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Krugmenistan vs Trumplandia: Backflipping into a Depression

In this return to Krug­menistan [1] we’re going to return at a top­ic every­one loves: Fed­er­al Reserve inter­est rate poli­cies. Yay [2]! If that sounds bor­ing, note that we’re specif­i­cal­ly going to exam­ine Don­ald Trump’s plans for the Fed­er­al Reserve so it’s guar­an­teed to be crazy. And omi­nous. Does that sound bor­ing? How about plans to inten­tion­al­ly col­lapse the econ­o­my. Does that sound bor­ing? No, this is Don­ald Trump’s poli­cies we’re talk­ing about. It’s any­thing but bor­ing. Or sane.

***************************************

Now that we’re in the “final stretch” part of the 2016 elec­tion sea­son, and since it’s still unclear if Don­ald Trump is even capa­ble of not act­ing like a cryp­to-Nazi [3] on a near dai­ly basis, it’s worth reflect­ing back on the cam­paign just about five months ago. Why then? Because it was just about five months ago, April 21st to be pre­cise, when we got the reports that Trump’s new cam­paign man­ag­er, Paul Man­afort pledg­ing to GOP mega-donors that Trump was real­ly just “pro­ject­ing an image” for the pri­ma­ry sea­son and not going to con­tin­ue “being Trump” after he secures the nom­i­na­tion and goes into the gen­er­al elec­tion sea­son. Yes, it was just five months ago when, if you real­ly, tru­ly want­ed to believe that Don­ald Trump was­n’t going to con­tin­ue behav­ing like a cryp­to-Nazi on a near dai­ly basis for­ev­er, you could still sort of believe that. It was still a fool­ish belief at the time, but at least it was­n’t as yet proven wrong. Instead, we’ve seen Trump dropped the mask even more if that’s pos­si­ble, replace Paul Man­afort with the Alt-Right’s media cham­pi­on Steve Ban­non as his cam­paign man­ag­er [4], and make it clear that he can’t go more than a week with­out a melt-down of one form or anoth­er. His gen­er­al elec­tion strat­e­gy is to go Full Trump with an Alt-Right flair.

What a dif­fer­ence five months makes. An age of inno­cence. *poof* Gone. April was the good ol’ days [5]:

The Asso­ci­at­ed Press

Trump team tells GOP he has been ‘pro­ject­ing an image’

Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished April 21, 2016 at 12:42 am Updat­ed April 21, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Ted Cruz con­ced­ed pub­licly for the first time that he does­n’t have enough sup­port to claim the nom­i­na­tion before the GOP’s nation­al con­ven­tion, but he also vowed to block Trump from col­lect­ing the nec­es­sary del­e­gates as well. Many par­ty loy­al­ists fear an all-out Repub­li­can civ­il war.

By STEVE PEOPLES
and THOMAS BEAUMONT

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Don­ald Trump’s chief lieu­tenants .told skep­ti­cal Repub­li­can lead­ers Thurs­day that the GOP front-run­ner has been “pro­ject­ing an image” so far in the 2016 pri­ma­ry sea­son and “the part that he’s been play­ing is now evolv­ing” in a way that will improve his stand­ing among gen­er­al elec­tion vot­ers.

The mes­sage, deliv­ered behind closed doors in a pri­vate brief­ing, is part of the campaign’s inten­si­fy­ing effort to con­vince par­ty lead­ers Trump will mod­er­ate his tone in the com­ing months to help deliv­er big elec­toral gains this fall, despite his con­tentious ways.

...

Trump’s new­ly hired senior aide, Paul Man­afort, made the case to Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee mem­bers that Trump has two per­son­al­i­ties: one in pri­vate and one onstage.

“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talk­ing about the kinds of things he’s talk­ing about on the stump, he’s pro­ject­ing an image that’s for that pur­pose,” Man­afort said in a pri­vate brief­ing.

“You’ll start to see more depth of the per­son, the real per­son. You’ll see a real dif­fer­ent guy,” he said.

The Asso­ci­at­ed Press obtained a record­ing of the closed-door exchange.

“He gets it,” Man­afort said of Trump’s need to mod­er­ate his per­son­al­i­ty. “The part that he’s been play­ing is evolv­ing into the part that now you’ve been expect­ing, but he wasn’t ready for, because he had first to com­plete the first phase. The neg­a­tives will come down. The image is going to change.”

The mes­sage was wel­comed by some par­ty offi­cials but crit­i­cized by oth­ers who sug­gest­ed it raised doubts about his authen­tic­i­ty.

“He’s try­ing to mod­er­ate. He’s get­ting bet­ter,” said Ben Car­son, a Trump ally who was part of the GOP’s front-runner’s RNC out­reach team.

While Trump’s top advis­ers were promis­ing Repub­li­can lead­ers that the GOP front-run­ner would mod­er­ate his mes­sage, the can­di­date was telling vot­ers he wasn’t ready to act pres­i­den­tial.

“I just don’t know if I want to do it yet,” Trump said dur­ing a rau­cous ral­ly in Har­ris­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia, Thurs­day that was fre­quent­ly inter­rupt­ed by pro­test­ers.

“At some point, I’m going to be so pres­i­den­tial that you peo­ple will be so bored,” he said, pre­dict­ing that the size of his crowds would dwin­dle if he dialed back his rhetoric.

...

Trump also said the plan to swap Jack­son for Tub­man on the $20 bill is an act of “pure polit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

““He’s try­ing to mod­er­ate. He’s get­ting bet­ter,” said Ben Car­son, a Trump ally who was part of the GOP’s front-runner’s RNC out­reach team.”

Ahhh, the good ol’ days. It was a sim­pler time back then. A time when any­thing was pos­si­ble:

...

Trump’s new­ly hired senior aide, Paul Man­afort, made the case to Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee mem­bers that Trump has two per­son­al­i­ties: one in pri­vate and one onstage.

“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talk­ing about the kinds of things he’s talk­ing about on the stump, he’s pro­ject­ing an image that’s for that pur­pose,” Man­afort said in a pri­vate brief­ing.

“You’ll start to see more depth of the per­son, the real per­son. You’ll see a real dif­fer­ent guy,” he said.

...

