Trump’s Border Scandal Is Still Going Strong

Today’s Agenda

Trump’s Border Scandal Is Still Going Strong

Trump’s Katrina Keeps Getting Worse

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The Trump administration is mired in so many crises and scandals, it’s easy to overlook or downplay any one of them. For example, you may not realize that arguably the worst Trump scandal – the one causing lasting psychological trauma to children – is still happening. Worse, the administration may double down by spreading the pain from migrants to American citizens.

President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown caused thousands of children to be separated from their parents at the border. The administration is under a court order to reunite all of those families, Bloomberg’s editors remind readers, but 700 children are still in custody. Many will probably be orphaned.

This nightmare is the result of what the editors call the administration’s “almost willful incompetence” in carrying out Trump’s policy, leading to hasty apprehensions, sloppy record-keeping and dangerously inept child-care practices. Trump’s supporters argue such cruelty will deter immigrants from flooding the border, but it’s not even effective at that – and the days of immigrants flooding the southern border are long gone, the editors point out. Click here to read the whole thing.

As if this weren’t bad enough, Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development wants to make work a requirement of affordable-housing assistance, without helping recipients cover the costs of child care. Such a policy would put poor American children in peril and possibly end up separating them from their parents, Kara Alaimo writes. Some call family-separation Trump’s Katrina; yet this would be as if George W. Bush tried to make disastrous hurricane response standard government procedure.

Bonus editorial:

  • The Trump administration can’t let a 3-D-gun printer go on about his business, and Congress must make sure these untraceable, undetectable guns don’t end up everywhere. 

Fun With Economic Numbers

The U.S. economy put up healthy growth in the second quarter, but many observers doubt it’s sustainable. Conor Sen takes a look at the last time the economy was this strong, back in 2014, and why it lost steam then. He handicaps why the trajectory might, or might not be, different this time.

Barry Ritholtz, for one, argues things aren’t all that different – we’re still in a painful slog out of the 2008 financial crisis. Such recoveries tend to be frustrating, and there’s no reason to believe we’ve hit some new cruising altitude. One reason the recovery has been so disappointing, though, is that Republicans in Congress clamped down on fiscal spending while Obama was president. Since Trump’s election, Justin Fox notes, Republicans have discovered a new Keynesianism that has given the economy another lift.

Meanwhile, economists still can’t really tell you what makes recessions happen. But there’s a promising new theory that suggests tracking the accumulation of debt can give you a decent heads-up one is on the way, writes Noah Smith

Bonus economy reading: 

Trade War Dispatches: Looking on the Bright Side

A quarter ago, Caterpillar Inc. warned it had hit the “high-water mark” for profits in this cycle, raising worries about how well the economy could handle a global trade war. Turns out Cat missed the mark by at least a quarter, writes Brooke Sutherland – its profits kept expanding. Now it says it can manage the $100-200 million tariff hit it expects this year by raising prices and controlling costs. This suggests it’s still “too early to call the winners and losers” of trade disruption, Brooke writes.

Meanwhile, though Trump’s threatened tariffs might hurt Chinese tech companies, they’re going to be great for rivals in Southeast Asia, Tim Culpan writes.

Imagining a Post-American World

History suggests the U.S. won’t be the world’s dominant superpower forever. Whatever forces might bring about America’s almost certain decline are probably already in play, according to Tyler Cowen’s speculation about how this “empire” might end. Hint: Even if it survives the Trump administration, as Tyler expects, it’s got plenty more to worry about.  

Let California Manage Its Own Environment

The Trump administration wants to strip California of its long-standing right to manage its own emissions and fuel-economy standards. Justin Fox talks to author David Vogel about how it got those rights in the first place and why it would be such a disaster for Trump to get his way here.

Bonus climate reading:

Chart Attack

Paternity leave is good, and there should be a whole lot more of it, writes Anjani Trivedi, with great graphics by Elaine He

Trump’s Border Scandal Is Still Going Strong

Ten-year Treasury yields are once again flirting with the magical 3 percent number – but it’s just a flirtation, not a commitment to a bear market in bonds, writes Brian Chappatta:

Trump’s Border Scandal Is Still Going Strong

Speed Reading

Contrary to popular belief, frogs don’t sit in boiling water until they die; they get out as soon as it gets uncomfortable. Similarly, bankers are already leaving London before the water/Brexit gets too hot. – Mark Gilbert

No matter what the Fed does this week, it will be colored by Trump’s interference. – Mohamed El-Erian 

Italy could stand a bold leader like Sergio Marchionne. – Ferdinando Giugliano 

British betting companies have soared on hopes they’ll get more U.S. business as places like New Jersey legalize sports betting. It’s a long shot, though. – Lionel Laurent 

Should Trump officials quit working for him Eli Lake, Stephen Carter and Virginia Postrel debate.



Re-watching “Taxi Driver” today is even more harrowing.

Dr. Seuss wrote an anti-war book that made him an enemy of the right.

How an ex-cop rigged the McDonald’s Monopoly game and stole millions.

Summer camp for the ultra-wealthy teaches rich kids how to stay rich

Some physicists are downgrading the potential size of the multiverse suggested by string theory.

Note: Please send Monopoly pieces, suggestions and kicker ideas to Mark Gongloff at


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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, ran the Huffington Post's business and technology coverage, and was a columnist, reporter and editor for the Wall Street Journal.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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