In September, after Democrats announced an impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump had a bold warning: an impeachment would wreak havoc on the economy.
“If they actually did this the markets would crash,” Trump said at the time, according to CNBC. “Do you think it was luck that got us to the best Stock Market and Economy in our history? It wasn’t.”
Since that time, however, the crash that Trump foretold never came to fruition. There was a short dip in early October related to poor economic reports, but the markets overall have seen gains, even with several weeks of inquiry depositions from current and former members of Trump’s administration testifying to the fact that the president’s conduct was improper.
A look at the data confirms, not only did impeachment not result in a crash, but that Wall Street actually flourished during the House impeachment hearings. From September 24 (the day Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry) to 11 a.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased by 1,518 points — a 5.66 percent increase over 86 days.
Trump was impeached, yet stocks are headed higher, continuing a rally that’s ignored the political firestorm
Trump’s impeachment is shaping up to reflect President Clinton’s, where stocks rallied, as opposed to President Nixon’s, where stocks fell
— Maggie Kate Fitzgerald (@mkmfitzgerald) December 19, 2019
Examine the markets during the same amount of time directly preceding Pelosi’s announcement, and a different picture is seen. The Dow only increased by a net 90 points during that period, or a 0.3 percent increase.
Now, is that to say that impeachment creates better conditions for markets to grow? Probably not. Uncertainty of any kind is typically seen as harmful to Wall Street. But the gains grown since the impeachment inquiry was announced is proof that Trump’s original talking points — that impeachment would lead to a crash in the markets — was hyperbole, or at best a very ill-informed guess on his part.
It’s also important to note that the stock markets aren’t a sign of positive economic outcomes for most Americans. Ownership of stocks among the U.S. populace (including retirement plans like 401 K’s) has dropped over the past decade, which means what’s good for Wall Street isn’t always good for Americans.
Other issues present challenges for workers, including recent cuts to the manufacturing sector and lower consumer spending overall, MarketWatch reported. And while the trade wars appear to be doing better, with an announced “phase one” deal from this administration likely benefitting farmers across the country, the details of that deal are sketchy, according to some observers.