In his 58 years on earth, Gary Cohn has likely run into an idiot here or there. Whether it was a classmate in his Ohio hometown, a wise guy on the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, or a Goldman Sachs employee with whom he would cross paths again later in life, it’s unlikely Cohn would have been able to fully inoculate himself from people of lesser intelligence, or to refrain from letting them know exactly what he thought of their s–t for brains. But apparently, whatever run-ins with not-so-bright individuals he had suffered prior to November 2016, they were nothing compared to the stone-cold, mind-blowing, we’ve-never-seen-an-I.Q.-in-the-single-digits-before levels of stupidity he experienced upon accepting a job with the Trump administration.
According to an excerpt from Bob Woodward‘s Fear, the book out tomorrow that the president has called a “joke,” a “scam,” and a “con on the public“ written by a “Dem operative,” the Goldman Sachs president turned National Economic Council director came away from his very first meeting with Donald Trump “astounded” by just how dumb the guy was. During a chat about various economic issues, Cohn told Trump that the Federal Reserve would likely increase rates during his first term in office, to which President Buy High, Sell Low reportedly responded, “We should just go borrow a lot of money, hold it, and then sell it to make money.” This suggestion, and “lack of basic understanding” about how federal debt works apparently sent chills up the spine of Cohn, who explained that borrowing more money would in fact increase the deficit and add to the debt, something that would, in theory, be counterproductive for a delusional president who had pledged to completely eliminate the federal debt. But President “I’m, like, really smart” wasn’t finished:
The president-elect offered a solution.
“Just run the presses—print money,” Trump said, according to Woodward.
Cohn suggested that would be detrimental to the fiscal and economic health of the U.S., since printing vast amounts of money is thought to lead to inflation. . . . Cohn also pointed to the federal debt ceiling, a statutory limit to the amount of debt the federal government can have outstanding. Even approaching the debt ceiling can be harmful to the stock market and U.S. economic growth.
But according to Woodward, Cohn’s message did not seem to connect.
“It was clear that Trump did not understand the way the U.S. government debt cycle balance sheet worked,” Woodward wrote.
Of course, that the 45th president of the United States is an idiot is not exactly a new revelation. (Cohn has not publicly commented on any of Woodward’s reporting.) His first secretary of state characterized him as a “moron.” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, according to Woodward, told close associates that the president “had the understanding of ‘a fifth- or sixth-grader.’ ” Scott Pruitt essentially called him an imbecile “when it comes to things like the Constitution and rule of law.” Former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh reportedly said working with him was “like trying to figure out what a child wants,” which feels like an insult to children. And of course, someone “purporting to represent the views” of Cohn sent an e-mail in April 2017 describing the president as “an idiot surrounded by clowns.”
The words that come out of his mouth and tweets that emerge from his fingers suggest all of these assessments are correct. Still, it’s nice to see Cohn—who also apparently prevented Trump from destroying two huge trade deals by simply removing documents from his desk, because the president never mastered a concept most babies learn before they turn one—fully unshackled. It would’ve been nicer still if he’d busted out his “I’m with stupid” T-shirt while he was actually working at the White House and had more to lose, but hey, better late than never!
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Area C.E.O. might receive millions in compensation despite being an accused sexual predator, after all
Over the weekend, individuals who think men accused of sexual harassment and abuse should still receive nine-figures’ worth of compensation shed a tear that Les Moonves, who stepped down as chairman and C.E.O. of CBS after allegations of Harvey Weinstein–esque behavior, might walk away with nothing, aside from the $1 billion he’s made over the last few years. But, surprise! Les might get his payday, after all:
. . . in a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, CBS says the remaining $120 million of Moonves’s exit payout will be put in a trust fund and held in reserve until it determines “whether the company has grounds to terminate the employment of Mr. Moonves for cause under his employment agreement.” Translation: CBS is waiting for the results of two pending independent investigations into Moonves’s activities and the culture inside the company before formally triggering the termination clause in his deal.
In a statement to The New Yorker, Moonves—who remains at the network as an adviser—said the “appalling accusations” against him “are untrue.”
Donald Trump would just as soon not give Obama any credit for the healthy economy he inherited, thankyouverymuch
As you may have heard, Donald Trump loves to tout how well the economy has done on his watch, forgetting, on literally every occasion, to acknowledge that the recovery started, oh, nine years ago, when he was busy pretending to be a successful businessman on TV. But Trump became particularly energized on the topic when, on Friday, his predecessor decided to weigh in on his economic legacy in a speech: “When you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started. When you hear about this economic miracle that’s been going on, when the job numbers come out, monthly job numbers, suddenly Republicans are saying it’s a miracle. I have to kind of remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.” And, as you probably could have guessed, that didn’t sit well with the man-child-in-chief!
Of course . . .
Also on Monday, the president trotted out one of his best lackeys to claim this:
. . . a string of bulls–t that normally would’ve resulted in Kevin Hasset scoring points with the boss if only he hadn’t also made Trump look like the idiot he is:
Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, admitted that President Trump made an erroneous claim regarding the economy in a Monday tweet. During a press briefing, Hassett was confronted by a reporter who pointed out that Trump’s assertion that the G.D.P. growth rate is higher than the unemployment rate for the first time in over 100 years was “just not true.” Hassett admitted that the claim was incorrect, saying “somebody probably conveyed it to him adding a zero to that and they shouldn’t have done that.” He also said that he didn’t know if a quote Trump attributed to former President Obama, saying that Trump would need a “magic wand” to get the G.D.P. to four percent, was true. “I don’t know. . . I’m not Chairman of the Counsel of Twitter Advisers,” he said.
China begs Wall Street to talk some sense into Donald Trump
The Chinese government is inviting Wall Street’s top bankers to a hastily arranged meeting in Beijing as President Donald Trump threatens to impose punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to the U.S.
According to three people briefed on the initiative, Chinese Communist party officials have invited the heads of America’s leading financial institutions to attend a “China-U.S. Financial Roundtable” in Beijing on September 16, followed by a meeting with Wang Qishan, vice-president of China.
Chinese officials hope the new group, which will be jointly chaired by Zhou Xiaochuan, a former Chinese central bank governor, and John Thornton, the former Goldman Sachs executive who now chairs mining group Barrick Gold, will meet every six months to discuss Sino-U.S. relations and advise the Chinese government on financial and economic reforms.
“Those of us in the financial industries of both countries realise that we have an obligation to help improve U.S.-China relations,” a person involved in the roundtable told the Financial Times. “This relationship is too important to be wrecked by a few people.”
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