President Trump loves to claim credit when the stock market is rising. After all, praising himself as a “stable genius” who is the sole source of anything good or right is his favorite pastime.
The president goes remarkably silent when the markets are tanking, however, as they decidedly did in December when the S&P 500 index slid by 9 percent, leaving the leading financial indicator down by 6.2 percent for the entire year and shrinking investment portfolios across the land.
Personal responsibility in Trump’s psyche only extends to positive developments, while any negative consequences of his policies and behavior are quickly shunted on others as their fault.
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As the new year begins, Trump finally addressed the disastrous economic decline he presided over when he faced reporters while holding his first cabinet meeting of the year — a cabinet filled with a remarkable number of new faces with the word “acting” in front of their titles due to the spate of firings and resignations the administration has undergone.
Trump was full of bravado when confronted with questions about the precipitous decline in stock prices that many market analysts have attributed to his controversial trade and tariff policies as well as to the global political instability that Trump’s reversals of long-standing tenets of American foreign policy have instigated.
While for many people the market rout is a source of severe concern as they see their retirement funds dwindle rapidly, for President Trump the confidence-sapped stock market decline is a mere “glitch.”
Pres Trump is calling the 2018 plunge on Wall Street as "a little glitch," even as stocks finished 2018 with the worst showing in a decade. He predicts markets will soar after US trade deals are complete.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) January 2, 2019
Trump did not use a disclaimer such as is typically required by brokers who tout their market predicting skills — that past performance is no guarantee of future returns — when he forecast that the market would recover as soon as he successfully completes his trade negotiations with China and other countries and delivers the best trade deals the world has ever seen in all of history, bar none, without a doubt, believe me, you can be sure.
He claimed the negotiations with China were going swimmingly as he hyped up the reporters to try to counteract the market gloom.
While most people with fully functioning intellects would chalk Trump’s comments up as more of the warmed-over, self-serving malarkey that he usually spews, but the markets apparently welcomed any positive speculation whatsoever and seemed to be heading to a close near where they started the day.
Trump may have managed to stabilize the markets with his dismissal of the previous month as a glitch, but he will soon find out that he will have to deliver some concrete economic benefits in his trade negotiations or lose credibility with the financial community that seems to be among the few groups with which he still has some influence.
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