timschochet

TRADE WAR: Dow drops all week, rebounds a little on Friday

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5 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

So China and India did not become more powerful in the last 20 years due to free trade?

China is going to become far more economically powerful due to our abandonment of the TPP. 

But- the real question is, should we fear economic rivals? The answer is no. It’s the opposite of military power. When other countries gain economic strength we benefit. 

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Just now, Slapdash said:

Maybe you should pick up any basic economics textbook.

I was hoping someone here is smart enough to give me a cliff note run down.  Where is Tim when you neeed him?

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8 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

So China and India did not become more powerful in the last 20 years due to free trade?

:confused:.....:doh:...:no:

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3 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

But USA is already numero uno 50 years ago, no?

This is meaningless. Our standard of living is much higher now than it was 50 years ago. 

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31 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

I need some metrics to gain concrete understanding of the pros and cons.

I'd start with this book:

Prices Go Up, Prices Go Down: The Laws of Supply and Demand
by David Adler

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Posted (edited)

3 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

I was hoping someone here is smart enough to give me a cliff note run down.  Where is Tim when you neeed him?

You're trying to thread a needle here of someone smart enough to explain things, but dumb enough to do it to an obvious alias who will not listen.  Good luck.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gains_from_trade

Edited by Slapdash
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Posted (edited)

3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

China is going to become far more economically powerful due to our abandonment of the TPP. 

But- the real question is, should we fear economic rivals? The answer is no. It’s the opposite of military power. When other countries gain economic strength we benefit. 

How did China become threat in the first place?

If we have free trade now then why isn’t Amazon making more billions in China and India?

Edited by bradyfan

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Just now, bradyfan said:

How did China become threat in the first place?

If we have free trade now then why isn’t Amazon making more billions in China and India?

What is Amazon going to sell to China and India?

Goods made in China and India, and sold by Amazon in China/India are not imports to China/India

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When a point is made that we are the world's only superpower, and the response is a non sequitur deflection that other (nonsuperpowers) have gained strength over the past decades, any pretense of looking to genuinely engage, learn, debate, is lost.

Back to the topic...

 

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

China is going to become far more economically powerful due to our abandonment of the TPP. 

But- the real question is, should we fear economic rivals? The answer is no. It’s the opposite of military power. When other countries gain economic strength we benefit. 

Unless and until, the US$ is not considered the world reserve currency.

 

Or, until the balance swings, and China and India become consumers of good produced by cheap labor in America.

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:
3 hours ago, The Commish said:

Link?  I can't imagine his supporters being fond of this in any meaningful number.

It's just speculation on my part regarding Sanders. But these Democrats like what Trump is doing:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/06/trade-democrats-tariffs-rust-belt-442822

There are certainly reasons to be critical of free trade deals, but these Democrats do not make those points.  It's sad.

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1 minute ago, bradyfan said:

How did China become threat in the first place?

If we have free trade now then why isn’t Amazon making more billions in China and India?

1. China became a threat to the United States when it became Communist in 1949. China became an economic rival to the USA in 1973. They are not a threat to us as a rival, but they remain a threat to us as an autocratic, still nominally Communist nuclear power with the largest military on Earth. 

2. The hope is that as the consumer base rises in both India and China, companies like Amazon will make more billions. We have untapped markets in all of Asia that can bring us tremendous prosperity over this next century- so long as we don’t blow it by becoming protectionist. 

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8 minutes ago, dschuler said:

:confused:.....:doh:...:no:

Great Britain supported free trade, so why is it not a superpower anymore?  I’m confused.

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6 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

What is Amazon going to sell to China and India?

Goods made in China and India, and sold by Amazon in China/India are not imports to China/India

Does this mean free trade works better for countries that can produce goods at a lower price?

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5 minutes ago, Koya said:

When a point is made that we are the world's only superpower, and the response is a non sequitur deflection that other (nonsuperpowers) have gained strength over the past decades, any pretense of looking to genuinely engage, learn, debate, is lost.

Back to the topic...

 

I said I am here to learn.  You have to look for someone else if you want to debate.

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

1. China became a threat to the United States when it became Communist in 1949. China became an economic rival to the USA in 1973. They are not a threat to us as a rival, but they remain a threat to us as an autocratic, still nominally Communist nuclear power with the largest military on Earth. 

2. The hope is that as the consumer base rises in both India and China, companies like Amazon will make more billions. We have untapped markets in all of Asia that can bring us tremendous prosperity over this next century- so long as we don’t blow it by becoming protectionist. 

Which US companies are making a lot of money in China and India right now?

