Friday, August 14, 2020

Fed Collaborating With MIT On "Hypothetical" Digital Currency

Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard delivered a speech on Thursday at the Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Innovation Office Hours, San Francisco, California (via webcast).

It was titled, "An Update on Digital Currencies."

The update is not good news for privacy advocates who don't want to see all their money transactions tracked by the government.

"[T]he Federal Reserve is active in conducting research and experimentation related to distributed ledger technologies and the potential use cases for digital currencies... As part of this research, central banks are exploring the potential of innovative technologies to offer a digital equivalent of cash," she said.

She went on (my highlight):
We have been conducting in-house experiments for the last few years, through means that include the Board's Technology Lab, which has been building and testing a range of distributed ledger platforms to understand their potential opportunity and risk. This multidisciplinary team, with application developers from the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland, Dallas, and New York, supports a policy team at the Board that is studying the implications of digital currencies on the payments ecosystem, monetary policy, financial stability, banking and finance, and consumer protection.
To enhance the Federal Reserve's understanding of digital currencies, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is collaborating with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a multiyear effort to build and test a hypothetical digital currency oriented to central bank uses. The research project will explore the use of existing and new technologies as needed. Lessons from this collaboration will be published, and any codebase that is developed through this effort will be offered as open-source software for anyone to use for experimentation...Let me conclude by noting that innovation is central to our work. We remain committed to understanding how technological advances can help the Federal Reserve carry out our core missions, as well as how they are changing the ways that banks, payments, and financial markets operate.
It doesn't appear that a "Fedcoin" will emerge in the near term, say 2021, but it appears they are certainly thinking about introducing one down the road.

There is little doubt that such a digital Fed money will have the capability to track all transactions.

George Orwell didn't even think of such a monster. Remember complete tracking also means the ability of the state to ban above ground purchases of any goods and services it chooses because it would see if such transactions occurred.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

MELTDOWN: Manhattan Apartment Rents Plunged 10% in the Month of July Alone

What a combo, New York City socialist Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Governor Mario Cuomo are driving the Big Apple toward economic ruin.

Manhattan apartment rents plunged last month by the most in at least nine years.

July’s vacancy rate climbed to a record of 4.33%, according to a report by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

The median rent, with concessions such as free months factored in, plummeted 10% to $3,167. It was the biggest rate of decline in records dating to October 2011.

In Northwest Queens, a waterfront market of high-rises that benefited from its proximity to midtown Manhattan, new leases fell 60%. The median rent tumbled 15% to $2,424.

Of course, the president didn't help with his erratic policy on COVID-19, which is not a serious disease for almost all of working age. He played a major role in fueling the panic with his early Fauci like stance on the virus which provided the numbskulls de Blasio and Cuomo to use the opportunity to take out the blunt central planning authoritarian hammer.

Not to mention, de Blasio allowing the Marxist "destroy and loot the city" riots.


One of the Best Movies About Entrepreneurship Ever Made?

I haven't seen this movie yet but Tyler Cowen writes:
I am not giving away anything by telling you the basic premise of this film is that a Yiddish-speaking NYC Ellis Island arrival is time-traveled 100 years into the future to the current day, where he meets up with his great-grandson, and the two start hanging out together.

At first it seems silly and slight, but over a short 90 minutes it is revealed to be one of the best movies about entrepreneurship ever made, a biting critique of PC and Millennials, a look at current American “complacency”/decadence, and a paean to the value of family and religion and Judaism in particular, all within the framework of a sufficiently entertaining comedy.  It is one of the most successful “right-wing movies” I have seen.

Not surprisingly, the reviews about this one are clueless, but large numbers of MR readers will pick up on the numerous subtle points and jabs.
It is streaming on HBO/HBO Max.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

What the Father of Kamala Harris Thinks About Marxism

Donald Harris

The father of Kamala Harris is Donald Harris, an immigrant from Jamaica, who taught economics at Stanford University.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from London University in 1960. Six years later he received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of California- Berkeley. He retired from Stanford as a professor emeritus of economics in 1998.

He joined the Stanford faculty in 1972 and his focus according to the University was "exploring the analytical conception of the process of capital accumulation and its implications for a theory of growth of the economy, with the aim of providing thereby an explanation of the intrinsic character of growth as a process of uneven development."

