The stock market has experienced its worst performance in December since the early 1930s. Despite brisk holiday shopping, the usual Santa Claus rally was canceled, in part thanks to a grinch named Steve Mnuchin.
The treasury secretary’s inexplicable maneuver on Christmas Eve eve, announcing that he convened meetings — by phone, from Cabo — with the six largest banks and was reassured that America faced no liquidity problems, when nobody was particularly concerned that we did, sent markets into a volatile tailspin. It was as if the contractor you hired to fix a sticky door told you that your roof was probably in no immediate danger of collapse; that wasn’t your preoccupation before, but it is now.
The stock market is not the economy, as long as jobs and paychecks continue to be strong. This was an unforced error that temporarily snagged the 10 percent of America that own 84 percent of all stocks. But Mnuchin’s boneheaded actions reflected his dominant characteristics. He is a sycophant willing to debase himself, no matter how strongly, at the altar of Donald Trump.
The president has convinced himself that the Federal Reserve is ruining his economy (and, like a stopped clock, he’s not totally wrong), and Mnuchin’s pronouncement of financial stability made no sense outside of a vain need to show his boss that everything was actually fine — or, at least, that Mnuchin was doing things.
Read more at The Intercept