The White House, Which Says There’s No Problem, Will Meet to Discuss Stimulus

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Members of the Trump regime are still publicly downplaying the impact of the coronavirus even while financial markets fall into the toilet, but they're privately discussing a stimulus package according to CNBC.

CNBC reported this morning that Trump and his cabinet lackeys will meet at the White House to talk about a stimulus package after he returns from a weekend of golfing.

The president had spent the weekend in Florida, and was he scheduled to remain there Monday morning to participate in a fundraiser and chat with supporters before returning to the White House in the afternoon.

CNBC reported that Trump will be presented with a “full menu” of economic options to respond to the virus after he gets back to the White House. [...]

The White House declined to comment when asked for the administration’s reaction to the stock market plunge.

I do not necessarily expect members of the regime will exit today's meeting at the White House with a concrete plan or a specific request to send to Congress.

Other reports indicate that Trump is still burying his hand in the sand and downplaying threat. Even admitting that a stimulus package may be necessary would be an enormous blow to Trump's personal ego. Trump also tweeted this morning that stocks are tanking because of the "FAKE NEWS," so that gives you some idea of where his head is at heading into this meeting.

The Dow fell by nearly 1,900 points this morning before trading was halted by a mechanism that automatically blocks trades when the market falls by too much within a short period of time. The stock market is not the economy, but this crash is a reflection of what you may have seen referred to as a "demand shock," meaning consumer demand is plummeting in a global economy where consumption drives almost everything. Major conventions and public events are being canceled and the travel industry is flying empty planes.

All is well!

  • muselet

    BBC News makes the point that the stock markets are reacting not only to Covid-19, but also to Saudi Arabia’s decision to slash oil prices and increase production despite falling demand:

    Those conditions make Saudi Arabia’s decision to increase output “extremely surprising”, said Stewart Glickman, an energy equity analyst at CFRA Research.

    “This is not the first time that we’ve had a shock to the oil market, but it is the first time that I can recall that you’ve had a supply shock and a demand shock at the same time,” he said.

    “The craziness that you’re seeing in the oil prices today, and companies related to oil and gas, is a reflection of this being pretty unprecedented.”

    “Extremely surprising,” eh? Juan Cole:

    Riyadh’s move came after President Vladimir Putin of Russia refused to reduce its oil exports in concert with OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) to support prices as the world economy slows down because of the threat of a pandemic spread of the novel coronavirus.

    If OPEC tightened production but Russia did not, then Russia would gobble up world market share. Market share is hard to recoup once lost, since producers try to lock consuming countries into long-term contracts with price sweeteners, and Saudi Arabia is adamant that it isn’t going to be reduced to a bit player.

    [link omitted]

    Given all that, I’m not convinced anything less than a gigantic stimulus package would do much of anything. Since that’s something Donald Trump—and all the other Rs—probably won’t consider, it could be a rocky few years for the economy, even if Covid-19 fizzles out quickly.