E A Busy Thursday

Before I discuss the latest stock updates, my thoughts on the recent attack in Germany...

The Yom Kippur murderer filmed his attempt to kill Jews in Halle, Germany. The city is famous as the birthplace of composer George Frideric Handel, who became British to advance his career with 18th century royal patronage. He was officially a church musician, but he also wrote lots of music for the stage, psalms and oratorios. Handel's most famous oratorio is clearly Christian, but The Messiah is less Lutheran and more Anglican than the composer himself.

Handel's private sector oratorios are overwhelming based on the Old Testament as this enabled him to keep the rights to his public non-church musical creations. Esther, Deborah, Saul, Solomon, Samson, Jephtah, Joseph and his Brothers, Psalms, Israel in Egypt, Judas Macabias, all were used for Handel's public music, performed in theaters by lay singers and choruses.

The Hallelujah Chorus being Christian so annoyed a Jewish musical friend of ours that he used the Messiah music to create a non-Christian oratorio in Hebrew, performed a few years ago at Temple Habonim, the German-Jewish Reform Synagogue on Manhattan's west side.

Old town Halle has fewer Jews than Temple Habonim today, and luckily the anti-Semitic killer never managed got into the synagogue to kill innocent worshipers on the holiest day of the Jewish year. Instead, he killed a passer-by and a patron of a Hallal cafe, and wounded others, all unlikely to have been Jewish. But they were innocent too.

The security at Lincoln Center and Central Synagogue where we attended services, seemed excessive—armed cops, dogs, bar-code readers to get in, and even an African-American security guard accompanying the senior rabbi when she took the Torah in procession among the audience. But after Pittsburgh we expected it. Now Germany has to better protect its Jewish remnant from neo-Nazis.

Yom Kippur markets saw the triumph of hope over experience, with buying of Chinese stocks expected to benefit from the latest round of trade talks with the US. I am skeptical about whether this will get anywhere despite or perhaps because Beijing really did look into the Bidens' role helping Chinese firms get US permits. That Trump will meet with vice-premier has Liu He Friday boosted treasury yields by 6.5% and also helped bank and insurance stocks. But Liu leaves Sat.

The rollout of impeachment continues with two Russians who funded Rudy Giuliani's attempt to get dirt on the Bidens' deals in Ukraine being arrested for illegal campaign financing in the US. There is way too much noise about the Chinese talks which may be cut short, unless next week's tariff hikes are suspended or an exemption found for sanctions against Huawei. It is unlikely that Pres. Trump, already under attack from congressional Republicans for throwing US allies against ISIS under the bus to make nice to Turkey's Erdogan, would risk ending his trade dispute with Beijing which has support in the US.

And the odds are against a mutually accepted currency link, in my opinion.

China is offering to buy more US soybeans for $3.25 bn per year and make other partial concessions—but nothing yet about intellectual property violations and limits on foreign ownership of Chinese firms.

And I doubt if making nice to Ireland's Leo Varadkar will do any good to British PM Boris Johnson's hope that he can remain in office when the no-deal brexit deadlines pass. Like Trump Boris is a New Yorker by birth with funny blond hair and a bad history with women. Varadkar is half-Indian and gay. But UK stocks also were boosted today by news that the British economy grew in the most recent quarter, so it may not face a recession—of course only if Boris behaves himself. Because of the holiday we have lots of news to catch up with from China to the Cayman Islands, every place in Scandinavia, Finland, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Argentina, Israel, India, Japan, South Africa, Switzerland, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Korea, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and the USA.

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