It may seem very far out right now, but the 2020 election is looking like it could be a very bad outcome for markets. Democrats are still leading in the polls, which is bad news because pretty much every candidate (perhaps with the exception of Biden) looks like they would be quite bearish for markets. Between higher taxes, more regulations, and government run healthcare, the outlook for markets from most of the leading candidates appears bleak.
FINSUM: When you take even a casual glance at how this election is shaping up, things look rough. You have the most leftist Democratic candidates in memory, and they are leading the polls. We think the polls are off and Trump still has better odds, but there is undoubtedly a very large risk.
Donald Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 was preceded by a nice run-up in markets, and the same thing seems to be happening right now. The market’s continued rise appears to point to an underlying confidence in the economy, and the more it goes up, the more out-of-touch Democrats’ negative attacks on the US economy and society may seem to voters. “The markets are starting to embrace the idea that Trump wins reelection. Most of the people in the markets don’t like him personally, but they like his policies”, said a veteran fund manager at AGF investments.
FINSUM: We have to agree with the assessment that a continued rise in the economy and markets would not be favorable to Democrats’ chances.
In what comes as a real eye opener, the House passed a bill this week that would block the SEC’s ability to enforce its new fiduciary rule. The driving force behind the rule, you guessed it, Maxine Waters. The measure came as part of a broader bill regarding the funding of federal agencies. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it will likely be changed and then re-voted on. Democrats, who are in charge in the House, are worried the SEC’s rule does not go far enough to protect investors.
FINSUM: The interesting thing here is that this bill is likely not totally dead in the Senate. We wonder how hard the Democrats will stick to this part of it.
A US District Judge is allowing a lawsuit from Democrats against President Trump to proceed. The lawsuit is from Congressional Democrats and the green light they have received will allow them to begin collecting records from businesses owned by the president. The judge denied a request by the DOJ to pause the case in order for it to be reviewed by a higher court. “This case should have been dismissed. It presents important questions that warrant immediate appellate review and is another impractical attempt to disrupt and distract the president from his official duties”, said the DOJ. The department will now try a long-shot emergency plea to an appeals court in Washington.
FINSUM: This did not get covered much in the media, but it is an important development as this will bring the Democrats closer to getting all the records they want. The fight is escalating.
Bernie Sanders has just made his big pitch to America’s Millennial generation. The candidate has vowed to eliminate all student loan debt for both undergraduates and grad students, and make all future tuition free. To fund the $1.5 tn write-off, he is planning a new tax on stock, bond, and financial derivatives trades which he forecasts would bring in $2.4 tn over a decade. One of the things that differentiates this plan from others, like Warren’s, is that it will eliminate all debt, not just that of the lowest income borrowers.
FINSUM: This is an interesting plan from a strategic perspective because it not only appeals to the left and the young, but also the richest of the young because it would eliminate all debt regardless of income. This point has brought criticism from some Democrats.