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Important aspect of ABC News Mike Flynn debacle is market tumble at prospect of Trump political danger

Important aspect of ABC News Mike Flynn debacle is market tumble at prospect of Trump political danger

Don’t underestimate the political implications of the economic optimism Trump inspires.

Do not trust anti-Trump mainstream media reports based on anonymous sources. That’s something we have learned time and again as the motive and pressure to generate headlines on supposed Russia campaign collusion is enormous.

It’s not just a matter of bad faith, although there’s plenty of that. It’s competition, and the desire to break news that will dominate news cycles.

Yesterday it was announced that Michael Flynn was pleading guilty to a single charge that he lied to the FBI about meetings with the Russian ambassador in late December 2016. That meeting and those discussions were not themselves illegal, and interacting with foreign officials in the weeks before a transition of power is routine. In fact, it would be negligent not to prepare the foreign policy ground in advance of an inauguration.

So the Flynn guilty plea, in itself, was newsworthy, but didn’t seem to implicate the entire supposed purpose of the Mueller investigation, Russian interference in the election and supposed collusion with the Trump campaign. In order to prove that collusion, which wouldn’t be illegal but would be politically damaging, you need to show Trump himself or someone high in the campaign directing improper contacts with the Russians during the campaign.

There is no evidence of collusion so far.

But Brian Ross of ABC News broke a bombshell in connection with the Flynn plea, that an unnamed source told ABC News that Flynn was prepared to testify that Trump himself told Flynn to contact the Russians during the campaign. That news, that Flynn supposedly would implicate Trump himself and the campaign in Russia collusion, dominated the headlines and news cycle more so than the Flynn guilty plea itself.

(added) The View erupted in cheers at the ABC News report:

Markets instantaneously tumbled at the prospect that that the Flynn cooperation deal meant Trump himself might be implicated. It was not the Flynn plea itself that caused the problem, but the ABC News report. The market recovered when the ABC News report was cast into doubt.

But the ABC News report wasn’t true. ABC was called out by other reporters, particularly Oliver Darcy of CNN, for inconsistencies in its reporting.

After being hounded, ABC News several hours later issued a “clarification”:

ABC News was lambasted for calling it a “clarification” instead of a correction or retraction.

So eventually ABC News issued it as a “correction”:

Ross has a history of mistakes in reporting, including the infamous report on supposed Tea Party involvement in the Aurora, CO, movie theater shooting in 2012. But the mainstream media and anti-Trump punditry were willing to believe his thinly sourced (at best) report implicating Trump.

So one lesson of this ABC News debacle is not to trust the media.

A second lesson is to try to understand why the markets would react so negatively to any evidence (real or perceived) that Trump himself might be implicated in campaign collusion. The investing community believes that Trump will be good for the economy and businesses, and that is good for investors.

Don’t underestimate the political implications of the economic optimism Trump inspires.


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I must admit, I almost overdosed on schadenfreude last night.

Well doesn’t that just change the ENTIRE narrative?

Aw, c’mon, Prof….!!!

If President XYZ apparently was about to get impeached and removed from office, the markets would go bonkers for a while, regardless of whether they thought Pres. XYZ was good, bad, or indifferent on economics.

Businesses DON’T particularly like the Bernie Sander’s trade policy of T-rump. Would YOU be putting your money in investments involving international trade right now?

    GeorgeCrosley in reply to Ragspierre. | December 2, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Who’s Bernie Sander?

      We found Bernie Sander:

      Bernard Sander
      Bielefeld Area, GermanyRenewables & Environment
      Nancy Area, FranceAutomotive
      Current retraité at Allied Signal, retraité at Allied Signal

      Bernie Sander
      Region 4 Director-Elect 2015-2016
      Greater Chicago AreaComputer Software
      Current Region 4 Treasurer at IEEE
      Past Region 4 Treasurer at IEEE, Chicago Section Chair at IEEE, Technical Manager at Bell Laboratories
      Education Washington University in St. Louis, California Institute of Technology

      Bernie Sander
      Owner, Innovation Transfer
      Ottawa, Canada AreaManagement Consulting
      Current Owner at Innovation Transfer

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 2, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Anybody got a non-assholic response to the questions?

      Petrushka in reply to Ragspierre. | December 2, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      The markets would recover because Pence would be the replacement, and there would be money in construction to replace the cratered CIA building.

      Icepilot in reply to Ragspierre. | December 2, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      “If President XYZ apparently was about to get impeached and removed from office …”

      I’m pretty sure that responses to your question would be less “assholic” if you presented a scenario that touched upon reality, vice a fevered dream.

      When’s that impeachment vote again?

        Ragspierre in reply to Icepilot. | December 2, 2017 at 3:56 pm

        Markets move on perceptions.

        The whole point of this thread is the movement caused by one false story.

        I’m dealing with reality. You’re the one with a “fever”.

