The History of Big Presidential Speeches on the Economy
- Joshua M Brown
- September 7th, 2011
The market is abuzz this week about President Obama‘s highly anticipated Jobs speech in which we’re expecting a $300 billion package that will make everyone go back to hiring all of a sudden. I’m being a bit sarcastic here perhaps because of how sad and futile the situation seems, sorry.
Anyway, the boys at 24/7 Wall Street have looked at the history of these types of Big Presidential Speeches on the Economy and they note that they have pretty much been failures (emphasis mine)…
President Barack Obama will give a speech before a joint session of Congress this week, in which he will lay out a job creation plan. There have been only seven speeches about economic and business issues before a joint session of Congress since the end of The Great Depression. 24/7 Wall St. has reviewed these speeches and found that they had virtually no effect on the economy, despite the detailed proposals.
Of the seven addresses, two were about labor trouble, and both by Harry Truman: One about the railroad strike in 1946, and the other about the steel strike in 1952. Neither speech was effective. The strikes were settled by labor and management irrespective of the speeches. As a matter of fact, the railroad strike ended the day of the president’s speech.
The balance of the speeches addressed different crises such as soaring energy costs, inflation, and recession. Each of these speeches offered specific road maps for economic improvement. While each president gave a broad description of the trouble, most offered a specific set of solutions. Rarely were any of the plans adopted, either because of political opposition or because the problems resolved themselves. In many cases, the economy got worse after the presidential address.
Not very encouraging.
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The Reformed Broker is a blog about financial markets and the economy. Joshua Brown is a New York City-based investment advisor for high net worth individuals, charitable foundations, retirement plans and corporations... More.