In other words, there is nothing to indicate in his Stanford profile that he is a Marxist. The words Marx, Marxist, Marxism are nowhere to be found on his profile.

Indeed, when I first looked at his profile when Kamala was in the primaries, I passed him off as an unimpressive affirmative action hire.

He was a special hire all right but the fact that he is Jamaican was a bonus, there is no question he was viewed as an "alternative economist" Marxist hire.

This was the headline from The Stanford Daily when Harris was offered his post.:

The newspaper clip reads:
Marxist Offered Economics Post
Don Harris, a prominent Marxist Professor, has been offered a full professorship in the Economics Department here, Department Chairman James Rosse confirmed yesterday. Rosse said Harris has not yet accepted the offer, but he "expects to hear from him this week."
Harris who still holds a tenured position at the University of Wisconsin, has served as a visiting Professor here, and is currently teaching at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica.
The appointment is the direct result of student pressure in recent years to hire more faculty who favor an "alternative approach" to economics, said Economics Prof. John Gurley, who now teaches the only undergraduate course in Marxist economics. 
Gurley said the appointment of Harris was the culmination of the six-month "round-the-world" search for the most qualified Marxist professor available
Exceptionally good
Gurley called Harris "an exceptionally good teacher, outstanding researcher and one of the leading young people in Marxist economics."
One knowledgeable source told the Daily that some senior faculty members were very hesitant hiring Harris, but they gradually yielded tp student pressure.
A conservative economics faculty member, who wished to remain anonymous said he was "not part of the decision and it would not be fair to say anything. "
He also added that "as far as I'm concerned Harris is not in the same field I'm in."
The department, Gurley said, looked for economists who espoused not only Marxists viewpoints, but other alternative perspectives as well.
Libertarian economists, who advocated untrammeled laissez-faire capitalism,for exa

mple, were considered in the selection, he claimed
Gurley said the search included those knowledgeable about socialist economies even if they didn't sympathize with a Marxist system.

At Stanford, Harris was one of the key faculty members behind a then-new program, "Alternative Approaches to Economic Analysis" as a field of graduate study at Stanford University.

This is what he wrote about Marxism in his book, Capital Accumulation and Income Distribution (my highlights):

Marx was the theorist of economic growth par excellence. He concieved of the capitalist economy as an inherently expansionary system having an inner logic of its own. It was his purpose to discover the abstract and general principles underlying the operation of this form of society and the contradictions it entailed, so as to account for its process of change and supersession. Out of this scientific endeavor, Marx developed an integrated system of analysis with a distinctive method and quite specific formulation of the laws of motion of the capitalist economy. Others, after Marx, have attempted to elaborate upon and develop further this system of analysis, recognizing the changing conditions of capitalism as it develops. Specific elements of Marx's own formulation as concerns, for instance, the law of the falling tendency of the rate of profit and a tendency of the organic composition of capital to rise, are subject to an ongoing debate within the Marxian tradition. The system of analysis is also incomplete in some of its essentials. Nevertheless, the Marxian system remains today as a powerful basis upon which to construct a theory of growth of the capitalist economy appropriate to modern conditions. Accordingly, an attempt is made below (see Chapters 3 and 10) to develop some elements of the Marxian theoretical system that are relevant to this purpose.
And that is how the daddy of Kamala rolls.

Kamala received a Bachelor's degree from Howard University where she double-majored in political science and (ahem) economics and chaired Howard's economics society.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Trump 'Very Seriously' Considering Capital Gains Tax Cut

President Trump said he’s “very seriously” considering a capital gains tax cut,

“We’re looking at also considering a capital gains tax cut, which would create a lot more jobs,” Trump said Monday at a White House news conference.

Bloomberg notes that the president can’t unilaterally cut the 20% long-term capital gains rate without Congress, but some advisers tell him he could issue an executive order that would slash tax bills for investors when they sell assets. The move, known as indexing capital gains to inflation, adjusts the original purchase price of an asset when it is sold so no tax is paid on appreciation tied to inflation.

Trump also said he was considering a “cut in the middle-income income tax.” Congress would have to pass legislation to make any reductions to tax rates, which is unlikely to happen before the end of the year.

