Donald Trump flunked the test of presidential leadership last night.
During his 10-minute talk from the Oval Office, Trump failed to express even the slightest empathy for the families of the 37 Americans killed by coronavirus, or to reassure millions of worried Americans that his administration, which downplayed Covid-19 during the past two months, now fully understands the threat.
In true Trumpian fashion, the president dodged any responsibility. He attempted to shift blame for the spread of coronavirus here to others, rather than on his team’s failure to ramp up testing.
He fingered China for starting the outbreak and referred to Covid-19 as “a foreign virus.” He then turned to Europe, saying, “A large number of new clusters in the US were seeded by travelers from Europe.”
The president reached back into his trusty old “build the wall” playbook to keep Americans safe from the global pandemic.
Trump instituted a 30-day ban on European travelers to the US—excluding people from the UK and Ireland where he has golf resorts. It’s always just business for Trump.
Global stock markets plunged on news of the travel ban, which will deliver a devastating blow to the US economy.
It’s only a matter of time before the president begins to claim that the Europeans will reimburse the US for the loss of their tourism dollars.
The travel ban is a sideshow. Coronavirus is here and spreading.
The president’s appearance just magnified the sad fact that he doesn’t have a clue about dealing with the public health emergency.
His talk made that point plain to millions of Americas.
The president should follow the sage advice of David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads, who wrote in Psycho Killer, “When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed.”
The bull market is dead. Long live the bull market. Goldman Sachs believes the best may be ahead for investors after the current financial carnage on Wall Street runs its course.
David Kostin, Goldman’s chief US equity strategist, predicts the coronavirus pandemic and collapsing energy prices will contribute to a five percent drop in the earnings of the S&P 500 index this year.
That comes on the anticipated 15 percent drop during the second quarter. Goldman looks for a sharp upswing beginning toward the end of the year.
That rosy scenario is based on accelerated earnings growth and the impact of federal stimulus. “A new bull market will likely be born later this year,” Kostin wrote in a note to investors.
We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
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