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The Megalomaniac and the Stock Market


The Megalomaniac and the Stock Market

Robert Reich

Trump doesn’t want the public to think the stock market has tanked because of Trump’s government shutdown, his trade war with China, and the $1.9 trillion increase in the nation’s debt caused by his tax cut for corporations and the wealthy. (Actually, these are the major reasons for the market’s drop.)


Very short and to the point, but I wish Robert Reich had gone into more detail.
The stock market crash we are seeing is deeper than it looks, probably much deeper. The reason is the crash is undoing the value added to equities by the corporate tax cuts, value that, under normal conditions, would tend to mitigate a crash.
Nobody should cheer what is going on, especially not the Trumpian Trash, who will be the first ones to go back to the unemployment lines if the contagion continues. Those who hate capitalism shouldn’t cheer either; a violent crash only exacerbates reactionary forces.
There is, however, a fascinating quality to what is going on. It is a live experiment of what would happen if you picked up a couple of homeless people, steeped in alcoholic stupor, and put them at the controls of an airliner. A lesson for everybody about the importance of know-how and the consequences of ignorance, and a lesson on what happens when a society lacks an enlightened backbone and buys into its myth of “can’t happen here.”


During his 2016 campaign Trump reminded us about how much money he makes during market downturns buying up distressed real estate.

Neither Trump or his team are “incompetent”. Their every action is planned to enrich the 1% at the expense of the 99%. “Incompetent” implies that they don’t know what they are doing. Devious is a more accurate characterization.

Characterizing them or any other GOP operative of the past half century as “incompetent” excuses their behavior and misleads readers. Since the 1970s the Powell memo has been the GOP’s road map for destroying the middle class…no evidence of incompetence at any step along the way.


Actually, Trump’s business incompetence can be shown mathematically to be case. Very rarely you find a business person whose incompetence can be demonstrated. It goes like this.
If you consider the sum Trump received as a gift from his father, invest it in an asset fund of comparable risk to Trump’s businesses, and wait 45 years, you end up with roughly the same amount Trump has today. I did the math, using Fortune magazine numbers.
This means Trump didn’t “create” his wealth, he just churned the gifts he initially received from his father, swindled lots of people, and barely grew his initial endowment at the rate any fund manager would have grown it (without any additional work.)
The fact that Trump is destroying the US economy “despite” the tax cuts shows him as extremely incompetent. This doesn’t mean is not smart, he has “street” smarts, like the M13 gangsters he hates so much.


Most Americans are struggling financially and live paycheck to paycheck. They have little to spend after paying for housing and food. Without spending from the middle class and poor, you have no economy. The tax cuts were geared to the very wealthy and did nothing for the middle class and poor.


This crisis would have happened with Trump or without him. The Stock market has always been a CON game where the market manipulated on an ongoing basis so that a small segment of investors can reap gains. It has been propped up by investments from criminals and despots for decades. Mob money, the proceeds from illegal drugs , foreign investors like the Saudi’s , stock buybacks and outright fraud (see Worldcom) are old news and symptoms of Capitalism , not Trumpism.

Trump , albeit not deliberately , just reveals the Stock Market for what it always was. There are going to be a whole pile of people profiting off this as they buy low and sell high just has happened in 1929.


Perhaps Trump plans on having Russia, or Saudi Arabia bankroll our post economic crash. Trump teamed up with that scale of dirty money would only spell trouble.


Reich, I am sick of your attempting to scam progressives in your poser role as one of us when in truth you are nothing but an apparatchik of the Clinton NeoLiberal Imperialist wing of the establishment traitors to the people Democratic Party.

You know as well as I do that the reason the market is doing poorly is because the MIC is afraid of what it means to their bottom line if Trump pulls troops out of Syria and Afghanistan.

But do you call out the evil, greedy, heartless, brutes who own the big corporations who are upset that they will have less armaments to sell? No, you ignore that completely, despite the fact that is when it plummeted.

Also, Trump is not ever who I wanted in the White House. But you are totally wrong that he is wrong about the Fed raising interest rates.

Any fool (like Trump) knows that if it seems that we’re heading into a recession you lower interest rates, not raise them. But you’re not a fool, you know that, you just aren’t interested in telling us the truth but in selling your f-ing political agenda.


It only exacerbates reactionary forces if we on the left fail in our job of educating and agitating, educating agitating, educating and agitating!


I haven’t done any math, but the same has been said of Howard Hughes and many others of inherited wealth. in fact, any CEO or large business owner who fails to perform better than some standard baseline can be said to be “incompetent” in this sense–and it happens all the time, throughout the economy. And of course business and investment also includes risk–meaning that competent people go in knowing they can come out worse than they started. Trump has at least maintained some wealth (some families lose it all), and has steered his business based on his own initiatives–not negligible accomplishments, given his clear mental insufficiencies. It is certainly true that without his inheritance, he’d be in a very different place in life. But this is the world we live in.


You have written an excellent comment above.


Your point of view is extremely valid as well.


You have a point about Trump. However, raydelcamino is correct to point out that the GOP
and its Neoliberal friends on the other side of the aisle have been brewing this toxic concoction for forty-plus years, The end game approaches, and it won’t be pretty.


Remember Hitler caused chaos and then got into office. The thing now is that he is in office but is still the angry little kid causing more chaos. Destroying people is not leadership- rather it is treason.


The tax cuts were designed for investors - to pump up the stock market. Most people from the USA do not invest in the stock market.