As I have stated before, I am all for tax cuts but if Trump doesn't cut spending by similar amounts he is just shifting the method of taxation, most likely via Fed monetization of deficit spending which results in upward pressure on prices.


The Schizophrenic Economy and What It Will Mean in the End

With the double whammy of layoffs in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco tourist sector destroyed by Mayor London Breed's first in the nation lockdown, rent prices in the city by the bay are doing something they rarely do, they are falling.

It appears rents are down by about 15% in Fog City as I write. The last published numbers, last week, showed rents down about 10% by they are down more now. It is a San Francisco rarity, a renters market.

At the same time, south and a bit east, Palm Springs and the surrounding desert area are experiencing a real estate boom in the middle of August heat when the area is generally shut down.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
The Coachella Valley, which includes Palm Springs, is having a record-breaking year that shows no sign of stopping. The median detached home prices for Palm Desert and Palm Springs have had year-over-year gains of 11.5% and 11.2% respectively, according to the Palm Springs Regional Association of Realtors. Since summer is usually considered the slow season for the hot, arid desert communities, real estate agents are predicting these gains to continue through the fall.

 Valley inventory, at 2,050 units, is at the lowest level in history. That’s almost 700 units fewer than any previous August 1st, which has led to a fiercely competitive market full of multiple bids and little to no contingencies.

“We’re getting multiple offers on almost every transaction,” said Maria Krajco, an agent with KUD Properties. “Everything is going at asking or above. There’s a lot of cash offers. There’s just a lot of money coming in." 
As I have been forecasting, the things people want to buy are seeing skyrocketing prices while those that people have no interest in are falling. It is a schizophrenic economy.

At some point, the declines will bottom out and then you are going to see a spike in the general price indexes put out by the government. Buckle your seat belts.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Spotted in San Francisco Bay

Prior to the COVID-19 related lockdowns, container ships in San Francisco Bay heading to or coming from the Port of Oakland were a daily occurrence.

Not as much anymore, now you really take notice when a massive ship passes through like the one above which passed by this morning.

That said, these occasional ships appear to be an improvement, during the height of the lockdowns I don't recall seeing any passing through.



Is This the Time to Buy Gold and Silver?

Micah Armantrout emails:
What are your views on investing in gold or silver?
RW response:

In the EPJ Daily Alert, I have been advising the purchase of both gold and silver for some time, including physical bullion, various mining stocks and related ETFs.

I also became more aggressive in my recommendations just before the recent advance to record highs.

That said, as I have previously pointed out, this is a very tricky period where visibility is at best 3 to 6 months,

In other words, although I am bullish right now, I could issue a sell recommendation in short order.


Trump's New Trade War With Canada: Canada to Retailate

President Trump, last week announced that he has imposed new tariffs, which will take effect Aug. 16, of 10% on aluminum coming from Canada.

The Wall Street Journal notes this will mean higher prices for Americans for items that include aluminum such as bicycles, bike wheels, golf clubs, refrigerators, aluminum cans and foil---for starters.

At a news conference on Friday, Canada’s deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, called the move by Trump “unwarranted and unacceptable.”

“These tariffs will hurt American consumers and they will hurt American workers,” she said. “Any American who buys a can of beer, a soda, a car or a bike will suffer.”

She said that the Canadian government plans to retaliate dollar-for-dollar.

Freeland said Canada would spend 30 days consulting Canadian consumers and businesses about which American-made products should face tariffs. On the list of potential targets are golf clubs, bicycles, exercise equipment and washing machines – like those manufactured by Whirlpool.

And there you have it, more clueless anti-trade steps but Trump that do nothing but distort free market activity and shrink the standard-of-living for Americans, especially with Canadian retaliation measures on top of it. 


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Where Should An 18 Year Old Put Their Graduation Money?

Jayson Hickey emails:
I have a son who has just graduated high school and wants to save and invest the money he received from family at his graduation party.

I'm curious to what investment vehicle he should start his investment portfolio.
Should he put it in a money market type fund and add to it until it grows to a certain amount? Should he subscribe to EPJ Daily alert and start a brokerage account?

My 50 year old self would tell my 18 year old self to put money in funds that are performing well, like defense, alcohol, guns, and gold. As it is the most practical advice I can give to him is spend less than you make and save the rest.

