Sunday, March 22, 2020


Donald Trump tweeted the market is 'starting to look very good to me' as the Dow hit 27,960 on February 24 - now he faces re-election campaign without his favorite selling point

By Geoff Earle

Daily Mail
March 20, 2020

A week this bad on Wall Street would be jarring for any president, but for Donald Trump, the stunning drop in the Dow and other indexes has shredded an issue that has been a lifeblood and focus of the cheerleading he has done for his own tenure.

More than any president, Trump has linked his performance to the financial markets and the Dow Jones Industrial average – touting its rise, mentioning it at campaign rallies, saluting companies and their executives, and even urging Americans to buy.

His most reason tout of the market came less than a week ago, and preceded a record one-day sell-off. A month ago, in a tweet that now appears deeply wrong, the president talked up the containment of the looming pandemic and suggested it was a good time to buy securities.

'The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!'

The Dow ended up dropping 900 points that day, but was still at 27,081 – well above where it ended up Friday, when the Dow sank to 19,174 after New York and California locked down residence amid the spreading coronavirus pandemic.

It was far from the only time Trump issued a stock tip or took credit for a rise in the value of American companies on financial markets. When the market was high, he repeatedly told fans at his rallies if they liked how their 401(k)s were doing.

He made the boast at a White House event touting a new trade agreement with Mexico and Canada – two nations with which he has now closed the U.S. border for travelers amid the outbreak – in the Rose Garden in 2018.

'Our economy is booming like never before. Jobless claims are at a 50-year low. The stock market is at an all-time high. Think of that — over 50 percent since my election. Fifty percent. People — the 401(k)s — and they have 401(k)s, and they were dying with them for years. Now they're so happy.

At an August campaign rally in New Hampshire, Trump drew a straight line between the performance of people's 401(k)s for retirement and the need for them to support him. He told supporters they had 'no choice'

'If for some reason I wouldn't have won the [2016] election, these markets would have crashed. That'll happen even more so in 2020,' Trump said.

'See, the bottom line is ... You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401k, everything is going to be down the tubes. So whether you love me or hate me, you've got to vote for me.'

The Dow stood at 19,827 points when Trump took office. On Valentine's Day, it was at 29,398, and Trump has talked up the possibility of it hitting 30,000.

At the start of 2018, as the Dow topped 25,000, Trump set his sights on a new goal: 'I guess our new number is 30,000,' he told reporters. 'There were those that said we wouldn't break 25,000 by the end of the eighth year, and we're in the 11th month,' he said.

When he hasn't commented on the markets and the indexes, Trump has touted individual businesses – almost all of whom have been battered since February. He has hosted CEOs at the White House, praised their stewardship and referenced them by their first names on camera, while pushing through a major tax cut when the economy was riding high. As the full force of the outbreak began to hit, Trump began talking about bailouts of specific industries, from airlines to cruise ships – although he also came out against stock buybacks by executives whose firms get bailed out by the government.

Even on Friday, while touting the drug cloroquine as a promising way to combat the virus, Trump touted German manufacturer Bayer. He called it a 'great company' and said he was ordering millions of units. Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the drug 'might be effective' but needed more testing.

Days earlier, Trump was touting Google and said it was behind a nationwide website to help ease testing concerns. A subsidiary of parent company Alphabet said that wasn't quite the case, and that it was working at that time on an effort in San Francisco. Another subsidiary is now pulling its self-driving cars off the road in two cities amid the outbreak.

Even if voters decide not to hold Trump responsible for the collapse of stock and market gains, despite his earlier efforts to take credit and explicit encouragement to buy, broader economic concerns are an even bigger concern. Some analysts say the outbreak could bring on a full-on recession, and if deep unemployment appears, it would negate yet another of Trump's boasts: record low unemployment amid specific demographic groups.

Former Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn on Friday told CNBC that moment was already here. 'We're in recession, I'm not going to tell you that we're not in recession right now ... The unemployment number is going to skyrocket.'


Trey Rusk said...

President Trump's popularity is high. The Daily Mail is a British Tabloid and we closed our borders to them. I don't know about everyone else but people around my area are being kind to one another. The welcome light may not be on at home but people are giving away food and posting where to find something you need. FB has been a treasure trove of assistance between neighbors. I learned how to make bread in a crock pot. My garden is doing well and while we aren't going out, we are cooking out and enjoying our patio.

I know Bullshit from a Tortilla and this story ain't no Tortilla.

bob walsh said...

I was under the impression that the official definition of a recession was two quarters in a row of negative economic growth. We are not there, yet. We will be.

bob walsh said...

I am not sure I agree with this assertion. Trumps overall approval ratings are actually UP over the last ten days. I suspect it is liberal wishful thinking from the land of Oswald Mosley.