Why Biden has been silent on the stock market

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Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman joins the Live show to discuss President Biden’s silence on the stock market.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: President Biden has had a lot to say about the state of the US economy, but one thing he has been relatively quiet on– stocks. Yahoo Finance senior columnist Rick Newman joins us for this week in Bidenomics. And Rick, no tweets from the president on stocks.

RICK NEWMAN: No tweets, no nothing. He really has nothing to say about the stock market. He’s been talking a lot about the economy. He clearly is trying to send a message to voters. He knows inflation is too high. He knows gas prices are too high. He feels everybody’s pain. But he has not expressed, really, any sympathy at all for stock market investors.

And if you go back to his– look at what he said about the stock market during his entire presidency, about 18 months so far. He really has never said anything about the stock market. He mentioned it one time last September. And he said, you’ll notice I have never said a word about the stock market. Then he said a word about the stock market. He pointed out it was up 17% since he had taken office. Of course, it has turned around lately, with both the S&P and the NASDAQ in a bear market.

So the White House has been getting questions about this. Is President Biden aware of what’s happening in the stock market? What does he think? And basically, the spokespeople have said he’s aware of what’s happening the stock market, but he doesn’t consider the stock market to represent the overall economy. And I found one clue to his thinking in this interview he gave to the Associated Press yesterday. He talked about the Trump administration.

And he said one of his frustrations about the Trump administration was that– and this is a quote– everything was constructed and built and arranged in order for the top 1% to 3% of the population to do very well. Everything else seemed to be an afterthought. So that suggests Biden doesn’t want to express a lot of sympathy for investors losing money in the stock market because he considers them to be wealthy people. And he wants to focus more on lower income and middle class people.

BRAD SMITH: I guess the natural thought would be– we have to consider and take into account here the number of new investors that have entered into the stock markets over the past year and change, whether that be because of the meme stock frenzy, whether that be because of some of the stock splits, making big companies household names, Tesla, Apple, Google, even, more accessible to some of those investors, even as we’re waiting for some of these new stock splits to still take effect. Should the White House have a more conservative strategy around this from this point forward?

RICK NEWMAN: So you’re talking about speculators, I think, more than what you might call long-term investors. And you could also toss crypto investors or crypto speculators into that group. They’re obviously taking a beating as well. But I think even more broadly than that, Brad, I mean, you know, like, half of Americans own stocks, and they’re not– most of them are not speculating. Most of that is retirement savings. That’s 401(k) plans.

And it starts to seem a little mysterious that Biden doesn’t acknowledge that people’s nest eggs, I mean, their retirement accounts, are actually losing value. I mean, a lot of people who have retirement accounts also own home. And that asset is actually doing very well. That has appreciated by a lot.

But in terms of the wealth effect, people do look at their investment accounts and their retirement accounts. And no one likes to see negative numbers in your retirement account. So I think that is probably contributing to this gloom and some of these terrible confidence numbers that we’re hearing about. So I think it would make sense for Biden to address this at some point.

BRAD SMITH: Yahoo Finance’s own Rick Newman joining us now to break down everything– or joining us to break down everything Bidenomics. Rick, we appreciate the time here.

RICK NEWMAN: Bye, guys.

BRAD SMITH: See you.