Donald Trump becoming President of the United States was identified as a key "black swan" event that could roil markets (not to mention the rest of the world) in 2016.
As Bloomberg reported, about the only winners from a Trump presidency would be armaments manufacturers.
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Trump to trump Trump
Michael Pascoe looks at the possibility of Donald Trump succeeding in becoming the next US president.
"It is difficult to envision any type of policy coherency emerging from a Trump administration," said Tom Fullerton, a professor of economics and finance at the University of Texas at El Paso.
The scary thing is that Donald Trump's run for the Republican nomination hasn't faltered. After the sixth televised Republican debate last week, the New Yorker reported that the nomination was increasingly looking like Trump's to lose.
Should The Donald become one half of the two-horse presidential race in November and something happened to Hilary Clinton…yes, unless you're a certified RWNJ (right wing nut job), you would indeed be scared.
So with all the other things unsettling markets, there's a duty to pass on what hopefully will be a calming insight: Trump will fail.
The New Yorker thinks only Republican voters can stop Trump getting the nomination as the other candidates aren't proving capable of defeating him. In the end though, even if he gets the Republican nod, Trump will defeat Trump through overreach.
There's a pattern in Trump's campaign that has set him on a trajectory to self-destruction.
No, it's not his tendency to make increasingly outlandish statements about Mexicans and Muslims – they seem to work with Republicans The wackier, the better. Trump will trump Trump through his unbridled love of using power.
It started innocently enough, longing for the good old days when Saddam and Gadhafi were controlling their countries, before all that Arab Spring democracy nonsense. And Syria was a better place when Bashar enjoyed the total control that an efficient dictator does.
This was merely a nostalgic return to the good ol' days of American foreign policy, of supporting just about any dictator who wasn't also a communist. They might have been bad people, but they were America's bad people.
From there it was a short leap for Trump to say that he would get along well with Vlad Putin. Kindred fans of power, you might suspect. And Putin returned the sentiment.
These are men who admire men who get things done. Sure, it might involve invading other countries, indiscriminate bombing and abolishing domestic opposition, but if that's what it takes to make a country great...
However, the indication of an overreach problem came with Trump giving North Korea's Supreme Tyrant, Kim Jong Un, credit for wiping out various generals and his uncle.
"If you look at North Korea, this guy, I mean, he's like a maniac, OK? And you've got to give him credit. How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals," Trump said in Ottumwa, Iowa.
(No, I'm not making this stuff up.)
But it's only January. Where can this showman go, given his need to keep upping the ante? The New Yorker report on the latest debate provided a pointer:
Not giving a fig what the rest of the world thinks is a central plank of his campaign. So is playing to the prejudices and fears of his supporters, and hinting that dark things are asunder, which justify drastic and possibly authoritarian measures. He called the police "the most mistreated people in this country" and, as he had done before, raised the question of why no one had reported the terrorists who killed fourteen people in San Bernardino, California, in December, to the authorities prior to the attack. "There is something going on and it's bad," he said. "We have to get to the bottom of it. We need security."
So who's the toughest bad ass in the American popular mind at present? Who is all about control and security and making his team great? Aside from Trump himself, it's Snoke, the Supreme Leader character in the new Star Wars movie. I can hear The Donald warming to him:
"I think we can, you know, learn a lot from the First Order. I mean, the Empire is no more, the Republic isn't really in control and it's tolerating a left-wing Resistance movement. Somebody has to provide certainty and security for the galaxy, the universe, and this Snoke, he's the guy, he's the guy with the vision and drive and determination to rebuild the Empire and make it great. You've got to respect that. The failed Empire had a Death Star, well Snoke just builds a bigger one. How cool is that? I think we can learn a lot from him, I really do.
"Besides, Princess Leia, I mean, she's no Miss Universe contestant anymore. I know all about Miss Universe. She's more your Hilary than your Miss Philippines, or Miss Columbia, or whatever."
Trump identifying with First Order might shock some Americans – but only Democrats. It's not nearly as outrageous as rounding up millions of South Americans into deportation camps or instituting a system of religious apartheid in a country that is supposed to have a strict division of church and state.
Thus, acknowledging a fellow Supreme Leader type and giving the armaments industry something really big to hope for (remember Reagan's Strategic Defence Initiative was "Star Wars") would work at least as well for Trump as Vlad and Kim. And there's a proportion of the American population – the sort of people who think the moon landing didn't happen – who probably think Star Wars is based on a true story.
This lands Trump the Republican nomination – but it's still a long time to November. And having found himself on a good thing with stressing the use of power, of doing whatever it takes, of being strong and providing security, there's only one place left to go:
"You know, the Bible, the Good Book, has clear lessons for America. The Old Testament had a God of Power and Might, God was in His Heaven and the world knew where it stood – in the middle of everything. The sun revolved around the earth.
"But then standards slipped, went soft. I mean, 'turning the other cheek' - America is done with turning the other cheek. 'Love thy neighbour as thyself' – that's liberal talk for giving your hard-earned money to welfare bums. Being the Good Samaritan is sending America broke! God helps he who helps himself. That's the God in Whom a Republican United States trusts. Face it, Jesus was a wimp. He was no Kim Jong Un. What's the point of having the power to smite nations if you're not prepared to use it when you're being crucified? Literally crucified?
"You can learn a lot from the Old Testament but the New Testament, you know, there's something going on there, a liberal conspiracy or a lot of Mexicans or something. We've got to get that straightened out."
That will be the overreach. It will cost Trump the election. The endorsement by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Westboro Baptist Church won't be enough.
Back to the Miss Universe contests for you, Donald. And take your hair with you. The markets have enough problems already.