It’s all-crazy and all coronavirus today on the Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they go through the three key points from President Trump’s Oval Office address that were not consistent with administration policy and needed later clarification. They also dive into the rapidly growing list of college and professional sports events being cancelled or radically altered, most prominently the NBA suspending its season after Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert tests positive for coronavirus. Finally, they comment on movie star Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson testing positive in Australia while feeling slightly under the weather and wonder how much patience Americans will have for a long-term quarantine when many patients don’t feel that crummy and a lot of economic livelihoods are on the line.
After a brief discussion of the media and the markets and convenient coronavirus excuses, we dive into Wednesday’s Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they are gratified to see convicted rapist and former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison. They also discuss what this episode says about our justice system. They also have different reactions to South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn suggesting Joe Biden’s big wins on Tuesday suggest the Democratic National Committee should “shut this primary down” and “cancel the rest of these debates.” And they get a kick out of the writer for “The Atlantic” who feels betrayed because her husband voted for Bernie Sanders for strategic reasons in the California primary while she stuck with Elizabeth Warren.
For the past couple of weeks, Wall Street has looked like a roller coaster. And while there have been days of big gains, the Dow Jones has dropped more than 4,000 points as of Tuesday’s close. Monday witnessed the worst losses since the 2008 financial crisis.
Concerns over coronavirus are attracting the most attention but upheaval in the oil market and record-low yields in the bond market also have investors jittery.
Wall Street hates uncertainty but a top economist says the wild fluctuations we’ve seen recently are a major overreaction.
“I just believe that the markets have panicked,” said Brian Wesbury, chief economist at First Trust Advisors in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also a former chief economist for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.
“Our models suggest right now that investors…are pricing in a 50-80 percent drop in corporate profits in America. I think that’s a panic. That’s too much.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t go down from here, but it does mean that once this passes, we will snap back, I think, very quickly,” said Wesbury, noting that all previous outbreaks ran out of steam when the weather turned warmer.
Wesbury does think the volatility could last until May or perhaps longer and that oil prices and the bond market add to the uncertainty.
But while acknowledging that plummeting oil prices are a nightmare for debt-ridden fracking companies, Wesbury explains why he thinks this could lead to a much more stable industry in the long run.
Finally, Wesbury tells Greg Corombos whether the government ought to intervene to ease the economic pain of the coronavirus or whether the markets should sort themselves out.
Things are a bit more subdued Tuesday after Monday’s Wall Street carnage. So join Jim and Greg as they get a kick out experts having to spend time telling people not to snort cocaine or drink bleach to prevent coronavirus, no matter what they see on social media. As for the actual martinis, they actually applaud California Gov. Gavin Newsom for being one of the few Democratic governors to discuss the extensive cooperation he’s getting from the Trump administration and refusing to entertain media efforts to get him to slam Trump. Jim and Greg also assess Joe Biden’s dust up with an auto worker over the second amendment – from the facts to his verbal flubs to his insults. And they marvel that less than two weeks after Joe Biden was a political afterthought, few people are glued to today’s six presidential contests because a Biden nomination is a foregone conclusion.
There’s not a lot of good news Monday, so let’s just tackle the bad stuff on Three Martini Lunch. Join Jim and Greg as they react to the massive Wall Street sell-off as investors are spooked by coronavirus, oil prices, and the bond market, and once again they call out irresponsible figures either whipping up panic or openly cheering for the virus to spell Donald Trump’s political doom. They also wince a bit as Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock launches a challenge to GOP Sen. Steve Daines, adding another race where Republicans will have to work hard to keep a seat. And they react to the news that a CPAC attendee has tested positive for coronavirus, prompting Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar to self-quarantine themselves after interacting with that person.
The U.S. economy keeps humming along, boosted on Friday by much stronger February job growth than expected, but with the markets in turmoil over the coronavirus, what will the economic impact be in the weeks and months to come?
On Friday, the Labor Department released the February jobs report, showing 273,000 new hires, nearly 100,000 more than Wall Street analysts anticipated. Hiring was strong across most sectors and the unemployment rate once again dipped to a roughly 50-year low of 3.5 percent.
What is driving this continued hiring and economic growth? Supporters of President Trump or his policies point to tax cuts and regulatory reductions as spurring business owners to add personnel or expand operations, but how exactly do those policies do that?
Heritage Foundation economist Joel Griffith shares those answers with Radio America’s Greg Corombos. Griffith also explains why the markets are wildly fluctuating in response to the coronavoirus threat, which policies make the most sense in response, and why the Federal Reserve was wrong to institute an unscheduled interest rate cut this week.
Listen here for the full podcast.
There are no good martinis but it’s still a Super Tuesday on the Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they discuss Joe Biden vowing that he wants Beto O’Rourke to be leading the charge on the gun issue – meaning Biden appears on board with Beto’s gun confiscation agenda. They also walk through the sudden departure of longtime MSNBC host Chris Matthews and how his “retirement” is part #MeToo and partly because of his politics. And they remind former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile of some very inconvenient facts after Brazile angrily told RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to “go to hell” for suggesting the Democratic nominating process was rigged against Bernie Sanders.
It’s an all-crazy Thursday on the Three Martini Lunch! Join Jim and Greg as they get a kick out of Democratic presidential hopefuls already explaining why they’re going to keep running regardless of how badly they do in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday. They also shake their heads as the mainstream media all suddenly make the coronavirus a political issue to hammer the Trump administration. And they wince as the Trump campaign urges South Carolina Republicans to cross over and support Bernie Sanders in Saturday’s Democratic primary.
In her new book, “Revolution,” former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland details how the FBI and the Mueller team hounded her, tried to trap her into a perjury charge, caused mental anguish, and put her family in financial distress all in hopes of incriminating figures in the Trump administration.
Steeped in that traumatic experience, McFarland explains what it’s like to be in the FBI cross hairs and how she avoided criminal charges while keeping her integrity.
McFarland also says her story is a small example of the massive battle raging between an increasingly powerful administrative state and the people through their elected leaders.
She takes us inside one of her first meetings at the National Security Council as staffers simply had no interest in shifting policy from the Obama era to pursue the Trump agenda. And McFarland responds to allegations that Trump has been soft on Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular.
Listen to the full podcast, as McFarland tells Greg Corombos about the scope of the problem and how the people can win.
Pull up a stool! There’s lots to discuss following Tuesday’s poorly run debate in South Carolina. First, Jim and Greg discuss how CBS allowed the debate to descend into an incoherent mess with multiple candidates talking over one another on multiple occasions, but they also highlight Elizabeth Warren’s latest howitzer aimed at Mike Bloomberg, Joe Biden’s latest statistical fiction, and Pete Buttigieg’s attempt to claim the anti-socialist high ground. In addition, they slam the Charleston Democratic Party for charging outrageous prices for tickets to the debate. And they analyze Sanders’ decision to leave South Carolina early in order to campaign for two days in Elizabeth Warren’s home state of Massachusetts, which votes on Super Tuesday.