September 18, 5:00 pm EST
To the surprise of many, stocks went up. Why?
Perhaps it’s because reforming the way the world deals with China is a good thing. Remember, China’s currency manipulation over the past two decades led to the credit bubble, which ultimately led to the financial crisis. And as long as the rest of the world continues to allow China to maintain a trade advantage (dictated by their currency manipulation): 1) they will manufacture hot economic growth through exports, 2) the global cycle of booms and bust will continue, and 3) the wealth transfer from the rest of the world to China will continue.
With this in mind, as I’ve said, the trade dispute is all about China – everything else Trump has taken on (Canada, Mexico, Europe) has been to gain leverage on getting movement in China.
With Trump now making it very clear that he won’t back down until major structural change takes place in China, it’s no surprise that one of the biggest winners of the day (following the further economic sanctions on China) was Japan!
The Nikkei was up big today. And it was Japanese stocks that set the tone for global markets on the day. As a signal that China’s days of cornering the world’s export markets may be coming to an end, Japan is in position to be a big winner.
Remember, while much of the world has returned to new record highs following the global financial crisis, Japan remains 40% away from the record highs set nearly 30 years ago.