It seems the understatement of 2018 is to say that the biggest threat to the securities markets is a potential trade war.
A CNBC survey of financial executives at companies collectively valued at more than $4.5 trillion are worried; about two-thirds of the Global CFO Council expect a negative impact on their company.
And that was before this week, when China announced possible tariffs on more than 100 U.S. products that could affect $50 billion worth of outbound trade. President Trump announced late Thursday that he was considering penalties on an additional $100 billion in Chinese goods. And Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng, in response, said Friday that China “is fully prepared to hit back forcefully and without hesitation.”
Even media outlets normally friendly to the White House, such as Fox News, aren’t buying administration claims that trade wars are easy to win and that there is a “pot of gold” waiting for the U.S. economy on the other side...