Looking out the window when it’s beautifully sunny it is like looking at a canvas full of opportunity. There’s nothing more incredible than seeing an absolutely perfect day outside, except if you have the ability to head out there and spend some time gathering as much vitamin D as you can. If you’re at a loss for ideas, allow me to help you, kind stranger.
For starters, if you’re feeling hungry, I suggest heading to the nearest grocery store and picking up sandwich-making equipment including, but not limited to, a nice loaf of bread, meats, and cheeses. Grab all of your food supplies, and head to the beach where I suggest you proceed to sit in the sand, with a towel, and prepare some of the best beachside sandwiches this world has ever seen. Try that out and reach out to me when you’ve had your fill.
Enjoy the day, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday.
We Can Do Better
Ironically enough, at one of the more progressive tech companies in the world, Google, a recent TechCrunch investigation found male-identified Level 4 Software Engineers received less money than women in the same role. I bring this up not to pity the men who were paid less than women, but to highlight the fact that Google paid out $9.7 million to adjust pay for wage disparities occurring in the company. When it was found that men were being shorted, Google executives reacted immediately, but where was this response time when women were being paid less?
“Our pay equity analysis ensures that compensation is fair for employees in the same job, at the same level, location and performance. But we know that’s only part of the story. Because leveling, performance ratings, and promotion impact pay, this year, we are undertaking a comprehensive review of these processes to make sure the outcomes are fair and equitable for all employees.”
–Lauren Barbato, Google Lead Analyst for Pay Equity and People Analytics
Even in the tech industry, where meritocratic hiring practices are known to be quite prevalent, women still manage to take home less dough than their male-counterparts. Female representation is a non-negotiable need for the workforce, as women are humans, and humans are invaluable specimens until proven otherwise. If anything, based on the train wreck of a situation facing domestic politics, its almost laughable that people aren’t insisting that women take a stab at running the federal government and/or the White House. Delving deeper into female representation in politics, women make up only 25% of the U.S. Senate, and 23% of the House, despite making up 51% of the population in America.
The Democrats Are At It Again
Those whacky House Democrats are always up to something, whether its waging their ongoing war on President Donald Trump, or surfing on some blue wave, or whatever. In today’s news, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler announced a new investigation into President Trump’s campaign, businesses, transition and administration, making for a probe that could set the precedent for Democrats to finally introduce articles of impeachment against Trump.
According to CNN reports, the Judiciary Committee on Monday sent letters to 81 people and entities seeking information for their newly initiated investigation. The requests include asking for documentation and communications on issues related to, but not limited to, FBI Director James Comey’s firing, Trump’s finances and foreign government relations, Trump’s contact with Russia, and a ton of other fun topics!
Trade Talks Fail, What’s Next For The Market?
The trade war between the United States and China has probably been the biggest economic and diplomatic development since the turn of the year. Although the world’s two biggest economies were locked in talks for months over a new trade deal, it all unraveled quickly.
This happened when US President Donald Trump stated that the Chinese went back on their word. He then imposed tariff hikes on Chinese goods last Friday. The tariffs were raised to an astonishing 25% on goods worth $200 billion. Although Trump might believe this might bully the Chinese into submission, many experts believe that might not be the case.
Difficulty in Completing Deal
The President had imposed these tariff hikes right before the Chinese delegation was supposed to show up at Washington. This was for which many had believed was going to be the last round of talks. However, experts now feel that the escalation of tensions between the two countries following the latest developments will make it difficult to reach a deal that could be considered a win for the US. As soon as the tariffs kicked in, Beijing announced that it was looking at countermeasures as well. However, there were no specifics on the nature of these measures.
Last year, the two nations had been embroiled in a damaging retaliatory tariff war and it could lead to a protracted trade war, if the Chinese decided to resort of the same tactics. The Chinese delegation is going to be in Washington this week to engage in another round of talks but it is believed that a binding trade deal is unlikely to be signed.
Is A Trump Win Likely?
One of the biggest reasons why the deal might not be signed anytime soon is perhaps the fact that the US President needs to be able to claim it as a win for himself. The President has staked his personal weight behind a favorable deal for the US. But with every passing day, it is looking increasingly unlikely that it is going to happen.
If that is to happen, then China’s entire way of doing business will need to change. This is starting at intellectual property theft and expands to technology transfers by force from US companies. If those things are not part of the deal, then it would not be the sort of deal that can be claimed as a win for the US. It doesn’t help that today, China came in with its own tariffs. China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.
And in true Trump fashion, the U.S. may not be done retaliating. The U.S. President has threatened to put 25% tariffs on $325 billion in Chinese goods that remain untaxed. The president has signaled he is content leaving the duties in place, arguing they will damage China more than the U.S. What are your thoughts?
Can 102 Words Really Impact Stock Prices?
In short, the answer is yes. We’ve witnessed, first hand, this week how just a few words can drastically impact the stock market. If you’re just tuning in, at the beginning of the first full week of May, U.S. President Donald Trump Tweeted out a 102-word post that ended up triggering a sell-off costing the global markets around $1.36 TRILLION…with a “T”!
The “Trump Tweet” expressed that he would once again increase tariffs on Chinese goods by the end of this week. What followed has been a shock to the global markets with futures pointing at dramatic declines every day this week. Though some say that the decline are all but a speed bump, it still hasn’t helped the fact that this drop is one of the worst seen all year. People like Kerry Craig of JPMorgan Asset Management think that a trade deal can still be reached. The expectations, however, have been readjusted to reflect a more long-term time horizon.
Eyes Turn Toward The Second Half Of The Week
Other analysts like Oanda Asia Pacific’s Jeffrey Halley feel that investors are prudently “lightening their loads.” Halley said, “My feeling is that investors are lightening their portfolios as a precaution.”
“Liu will be in the U.S. from May 9-10. The invite comes from both the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.” Regardless of what “will happen,” what has happened thus far has been an emotionally charged & very fragile global market. As this story develops we will continue to follow with more updates.
Chinese Negotiators To Visit US As Tariffs Trigger More Concerns
Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator will be heading to the US to talk trade this week. The two countries have been at odds for months now with China trying to leverage the current US tariff situation. Of course, the US has not helped things either by continuing to increase tariffs on Chinese goods.
Liu will be in the U.S. from May 9-10. The invite comes from both the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The markets took a hit on Monday after U.S. President Trump explained that he was not pleased with the speed of discussions and that he planned to raise tariffs by the end of the week. Chinese authorities initially considered delaying talks in light of this.
What’s Next For China & The U.S.?
Both Mnuchin and Lighthizer were concerned after it was evident that talks weren’t making progress. This was during a visit to Beijing just last week. Over the weekend, China sent a new draft of an agreement that outlined a pullback on certain language on several issues. These issues had “the potential to change the deal very dramatically,” according to Mnuchin.
According to reports from the Global Times newspaper, China was prepared for other outcomes to the deal with the U.S. This also included a temporary breakdown. Furthermore, China had also planned to continue talks even if the U.S. decided to raise tariffs. Of course, time will tell but now we must see how the markets will react to these new developments coming from China.
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