The Chaos Stock Market
The stock market gyrations that are causing whiplash can be attributed to many factors including uncertainty about the federal funds rate, whether the tax stimulus of 2017 has run its course, and a host of arbitrary considerations brought on by President Trump’s inconsistent messages about tariffs, especially with China. One day the tariffs are on and the next they’re not. One day the stock market goes up 500-600 points and the next it gives up all of the gains. The real problem is uncertainty and unpredictability, two negative factors in achieving steady growth or, at least, the avoidance of all-too-frequent sell-offs for the average investor’s sanity.
President Trump has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality. He can change from one into the other at a drop of the hat. At times he is morally neutral, even engaging, while at other times he openly (and even proudly) is willing to criticize anyone who isn’t Donald Trump including the media, foreign leaders, immigrants, and members of different sociological groups. I believe it’s because of his narcissistic personality disorder. It’s all about him, all of the time. Anyone who dares to criticize…well, beware of his wrath.
Trump also suffers from borderline personality disorder in my unprofessional opinion. It is a mental health disorder that impacts the way he thinks and feels about himself and others, causing problems functioning in everyday life including excessive rants on Twitter. It includes a pattern of unstable intense relationships, distorted self-image, extreme emotions and impulsiveness.
There are also serious questions about his leadership, and the frequency with which cabinet members and advisors have changed raises a question whether the government is stable. I can recall no other government where members of the presidential campaign, directly or indirectly, have been investigated for improper, if not illegal acts, cover-ups, lying to the special prosecutor or other government groups. There’s never been a government with so much turnover in just two years: a total of 26 firings or resignations as the chart to the right shows. And now we can add Chief of Staff John Kelly who announced his resignation last Saturday.
Then there is our relationship with former staunch allies in the European Union. Trump’s managed to create an uncertainty whether the U.S. will come to their defense if needed and whether NATO is a valuable organization for the stability of Europe or toothless. For the Europeans, the thinking is if you can’t trust what the President says and he has erratic behavior, then all promises are suspect.
As with many things in life, it all comes down to ethics. Trump is an unethical president. He’s not honest, trustworthy, or willing to accept the consequences of his actions, looking always to blame someone else including someone else for the craziness in the stock market. His favorite target now is the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates too quickly. The Fed is supposed to be an independent body yet Trump treats it as a member of his cabinet.
I’m pessimistic about the next two years in part because the Democrats now control the House of Representatives and we all know they will do whatever they can to embarrass Trump. They’ll examine his financial holdings, disclosures, and taxes with a fine tooth comb. You can bet they’ll dig up some dirt. With Trump, where there’s fuel there’s fire.