Recently there has been a great deal of opinion on Chief Economic Advisor to President Trump and his recent critique of President Trump’s comments surrounding the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. For many people the latest Cohn -vs- Trump scenario is just more proof that President Trump is succumbing to influence/pressure from the wrong side of the ideological spectrum.
This outline is intended to directly speak toward those concerns. However, to understand the dynamics of Gary Cohn -vs- Donald Trump it is first necessary to understand the perspective of Gary Cohn and President Trump.
Few people have an appropriate understanding of the scale, scope and seismic shift President Trump is delivering to the world of geopolitical financial influence. A recent comment by someone who appears to understand the dynamic reads thus:
Enjoy this because we will never see this again. You’ll never see your president shift the pendulum the way Donald Trump is. The international market of high-pressure real estate development and financing incorporates every facet of business activity known to humanity and no President we have ever had has been more prepared to do what needs to be done then President Donald J Trump. In addition to trying to right the ship he has to navigate waters filled with landmines and torpedoes and those firing the torpedoes claim to be Americans. God bless this man. ~ FromSeaToShiningSea
That’s a good a place as any to elevate the discussion, review the historic nature of the participants, and comprehend the dynamics behind: Manhattan -vs- Queens; Global finance -vs- National interests; Wall Street -vs- Main Street; and ultimately Gary Cohn -vs- Donald Trump.
I’m not going to go through the history of Donald Trump’s ambition to head into Manhattan as a property developer and the warnings from his Father Fred Trump about leaving Queens to engage with the sharks; the “killers”; most readers have some familiarity with the story.
Suffice to say the young man who grew up picking up good nails on job sites while learning the value of a dollar, decided he would cross boroughs into the most Machiavellian cut-throat and dangerous real-estate in the world, and conquer the killers. He decided to prove his merit in the brutal world, amid the most brutal people, in a place where survival meant crushing your opposition before they crushed you. Against all odds and adversity Trump scrapped, ascended and finally conquered.
Why does that matter now?
The answer is simple really. The same elemental forces Donald Trump fought and defeated for three or four decades, carry the same principle opposition today. The difference is the scale is much larger, the opposition even bigger, and the consequences far greater.
Wall Street -vs- Main Street doesn’t even begin to accurately assign the scope of current opposition. Wall St. -vs- Main St was the appropriate context to understand the 2016 presidential election. However, the election is over, Trump won. Now President Trump is engaged in an epic economic battle between ‘Global Multinational Financial Interests’ -vs- ‘America-First Economic Interests’.
Gary Cohn was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs for eleven years prior to joining President Trump as Chief Economic Advisor. Gary Cohn is a financial apex predator amid a closed circle of well known multinational apex predators.
[Why Cohn joined Trump, is a weird dynamic, but at it’s core there’s a dichotomy few have noted. Apex financial Cohn came out of a blue collar pool within U.S. Steel, a Main Street enterprise. Additionally, Cohn’s last twenty years of Wall Street experience shifted him onto a unique and specific track to be the top candidate for Chairman of the Federal Reserve (after Yellen).]
President Trump has been thinking about the cancer within the globalist advancement for about the same length of time Cohn was ascending amid the global financial elite. Review interviews from 1980’s, congressional testimony from 1990’s, all the way through Trump’s 2015 announcement to run for President and you’ll see the exact same perspectives repeated for three decades. In short, Trump knows the problem – and he’s obviously been thinking about how to deal with it for a long time.
Obviously ‘dealing with it‘ means confronting the predators within the systems of greatest familiarity to Gary Cohn; not only confronting them, but deconstructing much of their enmeshed and globalist high-finance structures. Candidate Trump knew President Trump was going to be disrupting a financial system – that carries risks of economic failure if not handled carefully.
That’s where the value of Gary Cohn comes in. Cohn represents a stabilizing and known commodity amid the apex predators who President Trump would be confronting. Trump needed to keep the financial system satiated and stable while creating the underlying architecture of the America-First economy. Trump’s economic policies benefit Main Street over Wall Street and reverse three decades of Wall Street favoritism by DC fiscal policy.
President Trump needed, and needs, a steady overall financial system while the economic policy shift is taking place. Having Cohn on board while the economic shift is happening keeps the people within the system from reacting too heavily to the shifts. That’s Cohn’s value to Trump.
President Trump’s value to Gary Cohn, and those of like-minded association, comes from their anticipation of a smooth transition in Federal Reserve Chairmanship. However, much like Trump’s approach to conquering Manhattan – he’s also intent on severely, and yet subtlety, changing the geography of the predators themselves. This truism is unmistakable when you look at current economic path and the way-points already passed. Things are definitively changing, bit by planned and sequential bit.
