Wednesday, May 13, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He called out stock manipulators who aren't him.

The stock markets had another bad day today, with the major indices down between 1.6% and 2.2%. At the start of it, Trump tweeted out his explanation for why the markets have lost trillions of dollars over the last few months. It's not the effect of the coronavirus or his administration's handling of it, Trump said: it's people who talk about the stock market.

It's worth pointing out that Trump himself is a "so-called 'rich guy'" who has tweeted incessantly about the stock market since taking office. In fact, the first real sign that he was belatedly starting to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously was a series of tweets and quotes in response to the crashing markets, urging people to buy stocks instead of selling them. When stocks did tick back up briefly in one red-hot day, Trump autographed a chart of the Dow Jones' daily activity. (It fell back off a cliff the following week.)

In fact, Trump's tweeted so often about stocks as they went up that he lost track of the fact that most two years have been less profitable than erratic. He tweeted about the DJIA passing 25,000 on three separate occasions, separated by more than a year. (That means the market was losing money to inflation.)

Of course, as Americans less heavily invested in stocks than Trump is know, the markets are not the economy. Unemployment is the highest it's been since the Great Depression, and the worst of the damage has been done to working-class families who are not likely to have a lot of money in stocks. 

Why should I care about this?

  • Accusing other people of doing things you do is called hypocrisy.
  • There are much, much bigger problems right now than unnamed "rich guys" (besides Trump) talking about the stock market.