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Further uncertainty on the China-U.S. trade “deal”

China is learning that small concessions make for big victory pronouncements, heady celebrations and nice stockmarket pops in the U.S.

The New York Times threw cold water on that last night:

The lack of specific commitments from China and the conflicting statements from United States and Chinese officials struck many analysts as a sign that the president might ultimately get far less than he was publicly portraying.

For instance, after leaving Buenos Aires on Saturday night, Mr. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that Mr. Xi had agreed to approve a deal China had previously rejected between Qualcomm, a San Diego-based chip maker, and a Dutch firm, NXP, calling it “a big thing.” But Qualcomm had already abandoned its plan to buy NXP and said on Monday that it would not be resuscitating any agreement.

I don’t like this game.

The Communist Party in China came to power in 1949 and has been in power ever since — that’s 69 years.

Xi is president for life. He goal is to make China a super-power with heavy emphasis on technology. He’s succeeding. His growth rate, though slowing, is still nearly twice ours.

He can throw us some bones — buy more soybeans, allow American Express, Visa and MasterCard into China, buy more Boeing planes, Caterpillar earth movers and John Deere tractors. We’d like to drop mandatory sharing of technology with the Chinese —  if we want entry into their market. Good luck with that one.

Stay with stocks whose business is not China.

Bitcoin continues its plummet

Bitcoin started December with an 8% drop to under $4,000. A year ago it was around $20.000. I googled for a chart. This is bitcoin max.

I Google for other bubbles. This is fascinating:

The dot-com bubble — late 1990s.

For more on the bitcoin, click here. For more on bubble history, click here.

Honoring George H.W. Bush

Tomorrow exchanges will be closed to honor President George H.W. Bush, a most wonderful president.

This late president’s yellow lab service dog, Sully,  is lying in front of his flag-draped cask.

I cry every time I look at this photo.

In Just 3 Words, Warren Buffett Dropped the Best Career Advice You’ll Hear Today

He said “Invest in yourself.”

The one easy way to become worth 50 percent more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills–both written and verbal. If you can’t communicate, it’s like winking at a girl in the dark–nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world but you have to be able to transmit it. And the transmission is communication.

Please re-read your emails for sense, logic, spelling mistakes and bad grammar. I puzzle over many emails I receive.

For the full article in Inc Magazine, click here.

Rebooting always works.

+ I have Verizon FiOS TV.  To fix it, hold the power button in for 15 seconds and watch magic.

+ I have an iPhone. Turn it off by holding the power button for 15 seconds. Then turn it on.

How serious the Yellow Vest protests in France?

From my smart friend in Paris:

Most of these poor people have jobs from which they cannot be fired; they have free medical care and schools, plus a multitude of government allocations and 5 weeks a year holiday. As one yellow jacket representative said on TV last night “This is about being able to deliver the Christmas gifts fathers promised to children”. So forgive me if I don’t cry for them. For years diesel has been subsidized compared to gas, to the detriment of the environment. Now Macron is trying to make good on his environmental policies, which should be supported. But every political party is seeing his weakness and so is criticizing him, not just for being arrogant and favoring the rich, but now for not adequately ensuring public safety, as if he should be running a police state.

You have no idea of the level of violence that took place as it is totally under reported. Police were in danger for their lives but had the self control not to shoot. Buildings were burned, stores pillaged. It was a veritable insurrection that had nothing to do with peaceful political protest or even the worst of Trump’s supporters.

The movement is infiltrated by anarchists who take part in any demonstrations. In the past they have attacked children’s hospitals. This weekend they went after cultural monuments, banks and stores. An American Russian speaking friend of mine got caught in the rioting on the way to his hotel Saturday and said he came across groups of Russian speakers in yellow jackets. So now we know Putin is also trying to destabilize France.

How to sleep

The best way is to sleep on your back.

The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions-According to a Sleep Doctor
Click here. 

Wonderful cartoons

Harry Newton, who keeps reminding himself: Eat less. Nap more. Keep moving. Focus on priorities.