Political watchers are well aware that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is probably running for president in 2020. That makes his media empire’s attacks on President Donald Trump more concerning than ever.
The cover story of the Jan. 7, issue of Bloomberg Businessweek shows a dejected looking Trump with his red tie extending all the way to the ground. “The Trump Slump,” the headline read. “Why the market said goodbye to the Trump Bump.”
“Green means up and red means down in the stock market. Lately there have been many red days. But the true color of today’s market is golden orange — the hue of the pompadour atop the head of President Donald Trump,” wrote economics editor Peter Coy with Joshua Green and Shawn Donnan.
They added: “Because for better and for worse, this has become Trump’s stock market.”
After calling out the president for his “volatile personality” and “volatile presidency” they noted the recent increase in a market volatility index. They quipped: “America finally has a stock market to match the man in the Oval Office.”
Although they acknowledged the “conventional wisdom among economists” that presidents deserve less credit and blame for stock moves, he insisted “There are times when presidents do matter, a lot, and this is one of them.”
The article clearly tried to pin the blame on Trump, but without providing much evidence for that argument. The writers admitted there’s a “theory” to explain volatility being lower “despite the Trump chaos” until October, when “something soured for stocks.”
“The question is what — and who’s to blame,” they asked before citing Trump’s “contribution” as the trade war with China, Twitter attacks on the chairman of the Federal Reserve and “Trump’s leadership style.”
While it was a fair point to note Trump has claimed credit for stocks rise and blamed others for the downswing, the writers calling that “rough justice,” ultimately the cover story was heavy on supposition and light on proof connecting Trump to the “slump.”
Perhaps that's why it closed with a parting shot, “The Trump Slump is a bigger phenomenon than just a downturn in the stock market. But every red day on Wall Street is another punch to the president’s gut.”
Although Bloomberg hasn’t formally announced his presidential bid yet, he’s held private meetings with Iowa Democrats, and even told Radio Iowa he might sell his media company if he runs. So far, he’s still the owner of not only Bloomberg Businessweek, but Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg Radio and Bloomberg Live.