The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
[UPDATED AT END]
Before it's even clear that he's won, Donald Trump—the genius businessman, whose ability to lose other peoples' money is without peer—has outdone himself. The news that he has a commanding lead in the presidential race has crashed financial markets around the globe. From the Guardian:
Stocks have been battered throughout Asia Pacific with the Nikkei in Japan closing down 5.36%, Australia finishing down 1.92% and Hong Kong off 2.82% (still to close there). Wall Street could see its biggest ever fall when trading opens on Wednesday with futures pointing to a 800-point drop—more than 5%. The FTSE is on course to shed 250 points. One trader in London said it was "bigger than Brexit" for the markets. The US dollar has sold off more than 3% against the Japanese yen as investors seek safe havens. Sterling and the Swiss franc were also up, as well as the euro. But the Mexican peso was a big loser—down 12.18% at 20.52.
We're talking trillions of dollars in economic value that has already disappeared. Nice work! Can't wait to see what the next four years brings us; I guess Americans were nostalgic for those halcyon days, not so long ago (2008), when our economy was shedding half a million jobs a month.
But wait—it must all be the fault of the "international bankers"! Conspiracy!
Except that it's not—it's millions upon millions of investors who can see what, somehow, a plurality of the U.S. electorate could not see: that we are in for a very, very rough and terrible ride. We deserve it.
[UPDATE: So I got it wrong, at least on the US market, which closed generally higher today. Mea culpa. I admit it.
But more to the point, really: right or wrong, my post was petulant and mean-spirited, and this is really not the time for petulance and mean-spiritedness. I'm sorry about that. I think our current president hit the right notes: Trump's going to be our president, and I genuinely hope he succeeds, and that I've gotten it all wrong in what I've written about him; I really do hope that you'll all be able to point at me in a year or two and say "See?! He's been a pretty good president! No Beer-Hall Putsch, no mass deportations, no torture, no flaunting of the constitutional separation of powers, …" At least, we owe him—and the 59 million people who voted for him—that 'honeymoon.']