This weekend, traders continued to focus on Washington and Trump’s embattled presidency. Late Friday evening, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired the former FBI Director, Andrew McCabe, a few hours before he was to retire. The firing came from a yet-to-be released report by the Inspector General of the FBI showed that McCabe lied to the FBI and leaked information to the press.
The firing of McCabe received mixed reactions with Republicans celebrating. Democrats on the other hand responded sharply, criticizing the justice department of being politicized.
On Saturday, Trump’s lawyer, Dowd released a statement to The Daily Beast. In the statement, he asked for the special counsel investigation to be ended. Initially, he said that the statement was on behalf of the president but later walked back. This statement led the president to send several tweets criticizing the investigation. Republicans, including some of the president’s closest allies saw the statements as a way of the president to fire the special counsel. They cautioned him against doing that.
Over the weekend, traders focused on the cryptocurrencies market as well. As you recall, the last couple of weeks have been a bit challenging for the cryptocurrencies. Last week, Google announced that it would ban all cryptocurrencies-related ads. These will include products such as ICOs and other cryptocurrencies. This comes a few months after Facebook made a similar announcement.
This is a major challenge, potentially even bigger than the governmental regulatory changes because without Facebook and Google, it is impossible for these companies to reach their target market. Bitcoin is currently trading at about $8,000 while Ethereum traded below $500 for the first time in months.
Traders also focused on the Russian election that happened over the weekend. In the election, Vladmir Putin won another term by a landslide. This will lead to another six-year term. The election comes at a time when the relations between Russia and the West are deteriorating. The country has been accused of interfering with elections of Western countries such as the United States. It has also been accused of developing biological weapons, annexing Crimea, and supporting the Assad regime.
In China, Xi Jinping was sworn into office on Saturday. This came a week after the country voted to remove term limits on the president. This will lead to Jinping becoming the longest-serving president in the country after Mao Zedong. After the swearing in, Jinping announced a cabinet that new people. The new Central Bank Governor will be Yi Gang. The new government will contend with the changing global view as the United States under Donald Trump implements tough decisions including the one on tariffs.
Another major development during the weekend was a Guardian report that showed that Facebook data was used by Cambridge Analytica, a company that oversaw the Trump election and that of Brexit. The report showed that the company ‘stole’ user data of more than 50 million people and targeted ads to them. This could lead to increased scrutiny on the company and that of other companies such as Twitter and Google.