If you weren’t disillusioned with the markets before, maybe you should be now. The markets are buying, its boom time, as the US looks at bringing back torture, building a wall, and making the world a less cooperative place.
There is no joined up thinking. The Dow Jones has passed 20,000 for the first time ever. To put that in perspective, it passed 10,000 on March 29th 1999. Back then, the millennium bug was the big worry, people feared that as the computer clocks went from 19 something to 20 something, computer systems would crash. It is tempting to say that we were conned, the millennium bug introduced a false sense of unease. Ironically, during the weeks when it was exposed for what it was, a nothing story, shares really did crash.
To run that passed you again, when we were told that the end of the millennium would create a computer crisis, shares soared, when it turned out that we were worrying needlessly, shares, led by tech companies, crashed.
Maybe that was proof aplenty that the markets have about as much in common with reality as President Trump has in common with the liberal media.
But now the markets have done it again.
For years, we were told that the markets liked austerity, that governments had to keep the finances in check or they would be pummelled by the markets. President Trump wants to cut taxes and spend one trillion dollars on infrastructure – does that sound like sound government finances? The markets don’t care, they went out and bought.
When will the markets get it? Growing inequality is not in their interests, not in the long run, it is as if they have learned nothing from the events of 2016. President Trump may be on the verge of creating a corporate tax war, as country’s fall over each to see which ones can cut taxes further, but taxes exist for a reason – they bring in money and the money they bring in helps people and goes some way to alleviate social discontent. No good can come out of a corporate tax war, the end result will be greater inequality leading to further populism, that is not good. Yet the markets buy.
President Trump wants to cut regulation, but it was poor regulation, maybe dating back to the Thatcher and Reagan era, that sowed the seeds of the 2008 crisis, and a major crash in shares. Yet the prospect of this makes the markets go out and buy.
President Trump wants to bring back torture, not an idea that seems conducive to supporting America’s image abroad, and yet the markets buy.
President Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric has already brought in a response – the Mexican government is now talking about Mexico first. We are seeing the early stages of a world drawing in on itself.
President Trump has so antagonised China that those who know about these things warn of the very real danger of a US-Sino military conflict.
And in the vacuum left in global politics, created as the US tries to sever links with the rest of the world, China prepares to leap. The switch from US to Chinese hegemony is accelerating, China, the land of human rights atrocities, sees itself emerging as the voice of globalisation.
But Canada is okay, we are told. Speaking to Global News, Stephen Schwarzman, who chairs the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum said: “Canada has been a great partner of the United States for as long as anyone can remember . . .Things should go well for Canada in terms of any discussions with the United States.”
In short, if you are an Anglo Saxon country, The US Don looks kindly on you.
Maybe that is why the markets are buying.