Trump Again Argues Against Himself On The Economy

Boasts that almost all asset classes are up this year. And while that’s all good for rich people, it isn’t for consumers necessarily…

In fact, the #1 biggest gainer for the year as identified by the CNBC chart above that Trump Retweeted is West Texas Crude Oil. Which is actually bad news for consumers (or at least consumers who drive), because it’s meant higher gas prices. (You’ll notice CNBC’s graphic says “one of the best ever for investors“, not consumers.) Trump’s very sensitive about trying to keep gas prices at the pump low, but he seems happy to gloss it over here. (We guess you could argue that higher oil prices are a sign of a robust economy, which means more jobs, so indirectly it could be argued it’s good news for everybody.) But it’s really not if you’re making the same money and driving every day and it’s costing you more and more. The only people really making out from that are speculators and oil companies, who also benefited from Trump’s giant corporate tax cuts.

Another big gainer: Treasury Securities. That means investors still consider them very safe, and at the same time yields are high enough for them to continue to be attractive. Trump however argues the Federal Reserve should lower interest rates, which would result in lower yields for treasuries, and smaller gains for investors. In fact, gains on government bonds in most of the countries Trump keeps trying to bully the Fed into emulating are far smaller than U.S. Treasuries are returning; many return nothing at all. The better returns on U.S. Treasuries means the U.S. is attracting a lot of money other countries aren’t. That’s helping the economy. Despite what Trump says. Anyway, all this indicates the U.S. Federal Reserve is succeeding, not failing, as Trump keeps Tweeting elsewhere.

So too if go all the way down to one of the last entries on the chart. There you’ll find the U.S. dollar, which while up slightly, is actually one of the worst-performing assets of the year. (You’d have to have put all your money in copper to do worse.) Yet Trump similarly keeps trying to bully the Fed into devaluing the dollar to make U.S. products more competitive overseas. But the dollar ain’t really that strong. A million dollar currency investment would’ve yielded $22,000 over the year. Not bad, but far shy of the $287,000 you would’ve made had you invested in crude oil.