March 29, 2019 Patrick Oliver-Kelley

The Fed painted a far less rosy economic picture than the White House when it left interest rates unchanged and signaled it expected to make few changes in the near future. Growth is slowing because of the Trump initiated trade war, economic slowdown in Europe and China, and the virtually non-existent benefits from his tax cuts. The Fed now expects 2.1% growth, down from previous estimates of 2.3% in December and more than a full percentage point less than the White House predicts. Rate hikes seem to be off the table for this year, giving Trump what he wants.

Wall Street is happy as a clam, but Trump’s tax cuts will not give the economic growth he predicts. But the slowdown will have its impact, where, is a mystery at the moment. C.E.O.s’ economic confidence fell for the fourth quarter in a row as well as forecasts for growth, unemployment and inflation. All suggesting the American economy is entering a more sluggish period.

Most of us grew-up looking toward a system that had been established after WW II- democratic governments, globalized economy that would gradually bring the world together and believed it was remarkably stable.

But globalization has a downside- it is faceless, and people want to know their identity, want to be connected to some religious or ethnic or national group. Donald Trump, perhaps the most undemocratic president in modern American history is looking more fascist by the day.

Fascists use “emergencies” to create fear and conflict, so there is a potential red line. If Trump does that, then he really is a bully with an army. If Trump actually uses the military to deploy or incite violence, that’s when all bets are off. Authoritarian leaders have a way of learning from one another in real time, which can create an anti-democratic spiral.

we are witnessing an anti-democratic spiral. Trump’s rather peculiar relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin is especially troubling. I mean, why is Trump hiding his details of his conversations from his own administration? We have no idea of what they talked about. The Mueller report is yet to be made public, until then, judgements should be withheld, in spite of Administration’s victory dancing.

I am an optimist who worries a lot. we have to call it out, and that’s what I am going to do.

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