Sunday, June 04, 2017

Business Leaders Know Exactly What Trump Is-- And Now They're Being Burned After Not Speaking Out Forcefully Enough


You probably read by now that a number of top U.S. business leaders have denounced Señor Trumpanzee's decision to withdraw the country from the Paris Climate Accord and that both Disney's Bob Iger and Tesla's Elon Musk have quit his advisory panels. Michael Bloomberg, no fan of el Señor by any stretch of the imagination, went a step further and stepped up to the plate with a pledge to give the $15 million the U.S. should have paid to the UN under the terms of the Paris agreement. But Trump's withdrawal from the Accord is just another of many reasons top business leaders have, as Politico put it Saturday, fallen out of love with Trumpanzee.

The business world has long been well aware that Trump is a penny-ante hustler, a thoroughly untrustworthy crook and cheat. No news there. Ben White reported that "the relationship between corporate America and Donald Trump’s White House has chilled. The regular parades of business titans into the West Wing are gone. A gathering of executives led by Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman initially planned for next week fell apart amid scheduling conflicts." They knew he'd never drain their swamp but many are astounded at the incompetence and stunning ignorance at the core of the Trump Regime, "dismayed that the administration’s big Capitol Hill agenda-- including repealing Obamacare and passing massive tax cuts-- appears stalled. And the White House is now engaged in a very public fight with itself over how and when to raise the debt limit, a terrifying prospect for Wall Street and the rest of corporate America."

Executives also remain puzzled by regular reports of imminent shakeups in the West Wing, including the possible replacement of chief of staff Reince Priebus.

The result is at least a temporary freeze as CEOs grow skittish about public association with a leader who likes to describe himself as the most business-friendly president to ever sit in the Oval Office. This is especially true for executives at big public companies, who have to take into account how both employees and shareholders will respond to interactions with an unpopular and controversial president.

...The White House is planning a day-long summit of technology CEOs at the White House for June 19 to discuss modernizing government systems, an effort led by Trump’s son in law and top adviser Jared Kushner. But Musk has already quit as an outside adviser and Apple CEO Tim Cook and other tech titans also criticized the Paris decision.

The tech meeting is now seen as a key barometer for whether more CEOs will put distance between themselves and the White House.

One consultant who works to connect CEOs and the White House said there is more concern now among business leaders about attending White House meetings. “It's like a Ponzi scheme-- pretending you have people confirmed to get other people to confirm,” this person said. “It's a manifestation of the fact that the air is coming out of this balloon quickly because the policy proposals haven't been coordinated with the Hill, the expectation that anything will be done is rapidly dissipating.”

From a purely political perspective, the distancing of corporate CEOs may not be especially bad for Trump. He won as a populist railing against corporate influence, specifically singling out Goldman Sachs.

Many of his advisers, including chief strategist Steve Bannon, embrace an image of the president siding with coal miners and against big global companies like Goldman and G.E.-- whose CEO Jeff Immelt also issued a direct critique of Trump’s Paris withdrawal on Twitter, though he plans to remain on Trump’s manufacturing council and has spoken favorably of the administration’s plans on taxes and regulation.

But there are several potential downsides. Alienating corporate executives and lobbyists could reduce Trump’s ability to raise money for an eventual re-election campaign and for other Republicans in the upcoming midterms. It could also make pushing through tough legislative items like corporate tax reform harder.

Changing corporate tax law always creates winners and losers and the White House will need to ensure that any industries who might take an initial hit from any final bill don’t organize to stop what could turn out to be the administration’s biggest first term initiative.

...Trump regularly touts himself as a strongly pro-business president focused on creating jobs and speeding up economic growth. But both of those depend in part on corporate confidence in the administration’s ability to deliver on taxes and regulation changes.

And if that confidence wanes, the already slowing pace of job creation could decline even more. “If an administration wants something to happen and corporate America doesn’t believe in it, it’s pretty much dead in the water,” said Charles Geisst, a business historian at Manhattan College.

While relations might be at a low moment, executives and their lobbyists are not likely to stay away from the White House for long.

One corporate executive noted that Trump is often swayed by the last person he talks to, so remaining in the president’s good graces and keeping up access is critical. The senior lobbyist noted that this week is supposed to be focused on changing financial regulations with the House expected to pass a bill rolling back much of the Dodd-Frank law and Treasury slated to release a report on changing financial laws.

The summer will bring a focus on raising the debt limit, keeping the government open and moving forward on tax reform, all issue critical to corporate America. National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn last week promised to deliver a detailed tax plan to Congress after the August recess.

In a weekend editorial calling on Kushner-in-law to quit, the NY Times' editors took the opportunity to comment on the chaotic and dysfunctional government Trump has put together. "Stupidity, paranoia, malevolence-- it’s hard to distinguish among competing explanations for the behavior of people in this administration. In the case of Mr. Kushner’s meeting with Sergey Kislyak, the ambassador, and his meeting that month with Sergey Gorkov, a Russian banker with close ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence, even the most benign of the various working theories suggests that Mr. Kushner, who had no experience in politics or diplomacy before Mr. Trump’s campaign, is in way over his head... No other White House-- no business, except maybe a wholly owned and rather tawdry and occasionally bankrupt casino operation-- would be run this way."



At 6:08 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Yep too little too late.

At 6:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone reminded of certain industrialists from the '30s in Germany (and elsewhere)?

They made a deal with their guy to get rid of commies and trade unions... and look where it got them.

Why is it that humans can never learn from past catastrophes?

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The German industrialists didn't object too strenuously when whatever Jewish assets that weren't nationalized or grabbed by party leaders just happened to fall into their hands.

The 30's also saw a deal with the army resulting in The Night of the Long Knives. Of course, as soon the brownshirts were eliminated the blackshirts goose-stepped into the power vacuum.

Not to overdo a weak analogy, I wonder whether Bannon is Trump's Röhm or Himmler.

At 9:29 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

More and more Americans are now seeing the reality of Trump, a corrupt, immoral, ignorant con man who is ruining us like he ruined his businesses while enriching himself. He was bailed out by the banks, and more recently bailed out by the Russians. He will become richer as America become poorer.

And during the campaign, the media kept focused on Hillary and her emails and Benghazi. The media was shameful in this election. A free press exists in a democracy to criticize government and politicians. Their desire to put equal weight on Hillary and Trump is sickeningly laughable. Hillary, whom i disliked but voted for, is an angel compared to him. His monstrous nature is gigantic. Hopefully the balloon of his presidency will soon explode.

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way, Bloomberg gave a great speech at the Democratic convention and stated his thoughts about Trump, quoted here, quite clearly. It did not help Hillary win the election. It fell on deaf ears for Republicans. They are an immoral, despicable party, along with Trump's deplorable supporters. Is Bloomberg's message sinking in now? I doubt it.

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:55, I see bannon as the drumpfsterfire's Julius streicher. FWIW.

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

business "leaders" know exactly what the pos is as well as what the Rs are and, for that matter, the Ds (they bought all of them). They have exactly what they want and they are going to ride them all to the pot-o-gold at the end of the rainbow (tax cuts, etc.) before even considering any remedy to the very peculiar personality currently soiling the same house that once was FDR's home.

they bought it. They are owning it. And they'll cash in before they try to fix it.


Post a Comment

<< Home