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July 15, 2018 | All Eyes on Helsinki

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki on Monday is unlikely to move the markets, but it is bound to be followed with rapt attention around the world.  Sen. Schumer is pressuring the president to ask about alleged Russian meddling in the last U.S. presidential election, but that is well down the list of Europe’s concerns. Merkel, Macron et al. are more worried about Trump selling them out by not even mentioning the war in Ukraine or Putin’s invasion of Crimea — other than to blame these incursions once again on Obama. Crimea is off the table as far as the Russian leader is concerned, although not its consequences.  He’ll be looking for Trump to lift economic sanctions that were imposed at the time of the invasion, and to put pressure on Europe to follow suit. In return, Putin might be willing to help contain Iran’s presence in Syria, a very messy job that the U.S. is incapable of doing itself without risking war.

The ‘Afterglow’

All in all, the Helsinki meeting promises to be far more interesting than the NATO powwow just concluded. Both leaders will be eager to show the world substantive results. Trump might succeed in creating the superficial impression that the U.S. and Russia can get along, but such is the world’s distrust of Putin that the afterglow is likely to be short-lived.  Trump, anticipating this, has already said his expectations for the meeting are low.

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July 15th, 2018

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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