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Financial experts shrug off Trump's 'red meat' threat to shut down the government

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump threatened to shut down the government unless Congress funds his proposed border wall.
  • Markets may have moved slightly on Wednesday following Trump's remarks, but business leaders say they aren't taking the threat especially seriously.
  • Trump also threatened to terminate NAFTA at the Tuesday night rally in Arizona.
Closing Bell Exchange: Shutdown talk shakes stocks

President Donald Trump's threat to shut down the U.S. government unless Congress funds his proposed border wall may have shaken stocks slightly on Wednesday, but his rhetoric was met with shrugs from traders and investors.

"It probably will shut down, but it will be a temporary issue; it'll be really a game of chicken, and then in 24 hours or 48 hours it will be resolved," said Michael Yoshikami, CEO and founder of Destination Wealth Management, on CNBC's "Closing Bell" Wednesday.

"Shutdown sounds really scary, but in the end I think it's just kind of a temporary blip. It really is not going to mean the U.S. government's going to default," Yoshikami said.

I think what the president said last night was really red meat for his base. We all know when presidents get in trouble they get out of Washington
Keith Bliss
Cuttone & Company

For Fred Lane, founder and managing partner of Lane Generational, the shutdown threat was only the latest in a series of problems with the president's rhetoric and ability in office.

"I'm always concerned when he opens his mouth, to be honest with you, because usually nothing good comes of it and it's not good for markets," Lane said on "Closing Bell." "This has been a president who is not focused on his stated agenda. And he started off with health care, which was not the low-hanging fruit, and he's moved from one distraction to another."

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on August 22, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ralph Freso | Stringer | Getty Images

"Unless and until he can pull the Republican Party together," Lane said, "I think we're stuck with an inability to get things done, and that's what the market's reacting to. A great deal of frustration."

Keith Bliss, senior vice president and director of sales and marketing for Cuttone & Company, said the president's remarks may have moved markets, but disputed whether Trump would follow through on his threat to shut down the government.

"When the market's at an all-time high it's going to ride on a knife's edge, and any little blip out of Washington, any little noise — which we get a lot of these days — will have the effect of taking it down or lifting it up," Bliss said on "Closing Bell."

Government shutdown talk shakes stocks

"I think what the president said last night was really red meat for his base. We all know when presidents get in trouble they get out of Washington," he said.

Trump made a series of incendiary statements at a Tuesday night rally in Arizona.

"If we have to close down our government, we're building that wall," Trump told his supporters at the rally.

Congress must reach a deal to fund the government by Sept. 30, and the president must sign the deal into law for it to take effect. Many Democrats have entrenched themselves in opposition to funding a border wall.

Trump also revived his preference for walking away from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"Personally, I don't think we can make a deal," Trump told the crowd. "I think we'll end up probably terminating NAFTA at some point."

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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