Well, someone went down into the subbasement crypt underneath the White House and reanimated Wilbur Ross's remains so he could respond to comments Jerome Powell made yesterday at the ECB's central banking conference in Sintra.
On Wednesday, a visibly uncomfortable Powell (he did ok, all things considered, but he was clearly the odd man out seated with Kuroda, Draghi and Lowe) delivered the following assessment with regard to the possibility that the Fed may have to change their outlook if trade tensions continue to mount:
Changes in trade policy could cause us to have to question the outlook. For the first time, we’re hearing about decisions to postpone investment, postpone hiring.
Now look, it seems unlikely that Powell is just making that shit up, right? I mean, this is Mr. "plain English" we're talking about here, so if he says the Fed is "hearing about decisions to postpone investment [and] hiring", then he probably means exactly that.
And if you don't want to take Powell's (English) word for it, then you could ask Jamie Dimon's Business Roundtable which earlier this month reported the first drop in their quarterly survey since Trump took office. Or you could ask Daimler, which on Wednesday became the first prominent company to cut its profit outlook on trade concerns.
Or hell, you might ask Treasury Secretary (and man who would really appreciate it if you'd let him know when it's safe for him to comment publicly) Steve Mnuchin, who reportedly warned Trump that going the Navarro route on trade risks a market crash.
But if you ask Commerce Secretary (and man who maybe, hypothetically isn't guilty of insider trading) Wilbur Ross and his proprietary Campbell’s soup can index, "anyone who thinks the economy is being wrecked doesn’t know what they’re talking about."
That is an actual quote from what's left of Wilbur, whose ghastly visage materialized on Bloomberg TV this morning to weigh in on the trade debate and to deliver his thoughts on mad cow disease and sick chickens. Here's Wilbur:
"Spoiled" countries have been "putting in place all kinds of elaborate, non-science-based restrictions" on the way to refusing meat and poultry shipments based on a variety of bullshit excuses including, but by no means limited to, "nonsense" about sick cows and flu-ridden chickens.
That, from an administration that generally hates science-based restrictions on anything.
Whether or not that's enough to convince Jerome Powell (and Jamie Dimon and Daimler and Steve Mnuchin and anyone whose name isn't "Wilbur Ross" and/or "Peter Navarro") is an open question, but I guess if you idiots insist on this idea that trade wars are bad, Wilbur will be forced to bust out his cans again.