Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Donald Trump's First 100 Days: "The Dangerous Game of a President Picking Winners and Losers"

In the span of about five hours Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump sent two very different tweets -- one criticizing a company, the second one hailing another company.
At 8:52 am ET: "Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!"

Then at 2:09 pm ET: "Masa (SoftBank) of Japan has agreed to invest $50 billion in the U.S. toward businesses and 50,000 new jobs...."
As Bloomberg News puts it, "The tweets, coming after Trump last week announced a deal with United Technologies Corp. to cancel plans to close a U.S. factory, dominated news and moved markets even as details in both cases remained sketchy and the impacts unclear. Trump again showed a willingness to use his bully pulpit to criticize or congratulate companies over actions affecting American workers and government spending." When presidents sign legislation or make executive orders, they pick winners and losers -- but it's done nationwide or through specific industries. Yet what Trump is doing here is picking individual winners and losers. Via Twitter. And that could have chilling consequences. "The rule of law is what prevents crony capitalism, and the minute you have the president-elect, politicians or bureaucrats meeting with business owners to dispense special favors it unlevels the playing field," Anne Krueger, an economics professor at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, told Bloomberg. Our question: Despite all of the corporate criticism of President Obama's first few years in office ("Uncertainty!" "Regulations!" "Obamacare!") has Trump intervened more in companies -- directly and individually -- in his month as president-elect more than Obama ever did? Read More

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