2018, Donald Trump — December 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Wall Street may decide if Trump will get away with firing Mueller


And those are the saddest words I’ve ever written

I’ll say this until my face is as blue as California, or we’re in the middle of another Great Depression: There has never been a better argument for strict regulation of the financial sector than the way Wall Street has gone all in on Donald Trump.

Of course, the endless streak of record market highs over the last year makes some sense.

It’s largely driven by the spoils of a mostly healed economy that has been engineered by four decades of conservative rule to deliver record corporate profits and extraordinary gains to the richest Americans. Thus, giddiness about a tax cut that will send trillions to those same Americans as the expense of everyone else would sensibly make one bullish. Especially given that CEOs have all but confessed that this money will be almost entirely to pay off themselves and investors.

Betting against these soaring markets would be like betting against the house at a casino. Except the “house” in this case is a guy known for bankrupting casinos who just happens to be pushing an economic agenda that has led to two of the last two great financial crises.

Maybe it somehow works this time! Maybe it’s like a third marriage to a tolerant, younger wife who assumes your libido will give out or her inheritance will kick in soon enough. But don’t bet on it.

We’re in a murky tunnel of Trump’s corruption and obstruction now. All that’s clear that in the distance there are a blaring light and the roar of an engine. And Wall Street can’t stop running toward the commotion.

Trump’s nauseating backing of child molester Roy Moore is a test to see what he can get away with as he prepares for what will be his greatest trick, argues New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait.

A quick survey of the way the right has united to savage James Comey and Robert Mueller, nonsensically portraying two George W. Bush-appointees as leaders of a shadowy jihad against Trump, points to an obvious conclusion:

Trump is preparing to shut down Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

Once he does this, likely in the days after his tax cuts become law, America will never be the same.

And right now Wall Street remains willfully ignorant of the most obvious threat to its bull run, argues CNBC contributor Josh Brown:

My personal belief is that this possibility is not being priced into risk assets. And lest you think this is an event that the rest of the country will accept tacitly, sending off a few tweets and then going to bed, you may want to rethink this.

Because Congress will not act to defend the Constitution, the people are going flip out when it goes down. The somewhat amorphous #Resistance movement is going to explode into the streets, making last fall’s Womens March look like a May Day Parade..

Brown also suggests wishes for a tidy wind-down of the Trump presidency by some on the left are delusional:

The only defense the President has is the fact that he is the President. And his pardon power – which is literally the last thing he will give up. There will be no impeachment process in Congress because the GOP already handed this guy the ability to do whatever he wants in exchange for tax cuts and the rollback of all social progress that occurred under his predecessor. Liberals dreaming of some other outcome where Republican pols come to their senses will be sorely disappointed. Republicans don’t win elections by tacking toward the center and becoming Rupert Murdoch targets, so why would they?

Republicans can’t abandon Trump — not after tax cuts, not after firing Mueller — for a simple reason: His voters are more loyal to him than they are to the party.

Thus the result will be constitutional crisis like nothing we’ve seen since 1974 — only there is no Democratic Congress to rein a rogue Republican, no wise men of the party willing to talk that president into being reined.

Americans will either rise up and win some check on Trump’s power or the right will crush the uprising and send America stumbling into authoritarianism.

Who will decide which way this goes? In a large way, Wall Street.

If the left erupts at the firing of Mueller, that will only endear Trump to his base. But if markets — the current barometer of American greatness according to Trump and the more affluent Americans who run this country — sink, the right may be forced to react.

My nightmare is the markets jolt at first but quickly shake their worries off in favor of the next massive tribute to the Kochs that Paul Ryan has been dreaming of since college. The enabling of Trump that has made all of this possible would continue as Trump and his followers decide how far they will go to crack down on dissent. At that point, it will be up to the people to decide what they can risk for justice.

Until then, our fate is in the hands of the guys whose expertises include making the rich richer and blowing up our world.

  • DownriverDem

    The New York investigation will go on. trump can’t stop it or pardon anyone either.

  • Roger W Abraham

    Get rid of Mueller and be sure and list all the conflicts of interest, then fire the Asst. Atty Gen!! When there is a snake in the hen house you need to kill the snake before he kills everything else!