His goals are to invest in real estate and businesses that have potential for growth.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
RW response:

There is no easy answer to this question.

We live at a time where normality has exited the country. In the EPJ Daily Alert, I tell subscribers that visibility, at best, is only three months to six months out.

Irresponsible Federal Reserve money printing is driving the current advance in the stock market, gold and silver. The threat of accelerating price inflation to the 5% annualized range, maybe even more, appears very real.

On the other hand, a shift in Fed policy, or even a slow down in the money pump could make investments in the stock market, gold and silver a disaster.

Don't blame me for these uncertain times, blame the Fed, blame Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and the economic ignoramus in the White House.

So I would tell your son to invest in books and read them about how the economy works so that he can anticipate how things might develop but this requires a lot of effort.

Murray Rothbard books are a good start:

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

The Mystery of Banking 

America's Great Depression

My book on the Fed explains what a fraud it is:

The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank

Peter Lynch books are excellent at explaining how to invest in the stock market, but he says nothing about periods when it makes no sense to invest in the stock market:

One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market

Beating the Street Paperback 

The EPJ Daily Alert is aimed mostly at investors who have portfolios at a minimum of $5,000. Many have much more. But there are some of college-age who subscribe to better understand what is going in the economy and how to think about these things.

David Gordon On The Life and Times of Murray Rothbard

Jeff Deist and David Gordon discuss Murray N. Rothbard's life from an insider's perspective, touching on Rothbard's experience founding the Cato Institute, his relationship with Mises and the areas where they disagreed, his time with Ayn Rand and her Objectivist followers, and more.


Saturday, August 8, 2020

BREAKING: Trump Signs Executive Orders Related to COVID Stimulus

At his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club, President Trump signed this afternoon executive orders that put into effect:
  • The deferment of the payroll tax for those earning under $100,000 until to the end of year--- retroactive to August 1
  • Enhanced unemployment benefits until the end of 2020 of $400 per week
  • The deferment of student loans and forgiving of interest until further notice
  • Extended renter eviction moratoriums
Federal Reserve Board chairman Jay Powell was spotted in a full face mask at his local Office Depot ordering three trailer loads of green ink.


Economics Professor Isn't Allowed to Open to All Students His Class Critical of Marxism

Karl Marx
A longtime economics professor at Wright State University, Professor Evan Osborne, who has repeatedly requested permission to teach a class critical of Marxism has been turned down by the university administration.

Meanwhile, the university frequently offers courses that praise Marxism, Osborne told The College Fix.

Osborne said the “short version” of his predicament “is that we have an angry, radical-left cohort in the department, they praise Marxism in the classroom, they will not let me teach critically about it, and numerous people in the university have refused to do anything about it.”

While Osborne has recently been given permission to teach the class this fall to honors students, he is not allowed to open the class to the entire student body, he said. Only honors students may enroll in honors courses.

After the class went well, Osborne said he proposed it as an economics elective or as a special topics course that any business student could enroll in.

 “And I do not want to change how economics is taught at WSU, broadly speaking. I just want my academic freedom to offer a different view to also be respected,” he told The Fix via email.

Osborne has taught at Wright State since 1994. He has won a Fulbright teaching grant and several teaching awards during his long tenure.

The economist’s controversial course is titled “Marxism: A History of Theory and Practice.”

According to The Fix, Not only does it assign works written by Karl Marx, but it also looks at the ramifications of the communist political system in places such as Russia and China, as well as how some Western academics have romanticized its bloody, brutal history. It ends with a brief but positive look at capitalism.

Despite the refusal to open this course to the student body, the economics department currently allows students to take a course every spring called Socialist and Radical Economics.

"This class is consistently skeptical of free markets and ‘capitalism,’” Osborne told The Fix. “Given the way Marx is favorably assessed in our curriculum, and Marxism’s actual historical record, I really thought our students deserved an alternate perspective.”

Noye well: The blocking of Osborne's course from being taught is typical radical leftist strategy. They are not in favor of open debate. They are about gaining power and blocking opposing views.


Friday, August 7, 2020

BREAKING: Negotiators Fail to Reach Deal in Coronavirus Relief Talks

Negotiations over a new coronavirus relief package have failed to yield a deal, White House officials and Democratic leaders said after a last-ditch meeting, reports Politico.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said they would tell President Donald Trump to take executive action to alleviate the economic fallout from the pandemic.

