Economists Warn A Trump Presidency Could Devastate The Economy

Down and to the right.

A Donald Trump presidency is likely to have a negative effect on the American economy, stalling job growth, slowing trade, and sending markets plummeting, according to nearly the entire mainstream of the economics profession.

Trump ran on the strength of his business acumen and a promise to repair the economy for working-class voters. But before Election Day, the vast majority of economists cautioned against a Trump presidency — the Wall Street Journal, for example, couldn’t find a single former member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers who supported him.

And a letter this month by more than 370 prominent economists, including eight Nobel laureates, warned that Trump's rhetoric about the economy and public institutions could have serious repercussions for jobs and trade. Trump has particularly "misled" voters about the North American Free Trade Agreement, the economists say, in claiming that re-negotiating NAFTA, as well as agreements with China, would return manufacturing jobs. Economists say that is unlikely to be the case.

There is already some evidence to support these positions. Some markets that have already opened for trading are plummeting, while traders are expecting perhaps record-setting declines in US stock markets when they open Wednesday morning. Throughout the campaign, US stocks responded positively to Clinton going up in the polls and in betting markets.

"In terms of signs, we said Trump would be terrible for the stock market, and so far that appears to be true," Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Michigan who did research on what markets thought of Clinton and Trump respectively, told BuzzFeed News.

Sean Callow, a currency strategist at the Australian bank Westpac, had a more colorful take.

"Markets are reacting as though the four horsemen of the apocalypse just rode out of Trump Tower," Callow said, according to Reuters. "Or at least three of them — it might be four when the prospect of a clean sweep of Congress sinks in."

Economists also warn that the effects of a Trump presidency are likely to be longer-lasting. For example, Trump's policies are likely to increase, rather than decrease, the trade deficit, according to the economists' letter. His tax and spending policies, too, are likely to run up the deficit and increase the country's debt load, even compared to policies proposed by Clinton.

A widely-cited analysis by Moody's, the economic consultancy, predicted that "Under the scenario in which all his stated policies become law in the manner proposed, the economy suffers a lengthy recession and is smaller at the end of his four-year term than when he took office."

"Donald Trump is a dangerous, destructive choice for the country," the economists say in the Nov. 1 letter. "He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality."

William Alden contributed to this report.

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