With Election Day a memory, and his nomination and confirmation now done, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saw fit to tell an interesting story about fellow billionaire Carl Icahn.
Appearing on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” program on Friday, Ross recalled how he stayed at the president-elect’s victory party in Manhattan, but wisely, Icahn did not.
“At about 2 in the morning, when the futures market had collapsed, Carl left the party and started buying,” Ross said, asserting that Icahn made a billion dollars on the move.
Also last week, Icahn announced an agreement to sell the defunct Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, to a group of investors led by Hard Rock International. Icahn, a Trump “regulatory adviser,” is widely hailed for making a fortune trading in distressed assets.
After the election, uncertainty gave way to a measured giddiness in the stock market as the new president moved to lift regulations on banks imposed after the financial crisis, and other strictures, such as on financial advisers.
Not to mention those proposed tax cuts and visions of massive military and infrastructure-spending plans.
So it looks like those much-discussed members of the capitalist and corporate elites barely remember the GOP campaign ad demonizing Goldman Sachs in particular and the bitter “anti-establishment” rhetoric of the campaign.
And forget such things as Ross’s connections to the Bank of Cyprus, the president’s unresolved potential business conflicts, and his early targeting of big companies over outsourcing and high federal-contract prices.
In the past, presidents have shied away from claiming credit for jumps in the market out of concern they’d be blamed if it declined. Trump gave no sign of such concern last week.
The tweet: “Since November 8th, Election Day, the Stock Market has posted $3.2 trillion in GAINS and consumer confidence is at a 15 year high. Jobs!”
Even skeptics and bears see the up trends continuing. At least for the captains of industry, and those inside the fish-tank of high American finance, happy days seem to be here again. As long as the economy is gaining, none of the stakeholders are complaining.