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State of the Union in review

06/02/2019

The US President’s annual State Of the Union (SOTU) address, slightly delayed though it was by partisan political chicanery, was warmly received by both investors and politicians, with the obvious exception of the usual absurd posturing from his opponents who’d react the same way even if he’d announced the elimination of poverty, world hunger, and urban decay. For those free to have their own opinions, there was much to be positive about. US employment continues to rise in most sectors, notably among minorities, trade talks with China have been set for as early as next week, and the US have managed to arrange another meeting with North Korea’s President Kim at the end of the month. Next week’s Chinese trade talks will be all about manoeuvring for the best starting position with no real progress made, but if anyone is the master of the Long Game in this regard it’s China.  Of course, the US President wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t use the opportunity to point out that the rampant political bias against him was detrimental to the country as a whole, and he’s not wrong either. One does wonder how much more the US could achieve if so many weren’t permanently searching for the next micro celebrity, (of which the US has an apparently inexhaustible supply), to feign outrage. North Korea would probably be the 51st State by now. Fortunately, investors discovered long ago that facts don’t care about petty prejudices, and we’d expect the medium term trend for both the US currency and equity markets to remain broadly positive.

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