"[Meadows] and I will recommend to the president based upon our lack of activity today to move forward with some executive orders," Mnuchin told reporters.

According to Politico, Trump's executive orders — which would likely face legal challenges — are expected to suspend payroll taxes, extend eviction protections, boost unemployment benefits and help student loan borrowers.

Of course, there is no money for any of this which would result in the Treasury issuing new debt most of which would be monetized by the Fed, ultimately resulting in upward pressure on prices.

Hug you gold coins.


Fed Policy Could Leave Retirees Broke After Crisis

John Dizard writes at the Financial Times:
Fed policy could leave retirees broke after crisis. 
A 5% yield on a $1m nest egg delivers $50,000 a year but the egg must be five time bigger to produce that at 1%...
At the present trajectory of Fed policy, the 10-year bond will be close to yielding zero per cent by election day in November. The Fed will be trying to defend the “zero lower bound”, a set of points on a yield curve just above negative interest rates, for short-term funding. But by the time the 10-year rate gets within 10 or 20 basis points of the ZLB, the curve is telling you that there is no reward for saving money for the long term.

At that point, which by simple extrapolation comes in three months or so, fixed income investors will frantically chase yield from anywhere available. That is already happening...

This is about desperation, not high spirits.
Dizard has a point but the real problem that will come for retirees is the price inflation just ahead because of manic money printing by the Federal Reserve. It is going to make life very tough for those on fixed incomes.

Eventually, because of the inflation, the Fed will allow rates to climb a bit but it won't be enough to counter the inflation.

What the Fed is currently doing is completely irresponsible and is going to be most damaging to those on fixed incomes (COLAs won't adjust fast enough) and those who work at jobs where wages are relatively sticky.


What the Hell is President Trump Doing?

In a remarkable series of steps, President Trump has ratcheted up tensions with China. This is my fifth post in the last 10-days on actions taken by the Trump administration against Chinese commercial interests.

He is now targeting Chinese interests in America in the communications, mobile apps, cloud storage and pharmaceutical sectors, and questioning Chinese listings on American stock exchanges.

Trump last Friday said that he will ban the Chinese app TikTok from the United States. He has stated that if the app is sold to an American company that a fee would be levied on the sale.

He is justifying the aggressive stance on national security reasons.

This is absurd.

As John Tamny writes;  How would "spying on young people and their dance moves...lead to useful information about the political establishment"?

Next, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo followed the Tik Tok statement with the announcement late Wednesday night of the formation of a "Clean Network to Safeguard America’s Assets" program.

This measure, you guessed it, is based on national security reasons. It calls for the removal of certain China-based telecommunications networks, mobile apps, pre-installed smartphone apps, and cloud based storage usage from operations in the U.S.

The statement went on to cheer the lead of other foreign countries which followed the lead of the U.S. Clean Network initiative.

I wrote when reporting on the Pompeo statement:
If this was about "national security," Pompeo wouldn't care at all as to what other countries were doing. This is a global strike against Chinese commerce.
Trump announced yet another move early Thursday.

He signed an executive order requiring the federal government to buy “essential” drugs from U.S. companies, the order is called the “Buy American” order.

 The order will require the government to develop a list of essential medicines and buy them as well as medical supplies from U.S. companies instead of from foreign countries like China, Trump's China-hating trade adviser Peter Navarro told reporters.

And there is more.

The Treasury late on Thursday announced that in response to President Trump’s June 4 Memorandum on "Protecting United States Investors from Significant Risks from Chinese Companies" the President's Working Group on Financial Markets (The Plunge Protection Team) released a report making five recommendations.

 "These recommendations are designed to address risks to investors in U.S. financial markets posed by the Chinese government’s failure to allow audit firms that are registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to comply with U.S. securities laws and investor protection requirements," the Treasury statement reads.

“The PWG examined the risks to investors posed by the Chinese government’s failure to allow access.  The PWG unanimously recommends that the Securities and Exchange Commission take steps to enhance the listing standards on U.S. exchanges for access to audit work papers, among other recommendations,” said Secretary Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Chairman of the PWG.  “The recommendations outlined in the report will increase investor protection and level the playing field for all companies listed on U.S. exchanges.  The United States is the premier jurisdiction in the world for raising capital, and we will not compromise on the core principles that underpin investor confidence in our capital markets.”

