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In conversation: PotUS, Deutsche Bank and Russia.

Nigel Morris-Co...

OK, so the headline's a bit click-baity. This is what happened: a pal and I were chatting about Deutsch Bank and he said that he wondered what investigators might find about Trump and his dealings with Russia.

That led me off on a tangent that got its own tangent and so on until, like Spirograph, I had actually made a circle. Ish. Here's the chat which wasn't at a fireside. My mate's anonymous because his company might not like it if he weren't.

Mate: Positive money laundering: now there's a regime even Deutsche could comply with

Me: Haha. It amazes me that Germany and the USA - and some of Scandinavia - are so high and mighty about everyone else while fostering festering problems at home.

Mate: So Nigel ... I wonder how much info they're discovering about links between Trump's property developments and dirty Russian money whilst they're "lawfully on premises" at DB?

Me: If I were looking for any links to Russian dealings, Germany is where I'd start and I'd be looking for government accounts. After all, Germany even bullied the FATF into releasing Russia from the NCCT list and then, at the next big meeting, admitting it as an FATF member, at a time when Russia was Germany's biggest finance and trading partner. That trumps Trump, in my view: he's a little local, temporary, difficulty in comparison.

Mate: Wow!!

Re Trump, the push to impeach is hammering ahead. Someone said to me there could be a fortuitous bit of evidence emerging from the latest raids.

Me: Impeaching him is a sideshow. He's just more easily attackable, and less likeable, than previous presidents. He's no more and no less of a dick than most. I almost pine for George Bush, the no longer elder.

Mate: You’re kidding?! He’s ripped up the presidential rule book and is completely ignoring the advice from the US Intel community. From a deep state perspective he’s a rogue leader.

... and completely unpredictable...

Me: Don't they all? He's just more open about it

Mate: Not sure about that! I thought it was the opposite: gain power and then ignore election promises as the reality of power becomes truly apparent.

See Obama :)

Me: I don't think he's unpredictable at all. Sure, he shoots from the lip and says things that cause severe reactions but as one looks at his general direction and demeanour, he's got a broadly standardised approach, even as to the phrases that were novel (in presidential terms) and are now becoming hackneyed. We know who he's going to support, we know who he's going to criticise, we know what he's going to say when he wants something, we know what he's going to say when someone else wants something. We know his priorities and the things he throws down the toilet because the spike is full. We know he's largely a caricature of his own making and that his wife is, increasingly, struggling not to look like she's not over-shadowed (failing to notice that the first duty of the first lady is to be the first invisible space next to the President unless he wants to show her off).

I had great hopes for Obama and he was a great disappointment. I expected nothing from Trump and he's delivered. I might not like all that he's delivered but he's still getting stuff done.

Not that any of that actually earns respect: he's still a bullying oaf with a penchant for turning a disaster into a crisis.

Mate: Mate, you've nailed it! He under-promised and delivered a few things. Obama's hope was a national placebo pill.

Obama reaffirms my belief that presidents are PR officers for policy developed elsewhere. Trump has short-circuited that long-standing mechanism -- for better or worse -- and ain't it thrown everyone into a funk.

Still, I'm not 100% convinced policy-by-Twitter is a great idea for the world's superpower

Me: The most fascinating thing is that he's got a ban on bump-stocks through - albeit five months after the principle manufacturer stopped production so one assumes the supply chain has now dried up - while satisfying the gun lobby that he's 100% on their side. Maybe he is a politician after all!

As to Twitter.. well, yes but he's only following Tony Blair's example of announcing policy in the media before telling Parliament.

I don't like Trump but I do like at least part of the fact that he's behaving like a proper president which, as you say, the USA hasn't had for a long time. Having said that, his statements should come with a warning "comments are mine and mine alone and may not represent the opinions or beliefs of my employer."

And that, as we determined that our afternoons would be better spent in the company of someone nearby and bottle of wine, was that.

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