The War Comes to Moscow; Student Loan Relief and Inflation; Donald Trump vs. Mitch McConnell’s Wife
Author: Greg Valliere
August 23, 2022
WHO KILLED DARIA DUGINA? The daughter of far-right nationalist Alexander Dugin died in a car bombing that Russian officials immediately blamed on Ukraine. But experts believe it may have come from the National Republican Army, a militant group opposed to the war. It labels Putin a “war criminal.”
DUGINA WAS KILLED in the uber-wealthy Moscow suburb known as Rublyovka, where many members of Russia’s ruling class own sprawling villas. Everyone seemingly has a bodyguard; the pro-war elite — now targets — worry about who will be next.
OUTSIDE OF MOSCOW, Ukrainian guerrillas and allies clearly have Russia worried. Whether in Crimea or southern Russia, military installations are now targeted. The Russian front lines in the war have been penetrated with impunity. And throughout Russia, inflation is surging and wages aren’t keeping up, as in most of the world.
PUTIN’S REACTION TO TERRORISM IN MOSCOW probably will be to ramp up missile attacks on Ukraine; Kyev could be vulnerable, as could Ukrainian nuclear facilities. Putin has to worry about a domestic war at home, but he still has cards to play — including a natural gas trump card that could do huge damage to Western Europe’s fragile economy.
* * * * *
PRESIDENT BIDEN HAS EXASPERATED HIS STAFF by delaying a student loan relief package until the very last minute, an Aug. 31 deadline. Leaks this morning, including a report on the CNN web site, assert that the Biden proposal will extend the moratorium on loan payments while forgiving $10,000 in debt for people earning less than $125,000 per year.
THAT EXECUTIVE ORDER has been on the table for months, as Biden listened to proposals from the left to excuse up to $50,000 in debt — prompting a public dispute between Progressives and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
SUMMERS SAID YESTERDAY THAT “Student loan debt relief is spending that raises demand and increases inflation. It consumes resources that could be better used helping those who did not, for whatever reason, have the chance to attend college.”
SUMMERS ADDED that student loan relief “will also tend to be inflationary by raising tuitions.” Most Americans believe the proposal will increase inflation, according to a CNBC poll. By waiting this long, Biden has encouraged the opponents of loan relief, who will cite the warnings from Summers.
* * * * *
DONALD TRUMP VS. ELAINE CHAO: The snarling feud between the ex-president and the Senate Minority Leader has intensified. Trump issued a statement yesterday blasting McConnell as a “broken down hack politician,” and then ripped McConnell’s “crazy” wife Chao, who has served as Labor Secretary and Transportation Secretary.
CHAO HAS HELPED HER FAMILY “get rich on China,” Trump claimed, referring to charges that she steered business to her family’s shipping company. The Justice Department declined to press charges against Chao.
THE SOURCE OF THIS BITTER FEUD is McConnell’s assertion that the Republicans have weak candidates — many endorsed by Trump — who cannot prevail in November, as we wrote last Friday. One of those candidates, Herschel Walker, has opposed spending money on climate change. Walker said on Sunday: “Don’t we have enough trees around here?”
* * * * *
A REMINDER: We won’t publish every day between now and Labor Day.
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 Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. 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.
©2023 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.