When the European Union slapped the U.S. with $3.2 billion in retaliatory tariffs targeting products produced in Trump Country, it likely anticipated an outburst from the president along the lines of his attacks on Justin “Burn in hell” Trudeau. Perhaps some sort of tantrum directed at European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s manhood, with swipes at Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, the latter of whom he’d sneeringly call his ex-friend. What the E.U. probably didn’t expect was for Donald Trump to go bats–t crazy on an American company caught in the middle of his “easy to win” trade war, threatening it via Twitter for three days straight (and counting). But, surprise! That’s exactly what’s happened.
After the Wisconsin-based Harley-Davidson announced it would have no choice but to shift some production overseas in order to avoid raising the price of its bikes bound for the E.U. bloc, the president initially weighed in with some relatively mild criticism, describing the company’s decision as surrendering to the enemy. The next day, still stewing, Trump claimed to his followers that Harley had decided to move production abroad before the levies were imposed, and was using his “Tariffs/Trade War as an excuse,” which was, in fact, a lie. (In reality, the company’s decision to build a factory to supply markets in Southeast Asia was made on the basis of Trump’s decision to withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.) He followed that up by essentially threatening to put the company out of business—“If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end!”—and claiming “they will be taxed like never before,” even though there’s no indication Harley will import motorcycles to the U.S. from overseas plants. And he didn’t stop there!
After presumably spending the entire night tossing and turning, becoming increasingly convinced that the company had wronged him, and getting all riled up by his buddies at Fox & Friends, on Wednesday, Trump sent out a tweet worthy of a scorned lover:
It’s not totally clear what the president means when he says he’s done “so much for” Harley-Davidson, but that’s obviously beside the point. Stay tuned for later in the week, when Trump calls a press conference to burn a Harley motorcycle in effigy on the South Lawn of the White House, shouting “I warned you!” and “It didn’t have to be this way!” as the flames rise.
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Speaking of fatal attraction . . .
Elon Musk suggested in a company-wide e-mail to employees that the Goldman Sachs analyst who predicted Tesla will miss its Model 3 estimates this month will rue the day he ever doubted the company:
“They are in for a rude awakening :)” the chief executive officer wrote in the email Tuesday. He shared a link to a CNBC story that reported Goldman expected the company to deliver 22,000 Model 3s in the three months ending in June, short of what analyst David Tamberrino said was a consensus of 28,000.
With less than a week to go in the quarter, Tesla is under enormous pressure to prove to investors that it can achieve and sustain higher levels of production. Musk, 46, told investors during Tesla’s June 5 annual shareholder meeting that the company was “quite likely” to achieve its target to build 5,000 of the sedans a week by the end of this month.
Just for the record, last month Musk held a conference call with analysts in which he berated people for asking questions that he deemed “boring,” “boneheaded,” and “not cool.” Earlier in June, he sent a weekend memo to employees alleging that a saboteur within the company’s ranks was “damaging . . . our operations.” (That employee, engineer Martin Tripp, has said he‘s done no such thing and that he’s only spoken to the media about Tesla because he’s witnessed “some really scary things” there.)
Surprise: no one wants Trump’s auto tariffs
Earlier this week, Donald Trump suggested he would be making good on his threat to tax all foreign cars coming into the U.S. in an effort, he claimed, to save the U.S. auto industry. The only—“only”—problem? The auto industry thinks it’s a horrible idea the likes of which it ranks just after the plague.
“I can’t find a single company that is calling for protection from international competition,” John Bozzella, president and C.E.O. of lobbying group Global Automakers, told Politico. “I don’t see it. There’s isn’t a single company. And frankly, there isn’t a single group of employees that has called for this either.” Rufus Yerxa, who leads the National Foreign Trade Council, warned that an auto tariff “would widen the trade war tenfold,” given that the U.S. imported roughly $360 billion in cars, parts, and engines in 2017, versus $29 billion in steel and $18 billion in aluminum. “It’s a whole different ball game from steel,” Yerxa added.
In a letter to the Commerce Department sent Wednesday, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers estimated that the average price of a new car will jump $5,800 if the Trump goes through with a 25 percent tariff on imported vehicles. “Tariffs will lead to increased producer costs, increased producer costs will lead to increased vehicle costs, increased vehicle costs will lead to fewer sales and less tax receipts, fewer sales will lead to fewer jobs, and those fewer jobs will significantly impact many communities and families across the country,” the group warned. The Peterson Institute for International Economics predicted that a 25 percent tariff would lead to a 1.5 percent decline in production and result in 195,000 U.S. workers losing their jobs over a one- to three-year period. If other countries responded with retaliatory tariffs, U.S. job losses would increase to 624,000.
But of course, that would never happen!
Area finance bro still hasn’t learned to keep his hands to himself: report
His employer is said to be taking a look-see into the allegations:
Credit Suisse Group AG is investigating allegations that a senior banker inappropriately touched an intern at a company social event last week, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The allegations against a managing director in the merger and acquisitions group were brought to the company’s attention on Monday, said the person, who asked not to be named as the information isn’t public. The person didn’t disclose the identity of the banker.
According to a source who spoke to DealBreaker, the managing director is expected to be “let…off with a H.R. lecture,” because apparently no one has learned anything this past year.
In a statement, Credit Suisse told the Hive: “We launch full investigations into any matters that concern alleged inappropriate behavior. Employees are actively encouraged to come forward with any pertinent information they may have. When a full investigation is completed, decisions are made and appropriate actions are taken.”
Where do Goldman Sachs, Fleetwood Mac, and Electronic Dance Music converge?
Solomon, the bank’s president and part-time electronic dance music mix master, released his first single in early June, called “Don’t Stop,” Business Insider has learned. Available on Spotify and Apple Music under the name D-Sol, the tune is a dance remix of the popular song first released by Fleetwood Mac in 1977.
Spotify has already put the song into three of its mixes, including “Happy Summer Beats” and “Fresh Electronic.”
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