Noah denkt™ - The Power of Balanced Reasoning
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The Free Trade versus Social Protection Conundrum can be resolved
peacefully, - but not by everybody and certainly not by Mr. Trump!
A look back on 2016 and a look forward to 2017 and beyond, first drafted on Jan. 2,
published on Jan. 4, 2017

Our regular readers know that we have taken it upon us ever since the inception of this project
to annually
review the accurateness of our forecasts and analysis. We do this by retroactively measuring  our own (bullish
or bearish) market sentiment against that which has actually manifest itself in the performance of the major
financial market indexes. It was and continues to be our conviction that the analytical marketplace is so
overcrowded that any pronouncements therein can no longer come by way of a drive-by shooting with no
accountability in sight but must have its reality check built into the very DNA of its underlying reasoning. This is
why we created Noah denkt™.  And this is why we will continue to quantify the value added of our own market
sentiment on the basis of real world developments even if the annual result of that quantification does not
always work in our favor (
as in 2016).

2016 however has been a year like no other during the lifetime of this project.
The UK Brexit vote and the
outcome of the US Presidential elections in November have marked watershed moments in international
relations and economic policy. Both events are challenging fundamental pillars of the political architecture as
we know it. And these challenges do not come from some obscure place in a forgotten part of the world. No,
they come right from the very countries who originally fathered the liberal, free trade architecture we are at this
point still operating in. So these challenges that have been mounted by the US and the United Kingdom need to
be taken very seriously in deed.

This is why Noah denkt™  has decided this year not to engage in its regular exercise of measuring its annual
performance against a yard stick (i.e. the financial indexes) whose anticipatory quality is generally considered
to be of a six month range only. No, these are times that require a wider net to be cast. And we trust that you,
our treasured reader, as well as the financial markets as a whole will ultimately come around to appreciate our
methodological shift this year.

Now, in this attempt to be foresighted enough in times like these, one may easily be tempted to go as far as
wondering whether the successful Trump campaign with its many light on detail assertions and its “negative
media coverage is good coverage” marketing approach questions the validity of democracy as a whole. Yes,
one might catch oneself thinking that may be times are over when the old saying was still true that  “democracy
is the worst form of government except for all others”,

After all, there are some elements in the evolution of our democratic reality that are clearly worrisome: Take the
simple fact that lower circuit courts in almost all Western countries are shockingly overwhelmed by the number
of cases they are asked to handle. Government administered justice hence becomes somewhat hard to come
by which obviously opens the doors to all sorts of bullying behaviors in the marketplace. Or, consider the fact
that the editorial experience of traditional main street media gets increasingly sidelined by an avalanche of hard
to qualify social media “news”. There is no denying that this development negatively affects the quality of public
discourse.  And if that is not enough,
think about the increasing complexity not only of derivative financial
instruments and juxtapose that to the ever evolving web of obligations and aspirations that the operators and
evaluators of subject complex instruments are faced with in their private life. Do we really believe that this work-
life-balance struggle to stay abreast in a dual high-wire act is sustainable in the long-run? Probably not!  So
one may be forgiven for occasionally raising the question whether a benevolent autocratic leader inspired by
the best of Asian values would not be more qualified to manage and control the political and social challenges
that our high-wire digital reality act entails then those who tend to get elected in rather raucous democratic

Alas, the problem with such considerations is that one is usually all too inclined to imagine subject benevolent
autocratic leader to be implausibly similar to oneself in terms of moral values and political priorities. The
chances for that to happen however are as remote as the sun is from the earth. So as dreadful as it may
occasionally be, we have to make do with our own “worst form of government”.  And we have to hope that one
day, perhaps not in an all too distant future, a President and a leader will come along who has thought long
and hard enough about our present challenges in order to be able to then convincingly put them to rest (at
least for good while). Will that ever happen? We think, it will. Because the cross current conflicts that are
inherent in our highly advanced open societies (i.e. tradition versus change, free trade versus social
coherence; social protection versus free enterprise,  automation versus working class wage growth; wealth
redistribution versus structural budget deficits, etc…) can be resolved peacefully. It just takes someone who
has contemplated them in such a profound manner that he or she can effectively awe opposing ends of the
political and ideological spectrum into accepting the higher wisdom he or she has to offer.

Clearly, Mr. Trump isn’t the man to do that. He doesn’t have the stature to pacify the powerful antagonistic
forces we are faced with. He hasn’t reflected intensely enough on them. And he does not emanate the sagacity
that is required to push market winners and losers alike into subscribing to his particular social protection-free
trade policy mix. He may be able to scare people into compliance for awhile. But he won't be able to do that for

We will hence have to patient and wait for the democratic Messiah to come sometime later. But come, he or she
will! In the meantime however, brace yourself for the fact that the current honeymoon, Mr. Trump is
experiencing in the financial markets will come apart in a few months’ time.
© Landei Selbstverlag, owned by Wilhelm ("Wil") Leonards, Gerolstein, Germany. All rights reserved.

Reminder: Noah denkt™ is a project of Wilhelm ("Wil") Leonards and his Landei Selbstverlag (WL & his LSV). Consequently, all
rights to the texts that have been published under the Noah denkt
brand name are reserved by WL & his LSV.

The commentary and the reasoning that was provided on this page is for informational and/or educational purposes only and it is
not intended to provide tax, legal or investment advice. It should therefore not be construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an
offer to buy, or a recommendation for any security or any issuer by WL & his LSV or its Noah denkt™ Project. In fact, WL & his LSV
encourage the user to understand that he alone is responsible for determining whether any investment, security or strategy is
appropriate or suitable for him. And to leave no doubt as to what this means we urge our user to also note our extended

Free Trade versus Social Coherence and Social Protection, How to be a free trader and a
social protectionist at the same time,  how to pacify the powerful cross currents in an open
digital society, the best policy mix for free trade and social protection