Politics

(New York)

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has just formally opened an investigation into Trump’s charity activities. The state accuses the Donald J. Trump Foundation of violating state tax laws regarding campaign financing, self-dealing, and illegally coordinating with the presidential campaign. The state seeks to dissolve the foundation in addition to other measures. The investigation may turn criminal, in which case it could widen in scope to include much of Trump’s personal financial affairs, including his tax returns.


FINSUM: Hard to know how broad this could extend, but it seems like it will certainly intersect with Mueller’s investigation. It could prove a big headache for the president.

(Washington)

President Trump faced nothing short of public and political outrage in the US yesterday, after he essentially sided with Russia’s view of the 2016 election meddling scandal. When asked about Russia’ alleged meddling in the election, Trump insinuated that he believed Putin’s side of the story more than that of US intelligence agencies (though he did not say this outright). That sparked widespread condemnation from political foes and allies alike.


FINSUM: Whatever you think of Trump’s comments, most might agree that these are some of his most provocative and risky comments yet. The reason being that appearing to “side” with Russia might undermine some of his own nationalist voter base.

(Washington)

Something very odd has been going on in markets for the last few weeks—investors are completely tuning out politics. The political situation both domestically and internationally has grown steadily worse in recent weeks. The US has a growing trade war with China, Brexit is a complete mess, Trump is meddling with allies etc., yet markets continue to move higher. Even emerging markets have rallied.


FINSUM: On top of politics, recession fears are also growing. Accordingly, it is slightly concerning markets are rising. Markets have learned to not take Trump’s comments too seriously, but that lack of sensitivity might be serving investors poorly right now. The Wall Street Journal says it best: “Markets are notoriously bad at pricing changes in the political weather until they are forced to”.

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