          Icepilot in reply to Ragspierre. | December 2, 2017 at 4:28 pm

          Yet you’re the one who asked the “non-assholic” question.
          The whole point of my response was to provide one. Was it not “non-assholic” enough for you?

          And again, does your reality provide a suggested date for that impeachment vote?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 2, 2017 at 4:37 pm

          But you never attempted an answer to my question.

          “Would YOU be putting your money in investments involving international trade right now?”

          Instead, you asked the stupid, deflecting question about a vote on impeachment. Of course there is none. But markets, as demonstrated, don’t wait on such events.

          Do they?

          No one is answering because your question is stupid, Rags.

          Why not put your keen legal brain to work on why it’s stupid?

          Would I, personally, with all my two dollars to spare be investing in anything related to Wall Street? Dude. I’m not the right person to ask.

          Personally, I think the reliance on Wall Street indicators is unreliable. Wall Street booms while the American middle class sinks into a mire of taxation and regulation.

          The point the prof was making is that the exalted economists from Krugman to Piketty claimed that a Trump win would sink the market for all time. They were wrong. And they weren’t just wrong, they were spectacularly proven to be partisan hacks.

          Look, I get it, you hate Trump. Here’s the thing: name one thing that a President Hillary Clinton would have done in her first year that you approve. One. Thing. By now, we’d have a leftist Supreme Court for the foreseeable future, we’d be mired in debt as we raise taxes to pay for universal health care, and we’d be kissing our military and global leadership good-bye. We’d be disarming as Iran arms, we’d be trumpeting the wonders of Russian communism, and we’d be working to ensure that all American jobs are shipped overseas post-haste as our new and transparent open borders policies took shape.

          You can dislike Trump all day long, but as a true conservative, and I believe you are, you can’t possibly think a Hillary presidency would be a good thing.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | December 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm

          It isn’t stupid, Fussy. It’s SO NOT stupid, you can’t answer it honestly.

          And you won’t try. Instead, you’re just being a super-troll.


      Yes: who is bernie sander?

    Let’s look at the position of the US in international trade, shall we?

    First, the US accounts for over 27% of the world market for consumer goods, both light and heavy. 27%. That is over 3 times the next highest consumer nation, China, at 8%. And, at the moment, a very significant percentage of the consumer goods, purchased in the US, are imported. Now, what happens when those goods are replaced by domestically produced goods?

    Then we have foreign markets for US goods. Nothing much changes there. No single nation can provide compensation for US imports by domestically manufactured goods. A regional trade agreement might be reached, or even wide area trade agreements. But, this makes things much more complicated for consumers than continuing to buy from the US would. So, in international trade, shifting from foreign imports to domestic production makes a lot of sense for US businesses.

    Now, you are correct that market reductions occur whenever there is potential instability. Business runs so much smoother when conditions are stable. So, any news that suggests a President’s position may be at risk, possibly leading to government instability, the market will go down. But, the market closed down a mere 40 points and still above 24,000 [24,231].

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | December 2, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      “So, in international trade, shifting from foreign imports to domestic production makes a lot of sense for US businesses.”

      The farcical falsity of that bullshit is proven by the choices people make when left FREE to choose.

Hoping, praying or asking ABC News to act responsible is akin to asking me not to eat the last Chicken Taco the wife made. Ain’t happening!

Don’t underestimate the political implications of the economic optimism Trump inspires.

And when the drive-by media figure out that their fake news can hurt President Trump by hurting the economy (and thus, the voters), don’t think for a minute they’d have any hesitation in spewing more lies to do just that. Their ‘concern for the working class’ is as fake as their ‘news’.

BTW, the fact Brian Ross still has a job pretty much proves you don’t need scruples to work for the MSM.

    rabidfox in reply to rinardman. | December 2, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    The media has been pushing the ‘financial bubble is going to burst any DAY now’ ever since it became apparent that the Stock Market likes Trump’s economic initiatives.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to rabidfox. | December 4, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      New York Federal Reserve once again ups their estimate of 4th Quarter growth to almost 4%.

      Probably will be higher than 4% imo.

Brian Ross, the award winning fabulist, can now add a stock market crash to the growing list of damages to wealth and reputation arising from his reporting malpractice. He is the reporter who appears to have done all he could to keep the Rajiv Fernando-Hillary Clinton money for access scandal UNREPORTED for at least 5 years. He had to release the story in 2016 when his 2011 email inquiries to the State Department were revealed in a Freedom of Information lawsuit.

regulus arcturus | December 2, 2017 at 12:57 pm

This was beyond sloppy reporting.

I would check the investment accounts of all ABC News (lol) executives prior to their fake story.

Knowing that such a story would have market impact, I would not be surprised to learn that ABC executives either sold their holdings or went short before their deliberately false story hit.

