The Commerce Department Is A One Trick Pony

The Commerce Department Is A One Trick Pony
bluebird6 / Pixabay

Dan Celia: Was President Ronald Reagan Right? Are These the Most Terrifying Words? ‘I Am from the Government, and I’m Here to Help’ and the the Commerce Department is no exception here.

Play Quizzes 4

PHILADELPHIA—Nationally syndicated host and biblical investing authority Dan Celia said today that as the week wraps up, the markets are moving forward—good news in light of somewhat stalled trade talks, geopolitical unrest and headlines about impending recession.

Get The Full Seth Klarman Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Seth Klarman in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc

Fund Manager Profile: Zhang Hui Of China’s Southern Asset Management

investHistorically, the Chinese market has been relatively isolated from international investors, but much is changing there now, making China virtually impossible for the diversified investor to ignore. Earlier this year, CNBC pointed to signs that Chinese regulators may start easing up on their scrutiny of companies after months of clamping down on tech firms. That Read More

Celia discusses these and other global and economic headlines on his daily, three-hour Financial Issues program, heard on more than 650 radio stations and several television networks nationwide.

“China and the U.S will meet on trade next month, and the service sector is moving further into expansion,” Celia said. “Oil prices are also moving up, which is stabilizing energy stocks. Consumer spending remains strong, and there is a Fed rate cut on the horizon.

“Let’s keep in mind we are only a tweet, geopolitical event or the Commerce Department hiccup away from seeing things reverse course,” he added. “We are starting the month off on good footing, but historically August and September are not good months to make any fundamental changes. November and December may be a different story.”

Celia also pointed to the lack of coverage from the so-called conservative business press regarding the U.S. Labor Department reporting that overall productivity rose 2.3% during the second quarter, which beat economists’ growth forecasts.

The Commerce Department and trade

“An increase of 2.3% in productivity is not a number that should be ignored,” he said. “It is difficult to draw conclusions that we could be headed toward a recession as we look at productivity numbers, unemployment numbers, wage numbers and consumer spending. I would agree that we should be concerned about business sentiment, and we have seen a downturn in business investment. This alone has the potential of being our biggest issue as we look forward regarding the economy. It’s also difficult to make a case that business sentiment and investment is dropping because of U.S.-China trade. I believe it must be more to do with the constant negative press in the media—doing everything they can to see a self-fulfilling prophecy become reality.”

Celia also said he believes there is some concern among businesses over trade in general.

“If you were to look up the meaning of a ‘one trick pony,’ there would be a picture of the Commerce Department, which can’t bring itself to juggle more than one ball when it comes to trade negotiations,” he said. “It is difficult to watch Germany going through so many challenging times right now when we had a chance three or four months ago to sit down with Angela Merkel and potentially change what seems like an inevitable consequence of Germany slipping into recession. Merkel said loud and clear that she was ready to sit down with the U.S. and work out a trade deal with or without France, and the U.S. continued focusing on China. There’s never been a time I have thought so much about the famous words Ronald Reagan said were the most terrifying: ‘I am from the government, and I’m here to help.’


“Once again, it would appear that if America slips into recession, or for that matter, even the Euro Zone enters a recession, we can confidently blame an inefficient, ineffective and incompetent government that is unable to comprehend and avoid even obvious unintended consequences from their non-actions.”

Read more about Celia, FISM and “Financial Issues” or visit the FISM website, its Facebook page, on YouTube at Financial Issues with Dan Celia or on Twitter @financialissues; download the FISM app here.

Updated on

Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
Previous article Blockchain’s Massive Potential In Finance And Beyond?
Next article The Volatility Index Hit Its Lowest Level In Five Weeks

No posts to display