Wall Street

Vaxxing The Game


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Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (11 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

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Take That Wall Street


Are you having trouble understanding the Reddit/GameStop/Wall Street story. Look at it this way: If a bunch of Reddit users can figure it out, you can too…maybe.

I often see cartoonists cover an issue and I can tell from their cartoons that they didn’t really understand it. Usually, those people are conservative cartoonists. Just label something “socialism” and put a big frowny face on it or drawing a sinking ship and write “debt” on the bow. I know one cartoonist who’s been doing the “debt” thing for 30 years and his readers swear he’s a genius. But with this GameStop investment thing, I don’t fully understand it and I’ve seen cartoons on it where I can tell its creators don’t either. But you need to read beyond the headline or a Facebook meme….which is actually how this entire thing started.

A year ago, stock in GameStop traded for $4 a share. Last Thursday, it got as high as $483 before closing the day at $193.

GameStop is a brick and mortar company that specializes in video games, and like many others during the pandemic, it’s been struggling. It was already in trouble before the pandemic with online competition from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and other outlets. GameStop has closed 783 stores over the past two years. What do hedge fund people on Wall Street do when that happens? Do they swoop in to help the struggling business? HAHAHAHA. No. They bet against it. They bet the business is going to die. People on Wall Street don’t see people, their dreams, their investments, or what they spent their lives building. They see wagers to bet for or against. And that’s where the Reddit guys took them on.

I am the last person to explain how the stock market works. The extent of my experience with it is that I used to have a 401K where other people managed it and over the past year, I’ve been playing with an app where you buy pieces of a stock. So far, I’ve invested around $40 and today, I think my earnings add up to $8. I am no Jimmy Buffet…Warren Buffet? Doris Buffet? Either way, it’s all over my head. But, I’m going to try to lay this out the best I can. If I need to be corrected, you are free to do so in the comments.

First, here’s the gist: Amateur traders on Reddit beat professional hedge fund managers at their own game. The professional guys are out of a lot of money. The Reddit guys decided to go after the professionals on Wall Street, to stick a finger in their eyes and beat them at their own game, to beat them at their own system which they believe squeezes the little guy out.

It started with “short selling.” That’s when professional investors borrow shares of stock to sell and then buy back later so they can return them, which lets them pocket the profit if the stock price goes down. They’re basically bets that the company will fail. Understand it yet? Me neither. How do does someone borrow stocks? Is it like borrowing money? But I do understand that if the stock keeps rising, going against their bet, then the borrowers lose money.

This sounds like a system where the professional guys start playing the game without really investing anything. But if they bet wrong then they lose.

For example, these guys bet against Blockbuster (a company where I had a second job for a while) going down which I don’t think anyone at the time had to be a professional investor to see that company was going to destroy itself. Blockbuster had the business sense to reject an offer to purchase Netflix before that company took off. Duh! A lot of people made money when Blockbuster closed down. They did the same thing with my industry and William Buffett (oh, I know who he is), created his own chain out of newspapers he bought, said he loved newspapers so much, then ran them all into the ground, including my former employer. Since I left The Free Lance-Star, that company is on its FOURTH owner. Hey, Reddit, guys. I’m on your side.

So the professional hedge fund guys started betting against GameStop. If a stock rises after these short-selling managers buy it, then they buy more to cover their ass but they usually still lose money when they dump it. If it keeps rising, there are usually no more shares to purchase and they can lose millions. Thanks to these Reddit guys buying shares of a company that quite frankly, nobody shops at anymore, short sellers lost over $23 billion in January. Now, they’re targeting other companies like AMC movie theaters, which is suffering because people don’t go to movies anymore and they’re tired of spending $17 on popcorn. Now may be a good time to borrow stock of the Trump Organization. That company’s going down, baby. Have you seen the guy who runs it? He’s an idiot and he’s probably going to prison over some shady dealings he was involved with over the past four years or so.

Now Wall Street is talking about changing the rules…the rules that always worked for them and was not supposed to work for other people. What will the new rules be? Don’t ask me. I still don’t understand the old rules.

But Wall Street treats the stock market like it’s their casino. Every investment is a risk and for them, it’s OK to team up and borrow shares. If you want to play, there are fees. The Reddit guys used services that didn’t charge fees and they bought stocks together.

Now, do you fully understand how it worked? Me neither. You’re welcome.

Signed prints: The signed prints are just $40.00 each. Every cartoon on this site is available. You can pay through PayPal. If you don’t like PayPal, you can snail mail it to Clay Jones, P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. I can mail the prints directly to you or if you’re purchasing as a gift, directly to the person you’re gifting.

Notes on my book, Tales From The Trumpster Fire: I have an order of 20 copies of my book (11 are left to purchase) on the way, which I’m selling for $45.00 each, signed. The books won’t arrive until after the new year, but orders are being taken and they’ll be shipped as soon as I receive them. Also, I have copies of my first book from 1997, Knee-Deep in Mississippi available for $20.00.

Tip Jar: if you want to support the cartoonist, please send a donation through PayPal to clayjonz@gmail.com. You can also snail it to P.O. Box 9103, Fredericksburg, VA 22403.

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Sketchy Senate Stock Sales


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


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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You can help me continue to create cartoons, blogs, and videos by making a contribution. All support, large and small, is greatly appreciated. You can also support me by purchasing a signed print (8 1/2×11) for $40, or a signed poster (18×24) for $100 by clicking the PayPal button (just include a note if you’re purchasing a print). If you want to support but don’t want to use PayPal, you can send a contribution through the mail (address is on the contact page. Again, include a note for a print). I don’t plan on going anywhere and your support will help guarantee that. Whether you support, can’t. or just choose not to, please know that I am truly thankful that you visit my site and read my work.

