The Stock Market Crashed Today. Thanks Donald!

For reasons that are a mystery to everyone, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called up the country’s six biggest banks on Sunday and asked them if their liquidity was OK. Everybody was a bit nonplussed by this, but they said sure, everything’s fine. Any particular reason you’re asking?

Well, no, apparently there wasn’t any particular reason Mnuchin was asking about this, but it sure got everybody curious. Is there a problem with bank liquidity? Does the Treasury know something the rest of us don’t? What’s going on?

No one knows. The best theory seems to be that President Trump is enraged that the stock market is down, so he ordered Mnuchin to call all the banks and then issue an assurance that everything was hunky dory. That should calm the markets, right? As you can see, it had precisely the opposite effect:

The S&P 500 fell about 3 percent today and has now lost nearly all of its gains since Trump was inaugurated. Nice work, Donald! You really understand financial markets better than anyone.

Of course, this cannot be allowed to be Trump’s fault, which means it must be Mnuchin’s fault. How long will it be before the axe starts to fall on his old pal?

THE BIG PICTURE

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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