Just wait and see! Like a but­ter­fly emerg­ing from its cocoon, the real Don­ald Trump was going to emerge. That was Paul Man­fort’s mes­sage. Then Trump dumped him and hired the Alt-Right’s media cham­pi­on to replace him. Say hel­lo to the real Trump. You’ve pre­vi­ous­ly met.

That oth­er Trump arti­cle from April 21st
But it’s also worth not­ing that on the very same day that the above AP arti­cle about Paul Man­afort’s behind-the-scenes pledge that the “real per­son” was going to emerge from the Trumpian hate cocoon, For­tune Mag­a­zine came out with a long inter­view of Trump. It’s an absolute­ly price­less inter­view of Trump that’s the gift that keeps on giv­ing. It also had a very “real Trump” feel in the sense that it was Trump being Trump. The Trump we now know is nev­er going away. Includ­ing the part when Trump pledges he’s nev­er going to rebrand. He’s going Full Trump for­ev­er [6]:

For­tune

Don­ald Trump In His Own Words: Atlantic City to the White House

by Stephen Gan­del

April 21, 2016, 10:30 AM EDT

For­tune inter­views the GOP fron­trun­ner.

The fol­low­ing is a tran­script of an inter­view For­tune con­duct­ed with Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date and busi­ness­man Don­ald Trump on Tues­day, April 19, the night of the New York pri­ma­ry, in his office at Trump Tow­er on 5th Ave. in Man­hat­tan. For­tune reached out to Trump’s cam­paign three weeks before our pub­li­ca­tion date, seek­ing an inter­view about his busi­ness career. After orig­i­nal­ly agree­ing to meet, Trump’s team can­celed the inter­view and said the GOP fron­trun­ner would not par­tic­i­pate in Fortune’s arti­cle, which can be found here: Busi­ness the Trump Way [7].

But just four days before the dead­line for our May issue, Trump agreed to sit for the fol­low­ing dis­cus­sion:

Don­ald Trump: I looked at the num­bers that you are giv­ing Hope [Hicks, direc­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Trump’s cam­paign] and they are total­ly wrong. I mean they are so far off.

For­tune: I didn’t give the num­bers to Hope. Right now the plan is there are two arti­cles. There’s one . . .

This is Alan Weis­sel­berg, chief finan­cial offi­cer.

Hel­lo.

Weis­sel­berg: Hel­lo. How are you?

There’s the arti­cle that some oth­er For­tune writ­ers have been work­ing on for a while and there’s this Q&A, which is your say on who you are as a busi­ness­man and a politi­cian.

But how could they be work­ing on an arti­cle about me and my pri­vate company—and you can put this in my Q&A or before my Q&A—which has hun­dreds of deals under nego­ti­a­tion all over the world and tak­ing in tremen­dous amounts of mon­ey that they have no idea about because these are pri­vate deals.

I don’t want to spend too much time on this. But—

Well it’s an impor­tant point. I looked at your num­bers and your num­bers are ridicu­lous.

So anoth­er per­son at For­tune reached out as part of that arti­cle.

I nev­er heard about.

OK. Well I don’t know. So I reached out to you because again we had the rela­tion­ship when I cov­ered New York real estate for Crain’s New York [Busi­ness] and thought you might be will­ing to talk to me.

Your arti­cle is going to be fine because it’s ques­tion and answer and that’s fair. But I don’t know how anoth­er group could be doing an arti­cle about a pri­vate real estate com­pa­ny that has hun­dreds of deals under nego­ti­a­tion and in many cas­es licens­ing deals. There’s no invest­ment [com­ing from The Trump Orga­ni­za­tion]. The name [Trump] is the hottest it’s ever been right now. For­tune is a mag­a­zine I respect by the way. In fact, your sis­ter mag­a­zine [TIME] I have been on the cov­er of quite a few times in the last few months.

Do you respect them [TIME] this week?

I respect them this week, and I hope I will respect them even more next week, because I think maybe they are doing anoth­er one. Let’s see what hap­pens. They [For­tune reporters] don’t know any­thing about my com­pa­ny. We have an unbe­liev­able com­pa­ny. We have very lit­tle debt. We have some of the most icon­ic assets in the world. We have a tremen­dous cash­flow. We have the kind of assets that sell like a great paint­ing would sell.

I think they have done the best job they can based on the fact that you weren’t coop­er­at­ing. But let’s move on..=

Let’s go.

What makes a busi­ness­man great?

Prop­er instinct—so impor­tant. Know­ing the lim­its that they can go. Imag­i­na­tion, so impor­tant.

Do the things that make a busi­ness­man great make a pres­i­dent great?

They help—but it’s anoth­er step. You have to have a lot of dif­fer­ent skills in addi­tion to those of a busi­ness­man. You need great com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, which a busi­ness­man does not need. I have friends of mine who are tremen­dous­ly suc­cess­ful but they don’t com­mu­ni­cate well. But they have oth­er assets. You do need a lot of heart; busi­ness­men don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly need heart.

...

You’ve said you plan to pay off the country’s debt in 10 years. How’s that pos­si­ble?

No, I didn’t say 10 years. first of all, with low inter­est rates, you can think in terms of refi­nanc­ings, and get it down. i believe you can do cer­tain things to pay off the debt more quick­ly. The most impor­tant thing is to make sure the econ­o­my stays strong. You can do it in small­er chunks. You can do it in larg­er chunks. And you can do it in refi­nanc­ings.

How much of the debt could you pay off in 10 years?

You could pay off a per­cent­age of it.

What per­cent­age?

It depends on how aggres­sive you want to be. I’d rather not be so aggres­sive. Don’t for­get: We have to rebuild the infra­struc­ture of our coun­try. We have to rebuild our mil­i­tary, which is being dec­i­mat­ed by bad deci­sions. We have to do a lot of things. We have to reduce our debt, and the best thing we have going now is that inter­est rates are so low that lots of good things can be done that aren’t being done, amaz­ing­ly.

So you like the fact that inter­est rates are low? Some of the can­di­dates have said that’s wrong. Do you think inter­est rates should be as low as they are?

I always like low inter­est rates, cer­tain­ly as a devel­op­er. The prob­lem with low inter­est rates is it’s unfair that peo­ple who’ve led the Amer­i­can way of life—the true Amer­i­can way of life—that have saved every pen­ny, that have paid off their mort­gages, that have done every­thing they were sup­posed to do, and they were going to retire with their beau­ti­ful nest egg, and they were going to get inter­est on their mon­ey, and now they’re get­ting one-eighth of 1%. I think that’s unfair to those peo­ple, who have led their lives in the way they were sup­posed to.

