Something you’ve probably picked up on by now is that Donald Trump exists in an different reality than most people. Here, he’s the person who invented the phrase “prime the pump.” It’s where Ivanka Trump created millions of jobs. It’s where Jared Kushner is capable of bringing peace to the Middle East. It’s where African Americans jammed up the phone lines to praise him for saying they “live in hell,” health insurance costs $12 a year, and Greenland is for sale. Yes:
President Trump made his name on the world’s most famous island. Now he wants to buy the world’s biggest. The idea of the U.S. purchasing Greenland has captured the former real estate developer’s imagination, according to people familiar with the deliberations, who said Mr. Trump has, with varying degrees of seriousness, repeatedly expressed interest in buying the ice-covered autonomous Danish territory between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance, and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea. Some of his advisers have supported the concept, saying it was a good economic play, two of the people said, while others dismissed it as a fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition. It is also unclear how the U.S. would go about acquiring Greenland even if the effort were serious…. At a dinner with associates last spring, Mr. Trump said someone had told him at a roundtable that Denmark was having financial trouble over its assistance to Greenland, and suggested that he should consider buying the island, according to one of the people. “What do you guys think about that?” he asked the room, the person said. “Do you think it would work?”
Trump is scheduled to make his first trip to Denmark next month, and it appears there is a nonzero chance he’ll bring up the acquisition to government officials and then later claim that he walked away from a deal. “They wanted to make a deal,” he’ll tell supporters in Florida. “They wanted to make a deal with Trump so bad. But I took one look at the place and said this? You want me to pay for this? You hear Greenland you think green but actually it’s not so green. Most of it’s not actually green. Remember, I was tremendously successful in real estate. Probably the most successful ever in real estate, a lot of smart people say that. Maybe we’ll make a deal, probably not, but we could make a deal. No other president has but they say if anyone can do it it’s Trump.”
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So GE had an eventful day
In that its stock dropped more than 11% after Harry Markopolos, the whistleblower who warned the SEC about Madoff years before his fraud was exposed, accused the company of massive fraud:
Markopolos. . .said GE will need to increase its insurance reserves immediately by $18.5 billion in cash—plus an additional noncash charge of $10.5 billion when new accounting rules take effect. GE is also hiding a loss of more than $9 billion on its holdings in Baker Hughes, an oilfield services company, Markopolos said. “These impending losses will destroy GE’s balance sheet, debt ratios and likely also violate debt covenants,” Markopolos said in a report Thursday. “GE’s cash situation is far worse than disclosed in their 2018” annual report to regulators.
GE chief executive officer Larry Culp dismissed the claims, calling them “market manipulation—pure and simple.” That wasn’t enough to stanch the bleeding, though, as shares plunged to $8.01 at the close. “The short report accurately depicts a GE culture that historically hid losses and deceived investors,” Scott Davis, an analyst at Melius Research, wrote in a note to clients. “GE has no credibility at all in responding to the report today as inaccurate. The truth is GE is using a set of assumptions, the short report uses another. We don’t know where the truth lies.”
Cue an incomprehensible attack against Mexico
In 3. . .2. . .1:
Mexico’s central bank reduced borrowing costs for the first time in five years after inflation slowed, the economy faltered and the U.S. cut its own rate. The peso weakened before paring declines to post gains. . .Slowing inflation, economic slack and yield-curve performance were among reasons for easing, the central bank said in the statement accompanying its decision. But policymakers insisted they would remain prudent and act swiftly if risks to reaching the inflation target appear. The board added that uncertainty that could impact inflation persists while the growth outlook remained negative.
Presumably we’re also in store for a tweet storm arguing that this is how Mexico is going to pay for the wall.
Castro Proposes New Inherited Wealth Tax (Bloomberg)
Facebook Tells Chat Users Nothing About Human Listeners (Bloomberg)
Jeffrey Epstein had creepy taxidermied tiger, poodle, painting of Bill Clinton in a blue dress and high heels in UES mansion (NYP)
Trump pushed Mnuchin to label China a currency manipulator, a move he had resisted (Washington Post)
GE CEO Larry Culp bought nearly $2 million worth of the company’s stock after fraud accusation (CNBC)
Avenatti asks judge to toss federal charges, says he’s a victim of Trump agenda (NYP)
The $3.4 Trillion Haven Where Investors ‘Hide Out for a While’ (Bloomberg)
Equinox chief to members: ‘I’m sorry for the impact’ of Trump fundraiser ‘on our community’ (CNBC)
Jeffrey Epstein’s gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell spotted at In-N-Out Burger in first photos since his death (NYP)
Miniature horses still cleared to fly as service animals (NYP)
— Why some Republican insiders fear Kamala Harris the most
— No one is safe: how Saudi Arabia makes dissidents disappear
— What the surfer-mom influencers of Byron Bay reveal about our world
— The horrors of Jeffrey Epstein’s private island
— Our September cover story: how Kristen Stewart keeps cool
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