I might remember this day for a while.
I woke up, turned on my computer to catch up with the overnight news and learned that Great Britain voted to leave the European Union, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to resign, Wall Street took a dive … and a leading American politician who advocated all this mayhem might benefit politically in the United States.
Holy retirement fund, Batman!
The Brits decided they’d had enough of their economic marriage with the rest of Europe. So they bailed. Cameron staked his political reputation on the vote; it went badly for him and so he’s moving out of 10 Downing Street.
My retirement account is going to shed a lot of value today and perhaps for the next good while. Sheesh!
But here’s the element of this story that might underscore perfectly the weirdness of the American presidential election season.
Republican candidate Donald J. Trump — who at this very moment is touring a golf course resort he owns in Scotland — said he wanted the Brits to leave the EU. His Democratic opponent Hillary Rodham Clinton — along with President Obama — pitched for the Brits to stay in. Trump argued for nationalism in Britain; Clinton and Obama argued for economic stability.
Who might gain from this chaos? Trump.
“They’re angry over borders. They’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over, and nobody even knows who they are,” Trump told reporters after his helicopter landed in Turnberry, Scotland. “They’re angry about many, many things.”
Why does that matter here? It matters, according to Trump, because he says he’s angry about the same things. How he connects the EU situation with U.S. domestic policy, though, remains a mystery to me.
He also said that Clinton “misread” the mood of the British, which I guess in Trump’s view is another strike against the Democratic nominee-to-be.
It’s going to take some time for all this sink in. The markets will go wild and retirement accounts — just like those my wife and I are hoping to live on while we enjoy our “Golden Years” — will bleed heavily as investors push every panic button they can find.
Then we’ll get to listen to a major-party presidential candidate take “credit” for being on the winning side of a losing argument.
Crazy, man. Simply crazy.