Amid sharp and continued losses, the stock market is now headed toward its worst year since George W. Bush was president.
A series of factors have combined to send the stock markets sinking, with the S&P 500 index down 1.5 percent for the year. As Yahoo Finance noted, the current track has the market heading toward its worst year since 2008, when the markets crashed after the collapse of the real estate market sent shockwaves throughout the entire financial sector.
Critics have slammed Donald Trump’s economic policies, including trade wars that have raised prices for many industries and a tax cut that has failed to deliver the promised benefit to Americans.
Though Trump frequently took credit for the stock market as it was rising through the first several months of his presidency, he now claims that he has no responsibility for the downturn, Vanity Fair noted.
The situation reportedly has Trump very worried. As the Wall Street Journal reported, White House sources claim that Trump has been “glued” to the stock market fluctuations and is obsessively worried about whether he is to blame.
As CNBC added, Trump’s presidency started with a rising stock market, but the uncertainty over tariffs and escalating trade wars has thrown it into chaos.
“The president still sees the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a significant benchmark for his performance, the report said, citing sources close to Trump. The blue chip index is up about 23 percent since Trump’s inauguration but turned negative for the year during another rough market session Friday.”
But not everyone is so quick to lay all the blame at Trump’s feet. As Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman noted, there are actually a number of factors that go well beyond Trump’s actions that contribute to the downturn. He did note that Trump’s highly touted policies have failed to have the promised effect.
“Trump supporters claim Trump policies—including sharp corporate tax cuts and deregulation—have stimulated the economy above Obama-era levels,” Newman wrote.
“But if so, the stock market’s performance in 2018 sure hasn’t reflected that. It’s even more odd that stocks have slipped in 2018 because corporate profits have soared on account of the tax cuts.”
Trump has called advisers inside and outside the White House this week looking for validation that his talks with China were not driving the stock market sell-off, per @vmsalama. "He's glued to it," says one person. https://t.co/1BRjhXjfva
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) December 7, 2018
There are still a little more than three weeks left for the stock market to recover, but if not, then it appears stocks are headed to the worst year since the start of the Great Recession. And with 2020 elections on the horizon for Donald Trump, political experts say it could be the worst possible time for him.