Monday, January 28

ByKevin Sheekey

From Bloomberg Politics this morning: Shutdown 2.0 May Be Just Around the Corner (Bloomberg)

The longest U.S. government shutdown in history is over, but the damage has been done. The consequences of the five-week funding lapse will linger for national parks, forests, the federal workforce and cutting-edge scientific research. Some may even be permanent.

Then there’s the threat it could happen all over again.

Congressional negotiators and the White House face a Feb. 15 deadline to bridge an impasse over border security funding – with President Donald Trump making clear yesterday he won’t take no for an answer on the demand that triggered the 35-day impasse: a wall along the border with Mexico.

In Case You Missed It: Before the shutdown ended Friday, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon issued an open letter to employees on how the company was helping furloughed government employees and affected communities, including refunding customer overdraft fees and donating $1M to Feeding American and United Way Worldwide. Let’s hope it doesn’t have to be re-issued in a few weeks.

Economic News of the Day: Trump Economy Ranks #6 Among U.S. Presidents Since 1976. (Bloomberg Opinion – Matt Winkler)

Measured by 14 gauges of economic activity and financial performance, the U.S. economy is not doing as well under Trump as it did under all but one of the four Republicans and three Democrats who have occupied the White House since 1976.

The Trump economy ranks behind Bill Clinton (1), Barack Obama (2), Ronald Reagan (3), George H.W. Bush (4), Jimmy Carter (5) and ahead of George W. Bush.

The Trump years have been no better than average and mostly below average in 12 of the 14 measures. The bond market suffered its worst performance the past two years than in any other presidency since Carter. Anemic productivity and a widening deficit as a percentage of GDP are the worst since George W. Bush was president. The dollar’s 3.2 percent annualized decline and GDP growth of 2.24 percent give Trump no better than a No. 5 ranking.

What worries investors most under Trump is the increase in uncertainty about the economy. See the chart here.

Russia Today:
-Donald Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration (New York Times)
-Trump’s Treasury Department Lifts Sanctions on Companies Tied to Putin Ally Oleg Deripaska (Washington Post)

More from Friday: Mike Bloomberg Says Trump ‘Flunking’ As President, Compares Presidency to Nightmare on Elm Street (Reuters)

2020 Watch:
-U.S. Senator Kamala Harris Formally Opens Her Presidential Campaign
(Washington Post)
-Is Howard Schultz The Next Jill Stein? Ex-CEO of Starbucks Considering an Independent Presidential Run in 2020. Would he just help Trump win? (Vanity Fair)

Howard Wolfson tweeted Sunday: “I have seen enough data over many years to know that anyone running for POTUS as an independent will split the anti-incumbent, anti-Trump vote. The stakes couldn’t be higher. We can not afford the risk of spoiler politics that result in Trump’s re-election.”

President Trump couldn’t help himself, tweeting this morning: “Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!”

Trade Preview: Three Scenarios for U.S.-China Trade Talks in Washington This Week (Bloomberg)

Bundle Up! Deep Freeze Grips U.S. Midwest With Record-Breaking Low Temperatures – Heading to East Coast (Bloomberg)
Chicago could see its lowest daily ‘high’ temperature ever.

Tech Update: Facebook Merging Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger Apps Could Bolster Ads, Defense Against Breakup (Bloomberg)
Mark Zuckerberg’s plans would involve stitching together the three apps’ messaging products behind the scenes, though consumers would still interact with each service separately.


Best of late night.

Steve Martin returned to Saturday Night Live to play Trump political adviser Roger Stone, who was charged Friday with obstruction of justice, witness tampering and making false statements. Kate McKinnon plays an out of touch Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who suggested last week that furloughed government workers should get loans to make it through the U.S. government shutdown.

Watch Saturday’s cold open here.