QOTD: Bess Levin on the Market’s Mute Button

Bess Levin of Vanity Fair on the stock market making a new record high as the deranged President of the United States fires off nuclear threats against hostile regimes…

In another time, the president essentially threatening to nuke a country where asking whether its dear leader really learned to drive at age three could land you in front of a firing squad would merit some response from Wall Street and the global markets. But in this case, investors were apparently unmoved by the fact that Trump had decided to instigate the nuclear-weapons version of a pen!s-measuring contest. Though the VIX, a.k.a. Wall Street’s “fear gauge,” was up slightly, the Dow, S&P 500, and NASDAQ all hit record highs before closing out at 24922.68, 2713.06, and 7065.53, respectively. How to account for investors’ breezy, carefree attitude about the threat of Armageddon? For starters, it could have something to do with the fact that it’s widely known that the red button on Trump’s desk does not actually initiate nukes, but rather alerts someone on staff that he needs another Coke. But according to Timothy Ash, a senior strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, the lack of distress likely has more to do with the fact that investors have come to regard the president as a complete blowhard whom they muted long ago.

Wall Street has had this guy’s number since January 2017. We stopped selling off the stocks he was tweeting against a long time ago, and now it’s all just an uproarious comedic performance before the indictments show up.

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