Stock Market

Sketchy Senate Stock Sales


cjones03262020

Insider trading is trading in the stock market on confidential information. It’s not just frowned upon or a no-no. It’s illegal.  It’s especially worse when done by elected officials because they’re supposed to use classified information to help the country, not help themselves.

Several senators are being accused of insider trading after dumping stocks before the coronavirus pandemic. Each senator’s defense has been, “I didn’t do it while I was doing it.” Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina is the worst offender.

Burr dumped holdings worth between $628,000 and $1.7 million in 33 separate transactions on February  13, around the same time he, as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was receiving daily briefings on the coronavirus, and after he publicly projected, in an Op-Ed for Fox News, confidence in the economy and the nation’s response to the virus. Nothing to worry about folks as he rushes to the bank to withdraw all his money. What Burr did was basically sell everything he owned. He sold, sold, sold, and didn’t buy any stocks to replace them.

Burr has denied any wrongdoing and stated he based his decisions on public news reports. How does that work? You pretend to forget what you learned from classified briefings and only retain what Wolf Blitzer told you? Keep in mind, Burr is a Republican so he totally expects people to believe grade-A bullshit.

Burr has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to conduct a review of the transaction to prove his innocence. Maybe before he unloaded a bunch of stocks right after being briefed on an incoming pandemic, he should have asked himself, “Is this something that would be investigated?”

Kelly Loeffler is a Republican senator from Georgia. She sold off between $1.3 million and $3.1 million worth of stock she owned with her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who just so happens to be chair of the New York Stock Exchange. She started selling her shit the same day, January 24, the Senate Health Committee, of which she’s a member of, hosted briefing on the coronavirus. Loeffler made 29 equities transactions, 27 were sales. One of her two purchases was a company called Citrix, which makes teleworking software, a product now in high demand. Hmmm….a senator who’s married to the Chair of the New Stock Exchange dumping stocks after classified briefings…sure. Nothing smells here.

Loeffler claims all stock decisions are not made by her or her husband, but by a third party, which many say is a blind trust. There really isn’t anything to stop someone who has a blind trust from interjecting themselves to make decisions. When politicians says they have a blind trust, all they have is their word that they’re not involved. Donald Trump’s “blind trust” is operated by his two idiot sons. If you believe Donald Trump doesn’t receive updates or still makes business decisions, then I have a bankrupted Atlantic City casino I’d like to sell you.

Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, sold $750,000 worth of stock. He said it was related to a “continuing divestiture plan.” Whatever.

California Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein, who is the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sold off millions in stocks. She said all those decisions were made by her husband without her input.

It’s hard to pin insider trading on members of Congress, but it does happen. Recently, Republican Chris Collins, who was a congressman from New York, was sentenced to 23 months for insider trading.

Burr’s actions have infuriated Democrats and Republicans. Tucker Carlson has demanded his resignation, apparently confident that a Republican would win his seat in a special election in North Carolina. Tucker’s motives aren’t really that pure. He’s still upset that Burr signed off on a subpoena for Donald Trump Jr. to testify about that Trump Tower meeting with Russians. But, despite Tucker believing Burr should resign, Burr should resign.

Even if there’s nothing shady going on here, it doesn’t look good for senators to be dumping stocks right before a pandemic hits, causing a recession and forcing millions to lose their jobs. And to fully understand it better, you need to see what was sold off, what was bought, and the timing. Are Senators dumping stock in cruise lines and hotels? Are they making purchases in medicine and communication? And while we’re on the subject, is Donald Trump going to get a bailout for his bedbug hotels?

A much simpler way to deal with members of Congress and stocks is to pass legislation Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced in 2018 that would prohibit them from owning individual stocks. In a speech at the time, Warren said, “They can put their savings in conflict-free investments like mutual funds, or they can pick a different line of work.”

Would that pass? Hell no. We have a Senate run by Republicans who won’t demand that Donald Trump sell off his businesses. Remember, Jimmy Carter sold his peanut farm when he became president. Despite it being illegal to profit from the office, the Senate and the Justice Department refuse to stop Donald Trump from violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause. Donald Trump isn’t just taking money from foreign governments on the sly, he announced plans to do so with his Miami resort for the G7 Summit before backing off after much criticism.

Trump’s Doral club being the best location for an international summit of world leaders is about as much of a coincidence as these senators selling stocks after classified briefings.

I agree with Senator Warren that they should all find a different line of work. I’m thinking as workers in a prison cafeteria.

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This pandemic is hitting everyone, including your favorite goofy cartoonist. I have lost clients and I’m afraid I might lose more. The PayPal button has always been included here for those who can and want to voluntarily support what I do. I understand this time is hard on everyone. If you can’t, don’t contribute. Take care of yourself and your family first.

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Jump For Trump


cjones03212020

Yesterday, Donald Trump gave another press conference on the coronavirus. This time, he tried to appear more somber and adultlike. He even said the media was doing a good job. Then, the stock market dropped nearly 3,000 points, which was the market’s worse day since Black Monday in 1987.

And there’s no wonder why the market keeps going up and down. Sunday, Donald Trump said he had the virus under control. On Monday, he admitted he didn’t. Then, he said this crisis could last until July or August. He even said we could be headed to a recession. All of this after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to zero, which means they can’t go any lower.

The stock market’s going to do what it’s going to do. It’s really hard for a president to control it, but when a president demonstrates he doesn’t have a clue about anything, especially during a worldwide crisis, the market is affected.