The recommendation sets up for the delisting of some Chinese companies on American stock exchanges:
In particular, to address companies from jurisdictions, such as China, that do not provide the PCAOB with sufficient access to fulfill its statutory mandate (“Non-Cooperating Jurisdictions,” or “NCJs”), the PWG recommends enhanced listing standards on U.S. exchanges.  This would require, as a condition to initial and continued exchange listing, PCAOB access to work papers of the principal audit firm for the audit of the listed company.

In other words, via this recommendation, the PWG is advising that the Trump administration overrule listing and investing decisions of exchanges and individuals and make it more difficult for Chinese firms to maintain listings on US exchanges.

Bottom line, this multi-target assault on Chinese commercial activities within the United States is nationalistic cronyism at a remarkably intense level.

It is well appreciated by economists that free trade fosters peace and that anti-trade measures lead to tension between nations.

As the 19th-century economist Richard Cobden put it:
[We] advocated Free Trade, not merely on account of the material wealth which it would bring to the community, but for the far loftier motive of securing permanent peace between nations.
Trump's aggressive anti-trade actions against China are setting up to increase tensions against the Middle Kingdom. Perhaps only the patience of Chinese leaders, if there is such, will prevent things from spiraling completely out of hand.

We have a nationalistic economic ignoramus in the Oval Office being advised by the China-hating Peter Navarro.

In the end, it is clear they have no idea of the potential havoc they could wreak.

Just consider this MarketWatch report on Trump's order against WeChat:
Did President Donald Trump just blow up the U.S. videogame industry?

That was the question on a lot of minds after Trump issued executive orders Thursday night banning “transactions” with the Chinese owners of the TikTok and WeChat apps starting Sept. 20. While the move against TikTok’s owner — Beijing-based Bytedance — was not a huge surprise, action against WeChat’s owner — Shenzhen-based tech giant Tencent Holdings Inc. — was.

That’s because Tencent is one of the world’s largest and most valuable companies, with ownership stakes in a number of U.S. videogame companies, including Riot Games, which makes “League of Legends”; Epic Games, which makes “Fortnite”; and Activision Blizzard, which makes “World of Warcraft.”

Tencent also has significant stakes in Tesla Inc. and Snap Inc. , the maker of Snapchat, and the Chinese company has streaming deals in place with the NBA, the NFL and Major League Baseball. The order could potentially also affect Apple Inc. and Alphabet’s Google app stores, which feature Tencent-owned apps.

The executive order took aim directly at WeChat, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide, and whose “data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information,” the order said.

But the wording of the order made it unclear if the ban affected just WeChat or all of Tencent’s holdings, saying: “any transaction that is related to WeChat by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, with Tencent Holdings Ltd. ... Shenzhen, China, or any subsidiary of that entity.”...

Either way, the order is likely to be challenged in court...

Banning all business by U.S. companies with WeChat’s parent — if that is the case — could prove to have much farther-reaching effects than Trump may have anticipated.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Trump to Provide a Big Statist Protectionist Boost to Big Pharma

So much for lower drug prices.

President Donald Trump will sign an executive order requiring the federal government to buy “essential” drugs from U.S. companies, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro announced today.

The president is expected to sign the order, called “buy American,” during his trip to Ohio later Thursday, Navarro told reporters.

“If we’ve learned anything from the ‘China virus’ pandemic, it is that we are dangerously over-dependent on foreign nations for our essential medicines, for medical supplies like masks, gloves, goggles and medical equipment like ventilators,” the China-hate anti-free trade crony advance continues.

The order will require the government to develop a list of essential medicines and buy them as well as medical supplies from U.S. companies instead of from foreign countries like China, Navarro said.

Blocking of drug purchases from overseas will only mean higher prices in the U.S. In addition. since government will be involved in the purchases the drug companies closest to the government will benefit enormously.

This is crony protectionism of the highest order as Trump continues, step-by-step, to shut down free trade.

It is as if Trump, short of building Gulags, won't resist implementing any measure that won't lower the U.S. standard of living.

What an economic ignoramus.