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Posturing with salty soup.

The latest theory: Tariffs on steel and aluminium are a bargaining chip — to renegotiate Nafta with Canada and Mexico. Once we secure a better Nafta deal, the tariffs will be dropped.


But, even if they are adopted, our booming economy will easily absorb them.

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, 80, went on TV holding a can of Campbell’s soup and said the new tariffs wouldn’t even add one penny to the price of the soup.


I wondered when the last time Ross, a billionaire, had eaten Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. The salt would kill him on the first taste!

Then there was the Administration’s “argument” that every other country in the world had a 25% VAT — value added tariff — which burdened U.S. goods. And we didn’t have a VAT.

My god, go to Wikipedia and you’ll find that VAT stands for value added tax, not value added tariff.

Says Wikipedia, “As of 2018, 166 of the world’s approximately 193 countries employ a VAT, including all OECD members except the United States, which uses a sales tax system instead.”

When the market opened this morning, my portfolio was up handsomely. It’s now down… Whoops, it’s up a little. Now it’s down.

Will we have a tariff war? Will it spread to iconic products like Harley Davidson motorcycles? Will it kill all the companies that use lots of steel to make things? This is the confusion stockmarkets will have to live with — at least until Friday morning when Washington reports the latest unemployment numbers — which should be very positive. They should show the economy remains strong.

Meantime, we’ll live with a little volatility. Stick with what you have — hopefully it’s mostly tech stocks.

Keep away from stocks like MTW which Trump confidant and billionaire hedge fund manager, Carl Icahn, presciently sold before Trump announced the 25% steel and 10% aluminium tariffs. He saved himself several million dollars with his brilliant trade.


Harry’s morning musing: Does anyone get caught for insider trading these days?

The most egregious case were the Equifax execs who sold millions of dollars of  Equifax shares before they announced they’d been badly hacked.

No one in Justice or the SEC seems interested.

It seems “de-regulation” also means lax (or no) law enforcement… Sadly, I don’t have any insider information.

Lost or mislaid your iPhone?

+ Call it. That doesn’t work for long. It stops ringing and goes into voice mail.

+ Much better. Go to

+ Sign in to Apple Cloud. Wait a few seconds. It will find your iPhone, assuming its battery still has life.

+ Click on iPhone. You’ll see:


Click Play Sound. Walk around until you hear the silly sound.

Remember to keep your phone charged. All this doesn’t work if your battery is dead.

Nice, harmless puns

You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish.

To write with a broken pencil is pointless.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.

If you don’t pay your exorcist, you can get repossessed.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

Harry Newton, whose biggest dollar loser today is SQ. But it’s also showing a huge gain. Whoever thought it would hit nearly $50? I’m not selling. I’m not buying. Just marveling.


Interestingly, NFLX, AMZN, MSFT and ADBE are all showing percentage gains bigger than SQ. They’re all in my recommended portfolio.

Off to play tennis.