Dow Jones by the Presidents

Donald Trump never tires of telling us how intelligent he is, how good a businessman he is, and how much better he is than anyone else. Of course, his favorite targets are Clinton and Obama. All year he has tooted his own horn over the record levels attained by the stock market and in fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average did reach a record high. But in December the bottom fell out, canceling all of the year’s gains and leaving the Dow around 4,000 points lower. Where he took full credit for the gains he has several people to blame the losses on.

So what’s the truth? How has the Dow performed under his leadership compared to other presidents? During Trump’s first two years in office, the Dow has grown by 19.2%. Now let’s compare that against some other presidents.

Three of the losers were Richard Nixon (-28%), George W. Bush (-26.5%), and Herbert Hoover (-82.1%). I’m guessing the bottom fell out for Nixon because of his economic policies coupled with the uncertainty of his looming impeachment. Hoover was in the White House when the market collapsed and the Great Depression began in 1929. Bush was the occupant when the Great Recession visited in 2008. And now for a few winners:

  • Warren G. Harding, (+23.4)
  • Lyndon Johnson (+26.1)
  • Gerald Ford (+40.6)
  • Harry S. Truman (+75.2)
  • Dwight Eisenhower (+123.7)
  • Ronald Reagan (+147.3)
  • Barach Obama (+148.3)
  • Franklin Roosevelt (+198.6)
  • Bill Clinton (+228.9)

So Mr. Warton School of Business alumnus, how does your brand of diet cola stack up to some of the others, especially the despised duo of Obama and Clinton?

In honesty the occupant of the White House doesn’t always play a significant roll in the economy, there’s just too many factors. But nevertheless, they claim it if good and blame it if bad and nobody does it better than Donald!

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