Conservatives and investors, consider yourselves notified: Bernie Sanders could very well be the next president. Bernie is jumping in the Democratic race and now looks like the frontrunner after what looked like a failing campaign just a few months ago. Bloomberg is draining votes from Biden, which is helping Bernie. He is looking very good in the first three big contests of the Democratic primary, and it looks more likely than not that he will win the bid. He had a huge fundraising round in Q4, leading the democratic field. What made his dominance in fundraising so impressive was not just the size relative to the crowded race, but the fact that his average donation was only $20, showing the scale and intensity of his support.
FINSUM: We still think Bernie would falter against Trump in the main race, but his odds for getting the bid are improving.
The election may still be ten months away, but the whole year is likely to be framed by it, markets being no exception. With that in mind, Morgan Stanley has some advice for investors. The first thought they offer is that in this case, being reactive is probably better than being proactive. If you reflect on 2016, everyone thought that a Trump victory would hurt stocks. The exact opposite happened. In this case, don’t assume a Democrat victory would be bad. Accordingly, it may be wise to wait until the election and then allocate as seems fit at that time. The other thing to bear in mind is that a Democratic sweep could be surprisingly good for stocks. According to Morgan Stanley, ““We would expect that a Democratic sweep in 2020 could deliver the greatest impulse to the economy” because of its greater odds of bringing a fiscal stimulus than when the government is divided between parties.
FINSUM: We really like this line of reasoning from MS.
This week the House voted to impeach president Trump. But in a little known technicality, he is not formally impeached until the House speaker hands over the impeachment to the Senate to hold its trial. House speaker Pelosi is dragging her feet on doing so in an effort to get the Senate to run the kind of trial the Democrats think is fair. In response, Trump himself is demanding an immediate trial, with Senate leader McConnell mocking the Democrats for their previous urgency on impeachment coupled with their stalling strategy now.
FINSUM: Whether you are on the right or the left, the delay by Pelosi does not look good as it is a contradiction of the previous urgency.
While it never really seemed to be in doubt, it is all but certain now that Democrats are going to bring articles of impeachment against President Trump. The party is likely to bring two separate articles against Trump by today, with an additional one possible. One will be focused on abuse of power, and the other one or two on obstructing Congress and obstruction of justice. In response to Republican criticism that the Democrats are rushing the impeachment process, Jerrold Nadler said “I want to be absolutely clear: the integrity of our next election is at stake. Nothing could be more urgent”.
FINSUM: No surprises here, but this will likely all be for nothing because of the Senate.
In any interesting twist, President Trump has announced that he may personally testify in his impeachment probe. Trump has indicated he is interested in the idea of being able to set the record straight himself. He says “Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”. Trump’s comments came at the urging of House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request for him to testify. The president could testify via writing or in-person.
FINSUM: We doubt this will happen (Trump’s lawyers would probably be remiss in letting him testify in person), but it is an interesting turn. Imagine the media frenzy!