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Rove Claims Stock Market Is Dropping Because Obama Hasn’t Named His Treasury Secretary Yet

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"Rove Claims Stock Market Is Dropping Because Obama Hasn’t Named His Treasury Secretary Yet"

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Yesterday, stocks plunged for the second straight day, bringing “the Dow’s two-day drop to 873 points, or 10.6 percent, its worst two-day percentage loss since October 1987.” On Fox News last night, former Bush adviser Karl Rove tried to pin the blame for the drop on President-elect Barack Obama.

Though he admitted that there had been bad economic news yesterday, Rove questioned “how much of it is the news of the day.” “I mean, how much of it is that, and how much of it is the market saying, You know what? The economy is not in a good place and we’re looking at the future, and how much confidence should we have in the team that’s coming to make the economy better any time soon?,” said Rove.

He then suggested that the problem was that Obama hadn’t named his Treasury Secretary yet:

ROVE: Well, I got to tell you, I’m a little bit surprised. If the number one issue facing the country is the economy, then it strikes me the new administration, the president-elect, would be putting a lot of emphasis on getting a Treasury secretary and an economic team in place in order to signal to the country what he’s going to do.

But instead, we’ve seen a leak about the secretary of state. We’ve seen pretty serious rumors about who’s going to be attorney general, pretty serious rumors about who’s going to be head of HHS, Health and Human Services, who’s going to be Homeland Security counsel — Homeland Security department chief.

Watch it:

Though some economic analysts believe it would be helpful for Obama to name his econ team, it is laughable for Rove to blame the market’s problems on Obama. Indeed, the market is much more likely reacting to yesterday’s “grim economic data,” which included “a 16-year high in weekly unemployment claims and the failure of Congress to reach a deal to help U.S. automakers.”

Rove says the market is “trying to look four months, six months, a year in advance.” That may be so, but anyone hedging their bets is probably much more concerned about the economic outlook released by the Fed on Wednesday — warning “that a recession believed already to be underway could last until mid-2009 or later” — than who Obama picks to head the Treasury Department.

Transcript:

VAN SUSTEREN: What bad news, the Dow nosedives 445 points. That doesn’t seem to change. Every day, the news is bad.

ROVE: Yes. Well, how much of it is the news of the day? And there is bad news of the day, bad job numbers today. You know, the Senate and House Democratic leaders came out and said, We’re not going to do a bail- out because we don’t have the votes for it today, but we’ll look at doing a bail-out in two weeks if the car companies will tell us what kind of bail- out that they can do.

I mean, how much of it is that, and how much of it is the market saying, You know what? The economy is not in a good place and we’re looking at the future, and how much confidence should we have in the team that’s coming to make the economy better any time soon?

VAN SUSTEREN: And any thought on that?

ROVE: Well, I got to tell you, I’m a little bit surprised. If the number one issue facing the country is the economy, then it strikes me the new administration, the president-elect, would be putting a lot of emphasis on getting a Treasury secretary and an economic team in place in order to signal to the country what he’s going to do.

But instead, we’ve seen a leak about the secretary of state. We’ve seen pretty serious rumors about who’s going to be attorney general, pretty serious rumors about who’s going to be head of HHS, Health and Human Services, who’s going to be Homeland Security counsel — Homeland Security department chief.

And we had a meeting of an economic advisory team that was so eclectic, it was — you got no sense, no confidence, of what the new administration was going to do. You had everybody from Warren Buffett to David Bonior. You had people from the center of the Democratic Party over to the far left of the Democratic Party.

So I wonder how much of this is the market saying, You know what? We’re not just focused on the here and now, we’re trying to look four months, six months, a year in advance, and we don’t see much that gives us confidence that the administration gets it.

Update

At Wonk Room, Pat Garofalo has more on the grim economic news that is affecting the market.


Update

,Stocks soared today after reports broke that Obama would nominate New York Federal Reserve Bank President Timothy J. Geithner as his Treasury Secretary.

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