Party System In France" <p>With events in France developing fast and furious, and with Le Pen either leading (for now) according to official French ministry data, or in second place according to exit polls, Citi's Fraser King asks: "<em>Is this the end of the two-party system in France."</em></p> <p>More from Citi:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>If results stay as polls suggest, with Le Pen and Macron in the second round, it will be the first time in the history of the ‘fifth’ Republique, that one of France’s two major parties will not be present, marking a monumental change in the French political landscape. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Emmanuel Macron’s newly created ‘En Marche!’ party will front up against Marine Le Pen’s ‘Front National’. In 2002, French voters united behind Jacques Chirac in a phenomenon dubbed the ‘Front Republicain’ to prevent the far-right FN from winning. Will the same happen for Macron? </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This may have repercussions for French politics with regards to the legislative body (Assemblee Generale and le Senat). When a sitting president does not control the legislative, it is known as ‘cohabitation’ (common in other countries, like Germany, but not seen in France since 2002).</p> </blockquote> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="293" height="172" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Chivalry Emmanuel Macron En Marche! France Germany Jacques Chirac Marine Le Pen National Front Orders, decorations, and medals of France Politics Politics of France Sun, 23 Apr 2017 18:35:10 +0000 Tyler Durden 593935 at Le Pen, Macron Progress To Second Round In French Presidential Election <p>With more numbers coming from the French Interior Ministry, as of 11:00 p.m. local time Macron's lead is growing to 23.41% as more city votes are counted, vs Le Pen 22.60%, with 37.59 Million Voters, or 78.14% of Total. The gap is likely to expand as the final votes are tallied. </p> <p>Earlier, in a race that was too close to call up to the last minute, Macron, a pro-EU ex-banker and former economy minister who founded his own party only a year ago, was projected to get 23.7 percent of the first-round vote by the pollster Ifop-Fiducial and 24 percent by Harris. Le Pen, leader of the National Front, was given 21.7 percent by Ifop and 22 percent by Harris. Other pollsters projected broadly similar results.</p> <p>Defeated Socialist candidate Benoit Hamon, Socialist Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and defeated right-wing candidate Francois Fillon all urged voters to rally behind Macron in the second round. <strong>A new Harris survey saw Macron winning the runoff by 64 percent to 36, and an Ipsos/Sopra Steria poll gave a similar result.</strong></p> <p>According to <a href="">Bloomberg</a>, the key takeaways are as follows: </p> <ul> <li><strong>Winners: </strong>Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron, in his first run for office, and the National Front's Marine Le Pen, who succeeded in detoxifying her anti-immigrant party enough to make the second round (as her father did in 2002). The runoff campaign over the next two weeks will feature a stark contrast between Macron's pro-EU, pro-globalization world view, and Le Pen's call to close borders and quit the euro currency. Polls show Macron winning handily.</li> <li><strong>Losers: </strong>Francois Fillon and Benoit Hamon of the Republicans and the Socialists, respectively, the parties that have dominated French politics for decades. Fillon, the man to beat as recently as January, was undone by a scandal involving an alleged no-show government job for his wife. Hamon was a surprise winner of the Socialist primary after President Francois Hollande decided not to run again, but he never gained traction. At last count he was a distant fifth. Leftist firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon also lost momentum in the campaign's closing days.</li> <li><strong>Euro soared </strong>against both the dollar - rising to the euro's highest level since Nov. 10, the day after the results of the U.S. presidential election. - and especially the yen, as investors priced in a win for Macron and the receding threat of a far-left or far-right candidate winning the presidency.</li> </ul> <p>But perhaps the most notable outcome, as <a href="">Reuters adds, </a>is today's huge defeat for the French establishment - the two center-right and center-left groupings that have dominated French politics for 60 years, even as it reduces the prospect of an anti-establishment shock on the scale of Britain's vote last June to quit the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. </p> <p>In a victory speech, Macron told supporters of his fledgling En Marche! (Onwards!) movement: "In one year, we have changed the face of French politics." Conceding defeat even before figures from the count came in, rival conservative and Socialist candidates <strong>urged their supporters now to put their energies into backing Macron and stopping any chance of a second-round victory by Le Pen, </strong>whose anti-immigration and anti-Europe policies they said spelled disaster for France.