If you’re a follower of the stock market — or just interested in economics as it pertains to politics, being the sole subject that President Donald Trump is basing his re-election campaign on — then you’re probably paying close attention to the recent crash that’s been going on at Wall Street and in other markets across the globe.
Here are some sobering statistics about the current state of the market:
- As of noon EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had sunk down to 21,437.26 points. That’s just 1,610.10 points higher than the DJIA was at when Trump took his oath of office in January of 2017.
- The highest point that the DJIA ever reached was on February 12 of this year. Since that time, the Dow Jones has lost over 8,000 points, again as of noon on Thursday.
Not all of the blame, of course, can be put on Trump for what has happened. The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world has understandably disrupted things quite a bit.
But that doesn’t mean Trump won’t ever take some of the blame — in fact, we can probably say he “owns” the future fallout, if it persists beyond this week.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 12, 2020
How can we say such a thing? If you take a look at the DJIA yet again, earlier this week there was a small recovery, after Trump suggested economic measures that included ideas like cutting the payroll tax down to zero percent, through the remainder of the presidential election season. After that announcement was made, the Dow jumped up.
But after it was clear that such a plan was ludicrous — not only for political reasons, but also because it would severely gut the fund that pays for Social Security — the markets continued their downward trend the next day.
What does this show us? It demonstrates that actions the president takes have at least the potential to make things better on Wall Street. Unfortunately, the actions Trump wants to take are so pie-in-the-sky that the market doesn’t have much faith in him at the moment to reverse the current trend.
Trump could fix things for American workers, which could, in turn, have a bottom-up effect on the market, but it seems unlikely that he or other Republicans will take common-sense measures that Democrats have proposed this week to help the citizenry during this crisis.
With an impasse imminent, and Trump refusing to even consider Democrats’ proposals, the markets are going to behave accordingly — that is, continue sinking until there is a sign this crisis is over. That won’t happen, however, for quite some time.
Indeed, it’s possible that, by the end of this week, the “coronavirus recession” will dip below the point it was at when Trump first took office. And if he refuses to take decisive action before that point, it’s his fault, and his failing economy to own, just a few months out from the November presidential election.
TRUMP: “The markets are going to be just fine, just fine.”
REPORTER: “Why do you say that? They’re tanking.”
[Trump walks inside]
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 12, 2020
There’s already an indication that Trump won’t take any action at all. Earlier on Thursday, when asked by a reporter if he would declare a national emergency, the president shouted back, “the markets are going to be just fine.”
Trump’s lack of action to stem the tide, as well as his positive outlook on a market that’s, by all accounts, currently crashing, make this his crash, his economic crisis, from this point on out.
Featured image credit: The White House/Flickr