While You Were Working - March 1

Picking things up right where we left off …

Just before I left for a fun little journey to South Africa and Namibia, the Dow was busy plummeting more than 1,000 points in a day. Today the market only fell 420 points. At least the reason for today's drop is abundantly clear as President Trump’s announcement that he plans to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports rattled the market.

The back-and-forth surrounding Trump’s tariff announcement has been surreal for the last 24 hours or so. Perhaps more than any other Trump announcement, this one smells like an emotional move by Trump and reveals gargantuan amounts of in-fighting and dysfunction in the White House. The level of confusion is such that would anyone really be surprised if Trump changes his mind before he actually signs the order to impose the tariffs next week? Not me.

And in this corner…

Bloomberg does a deep dive on all that ails Wells Fargo and how CEO Tim Sloan has grown fighting mad about how people won’t stop talking about the bank’s misdeeds. A particularly feisty nugget is here:

About California gubernatorial candidate and Treasurer John Chiang, who’s bashed Wells Fargo before, Sloan says: “I look forward to seeing our state treasurer and reminding him that when he was the controller of the state and the state had its financial problems, the bank that stepped up for this state was Wells Fargo.”

The tricky part for Sloan is that the reason everyone keeps talking about Wells Fargo’s misdeeds is because new details about the misdeeds keep surfacing. And as for Sloan’s frustration over having to keep talking about misdeeds, I first got wind of that frustration at a financial services conference in San Francisco in January of last year.

About those corporate repatriations

This is a great piece by The Economist that looks at all the money set to flood into the US now that tax reform is a reality. The catch is that some of the money will come in the form of things other than big corporations bringing cash home: Like foreign buyers of snatching up US Treasurys sold to fund deficit spending.

#MeToo on Wall Street

Countless women who work on Wall Street have undoubtedly been the victims of terrible behavior by their male counterparts. And while I am sure many traders and other mid-level executives and dealmakers will see their misdeeds revealed by the #MeToo spotlight, I will be surprised if any CEO of a major firm will be caught up in the kind of scandals that have rocked leaders of other industries. The reason is pretty simple: There is too much vetting that takes place along the way to the CEO chair for something like sexual misconduct to have been ignored or missed.

WYWW Appetizers

  • This might be how GE gets its groove back.
  • The more things change, the more The Mooch remains the same.
  • Manchester City embarrassed Arsenal 3-0. And it was worse than the score indicates.