Tag Archives: DJIA

This won’t happen, but it’s worth asking for it

We need to see the stock trades of President Trump and his family in the month of February.

This is a tweet fired off just a day ago by David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and, yes, a noted critic of Donald John Trump.

Frum has raised a legitimate issue with regard to the pandemic virus and the scandal that has erupted in the U.S. Senate regarding senators who sold stock in companies in which they were invested on the eve of the stock market collapse.

You see, the senators allegedly had inside knowledge of what was about to happen, so they — again, allegedly — dumped the stock at a huge profit before it lost a ton of its value.

They were engaging in happy talk about the market and everyone’s retirement accounts. Except they allegedly knew the bottom was about to collapse on the market’s value.

Hmm. Didn’t Donald Trump also engage in that kind of low-balling of the coronavirus pandemic threat? Um, yeah, I believe he did.

Hence, we have David Frum raising the pertinent issue regarding the Trump family’s investments. The public’s ability to see such activity is likely to be fought hammer and tong by Trump, just as he has fought like hell to keep his tax returns away from public review.

They throw ’em in jail for this kind of thing, senators

What do you know about this?

Four U.S. senators, three Republicans and a Democrat, allegedly have been caught doing something that gets many of the rest of us tossed in the slammer.

GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, along with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, allegedly dumped a whole lot of stock immediately before its value tanked. A coincidence?

Many of us are quite skeptical of the timing of it all.

It’s called “insider trading,” which is what some individuals are able to do when they get information about investment value that isn’t known widely to the rest of the public.

Burr has asked for a Senate Ethics Committee probe into the matter. He also denies doing anything wrong. Sure thing, senator. That’s what they all say.

Feinstein is the Senate’s senior Democrat; Burr chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee; Inhofe has been in the Senate for many years; Loeffler is a GOP newbie, having just taken office in recent weeks after being appointed to succeed Sen. Johnny Isaakson, who retired.

This doesn’t look good for any of them.

Calls are beginning to mount for a full-blown investigation into what they knew and when they knew it. Others are calling for all of them to resign.

This is infuriating, if true. Part of me wants to grant them all the due process they deserve; they are, after all, citizens just like the rest of us and they deserve the presumption of innocence. Another part of me, though, tends to believe the allegations. They need not quit the Senate just because someone has leveled a serious charge against them.

However, all Americans — millions of whom are suffering terrible financial pain as a result of this pandemic — need and deserve answers into what these so-called “guardians” of the public trust knew before they dumped their stock and made all that dough.

Trump adds a reason to pi** me off, imagine that

As if Donald John “Comedian in Chief” Trump needed to provide another reason for me to detest his presence in the White House …

He posted a moronic Twitter message today that poked fun at the Dow Jones average plummeting more than 600 points. He made some schoolboy crack about it crashing because Seth Moulton reportedly was dropping out of the Democratic Party primary presidential race.

Meantime, a lot of Americans’ were watching their retirement accounts evaporate a little at a time. Or, in some case, a lot at a time.

The real reason the market tanked was because the president is playing this ridiculous game of tariff chicken with the People’s Republic of China. The Chinese are threatening reprisals against the United States.

All the while, Donald Trump is screwing around with people’s livelihoods, their retirement income, their nest eggs, the money they hope to make their so-called “golden years” as, um, golden as possible.

Then he makes lame, sophomoric jokes about it.

Detestable.

How about that DJIA, Mr. POTUS?

Donald J. Trump keeps telling us about his business acumen and, I presume, his wisdom about big-ticket market activity.

So, why does he keep yapping about something that has happened dozens of times while he has been president?

He tweeted self-congratulations when the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 25,000 points. He did the same thing a year ago. He’s done it several times.

The DJIA has this cyclical aspect to it. The Dow goes up. It goes down. The president is delighted to tell us when the Dow climbs. He falls into a Twitter stupor when it plummets.

How active was Trump when the Dow was cratering though much of December 2018? We heard the proverbial crickets.

Now the Dow is back up. Trump is all over it. He’s taking credit he doesn’t deserve. In actuality, that doesn’t bother me so much any longer. What’s annoying is that a guy with all those business smarts (allegedly) is getting worked up over a recurring fiscal event.

Now the POTUS wants to manage global economy?

This blog doesn’t deal much at all with global economic policy, mainly because its author — that would be me — isn’t qualified to discuss it. So, I able to resist the urge to get entangled in such complicated matters.

However, it’s always been my understanding that the Federal Reserve Board is independent of the president of the United States. Yes, the president appoints the Fed chairman but traditionally lets the Fed run on its own power. The president stays out of the economic quagmire.

That is until Donald Trump became president. Now he’s getting involved in second-guessing, undercutting, undermining Fed chairman Jerome Powell over interest rate policy. He is blaming Powell — among others — for the precipitous decline in the stock market. He says that Powell, a well-educated economist, doesn’t understand the stock market. Eh? What?

Trump wrote this via Twitter: “The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch — he can’t putt!”

I am having trouble getting past the idiocy in that tweet in the first place. I am trying to figure out what the hell Trump is trying to say, referencing government shutdowns, trade wars and “strong dollars.” What the . . . ?

What is troubling is that the president is now trying to micromanage something about which he knows not a damn thing! I get that he’s likely to say he knows more about economic policy than any human being who’s ever lived . . . except that he cannot find his rear end with both hands when it comes to any of it!

