President Trump Takes On NY Times Over Anonymous Saboteur
President Trump, citing national security considerations but leaving out First Amendment considerations, is demanding that the New York Times (NYSE:NYT) reveal the identity of the author of an anonymous op-ed published by the Times yesterday. The author of the piece called the Trump Administration dangerous, anti trade, amoral, and unhinged. The piece, entitled “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” details meetings that go off the rails resulting in hasty decision with little forethought.
“Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.”
It will be interesting to see how the stock responds today, and how much power Trump think he has to go directly after the press.
Tariffs Do Not Appear to be Working
Speaking of the anti trade Trump Administration, tariffs passed by the Trump Administration so far have done nothing to alleviate the trade deficit with China and the European Union, both of which reached all time records in July. The total trade deficit for the month was $50.1 billion, the highest since February. Imports have hit an all time high. $50 billion in tariffs against Chinese imports have already been imposed, and $200 billion more could be instituted before the end of the month. The deficit with Canada also rose despite tariffs against Canadian lumber and other products. As Americans spend more than they produce, trade deficits have been exacerbated by consistently rising US government debt, much of which is handed out in personal and corporate welfare that is spent overseas to finance imports. Tariffs won’t close the gap.
Bitcoin Bloodbath Spills Over Into Crypto Carnage
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is having a decidedly bad day, down 12%, though compared to other altcoins it’s doing pretty well. Almost all other cryptocurrencies are down 20% or more. The combined market cap of all digital currencies has fallen $37 billion in the last 24 hours in two distinct waterfall declines of nearly $20 billion each. Ethereum (ETH-USD), Bitcoin Cash (BCH-USD) and EOS (EOS-USD) are all down 20% or more. The decline comes, allegedly, on the news that Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has pulled back from plans to establish a crypto trading desk, and news from cryptocurrency exchange service Shapeshift that it will start asking users for personal information.
CVS-Aetna, Cigna-Express Scripts Deals Likely To Be Approved
The healthcare industry is preparing for two massive mergers set to be approved by antitrust bureaucrats at the Justice Department. Approval could come in just a few weeks. CVS (NYSE:CVS) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) will likely have to go through some forced asset sales before approval can be solidified, whereas Cigna (NYSE:CI) and Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX) will probably just go through as is. The combined value of the deals is over $120 billion.
500 Hospitals Coming Together To Form Generic Drug Company
Is Teva (NYSE:TEVA) in for another thrashing? It looks like the price of generic drugs are going to fall once again as a group of 500 hospitals consisting of 7 hospital groups and three health foundations has come together to form a new generic drug company called Civica, which aims to start by manufacturing 14 widely used drugs that are in chronic short supply. Civica aims to cut the price of these drugs by 20%, aiming to get them to market by the middle of next year. The company will be not-for-profit, so the question is who will support it and for how long. The company will be headed by retired Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) official Martin VanTrieste