Edited by bradyfan

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5 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

Great Britain supported free trade, so why is it not a superpower anymore?  I’m confused.

First off I don’t believe you are confused. I believe you’re trolling, and attempting to attack free trade at the same time. 

But you raised a very good issue here. Great Britain is no longer a superpower. And the people there have a much higher standard of living now than when they were forced to pay taxes for maintaining that empire they used to own. 

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11 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

What is Amazon going to sell to China and India?

Goods made in China and India, and sold by Amazon in China/India are not imports to China/India

I used to buy a lot from Amazon but now I usually find better prices elsewhere, and no fakes.

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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

First off I don’t believe you are confused. I believe you’re trolling, and attempting to attack free trade at the same time. 

But you raised a very good issue here. Great Britain is no longer a superpower. And the people there have a much higher standard of living now than when they were forced to pay taxes for maintaining that empire they used to own. 

I am not attacking free trade.  Every policy has its pros and cons.  To make it work for us, we need to recognize the pitfalls.

Edited by bradyfan

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10 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

Great Britain supported free trade, so why is it not a superpower anymore?  I’m confused.

Great Britain isn't a superpower anymore because it is smaller than the size of Florida and Georgia combined.  Would Florida/Georgia be a superpower?  No.  Great Britain gave up a lot of areas they once controlled,  are very limited in its natural resources and doesn't have tech giants like South Korea and Japan have. 

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1 minute ago, dschuler said:

Great Britain isn't a superpower anymore because it is smaller than the size of Florida and Georgia combined.  Would Florida/Georgia be a superpower?  No.  Great Britain gave up a lot of areas they once controlled,  are very limited in its natural resources and doesn't have tech giants like South Korea and Japan have. 

So being a superpower did not have anything to do with free trade at all?

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13 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

Which US companies are making a lot of money in China and India right now?

Most of the same ones that are making money in the U.S.  Turns out McDonalds, Starbucks, Pepsi, Apple, and all of the other big names are filled throughout their malls and the country.

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Just now, bradyfan said:

So being a superpower did not have anything to do with free trade at all?

Germany and Russia were superpowers in the 1940s, did they have free trade?

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4 minutes ago, dschuler said:

Germany and Russia were superpowers in the 1940s, did they have free trade?

Hey, I was not the one who said free trade made us the sole superpower.

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8 minutes ago, dschuler said:

Most of the same ones that are making money in the U.S.  Turns out McDonalds, Starbucks, Pepsi, Apple, and all of the other big names are filled throughout their malls and the country.

Funny you mention McDonalds.  It sold its Stake in China last year.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-09/mcdonald-s-sells-control-of-china-business-to-citic-carlyle

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1 minute ago, bradyfan said:

Hey, I was not the one who said free trade made us the sole superpower.

That's fine, but Great Britain's fall had nothing to do with their trade policy.  It's irrelevant in their case, they gave away their best assets around the world and aren't much different than a 51st US state today. 

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Just awful trolling by Bradyfan in here.  Terrible effort, really.  

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2 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

It sold a majority of its stake yes, and they have added over 1,000 stores since then, so it might not be too much of a dip.  Point is that most US global companies operate in China just fine, and make a killing over there.  Stabucks is opening a store every 15 hours, has 3,000 stores in China and will have over 5,000 by 2021.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/05/starbucks-is-opening-a-store-in-china-every-15-hours.html

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2 minutes ago, dschuler said:

That's fine, but Great Britain's fall had nothing to do with their trade policy.  It's irrelevant in their case, they gave away their best assets around the world and aren't much different than a 51st US state today. 

I don’t think any country willing gave away its assets if it can help it.  Just like GE would not have sold its appliance business to China if it is making money.

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6 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

Does this mean free trade works better for countries that can produce goods at a lower price?

no - free trade - in a large nutshell - is the efficient allocation of resources across global boundaries.

Company A - USA - want to make widgets.  It cost $1 to make a widget at a local factory and the sell them for $2

Now, Company A has found a factory in China that will make the widgets for $0.50 - including the cost to ship back to the US.  Company A, now sells a widget for $1.75, so the US public gets cheaper widgets, and Company A makes $0.25 more per widget.

In theory - lots of winning.

But, Company A laid off 1000 workers in its old factory.  And, neither Company A, nor the US, are spending a lot of this new-found profits to re-train these widget makers into something else.  In fact, most people blame the widget makers for not being prepared to do something else, despite the fact that for decades, being a widget maker was an honorable way to support a family.

So, we have some initial losers in the free-trade game.

