A trader who knew what Trump was going to say next about tariffs could make more money in a few months than Trump himself is worth. Do the math if you don’t believe it. When China devalued the yuan on August 5, Trump fired back with a threat to broaden tariffs to cover virtually all Chinese goods. The E-Mini S&Ps promptly fell from 3020 to 2755, racking up a gain of as much as $13,000 per contract. If you’d shorted fifty of them in a $350,000 account and covered near the low, your four-day profit would have been around $650,000. On to your next score! You parlay your winnings on Trump’s next tweet, buying 400 contracts this morning, just before his trade reps announced that tariffs on two key items, laptops and cellphones, would be delayed until December. The E-Mini S&Ps popped for 77 points in a little more than an hour, making you a quick $1.5 million.
No Way to Lose
Now you’ve grown your stake to $2.1 million in just one week! At that rate, doubling your bet every time you tap into Trump’s brain, you would be a billionaire by mid-October. And remember, you could not lose. That’s because the algorithms that drive the markets are programmed to go all-in at the speed of light whenever there is a whiff of “good” tariff news, and to dump stocks willy-nilly if a Trump tweet on trade is even mildly disappointing. If you want to play it safe, you could bet only on impending dovish tweets, since they trigger the most urgent kind of buying: short-covering. Why wait for stocks to fall over three or four days on bearish news when you can make as much in an hour off a bear panic? Reading Trump’s mind would surely beat working for a living. And such fun!