Stores are closing. Restaurants are either closed or only offering takeout. Sporting events and conventions are being canceled or rescheduled. Primaries are being postponed. People are losing money. Donald Trump is turning into Herbert Hoover…but with less ethics, intelligence, and ability.

Senator Mitt Romney has floated the idea of giving every American $1,000 which is probably the best idea a Republican has proposed since Eisenhower proposed the interstate. And this idea was stolen from a Democrat, though watered down. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang ran on a campaign of giving every American taxpayer $1,000 a month. Right now, that sounds like a great idea and it might go farther for the nation and holding up the economy than bailouts of banks, airlines, and cruise lines. Mitt’s idea is receiving a lot of interest from members in both parties.

Even casinos are asking Congress for a bailout which doesn’t excite me. First off, this is an industry where people give it money for nothing in return. Secondly, Donald Trump’s casinos got a bailout from his daddy and he still drove them into the ground. Now, casinos are asking for help from the guy who bankrupts casinos. Why is the stock market falling under Trump’s leadership again?

Donald Trump needs to shut up. The governors of this nation, Democrats and Republicans, have taken the lead. He needs to give them what they ask for, instead of telling them to go find respirators on their own, and get out of their way. He needs to rubber-stamp whatever Congress sends him to combat this crisis and get out of the way. He needs to listen to the health experts at the CDC and the economic experts at the Fed, give them what they want, and get out of their way.

If Donald Trump gave a statement that he’s going to stop pretending to be in charge, admit he doesn’t know fuck from fuck, and from now on he’s just going to give what’s asked for and then get out of the way, the market would probably skyrocket. Even if he said, “I’ll be at Mar-a-Lago playing golf. You guys handle this,” it wouldn’t hurt Wall Street any more than his actions and statements already have.

That’s not going to happen (he’ll still play golf, of course) so at the very least, he should just shut the fuck up.

Maybe it was shits and giggles for a lot of people to have a racist toddler gameshow host with brain worms in charge for a few years, but now we need an adult in the White House. Since we don’t have one, Donald Trump needs to shut up and get out of the way.

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Stocking Stuffer


cjones12302018

Here’s a Christmas day cartoon for you that doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas.

Since taking office, Trump has boasted about the performance of the stock market, ignoring it was a trend that began under President Obama. Now that it’s crashing, the only thing Trump has to figure out is how to blame Obama.

Is it Trump’s fault that the market keeps going down? Maybe not entirely, but he’s not helping. Some of the blame does land squarely on his shoulders.

He’s enacted a trade war, increased tariffs (which are taxes), increased the deficit and shut down the government over a petty issue for the sake of his ego. Wall Street is also uneasy by chaos within Trump’s staff as the market slid further with the resignation of the last adult in the administration. Trump’s tweets demonstrating his confusion, inability to understand simple and complex matters and tirades don’t help calm jittery nerves on Wall Street. Yesterday, he tweeted that the Fed didn’t have “a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders.” Maybe Wall Street freaked out over his use of capitalization.

Wall Street probably saw the video of Trump stating that he’d proudly shut down the government and wouldn’t blame Democrats, so I’m sure they understand this is a Trump shutdown. Stocks fell even further after Trump’s tweets.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin sent a tweet that was supposed to calm Wall Street but had more of an effect of everybody walk out of the theater calmly and don’t worry about the bomb that will explode any second now.

Mnuchin said he had contacted the chief executives of six major banks to ensure that their operations were running smoothly and that they had “ample liquidity available for lending.”

Analysts and economists have not cited a lack of cash for lending as a significant reason for the downturn, but after Mnuchin’s tweet, now they’re kinda freaking out about it. It’s like waking up your kids at 4:00 am to assure them the bank isn’t about to repossess the house, now go back to sleep. Mnuchin just made the stocks fall even faster.

Despite Trump’s best efforts, the economy is still in good shape. The nation’s faith in the economy isn’t based on Trump’s job performance. What would probably help the stock market the most would be if Trump and his cabinet of idiots would stop talking. Go to the movies or something. Just ignore the stock market and the economy. The least Trump does the better.

Trump has complained about bias against him from Congress, the media, celebrities, and even complained about laws that allow Saturday Night Live to make fun of him. But the thing is if everybody hates you maybe it’s not just them. Maybe you truly are an asshole. Maybe you do suck at your job. Maybe you are a horrible person. When you tweet out on Christmas Eve that you’re all alone and write “poor me,” don’t expect a ton of sympathy. Especially from anyone who has a 401K, or had one before last week.

Kurt Cobain wrote in Territorial Pissings, “Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you.” There are plenty of people after Trump, but the laughter he’s hearing at his expense isn’t just his imagination either.

What Donald Trump hasn’t realized yet is the reason so much is going wrong is because he’s a lousy president.

Oh, and Merry Christmas.

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What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
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Stock Market Panic Attack


cjones08252015

I was originally going to draw a cartoon with two guys on a ledge. One because of Wall Street and the other because of Ashley Madison. I’m not entirely sure I went with the right idea.

I decided to draw this one because, even though cartoons exaggerate, I think it’s a bit of a stretch that anyone’s about to kill themselves over it. There have been a few reports that some people have killed themselves over being exposed by the Ashley Madison thing. So I figured I should go with the husband/wife idea.