The G7 meeting, held in Quebec was the focus among investors this past weekend. It was always expected to be a contentious meeting especially after Donald Trump announced his plans to place tariffs on steel and aluminum on the countries. Before the meeting, there was a concern that the president would not even attend it.
Before he left for the meeting, the president talked to the media about the things he would focus on. He said that trade should be reciprocal among the member countries. He also angered allies by suggesting that Russia should rejoin the group. On the meeting, he arrived late and left early. On his flight to Singapore, the president announced that he would not sign the communique – the joint statement – from the meeting.
After arriving in Singapore, the president continued to complain about Canada and the EU for the trade barriers they have on American goods. He attacked Justin Trudeau of Canada for the statement he made after the meeting. He attacked Germany for spending less than 2% of its GDP on national security as agreed under NATO.
The result of all this dysfunction among the closest American allies is increased tensions. American companies could find it difficult to invest in Canada and EU for fear of tariffs. The same is true for foreign companies looking to move to the US.
Other big news during the weekend dealt with North Korea. Donald Trump left the G7 summit early to travel to Singapore to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. The two leaders arrived in the country yesterday for a meeting which will happen tomorrow. This is the most consequential meeting in decades. A positive outcome during the meeting will be a good thing for the global peace. It will diffuse the tensions that have existed between the two countries for decades.
Another major news during the weekend was from Switzerland where the residents voted on a major money reform proposal. Voters went to the ballots to vote for what was known as the Vollgeld Initiative or the Sovereign Money. This measure would have allowed commercial banks to create electronic money every time they lend money to people and business. The rejection of the proposal was a win for the Swiss National Bank (SNB). It was also a win for the traditional money order. Had the measure won, it would have allowed the SNB to print all the money in the economy, putting it into full control of the monetary system.
In the cryptocurrencies industry, the major currencies fell over the weekend as a small South Korean exchange announced that it had been hacked. The exchange, Coinrail tweeted that hackers had gotten into the system and stolen cryptocurrencies worth millions of dollars. As a result, all the major currencies declined, with bitcoin falling below $7,000 and ethereum approaching the $500. However, this was a small leak mostly affecting smaller cryptocurrencies like Pundi-X.