Tag Archives: Dow Jones

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.

Market craters: Time for calming words from POTUS

Wall Street took a header today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 600 points, signaling — possibly, maybe, perhaps — a new Black Friday.

I get that one day does not portend a stock market crash by itself.

However, I am wondering if the president of the United States is capable of offering some calm words of assurance rather than assigning blame for what happened today to millions of Americans’ retirement portfolios.

Ours took a beating today. I am not worried irrationally about our retirement future based on the market’s woes.

Donald Trump has spent a lot of emotional energy of late boasting about how Wall Street has reached record highs in record time. He has taken all sorts of credit for the market performance. He deserves some of it, although millions of the rest of us understand that the market has been climbing steadily during the past eight or nine years after it went through a serious crash to trigger the Great Recession of 2008-09.

Here’s what I would like to hear from the president: I would prefer he would provide some calm words of assurance. I mean, he is a self-described business whiz who’s made zillions of dollars. If he has any knowledge of what transpired today — and if it is a harbinger of more to come — then let’s hear it.

Talk to us, Mr. President, but speak to us like a grownup.

That’s not very ‘populist’ of you, Mr. President

Stock Market up 5 months in a row!

So said Donald J. Trump via Twitter today.

I share the president’s enthusiasm about the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It speaks to burgeoning investor confidence in the nation’s economy and, presumably, about the president’s vision for the future.

We actually have some skin in that game. Our retirement portfolio contains holdings in the stock market. So I happen to be as glad as the president about the Dow’s performance for much of 2017.

However …

Didn’t the president campaign as a “populist”? Didn’t he tell us while winning the 2016 presidential campaign that he was for “the little guy”? He tried at times to sound more populist than, say, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the independent U.S. senator from Vermont and self-proclaimed “democratic socialist.”

A true-blue populist, by my definition of the term, should be skeptical, wary, even alarmed that the big ol’ rich guys are profiting so handsomely as their stock portfolios rocket skyward.

So, is the president a populist or is he a Populist in Name Only — a PINO?

My gut tells me I should go with the latter.

Barack Obama will deserve a high presidential ranking

This is it, dear reader. The hand-off from one president to another is upon us. With that, I believe it is time to assess the performance of the guy who’s leaving office and perhaps try to compare what I believe he accomplished to what was projected of him when he took office.

Bear in mind, bias is implicit in everything anyone says … particularly when it regards political matters. I have my bias, you have yours. Some of our bias might mesh. Much of it might not.

How has Barack Obama done as the 44th president of the United States of America? I’ll give him a B-plus, which is a pretty damn good grade, given what he faced eight years ago.

Let’s start with the economy. We were shedding three-quarters of a million jobs each month when the president was sworn in. What did he do? He got his then-Democratic Party majority in both congressional chambers to enact a sweeping stimulus package. It pumped a lot of money into the economy. It helped bail out major industries, such as the folks who make motor vehicles. Banks were failing. The failures tapered off and then ceased.

Was this a bipartisan effort? Hardly. Republicans declared their intention to block everything he tried. The economy would collapse even faster, they said. The stock market, which had cratered, would implode. What happened? The Dow Jones Industrial Average has tripled since then.

Job losses? They disappeared, too. In the eight years of the Obama presidency, the nation has added 11 million or so non-farm-payroll jobs. Unemployment that peaked at 10 percent shortly after Obama took office, now stands at 4.7 percent.

Has the recovery been even? Has it been felt across the spectrum? Not entirely. It is that unevenness that sparked the populist movement led in large part by none other than the master of decadence Donald J. Trump, who parlayed people’s fear into a winning presidential campaign strategy.

All in all? We’re in far better shape today than we were when Barack Obama took office.

National security anyone?

OK, let’s try these facts.

A SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011; we haven’t been victimized by a terrorist attack in the past eight years; we have killed thousands of terrorists around the world as our global war has continued; Obama and his diplomatic team negotiated a deal to prevent Iran from developing an nuclear weapon.

Yes, North Korea continues to pose threats. The president erred in saying he would act militarily if Syria crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons and then failed to act on his threat. We did a poor job of managing the Arab Spring that erupted in Libya and eliminated Moammar Gadhafi.

Immigration reform remains in the distance. Barack Obama has been all-time champion of deportation of illegal immigrants, despite complaints from his foes that he is soft on that issue. And, of course, I believe he is correct to suggest that building a wall is contrary to “who we are as Americans.”

In an area related to national security, I would like to point out that we’ve all but eliminated our dependence on fossil produced in the Middle East. I don’t want to overstate the president’s role here, as much of that is due to private industry initiative. Federal tax breaks, though, have made alternative energy production more feasible, which has reduced our dependence on fossil fuels.

Domestic issues?

Obama’s foes said he would launch raids on Americans’ homes, seeking to take away our guns. It hasn’t happened. There was never any realistic threat that it would.

The president did a 180 on gay marriage and the U.S. Supreme Court — citing the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution — made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

And, oh yes, the Affordable Care Act has provided health insurance to 20 million citizens who couldn’t afford it otherwise. The ACA is in jeopardy as GOP members of Congress want to repeal it. They don’t have a replacement bill lined up. Obama has said he’d support any improvement to the ACA that would come forth. Is it perfect? No. The president admitted this past weekend that he and his team fluffed the launch of healthcare.gov, which was a huge error.

Barack Obama didn’t bridge the racial divide that splits Americans. The first African-American president perhaps misjudged the national mood; maybe he was too hopeful.

However, that this brilliant man was elected president in the first place in 2008 with substantial majorities in both the popular and Electoral College votes — and then re-elected — tells me that we’ve come a long way from the time when even his candidacy would have been considered unthinkable.

I’m proud to have been in his corner for the past eight years. I haven’t agreed with every single decision he has made … just the vast majority of them. He has made me proud, too, at the way he has conducted himself and the way his family has adjusted to living in that bubble known as the White House.

Millions of Americans will wish him well as he and his beautiful family depart on Friday.

As for the future, well … we cannot predict it with any more certainty than many Americans did when Barack Obama took the stage. Let’s just hope for the best.

‘Brexit’ vote might not vaporize our money after all

Brexit

I might have been a bit too quick to push the panic button in the wake of the British vote to leave the European Union.

My fear — which wasn’t exactly what I predicted would happen — was that my retirement account was going to fly out the window as investors bailed on stocks.

The Brits’ vote to leave the EU did cause some momentary panic. It seems to have lasted a couple of days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 800 points in those two days.

Then came a significant rally over the past two days. The Dow gained back nearly 600 of those points.

I had sent my financial adviser an e-mail message and implored her to “please tell me my retirement account is not going to vaporize.”

She called me right away. Her words were encouraging. Don’t worry, she told me. Your funds aren’t tied to the British markets. “You’re going to be fine,” she said.

It turns out — at least in the immediate term — that she is right.

As for the other pledge I made publicly — about not wanting to look at my retirement account for the next good while — I’m going to stay the course.

I might not look at it for the rest of the year. Then again, will I be able to resist opening the quarterly statements the investment firm sends us — the next one of which will arrive in the mail probably one day next week?

Oh, what a test of my internal fortitude.

I keep thinking of what the actor Danny Glover kept saying during those “Lethal Weapon” films … about being “too old for this s***.”