New York (CNN Business)President Trump, it seems, does not want his stock market rally to be smaller than President Obama’s.
Amid a weekend of G7 diplomacy and presidential falsehoods, you may have missed the president’s latest stock market victory lap. Before he left France the president proclaimed via Twitter: “My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election, November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!”
My Stock Market gains must be judged from the day after the Election, November 9, 2016, where the Market went up big after the win, and because of the win. Had my opponent won, CRASH!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2019 First, there is no way to know if the stock market would have crashed if Hillary Clinton won. A crash is technically a 20% drop. Second, traditional leaders take pains to avoid taking credit for stock market rallies, so they don’t have to take the blame for the declines, too. This president has obliterated that presidential protocol.Prior administrations have worried that cheerleading Wall Street is tone-deaf since it hardly represents the fortunes of Main Street. Just about half of American households own stocks. Read MoreThird, this president does not like to lose. And there can only be one winner. That’s why the president is moving the goalposts to make his stock market rally appear even better than his predecessor. Here’s the math: When measured from Inauguration Day until 2-1/2 years into the first term, Trump’s stock market rally is big, but not the biggest. The S&P 500 (SPX) rallied 46% during President Obama’s first 645 days in office, compared with less than 30% for Trump. President George HW Bush and President Clinton had strong stock market gains early, as well.Not to be outdone, the president measures his success from the day after the election. That makes his stock market return 33%, compared with Obama’s 23.5%. (In two very different economies, by the way. Obama inherited a financial crisis. Trump inherited a economy growing and adding jobs.)The president is home now, but his long weekend in France reveals two obsessions: The president is still obsessed with using the stock market as his personal poll, and he is obsessed with Obama. In his freewheeling departing press conference, the current president mentioned the former president at least 16 times.– Kwegyirba Croffie contributed to this report