Author Topic: Fear - Bob Woodward  (Read 2531 times)

Investor20

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Re: Fear - Bob Woodward
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 11:09:30 PM »
I've finished the book. Quite clear that John Dowd also spoke to Woodward, tons of details there.

From things he's said and done, it's quite clear that he thinks trade accounts are actually profit & loss statements (as in, "we have a trade deficit with country X, we're losing money to them, they're stealing from us").

Do I have to read a book to find that out about Trump?

And wait a minute there is another person who thinks in those terms about Trade, and trade deficit is like living on credit card - Warren Buffett.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DvuyvuHmJI

Buffett re-iterated this in a recent CNBC interview:
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/07/full-transcript-billionaire-investor-warren-buffett-speaks-with-cnbcs-becky-quick-on-squawk-box-today.html

WARREN BUFFETT: I think it was in 2003, Joe, I wrote an article for Fortune actually about the trade deficit. I was worried about it getting too large then. Because, again, it was getting to be 3% or so of GDP. It-- wasn't specific to China at all. But it was just a question of how wise it is to let the trade deficit grow larger and larger. Because when you run-- when you are in effect buying more from other countries than they're buying from you, you are handing them investment funds. I mean, it's the nature. You give 'em little pieces of paper, and they can convert that into buying-- they can buy government bonds. They can buy buildings here. And-- Japanese bought Pebble Beach in the 1980s when they were running a big-- surplus. I mean, so you are giving up claim checks on our country essentially in exchange for having more consumption now than you're producing in this country. And so I do think that there's levels of trade deficit that bother me. I had some system that did not make it country specific. But I think-- the world has gotten better and better. And there's no question that-- that countries may try and take advantage in this or that. And-- we've actually been guilty of that sometimes in the past, too. I don't think leaders in other countries, whether China or 100 other countries, are not smart enough-- to realize that it's in the interest to keep promoting trade. The more we trade over time. And-- we don't want it to be a question of where we important 20% of our GDP and we export nothing. Now, we could all quick working, and we could hand little pieces of paper to the rest of the world, and they could keep sending us food. And they can send us autos. And they can send us all kinds of things. But eventually they have claims on all our wealth. So-- we do want to have policies where the overall trade deficit does not get out of hand in relation to GDP. And I've been arguing that for a long, long time.


(Emphasis in bold added)


Orchard

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Re: Fear - Bob Woodward
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 04:59:38 AM »
When you read Buffett (i.e. more than just the abstract you posted) you'll see that he believes that a nation that lives above its means has to finance the consumption above its production somehow. The way nations do that is abroad through a budget deficit. So the way to get rid of the deficit is to stop living above its means.

When you listen to Trump you come to the conclusion that he thinks the two things are not connected to each other and all you have to do is impose tariffs and the deficit goes away.

Liberty

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Re: Fear - Bob Woodward
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2018, 06:08:57 AM »
I've finished the book. Quite clear that John Dowd also spoke to Woodward, tons of details there.

From things he's said and done, it's quite clear that he thinks trade accounts are actually profit & loss statements (as in, "we have a trade deficit with country X, we're losing money to them, they're stealing from us").

Do I have to read a book to find that out about Trump?

And wait a minute there is another person who thinks in those terms about Trade, and trade deficit is like living on credit card - Warren Buffett.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DvuyvuHmJI

Buffett re-iterated this in a recent CNBC interview:
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/07/full-transcript-billionaire-investor-warren-buffett-speaks-with-cnbcs-becky-quick-on-squawk-box-today.html

WARREN BUFFETT: I think it was in 2003, Joe, I wrote an article for Fortune actually about the trade deficit. I was worried about it getting too large then. Because, again, it was getting to be 3% or so of GDP. It-- wasn't specific to China at all. But it was just a question of how wise it is to let the trade deficit grow larger and larger. Because when you run-- when you are in effect buying more from other countries than they're buying from you, you are handing them investment funds. I mean, it's the nature. You give 'em little pieces of paper, and they can convert that into buying-- they can buy government bonds. They can buy buildings here. And-- Japanese bought Pebble Beach in the 1980s when they were running a big-- surplus. I mean, so you are giving up claim checks on our country essentially in exchange for having more consumption now than you're producing in this country. And so I do think that there's levels of trade deficit that bother me. I had some system that did not make it country specific. But I think-- the world has gotten better and better. And there's no question that-- that countries may try and take advantage in this or that. And-- we've actually been guilty of that sometimes in the past, too. I don't think leaders in other countries, whether China or 100 other countries, are not smart enough-- to realize that it's in the interest to keep promoting trade. The more we trade over time. And-- we don't want it to be a question of where we important 20% of our GDP and we export nothing. Now, we could all quick working, and we could hand little pieces of paper to the rest of the world, and they could keep sending us food. And they can send us autos. And they can send us all kinds of things. But eventually they have claims on all our wealth. So-- we do want to have policies where the overall trade deficit does not get out of hand in relation to GDP. And I've been arguing that for a long, long time.


(Emphasis in bold added)

I think you have to be sure, because a lot of people think he's just using rhetoric to negotiate but he actually understands the benefits of trade and wants more free trade, while the behind the scene discussions he's had show that he doesn't and he thinks that trade is a zero sum game and hurts the US.

But anyway, the book is about a lot more than that, so even if that was obvious to you, it can still be worth reading. People read a CNBC piece somewhere and think they got all that was to get out of it, but that's stupid, that's like taking any book that you really like and thinking that reading a summary somewhere is equivalent to reading the book.

Buffett and Trump aren't saying the same thing. They're not even in the same universe in their thinking about finance and economics.
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Investor20

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Re: Fear - Bob Woodward
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2018, 10:02:20 PM »
When you read Buffett (i.e. more than just the abstract you posted) you'll see that he believes that a nation that lives above its means has to finance the consumption above its production somehow. The way nations do that is abroad through a budget deficit. So the way to get rid of the deficit is to stop living above its means.

When you listen to Trump you come to the conclusion that he thinks the two things are not connected to each other and all you have to do is impose tariffs and the deficit goes away.

The nice thing about Buffett is he stands by his word weather he likes Trump or not and yes there are differences in thinking between Buffett and Trump, but in wanting low trade deficit and the way to go about it, Trump is the closest politician to Buffett thinking (compared to Hillary or 16 other republicans).

To quote from fortune magazine below:

"My remedy may sound gimmicky, and in truth it is a tariff called by another name. "

http://fortune.com/2016/04/29/warren-buffett-foreign-trade/
Warren Buffett: Here's How I Would Solve the Trade Problem

Liberty

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Re: Fear - Bob Woodward
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2018, 04:35:17 PM »
Interview with Woodward about the book:

https://overcast.fm/+C_1833--s
"Most haystacks don't even have a needle." |  I'm on Twitter  | Interesting podcast on aging research