By ann summers
Narrativity gets to take it in the neck next year as the electoral shock wears off, only to continue the strategy of tension necessary for the current state of nonlinear political warfare.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) December 8, 2016
No one can predict the future – we learned that lesson the hard way a month ago. But if you were to imagine what impending American fascism would look like, you couldn’t place the pieces on the board any more neatly than they’ve been placed in the last year… At worst, we’re headed down an extraordinarily dark road where the things that make America America simply cease to exist. A president who won on a campaign of anti-immigrant furor, who believes in casting aside freedom like litter, who craves constant validation and can’t abide criticism or satire – that’s a tyrant in the making.
Last year we envisaged President Trump and Brexit.
— Bloomberg (@business) December 8, 2016
Trump’s popularity soars in his first weeks in office as an energized Republican Congress passes a huge fiscal stimulus.
However, new waves of protests rise after he’s inaugurated and signs executive orders reversing Barack Obama’s legacy.
A movement emerges combining college students, Black Lives Matter activists, former Occupy Wall Street protesters and anarchists. Trump attempts to impose emergency restrictions and curfews in major cities.
California emerges as the center of opposition to Trump, with some branding the movement “Calexit.” The state defies Trump’s rollback of environmental regulations. Billionaires Elon Musk and Sheryl Sandberg emerge to lead a progressive alliance against Trump in 2020.
Shares in banks, steel and security firms surge in the first months of the Trump era. But then the Trump stock boom fizzles early and Treasuries soar. Shares in Google, Facebook and Apple take a hit as the faceoff between Trump and Californian billionaires worsens.
Trump’s isolationism and Vladimir Putin’s aggression force Germany’s Merkel into a difficult choice: to lead a military buildup in Europe against Russia. Or heed Trump’s advice and strike a grand bargain with Putin to agree on spheres of influence in Eastern Europe.
Putin calls off his hackers and rogue fighter jets and agrees to stop interfering in the affairs of the U.S. and the European Union.
In return, Merkel and Trump recognize Russia’s sway over Ukraine, Belarus and Syria. For Putin, Russia’s prestige is finally restored 26 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and he starts to talk openly about his retirement after one final presidential term.
The ruble rises as Russia comes back into the global fold. Defense stocks lose some of their luster amid disappointment that the EU doesn’t arm up.
China and America Go to Economic War
Slamming what he calls #CrookedChina, Trump tweets at 3:17 a.m. on the morning of his inauguration that he’s planning to label the country a currency manipulator and slap “huge” tariffs on incoming imports.
By the time he’s on his way to the Capitol, China has already started to retaliate by devaluing the yuan, canceling orders for Boeing jets and blocking iPhone sales.
As the year goes on, Chinese officials, distracted by political jockeying ahead of November’s reshuffle of the Communist Party’s Standing Committee, split over how to revive an already debt-laden economy.
China falls into its deepest recession of the modern era.
Domestically oriented Russell 2000 equities soar on anticipation of tariffs. In Asia, a 1997-style currency crisis and recession ensue.