</p> <p>Seconds after the first projections came through, Macron supporters gathered at a Paris conference center burst into the national anthem, the Marseillaise. Many were under 25, reflecting some of the appeal of a man aiming to become France's youngest head of state since Napoleon. With an eye to Le Pen's avowedly France-first policies, Macron told the crowd: "I want to be the president of patriots in the face of a threat from nationalists." </p> <p>Meanwhile, Le Pen, who is bidding to make history as France's first female president, follows in the footsteps of her father, who founded the National Front and reached the second round of the presidential election in 2002. Jean-Marie Le Pen was ultimately crushed when voters from right and left rallied around the conservative Jacques Chirac in order to keep out a party whose far-right, anti-immigrant views they considered unpalatably xenophobic. </p> <p>His daughter has done much to soften her party's image, and found widespread support among young voters by pitching herself as an anti-establishment defender of French workers and French interests against global corporations and an economically constricting EU. "The great issue in this election is the rampant globalization that is putting our civilization at risk," she declared in her first word after results came through.</p> <p>She went on to launch an attack on the policies of Macron, whom she again described as "the money king" in a disparaging swipe at his investment banker background.</p> <p>As Reuters adds, today's result will mean a face-off between politicians with radically contrasting economic visions for a country whose economy lags that of its neighbors and where a quarter of young people are unemployed. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Macron's gradual deregulation measures are likely to be welcomed by global financial markets, as are cuts in state expenditure and the civil service. Le Pen wants to print money to finance expanded welfare payments and tax cuts, ditch the euro currency and possibly pull out of the EU. If he wins, Macron's biggest challenges will lie ahead, as he first tries to secure a working parliamentary majority for his young party in June, and then seeks broad popular support for labor reforms that are sure to meet resistance. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Markets will be reassured that the dreaded Le Pen versus Mélenchon run-off has been avoided," said Diego Iscaro, an economist from IHS Markit. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"As a result, we expect some recovery in French bond prices, while the euro is also likely to benefit," he said. "However, a lot can happen in two weeks and French assets are likely under some pressure until the second round is out of the way."</p> </blockquote> <p>But the biggest, still unanswered question that remains after today, is whether the anti-establishment wave that started with Brexit and Trump, was effectively put to rest with today's result.</p> <p> Timothy Ash, an economist at Bluebay asset management, said Trump's victory last November marked a turning point for electorates playing the protest card. </p> <p>"Despite all the hype about the rise of populism, 60 percent of voters went for mainstream candidates ... In an uncertain world, they rather go for what they know best and want to take fewer risks," he said.</p> <p>It remains to be seen if other European countries agree with this assessment. </p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Update 4:42pm</strong>: As expected, with the city vote starting to come in, Macron has just taken the lead according to Interior Ministry data: </p> <ul> <li><strong>MACRON SURPASSES LE PEN IN FRENCH INTERIOR MIN PRELIM. DATA</strong></li> <li><strong>MACRON AT 23.12%, LE PEN AT 23.06%: FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY</strong></li> <li>INTERIOR MIN DATA AT 10:35PM BASED ON 33.42M VOTERS (69.47%)</li> </ul> <p>Germany's chancellor Angela Merkel is delighted, saying that it is "good that Macron was successful."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Update 4:10pm: </strong>Le Pen's lead in the official votes is slipping, and according to Interior Ministry data, now been updated with 50.02% of the total eligible voters, Le Pen’s lead continues to narrow now at 1.71% points from 2.19% in the last update. This is expected given that urban areas are the last to report results, and are less likely to vote for the far-right candidate.