You know what always goes up in financial markets when a president’s approval rating is less than 50 percent?
Everything — even a general name change.
A year ago, in the wake of the first major hurricanes to hit the United States in over 10 years, the stock market sold off for days as concern built that the storm’s price tag would catch up with the government.
Afterward, the consensus was that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma had overblown the macroeconomic damage caused by the storms, and that the markets were now safe.
As it turns out, however, “a year later, a hurricane’s final cost estimate is more than 20 percent higher than what was anticipated,” according to a Sept. 29 report by the Congressional Budget Office.
In other words, our business pundits were doing a pretty good job of reading the tea leaves before the market’s plunge.
A less-obvious example came this week when Trump tweeted that, “Lawmakers in both parties must work together now to end the Shutdown, now in its 26th day. Get tough on Border Security!”
Lawmakers in both parties must work together now to end the Shutdown, now in its 26th day. Get tough on Border Security! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2018
In other words, “get tough on border security” doesn’t exactly bring up white supremacists or refugee children being separated from their parents at the border. In fact, it only refers to Trump’s determination to secure the border with Mexico through taxpayer dollars.
We aren’t quite at the end of the Trump administration, and the government has endured 26 days of shutdown, but the market is at the point where it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect another morning with a bad tweet from the president and another day with a bunch of Congressional Democratic leaders reading out the nonsense Trump has sent them.
In some ways, then, we have come full circle.