 

Long-term - a trade deficit is not sustainable.  It is literally shipping wealth out of the country - we are sending more money out, than we are getting in.  And, when the goods we are getting in return for our money are consumable products - with a limited lifespan - we are pissing away our future wealth to feel good about ourselves today.  Unless, of course, we can continue to put things on our credit card - and never pay off the balance.  

 

So, how do we win?  We win, when we figure out how to best allocate our resources in the USA to produce goods and services that the rest of the world wants - and when that happens, the trade balance shifts back in our favor.  But, we prefer cheap TVs to R&D development into emerging tech, or alternative energy, or nation-wide high-speed internet access (or other infra-structure projects that will promote economic growth in a region).  We don't want to "waste" our hard-earned money training other people on new job skills.  Tough luck for them.  In short, we are not efficiently allocating resources in the US - we are simply allowing companies to take advantage of better resource allocation elsewhere.

The answer is not a trade war or tariffs.  That artificially raises the cost of widgets, and creates an inefficient use of resources - we know its more efficient to use labor in China to make widgets - but we have not figured out how to efficiently use the displaced labor here - and that is how you solve the problem.

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35 minutes ago, bradyfan said:

Great Britain supported free trade, so why is it not a superpower anymore?  I’m confused.

This is a good read on it: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1399693/A-history-of-sterling.html

Best part:

Quote

Reconstruction at Bretton Woods

The Bretton Woods conference in 1944 heralded the end of sterling's predominance in international trade, and the triumph of the American dollar.

The agreement defined both the dollar and the pound as reserve currencies, a sop to British pride rather than a reflection of the truth, ignoring the UK's very large balance of payment deficit caused by the war. That reserve status meant that other nations must accept dollars or pounds to settle debts.

But each country, including Britain, would define the value of its currency in dollars, and the U.S. would tie the value of the dollar to gold.

The world simply did not have enough gold for every currency to hold reserves. In theory there was still a link to gold to impose a discipline on the system.The Americans held their currency stable against their gold reserves in the famous Fort Knox.

But the pound was not a popular reserve currency, although the Commonwealth sterling block helped it retain some importance in currency markets. After the war, rumours swirled that sterling was to devalue, and so many countries converted their pounds to dollars.

At the same time, Britain's trading partners in the sterling block - mostly her colonies - wanted consumer goods, which the UK could not supply. The UK was still geared for war supply.

These nations turned to the USA and dollars for their consumer necessaries, further weakening the British economy, and by 1949 sterling's importance as a reserve currency was severely on the wane. Sir Stafford Cripps, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, accepted this uncomfortable fact, although he denied it in public.

The pound was devalued by 30 per cent on September 18 1949. The enormous postwar balance of payments deficit was just too much for the UK. Lend lease and debt due America had taken its toll. Sterling's weakness and decline then became glaring. National banks wanted dollars not pounds.

 

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4 hours ago, dschuler said:

Even with the tariffs and turmoil the market is still up... why is that?  I think you should consider what I said above.  We are reaching a point where one day FANGM will have such a large market cap comparatively that the other companies in the stock market will have little to no impact on the overall change in the Dow/NASDAQ.   These tariff benefitting companies like American Steel and Alcoa for aluminum have market caps that combine for only about 1.5% of the total value of just Apple.  

Essentially, we have gotten to the point where people 401Ks are still going to go up with 1000000% tariffs as long as the value of FANGM keep going up.  

good for the top 10%, I guess.

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1 minute ago, The Duff Man said:

No idea if this is accurate, but article claims that 200,000 manufacturing jobs were lost last time US had tariffs on these products. 

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-happened-the-last-time-the-us-imposed-tariffs-on-steel-2018-03-08

 

By exempting Canada...are we minimizing the impact (both the positive and negative)?

 

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I posted the below in the Trump years thread, but it could go here as well.  I still don't know how this impacts my project.  This is more of a macro-economics item, this is how tarriffs could effect me personally.

==================

The project I'm working on was budgeted to cost $115.  It currently costs $120, with ~$20 in steel, sourced from China.  We had a path to take $5 out, but it was going to be tough.  I don't believe $10 is doable.

If our Chinese steel component prices rise by $5, we will be over budget.  If that happens, this project won't make enough margin to ship - you can't turn around a product that makes less margin than the previous one as the new one will cannibalize your business and you end up losing money.

Last Wednesday, the CEO showed up unannounced and layed off my entire department (except me and my team), consolidating engineering to Germany.  My team was spared only because of this project.

If we are saddled with an extra 25% costs on Chinese steel, they might as well cancel my project and let me go too.

This is not abstract, hypothetical stuff.  This is my career, as well as my employees.

