Monday, December 26, 2016

What did Donald Trump do today?

He tweeted that his victory had caused a 10% stock market surge, goosed the Christmas sales numbers, and replaced "gloom" with "hope" the world over.

While no major US index is up 10% since the election, Trump's claim to have influenced the markets is plausible. The DJIA is up 8.7% since the November 8 close, largely on the strength of bank stocks, which are expected to benefit in the short term from Trump's regulation (or lack thereof) of the financial sector. The S&P is up 5.8% and the NASDAQ is up 5.2% in the same period.

It's not clear what figures Trump relied on for his claim that holiday spending was at $1 trillion, but there has been annual improvement in Nov.-Dec. retail sales numbers every year since the end of the last recession. Trump offered no specific reason why his election was a more significant driver of holiday retail than low unemployment rates or other economic factors.

Trump's claim that "the world was gloomy--there was no hope" may have been part of a continued reaction to President Obama's assertion than he could have beaten Trump in the election.

Who cares?

  • It's wrong to take credit for things you didn't do. 
  • It's probably a bad sign if a president-elect believes he's personally restored hope to the world.