The Flinchum File
Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions

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01/04/2019

A surprisingly small percentage of people serve in the military, and an even smaller percentage actually experience the horror of war face-to-face.  For others, war can be clean, antiseptic, and even academic.

Yesterday, Apple announced that their revenues were suffering due to the trade war.  Suddenly, a trade war is no longer clean, nor antiseptic, nor academic.  When American companies start losing revenues, profits will suffer, and then dividends will suffer.  Job losses will follow.  There really is a nasty cost to trade wars.  Apple is just the tip of the iceberg.

NAFTA I was quickly modified to become NAFTA II.  Similarly, I hope the President can eliminate this trade uncertainty with China quickly.  The stock market will be very unhappy if a deal is not made by the March 31st deadline.  As more companies release their earnings, every disappointment will be blamed on the trade war.

Of course, if this is a war of attrition, we have greater resources and can suffer far longer than China.  We can take a quick win now with bragging rights or take a bigger win later, albeit with a sick stock market.  It is no fun being a financial advisor during a bear market, so we vote for a quick win!

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