Should the Fed be rais­ing inter­est rates? Has the Fed and Janet Yellen done a good job?

Peo­ple think the Fed should be rais­ing rates. What’s a scary prospect is if you start rais­ing rates and you have to bor­row mon­ey as a coun­try, and if the rates, instead of where they are now, the rates are sub­stan­tial­ly high­er, where the rates are 3% and 4%, or what­ev­er it may end up being. That is a very scary prospect for this coun­try. When you start adding that kind of num­ber to an already rea­son­ably crip­pled econ­o­my, cer­tain­ly in terms of what we pro­duce, that num­ber is a very scary num­ber for a lot of peo­ple to be look­ing at. And if you notice they don’t look at it. Because they want to keep inter­est rates down. A fright­en­ing sce­nario is that inter­est rates go up and we have to refi­nance the debt at high­er rates, as apposed to pay­ing very lit­tle like we are now.

Do you think Janet Yellen is doing a good job?

I think she’s doing a ser­vice­able job. But you nev­er know if they’re doing a good job until about five years after they leave office.

Would you reap­point her?

I don’t want to com­ment on reap­point­ments. I would be more inclined to put oth­er peo­ple in.

Are you for the audit the Fed move­ment, that the Con­gress would be able to audit the Fed’s deci­sions?

Yes. Total­ly.

...

First, note how much Trump gen­er­al­ly sup­ports the cur­rent Fed­er­al Reserve inter­est rate regime. While he laments the impact it has on savers (a lament that ignores the gen­er­al­ly far big­ger risk to savers that comes from the Fed killing the recov­ery by pre­ma­ture­ly rais­ing rates), he’s still gen­er­al­ly approv­ing of the Fed’s ultra-low rate poli­cies and Janet Yel­len’s per­for­mance. Keep that in mind for the arti­cles below.

Con­tin­u­ing...

...

A lot of busi­ness peo­ple do believe hav­ing debt is a good thing. High­er lever­age leads to high­er returnns. And you have talked about wip­ing out the debt. Why is it bad for the U.S. to have debt?

Oh, I would rather not have debt. But we are stuck with it. If I had a choice of tak­ing over debt free or hav­ing $19 tril­lion dollars—which, by the way, is going up to $21 tril­lion soon, because of the omnibus bud­get, which is a disaster—I’ll take no debt every time. I can look at myself. I have lived a life where I have a lot of debt and like now I have very, very lit­tle debt and I’ll tell you it’s more pleas­ant with very lit­tle debt.

But you may take over this coun­try where some peo­ple think we have a lot of debt.

No, where every­body thinks—every sane per­son thinks we have a lot of debt.

Some peo­ple have called you a bul­ly. Are you?

I don’t think so at all, no.

But you’ve also talked about your tough nego­ti­at­ing skills?

I don’t talk about them. Oth­er peo­ple talk about them. I don’t say that I am tough. I say that I know how to nego­ti­ate. I’m a smart per­son. I look at the deals our coun­try has made. This Iran deal is one of the worst nego­ti­a­tions I’ve ever seen of any kind. Our trade deals are hor­ren­dous. Carl Icahn endorsed me. Many oth­er peo­ple endorsed me. Great busi­ness peo­ple endorsed me. I would use our great busi­ness­peo­ple to nego­ti­ate those deals. Right now we have polit­i­cal hacks doing it. And they are nego­ti­at­ing the biggest deals in the world. Deals with Chi­na and Japan. And deals with Mex­i­co. We have peo­ple who don’t have any abil­i­ty, who don’t have busi­ness instinct nego­ti­at­ing these deals. I would use the best busi­ness minds, and we have the best in the world. I would use our best peo­ple to nego­ti­ate those deals, many of which have endorsed me.

...

Note that it’s unclear if the busi­ness­men Trump wants to use to nego­ti­ate all sorts of sen­si­tive deal (trade deals, nuclear dis­ar­ma­ment deals, etc) would become gov­ern­ment employ­ees or if we’re going to just start let­ting active CEO start nego­ti­at­ing our deals. Hope­ful­ly some­one fol­lows up [8] with Trump [9] on that.

Con­tin­u­ing...

...
The hard busi­ness tac­tics, the tough nego­ti­a­tions, the brinks­man­ship in hos­tile M&A deals for instance, that hap­pen in busi­ness, would that work in pol­i­tics. As an exam­ple, you have said that you would impose 45% tar­iffs on Chi­na. Is that what you real­ly want or is that an nego­ti­at­ing tac­tic?

First of all I nev­er said that. I made a state­ment to the New York Times to the edi­to­r­i­al board. And that was not said. Some­thing dif­fer­ent was said. I would talk to Chi­na and prob­a­bly be able to get them to do what to do what they should be doing. Chi­na has zero respect for our coun­try. They have zero respect for our pres­i­dent and our lead­er­ship. I would tell Chi­na that the deval­u­a­tion [of the Chi­nese yuan] is destroy­ing our busi­ness­es. We are los­ing tremen­dous amounts of busi­ness. Not only Chi­na. You look at what Japan is doing with the yen. You look at what oth­ers coun­tries are doing with the deval­u­a­tion and manip­u­la­tion of their cur­ren­cies. Some­thing of which our lead­ers have no idea what’s hap­pen­ing. And they are sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly. I just left upstate New York, You look at Penn­syl­va­nia and Indi­ana where car­ri­er just left for Mex­i­co. I would tell Chi­na that either you start play­ing by the rules, or we will be impos­ing tar­iffs on your prod­ucts com­ing in. That doesn’t mean I am doing it, because in my opin­ion if they believe it they are going to play by the rules. But they have to believe it.

But does tough nego­ti­a­tions like that, where you are risk­ing a trade war with Chi­na, does that work?

What’s a trade war? How are we los­ing? We already have hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars of trade deficit. So we have mas­sive trade deficit with Chi­na.

Sim­i­lar, say­ing we will pull out of NATO, is that a nego­ti­at­ing tac­tic. And if so, does that work?

