Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 497 words, a 2 minute read.
📉 The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 621 points today, or 2.37%. The Nasdaq lost 3%, and the S&P 500 was off 2.59%.
Situational awareness: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has completed a 3-week course of radiation therapy for a malignant tumor on her pancreas.
1 big thing: The tweets of August
President Trump may not intend to launch the 2nd Cold War, but his tweets today laid out one path to get there.
Why it matters: The president is using Twitter to demand a conscious uncoupling of the world's two largest economies.
Trump's tweets, sent after China announced retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods:
- "Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA."
- "I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!)"
Reality check: Presidents don't get to order companies to come home.
- Trump's response: "My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?"
Behind the scenes: Trump recently told advisers that he would be perfectly happy if the U.S. did no trade whatsoever with China, Axios' Jonathan Swan tells me.
- In late 2017, Trump first caught aides off guard when he floated the impossible idea of cutting off all trade with China.
What's next: Sources briefed on the president’s reaction this morning say they expect him to announce more tariffs imminently.
The bottom line: All of this has gone down during a strong economy. Imagine how bad it'd get were things to turn in the other direction.
Bonus: Pic du jour
2. What you missed
- David Koch died at the age of 79: He was a billionaire libertarian who supported conservative causes and campaigns. His N.Y. Times obit.
- Rep. Seth Moulton dropped out of the 2020 presidential race after failing to gain traction. Go deeper.
- The CDC is "concerned" about a new multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella that killed 2 and sickened 255 people from June 2018 to March 2019. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing
Taylor Swift's 7th album, "Lover," was released today — and, after the celebrity-world-revenge-tour of 2017's "Reputation," it's a return "to her specific, observational, and heart-on-her-sleeve songwriting style," writes Pitchfork's Quinn Moreland.
- Naming the album a Critics' Pick, the N.Y. Times' Jon Caramanica singles out two tracks in the middle — "Paper Rings" and "Cornelia Street" — calling them "jolts of the personal, a reminder that there is a person inside the song, something Swift has sometimes overlooked in her quest for bigness."
Don't forget that Swift is still a business force to be reckoned with: