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The Independent Investor: Will We race to the Bottom?
By Bill Schmick,
04:22PM / Thursday, August 08, 2019
Financial markets are in turmoil. President Trump's trade war is escalating, and with it, fears that both China and the U.S. will employ a new weapon, currency devaluation, to win the war. Is that a wise move?   The last time the country devalued the dollar outright was on Dec. 18, 1971, when President Nixon took the country off the gold standard. Since then, there have been times when various administrations have nudged the dollar down, but most American presidents have maintained a strong-dollar policy.   However, over the course of the last two years, President Trump has increasingly complained that the United States is at an unfair advantage versus other

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@theMarket: Tariff Threat Unsettles Markets
By Bill Schmick,
04:26PM / Friday, August 02, 2019
Donald Trump's announcement on Thursday that an additional 10 percent tariff will be levied on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese exports to the U.S. on September 1 did not sit well with investors. The news could very well trigger the stock market decline that I have been expecting.   Regular readers know that I have been waiting for a 5-7 percent pullback in the markets fairly soon. Since the first two weeks of August are usually a bad time in the markets, the pullback this week might be right on cue.    In my last column, I also explained in some detail how it appeared that Donald Trump had no intention of negotiating in good faith with the Chinese

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The Independent Investor: Brexit: The Never-Ending Story
By Bill Schmick,
05:06PM / Thursday, August 01, 2019
Back in 2018, the government of the United Kingdom and the European Union reached an agreement on exactly how the British exit (Brexit) would occur. Since then, despite countless meetings, discussions and votes, the UK Parliament has failed to approve that process. The new date for an exit is Oct. 31. Will this really be the end of the story?   The October extension was really a compromise negotiated by former Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain's Conservative Party. Some European countries were offering a much longer delay for as much as one year.  However, Emmanuel Macron, the French President, insisted on a much shorter time period.    Macron

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@theMarket: All Eyes on the Fed
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Friday, July 26, 2019
It was a week of chop. That was to be expected, given it was the first week of second-quarter earnings results. While some individual big-name stocks made substantial moves, the overall indexes traded up and down but ended the week about where they started.   It was largely what I predicted would happen. The same will apply to this coming week with all eyes intently focused on the July 31 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee taking place next Wednesday. Investors expect the Fed to cut the Fed Funds interest rate by at least one quarter percent. Let's hope they do.   In the meantime, aside from earnings announcements, investors were confronted with

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The Independent Investor: Make Vietnam Great Again?
By Bill Schmick,
05:10PM / Thursday, July 25, 2019
Funny things happen when our government starts tinkering with the economy in a big way. Unpredictable results, unintended consequences, and confusion often result. U.S. tariffs on China is a case in point.   Now to hear it from the White House, slapping tariffs on imports from China is going to change the entire equation of how companies do business. As it becomes more expensive to import from China, Donald Trump promised that other foreign countries were going to flock to the U.S. creating more jobs, more tax revenues, and generally become a big part of "making the U.S. great again."   So far, the president is half right. Over 50 multinational

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