Not even a 20 percent rebound off the December low is changing David Stockman’s bearish prognosis for the stock market.
Stockman, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s director of Office of Management and Budget, suggests fundamentals are not driving the 2019 rally.
“This is just day traders, chart monkeys, robo machines. This has nothing to do with rationality or investment analysis on any reasonable time basis,” Stockman said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” “There’s no Trump boom. We’re near the end of this cycle. Recessions haven’t been outlawed. It will happen in the next year or two.”
It’s a subject that’s in his new book, “Peak Trump: The Undrainable Swamp and The Fantasy of MAGA.”
“We hit peak Trump and peak market at 2,940 on the S&P back in September. I think that’s the peak for a long time to come, and I think Trump foolishly embraced the stock market,” Stockman added.
He sees the S&P 500 plunging to 1,600 or lower — a more than 40 percent drop from current levels.
For years, Stockman has been warning investors a sell-off of that magnitude is inevitable. Two years ago, he predicted a “horrendous storm” would hit stocks. It never happened. Last year, he called it a “daredevil market.”
Yet, he’s unwavering in his bearish case.
“We’ve got headwinds coming from all over the world, and you can see it in the export data, in the European economy, in the big troubles going on in China, [and] you can see it in our own data, which has been really weak,” said Stockman.
He also emphasizes the record budget deficit as an unnerving headwind.
“It is a huge risk. I mean it’s actually crazy time that this market and Washington, both ends of the Acela corridor, are totally ignoring,” Stockman said. “We’re going to go into a fiscal crisis in the 2020s when the entire baby boomers are retiring and Social Security and Medicare are soaring that we won’t come out of. That’s the big elephant in the room.”
According to Stockman, President Donald Trump’s budget released this week reinforces and underscores how bad the deficit has gotten.
“We should be having almost no deficit at the top of a business cycle,” Stockman said. “We have a serious problem of unhinged central banking, and we have a Washington that has totally been euthanized by cheap yields on the debt. And, they pretend you can borrow $4 trillion at the top of a business cycle and live to tell about it.”
He contends a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war wouldn’t alter his negative view.
“The idea that somehow there is going to be a China deal and that will make everything better, I think, is laughable,” Stockman said.
Asked about Stockman’s comments, White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said via email: “Due to the President’s pro growth policies the economy is booming. More people are employed today than previously were and more jobs are remaining on our shores. The President’s budget calls for economic policies that drive down the deficit and continue to bring prosperity to all Americans.”