I nev­er said we were going to pull out of NATO. You have 28 coun­tries in NATO, it’s 68 yrs old. It’s obso­lete. Right now we have to be focus­ing on ter­ror. It was set up for the Sovi­et Union. Russia’s still a prob­lem, but Rus­sia is not the Sovi­et Union. NATO is obso­lete and the prob­lem is we’re car­ry­ing NATO. You have many coun­tries, known fact, that can afford to but they have decid­ed not to pay their way. We’re pro­tect­ing coun­tries with­in NATO and they’re not pay­ing their way. And I’ve said, they have to pay their way. If they don’t pay way their way, we’re not going to be pro­tect­ing them. They wil pay their way if said to them in the right man­ner.

That’s not said in a touch man­ner or a soft man­ner. It’s just said. They owe us a great deal of mon­ey from delin­quen­cies and past pay­ments that haven’t been made. In many cas­es, the only rea­son they haven’t made ‘em in many cas­es is they have no respect for our coun­try. They have no respect for our lead­er­ship.

But many of the NATO coun­tries are not car­ry­ing their weight. This is a known fact. When I said NATO is obso­lete and when I said the sec­ond part about not car­ry­ing their weight finan­cial­ly, at first there was an uproar and then if you notice a lot of peo­ple are say­ing, ‘You know, Trump is right,’ and I’ve got­ten a lot of cred­it for say­ing it.

...

Just take a moment and soak in that gem of a NATO rant: in response a ques­tion about whether or not pri­or Trump’s com­ments on pulling out of NATO were part of a nego­ti­at­ing tac­tic, Trump argues that NATO is indeed obso­lete now that there’s no more Sovi­et Union but also that there’s a prob­lem with NATO mem­bers pay­ing their dues and that he’s not going to actu­al­ly respect the NATO treaty if they don’t pay up. And then he jus­ti­fied his first argu­ment — that NATO is obso­lete — with his his sec­ond argu­ment — that mem­bers are behind on pay­ments — which he in turn jus­ti­fied by observ­ing that many peo­ple said “you know, Trump is right” about his sec­ond argu­ment.

Skip­ping down...

...

So as a busi­ness man you have made the deals that were the best ones for you. As pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States how do you tran­si­tion to putting the peo­ple of the coun­try first and not Mr. Trump. How should peo­ple know you’ll do that?

The coun­try will always be first. I built a great com­pa­ny. You don’t know any­thing about my com­pa­ny. I built a com­pa­ny that is worth a tremen­dous amount of mon­ey, has a tremen­dous amount of cashflow—its a nev­er end­ing cash­flow. But it is a busi­ness that is very unim­por­tant to me if I won the pres­i­den­cy. My exec­u­tives and my chil­dren will run the co and they’ll run it well. It’s not a hard com­pa­ny to run. We are deal­ing now with over 121 deals world wide for licens­ing. Tell him about the hotels, Eric.
...

In light of the recent ques­tions over how exact­ly Don­ald Trump plans are trans­fer­ring his busi­ness empire into a blind trust run by his kids, note the claims Trump just made about his busi­ness: It makes tremen­dous amounts of mon­ey, a nev­er end­ing cash flow, and his kids will run it. But it’s not a hard com­pa­ny to run. And it’s cur­rent in over 121 deals world wide “for licens­ing”.

Also note what he said ear­li­er in the inter­view: “Your arti­cle is going to be fine because it’s ques­tion and answer and that’s fair. But I don’t know how anoth­er group could be doing an arti­cle about a pri­vate real estate com­pa­ny that has hun­dreds of deals under nego­ti­a­tion and in many cas­es licens­ing deals. There’s no invest­ment [com­ing from The Trump Orga­ni­za­tion]. The name [Trump] is the hottest it’s ever been right now. For­tune is a mag­a­zine I respect by the way. In fact, your sis­ter mag­a­zine [TIME] I have been on the cov­er of quite a few times in the last few months.”

So Trump him­self acknowl­edged in this inter­view that the bulk of Trump’s nev­er end­ing cash flow comes from licens­ing the “Trump” name but his kids will run the busi­ness for him. This is Trump’s idea of a blind trust [10]. Yep [11].

Con­tin­u­ing...

...

Eric Trump: We are open­ing up four this year. The remain­der of the year we are open­ing up Old Post Office on Penn­syl­va­nia Ave. [in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.]. We are open­ing up the tallest build­ing in Van­cou­ver, which is 100% sold out, and the high­est price ever seen in Van­cou­ver. We are open­ing up at Turn­ber­ry in Scot­land, and we are open­ing up in Rio right before the Olympics. We are also work­ing on two deals that are in the hotel pipeline in Bal­ly and Jakar­ta. And we’ve got a mil­lion oth­ers.

You’re so good at being a real estate devel­op­er, and run­ning hotels, and buy­ing prop­er­ties. Why haven’t you stuck to that over your career? Why get into the air­plane busi­ness, or do the steaks, or all the oth­ers stuff?

You are right. But I make a lot of mon­ey. Like the water com­pa­ny, I make a lot of mon­ey with the water com­pa­ny. But more impor­tant­ly I sup­ply water to all my facil­i­ties. Steaks and all of this. It’s just aux­il­iary. It’s sim­ple, but it works well with my com­pa­ny.

But is it right to say that you haven’t been as good at those oth­er things as you have been at being a real estate devel­op­er.

I do them large­ly for my own com­pa­ny, so it all fits togeth­er. Like water, it’s not a big deal for me, one way or anoth­er, but we sell it to the com­pa­ny. Steaks, which we do brand­ed steaks, but it’s not a big deal.

Eric Trump: How about the wine. We are now the largest win­ery on the East Coast of the Unit­ed States. We sell 45,000 cas­es of wine a year. We just won dou­ble gold in San Fran­cis­co, so we beat every oth­er Cal­i­forn­ian win­ery there. So there is lots we do ancil­lary to com­pa­ny and our main core which is build build­ings like this that are enor­mous­ly suc­cess­ful. [For­tune note: It has been wide­ly report­ed that Don­ald Trump no longer owns Trump Win­ery. It is now owned by Eric Trump.] Look at the Appren­tice. We ran one of the most longest run­ning real­i­ty TV show in his­to­ry. That’s the ancil­lary busi­ness.

Don­ald Trump: Still run­ning. They want­ed me to do two more sea­sons but I said, “I can’t do it,” because I am run­ning for pres­i­dent.

Do you know what you don’t do as well as oth­er things? Do you know where you are not as strong as in oth­er areas?

