trump inequality

The markets have done an about turn, they have gone from a selling to a buying mood, as their thoughts on a President Trump go from that of panic to sanguine.

We were told it would be terrible if he won, but how many of Donald Trump's ideas were more bluff than real?

In some ways, it's not what Trump said during the US election campaign, it was the way he said it.

The Obama administratation has come down hard on illegal Mexican immigrants, before he was President Barack Obama talked about bringing back jobs from Mexico to the US. His advisors used to wax lyrical about how China was a currency manipulator.

Mr Trump had said much the same thing, he just used more inflammatory words to get his point across.

Reality makes a habit of forcing you to water down ideas. How will the US public react if the cars they buy become more expensive? How will they react if iPhones become a lot more expensive? Yet this is what might happen if the Trump regime slaps tariffs on goods imported from Mexico and China as Mr Trump has threatened?

China may or may not have once been a currency manipulator, but if anything, these days, its currency, the yuan, is too expensive. The opposite of what Mr Trump claims.

Mr Trump may talk the talk of anti globalisation, but so did President to be Obama.

Maybe it is the hope that the reality will be different from the fear, but the markets have been buying.

Shares in UBS, the Swiss bank, for example, have seen their best day since 2012.

It may be they markets are drawing upon the lesson of Brexit. For all the immeditate panic, nothing much changed.

Then there is the Russian question. It turns out, or so says Russia, that the Putin government was in close contact with the Trump team during the campaign.

Maybe that nice Mr Putin and cuddly Don will become the best of friends, detent turning into splendid picnics together.

But there is another side to this.

Some people, and let's emphasis the word some, don't think that Mr Putin is all that nice, and we should not really be appeasing his like.

And just suppose Mr Trump, backed by a Republican controlled Congress, does the things he says he will do?

He is planning a massive fiscal stimulus, something President Obama might have wanted to do, but couldn't thanks to Congress voting his plans down.

Will Mr Trump get support for fiscal plans from Republican Congress, even though Mr Obama couldn't?

But in the medium and longer term, things like trade agreements, and most certainly agreements on climate change, really do matter.

We are at a phoney war stage, but just as happened in 1939, phoney wars end, and if the Trump realty ultimately reflects his rhetoric, there may be other parallels with the 1930s and maybe the markets are way too sanguine about that prospect.