We are hearing daily about the possibility of “trade wars”. It is this possibility that is being blamed for the increased volatility (read markets dropping), but I do not believe it is the only factor. In fact, equity markets began their upset as interest rates marched higher and prior to any talk of trade wars. Of course other factors exist such as cross currency rates (which directly affect trade) and liquidity, not to mention the gross indebtedness of nations.
Looking at “finance and economics” from a broad view, we can see they are part and parcel of and actually used as tools for outright war. There are many examples of history such as the US civil war where the North embargoed the South, Germany being starved for oil in WWII, and more recently the USSR being forced to overspend militarily and having the ruble undermined leading to their ultimate bankruptcy.