Be Very Scared for Your 401(k) Right Now

The stock markets tank as Trump’s lead in the presidential race grows.


As Donald Trump’s lead in the presidential race held steady late into election night, global markets reacted just as financial analysts had predicted they would: with a severe downward slide. The dollar, the Mexican peso, and crude oil all fell drastically, and market indexes like the Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500—which provide a summary of a market’s health by tracking top stocks—also plummeted.

Investors have long been concerned by what they see as Trump’s volatility on key issues that could affect trade and the economy. Trump has threatened to take apart trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to impose new tariffs on imports—all actions that could slow down economic growth around the world.

In a New York Times op-ed published early Wednesday morning, with the election still not decided, economist Paul Krugman went so far as to predict that, should Trump be elected president, the global economy could fall into a recession.

“Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news. What makes it especially bad right now, however, is the fundamentally fragile state much of the world is still in, 8 years after the great financial crisis,” Krugman wrote. “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”