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Situational awareness:

  • Billionaire investor Ray Dalio says he now believes it is unlikely (lowering his forecast to 35% from 50%) there will be a recession before the 2020 presidential election because central banks have essentially ended quantitative tightening. (LinkedIn) Ray has clearly been reading Axios Markets. 🤓
  • The nuclear summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un ended abruptly without an agreement, the White House said, after the two leaders cut short their discussions. (AFP)
  • U.S. companies installed more robots than ever before in 2018. Shipments rose to 28,478, nearly 16 percent more than in 2017. (Reuters)
  • The long-awaited GDP report (out at 8:30 am ET) is expected to show that the economy grew 2.4% in the fourth quarter.

History: Hannibal Barca was an African general and statesman who is widely considered one of the greatest military commanders and strategists in history.

Hannibal took command of the armies of Carthage at the age of 26 and triggered the outbreak of the Second Punic War. He then marched a massive army of thousands of men and a fleet of African elephants across the Pyrenees and Alps mountain ranges into central Italy in what historians call one of the most famous campaigns in history.

He distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent's respective strengths and weaknesses, and to plan battles accordingly. Hannibal's well-planned strategies allowed him to conquer several Italian cities allied with Rome, and he occupied most of southern Italy for 15 years.

Hannibal's legend as a strategist puts him in the company of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Scipio Africanus.