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="178" /></p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update: 3:49pm ET</strong>:<strong> With 50% of Votes Counted, France's Interior Ministry reports LE PEN AT 24.13%, MACRON AT 22.42%</strong></p> <p>The latest Interior Ministry preliminary estimates put Marine Le Pen at 24.3%, or <strong>roughly 7.5 percentage points better than the 2002 performance that got her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen,</strong> into that year's presidential run-off. This would also be the National Front's best first-round showing to date.</p> <p><strong>Meanwhile Melenchon has refused to endorse anyone</strong> for the second round for now. According to Citi, Melenchon has more or less conceded and adds that "far-left communist-backed candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon says he will await full results, and says that he trusts his supporters to 'know what to do in the second round'. He hasn't quite conceded, in black and white. He refuses to endorse anyone else 'for now'. He expressed anger that two 'establishment' candidates are present in the second round (he considers Le Pen to be a part of the political establishment)."<br />He remains in fourth place in all polls.</p> <p>Additionally, France's largest union, The CFDT, has called up in ts members to<strong> vote for Macron in the second round "to beat the National Front."</strong></p> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update 3:26 pm ET</strong>: Here is where the latest results stand 90 minutes after the results were initially released: the latest figures from Kantar figures expected Macron to win first round with 23%, Le Pen coming second at 22%. while the latest numbers from the Interior Ministry show Le Pen at 25.1%, Macron at 21.3% however the results from the big cities are expected to come in later and boost Macron. Le Pen has called the result `historic', and has predicted she will be in the run-off. The euro has rallied following the early results, gaining as much as 1.9%, the highest since November, although 1.09 is proving to be a modest resistance level for now.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Update 3:22 pm ET:&nbsp; </strong>In a statement released on Facebook, Jean-Luc Melenchon has reefuseds to concede defeat and asks for his supporters and the press to ‘show restraint’ and wait for more votes to be counted. He is currently a close fourth in all polls. Fillon, as reported earlier, wasted no time in conceding. It remains to be seen whether or not the order will change, but the polls have fluctuated in the past. He says he will speak to his supporters at 21:00 BST (his supporters reportedly ‘still believe’ according to French tv station BFM TV).</p> <p>Headlines via Bloomberg:</p> <ul> <li>MELENCHON SAYS DOESN'T VALIDATE CURRENT POLLS ESTIMATES</li> <li>MELENCHON ON FACEBOOK CALLS FOR 'RESTRAINT' ON VOTE ESTIMATES</li> </ul> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Update 3:10pm ET: </strong>Marine Le Pen is speaking, and acknowledges she will be in the second round of the election, and that she is honored her voters have sent her into the second round.</p> <p> She says he result in the first round is "historic" and that her "result is an act of French pride." She also adds that "she's ready to take on the defense of the French republic" and that the French need to seize this historic opportunity to fight "savage globalization."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en"><a href="">#BREAKING</a> France's Le Pen hails 'historic result' after reaching runoff</p> <p>— AFP news agency (@AFP) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p><img src="" width="500" height="276" /></p> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Update: 2:58pm ET:</strong>&nbsp; Another polling agency has released projections putting Macron in the lead (barely):</p> <ul> <li>*<strong>MACRON TO WIN FIRST ROUND OF FRENCH VOTE WITH 23% VOTES</strong>: KANTAR</li> <li>*<strong>LE PEN AT 22%</strong> OF FRENCH VOTE IN 1ST ROUND: KANTAR NEW ESTIMATE</li> </ul> <p>* * *</p> <p><strong>Update 2:43pm ET: </strong>Francois Fillon concedes, saying "this defeat is mine, and mine alone", although as Bloomberg notes, "Fillon is still bitter, though, about the investigative journalism and resulting criminal investigation, that torpedoed his campaign." Oh, and like all of the French political establishment, he endorses Emmanuel Macron.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">BREAKING: Defeated French conservative Fillon calls on supporters to support centrist Macron against the far-right leader Le Pen.</p> <p>— The Associated Press (@AP) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <p>* * * </p> <p><strong>Update: 2:34pm ET: </strong>Interior ministry data shows Le Pen pulling away for the time being and now has over 25% of the early vote, based on 7.8 million votes.