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‘Panic Feeds Panic’: Mnuchin Spooks Markets With Pre-Christmas Message That Was Supposed to Inspire Confidence

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‘Today Could Be a Bloodbath’

Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, from his Mexico vacation in Cabo San Lucas as the federal government was shutdown, Sunday night issued a statement that was supposed to help calm jittery investors.

It did not. In fact, it did the opposite.

The Trump stock market has tumbled over the past weeks, losing all of its 2018 gains and more, pulling into bear market territory. Last week was the worst in a decade and the markets are tending to have the worst December since he Great Depression. Investors are worried and some average Americans, especially those with 401(k) retirement plans, are panicked.

When the markets first started to drop, despite what the Federal Reserve and others say is essentially a strong economy with low unemployment and low inflation, President Trump issued a statement, saying the market was just “taking a little pause.”

Since that October 30 claim, the markets have plunged.

Trump blames his hand-picked Federal Reserve Chief, Jerome Powell, who has been raising interest rates, costing the president personally big bucks – not to mention American taxpayers.

There are reports Trump has talked about firing him, which would be unprecedented. It’s unclear that he even has the authority to do so, something Mnuchin announced last week in an attempt to calm investors.

While that did little to help, Mnuchin’s Mexico message has spooked the markets.

Mnuchin announced in a statement posted to Twitter, that he had just spoken with the CEOs of several of the nation’s top banks, and they told him, “they have ample liquidity available for lending to consumer, business markets, and all other market operations.”

The Treasury Secretary went on to say, “they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues and that the markets continue to function properly.”

Well, that’s great news, but no one was worried about the stability of the banks.

Until Mnuchin mentioned it.

“Mnuchin startled financial analysts, bankers and economists,” The Washington Post reports, with his “unusual statement.”

Market economists denounced the move.

“Panic feeds panic and this looks like panic in the administration,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told the Post. “Suggesting you might know something that no one else is worried about creates more unease.”

“It’s going to raise the question of whether Treasury and Mnuchin know something the markets don’t,” said Brian Gardner, Washington research director at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. “Without clarifying further, it’s going to weigh on the markets.”

“If this weren’t the end of December, I would have thought it was April Fools,” added Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden. “The markets are already nervous enough. It’s like sending out a message saying our space shields can intercept incoming asteroids. Uh, I didn’t know there were any coming our way.”

Even Trump’s advisors know Mnuchin’s move was bad.

“No one thought we were at crisis level,” one of his advisors told the Post. “It’s going to create more of an issue than we had already.”

The Post’s Damian Paletta separately adds via Twitter, “today could be a bloodbath.”

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Image of SEc. Mnuchin: US Mint via Twitter

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‘Only an Animal’: Trump Goes Off-the-Rails in Unhinged ‘News Conference’ Campaign Rally So MSNBC and CNN Stop Airing

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President Donald Trump late Monday morning announced he would hold a press conference, but after a late start and minutes in it became clear it was yet another campaign-style stream-of-consciousness rally devoid of facts and filled with lies.

Both MSNBC and CNN were not airing the “press conference” minutes after it began.

After Trump’s 20 minutes or so of angry grumbling, and disgruntled attacks on Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, his Democratic opponents, Trump ended his remarks before taking reporters questions by saying, “Happy Labor Day, everybody.”

MSNBC “The Last Word” producer Kyle Griffin announced, “MSNBC aired about five minutes of Trump’s speech before cutting it off and fact checking his lies on U.S. economic progress.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta noted that the address was a campaign event:

Trump decided to hold the event at the North Portico, a more formal outdoor space in the White House usually reserved for major announcements, welcoming international leaders, and for White House family events.

During the event, Trump attacked administration officials who had told reporters he called military service members “losers” and suckers.”

“Only an animal.”

Trump attempted to Force Reuters’ Jeff Mason to remove his face mask.

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Busted: Ivanka Trump’s Story About Her Son’s White House LEGO Model Probably Isn’t True — Here’s Why

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During her address to the Republican National Committee Convention from the White House, first daughter Ivanka Trump attempted to humanize her father by telling a story of her son building a LEGO model of the White House.

Trump biographer Andrea Berstein, the Peabody Award winning journalist who wrote the 2020 book, American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power Hardcover, had heard a similar story before, although in the earlier telling the story was about Ivanka herself.

President Donald Trump also told a similar story, involving his brother Robert and toy blocks.

Ivanka also told the story about herself while being interviewed by Conan O’Brien in 2007.

Watch:

 

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Cincinnati Sportscaster Caught on a Hot Mic Dropping Homophobic Slur

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Veteran sportscaster Thom Brennaman appeared to unleash a homophobic slur Wednesday evening while on a hot mic “after the first game of a Reds/Royals doubleheader on Fox Sports Ohio,” Deadspin reports.

Brennaman was caught referring to an unmentioned location as “one of the f*g capitals of the world.”

Some have noted it’s possible the anti-gay slur did not make it on-air, but there are several recordings posted to social media.

ABC affiliate WCPO adds, “It is unclear if he knew his microphone was on, or that he was broadcasting live.”

CBS Sports writer Danny Vietti adds this commentary:

“A new hashtag, #FireThom, is now trending on Twitter,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

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