President Trump

Call The Close: Well This Is Fun, Isn’t It?

Rest assured that he will have the most perfect guess. The most beautiful prediction. You can’t believe how right he’s gonna be. Two years ago, we were promised that the election of an unhinged narcissist to the most powerful office in the land would naturally bring about the sort of motion-sickness-inducing economic collapse that such an action quite frankly really ought to bring. While this was bad news for most people and for the world in general, it had you people salivating: After eight boring years of stability, volatility was coming back and in a big way, baby! Unfortunately, for all his many accomplishments, President Orange Garbage Bag Filled With Spoiled Rice Pudding has utterly failed to inject much excitement into the markets. Sure, there have been moments—lots of them if you’r...

Donald Trump Is Not Repaying Christine Lagarde’s Faith In Him

By MEDEF [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons Not long after President Trump took the oath of office, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde waved off concerns about the end of the world. Don’t get hysterical, she said. Give the guy some time to adjust. The bloated tanning-cream disaster can’t possible mean the things he’s saying. Of course, she was right, for the most part: Donald Trump doesn’t mean most of the things he says, insofar as the very concept of “meaning,” like those of “truth” and “integrity” and “honesty,” has no meaning to him. But there are some words that come out of the president’s mouth that he does mean, even if only by accident. And unfortunately for Christine Lagarde, those words fall squarely within her purview. Risks about which the Fund had warned th...

Establishment Republican Laboring Under Delusion That His Opinions Still Matter

Happier times. Shealah Craighead [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons There’s a certain kind of person who still believes that the Grand Old Republican Party still exists somewhere underneath the overt xenophobia, breathtaking incompetence and shocking disregard for Wall Street currently encrusting the institution. That there’s still a Republican establishment, and that this establishment still has some kind of influence. This kind of person probably still fancies themselves an Establishment Republican, even though President Trump’s reign of terror has demonstrated that there’s no such thing anymore. These sorts of men labor under all sorts of delusions, chiefly that once this whole “Trumpism” thing crashes and burns they’ll be able to wipe the party off and go on their merry way, misgov...

Jay Powell Adorably Thinks He’s The Man To Find Congressional Republicans’ Spine

Questioning John McCain’s heroism. Musing about nuking someone just because. Admitting to sexual assault on tape. Siding with Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies. Threatening to fire Jeff Sessions. Threatening to fire Robert Mueller. All of these things have come out of the mouth of the president of the United States, and Congressional Republicans have responded to all of them with, at best, threats of their own that they quickly walked back, and usually shrugs before giddily toasting their success in the only two things they really care about: cutting taxes and building a Supreme Court that will do what they can’t to reinstate the 1950s. None of the quite possibly countless lies or effective admission of guilt to a host of felonies or dangerously erratic behavior exhibited by D...

Leon Cooperman Won’t Tell The President What To Do But Sure Hopes Someone Else Does

There once was a time that Leon Cooperman had the president’s ear. Specifically, that time he had dinner with him, and the president asked him whether he thought Amazon was a monopoly. Twice. Both times, Cooperman gave the wrong answer, because he took the question at face value and failed to understand that, to Donald Trump, words like “monopoly” have no meaning except as potential weapons against perceived enemies, and therefore that saying Amazon is a monopoly does not mean that it has exclusive control over a particular commodity or service, but that it is a bad company run by someone who does not like Donald Trump and is thus a monopoly because calling it one might allow Donald Trump to destroy it. Because Leon Cooperman does not provide the answers Donald Trump wants to hear, and als...

Surge In Warren Buffett Steak-Lunch Index Goes Unnoticed By President Trump

Getty Images The president of the United States is not a man who wastes any time taking to Twitter to crow about the latest bullish economic indicator, of which there are many, all clear evidence of how his reflected glory is single-handedly MAGAing. Sometimes, he gets so excited he can’t help but tweet about it before it is even news. And yet, he’s been strangely silent on the clearest sign that the only Americans he actually cares about—those with enough money to serve in his Cabinet—are back on top: The Warren Buffett Steak-Lunch Index, which this weekend spiked to a two-year high. The winning bid in the annual “Power Lunch With Warren Buffett” charity auction came in at $3,300,100 on Friday night. The amount exceeds the $2,679,001 paid last year but fell short of the record $3,456,789 ...