</p> <ul> <li>LE PEN AT 25.2%, MACRON AT 21.1%: INTERIOR MINISTRY AT 8:21PM</li> <li>FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY 8:21PM DATA BASED ON 7.8M VOTERS</li> </ul> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Le Pen picking up in the latest French ministry projections and leading Macron <a href="">#frenchelection</a> <a href="">#Presidentielle2017</a></p> <p>— neil chatterjee (@neilrchatterjee) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>A note from Bloomberg in its live elections blog on the discrepancy: </p> <p>"An important note that 7.8 million votes have been counted as of 8:21 p.m. Paris time. The total size of the French electorate is about 47 million (the abstention rate is about 20%). The Interior Ministry numbers are based on the actual count, while the numbers from pollsters are based on samples of counts from polling stations across the country -- the pollster numbers may be more accurate. While both the Interior Ministry numbers and the pollsters' figures show Macron and Le Pen making it to the second round, pollsters show Macron ahead of Le Pen."</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>The first results are in and according to IPSOS exit polls, Macron leads with 23.7% of the vote, Le Pen is second with 21.7%, with Fillon and Mellenchon tied for third at 19.5%. However, according to official results, from the French interior ministry, Le Pen is leading with 24.3% of the vote, Macron is at 21.4%, while Fillon has 20.3%.</p> <script src="//"></script><p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="154" /></a></p> <p>Meanwhile, according to French official data:</p> <ul> <li><strong>LE PEN GETS 24.2% IN FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY PRELIMINARY COUNT </strong></li> <li><strong>MACRON GETS 21.4% IN FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY PRELIMINARY </strong></li> </ul> <p>And an update:</p> <ul> <li><strong>LE PEN AT 24.9%, MACRON AT 21.1%: INTERIOR MINISTRY AT 8:13PM</strong></li> <li><strong>FILLON AT 20%, MELENCHON AT 18%%: INTERIOR MINISTRY AT 8:13PM</strong></li> <li><strong>FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY 8:13PM DATA BASED ON 5.25M VOTERS</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="500" height="298" /></a></p> <p>Elsewhere, Benoit Hamon, the candidate for the incumbent Parti Socialiste of Francois Hollande, has just conceded defeat after a dismal showing of around 6%. He spoke to supporters and the press in a packed out hall and made an instantaneous endorsement for Emmanuel Macron.</p> <ul> <li>HAMON SAYS ENDORSES MACRON TO BEAT LE PEN IN SECOND ROUND: BBG</li> </ul> <p>* * * </p> <p>Earlier: </p> <p>While we urge taking early polls with a big grain of salt, according to a Harris poll, Macron is in the lead with 24.5% of the vote, follow by Melenchon and Le Pen in second place with 20% of the vote.</p> <ul> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Macron (EM-*): 24.5%</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Melenchon (FI-LEFT): 20% </li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Le Pen (FN-ENF): 20%</li> <li>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Fillon (LR-EPP): 18%</li> </ul> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="fr">France, Harris poll:</p> <p>Macron (EM-*): 24.5%<br />Melenchon (FI-LEFT): 20%<br />Le Pen (FN-ENF): 20%<br />Fillon (LR-EPP): 18%<a href="">#Avote</a></p> <p>— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>A separate poll from La Unne shows Macron leading with 26% with Le Pen in second at 23%.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p dir="ltr" lang="fr">France, La Unne:</p> <p>Macron (EM-*): 26%<br />Le Pen (FN-ENF): 23%<br />Melenchon (FI-LEFT): 21%<br />Fillon (LR-EPP): 17%<a href="">#Avote</a></p> <p>— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) <a href="">April 23, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//"></script><p>Additionally, Harris estimates that the turnout in the election will be roughly 80%, while Ifop predicts a 77% turnout.</p> <p>That said, as Reuters cautions, in 2012, some media outlets leaked estimations before the 8 p.m. embargo time. <strong>This time, analysts warn any figures on social media before 8 p.m. should be treated with extreme caution as likely based on incomplete surveys that don’t meet the gold standard. </strong></p> <p>Some have warned that if the race is extremely close, the polling companies won’t be able to call it and we’ll have to wait until the complete count of votes by the Interior Ministry expected Monday morning. </p> <p>Reuters also adds that a downbeat tone is emerging from Socialist Benoit Hamoin's election-night base, "where the main concern appears to be whether alternative left-wing candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon will go through." "We hope the score will be worthy of this very fine campaign. We would hope to qualify but it doesn't seem to be the case," adviser Julia Cage tells Reuters correspondent Dominique Vidalon.