"Gary Cohn is now gone. His potential replacements are already being discussed. Who would I like? If we could re-animate him, I would like Adam Smith. Why? Boy, do we need Adam Smith NOW!"
Most of us who went to business school, studied a bit about Adam Smith. Smith, who is credited with being the "father of capitalism", was wise beyond his years. And when I say wise beyond his years, I mean centuries wise beyond his years. His timeless book, A Wealth of Nations, should be a MUST READ for everyone in Congress. Those on the Left side of the aisle who did not learn to read because they went to a government high school, it is also available in audio book format.
Smith advocated that everyone be a "free trader". In a perfect world, this would be an excellent way to run a world economy. But this question begs to be asked - how many nations today are truly "free traders"? I dare say not many. By the way, Smith also advocated using "retaliatory tariffs" against trading partners who are not practicing free trade. Why? Retaliatory tariffs are better than waging a hot war (not uncommon in the days of Smith).
ICYMI, last March (2017), our newly elected President ordered a study on countries we trade with, and of whom we are currently running a trade deficit. You mean like Canada? Yes - Canada was on top of the list. To those detractors of this President who think he might fly off willy nilly, this issue was studied for almost a year. There has to be a reason, other than free trade, that Canada (who is like a twin of this country), is beating us hands down on steel.
Smith also advocates for governments to be facilitators of trade and not inhibitors. Putting that statement in current "group speak", governments need to be more like Trump and less like Obama. Trump has been working at breakneck speed to strip as many Obama business killing regulations as possible off of our companies. What Obama did by milking every possible drop of acid out of Dodd-Frank, was to make it almost impossible for our companies to compete with foreign companies.
Am I a flag waving fan of tariffs? Not a bit. But our country cannot keep going this way. My advice to Canada is simply this - NAFTA is coming up for re-negotiation later this year. It would behoove everyone involved to play ball with this President. To underestimate him or to play him like a fool would be at Canada's and Mexico's peril.
Gary Cohn is now gone. His potential replacements are already being discussed. Who would I like? If we could re-animate him, I would like Adam Smith. Why? Read his book. And then you might also say, "boy, do we need Adam Smith NOW!"