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Stocking Stuffer


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.

Be Complicit

What kind of person would want to be part of something that disparages, slanders, and disrespects Dear Leader and his sycophantic followers? Hopefully, you. 
Making a contribution supports my work and keeps the cartoons, columns, and videos coming. My income is from newspapers that subscribe to my work and small contributors. George Soros hasn’t sent me a million dollar check in weeks. Making a contribution of any amount, or buying a print for $40.00, makes you part of this specific resistance, and a member of Team Claytoonz (we’re still working on the name). You are complicit, an accomplice, and in cahoots (and whatever gangster terms we can think of) with this political satire pointing out that the stupid emperor has no clothes. Contributions can be made through PayPal, checks, and wads of cash exchanged in back alleys.
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Presidential Street Value


The stupids and hypocrites are at it again. They’re throwing their arms in the air and getting all red ass over Obama accepting $400,000 to give a speech to a Wall Street firm. Oh my goodness and heavens to Betsy, whatever the hell that may mean.

Trevor Noah brought up a good point in that these people want the practice of former presidents accepting lucrative speaking fees to stop at Obama. You know, the black guy. It was OK for Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush Deuce, but hey, it should stop when the president with the least scandals of any administration in modern history does it….who also happens to be black.

Noah brought up another point I, and I’m sure many others, was just perplexed over. What about the current president?

Obama waited until he left office to make money off his presidential stature (which he’ll probably donate to charity). Trump was doing it before he even walked into the office and has been doing ever since God parted the clouds and stopped the rain for him to deliver his terrifying inauguration speech.

The guy has NOT put his business into a blind trust. He’s still talking to his sons about profits. He’s appointed his daughter to an unpaid job in the White House, for which I’m sure she’s worth every penny. Kellyanne Conway has gone on television to hawk Ivanka products made in China. The Trump Hotel in Washington is the most popular attraction for foreign dignitaries. His favorite golf club, Mar-a-Lago, doubled their membership fees after Trump was elected. Trump goes to this club nearly every weekend where members buy access to him, get to pose for selfies while holding the nuclear football, attend security briefings, and eat chocolate cake with the president.

On top of all that, what the hell happened to all the cash donated to the Trump inauguration? I hate to link to a Huffington Post piece, but they’ve done some real reporting on this. Did you hear about this crap? Well if you ever complained about “pay-for-play” regarding the Clintons and their foundation, then you need to sit down and listen.

The Trump inauguration was tiny compared to Obama’s. Trump’s shindig had baton twirlers, tractors, and the rock band Three Doors Down. It was also sparsely attended. Yet Trump raised more than twice what Obama did for his inauguration hoedown. Trump raised over $107 million for his party full of empty bleachers. The donations came from everywhere and the accounting has been terrible.

Venezuela’s state-owned oil company donated $500,000 to the Trump inauguration and then businessmen with ties to Venezuela got to have a meeting with Steve Bannon. That’s the part you need to pay attention to, pay-for-play screamers.

Did you see the film Hidden Figures? You should. It’s awesome and I watched it last weekend. It tells the story of Katherine Johnson and other black females who worked for NASA and helped the first American go to space. The Trump Inauguration committee listed her as donating $25,000 to the party. It’s a common name so maybe it’s not her, except the address for the donation was NASA. The real honest-to-god and she worked for NASA and became an American hero, Katherine Johnson did NOT give money to Donald Trump’s inauguration.

I really want to find out what’s going on with this all this money. I’m sure conservatives do too since they won’t tolerate any pay-for-play, right?

Basically I’m not worried about Obama making money for giving a speech. At least he uses complete sentences and didn’t use the office to make money while he was still in that office. I think while Obama gives the speech that Trump should be in the audience. He might learn something. He should be forced to buy a ticket.

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Wednesday, which was International Women’s Day, a four foot bronze statue of a girl with her fists on her hips appeared on Wall Street. She’s facing the iconic 7,000-pound “Charging Bull.”

She’s been dubbed “Fearless Girl” and she’s a hit on social media. She already has her own Wikipedia page. She was placed there by an advertising agency, McCann New York, and the Boston investment firm, State Street Global Advisors, who have been an advocate for gender diversity in corporate America.

Stephan Tisdalle, an officer of the firm said “What this girl represents is the present, but also the future. She’s not angry at the bull — she’s confident, she knows what she’s capable of, and she’s wanting the bull to take note.” Fearless Girl has a one-week permit to remain on Wall Street but there are advocates for making her permanent. Yes, they had permission to place her there unlike those naked sculptures of the presidential candidates which were popping up.

I support the statue remaining permanent. There’s a lot of bulls for Fearless Girl to stare down. I’m pretty sure the bulls will blink first.

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Stock Market Panic Attack


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.

Wish You Were Never Here



Eric Cantor spent his entire tenure in Congress fighting for Wall Street while ignoring Main Street and his 7th District.  He did finally use his connections on Wall Street to create a job.  That’s not plural.  He created A job…for himself.  It was so important that he couldn’t finish his lame duck term in Congress.  I totally understand looking out for yourself and there’s times in your life when you have to.  A congressman is supposed to be looking out for the people who elected him, the people he represents, his district, his country.  Cantor did a Palin and quit early for the bucks, after he, like Palin, assumed there was nothing left to gain personally by staying in his elected office.

Cantor was already working for Wall Street.  He worked on tax policies favorable to big investors and he worked on deregulation.

Cantor’s office is on Wall Street while he’s creating another in Washington.  He says he’s still going to live in Virginia.  Don’t worry, Eric.  The ruse is over.  You’re already home.  Thanks for nothing.