The Stock Market Crashed Today. Thanks Donald!

For reasons that are a mystery to everyone, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called up the country’s six biggest banks on Sunday and asked them if their liquidity was OK. Everybody was a bit nonplussed by this, but they said sure, everything’s fine. Any particular reason you’re asking?

Well, no, apparently there wasn’t any particular reason Mnuchin was asking about this, but it sure got everybody curious. Is there a problem with bank liquidity? Does the Treasury know something the rest of us don’t? What’s going on?

No one knows. The best theory seems to be that President Trump is enraged that the stock market is down, so he ordered Mnuchin to call all the banks and then issue an assurance that everything was hunky dory. That should calm the markets, right? As you can see, it had precisely the opposite effect:

The S&P 500 fell about 3 percent today and has now lost nearly all of its gains since Trump was inaugurated. Nice work, Donald! You really understand financial markets better than anyone.

Of course, this cannot be allowed to be Trump’s fault, which means it must be Mnuchin’s fault. How long will it be before the axe starts to fall on his old pal?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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