So Much Winning, Christmas Edition

We have just had the worst Christmas Eve trading day ever. So much winning.

Earlier today, Trump tweeted this.

Somehow I don’t think our problem is the Federal Reserve.

Emily Flitter writes for the New York Times: Stocks Close in on Bear Market as Trump and Mnuchin Fuel Christmas Eve Drop.

Wall Street extended its losses on Monday as President Trump continued to lash out at the Federal Reserve and an unusual weekend statement about the health of America’s financial system by Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, unnerved investors rather than calming them. …

…  Mr. Trump has become increasingly focused on the idea that the Fed chairman, Jerome H. Powell, is to blame for the markets’ slide after the central bank raised interest rates last week and indicated that it might keep doing so next year given signs of strength in America’s economy.

Stocks, already falling before Mr. Trump’s tweet, dropped further right after even as investors were still trying to interpret Mr. Mnuchin’s late Sunday statement.

The Treasury secretary said he had contacted the chief executives of six major banks to ensure that their operations were running smoothly, and that they had “ample liquidity available for lending.”

Although the assurance came during a rough run for stocks in the United States, analysts and economists have not cited a lack of cash for lending as a significant reason for the downturn.

Washington officials typically make such assurances only at times of financial crisis.

Instead of soothing investors, Mr. Mnuchin’s comments, along with Mr. Trump’s attacks on the Fed, added to a nervousness already running high as the stock decline continued to accelerate.

Paul Waldman:

When the new year begins next week, President Trump will have an acting chief of staff, an acting secretary of defense, an acting attorney general, an acting EPA administrator, no interior secretary, and no ambassador to the United Nations. The officials originally in all those positions have either been fired or have quit in various measures of disgust or scandal. His former campaign chairman, deputy campaign chairman, national security adviser and personal lawyer have all pleaded guilty to crimes. His campaign, his transition, his foundation and his business are all under investigation. The United States’ allies are horrified at the chaos Trump has brought to our foreign policy. The stock market is experiencing wild swings as investors are gripped with fear over what might be coming and what Trump might do to make it worse — a situation alarming enough that the treasury secretary felt the need to call up the CEOs of major banks to assure them that everything is under control.

And, oh yeah, the government is shut down.

This, my friends, is exactly what we were afraid of when Trump somehow managed to get elected president two years ago. This is what we warned you about.

So much winning.

Meanwhile, the government shutdown is expected to last into the new year, a shutdown that is happening because a bunch of Fox News and talk-radio hosts criticized the president for not being tough enough in fighting for his ludicrous border wall. Trump, always deeply insecure and eager to feed his base’s endless rage and desire for conflict, responded quickly to the accusation of weakness. “He spends ever more time in front of a television, often retreating to his residence out of concern that he is being watched too closely,” reports the New York Times.

I’d make a Captain Queeg joke except that we’ve been in Captain Queeg territory for quite a long time already, and it doesn’t seem to matter.

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