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Reuters' journalists say "Marine Le Pen supporters are in confident mood in the National Front's northern stronghold of Henin-Beaumont, where hundreds of supporters and journalists are trying to enter a sports hall chosen for tonight's rally. Civil servant Delphine, 49, dismisses recent polls showing a tight race. "I totally reject the polls, I am confident for this evening and I can't wait to see the difference between the (results and the) figures which have been hammering us for weeks. For us it's clear - Marine is in the second round."</p> <p>* * *</p> <p>Readers can following the latest news on the ground courtesy of France 24:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="496" height="277" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> 8:21PM FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY AFP Bond Donald Trump Emmanuel Macron En Marche! European people European Union European Union Euroscepticism France France France's Interior Ministry François Fillon French Interior Ministry French people French presidential election headlines Interior Ministry INTERIOR MINISTRY AT 8:13PM FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY INTERIOR MINISTRY AT 8:21PM FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTRY Jean-Luc Mélenchon Jean-Marie Le Pen Le Pen family Marine Le Pen Markit Napoleon National Front National Front Nicolas Sarkozy Politics of France recovery Reuters Socialist Party Unne Yen Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:33:13 +0000 Tyler Durden 593928 at You Got Trumped! Winning horse in presidential race was Trojan <h1 class="post_title" style="font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; font-size: 25px; line-height: 1.4em; margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; letter-spacing: -0.9px; color: #40271c !important;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; background-color: #f8f8f8;">The following artice by&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-size: 16px; letter-spacing: normal;"><a href="">David Haggith</a></strong><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; background-color: #f8f8f8;">&nbsp;was first published on&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-size: 16px; letter-spacing: normal;"><em><a href="">The Great Recession Blog</a></em></strong><span style="font-size: 16px; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; background-color: #f8f8f8;">:</span></h1> <div class="singlepost entry" style="border-bottom-left-radius: 5px; background-color: #f8f8f8; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-style: solid; border-top-color: #610906; font-family: Arial, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, sans-serif, sans-serif; line-height: 1.5em; margin-top: 4px; padding: 2px 4px 1px; width: 648.484375px; font-size: 16px; color: #40271c;"><img src="" alt="If you voted for Donald Trump, you got trumped" width="500" height="571" style="float: left; margin-right: 6px; margin-left: 6px; border-top-left-radius: 3px; border-top-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-right-radius: 3px; border-bottom-left-radius: 3px; padding: 4px; box-shadow: none !important; border-style: none !important; opacity: 1 !important;" class="attachment-single-post-thumbnail size-single-post-thumbnail wp-post-image" /><br /> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Has there ever been a bigger or&nbsp;worse&nbsp;April fools joke&nbsp;than the spectacle this month of Donald&nbsp;Trump revealing the manifold ways in which&nbsp;he fooled&nbsp;the multitudes? I sympathize with the many people who hoped for a&nbsp;shot at changing the corrupt political-industrial establishment&nbsp;as they&nbsp;feel their&nbsp;opportunity evaporate around them. Their hopes were the best hope this nation had, but the&nbsp;head-spinning&nbsp;transformation of&nbsp;Trump has turned stomachs to where&nbsp;some of Trump’s most ardent campaign&nbsp;supporters&nbsp;now publicly deem him Traitor Trump.&nbsp;The rest are simply hoping against hope that he is not. Everyone, conservative or liberal, is&nbsp;seriously starting to wonder what happened&nbsp;to Candidate Trump.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">This is what April has consistently revealed: If you voted for the Donald because you wanted to end&nbsp;America’s endless wars for&nbsp;regime change and failed attempts at nation building, you got Trumped. If you thought Hillary’s red reset button with Russia was a disaster and so you voted for the orange reset button&nbsp;as a path to peace with Russia, you got Trumped. If you voted for the Tweeter in Chief&nbsp;because he promised to get tough on trade with China, you got Trumped. If you voted for Trump&nbsp;in order to thump Fed Head&nbsp;Janet Yellen; she doesn’t get thumped, but you got Trumped.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Back in September when he&nbsp;was still just Candidate Trump, I wrote an article titled&nbsp;“<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Trump: Trojan Horse for the Establishment or Mighty Mouth for Mankind?