I grew up in Europe and have spent a considerable amount of my time conducting business there as an entrepreneur.
The inherent corruption in the system in Europe made it a very difficult place to conduct business -- whether graft is formalized (as it is in Spain through the public notary system) or informal (as it is in Italy where it is impossible as an outsider to figure out whose palms need greasing).
About a decade ago, I resolved to focus my work entirely on the US as the US is an economy that is entirely based on the rule of law and ethical rules underlying it.
A lot has occurred in the last decade that has undermined my faith in the US as an ethical, rule-based economy. Until now, I had still believed that there were just a few leaders in Congress who would dare to enrich themselves or their families through their roles in government. How wonderfully naïve!
Last night, in its first official act, the new Republican Congress voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). This act, in its very essence, goes against everything that every member of the Congress campaigned on two months ago. It is designed to embolden a new Republican Congress whose first priority is that of enriching themselves, prepared to tell any lie to justify acts that are detrimental to their constituents and a law-based state. With the new Republican Congress, it isn’t just a few leaders but at the very least a majority.
I am very encouraged that Donald Trump himself stood up to this abuse and forced the Republicans to back down here. Nevertheless, illusions about an ethical government were shattered.
No matter what control Donald Trump can continue to exercise over a self-serving Congress, this action makes any rational person ask whether they should be lessening their exposure to the US stock market.