Be Very Scared for Your 401(k) Right Now

The stock markets tank as Trump’s lead in the presidential race grows.


As Donald Trump’s lead in the presidential race held steady late into election night, global markets reacted just as financial analysts had predicted they would: with a severe downward slide. The dollar, the Mexican peso, and crude oil all fell drastically, and market indexes like the Dow, the Nasdaq, and the S&P 500—which provide a summary of a market’s health by tracking top stocks—also plummeted.

Investors have long been concerned by what they see as Trump’s volatility on key issues that could affect trade and the economy. Trump has threatened to take apart trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership and to impose new tariffs on imports—all actions that could slow down economic growth around the world.

In a New York Times op-ed published early Wednesday morning, with the election still not decided, economist Paul Krugman went so far as to predict that, should Trump be elected president, the global economy could fall into a recession.

“Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news. What makes it especially bad right now, however, is the fundamentally fragile state much of the world is still in, 8 years after the great financial crisis,” Krugman wrote. “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

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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