</a>” I knew that pointing out my deep reservations about Trump&nbsp;would cost me readers because I write an anti-establishment blog, and Trump was the anti-establishment candidate of choice. I published&nbsp;the article anyway. It not only cost me readers (from which I haven’t recovered), but it&nbsp;also cost me websites that had been carrying my articles. Such is the pursuit of&nbsp;truth over popularity</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Nevertheless, I continued to write on that theme in the months that followed because I believed the warning was important and because I choose to see and describe the world as it is (as best I can) and not how I want it to be. Because I criticize any&nbsp;political party as readily as another, I am often seen as too conservative by&nbsp;liberals and too liberal by&nbsp;conservatives. (I don’t get the benefit of club membership that gains a writer&nbsp;an easy loyal following.) So be it.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Here is some of that article, which is now looking like it was spot on:</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">I crave the opportunity to see an anti-establishment candidate win the election. I would exult in seeing our corrupt&nbsp;establishment shattered. So, while I do not like Trump the man (as it would appear&nbsp;he has&nbsp;never done&nbsp;anything that didn’t entirely serve&nbsp;his own self-interest and pompous ego), I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing him upset establishment Republicans and establishment Democrats alike. (And, yes, they are “alike,” so let’s just call them “the establishment” because whether they are Republican or Democrat is not relevant; both parties&nbsp;exist to serve the same rich people and themselves either way.)</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> </p><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">I’ll even acknowledge that perhaps it takes someone as brazen and blusterous as Trump in order to stand up to such a powerful assemblage&nbsp;of egoists as we have embedded in congress and in the president’s administration, which now rules by decree…. While I have never&nbsp;liked this particular publicity&nbsp;whore, I’d put up with his relentless&nbsp;boasting and forgive his audacious past if it takes that kind of brassy, risk-taking adventurer to find&nbsp;someone&nbsp;with enough spine&nbsp;to&nbsp;stand up to the intimidations of congress…. Whether or not I like him is not important unless it is leading me to see flaws that may mean Trump is not what he makes himself out to be.</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">From there, I pointed out&nbsp;such character flaws as made me believe Trump would not prove to be what he was making himself out to be. He would let his anti-establishment supporters down hard:</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">Overturning a vast global establishment&nbsp;is the kind of battle that will take someone with unbelievable tenacity, intelligence, and courage. The opponents are rich, and you can be sure some are willing to kill to keep the status quo that is making them immensely rich (and&nbsp;<em>have</em>&nbsp;killed).</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> </p><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">Unfortunately, I have seen often in life that bellicose people are usually nowhere near&nbsp;as brave as they sound. People&nbsp;like Ike, who was strong in war and humble in attitude, are usually the ones with real courage. It is not usually the most blustery people who have the deepest strength to carry through with&nbsp;the right thing for the right reasons, regardless of cost to themselves.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">Trump is aptly named for how often he blows his own horn in order to create his own image; but his actions show he&nbsp;backed out of previous presidential races when it was clear they weren’t going to be an easy win after getting lots of publicity for teasing people with the possibility that he’d run.&nbsp;He has also backed out of many &nbsp;business deals when things got rough, rather than push forward to try to make things work….</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;">It’s his latest political actions that concern me. In the few places where we have seen Trump make actual political decisions so far, his choices have been 100% pro-establishment as I pointed out in a recent&nbsp;article titled “<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Whirled Politics: Would you rather be Trumped or Pillaried</a>?” I wished very much to see something different than what I am seeing.