Last Night’s Grades — A Solid B for Biden; A New Scenario for China Trade Talks
Author: Greg Valliere
September 13, 2019
JOE BIDEN’S GOOD NIGHT: Biden’s status as the shaky front-runner is still intact after last night’s debate. He had a few minor gaffes, especially late in the three-hour marathon, but we give him a solid B. Here are our other grades:
Beto O’Rourke, still standing, was the recipient of praise from the other candidates (probably because they no longer view him as a threat). But O’Rourke was the surprise of the night; we give him an A-minus.
Elizabeth Warren: No errors, but not very engaged. Perhaps Warren thinks she’s on a trajectory to win the nomination, and simply wants to play defense. It’s way too early for that, in our opinion. Let’s give her a B.
Pete Buttigieg: Always solid and articulate, but time’s running out for Mayor Pete. He didn’t move the needle much last night. A B for him, not enough.
Any Klobuchar: Still in the mix for the vice presidential nod. A moderate from the Midwest who’s an adequate debater, we give her a B for last night’s steady performance.
Cory Booker: He had a few solid moments and is still in the running; it’s difficult, however, to see where he breaks through. Let’s give him a B-minus.
Bernie Sanders: He turned 78 last week, and sounded even older thanks to a cold. Not a bad performance last night, but he said nothing new. We’ll give him a C.
Kamala Harris: Her take-down of Biden in the first debate was her high-water mark. She had some well-prepared sound bites last night but no longer seems to be much of a force. Let’s give her a C.
Julian Castro: His nasty cheap shot at Biden’s memory was based on an inaccurate summary of what Biden had just said. Castro is toast, and probably lost his chance for the vice presidential nod. We give him a D.
Andrew Yang: The Yang balloon crashed and burned last night. His tacky pandering — call now and maybe you’ll get $1,000 per month — was cringe inducing. Not ready for prime time, we give Yang a D-minus.
* * * * *
PLAN B ON CHINA TRADE: Both sides agree that about 90% of a trade deal is completed; negotiators have made that assertion for the past few months. So why not sign a deal on that 90% and leave the remainder for additional talks that could last through the winter? That idea seems to be gaining traction as both sides look more conciliatory.
WE STILL THINK A COMPREHENSIVE DEAL is many months away, but real signs of progress are possible when talks resume in October. Beijing is buying soybeans again and has offered concessions in free trade zones in China, while Donald Trump is delaying some tariffs and considering other concessions.
BOTTOM LINE: This story changes every few days, so it’s way too early to get celebratory, but we reiterate our position: a modest deal by winter still looks likely.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Asset Management (Asia) Limited (AGF AM Asia) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA is a registered advisor in the U.S. AGFI is registered as a portfolio managers across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. AGF AM Asia is registered as a portfolio manager in Singapore. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
© 2020 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.