Tett, Trump and Comey

A disappointing piece by Ms. Tett.  As Senator Susan Collins said – and she is no admirer of President Trump – to put it mildly – the FBI Chief deserved to go. Further, she noted that Trump was not shutting down FBI. There are enough dirt diggers on Trump. One may not like him; one may even detest him for his values, for his policies and for his personality but President Trump is not a fool to walk into a suicidal trap. He would have known that he is handing a big stick for his detractors to beat him with.

Remember, he outsmarted the chattering classes to become the President. They guessed wrong and now all of them are trying to prove themselves right, by finding a reason to get rid of him.  To do so, they are perhaps barking up the wrong tree. The hyperventilation over Russia is a case of self-perpetuating logic.

Whether or not there was collusion with Russia that helped him win the Presidency – a very remote possibility –  there are serious conflicts of interest that are arising with China.

Kushner has almost single-handedly derailed the Trump agenda over China. From the aborted attempt on the part of Anbang insurance to bail out his failed real estate deals, to his children singing Mandarin songs for the visiting Chinese President and his wife to his family members selling U.S. Permanent Residency for real estate transactions claiming proximity with the highest office of the land, etc., there is plenty to worry about there.

China – with its unstable economy and its empire building – is a bigger threat to the global order than Russia. China ought to be a bigger worry for those who worry about the stability of markets.

Is it a sign of foolishly misplaced priorities that there is hyperventilation about Russia while China gets away with far less scrutiny or is it something more sinister?

In 2001, on the request of the Head of Citigroup Investment Banking Head, Robert Rubin, former U.S. Treasury Secretary telephoned a Treasury undersecretary in the new Republican Administration to ensure that Enron Debt was not downgraded. Citi was having a big exposure to Enron.

He could do so because Bill Clinton had rescinded a rule that barred Cabinet members from interceding with the Department that they had worked for.

Luigi Zingales, Professor at the University of Chicago, had recalled the incident in his book, ‘A Capitalism for the people’. That is the kind of ‘bipartisanship’ that America had witnessed in the last two or three decades in sinking the pillars of probity in governance.

Good journalists must know the issues that they ought to focus on.

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