    • Oliver F. Lehmann

      Last time I checked, it was not a snake in the house. It was the police.

      • WillB

        There’s clearly a nest of snakes in the White House!

        • Roger W Abraham

          What country did you say you were from??

        • Roger W Abraham

          Sorry Will, I was just worndering where your voice was the last few years???

          • WillB

            And yours? Your disquis profile seems to comprise just 5 comments despite joining back in 2014.

          • Roger W Abraham

            Sorry Will, since, as far as I’ve known, I’ve only used this site with you and one other – that was a day ago. If I see a comment anywhere, and I think I have a legitimate reason to say what I think, I try to do it. I don’t care if you’re pink, blue, black, white ; Democrat, Republican or Independent, but what I do care about deeply is that you have thought fully about the aftermath should the point of view you back up take place! Should you wish Communism on us? Socialism? Or, something else! Had Hillary won, do you really think the country would have stayed free? I was born into a democrat family. It took many years before I realized that the Democrat party just cares about the democrat party. I looked around a little and began to notice that Repubs were working the same scam on the people, they just don’t have the opportunities like dems – repubs won the white house fewer times. Both parties though never seemed make anything work right. Year after year, election after election. Near as I can tell – they always need more money to promote business, then business booms, but nothing much seems to change out in the heartland, or home as you choose to call it! I started voting many years ago, and when Obama got elected I got a bad feeling about it, and after a few years of seeing him in on the tv every day, (The very first president to do that) I started paying a lot of attention to what he claimed to be about. Those things never made anything better in any way, that I could see! Climate change everyone believes in – problem is, dems just can’t make a case against it without saying the repubs don’t believe in it! Or I guess colleges and politicians are at odds on the subject. I just happen to be in college studying that very same subject a couple years earlier and the politicians just don’t know much about the subject – I can tell you that for a fact! I can make a case for the ‘doomed to fail’ health care (Obama care) too, I wish I could continue, but I’m being paged!!
            PS might as well do what you want to do

          • WillB

            Say what you will, debate is always good. When people throw out personal insults and don’t engage with the actual allegations or arguments of the article in question, that’s rather disappointing. Especially if the article in question is misleading.

            A lot of things are wrong in the US and the world. There are no easy answers, but I know that Trump isn’t the answer. A rich man with a strong sense of entitlement is no defender of the poor.

  • WillB

    Despite the somewhat apocalyptic tone, I think in essence this article highlights the fundamental nature of power relations in the US where Wall Street ultimately sets the tone, it determines what is permissible and what is not.

  • Gable1111

    Sad to say but the people in this country are so ignorant of how government works and others are so apathetic I can see Mueller firing Trump and the importance not registering with “The People.” Kim Kardashian posting the 1000th selfie of her raw backside will get more attention.

    Sure, those of us who would get the import of such an event will raise up, but we will be dwarfed in number by those who stay home, hypnotized by American Idol, the Kardashians and Honey BooBoo. Democracy will continue to slip under the waves like a mortally wounded Titanic, and the morphing into authoritarianism will be so seamless, with the help of a media whose reporting in sum will normalize the event that sure, there will be a few days of breathless reporting, but it will pass with whatever triggers the next news cycle.

    The extent to which Americans have been dumbed-down is absolutely frightening. The average American doesn’t even bother to vote, and most of them couldn’t pass the citizenship test we require of immigrants to become citizens. Interesting that they are REQUIRED to know more about how government works than natural born citizens do. Its sad!

    If the Founding Fathers had a crystal ball and could have gazed into this time now, Jefferson’s assumption that the American people would stay informed enough to keep and grow democracy would have proven to have been a pipe dream. But that’s okay, the authoritarian fix is 250 years late coming, but its coming. Does anyone know what channel “The Voice” is on??

  • TXDem1945

    We shall see how it works out.
    Bull markets end.
    And, they do not have a soft landing.
    As for the left, there is no left.
    It died out long ago.
    As for Mueller, we will see about that as well.
    Americans may not understand that America is expendable.; whatever happens here, the world will go on.