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On the 22nd February 2017 VCL published its monthly note. This included the publication of VCL's CEO, Martin Wood's monthly comment, this month's five resource stocks of interest, as well as a topical cartoon which can be seen on the Short Note page.

"Societies run best on cooperation, the evidence is clear and has been accumulating for millennia.

Hobbes was an early proponent of society and our willingness to give up some liberties to protect others (the famous quote being roughly that life before society was nasty, brutish and short).

So in general we give up some of our liberties to government and they in turn run the apparatus of society that allow us to drop our kids at school without redress to an AK47.

We all have differing circles of friends, but within this we will all recognise that we try to associate with the good people – the people who stick to a deal, the people who respect and value other people whatever their colour or gender or sexual orientation, the non -bullying types who recognise the value of a win / win deal.

And we disassociate ourselves from the blustering hoodlums who want only to take and feel aggrieved about others success.

The international society operates in the same manner. Just as those hoodlums find themselves with a smaller and smaller circle of people willing to deal with them, so will Trump find himself in a smaller and smaller world of states prepared to put up with his crap. But the USA is a massive country and can ‘take a punch’ so it will be a hiccough for Uncle Sam, not pneumonia.

A lot of what Trump says has a kernel of truth running through it –The US shouldn’t have to take refugees for Australia (both countries populations are 99% of immigrant stock), Europe doesn’t pay enough for its defence, Germany does keep its exchange rate artificially low (through its membership of the Euro), too many drugs do come across the Mexican border (but too many guns flow back), the US deficit of US$800 billion in goods in 2016 is unsustainable (but no one seems to care).

But in acting like a Chicago mobster in his international relations (having been so successful in the same approach to get to the White House, so what else did you expect!!) he is doing his country a huge disservice. The US was a beacon to the world of how it should be done, but how long until Donald only has Kim left to talk to?"

  Martin

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