Last night, the most mercurial and controversial American President in modern history gave his first address to a joint session of Congress. In the lead-up to his remarks, one would have been hard pressed to avoid the omnipresent media hot takesproclaiming in no uncertain terms that Wall Street was going to need some concrete policy details and perhaps a personality transplant to ensure that his post-election market rally didn't lose steam and turn into the beginnings of a crisis.
Like a wasted undergrad, Trump's administration has been bringing up a lot of topics about the future but failing to offer any real detail on any of them. Last night, popular opinion seemed unanimous that the new President would have to address his plans for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, his thoughts on gutting Dodd-Frank, and his bold grand vision for corporate tax reform. And there would need to be at least a handful of details on each to keep Wall Street acting with illogical delirium.
What we got was a speech that spent a lot of time on bland rhetoric, American pablum, a confusing new stance on immigration and a surprisingly long defense of school choice. On economic topics, Trump stayed characteristically super-vague on Obamacare and tax reform, gave lip service to a border adjustment tax, talked about how he's great at jobs and reminded Congress that he has a $1 trillion infrastructure pipe dream that it will never fund. Trump also managed to mention Dodd-Frank exactly zero times.
The most popular positive takeaway from Trump's speech last night is that he stuck to the TelePrompTer and avoided saying anything too painfully self-aggrandizing or patently false.
So, it was with heavy hearts and nervous stomachs that Wall Street awoke today, dreading the Opening Bell and the organic darkenss that would descend upon the markets after the Leader of the Free World deprived us all of the policy nuance that money needs to grow...
It's going to hurt, but let's all just peek at the American Carnage that was obviously first-half hour of trading on the Dow, you guys...
Was it the TelePrompTer?