Larry Kudlow Says We Are In No Way Gonna Have a Recession Soon
After years of Trump coasting on the economy he inherited from the Obama Administration, the Dow Jones fell more than 800 points last Wednesday. Economic indicators from Germany, Trump's trade wars with China and others, Trump tax cuts for the rich and an inverted yield curve (which historically has been a warning sign of an impending recession) are combining into a bad sign for the "successful" "businessman" who's hitched his wagon so close to the economy. So much so that it prompted the White House to send out their economic duo of Larry Kudlow and Peter Navarro to every single Sunday show.
Let's first focus on chief economic advisor and world's saddest Penguin cosplayer, Larry Kudlow.
On NBC's "Meet The Press," Chuck Todd cut right to the chase and Kudlow said the words you never want to hear from him:
TODD: Let me start with what you see from the White House. The private sector seems to be concerned about particularly the trade war with China, that there are some rough waters ahead, maybe a recession, that those odds have risen. What do you see?
KUDLOW: Well, I'll tell you what. I sure don't see a recession. [...]
This is the part where I show you this "Daily Show" clip if you have forgotten what Kudlow said JUST before the 2008 financial meltdown and recession:
Start at the 1:33 minute markwww.youtube.com
Kudlow then doubled down:
KUDLOW: No, I don't see a recession. And let me add just one theme, Chuck.
KUDLOW: Just one theme. We're doing pretty darn well in my judgment. Let's not be afraid of optimism. Let's not be afraid of optimism.
But then something very surprising happened:
TODD: Okay. You say that. But, you know, you actually said that in 2007 right before the second-worst downturn in American history. This is what you wrote. "There's no recession coming." This is in December of '07. "The pessimistas were wrong. It's not going to happen. The Bush boom is alive and well. It's finishing up its sixth consecutive year with more to come." The more to come was a massive downturn. So I admire your optimism, but the data is pointing in another direction.
Wait ... did ... did Chuck Todd just do a journalism?!! Holy shit! It seems Todd decided to follow his beard's example, and fully commit. Don't know how long it'll last, but let's enjoy this brief moment.
Todd tried to give Kudlow the tiniest sliver of space to get out with his dignity, but Kudlow as always had to ruin it:
TODD: You weren't alone.
KUDLOW: They're all there. However, just a wee bit of Kudlow defense now. By February and March on, CNBC in those days, I did go to the recession call. So I will plead that I did see it. I don't know that anybody saw that kind of crash.
Oh really? You made the "brave" call that we were in a recession MONTHS after we were already in it. What great foresight you had. Heck of a job, Larry. Also what's this "I don't know anybody saw that kind of crash" horseshit? Not only did Paul Krugman literally warn about it to your face in 2005 (as shown above) but enough people saw it coming that they made a killing shorting the housing market.
Then Todd decided to quote Kudlow back to him about how tariffs work:
TODD: I want to turn to China. Right before you took the job with the president, you wrote the following. "Tariffs are really tax hikes. They have almost never worked as intended and have almost always delivered an unhappy ending." And I bring that quote back that you, and Arthur Laffer, and Stephen Moore wrote together. Again, March of '18. You took the job six weeks later. When you pulled back the tariffs earlier this week, delayed them 'til December, isn't that an acknowledgement that you're convincing the president that tariffs are tax hikes?
Todd was referring to
Trump recently delaying more tariffs on China to help consumers for "Christmas Season" after countless times saying tariffs wouldn't hurt American consumers.
Kudlow was so unconvincing that during the panel discussion, NBC News correspondent Carol Lee pointed out how bad he was trying to spin this obviously bad economic sign:
TODD: But this -- Larry Kudlow did not seem as reassuring that it was smooth sailing ahead.
LEE: No, he kept saying, "We need optimism. Everyone should be optimistic. There's not going to be any recession," but didn't really have a lot of concrete answers for how that's going to be avoided.
It was so bad even Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan was calling him out!
NOONAN: I noticed what Carol said. Three times Larry Kudlow said, "Let's not be afraid of optimism." He kept slamming away at that. He wanted that to be your takeaway. That makes me nervous. That sounds like a thing we've decided we're putting out there. It sounds like, "Prosperity is just around the corner." It sounds like one of those hollow things that they want out there on a headline. Boy, it's just looking a little unsteady I think economically. Perhaps people are having less confidence than they've had in the past two years.
Watch the interview yourself and see if YOU feel better:
Meanwhile over on CNN's "State of the Union," White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro tried a different tactic:
NAVARRO: So let's clear up this inverted yield curve thing. I didn't write the book on it, but I have written several books about the yield curve as a leading economic indicator. Technically, we did not have a yield curve inversion [...]
Seems Navarro is going with the Jedi mind trick "These are not the inverted yield curve you're looking for"; Jake Tapper then similarly called Navarro out for the tariffs delay.
TAPPER: But here's the thing. You and the administration keep on saying that the entire burden of these tariffs and this trade war is being borne by China.
NAVARRO: And that is absolutely true.
TAPPER: A study from researchers at Harvard, University of Chicago, the IMF, and the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston in May found that US importers are shouldering about 95 percent of the price change from the tariffs, and China is shouldering only 5 percent.
NAVARRO: See, that dog won't hunt. Let's do some math here, right? You put on 200 -- 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion.
TAPPER: Are you saying that their research is wrong?
NAVARRO: Hang on. Hang on. Just do some math with me -- $200 billion, we put on a 10 percent tariff, and China devalues their currency by 12 percent. [...] Are consumers bearing anything on that? No.
That makes sense, except we are subsidizing farmers and other so they don't notice the effects of the tariffs ... with China's money! So the people we are trying to negotiate with are also who we are borrowing from?! Great move fellas! Check the video below.
I suggest we all get better financial advisors. Have a week!
Diversify Your Bonds and Protect Ya' Neck!Giphy
Please never lose your jobs and stop sending us money. A future without Wonkette is NO FUTURE AT ALL.
Your friendly neighborhood Puerto Rican Political Freelance Writer for @wonkette. Pop Culture observer, Amateur Movie reviewer & Comics fan. Former Active Duty Marine. All opinions are mine only.