Story About Dad's Nest Egg Key to Bannon's Anger

'WSJ' profiles the Trump adviser
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2017 9:23 AM CDT
White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is seen in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – If there's a political anecdote of the day, it comes courtesy of the Wall Street Journal in a story headlined "Steve Bannon and the Making of an Economic Nationalist." The anecdote, however, doesn't center on the senior adviser to President Trump, but his father, Marty Bannon, now 95:

  • "On Oct. 7, 2008, in the cramped TV room of his modest home (in Richmond, Va.), Marty Bannon watched with alarm as plunging stock markets dragged down his shares of AT&T, the nest egg he built during a 50-year career at the company," it begins. "As he toggled between TV stations, financial analysts warned of economic collapse and politicians in Washington seemed to mirror his own confusion. So he did the unthinkable. He sold."

The elder Bannon lost about $100,000 of his life savings—the story specifically mentions a warning by CNBC's Jim Cramer that people should pull out of the market—and both he and his famous son are still angry that middle-class people suffered in the crash while Wall Street execs were bailed out. The incident crystallized the younger Bannon's disdain of globalism and embrace of nationalism, according to the story. "Everything since then has come from there," says the younger Bannon. "All of it." Read the full story here. At Mother Jones, however, Kevin Drum writes that while he sympathizes with the elder Bannon, the story doesn't really connect the dots. "This is a tear-jerking story from Steve Bannon, but it doesn't explain why he suddenly became a sworn foe of globalization, immigration, trade deficits, and Islam. What's the real story?" (Read more Steve Bannon stories.)

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