I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but Donald Trump is so excited about the stock market that he can barely contain himself.
To be clear, there is a reason we keep harping on Trump’s market obsession and that reason goes beyond the joy we take in lampooning the President’s increasingly unhinged Twitter account.
The market is a convenient distraction from what has otherwise been a year devoid of any notable legislative achievements. Record high stocks are the only thing Trump can point to when it comes to claiming that he’s made something “great again.” But even that’s a misnomer because the stock market was already pretty damn “great again” by the time he was elected thanks in no small part to Janet Yellen. Of course Trump knows market gains are everything to do with the Fed and nothing to do with him, and we know he knows because he explained how central bankers are distorting the market live on television on at least three separate occasions last year. You can watch those clips here.
It was just 14 months ago when Trump called stocks a “big, fat, ugly bubble” but now that he’s President, this bubble isn’t so “ugly” anymore (although it’s still big – and “big league’ – and “bigly” – and the “biggest” – and “tremendous”). Trump is now so protective of the stock market that over the weekend he suggested Americans sue ABC for triggering a selloff on Friday:
People who lost money when the Stock Market went down 350 points based on the False and Dishonest reporting of Brian Ross of @ABC News (he has been suspended), should consider hiring a lawyer and suing ABC for the damages this bad reporting has caused – many millions of dollars!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
There was no mention of whether Target managers-turned vol. sellers should sue Trump for all of the times he’s caused the VIX to spike with his North Korea tweets, as documented extensively by Goldman late last week and as illustrated in the following chart and table, with the latter showing that it is not in fact actual missiles that matter for vol., but rather what Trump says on social media about those missiles:
Well as you may or may not be aware, Trump tied his own 3-day record for tweets about the market last week. This is something @sentimentrader satirically tracks and this morning, in the wake of the President’s recent social media shenanigans, Trump has now shattered his previous record:
As the above-mentioned SentimentTrader dryly noted this morning:
Might have to start using a log scale for the Trump Stock Market Tweet-O-Meter.
Indeed. Now allow us to leave you with some excerpts from a piece posted over at DealBreaker last week which reminds you about the downside to this for the President:
What I would note here is that he is digging his own grave, because to the extent he’s convinced his base that he is in fact responsible for the latest leg higher in equities, he is going to have to explain to that same base why stocks aren’t actually important to them in the event the market sells off.
Either that, or he’ll have to find a scapegoat. And God help whoever he decides to blame when risk assets do finally correct, which they almost invariably will at some point during his term.
If there’s one person you absolutely do not want to be right now, it’s Jerome Powell, because you’ve got to believe that after Trump has blamed Democrats and after he gets done figuring out a way to tie stock market losses to a CNN conspiracy, the next person in the firing line will be the Fed Chair.
So quick Jerome: deregulate those banks so we can convert all that excess liquidity into leverage and drive this fucker up another 20% lest you should wake up one morning and discover that #JeromeTheJerkOff is trending on Twitter along with #MarketCrash.