After applying machine learning and deep thought to the teeming Twitter feed of POTUS, the analysts at JP Morgan have arrived at the conclusion that Trump is fiddling with financial markets, 280 characters at a time. Not only are his tweets interfering with stock value, Citigroup has discovered, but currency markets are also fretful for about 60 minutes whenever he tweets about trade or monetary policy. He does that quite a lot these days.
In response, JP Morgan has assembled a Volfefe index correlating presidential tweets with market volatility. It is named in homage to that midnight moment in Washington in 2017 when Trump told the Twitterverse, en passant: “Despite the negative press covfefe.” Someone immediately booked covfefe.com, and politicians, journalists, comedians, fact-checkers, dictionary-keepers, conspiracy theorists and internet kibitzers spent weeks investigating the true, hidden meaning of “covfefe”.
Markets are only human, and they are seeking financial meaning in Trump’s tweets. Historically, markets have enjoyed being irrational. There are contemporary punters who regard the Dow Jones Industrial Average as a joke index. In the 17th century, many strongly believed that everyone on earth would be desperate to own a tulip bulb. In the next century, they invested wildly in the South Sea Company. But the Volfefe index means business. It analyses Trump’s speech patterns and has real statistical value. In our epistemologically bamboozled era, it is something to hold on to. We look forward to more indices linked to major world leaders, none of whom make any sense. It wouldn’t improve politics, but markets worldwide would get an accurate weather report.