Just Make Steve Cohen V.A. Secretary And Get It Over With

Getty Images Donald Trump has decided to put his personal doctor in the United States Cabinet as secretary for Veterans Affairs. In spite of Dr. Ronny Jackson’s complete lack of any administrative experience (the VA employs about 400,000 people) and questionable command of medicine (he has called a splotchy, rotund, orange geriatric with early-onset dementia the picture of health and mental acuity), this makes a certain amount of sense. After all, if the president’s personal pilot is the perfect man to lead the FAA, why not? Plus, that lack of any management background will make Jackson the perfect guy to just do what the president says, which may well be to privatize America’s entire system for caring for its retired soldiery. To which we say, why not just cut out the middleman? Steve Coh...

Mick Mulvaney To Fine Wells Fargo Nine Figures Because His Boss Said He Would

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is nominally an independent federal agency. The Office of Management and Budget is not. Having as the leader of the former the same deeply unpleasant man as the leader of the latter pretty much puts paid to the former’s nominal independence. Now, we highly doubt that such was President Trump’s thinking when he asked Mick Mulvaney to burn the CFPB to the ground and salt the earth upon which its offices stood in his spare time as OMB chief, but it has proven helpful. Because Mick Mulvaney doesn’t think that the CFPB should be doing anything, really, not even making haste to stop rules he doesn’t like, and certainly not levying huge fines against America’s great, consumer-defrauding banks. But President Trump wants him to levy a huge fine against one o...

Ex-JPMorgan IT Head To Put Hard-Earned Lesson About Hacking To Work At Pentagon

By David B. Gleason from Chicago, IL (The Pentagon) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons Before yesterday, Dana Deasy was best known as the guy in charge of IT at JPMorgan Chase when 76 million customers’ information was stolen. So, this is the obvious next step for him: Dana Deasy, the former IT chief at JPMorgan Chase & Co., has been named chief information officer at the U.S. Department of Defense, the Pentagon said Thursday…. “This is particularly important as we adopt cloud technology to make more informed and timely decisions on the battlefield.” In fairness to Deasy, he’d only been on the job for a few months at the time of the breach, so it can’t really be entirely blamed on him, and thus it would be a bit uncharitable to lump him in with the cavalcade of incompetents that are...

Promised Regulatory Bonfire Might Finally Get Underway

(Fifth Third Bancorp) It feels like at least 100 years, but Donald Trump has only been president for a little more than 14 months. Given that each of those months seems like a decade or so, that may not seem like a lot. But it is almost one-third of his four-year term. What’s more, given how that third has gone, voters seem ready to make the second half of said term much more difficult for him. Which means he’s only got a few months to really get things going. One of those things is the promised regulatory bonfire upon which banks are to be invited to throw every rule and restriction they do not like. This has been delayed by Congress’ inability to do pretty much anything other than cut taxes for rich people, but also by the president’s somewhat lackadaisical approach to hiring people. Thi...

Larry Kudlow Knows What The President Wants To Hear

Donald Trump has precisely one legislative achievement to show for his first 14 months in office, a gigantic tax cut that may prove a total disaster but will at least save him and his ilk many, many billions of dollars over the next few years. The fact that something so fantastically unlikely as comprehensive tax reform came to pass under this most unlikely and erratic of presidents was broadly the doing of one man: former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn. Cohn managed to shepherd this particularly unlovely piece of legislative sausage through the hard way: Getting this particularly fractious Congress to vote it into law, an especially impressive feat given the necessary ideological compromises involved in something like comprehensive tax reform, and its politically-poisonous r...

Potentially Imminent Economic Catastrophe No Reason To Rush Leisurely Fed Vice Chair Nomination

(Cleveland Fed) Jay Powell has been chairman of the Federal Reserve for a little over a week now, and boy, what a week it has been. Jay Powell is also the first non-economist to lead the central bank in 30 years, which means he may need some help dealing with things. At the moment, that help is somewhat lacking. There are seven seats on the Fed Board of Governors. Four of them are currently empty, including the seat of the vice chairman. This has got some people thinking that maybe someone who knows something about economics might be nice to have whispering in Powell’s ear. Maybe it would be nice if this person did not have a penis. Hey, Mr. President, have you seen this Cleveland Fed president? We like the cut of her jib. The Trump administration is interested in filling the vice chairman...