Donald Trump won’t ever get it. He won’t ever understand that there are issues he should avoid. Every time this clown opens his mouth and utters these feckless clichés, he sends the markets into gyrations.

As someone who fears for the future for my retirement fund, I implore Donald Trump to do something he is incapable of doing.

Keep your trap shut . . . Mr. President!

Bulls to bears: Why has POTUS gone silent?

Donald Trump has this annoying, perhaps sickening, habit of taking credit when he doesn’t deserve it. He behaves a bit like many of his presidential predecessors in that regard, although they usually have done so with a bit more, um, style and subtlety.

Not Trump. Take the stock market, for example. He bellows, blusters and bloviates when then market hits all-time highs. He suggests quite openly that his policies are the cause of all that wealth.

Now, though, the wheels seem to be coming off that economic hay wagon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has tanked . . . bigly! The bull market has turned bearish.

Where is the president now? Doesn’t he deserve to take the blame as well as hog all the credit? Are there factors above and beyond one man’s economic policy?

Of course there are! It works in both directions. When the market skyrockets — as it has done — the president doesn’t deserve to take all the credit. When it plummets, he doesn’t deserve to take the heat.

It’s just that with this president, you always can expect bluster when positive opportunities present themselves.

When it goes badly? Crickets, man!

Self-awareness is MIA

Donald John “Smart Gut” Trump’s jaw-dropping absence of self-awareness is on full display this week.

He has taken aim at the man he selected this past year to lead the Federal Reserve Board. Jerome Powell took the hit for the reeling stock market, giving Trump the headache of watching people’s retirement funds — such as mine — shrink before our eyes as investors sell off their stocks.

Chairman Powell is not giving anything back to Trump, the president complained. Trump said he is quite unhappy with the selection of Powell to lead the Fed.

For starters, the Fed is an independent agency that doesn’t answer to the president of the United States. Trump doesn’t understand that, along with all the other elements of government he doesn’t understand.

Then he said he has “a gut” that tells him more than “anyone else’s brain” can tell him.

Oh, really, Mr. President?

Well, did your gut tell you to invest in all those endeavors for which you filed bankruptcy before you entered political life? How did Trump University or the Trump Taj Mahal resort work out? Not too well.

Trump’s “gut” let him down . . .  again and again and again!

Bezos loses $9.1 billion … cry me a river

The stock market plunged into the crapper today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping more than 800 points.

Who were the big “losers”? Try this on for size: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dropped a cool $9.1 billion from his portfolio today.

Is the dude going broke? Uh, no. He’s still got about $145 billion, although admittedly it’s not a cash amount laying around the house or in his back yard.

This kind of reminds me of how ridiculous it has become to try to measure the wealth of the world’s richest individuals.

“A billion here and billion there and soon we’re talking about real money.” So said the late, great Republican U.S. Sen. Everett Dirksen in the old days when a billion bucks really mattered.

Aristotle Onassis, the late Greek shipping tycoon — and the husband of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy — died in 1975 as the world’s second-richest human being. His net worth at the time of his death? About $500 million.

These days, when we’re talking about individuals’ worth running into the tens of billions, Ol’ Ari’s estate looks downright pauper-ish.

Dow plunges … and they still clap?

It happened this week yet again.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average collapsed more than 1,100 points Monday, the largest single-day point drop in the history of Wall Street.

I commented on this strange reaction back in 2009. Here’s what I wrote then:

Clapping for what?

The earlier blog post questioned why those financial gurus standing in the balcony overlooking the trading floor were clapping after a measly 250-point drop in the Dow average.

Another set of financial types and perhaps a celeb were standing on that balcony clapping and grinning as if the Dow had gained 1,100-plus points rather than lost it.

I must conclude that they might know something about this latest financial collapse that the rest of us laypeople don’t understand.

Perhaps they foresaw what would happen today, that the Dow would gain back about half of what it lost Monday. The DJIA finished up a little more than 560 points today.

I’ll take it, folks. I also will accept that the podium cheering section had good reason to clap and grin today.

Where are the words to calm our fears, Mr. President?

I probably shouldn’t go there, but what the hey … I will anyway.

Donald J. Trump spoke to an Ohio crowd today to boast about the nation’s economic success. According to Politico, the president instead delivered a bitchy, meandering speech detailing his grievances at Democrats.

At the very same time he was delivering his remarks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was plummeting more than 1,100 points in the largest single point decline in stock market history.

To be clear, though, the size of the point drop isn’t as critical as the percentage of decline from the total market value.

The president has made lots of noise about how well the markets have performed since he took office. And they have! Does he deserve all the credit? No. The tax cuts, though, have played well in the minds of investors.

Today, though, was a time for the president to offer some words of wisdom about what the market was doing. I don’t mean to suggest he should couch it in some sort of personal sob story about how much money he lost while the market was plummeting.

It’s just he keeps reminding us of his Ivy League education, how well he did in the classroom, how much he learned about how to build his “amazing” business.

I keep waiting for some evidence of compassion, some ability to connect with his constituents at a level that gives them comfort that the head of state is in charge and that he’s going to do whatever he can to protect us against financial calamity.

If the president would simply stop the boasting when the winds are blowing at his back and deliver some assurance when it smacks us all in the face …