Towards the end of the George W. Bush administration, there was a huge market crash that brought with it the Great Recession and decimated savings for millions of Americans. Is there reason to worry that having Donald Trump, a Republican who is even more committed to deregulation than Bush, in the White House putting us in danger of another crash?
Dean Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, spoke over videoconference with Salon’s Amanda Marcotte about these concerns.
“Well, at the moment, I don’t see the basis for another crash on the horizon,” Baker reassured Marcotte. “I mean, the basis for the crash in 2008 was the huge housing bubble that was, frankly, easy to see. And I’m not saying that in retrospect. I was yelling about it. It was easy to see, and I think economists, at least, should have seen it and there was no excuse not to see it. I don’t see anything like that now.”
That said, Baker has many strong concerns regarding the dangers of Trump in the White House.
“What we’re going to see is a lot of people getting ripped off,” Baker said, referencing Trump’s promise to get rid of Dodd-Frank, a move which would also eliminate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “So think of the Wells Fargo story, of them making up phony accounts. Think of that times 10, times 100, so a lot of people being ripped off in a lot of different ways.”
“It’ll mean a lot of people, and needless to say it will be people at the middle and the bottom of the ladder, they’re going to see money taken away from them, and they’re not in a position to lose that money,” Baker added. “So that’s what I worry about most.”