Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Tries to Reassure Investors of “Strong Economic Growth”

The past week was the worst for the stock market since the 2008 recession.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Just days after the stock market had one of its worst weeks since the 2008 financial crisis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin released a letter stating that he had spoken to CEOs at the nation’s six largest banks and confirmed they had “ample liquidity” to lend to consumers, business markets, and “all other market operations.” The letter, posted on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, appears to be an attempt at reassuring investors in the midst of a government shutdown and rumors of President Donald Trump’s plans to fire Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, according to CNN.

Mnuchin wrote that he would be speaking to officials at several government agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve, to “discuss coordination efforts to assure normal market operations.”

“We continue to see strong economic growth in the US economy with robust activity from consumers and business,” Mnuchin said in the statement. “With the government shutdown, Treasury will have critical employees to maintain its core operations at Fiscal Services, IRS, and other critical functions within the department.”

Mnuchin has ample reason for concern. As my colleague Hannah Levintova has reported, stocks tumbled over the past several days, marking one of the worst weeks in the stock market since the 2008 recession:

On Thursday, more than 3,000 stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange hit their lowest values in a year—the most in a single day since October 2008, when the stock market crashed, ushering in the financial crisis. On Friday, the Nasdaq sank to a 15-month low, the S&P 500 to its lowest level since August 2017, and the Dow to its lowest since October 2017. By the end of the week, stocks had lost about $2.05 trillion in value.

As Trump appears increasingly vulnerable amid multiple investigations into his political and business deals, as well as new power in the hands of the Democrats, a shaky economy only adds insult to injury. A healthy economy has been one of Trump’s favorite talking points for the past two years, but with increasing fears of a recession on the horizon, the president may have to find something else to talk about.

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.