If we are going to have concepts such as insider trading laws, then we also need to have media trading laws, equally as punishing as those which destroyed Bernie Madoff.

    That was my first thought as well. Sell short just before the bad report, cash in one hour later, go long just before the retraction of the false report is issued.

    A fellow could make a heck of a lot of money in just one day that way.

      I usually have FBN on for “background noise” and they were stumped by the sudden drop, until they were told about the ABC report. When the market started going back up, they were all suggesting that the market professionals were looking at specific stocks, knew that the fundamentals were good, and started buying the deals.

      If the MSM tries that trick again, I suspect that a lot more people will quickly evaluate the news report and then start looking for the new bargains.

      Monday will be an interesting market day.

        notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Liz. | December 4, 2017 at 1:30 pm

        That in effect, was the Stock Markets calling the entire MSM Fake News.

    If your guess is correct, they could have committed insider trading:

Maybe it also shows investors in NY and Chicago are not savvy news watchers. Why wouldn’t you verify breaking news? It’s rarely ever actually news, just Democrat wishes on display.

Just $1,000 buys you my proprietary trading strategy guaranteed to rake in the money.

Chock-full of secret winning tips, such as:

Always watch The View for breaking fake news confirmation signals before shorting the market.

The more I think about this the more this strikes me as yet another instance where the media was more concerned with rushing to print something they thought was damaging to the President than they were concerned with printing the truth.

Had they bothered to check the validity of their sources original claim then they would have known there was no truth to it and of course that then guts the entirety of their narrative and gives them absolutely nothing to use as ammo against the President.

Reporting the truth was never the objective to start with. Their, and indeed pretty much all the media’s, objective was to get the President and the original version of the story they printed was exactly the ammo they, and the left, wanted.

As we now know they have had to print a grovelling retraction that just a little bit if journalistic integrity would have allowed them to avoid in the first place.

The end result of all this is that it’s the media’s reputation that takes yet another pummelling while achievi0ng the exact opposite of what they had intended for the President!

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to mailman. | December 4, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    RE: “Reporting the truth was never the objective to start with.”

    and it never has been………

Clear evidence that Democrats / the media would celebrate the destruction of economic prosperity in the country, all for them to regain power. Democrats are a threat to the country’s well being and should be rejected at every electable level.

99% of Liberals get their legal opinions from the Law Offices of Behar & Goldberg, LLC.

The suggestion that someone should check ABC insiders’ stock positions before the false report is an interesting one. In addition, does anyone know whether ABC might be in any way liable for the market losses? I suppose that’s a stretch, but if I’d put in a trade right before that false report and taken a financial bath I’d be very unhappy.

    regulus arcturus in reply to tarheelkate. | December 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    There are no current rules governing potentially market moving news stories which are later found to be either inaccurate or false.

    A very expansive reading of Reg FD could potentially be used here, but it speaks to company disclosures and research, not news orgs.

    The primary damage caused by this false reporting was to investors who had GTC trailing stops in place, and when the market dropped significantly during release of the inaccurate story, those stops were triggered, causing them to sell their positions. The market later recovered, but if you wanted to get back in around your stop levels, you only had a very short window to do so.

    Unless your broker-dealer is accommodating (haven’t heard of any), there is currently no recourse for events like this.

      “…there is currently no recourse for events like this.”

      There is if there is intent:

      “Manipulation is intentional conduct designed to deceive investors by controlling or artificially affecting the market for a security. Manipulation can involve a number of techniques to affect the supply of, or demand for, a stock. They include: spreading false or misleading information about a company; improperly limiting the number of publicly-available shares; or rigging quotes, prices or trades to create a false or deceptive picture of the demand for a security. Those who engage in manipulation are subject to various civil and criminal sanctions.”

        regulus arcturus in reply to | December 2, 2017 at 9:26 pm

        Intent is extremely difficult to prove, especially in this case, unless you have a recorded conversation or emails.

        Events such as the 2010 Flash Crash brought to light the difficulties of reconstructing market events, and prosecuting manipulative behavior.

        In that case, exchanges did step in and make price adjustments, and multiple broker-dealers made customer accommodations as well.

        Market structure reforms to come out of that event include trading bands and halts.

    tarheelkate in reply to tarheelkate. | December 2, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks for these replies. I don’t think this kind of manipulation by ABC will be demonstrated — merely a willingness to believe the worst and believe what they hope is true.

Right, Ross has now been suspended for four weeks without pay. Someone needs to pass the word to the folks who oversee Shep Smith on FOX that his hour on Friday, utterly trashing Trump based on Ross’s false report, was worthy of suspension as well. Or even worthy of firing. He didn’t just repeat what Ross reported. He used Ross’s fake news as a clarion call, piled on and used the words lie, lies, liar and lying over and over again describing Trump and his senior administration – based entirely on the little bit of fake news that Ross had passed. It was disgusting.