A potential trade war was initiated between the two largest economies in the world. Donald Trump introduced $50billion of trade tariffs against China. So far China has retaliated with a measured response of $3billion in counter-tariffs, the EU and Britain are lining up their defences as well. It would seem that a great America under Trump is an isolated one.
- President Donald Trump announced a $50 billion trade tariff on Chinese imports. Beijing has responded by imposing tariffs on $3 billion of US imports of pork, recycled aluminium, steel pipes, fruit and wine. In reaction to this, the Dow Jones plummeted 700 points, the sixth largest fall in 112 years.
- Data from millions of Facebook users was used by Cambridge Analytics to influence the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been in hot water this week releasing a PR response that came far too late for many. The following article explains the possible new restrictions that Facebook could implement and the impact that this will have on social research.
- The EU and the UK have reached a 21-month Brexit transition deal. This has assured that a hard Brexit will be avoided.
- The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold with a hint of increasing them in May 2018.
- Meeting for the first time under Chairman Jerome Powell, Fed officials increased interest rates by 0.25%, with the potential of two more this year, and further hikes in 2019 and 2020.
- Trump has also replaced his National Security Advisor, HR McMaster with John Bolton the ex-Bush administration UN ambassador. In other US reshuffles, John Dowd resigned as Trump’s lead attorney in the special counsel investigation into the 2016 Presidential Campaign’s collusion with Russia.
- Tom Moyane, the Commissioner of SARS, was suspended this week with a scathing letter from the President himself, which is discussed in the following link. He has been temporarily replaced by Mark Kingon.
- A local Constitutional Review Committee has been tasked to review Section 25 of the Constitution. They are expected to engage with the public on the process of land expropriation without compensation. The committee will have until 30 August 2018, to report back to the National Assembly.
- By midnight on Friday evening, South Africa will know the verdict from Moody’s of the first rating agency review under Ramaphosa. Dynasty’s base case is that a downgrade will be avoided.
- Inflation came in at a low of 4%. This leads us to believe that the South African Reserve Bank will most probably cut interest rates next week – a move that will be welcomed by the domestic consumer who has to contend with the 1% VAT increase in the coming weeks.