Displaying items by tag: biden
As Biden takes the White House, all eyes in the wealth management industry are on regulations. Biden seems likely to take a much harder line on industry regulations than Trump did. The most focus is on the DOL, as the Biden team has made it clear that a “true” fiduciary rule is part of the agenda. No one quite knows if that will come from a tweaking of Reg BI or a restoration/update of the original DOL rule. One thing that has caught the attention of the industry is that Bernie Sanders appears a top candidate to take over the DOL, which could bring his unique approach, and almost certainly a new hardline fiduciary rule.
FINSUM: Bernie Sanders taking the helm at the DOL would be very ominous for wealth management. That said, one thing that has been clearly broadcast by the administration is that the DOL’s first agenda will be on healthcare (because of the pandemic) and secondly, it will be on raising the minimum wage to $15.
The stock market is going to enter a new era as Joe Biden—in all likelihood—becomes president. As that happens, investors need to start thinking about how to align their portfolios. While all industries will likely be affected to some extent, there are a handful that might be impacted the most acutely, such as energy, autos, tech, manufacturing, agriculture, banking, pharma and healthcare. In autos, Biden’s push for more efficiency will likely benefit Tesla and GM, both of whom are looking to sell more electric vehicles. Tech looks like a real risk area as the chances for more data/anti-trust regulation look higher, though those could be somewhat mitigated by a red Senate. On the manufacturing front, Biden is expected to use government stimulus to boost domestic manufacturing, In banking, executives are bracing for more regulation, but changes are not expected at a fast pace, so nothing too shocking seems likely in the near-term. Pharma looks vulnerable as Biden is committed to bringing drug prices down; that said even Pharma companies don’t expect that Democratic policies will hurt their margins worse than Trump’s proposals. In insurance and healthcare, the picture is mixed. Insurers would almost certainly be challenged by increasing amounts of government coverage, but hospitals would likely benefit from providing care for millions of newly insured Americans.
FINSUM: Biden and the Democrats’ plans will reverberate through the market in the coming months, though not as much as they might if the Left grabs control of the Senate in January. Generally, we agree with that a divided government would be most beneficial to markets.
The election is far from decided, but the outcome may very well fall into Biden’s favor. With that in mind, it is worth considering how the industry’s regulatory agenda would change were he to become president. He would almost surely replace Jay Clayton as head of the SEC, but the bigger questions are about Reg BI, the new DOL rule, and whether his administration would seek a strong fiduciary standard. Most industry lawyers think Biden would not seek to throw out existing rules and draft entirely new ones. That would take a great deal of work and time. Much more likely, it appears, would be amendments to Reg BI. The infrastructure of the rule is such that simple tweaks could make it much more robust. Chief among those changes would be defining what “best interest” means and changing the approach to enforcement.
FINSUM: If the SEC put a wide-ranging definition of “best interest” in place and changed to stricter enforcement, you would quickly have a much more robust rule.
Polls have Biden well ahead of President Trump at the moment. In fact, some pollsters say that Biden is further ahead leading up to election day than any candidate in the last 20 years. Markets have somewhat followed this and are clearly anticipating a Biden victory. That said, there is almost nobody who doesn’t think the race will be very close. So, how to play it if Trump surprises the markets and wins? Three sectors seem like they would benefit most strongly: traditional energy companies, defense companies, and large-cap banks. Trump’s light-touch regulatory approach would help energy companies and large banks, while defense spending would probably continue to rise under Trump.
FINSUM: Most agree that if Trump surprises, the market is not going to shoot higher like it did in 2016, primarily because there is not a big proposed tax cut.
The market has been increasingly betting that Biden is going to win the election, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty. The outcomes seem like almost diametrically opposed routes for the country, and accordingly it feels like many asset classes could head in opposite directions depending on the outcome. With that in mind, Savvas Savouri of ToscaFund Asset Management, has published a very interesting and clear diagram explaining how each asset class will react to either a Trump or Biden win (see above). The most interesting thing about this is how similar the response will be across several asset classes. For example, no matter who wins, it appears likely that commodities, gold, US domestic staples, and exporters will gain, while in either scenario, Treasuries, REITs, and the Dollar will lose.
FINSUM: This is an excellent diagram that gives a concise view on how things may change following either a Biden or Trump victory. Two things jump out to us here. Firstly, that tech shares look likely to lose if there is a blue wave; and secondly, that the Dollar is headed down in either outcome, so exporters are likely to do well. It is easy to imagine that a blue wave would result in a broad rally of the S&P 500 that is not led by tech.