</p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">The article delineated a number of tell-tale signs&nbsp;that indicated Trump was anything but the anti-establishment candidate he was presenting himself to be. I pointed out, for example, how&nbsp;the Trump horse that was being brought into&nbsp;the city gates&nbsp;was filled with neocons and the Wall Street establishment, and how I believed they would come to own Trump&nbsp;if they didn’t already. The Trump horse was brazenly&nbsp;anti-establishment on the outside, but almost total establishment on the inside.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I concluded my intro to the article&nbsp;with&nbsp;this warning:</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <blockquote style="margin: 15px 0px; padding-left: 40px;"><p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px; display: inline;"><em><strong>Be careful that you don’t believe something just because you want to believe it so badly. That is how the citizens of Troy were conquered in the Trojan war. I’d love to have an anti-establishment candidate roll in, too. Sadly, I don’t think I do…. The time to hold Trump to task is now, not after the establishment&nbsp;makeover turns&nbsp;him into their Trojan Trump card, but while they are trying so that they don’t succeed.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">And I closed the article by asking,</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="font-size: 1.4em; line-height: 1.6em; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 3px;"><em>Is he force or farce?</em></h3> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">April has demonstrated&nbsp;that Trump was either a Trojan horse by design or, in the very least, that&nbsp;his&nbsp;establishment makeover is nearly&nbsp;complete. Before he&nbsp;has even finished his first hundred days as president, President Trump&nbsp;has turned 180 degrees on almost&nbsp;every promise Candidate Trump&nbsp;made, and the couple of times Trump&nbsp;has tried to enact his promises, he has failed “bigly.”</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">In this final week of April as Trump finishes his first hundred days, I’m publishing a series of daily articles that&nbsp;lays out the&nbsp;huge reversals toward serving the establishment that Trump has already made. As Trump would say, “They’re big! Really big! They’re the biggest reversals you’ve ever seen.” Unfortunately, those turns point&nbsp;<em>consistently</em>&nbsp;to&nbsp;one clear message: “You got&nbsp;Trumped!”</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Last week, I wrote about the&nbsp;<a href="" style="text-decoration: underline; color: #c43a18;">Korean Missile Crisis</a>,&nbsp;and&nbsp;tomorrow this series will look at how completely owned Trump has become by the military-industrial complex. As one example among several, Trump has revolved on Russia more quickly than I’ve seen any politician spin, just as he did on Hillary, going from “lock her up” to “she’s good people.”</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">I have to disagree with&nbsp;Guo Rui, the director of the&nbsp;Institute of Northeast Asian Studies, who says President Donald Trump’s domestic troubles should keep him from&nbsp;engaging in a war with North Korea. I think they may be doing just the opposite. There is nothing like shifting the nation to a war footing to shift the national conversation.</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">Did you notice how suddenly war has consumed the press and congress&nbsp;so that&nbsp;inquests into President Trump’s former relationship with Russia fell instantly&nbsp;to the back pages of the news?&nbsp;Is that what the armada to Korea that never happened, the biggest bomb in Afghanistan, and the $50-million barrage&nbsp;that disabled Assad’s airport for all of half a day&nbsp;were all about? Was Trump acting alone to throw up as much flack as he could&nbsp;to create&nbsp;distraction? Or was this month of military muscle evidence of a Trump deal with the military-industrial complex to get the intelligence community, the Democrats and the McCains and Grahams in the Republican party&nbsp;to back off from&nbsp;their Trump attacks?</p> <p style="margin: 5px 5px 10px;">We’ll close the week by&nbsp;looking at the degree to which&nbsp;the&nbsp;Trump transformation has caused Trump to lose some of his most ardent and outspoken supporters. While some are sitting uneasily on the fence, hoping for a better turn, others have stated&nbsp;emphatically, “I’m off the Trump train!”</p> </div> Afghanistan American people of German descent China Climate change skepticism and denial Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump presidential campaign Institute of Northeast Asian Studies Janet Yellen Legal affairs of Donald Trump Neocons North Korea Political positions of Donald Trump Politics Politics of the United States Recession Republican Party Republicans The Apprentice Trump United States US Federal Reserve WWE Hall of Fame Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:27:21 +0000 Knave Dave 593927 at