Larry Kudlow “King Dollar, We Have the Best Economy in the World”

PETER NAVARRO: If there is a deal, if and when there is a deal, it will be on President Donald J. Trump’s terms, not Wall Street terms. But if Wall Street is involved and continues to insinuate itself into these negotiations, there will be a stench, a stench around any deal that’s consummated, because it will have the imprimatur of Goldman Sachs and Wall Street. So I would urge these unpaid foreign agents to stand down on this issue.

FABER: Would you similarly urge Wall Street to stand down, Larry?

KUDLOW: I would not. Look, Peter Navarro is a friend of mine, truly. We’ve known each other for 20 years, but he was not speaking for the president, nor was he speaking for the administration. His remarks were way off base. They were not authorized by anybody. I actually think he did the president a great disservice. Look, the president can talk to whomever he can talk to. He talks to people on Wall Street, yes. He talks to union leaders. I’ve been in some of those meetings. Yes. He talks to other outside advisers. He has every right to do so. And the president has said, and I’ve reflected this on your network and elsewhere, that if there is a deal to be had with China, it’s a deal that has to be in American interests along the asks that I just mentioned on technology and so forth. That’s got to happen. So I think Peter very badly misspoke. He was freelancing and he’s not representing the president or the administration.

Morgan Brennan: Larry, this is Morgan Brennan. I need to get your thoughts on the dollar, because it’s really bucked expectations. We saw at the beginning of the year, strengthening pretty notably this year. On the one hand strong dollar tied with strong economy, on the other hand you’re trying to increase U.S. exports and strike some of these trade deals, encourage U.S. companies to create more jobs at home. It’s a headwind. How is the strong dollar being, I guess, discussed and is it being involved in shaping policy right now?

KUDLOW: Well, look, the dollar, currency matters are the purview of the treasury department I Will only comment lightly that the dollar today, which is King Dollar, we have the best economy in the world. Investment is flowing here. I regard that as a good thing. I know it goes up and down. Basically if you go back and run a chart 18 or 20 years, actually, the dollar is sort of right at the midpoint of that long chart. Up, down, up, down. In fact, in recent years, the dollar has been pretty steady, in my judgment. It is on an upswing right now. By the way, one of the benefits of a steady dollar, steady, is a lower inflation rate. And one of the issues I’ve not heard enough discussion is disinflation. In the last nine months, the PCE – deflator, which the fed watches, has actually fallen from about 2.7 to 1.4%. That’s a terrific thing. That’s supply side tax cuts. We’re increasing the potential of the economy to grow. When you create more, prices can come down. There was an inflation scare a little while ago. It’s going away. I think this is a big plus. Inflation is the cruelest tax of all and I think it’s going to give a lot of relief. And it’s like a tax cut for the economy. So I like that. And the rest of the dollar story, I’ll leave to Mr. Mnuchin. Right now, King dollar, we’re attracting money all over the world. We’re the hottest economy. We’re crushing it right now. China is in a slump. The EU is slumping. So, they’re coming to where the returns are best and the most hospitable environment.

MICHAEL SANTOLU: Larry, with the democratic control of the house right now, obviously, a lot of the talk is stalled about feasible tax cut 2.0, things like that. What is the economic agenda on a going forward basis that’s actually practically possible?

KUDLOW: Well, look, the president has said that he is more than willing to discuss, negotiate, talk to Ms. Pelosi, if she becomes the speaker and so forth. He is willing to reach across the aisle. On the other hand, if they’re more belligerent, he will fight back. He was clear about that in the press conference last week regarding our policy goals, we will be looking at additional tax reform, 2.0 if you will. There are other things we are noodling inside the administration, we’re working with the house and the senate. The senate by the way is a very powerful body, so they’re not going to let our tax cuts and deregulation and energy reform be overturned. And if they were, the president would veto it. So I don’t want to get ahead of the story. We’re going to have a tough budget, as you know, 5% reduction for the domestic nonentitlements. I think that’s healthy for the economy. We’re looking at infrastructure in many different ways. You know, the President, former construction man, real estate man. Infrastructure, I – particularly, we are working on at the National Economic Council, the NEC, I’d like to do energy infrastructure. I’d like to do pipelines. I’d like to do anything that will help LNG, terminals, shipping. We’d like to revise the U.S. shipping industry which has been dormant many years. We would like to export oil, Nat Gas, LNG, to Europe and to Asia. Those are very important issues—

FABER: Which we do.

KUDLOW: — they want LNG. They want it badly.

FABER: Right.

KUDLOW: And we’re going to do whatever we can to accommodate.

FABER: Larry, final question here. I want you to indulge me, I want you to take us back a year or so when you and I would typically be talking before you’d be coming on, and you’d say “What’s going on this morning?” And I would say to you this morning if we were having that conversation, “Well, the market is worried Powell’s going to keep tighten to at least neutral. People are worried we are going to 25% on these tariffs on China. Earnings were pretty good, but guidance wasn’t quite as good. And people seem to be more scared in the market right now.” Your response would be, if we were having that conversation, what?

KUDLOW: I would say corrections come and go. I mean, it’s been a long bull market. We are way ahead of where we were in late 2016 after the president’s election. The market has done very well. We’ve had these corrections. We had one last winter as you know. We’re going through one now. I believe at least at close of business yesterday, the overall correction was 7%. I don’t like that. I don’t want anybody to ever lose money in their 401(k), but historically, as you know, that’s a rather mild correction. So I think the economy is very healthy. I mean I think profits are strong. We had a tremendous NFIB Small Business Confidence number today, you had a good consumer sentiment number, profits continue to rise. The ISMs are very strong. I mean, I think this is a very healthy economy. The story here in my view, everybody said we couldn’t get 3% plus growth, we’re getting get 3% plus growth. And the tax cuts and deregulation, the energy, the trade reforms, pardon me, I think it is all paying off. And I think this is the best economy in years. So I remain optimistic, David.

FABER: Alright. I know you do. And you always are. Larry, we appreciate your always joining as well. Thank you.

KUDLOW: Appreciate it.

FABER: Larry Kudlow.