=================

Beyond that, I'd add this: you guys hear how electrolux halted building a facility in Tennessee due to the tarrifs?  Electrolux USA is headquartered here in Charlotte.  I have a lot of co-workers that came from their HQ.  One less Electrolux plant means fewer jobs for a guy like me.  

I still don't know what the impact of the tarriffs will be on my project.  It gets fuzzy as our Chinese steel is not purchased as a raw good - we have a lot of bending, stamping, and welding done and it ships to us as a subassembly.  I have no idea how that will be marked WRT tarrifs.  

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I’m just grateful that, at least for now, our President is weaponizing trade instead of weaponizing missiles.

We can eventually undo much of the harm from the first stupidity.

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Quote

Toys “R” Us Inc. is making preparations for a liquidation of its bankrupt U.S. operations after so far failing to find a buyer or reach a debt restructuring deal with lenders, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the situation is still fluid, a shutdown of the U.S. division has become increasingly likely in recent days, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Hopes are fading that a buyer will emerge to keep some of the business operating, or that lenders will agree on terms of a debt restructuring, the people said.

The toy chain’s U.S. division entered bankruptcy in September, planning to emerge with a leaner business model and more manageable debt. A new $3.1 billion loan was obtained to keep the stores open during the turnaround effort, but results worsened more than expected during the holidays, casting doubt on the chain’s viability.

The situation has also deteriorated for many of the retailer’s overseas divisions, which weren’t part of the bankruptcy. Toys “R” Us’ U.K. unit put itself in the hands of a court administrator after discussions about selling the business fell apart. Its European arm is seeking takeover bids. And talks are being held to offload the growing Asian business, the company’s most profitable arm. It’s not yet clear what will happen to the Canadian unit, which filed at the same time as the U.S. division.

A representative for Wayne, New Jersey-based Toys “R” Us declined to comment.

The news sent shares of the biggest toymakers tumbling in late trading. Mattel Inc. fell as much as 6.1 percent, while Hasbro Inc. declined 3 percent.

Toys “R” Us’s $583 million of first-lien bonds due in 2021 dropped as much as 4 cents on the dollar to 83.9, according to bond-pricing system known as Trace. That’s the biggest decline since September, the month the company filed for bankruptcy.

The downfall of Toys “R” Us can be traced back to a $7.5 billion leveraged buyout in 2005, when Bain Capital, KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust loaded the company with debt. For years, the retailer was able to refinance its debt and delay a reckoning. But the emergence of online competitors, like Amazon.com Inc., weighed on results. The company’s massive interest payments also sucked up resources that could have gone toward technology and improving operations.

Facing broader concerns about the brick-and-mortar industry, the company was finally pushed to hire debt-restructuring advisers last year. Its worsening situation, along with reports that it was considering bankruptcy, spooked vendors – with about 40 percent of them ceasing shipments and forcing the company to seek court protection. That quick descent meant the retailer entered bankruptcy without a plan for how to restructure its debt, which made finding a way to exit more difficult.

The liquidation will be a big blow for the toy industry, as the chain makes up about 15 percent of U.S. toy revenue. Moreover, the retailer was willing to take chances on new products and small companies. Bigger competitors like Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. would typically take a more cautious approach.

The company entered this year with more than 800 stores in the U.S. – under both the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands. In January, it announced the shuttering of 180 locations.

It’s not unusual for bankrupt retailers to ultimately liquidate, but Toys “R” Us took an optimistic stance when it filed for bankruptcy in September. It initially pledged not to close stores, and its earnings had shown improvement by some measures.

Toys “R” Us generated $11.5 billion in sales in 2016. And though the company hadn’t reported an annual profit since its 2013 fiscal year because of interest payments, its operating income had risen 22 percent, to $460 million.

The company was founded in 1948 when Charles Lazarus opened Children’s Bargain Town, a baby-furniture store. Over the decades, it grew into the largest U.S. toy chain. In the early 1990s, sales were increasing at a 10 percent annual clip.

In more recent years, sluggish traffic and the shift online took their toll. In the 12 months through September, Toys “R” Us sales declined 5 percent.

Thanks Obama! 

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Posted (edited)

13 hours ago, timschochet said:

Make no mistake, this WILL be popular with a lot of Americans, perhaps a plurality. Almost every economist, liberal and conservative, will tell you it's a bad idea. But a lot of the public likes it, particularly Trump's primary supporters and a lot of the Bernie people as well.

While they don't make up a significant amount most of my conservative farmers friends obviously don't like these tariffs. It blew me away when they were supporting him despite his tough talk on NAFTA which we farmers support. I told them it's a little late to whine now, he is only doing what he said he was going to do.

Edited by lazyike
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