Monday, March 26, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He bragged about the stock market being down 480 points over three days.

US and international stock markets were up sharply today, with the Dow Jones rising 669 points. True to form, Trump used his Twitter bullhorn to call attention to it, as he frequently did before the stock market entered its recent correction in mid-February.

What Trump neglected to mention is that the 669-point rise came amid news that the United States would enter into trade talks with China--possibly averting the trade war that Trump seemed determined to intentionally start last week. (Even now, Trump appears to genuinely believe that a trade war can be good for the country that instigates one.)

The markets were down 1,149 points Thursday and Friday after Trump signed a memo enabling tariffs on Chinese goods, prompting an instantaneous response from China. Trump has not publicly acknowledged this or any other market downturn since taking office.

In other words, the Dow lost about 4% of its value in two days amid news that Trump was trying to provoke a trade war, and rebounded about 2% when it was revealed that US and Chinese officials were working to prevent him from doing so.

Why should I care about this?

  • A president who cannot or will not learn basic economic concepts cannot do his job.
  • You don't get to take credit for partially fixing a problem you created.