From shock to solidarity and from aggressive reality checks to passive toothless solutions, the world's leaders responded in many different ways to the horrific attack last night in Nice, France. However, it is one seasoned veteran trader's response that is perhaps most poignant...
“On behalf of the American people, I condemn in the strongest terms what appears to be a horrific terrorist attack in Nice, France, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent civilians.”
“Deep emotion and infinite sadness at the #Nice06 attack. Solidarity with the #Niçois”
“Canadians are shocked by tonight’s attack in Nice. Our sympathy is with the victims, and our solidarity with the French people.”
Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says the pain of the attack in Nice was made worse because so many children were killed and maimed on France's national holiday. In a Facebook post, Renzi wrote:
"We're used to seeing postcards from Nice full of beauty, not images of death with a doll near a destroyed stroller. Reacting is a moral duty."
Downing Street spokesman:
“We are shocked and concerned by the scenes there. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this terrible incident on what was a day of national celebration.”
“Another horrific attack, this time in Nice, France. Many dead and injured. When will we learn? It is only getting worse.”
As CNN reports, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton struck different tones following the France terror attack Thursday night, with Trump saying he'd ask for a declaration of war against ISIS while Clinton called for greater intelligence gathering to fight terror groups.
The two major party candidates' responses again highlighted the sharp differences in their foreign policy stances, with Trump reiterating his belief that the U.S. needs to be "tough" in its response to terrorism.
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly asked Trump if he would seek a declaration of war from Congress against the terror group.
"I would, I would. This is war," Trump replied. "If you look at it, this is war coming from all different parts."
He reiterated his belief that "we have to be tough" and his view that the U.S. should reverse its decision to allow Syrian refugees into the country.
"You know, in the old days, we would have uniforms, you knew what you were fighting. We are allowing people into our country who we have no idea where they are, where they're from, who they are, they have no paperwork, they have no documentation, in many cases," Trump said.
Asked later Thursday about Trump's response by CNN's Anderson Cooper, Clinton said it was "clear" that the U.S. was at war with terrorist groups, but she said it "was a very different kind of war." But, she argued, greater intelligence gathering, not military force, was necessary.
"They would love to draw the United States into a ground war in Syria," Clinton said. "I would be very focused on the intelligence surge. I would be very focused on working with our partners and allies and intensify our efforts against the ideologues that pedal radical jihadism online."
Cooper then asked Clinton if the U.S. was at war with "radical Islam" -- a phrase Trump often uses on the campaign trail and says is necessary to identify the threat. Clinton and President Barack Obama, however, have largely shied away from using the term, believing that associating terrorists with Islam helps to legitimize their interpretation of the religion.
"We're at war against radical jihadists who use Islam to recruit and radicalize others in order to pursue their evil agenda," Clinton responded. "It's not so important what we call these people as what we do about them, and I think back to our success in getting (Osama) bin Laden, it was important that we built the case, we got the information and the President ordered the raid."
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who on Thursday accepted Trump's offer to be his running mate, also issued a statement on the attack, which he said was
"a horrific reminder of the threat facing Western civilization."
"As we mourn with the people of France, we must resolve to bring justice all those responsible and defeat this enemy of civilization at its source," Pence said.
Paul Ryan was compassionate...
And finally, here is the reaction from a veteran markets trader... Mint's Bill Blain explains
A night of shock and horror in France.
My morning porridge is a “blog” focused on markets. To understand markets you have to understand the factors that influence them – the environment created by politics, policies and indefinables like sentiment and mood. For that reason, it’s important to understand the atrocities visited on Paris, Istanbul, Orlando, Brussels, and now Nice.
None of us can understand how any kind of religion would condone such evil. It doesn’t. Islam does not allow this. But, there is method in the Jihadis’ madness. The fanatics are determined to goad France – and all the western democracies - into chronic over-reaction. France is an obvious target – home of despised western culture plus massive sink estates of disaffected Moslem youth they look to recruit.
The aim is to provoke.
While we hang last decade’s politicians for the “unnecessary” invasion of Iraq, the fanatics’ policy is working. Any action by the West is blunted, reversed and turned against us. Drone strikes taking out the leadership of ISIS are questioned by the lawyers, while “collateral damage” killing their wives and children is reported as tragedy and proof of Western evil. The extremists present themselves as the victims, stirring up greater support for their twisted Jihad.
The aim is to distract.
It comes at a time when immigration is tearing Europe apart. The terrorists keep prodding that festering sore. Distract the West and keep up the pressure through asymmetric violence.
The aim is to destabilise.
How to keep the lid on the fury this generates…? Sadly the beneficiaries may be Le Pen and Trump. And that has profound market implications – how long will Trump resist a “as ye sow, so shall ye reap” remark which will just fuel the cycle? If he gets in power, what’s his grand solution? Give everyone guns? Further alienate Islam by slamming the doors on them?
How do we turn it around and justly visit fury on the evil men? Crushing Islam might bring momentary satisfaction for the likes of Trump – but would it ultimately make us worse. Yet, you can’t win a war without absolute commitment.
What response is required? What response is likely?
This morning, I was going to write about the importance of understanding the twin influences of Policies and Politics on this market. But, explaining how the recent government coup in the UK – which has seen the 40% of cabinet Notting-Hill Billies sacked and replaced with politicians – will change the UK and Markets, seems a bit trite this morning. That’s politics.
In terms of policies, the bottom line is the Central Banks and Finance Ministries stand ready to “support” economies. While NIRP, ZIRP, QE and whatever other ridiculous expressions we invent to describe monetary experimentation might not be working in terms of growth or jobs, and make little fundamental common sense, they do set current prices. Play them.
That’s the current game. Politics and Policies.
I was also going to talk about banks. How rumours of a Euro 4 bln capital raise for MPS won’t save the perilous state of Italian banking. A sticky plaster on a hacked-off limb.
It seems to us like Bill Blain's "sticky plaster on a hacked-off limb" analogy is just as prone to describe the Italian bank bailout as any belief the mainstream western body politik has in its "war on terrorism."