The News You Didn’t Hear This Week

So, President Trump had a terrible week. CNN, and the rest of the prestige press, told us so. It’s only a matter of time before Trump is brought down. A crisis of the regime is imminent. You can tell things are serious because the stock market . . . hit a record high! Strange how, aside from the Cheerleaders of the Tape at CNBC, we heard so little about this during the Week of Trump’s Doom. What does the market know that the media don’t? Well, of course the answer to that “well, duh” question is—a lot.

Actually the strength of the stock market may not tell us much at all except that the animal spirits of capitalism, which rallied despite Obama’s best attempt to depress the markets, are bigger than our political circus, which is a reassuring thought. Actually a close look—and the data back this up—shows that what is really holding the market back from even bigger gains at the moment is the fear and uncertainty about how the trade tensions Trump has unleashed will play out. The market always rallies hard on news that trade tensions may be resolved, and slumps when tensions ratchet up again. I am reliably informed that this has been brought directly to Trump’s attention, to which he responds, “Just think how big the stock market will boom when we win the trade war.” Gotta like that kind of confidence and moxey. Even if tariffs are stupid.

But markets should be heeded, and the strength of the market is perhaps a leading indicator of why the Trump Impeachment Processional is unlikely to succeed. As I said yesterday, it seems like we’re doing a re-enactment of the Clinton scandals of the 1990s, which also had its high quotient of bimbos, perjury, and media frenzy. And I can clearly recall that with every new revelation of Clinton perfidy—Whitewater, travelgate, Vince Foster, Rose Law Firm billing records, Kathleen Willey, the MacDougals, Juanita Brodderick, Paula Jones, ad nauseum, ad infinitum—we Clinton haters on the right were sure that this is it!—surely this scandal will prove the tipping point that will get him at last. But by the time Monica Lewinski flashed her thong, Clinton scandal fatigue had set in with the American people. Oh, and don’t forget: the economy was ripping along with robust growth and record highs in the stock market. Sort of like today. Hmmm.  I wonder if any Democrats have pondered this. Historical literacy is not their strong suit.

Meanwhile, did you hear anywhere that Australia’s ruling Liberal Party (which, remember, is the conservative party, because they still have the old-fashioned understanding of “liberal” in place, God bless them), has ousted their prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and replaced him with Scott Morrison, who is best known as being the cabinet minister who was the architect of Australia’s tough immigration policy. But lost in most of the media coverage was that a key issue in the ouster of Turnbull was climate policy. Turnbull was committed to the usual theology of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and this generated a backlash in the party.

Only the Wall Street Journal seems to have noted this aspect of the story:

With the resource-rich nation facing spiraling power bills and unreliable supply, Mr. Turnbull’s government last year proposed a policy that aimed to deliver affordable electricity while reducing emissions in line with a target set by the Paris climate agreement.

Some conservative lawmakers wanted to abandon Australia’s commitment to cut emissions by at least 26% below 2005 levels by 2030, and to provide more support for the coal industry.

Mr. Turnbull attempted a compromise to secure support from his own party, including dropping plans to legislate the emissions target in favor of regulating it. On Monday, the prime minister acknowledged those efforts had failed. “We aren’t going to present a bill into the House of Representatives until we believe it will be carried,” he told reporters. . .

Climate policy has proved a hot-button issue in Australia, where exports of coal and other commodities have underpinned 27 years of economic expansion. Some of the most closely contested electoral districts are in coal-rich regions. Coal is the source of 63% of Australia’s power, down from roughly 80% at the turn of the century.

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