We’ve been pretty mystified by the emphasis Barack Obama has been placing on peripheral issues such as health care, education and the environment while the economy is on fire. He tosses off remarks about stocks becoming cheap–the Dow is down 3,000 points since his election–but his major focus seems to be elsewhere. It’s like he’s still trying to have the presidency he was hoping for instead of the one he got.
The market is up today but health care stocks are down. Financials are down. And most of the talk on trading floors is about fear of Obama’s agenda.
“If Obama wants to touch it, sell it,” one equities trader at a large investment bank told us last night.
Charles Krauthammer raised this point a couple of nights ago on Fox News.
The Obama administration has made [healthcare] a central issue. You heard about it in his address to the joint session of Congress, prominent in the budget. He’s going to have a healthcare summit at the White House on Thursday.
What’s odd to me is that the economic system, the economy of the country, and the financial sector is essentially on fire.
And what he is doing, and he did this in his speech he made, is to pretend that the reason for our economic difficulties today is deficiencies in health, education, and energy over the years and neglect of those, and that he is going to cure our problem by nationalizing health care, cap and trade on energy and by federalizing education.
This is a complete non-sequitur. You may want to do energy education and health, but this is not the cause of our problem. It isn’t the cure of our problem. And the fact that he is putting all this energy on this and doing nothing on financials is scaring the markets.