Features

Trump backs down over border wall

Donald Trump agreed to halt the 35-day US government shutdown.

932-Trump-634
Trump: blunt and transparent

Last Friday, amid "mounting public frustration", Donald Trump agreed to halt the 35-day US government shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of federal employees without pay for more than a month, reports The Guardian.

Although the Democrats continue to refuse to grant the president the $5.7bn in border wall funding he was requesting, he agreed to a bill that funds the US government until 15 February, thus enabling nearly 800,000 employees to return to work and receive delayed payment. The decision unilaterally to end the longest and most costly shutdown in government history was greeted with relief, but it has led to criticism from Trump's own supporters that he "caved in".

Trump's "abject humiliation" was inevitable, says Michael Gerson in The Washington Post. Not only has he "lost themost visible and important confrontation of his presidency", he's also exposed the fact that his methods are "blunt and transparent".His typical tactic is "to raise the stakes of a negotiation impossibly high", then "make a maximal demand" trusting that "the triumph of his stronger will" will lead his opponent to submit before he does. The problem with such an approach is that "you can angrily hold your breath for only so long".

Still, the perception that he "got owned" by House speaker Nancy Pelosi might tempt Trump to try and "salvage some political capital with the minority of Americans who still seem inclined to support him" by taking some new extreme measure, says The New York Times. Indeed, in his remarks announcing the halt to the shutdown he made "threatening noises" about "declaring a national emergency if Congress cannot reach a compromise by the time this agreement expires". Polls suggest that such a move would be "wildly unpopular", and might even encourage congressional Republicans to come to a deal without him.

Recommended

How long can the good times roll?
Economy

How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently en…
19 Dec 2019
US election: stockmarkets don’t care who’s in the White House
US stockmarkets

US election: stockmarkets don’t care who’s in the White House

The economic cycle and America's central bank have a much bigger effect on long-term stockmarket returns than whether Democrats or Republicans are in …
23 Oct 2020
What the race for the White House means for your money
US election

What the race for the White House means for your money

American voters are about to decide whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will take the oath of office on 20 January. Matthew Partridge explains how vario…
15 Oct 2020
The riskiest election in US history
US election

The riskiest election in US history

Donald Trump’s illness has rattled markets as investors try to understand the implications of an incapacitated American president or a bitterly contes…
8 Oct 2020

Most Popular

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm
Bitcoin

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm

The Bank of England could win the race to create a respectable digital currency if it moves quickly, says Matthew Lynn.
18 Oct 2020
Don’t miss this bus: take a bet on National Express
Trading

Don’t miss this bus: take a bet on National Express

Bus operator National Express is cheap, robust and ideally placed to ride the recovery. Matthew Partridge explains how traders can play it.
19 Oct 2020
Three stocks that can cope with Covid-19
Share tips

Three stocks that can cope with Covid-19

Professional investor Zehrid Osmani of the Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust, picks three stocks that he thinks should be able to weather the coron…
12 Oct 2020