Guardian News / YouTube Trump calls FBI raid on personal 1541036644.jpg...
Guardian News / YouTube

The deeply harmful government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for billions in border wall funding continued with no agreement in sight.

From his vacation spot in Cabo San Lucas, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday sent markets tumbling with a bizarre Twitter statement assuring the public that there is absolutely no reason to believe Wall Street is about to collapse—a move one reporter described as the “financial equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded theater.”

And, holed up in the White House instead of his Mar-a-Lago resort on Christmas Eve, Trump fired off a tweet-storm blaming the Federal Reserve for what’s shaping up to be the stock market’s worst December since the Great Depression.

These chaotic and anxiety-inducing circumstances culminated on Monday with Mnuchin holding an emergency call with members of the so-called “Plunge Protection Team,” a group that includes top officials from the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The Christmas Eve call, as CBS News put it, summoned the “ghost of 2008,” as the team—formally called the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets—also convened during the 2008 financial crisis, which ultimately wiped out trillions of dollars in wealth, sparked a massive foreclosure crisis, and inflicted harm to ordinary Americans that persists to this day.

The specifics of Monday’s call have not yet been made public.

While noting that the U.S. financial system is not on the brink of collapse, analysts argued that the incompetence of the Trump White House at every level—demonstrated repeatedly over the holiday weekend—could help drag it to that dangerous point.

“Is Steve Mnuchin… trying to create a financial crisis?” asked Slate‘s Jordan Weissmann in response to the Treasury Secretary’s alarming statement on Sunday.




Warren Gunnels, policy director for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), observed on Twitter that Mnuchin’s insistence that the financial system is in tip-top shape calls to mind Bush Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s claim—in the midst of the 2008 crash—that “the American people can remain confident in the soundness and the resilience of our financial system.”

“Break. Them. Up,” Gunnels wrote of the nation’s largest banks.

As the Guardian reported, Monday’s “crisis call” with the Plunge Protection Team didn’t have the intended calming effect, as markets continued to slide on Christmas Day.

Adding to concerns about the U.S. financial system’s stability over the weekend were rumors that Trump is considering firing Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell, a move that analysts warn could further disrupt markets and have deep ramifications for the American public.

Pointing out that the stock market “is not the economy,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) noted that nonetheless the Trump administration’s disarray combined with its plutocratic policy agenda has harmed ordinary people while further enriching those at the very top.

“The stock market goes up and down and the market is not the economy. But it is, for many people, their retirement or their college savings plan,” Schatz wrote. “And a lot of wealth has been wiped out because of the trade war, the tax cuts, and volatility not in the market but in the Oval Office.”

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. Seriously ! Do i have to go and register ‘ www. I told you so dot com ?
    Why is it soooo hard to figure this scum out ?
    If the school is in lock-down because of some crazed maniac on the loose, would you send an 8 yr old out to defend the hostages ???

    Essentially this is what the US has as a president.
    The leader of the GOP is truely a manchild.

  2. we should stop him going on vacations or to Florida Mar0-lago house… if he doesn’t behave and stop being a child brat vindictive and capricious… HE CAN’T GO ON VACATION… OR PLAY GOLF. THIS MAN ITS MENTALLY ILL AND STUPID … NOT PAYING PEOPLE IN CHRISTMAS? HE DOESN’T DESERVE TO HAVE VACATIONS OR PLAY GOLF.

    • I agree, as a forigner i cant believe hes still in power?????… why hasnt his administration been sacked ??? Hes already destroyed your economy, and will start a world war if left there. Hes trying to start a race war??. His allies are comunist dictators. As an Aussie, we have 6000 troups supporting your troops in the middle east… we have no idea?, whats going on with American troops?. Our common enemies are laughing at us ??


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