World Economy

Stigltiz Says Trump Presidency a Nightmare

A Trump presidency would pose serious problems for US foreign relations
Joseph Stiglitz (L) says, “We can only hope he (Donald Trump) won’t bankrupt the country.”Joseph Stiglitz (L) says, “We can only hope he (Donald Trump) won’t bankrupt the country.”

Donald Trump would be a “nightmare” as US president, making relations with other countries “extraordinarily difficult” and placing the US economy in jeopardy, Joseph Stiglitz told CNBC, adding that the Republican candidate had “no deep understanding of economics other than knowing how to go bankrupt.”

“We can only hope he won’t bankrupt the country,” Stiglitz, a Nobel-prize winning economist said.

Trump, a billionaire businessman, has filed for at least four bankruptcies, with NBC News putting the figure at six. He will contest Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the November US presidential election.

Trump has previously said he would renegotiate the US national debt as president, although he has since backtracked on this.

“That is… something that it is almost unimaginable that any leader would say … That is not the way capital markets will work,” Stiglitz told CNBC.

He said a Trump presidency would pose serious problems for US foreign relations, highlighting the Republican’s promise to build a wall across the border with Mexico to keep illegal immigrants out.

“I think it will be extraordinarily difficult for our relations with other countries, for our economic relations with other countries, for our foreign policy relationships. You know, (talking about) building that wall between Mexico and the United States has built a wall between the United States and Latin America. It has done more damage already than one could imagine,” Stiglitz said.

  Border Wall With Mexico

Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday. In a subsequent speech in Mexico City, Trump reiterated his plan to build an impenetrable wall on the border with Mexico, but said he and Nieto had not discussed who would pay for it.

In a later speech in Arizona on Wednesday, Trump announced that Mexico would “100%” pay for the wall, but “don’t know it yet”. President Nieto subsequently tweeted that he had made it clear to Trump that Mexico would not be paying for the wall’s construction.

Stiglitz told CNBC that Trump appealed to voters who had not felt the benefit of US economic growth over the last 25 years.

“Part of the support for Donald Trump comes because we have left large fractions of the population behind. In fact, if you look at the numbers, roughly the bottom 90% has had a stagnant income over the last quarter of a century and we have been trying to understand why that has been. And it’s partly been because, I think, we have not paid attention to the issue,” Stiglitz said.

Sticking to his sleep analogy, Stiglitz said he was “not having that many sleepless nights,” because Trump was unlikely to win the presidency.

“Fortunately the probability of that nightmare coming through is small and I hope it is getting smaller by the day,” Stiglitz said.

NBC News said on Tuesday that Clinton’s lead over Trump had narrowed to six points from eight points in its weekly poll. Clinton now enjoys the support of 48% of voters, while Trump has 42% backing, according to NBC News.

Stiglitz also told CNBC that the European Commission’s ruling that Apple should pay Ireland billion in back taxes was a “fair warning” to companies that were “dishonest” and tried to evade taxation.

Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University and was previously adviser to former US President Bill Clinton and chief economist at the World Bank.

  Con Man

Standing in front of a shuttered Donald Trump casino, Hillary Clinton last Wednesday portrayed her businessman opponent as a con man who has gotten rich by taking advantage of American workers with wild promises that end up hurting those he pledges to help. “…and when his casino went bankrupt, working class families were hurt while he thrived,” Clinton argued.

“The people he is trying to convince to vote for him now are the same people he has been exploiting for years—working people, small business people trying to support their families,” Clinton said in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

What Trump did to his casino, Clinton argued, “is exactly what he will do if he wins in November”.