No. I think I’m good in areas where I want to focus. In my life, where I want to do some­thing I’ve done it well. I start­ed this com­pa­ny with one mil­lion loan, and the com­pa­ny is worth much more than $10 bil­lion right now.

...

Yes, when asked what his weak­ness­es are, Trump respond­ed that he does­n’t have any. He can do any­thing. Isn’t this inter­view awe­some? You can see why the press seems to want Trump to be pres­i­dent so bad­ly. It would be one end­less telegenic train­wreck. End­less cash flow!

Con­tin­u­ing...

...
As pres­i­dent, do you think you will know what you don’t do as well to oth­er things, and will get advi­sors, and lean on them?

Total­ly. I believe in get­ting great peo­ple and get­ting peo­ple who are the absolute best. As an exam­ples for nego­ti­at­ing trade deals, some of the peo­ple who you inter­view are the right peo­ple to get. But unfor­tu­nate­ly, we don’t use in many cas­es those peo­ple. We use peo­ple with absolute­ly no abil­i­ty. When Chi­na comes at us, they come with groups of 20 and every­one one of those peo­ple is trained to take every pen­ny out of the Unit­ed States that you can take.

...

What’s dirt­i­er: Busi­ness or pol­i­tics?

Pol­i­tics.

If you get the nom­i­na­tion, would you self fund in the gen­er­al elec­tion?

I haven’t made a deter­mi­na­tion of that yet. Haven’t real­ly looked at it yet. I am total­ly self fund­ing my pri­ma­ry cam­paign. I have not made that deter­mi­na­tion.

You have a high unfa­vor­able rat­ing for a front run­ner. Do you have a plan to re-brand the Mr. Trump brand in the minds of vot­ers.

I’m not going to rebrand.

Can you make your­self lik­able?

In poll after poll when you look at the num­bers it will show, and start­ing to already that I will beat Hillary. Or as I call her, ‘Crooked Hillary. I will do very well. I’ve had 55,000 neg­a­tive ads against me. Oth­er peo­ple like Kasich and Cruz have had vir­tu­al­ly no neg­a­tive ads, and despite that they can’t beat me and despite that I will beat Hillary. And I will beat her very eas­i­ly.

Ok. But that’s enough ques­tions.

...

A ver­sion of this arti­cle appears in the May 1, 2016 issue of For­tune with the head­line “Q&A: the Don­ald Speaks.”

“I’m not going to rebrand.”

That was Trump’s mes­sage near the end. No rebrand­ing. And, of course, that mas­sive mess of an inter­view came out the same day we got reports about Paul Man­afort promis­ing that the “real per­son” is going emerge and make his mod­er­ate pop­u­lar appeal. Trump would become a non-scary clown. He’ll rebrand. Just you wait.

Cred­it Where Cred­it’s Due. Trump Sup­port­ed Cheap Cred­it For a Slug­gish Econ­o­my as He Should. At least Back in April
It’s a pret­ty hilar­i­ous jux­ta­po­si­tion of Trump cam­paign arti­cles to come out on exact­ly the same day. Or would be hilar­i­ous if he was­n’t this close to actu­al­ly win­ning and trash­ing the future. But note that one of the areas where he was actu­al­ly sur­pris­ing­ly sober in that inter­view was actu­al­ly a pret­ty impor­tant one. It was a notable ray of san­i­ty and if one was inclined to hold out hope that Trump’s pri­ma­ry-sea­son antics were all just a ruse for the rubes, it would have been some­thing to hold onto: Trump basi­cal­ly sup­ports (or sup­port­ed back in our April of Inno­cence) Fed­er­al Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and the cur­rent ultra-low rate regime that the right-wing nor­mal­ly rails against [12]:

The Week

Don­ald Trump is shock­ing­ly sane on the Fed­er­al Reserve

Jeff Spross

April 26, 2016

It’s almost deci­sion day at the Fed­er­al Reserve. On Wednes­day, the Fed offi­cials who vote on mon­e­tary pol­i­cy will con­clude one of their semi-reg­u­lar meet­ings [13], and announce where they want to set inter­est rates for the next month and a half.

When it comes to what the Fed should do, we’re hear­ing some­thing like sense from the most unlike­ly of sources: Don­ald Trump.

What’s impor­tant here is that Trump is run­ning for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion for the pres­i­den­cy. To say the GOP has lost its mind when it comes to the Fed­er­al Reserve would be putting things rather mild­ly. House Speak­er Paul Ryan has made a side career [14] out of hap­less pre­dic­tions that low inter­est rates and quan­ti­ta­tive eas­ing would deliv­er hyper­in­fla­tion. Ted Cruz has called [15] for a return to the gold stan­dard [16]. John Kasich claimed [17] in Jan­u­ary that low inter­est rates are one of the rea­sons wages are stag­nat­ing.

In short, the field is just sat­u­rat­ed with non­sense.

If you read the inter­view [6] Trump gave to For­tune last week, you can tell he feels the weight of this ide­o­log­i­cal junk. He sug­gest­ed he’d replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen, while admit­ting she’s doing a “ser­vice­able job.” And he brought up the usu­al Repub­li­can talk­ing points about how low inter­est rates hurt savers and the need to audit the Fed.

But you get the sense Trump’s heart isn’t real­ly in it. For one thing, he has expe­ri­ence as an actu­al busi­ness­man, which means he knows one of those basic eco­nom­ic real­i­ties that pol­i­tics tends to obscure: Name­ly, that low inter­est rates make eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty eas­i­er. They mean high­er rates of job growth and high­er rates of wage growth. “I always like low inter­est rates, cer­tain­ly as a devel­op­er,” Trump said.

This is one of those things you can’t repeat enough. The express pur­pose [18] of hik­ing inter­est rates is to slow down rates of job cre­ation and wage growth — to keep infla­tion from ris­ing and “over­heat­ing” the econ­o­my. But here’s how infla­tion has behaved [19] since 1960 — as mea­sured by the com­mon-used CPI (in red), which tends to be errat­ic, and the Fed’s pre­ferred mea­sure of core PCE (in blue) which tends to be smoother.
[see plot of infla­tion [20]]
By either mea­sure, does it look to you like we have an infla­tion prob­lem to fight? Yeah, me nei­ther.