Within the circle of key Donald Trump America-First economic principals you find Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. These two people are critical for President Trump as trade and finance act in concert with the larger America-First policy. Ross and Mnuchin are to economic policy as Mattis and Tillerson are to foreign policy.
Additionally, people who think that President Trump is likely swayed by the influence of Gary Cohn should have noticed something recently that would put those fears to rest. However, I totally understand why most would miss it – the media never shares it.
Think of the social circle of Gary Cohn, and the current business network of Mr. Cohn, against the backdrop of his being President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs for the past 11 years. Put yourself in his shoes for the next few paragraphs.
♦Three months ago Goldman Sachs purchased almost $3 billion in bonds from Venezuela state owned national oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA. At a discount rate of .30 on the dollar. Goldman Sachs joined other PDVSA multinational bond holders like BlackRock, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, JPMorgan Chase and Ashmore.
These are massive multinational banking and financial players. However, even for Goldman Sachs a three billion bond purchase is a big stake in PDVSA.
♦Now, – What did President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin do yesterday? President Trump dropped and executive order MOAB on PDVSA.
[…] The new actions prohibit dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company. It also prohibits dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector, as well as dividend payments to the government of Venezuela. (read more)
(Via AP) The fourth round of sanctions announced by the Trump administration is the strongest yet. They prohibit U.S. financial institutions from engaging in any new financial deals with the Venezuelan government or state-run oil company PDVSA.
This includes any transactions involving new debt or equity issued by the Venezuelan government or PDVSA. It also bans PDVSA’s American subsidiary, Citgo, from sending dividends back to Venezuela as well as the trading of two bonds recently issued by Maduro’s government to circumvent the growing financial stranglehold.
[…] The sanctions will make it harder and costlier for Venezuela to scrounge up badly needed financing, raising the possibility that it will have to stop payment on its ballooning foreign debt. The government and PDVSA have about $4 billion in debt payments coming due before the end of the year but only $9.7 billion in international reserves on hand, the vast majority consisting of gold ingots that are hard to trade immediately for cash.
So far Venezuela has shown itself to be a reliable borrower, prioritizing bond payments to foreign lenders even while Venezuelans suffer widespread food and medicine shortages. It also has options in allies Russia and China. In the past both have stepped in to fill financial holes, albeit under increasingly exacting terms requiring Venezuela to put up part of the world’s biggest oil reserves and even a 49 percent stake in Citgo as collateral. (more)
How are all those multinational bond holders going to get their PDVSA bond returns back if the Venezuela government can’t issue additional new bonds or engage in new financial deals on behalf of its state run oil enterprise?
President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin have just increased the risk to all of the Venezuela bond holders. As SayIt2016 Rightly Explains:
[…] All of the holders of these bonds are now dependent on the deal that President Trump strikes with Venezuela. They literally are at his mercy. BlackRock, T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, JPMorgan Chase and Ashmore etc., as well as other countries that hold these bonds as well.
President Trump could identify all of the entities and the total amount of exposure they have on their bonds (dollar wise) whether it be Private holders, Security holders or Gov holders that hold these bonds and determine what their business product or areas of influence are.
The one holding all of the cards (TRUMP) gets to make the rules. They want something tangible from Trump, well he might want something tangible from them. Trump gets what he wants or they do not get what they want; either way the US wins.
Yep. You see President Trump is not afraid to engage those multinational financial predators and/or make their paper finances worth-less, or worthless if need be. He’s not beholden to them or anyone else. Trump, Mnuchin and Ross are fearlessly engaged on America First and focused like a laser on achieving that objective.
Now think about Economic Advisor Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs COO and current personal friend of Lloyd Blankfein CEO of Goldman Sachs, sitting in the room with President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin on Wednesday and Thursday while hearing about the upcoming sanctions against Venezuela and PDVSA that Trump was going to deliver via Executive Order, and announce on Friday. Oh, and Gary Cohn can’t say a word about it to anyone outside of the room.
If that’s not a prime example of how President Trump, Mnuchin and Ross are going about the business of America-First and Gary Cohn being completely irrelevant on the actions and policies, I don’t know a better current example to provide you.
Those Wall Street and Multinational interests that everyone rightly reviews through the prism of globalist advancement are being confronted and dismantled as part of the larger America First economic policy. Gary Cohn has a useful purpose in that his presence settles the nerves of Trump’s domestic economic adversaries, but Cohn’s presence doesn’t change the policy direction of America First at all.
Those who hold an adverse interest position to Trump’s America really didn’t think he was serious about this MAGA economic plan. Like all other times in the history of Donald Trump his opposition has completely underestimated him; but what they are really underestimating is his will.
In the battle of Queens -vs- Manhattan, Main Street -vs- Wall Street, Nationalism -vs- Globalism, or Trump -vs- Cohn…
…. just like Donald Trump did before, he’s winning.