The situation facing stocks may appear more ominous with the addition of President Donald Trump's tariff threat.
But libertarian Ron Paul suggests Wall Street is missing the bigger picture.
The real trouble stems from Federal Reserve policy and easy money, according to the former presidential candidate.
"If the Fed continues on the things that they are sort of planning on doing, it's going to be a calamity," he said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "I think we have a greater distortion and a financial danger sitting out there bigger than ever before."
Paul, who has also served as a Texas congressman, says the Fed has made critical policy errors that have helped caused a "rigged economy." They range from keeping interest rates low for too long, the rounds of quantitative easing and timing of selling its financial-crisis era assets.
A growing budget deficit, he says, is also part of the problem.
"Everything is just very burdened with debt, and there's no stopping it," added Paul.
He says investors should not be shocked by a stock market plunge as deep as 50 percent.