MSNBC analyst Richard Stengel said he didn't think anyone should be "rooting for a recession" Thursday during a discussion of economist fears of a downturn.
The stock market had a modestly good day Thursday after its worst drop of the year on Wednesday, in part due to fears of a looming recession prompted by an "inverted yield curve" showing the yield on 10-year treasury notes dipped below that of a two-year note.
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The topic led the first block of MSNBC's Deadline: White House, known for its vehement anti-Trump stance. Stengel, a former Time editor and Obama administration official, appeared to address liberals who secretly—or in comedian Bill Maher's case, publicly—hope for a recession to damage the re-election hopes of President Donald Trump.
"Not to put cold water on this … The signs of recession are not exactly overwhelming," he said. "There was the inverted yield curve that everybody was talking about yesterday … Germany is down. China is down. Those things are not good, but the U.S economy is relatively buoyant, so I just don't think we should be rooting for a recession, because that's not good for America."
"I also don't think it's really in the cards," he added. "I'm not an economist, but there aren't that many signs out there that a recession is on the horizon."
"Definitely not rooting for a recession, but I think there are voters out there who are already feeling the impacts of a bad economy," the Center for American Progress's Juanita Tolliver said.
Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake discussed an article he wrote about recessions that have doomed presidential re-election bids. All four presidents since 1900 who had a recession occur in the last two calendar years of their first term lost. The most recent two were Presidents George H.W. Bush in 1992 and Jimmy Carter in 1980.
His piece noted that "a looming recession is not yet the consensus of economists," but their outlooks are growing gloomier in the wake of the trade war between the Trump administration and China.
MSNBC host Chris Jansing read out a Bloomberg story, headlined "Trump's Re-election Now at the Mercy of a Slowing Economy," that quoted an expert saying a recession would devastate Trump's political hopes.
"Even if you're prone to like the president … If you're going to the store and things are costing you more money … it is hard to see in many ways where this campaign goes," Jansing said.