In fact, finan­cial mar­kets expect [21] the infla­tion rate to be around 1.6 per­cent in five years. And that’s high com­pared to the five-year rate they’ve expect­ed over the last 10 months.

In the For­tune inter­view, Trump goes through the motions of point­ing out that low inter­est rates make life more dif­fi­cult for peo­ple who have saved and now rely on their invest­ment port­fo­lios for income. Of course, such peo­ple tend to be old­er, so it’s worth not­ing the con­sid­er­able [22] age [23] gap [24] between the par­ties: The GOP’s obses­sion with keep­ing inter­est rates high speaks to a vot­er base that ben­e­fits from high inter­est rates. You can almost see Trump wig­gling uncom­fort­ably under the unspo­ken log­ic that we should wreck the liveli­hoods of work­ers in order improve the liveli­hoods of the retired.

Final­ly, as a busi­ness­man, Trump prob­a­bly also can’t help but acknowl­edge that low inter­est rates are a mar­ket sig­nal: They mean bor­row­ing is cheap, so now is the time to bor­row and invest. That’s as true for the coun­try as it is for indi­vid­ual com­pa­nies. “The best thing we have going now is that inter­est rates are so low that lots of good things can be done that aren’t being done, amaz­ing­ly,” Trump said.

Again, being a Repub­li­can, Trump empha­sized spend­ing more to build up the mil­i­tary. That’s ridicu­lous: Amer­i­can mil­i­tary spend­ing is already larg­er [25] than the next 10 biggest coun­tries com­bined. But Trump also men­tioned infra­struc­ture, and that’s where he has a good point. The Unit­ed States’ infra­struc­ture may not be ter­ri­ble [26], but it needs some seri­ous improve­ments [27]. And with an unem­ploy­ment rate still hov­er­ing around 5 per­cent, and his­tor­i­cal­ly depressed [28] labor force par­tic­i­pa­tion, there are plen­ty of Amer­i­cans who could be put to work.

Mean­while Ted Cruz [29] irre­spon­si­bly sug­gests the Fed is “hid­ing” the “true” cost of the nation’s debt. And when Kasich says low inter­est rates are con­tribut­ing to low wages, he’s lit­er­al­ly describ­ing the oppo­site of how it works.

Shock­ing­ly enough, when it comes to the Fed­er­al Reserve, Don­ald J. Trump is the only one of the bunch who even sounds halfway sane.

“Shock­ing­ly enough, when it comes to the Fed­er­al Reserve, Don­ald J. Trump is the only one of the bunch who even sounds halfway sane.”

Yes, shock­ing­ly, Don­ald Trump was­n’t a com­plete nut job like the rest of his GOP peers when it came to the Fed­er­al Reserve in that he gave a rather mealy-mouthed endorse­ment of Yellen. But hey, by today’s stan­dards that’s sig­nif­i­cant:

...
If you read the inter­view [6] Trump gave to For­tune last week, you can tell he feels the weight of this ide­o­log­i­cal junk. He sug­gest­ed he’d replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen, while admit­ting she’s doing a “ser­vice­able job.” And he brought up the usu­al Repub­li­can talk­ing points about how low inter­est rates hurt savers and the need to audit the Fed.

But you get the sense Trump’s heart isn’t real­ly in it. For one thing, he has expe­ri­ence as an actu­al busi­ness­man, which means he knows one of those basic eco­nom­ic real­i­ties that pol­i­tics tends to obscure: Name­ly, that low inter­est rates make eco­nom­ic activ­i­ty eas­i­er. They mean high­er rates of job growth and high­er rates of wage growth. “I always like low inter­est rates, cer­tain­ly as a devel­op­er,” Trump said.
...

It looks the con­struc­tion side of Trump’s busi­ness would have at least one pos­i­tive side-effect dur­ing a Trump pres­i­den­cy: it’s not real­ly in his per­son­al busi­ness inter­ests to suc­cumb to the con­tem­po­rary GOP’s macro­eco­nom­ic demen­tia and end­less calls to jack up inter­est rates and force a peri­od of mass liq­ui­da­tion in order to cure the econ­o­my through a mass purg­ing. At least back in April it looked like that might be the case. And then it changed. Again. So, yes, if it seems like Trump’s rel­a­tive­ly tame stance on the Fed­er­al Reserve’s ultra-low rate regime was actu­al­ly a flip-flop on an attack Trump made on Yellen back in Octo­ber that’s because it was a flip-flop.

The Great Fed Flip-Flop-Flip to Make Amer­i­ca Great Again. Via a Planned Eco­nom­ic Cri­sis, aka the Bel­lyflop Back­flip of Doom
And a few days ago he flipped again [30]:

The New York­er

Trump and the Truth: The Inter­est-Rate Flip-Flop

By Adam David­son , Sep­tem­ber 15, 2016

This essay is part of a series The New York­er will be run­ning through the elec­tion titled “Trump and the Truth [31].”

Over the past year, Don­ald Trump, who famous­ly nev­er backs down, has attacked, backed down, and then again attacked Janet Yellen, the chair of the Fed­er­al Reserve. He has done it in his way, nev­er acknowl­edg­ing when he says pre­cise­ly the oppo­site of what he has pre­vi­ous­ly said. (Yellen, for her part, has ignored the whole thing.)

Trump’s Yellen cycle began in Octo­ber, when, in an inter­view [32] with The Hill, he accused Yellen of keep­ing down the Fed’s key inter­est rate, known as the Fed funds rate, because Pres­i­dent Oba­ma “doesn’t want to have a reces­sion-slash-depres­sion dur­ing his admin­is­tra­tion.” (This raised the ques­tion, of course, Who expects a Pres­i­dent to want a reces­sion-slash-depres­sion?) By the spring of this year, Trump had revised his think­ing about Yellen. “I have noth­ing against Janet Yellen what­so­ev­er,” he told [33] CNBC, on May 5th. “She’s a very capa­ble per­son. Peo­ple that I know have a very high regard for her.” Trump explained his new­ly rosy view by endors­ing the very pol­i­cy he had mocked a few months ear­li­er. “She’s a low-inter­est-rate per­son; she’s always been a low-inter­est-rate per­son. And I must be hon­est, I’m a low-inter­est-rate per­son.” A cou­ple of weeks lat­er, Trump reit­er­at­ed his hap­py view of the Fed chair. In an inter­view with Reuters [34], he said, “I’m not a per­son that thinks Janet Yellen is doing a bad job.”

