Old habits die hard, criminal ones especially. Trump has a history of market manipulation going all the way back to the 80s when he made takeover claims only to walk it back after raking in the dough. As the occupant of WH, his market-moving power is stronger than ever. Vanity Fair yesterday reported that Trump might be up to his old tricks.

Easy Money

According to VF, there have been at least several sketchy futures contracts (contracts betting on future S&P 500 movements) which somehow correctly predicted and made tons of $ from Trump’s erratic behaviors.

Kevin Durant ain’t got shit on whoever’s making these bets below:

  • On June 28th, someone bought 420,000 futures contracts in the last 30 mins of trading. The next day, Trump met with President Xi of China and declared the trade talks are back on track – sending the markets to go on a run. The profit? About $1.8 billion over a week or so.
  • On August 23rd, someone bought 386,000 futures contract just days before Trump lied about getting a call from China to rekindle the trade talks. The profits? More than $1.5 billion
  • On Sept. 10th, someone bought 82,000 futures contracts in the last 10 mins of trading. The next day, the Chinese govt said they’d life tariffs on some made in USA products and Trump said he’d postpone tariffs on some Chinese goods – propping up the S&P by 47 points. The profit? A quick $190M in one day.
  • On Sept. 13th, someone sold short (betting the markets will fall) 120,000 futures contracts 10 mins before market close. A few hrs later, drones attacked Saudi’s oil plants – tanking the S&P index by 30 points. The profit? $180M over the weekend.

These bets have become so blatant even George Conway, a conservative lawyer and WH counselor Kellyanne Conway’s husband accused Trump of market manipulation on Trump’s fake China call claims in August.

“This is abysmal.”

Trump’s volatile behaviors (and twitter fingers) have been so stressful for the peeps in finance JP Morgan had to come up with the index called “Volfefe” focusing on Trump’s tweets’ impact on the bond market. But it looks like at least some of Trump’s seemingly unpredictable outbursts were actually calculated moves.

VF says regulators already know or can find out who’s behind those trades. However, neither the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission got back to VF’s inquiries. A longtime trader, who spoke anonymously, said that he’s never seen anything quite like these trades and that “there is definite hanky-panky going on, to the world’s financial markets’ detriment. This is abysmal.”

Abysmal indeed.

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