Economy

“There is no clear message”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

When I quipped that Wall Street would quickly return to normal after the reality of Trump's trade war caused a sell-off on Monday, I was actually quite serious.

Wall Street staged something of a comeback this morning because the Trump regime announced that it would allow more Chinese investments in technology, but it's only a matter of time before reality shows its face again.

But don't take it from me, take it from people doing the actual trading:

“Investors are trying to decide what the policy is going to be with respect to trade with China and the rest of the world. It vacillates between their feeling pessimistic about it and some sense of encouragement that it won’t be as severe as feared,” said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

“The big problem is there is no clear message and all we’re doing is bouncing around the recent lows as investors are a little afraid to sell, only to find the administration maybe more accommodative than they thought.

This isn't about accommodation or any sort of concrete economic philosophy or policy. This isn't about a normal administration working in determined ways. This is about chaos.

Trump has no idea what he's saying, what he's doing, or what his end game is or how to achieve it. And Trump is surrounded by advisers who also have no idea what they're saying or doing. Trump is surrounded by economic fossils like Wilbur Ross, Larry Kudlow, and Peter Navarro; expired cranks that investment firms wouldn't hire if they were the last "experts" on earth.

I believe you could go so far as to say that any action the Trump regime takes that temporarily assuages investors is incidental or, at the very least, was not taken with that intention. For example, my strong suspicion is that Trump is allowing more Chinese investments in technology because he believes it will convince them to stop retaliating for his tariffs. But that's obviously not going to happen.

  • muselet

    At some point, investors are going to tire of being whipsawed by Trump administration inconstancy. I honestly don’t know what might happen as a result—will they, for example, sell all shares and buy gold bullion?—but my gut feeling is that whatever happens will be bad.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    Normal left the building. It’s not coming back until Trump is out of office. Same for stability. By the time he’s gone it’s possible that we’ll be able to act as normal and stable as we want but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world will believe it or care one way or the other.

    • ninjaf

      And now Kennedy is retiring, so we’re screwed for decades after this.

      • Aynwrong

        I saw. I read the headline and just changed the channel. I can’t even…

        • Me either. I can’t take any more bad news. I just can’t…

        • ninjaf

          Yeah, I am just so…ARRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!

      • simpfan

        Kennedy is the only person standing in the way of ending Roe v Wade, so thank you everyone who just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary for whatever idiotic reason.

        • Scopedog

          Yep–but I don’t think we’ll hear anything from them for a while. Sneering “Hillary sucked!” isn’t going to be of comfort to women who will lose their rights.

        • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

          Bingo!