This week, Trump was back on the attack. On Mon­day, he told CNBC [35] that Yellen should be “ashamed” of the low-inter­est-rate pol­i­cy that Trump him­self endorsed so ful­ly in May. “She is obvi­ous­ly polit­i­cal, and she’s doing what Oba­ma wants her to do,” he said. Once again, Trump made the claim that there was a secret Oba­ma-Yellen pact to keep rates low, root­ed in their nefar­i­ous desire to pre­vent an eco­nom­ic cri­sis. They both knew, he said, that “as soon as [rates] go up, the stock mar­ket is going to go way down.” On Thurs­day, after giv­ing a speech at the Eco­nom­ic Club of New York, Trump again took aim at the Fed. “The Fed has become very polit­i­cal,” he said [36]. “Beyond any­thing I would have ever thought pos­si­ble.”

It’s impos­si­ble to rec­on­cile Trump’s con­flict­ing state­ments on Yellen and the Fed’s inter­est-rate lev­el. Low inter­est rates can’t be both smart pol­i­cy and evi­dence of cor­rup­tion, just like Yellen can’t be both “very capa­ble” and a shame­ful Oba­ma stooge. But beyond the con­tra­dic­tions, Trump has betrayed a basic mis­un­der­stand­ing of how cen­tral banks work. Take his state­ment that he and Yellen are both “low-inter­est-rate” peo­ple. Yellen, he said, has “always been a low-inter­est-rate per­son.” Cen­tral bankers like to say that the entire point of the Fed­er­al Reserve is to “lean against the wind,” mean­ing that, when the econ­o­my is grow­ing so fast that it risks infla­tion, the Fed rais­es its inter­est rate, and, when eco­nom­ic growth is slug­gish, the Fed low­ers it. In the con­text of cen­tral bank­ing, Yellen is often iden­ti­fied as a “dove,” which means that she is gen­er­al­ly a bit more con­cerned about low­er­ing unem­ploy­ment than about the risks of infla­tion. But call­ing Yellen a “low-inter­est-rate per­son” is like call­ing a doc­tor con­cerned about a patient’s high fever a “low-tem­per­a­ture per­son.” Yellen, like all cen­tral bankers, is not a low-inter­est or high-inter­est per­son. She’s a per­son for what­ev­er inter­est rate is appro­pri­ate, giv­en eco­nom­ic con­di­tions. In her two decades of votes as a senior Fed offi­cial, she has vot­ed for high­er rates plen­ty of times.

Where Trump is most clear­ly and dan­ger­ous­ly wrong is in his accu­sa­tion of polit­i­cal inter­fer­ence by the White House. Yellen doesn’t make deci­sions about the inter­est rate on her own. As chair, she has one vote on the Fed­er­al Reserve’s twelve-mem­ber Open Mar­ket Com­mit­tee, which is cur­rent­ly made up of five mem­bers appoint­ed by Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and sev­en mem­bers who come from region­al Fed­er­al Reserve banks and who are cho­sen by their own boards, made up of bankers, busi­ness­peo­ple, and, in some cas­es, com­mu­ni­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tives. It’s a diverse lot—several mem­bers of the com­mit­tee have shown no par­tic­u­lar loy­al­ty to the Pres­i­dent. What’s more, the board’s deci­sion-mak­ing process about the inter­est rate is pub­lic. We know how each of the twelve mem­bers vote at each meet­ing of the com­mit­tee. The Fed even releas­es a “dot plot,” which shows how the dif­fer­ent mem­bers expect to vote over the com­ing years.

This pub­lic­ness has been designed for good rea­son. The Fed funds rate is the inter­est rate at which banks lend mon­ey to one anoth­er for overnight loans. In prac­tice, this rate sets the tem­po of the entire glob­al econ­o­my, and changes to it rip­ple through every aspect of our eco­nom­ic lives. Sud­den and unex­plained moves would cre­ate pan­ic. That the Fed hasn’t raised its rate since Decem­ber can­not be explained as some nefar­i­ous plot joint­ly con­coct­ed by Oba­ma and Yellen. It is ful­ly explained by a board of tech­nocrats study­ing the data and com­ing to pret­ty much the same con­clu­sion that near­ly every­body else who looks at the data reach­es: our econ­o­my is still in a peri­od of slug­gish growth and, despite Tuesday’s cheery eco­nom­ic [37] news, a Fed-induced tight­en­ing could send mil­lions of Amer­i­cans back into unem­ploy­ment and gen­er­al­ly wreak hav­oc on the economy—a point Trump him­self endorsed in his brief pro-Yellen phase a few months back.

The Fed is far from per­fect and has earned its share of fair crit­i­cism. But what makes Trump’s views on cen­tral-bank pol­i­cy par­tic­u­lar­ly trou­bling is that it is impos­si­ble to know where they are com­ing from. The next Pres­i­dent will be able to select a Fed chair and sev­er­al Fed­er­al Reserve gov­er­nors. By this point in a Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, the major-par­ty can­di­dates’ eco­nom­ic pref­er­ences are typ­i­cal­ly well estab­lished, and usu­al­ly embod­ied by their eco­nom­ic advis­ers. Whether you embraced them or despised them as can­di­dates, since the nine­teen-sev­en­ties, the major-par­ty can­di­dates have made it rel­a­tive­ly easy to know how they would approach the Fed if elect­ed. Notably, can­di­dates in recent decades have all shown enor­mous def­er­ence to the Fed as an inde­pen­dent, non­par­ti­san insti­tu­tion. Rea­gan, Clin­ton, George W. Bush, and Oba­ma all reap­point­ed the Fed chair of their cross-par­ty pre­de­ces­sor. Trump has said he will not reap­point Yellen to a sec­ond term. So how would he pick her suc­ces­sor? What frame­work would he use?

