Since getting Gary Cohn's old White House gig back in April, Larry Kudlow has displayed an uncanny knack to tell the press the exact opposite of what President Trump is about to do to the US economy.
Kuddles was never a great fit running the Trump economic policy shop insofar as Larry has a small set of economic beliefs that the president doesn't share because the president doesn't really have any. Kudlow is a free-tradin,' tax-hatin,' trickle-downin,' pinstripe-favorin,' glory-hoggin,' Reaganism relic, and that's what makes him so eager to throw on a bright tie or a jaunty scarf and stroll out onto the White House lawn to tell his old friends in the media that President Trump is about to make some really great decisions, like easing back on tariff threats, leaving the Fed alone, and not attacking Wall Street.
The only problem with that approach is that Trump has almost always done the opposite of what Kuddles said he'd do, and just last week, after Larry struck a quasi-dovish tone on the GM layoffs during the White House press briefing, Trump waited a matter of moments before angrily tweeting directly at General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
Kuddle has not been able to get a handle on Trump's decision-making, but he has nonetheless become one of the most reliably predictive data points in a wildly unpredictable presidency. See, Larry is like the "Opposite Man" of the Trump Economy. You listen to what Larry says and assume Trump will do some form of the opposite thing. It's hard to lose.
So anyone out there looking to go long on the idea that American and China will quell this simmering trade war should be a little concerned with what Kuddles told Fox Business today. After attending the G20 with Trump and sitting in on his dinner with the Chinese, a meal that reportedly yielded a 90-day window to continue talks without further tariffs, Larry said this:
The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, resulted in a range of “Chinese commitments,” including a 90-day trade truce that would resolve top trade issues ranging from forced technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber theft and agriculture practices.
Kudlow said “we won’t cover everything” in 90 days but many items that are being negotiated on will be seen “pretty fast.”
So, yeah, further talks with China are likely to be somewhere between "Glacial" and "Disastrous."