Trump Slump Gets Trump Bump
The Trump Slump has taken a day or two off for a change. The “Trump Slump” as often been called, first in relation to gun sales, then trade, then tourism, then the stock market, then the recession, has taken a day or two off as it’s getting a little bit of a Trump Bump by way of the administration being open and willing to work with a bipartisan congress to pass emergency relief bills to “soften the blow.” Really to try to avert an all-out economic depression, but no need to quibble with water starting to fill up the titanic American economy.
As has been written here and elsewhere, for most of 2018-19 the U.S. and world GDP was weakened, not strengthened, by nationalist and anti-growth trade policies enacted by the Trump administration. Despite this, growth in most countries remained strong enough to avert recession, save a few like Japan. Nonetheless, US GDP (Image 1) and jobs growth (Image 2) has actually weakened during the Trump years, but this fact is always lost on Trumpers and right-wing media who just look at the headlines and yell Greatest Evar!
When you’re already sitting on third base and batter up manages to hit the ball just far enough to allow you to run home, does not make the new batter a superstar. It makes him just competent enough. Period.
I bring this up because time and time again the Trump Mediasphere and Regurgitron ™ keeps claiming that the only reason we are in a Trump Slump now – and no, of course they don’t call it that – they say it’s because of some “Chinese Virus” or “Democrat Virus Hoax” or some other such xenophobic or spin nonsense.
The coronavirus impact on the economy can not be overstated, but the Trump Slump was already worldwide from late 2018 on, and this should not be forgotten.
As of this entry, March 25, 2020 at 2PM EDT, the Dow was up 1,300 points today, bringing its two-day rally to +17%, a very impressive bounce. And in all fairness, Trump should be getting some credit for that. And so, too, should Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate.
The $64,000 question: How long will the Bear Market reprieve last.
If it turns out that, as reported, it may take many weeks or even months for stimulus checks and loans to reach their recipients, we might look back on these days with nostalgia.