That didn’t take long.
Earlier this week we reported that in the latest escalation between some prominent US corporations and the Trump administration, “Trump’s Twitter blasts, which often drive ‘yuge’ market reactions and come without warning, are forcing companies across the country to draft plans for “war rooms” to address a surprise presidential tweet. Moreover, other companies are actively exploring strategically placing ads on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” CNN and “The O’Reilly Factor”—programs and networks fro which Trump has often appeared to draw inspiration for his tweets.”
Other companies took a different track, and began “aggressively promoting previously announced job creation numbers in an effort to head off any criticism from the White House. The latest example of such a move came from Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, who recently visited the White House to tout a $7BN investment in a facility in Chandler, Arizona which was already announced under the Obama administration.”
Today, we witnessed the first example of an even more pre-emptive approach to a potential showdown between a company and Trump. For the first time – that we are aware of – American Express has listed, in addition to “global economic and business conditions”, the Trump Administration as a risk factor in it 10-K filing:
changes in global economic and business conditions, consumer and business spending, the availability and cost of capital, unemployment rates, geopolitical conditions (including potential impacts resulting from the U.S. Administration and the proposed exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union), foreign currency rates and interest rates, all of which may significantly affect demand for and spending on American Express cards, delinquency rates, loan balances and other aspects of our business and results of operations;
In retrospect, this is a smart move: should anything “adverse” happen, the company can simply goal seek effect and cause, and ultimately blame it all on Trump, a trend we have seen emerge in increasingly more aspects of the economy, monetary policy and capital markets. Meanwhile, shareholders have been duly put on notice.