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European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gives a statement on the outcome of Brexit next to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Source: Francisco Seco/Pool via Reuters

“The clock stopped ticking. Today is a day of relief,” E.U. negotiator Michel Barnier said at a news conference in Brussels. “But tinted by some sadness, as we compare what came before with what lies ahead.”

First of all, let’s salute the achievement and its authors.

The dramatic breakthrough of the Brexit Trade Agreement is avoiding complete chaos of the export and imports of goods across the North Sea. It resolves the complexity of the Irish situation. It does, at last, gives businesses the opportunity to make the necessary changes within a framework that has been too long to obtain.

As usual, an exercise in futility started: some commentators believe that either the UK or the EU is a winner, a statement that requires at least the reading of the agreement that is not published yet. In a multi-year negotiation, one can assume that both parties have reached the limits of what they could and were prepared to concede. …


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Source: White House

As Joe Biden puts together a team of high quality and experienced people, it might be helpful to look at the task ahead. Many Biden Administration appointees were also in the Obama Administration. This could be misconstrued as “more of the same”, which also harmed Hillary Clinton.

I just came back from a two-week trip to Brussels, London, and Paris. As many are focused on Brexit, I was struck by the fear for Donald Trump, combined with hopes that Joe Biden can turn this ugly page in the history of U.S. international relations.

Donald Trump has damaged international trust in the United…


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Source: BBC

The U.S. intends to exit the Open Skies treaty. It is a 34-nation agreement allowing the U.S., Russia, and other countries to fly their aircraft over each other’s territory — increasing transparency and reducing the chances for perilous miscalculations.

Transatlantic relations are an important factor to world peace, founded on history, values, trade, culture, and personal relationships. As Joe Biden takes the reins of the new administration, he will make a point to assess the damage that his predecessor caused created over the past four years: insults to European leaders, withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change and other Treaties such as Iran and nuclear dissemination, lining up with the most autocratic regimes, and attacks against the most important peace initiative, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. …


Sometimes, in a presidential debate, the most important part is what is not addressed. One of them is the fragile state of our public finance, fueled by failed war efforts, favorable taxes for large corporations and wealthy individuals, aberrant defense spending, and absurd investments like the “Mexican Wall”.

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Source: The Washington Post

A quick look at the past

Ever since Bill Clinton managed to balance the federal budget, both Republican and Democrat administrations have largely deployed expenses that could only be funded by debt. The Trump administration is no exception to this rule, even though it was not facing a need to increase the budget deficit until the pandemic coronavirus.

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, the “federal debt could grow even higher than projected. …


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Beyond the electoral challenges of the Presidential Debate, two strikingly different types of men displayed characteristics of anger, but in completely different ways. The contrast was striking; it tells us about men in 2020.

Trump’s manhood

The display of anger by the President of the United States was constantly present: not once did he smile, his adversary’s differences of opinions or criticisms were simply unbearable to him. His first term in office displayed his vision of leadership; he has eliminated any form of opposition in his close circle. Prompt to retaliation and bullying, being exposed to someone questioning his beliefs for ninety minutes was too much for him. …


“This is a fantastic moment. We can now move forward as one country — with a government focused upon delivering better public services, greater opportunity and unleashing the potential of every corner of our brilliant United Kingdom while building a strong new relationship with the EU as friends and sovereign equals,”

A quote from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Jonson in January 2020, signing the withdrawal agreement that exited the U.K. as a member of the European Union.

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Donald Trump; (Source: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The loss of trust

Now, eight months later, Boris Johnson reneged his earlier signature, by pushing for a bill that will break the U.K.’s …


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Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan with Trump

Eminence,

We need you more than ever”, you told President Trump publicly on May 30, 2020, in New York.

As a Catholic, I cannot endorse your statement. And I was shocked to hear that Cardinal Dolan will open the Republican National Convention.

As a Cardinal of the Catholic Church, you have taken sides, whether you like it or not. And you are on the wrong side of the Gospel: the Pharisees who sent Jesus Christ to the Calvary. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matt. …


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Source: CDC

At no moment in time has Covid-19 really threatened 0 to 24-year old individuals. However as they can spread the virus, the decision was taken to deprive them of schools, camps, sports, arts, and more importantly, socializing.

As the school year is being prepared, the “lockdown” of these children and young persons continues to be a priority. No, Donald Trump was wrong when he talked about immunity. Yes, young people are on average less is less vulnerable to viruses. …


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“In God We Trust” is the motto of the United States of America. I never thought of it as a question rather than a statement. It is above the Capitol or the White House, depending on the banknote. It is the supreme reference of our country, but it is also our way to put our faith in our global currency the United States Dollar.

In many conversations recently, the question of trust came up. Almost unanimously, the mistrust in the country’s leadership emerged as a collateral casualty of Covid-19. …


The quarter with the worst economy since 1929 and the best-performing markets since 1998

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Source: IMF

The worsening forecasts of the International Monetary Fund, the statements by the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell should leave no illusion on the depth of the recession.

Wall Street ignores the economy

The contrast could not be more striking between Wall Street and Main Street. The real economy succumbs to bankruptcies and unemployment. The United States will probably see a 20% decline in this quarter and at least an 8% decline for the year 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund. However, Wall Street had its best quarter.

Those who try to get their cues from the equity markets have been told a lesson. The movements on Wall Street do not contain any “message” on the economy. Listening to some optimistic Wall Street analysts, one realizes that they have become infatuated by the “reading” of the market grapevines. Their optimism — while the economy collapses — does not make any sense. …

About

Georges Ugeux

CEO at Galileo Global Advisors and Adjunct professor Columbia Law School.

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