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Apple has become the biggest casualty in Trump's trade war with China

Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. analyst Brian White, who is arguably Apple's biggest supporter on Wall Street, wrote that the shortfall highlights "that much more sinister forces are at work here with the fingerprints of this country's trade war with China written all over it."

What does this mean?

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  • Maybe, it's about the meaning of "fingerprints": any identifying characteristic.
    – dan
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 9:55
  • ".... are at work here, with the fingerprints of this country's trade war with China written all over it [i.e. the situation]".
    – TimR
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 14:59

1 Answer 1

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The words you have highlighted should not be parsed together.

Much more sinister forces are at work here.

The fingerprints of this country's trade war with China are all over the situation.

I.e. there is more to this situation than what may first appear. The situation is caused or at least affected by the trade war with China.


"This has X's fingerprints all over it" is an idiom meaning that X is responsible for something (or at least X has affected it).

"This has 'X' written all over it" means that something seems like it belongs to or is appropriate for X, which is often a name, but this does not always imply responsibility (for example, a child could say "this has 'Dad' written all over it" about a gift that they think their father would like).

Fingerprints are not usually written, so "the fingerprints... ...are written all over the situation" is an odd combination of these two expressions.

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  • Then, what's the meaing of "something are written all over the situation"?😅
    – Zhang
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 1:39
  • @Zhang I have added some explanation of both of the expressions.
    – Tashus
    Commented Jan 7, 2019 at 14:59

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