Trump’s eco­nom­ic advis­ers can for the most part be placed in one of three groups. In the first are Lar­ry Kud­low and Judy Shel­ton, the intel­lec­tu­als of the bunch, and both advo­cates of a return to the gold stan­dard. While it has become pop­u­lar among some Repub­li­cans in the past few years, return­ing to the gold stan­dard is dis­missed as a dis­cred­it­ed, fringe idea by near­ly all econ­o­mists and mar­ket par­tic­i­pants. And, for their part, gold-stan­dard sup­port­ers typ­i­cal­ly reject the very idea of a Fed­er­al Reserve, so if Trump were to appoint Kud­low, Shel­ton, or anoth­er gold-stan­dard sup­port­er to the Fed, it would be the most rad­i­cal and poten­tial­ly dam­ag­ing eco­nom­ic move since the dawn of our mod­ern eco­nom­ic sys­tem, after the Great Depres­sion. (Just how awful an idea return­ing to the gold stan­dard would be is dif­fi­cult to con­vey in a short space, but it’s worth point­ing out that, under the gold stan­dard, reces­sions and deep depres­sions were fre­quent, and the cen­tral bank and gov­ern­ment offi­cials had no abil­i­ty to respond.)

The sec­ond group of Trump advis­ers is, famous­ly, made up of busi­ness­peo­ple: all those Steves—Feinberg, Mnuchin, Roth, Calk, and the oth­ers who come from real estate and finance. As a group, they, like Trump, have not expressed great knowl­edge of or inter­est in mon­e­tary pol­i­cy.

Final­ly, there’s the group rep­re­sent­ed by Stephen Ban­non, the for­mer Gold­man Sachs banker and Bre­it­bart News chief now head­ing Trump’s cam­paign. Ban­non has not talked much pub­licly about his views of the Fed. But his deep asso­ci­a­tion with the alt-right is worth exam­in­ing: some on the alt-right have expressed con­tempt for the very idea of a healthy econ­o­my. A guide to the alt-right [38], pub­lished by Bre­it­bart in March, iden­ti­fied a sub­set of the move­ment, known as “nat­ur­al con­ser­v­a­tives.” For these peo­ple, the authors explained, a strong econ­o­my isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly some­thing to wish for. “Cul­ture, not eco­nom­ic effi­cien­cy, is the para­mount val­ue,” the guide states. “More specif­i­cal­ly, [nat­ur­al con­ser­v­a­tives] val­ue the great­est cul­tur­al expres­sions of their tribe. Their per­fect soci­ety does not nec­es­sar­i­ly pro­duce a soar­ing GDP, but it does pro­duce sym­phonies, basil­i­cas and Old Mas­ters.” This out­look was con­trast­ed with the views of “an estab­lish­ment Repub­li­can,” who has an “over­rid­ing belief in the glo­ry of the free mar­ket, [who] might be moved to tear down a cathe­dral and replace it with a strip mall if it made eco­nom­ic sense.”

Read­ing these pas­sages helped me under­stand some­thing that I had found con­fus­ing. In read­ing sto­ries on Bre­it­bart and oth­er sites con­nect­ed to the awful alt-right move­ment that Trump has embraced, I found it impos­si­ble to iden­ti­fy any over­ar­ch­ing view of how the econ­o­my should work. There were slop­py and occa­sion­al pot­shots at Oba­ma or Yellen, and a gen­er­al con­tempt for the many insti­tu­tions of mod­ern lib­er­al soci­ety. But there were no coher­ent eco­nom­ics. Which brings us back to Trump’s own views. He has no coher­ent plan, no view that can be mapped onto the com­mon range of estab­lished dis­cus­sion, whether left, right, or cen­ter.. On Thurs­day, Trump’s cam­paign released his “eco­nom­ic pol­i­cy [39].” Amid the asser­tions that a dra­mat­ic cut in tax­es and reg­u­la­tion will lead to more eco­nom­ic growth and high­er employ­ment, there is no men­tion of the Fed­er­al Reserve. Instead, Trump has offered the pub­lic a gen­er­al, instinc­tive con­tempt for the Fed and its poli­cies.

On Thurs­day, at the Eco­nom­ic Club of New York, Trump was asked specif­i­cal­ly how he would advise the Fed, and his answer was filled with as much nar­cis­sism and non­sense as any he had giv­en before. “Well, as a real-estate per­son, I always like low inter­est rates, of course,” he said. “Oba­ma wants to go, he wants to play golf, and he wants to leave. He doesn’t want to have any stock-mar­ket dis­rup­tions. . . . I think the Fed is total­ly being con­trolled polit­i­cal­ly.” He con­clud­ed, “I real­ly believe if it was a polit­i­cal deci­sion or the right deci­sion, they’re going to go with the polit­i­cal deci­sion every time.”

...

“This week, Trump was back on the attack. On Mon­day, he told CNBC [35] that Yellen should be “ashamed” of the low-inter­est-rate pol­i­cy that Trump him­self endorsed so ful­ly in May. “She is obvi­ous­ly polit­i­cal, and she’s doing what Oba­ma wants her to do,” he said. Once again, Trump made the claim that there was a secret Oba­ma-Yellen pact to keep rates low, root­ed in their nefar­i­ous desire to pre­vent an eco­nom­ic cri­sis. They both knew, he said, that “as soon as [rates] go up, the stock mar­ket is going to go way down.” On Thurs­day, after giv­ing a speech at the Eco­nom­ic Club of New York, Trump again took aim at the Fed. “The Fed has become very polit­i­cal,” he said [36]. “Beyond any­thing I would have ever thought pos­si­ble.””

Don­ald Trump’s Great Fed flip-flop-flip is a con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that Janet Yellen and Oba­ma are con­spir­ing not to tank the stock mar­ket and econ­o­my. That’s where we are. And we can’t con­fi­dent­ly iden­ti­fy which adi­v­sor might be push­ing this split because he’s sur­round­ed him­self with such a vari­ety of eco­nom­ic char­la­tans. Was it the gold bugs advis­ing him to take this stance or Steve Ban­non and the Alt-Right? Both? The answer isn’t obvi­ous. But a re-rebrand­ing clear­ly just took place that sig­nals Trump is plan­ning on replac­ing Janet Yellen with a Fed­er­al Reserve chair who is will­ing to tank the econ­o­my and stock mar­ket via a series of inco­her­ent­ly jus­ti­fied rate hikes.

So, all in all, it sounds like we can pos­si­bly trust that he real­ly won’t allow his per­son­al busi­ness inter­ests to dic­tate a Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s poli­cies, blind trusts are not. After all, he’s will­ing to tank the glob­al econ­o­my for basi­cal­ly no rea­son at all. At least no rea­sons he can explain. And he’s will­ing to do it soon.

What a great busi­ness­man [40]. What a great leader [41].