News organizations reported that a recent shift in bond market interest rates known as an “inverted yield curve” could signal a recession. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs then claimed -- and President Donald Trump echoed -- that the media are “talking down” the economy to harm Trump's reelection chances. Others on Fox also suggested that media outlets are pushing for a recession to hurt Trump.
After outlets reported that the market was showing a sign of recession, Lou Dobbs accused media of “talking down” the economy to put a Democrat in the White House
News organizations reported on a bond market event that has been an indicator of every previous recession since 1955. The Washington Post reported that on August 14, stock markets crashed in value “after the bond market sounded a loud warning that the U.S. economy might be headed toward a recession.” The article explained the worrying indicator:
Investors are spooked by a scenario known as the “inverted yield curve,” which occurs when the interest rates on short-term bonds are higher than the interest rates paid by long-term bonds. What it means is that people are so worried about the near-term future that they are piling into safer long-term investments.
So why do investors care?
The yield curve has inverted before every U.S. recession since 1955, although it sometimes happens months or years before the recession starts. Because of that link, substantial and long-lasting inversions of the yield curve are largely viewed as a strong predictor that a downturn is on the way.
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs: The “leftist national media” are attempting to install a Democratic president in 2020 by “talking down the Trump stock market and the Trump economy.”
Trump echoed Dobbs' segment by claiming media are trying to “crash the economy” to hurt his reelection chances, and Fox News followed his lead
Trump: “The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.” [Twitter, 8/15/19]
Fox Business host Stuart Varney: “The media is talking down the economy deliberately. They want a recession.”
Fox Business host Charles Payne: “The bigger threat are headlines of recession.”
Fox contributor Liz Peek: “The liberal media knows very well if they can shake consumer confidence, make people doubt this recovery has legs, people will begin to retrench.”
Fox & Friends: Media reports on recession indicators are a conspiracy to stop Trump’s reelection.