Trump’s Cares About Puerto Rico’s Impact on Trump

Today’s Agenda

Trump’s Cares About Puerto Rico’s Impact on Trump

Trump Memory-Holes 3,000 Deaths

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- With Hurricane Florence about to wreak destruction in the Carolinas, President Donald Trump has reassured the nation … by tweeting about Puerto Rico.

A day after bragging that his response to Hurricane Maria last year got “A Pluses” all around, he claimed a George Washington University estimate that 3,000 Puerto Ricans died in the storm was a hoax by Democrats to make him look bad. This is arguably the worst of a series of lies Trump has told in recent days about his response to Maria, writes Tim O’Brien.  

Trump in fact seems preoccupied with Puerto Rico, Tim writes – but not in a way that might help save lives in future storms (like, say, Florence). No, as is often the case, his main concern about Puerto Rico is how it all makes him look. Read the whole thing.

Bonus hurricane reading: The temporary work force that shows up to rebuild the Carolina coast will tell us a lot about the job market. – Conor Sen

The Long Shadow of Lehman

Ten years ago today, the fourth-biggest U.S. investment bank was in its death throes, and the Treasury Department and Fed were preparing to let it bleed out. That didn’t go so well. Lehman Brothers’ demise turned the financial crisis into a world-eating nightmare, the repercussions of which we’re still dealing with now.

We’ve spent the past decade looking for people to blame, and the lack of serious consequences for top bankers poisoned our politics and helps explain why so many kids these days are taking up socialism. Matt Levine argues the system is really to blame, that the sorcerers’ apprentices of finance were helpless to control the monster they’d conjured. Bloomberg’s editors suggest, though, there are things we humans could be doing today to make Lehman repeats less likely, and we have not done them. That editorial is part of a package of anniversary stories from Bloomberg Opinion today, which also includes:

We’ll have another round of pieces tomorrow.

Bonus crisis reading: India is having its own mini-Lehman moment. – Andy Mukherjee 

Big Oil’s Bad Bet

At least 40 years ago, Big Oil knew of the harm fossil fuels were doing to the planet. Instead of trying to help the world shift to new energy sources, oil companies chose to deny the problem. This approach is finally starting to hurt them politically, writes Liam Denning. Take this week's Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, led by Mike Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, and California Governor Jerry Brown. It’s the latest example of companies and citizens dealing with the damage Big Oil has done – while cutting it out of the loop. Read the whole thing.

Putin Is Only Poisoning Himself (Well, and Also Other Russians)

What a bizarre coincidence: Vladimir Putin’s critics keep getting poisoned. The latest is Pussy Riot producer Pyotr Verzilov, who embarrassed Putin by running onto the field during a World Cup match in Moscow and is now fighting for his life in a hospital. It’s pretty obvious what happened to him and to the many other political opponents who have suddenly and mysteriously become ill or dead, writes Leonid Bershidsky. And it’s doing far more harm to Russia and Putin’s reputation than any dissidents could do, he adds. Read the whole thing.

Erdogan Opens Mouth, Inserts Economy

Turkey’s central bank aggressively raised interest rates today and promised to keep doing so until it kills inflation. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan keeps undermining the bank, and his country’s economy and currency, in many depressing ways, writes Marcus Ashworth. Until he gets out of the way, the economy and lira are still at serious risk.

Chart Attack

Five years ago, Apple Inc. tried to boost China sales with cheap phones. That didn't work. With this year's batch of new phones, Apple seems to have figured out a better approach, writes Tim Culpan

Trump’s Cares About Puerto Rico’s Impact on Trump

Target Corp. and Walmart Inc. both had big grocery sales in the latest quarter. Actual grocery-store operator Kroger Co. did … fine. But it should have done a lot better, writes Sarah Halzack.

Trump’s Cares About Puerto Rico’s Impact on Trump

Quick Hits

Another Trump-Kim Jong Il summit may not be as dumb as it sounds – but the U.S. has to make sure peace talks start bearing fruit. – Victor Cha and Abraham Denmark 

The UN Palestinian refugee program is an anachronism and an obstacle to peace, and Trump is right to defund it. – Zev Chafets

Toyota is setting a worrisome precedent by giving China its Prius technology. – Anjani Trivedi

A lot of people want to make China out as the next Soviet menace. It's not. – Tyler Cowen

Guatemala is sinking into authoritarian corruption while the Trump administration yawns. – Mac Margolis

Americans are fans of “Medicare for all” but are leery of “single-payer" health care. Republicans are blurring the distinction in search of a midterm edge. – Al Hunt

ICYMI

Diane Feinstein sent a mysterious letter about Brett Kavanaugh to the FBI. Jeff Bezos launched a $2 billion fund to help poor families and children. Where the heck is Larry Page? Keep an eye on New York attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout

Kickers

Who really invented the iPhone?

Yale researchers “teleported” a quantum gate, bringing us closer to the Singularity.

SETI neural networks just picked up a bunch of weird signals from a distant galaxy.

Contrary to popular belief, area man did not buy $1.3 million worth of Nikes to send to the dump.

What a kid’s backpack says about them.

What it was like to be David Foster Wallace’s worst friend.

Note: What were you doing #WhenLehmanCollapsed? Bloomberg Opinion would like you to share your story on Twitter. By using this hashtag, you’ll give an up-close and personal picture of what happened 10 years ago at the beginning of the financial crisis. The campaign will run from 9/12 – 9/15, and a selection of tweets will be featured by Bloomberg's social media accounts.

Also, please send Nikes, suggestions and kicker ideas to Mark Gongloff at mgongloff1@bloomberg.net.

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Mark Gongloff is an editor with Bloomberg Opinion. He previously was a managing editor of Fortune.com, ran the Huffington Post's business and technology coverage, and was a columnist, reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal.

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