New Post-Mueller Themes: Trump vs. Russia, Trump vs. Republicans
Author: Greg Valliere
March 28, 2019
SPRING HAS ARRIVED, BASEBALL IS BACK, and suddenly the winter’s two major themes seem to be fading — the Mueller report is out, with only a modest impact; and the interest rate plunge may have run its course, because the U.S. economy is solid and the Fed has no intention of cutting rates any time soon. So it’s on to new themes, and there will be plenty as Donald Trump shifts gears.
TRUMP VS. RUSSIA: The bloom is finally off the rose, as tensions rise between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Trump issued a harsh warning to Russia yesterday — get your troops out of Venezuela, or “all options are on the table.” About 100 special operations troops arrived in Caracas on Saturday from Moscow.
TRUMP VS. REPUBLICANS: We were with investors in the fabulous city of Montreal this week — but we weren’t too far away from Washington to miss the astonishment on Capitol Hill at Trump’s miscalculation on health care. We talked with one Republican staffer yesterday who said Trump blindsided the party with a tone-deaf call to fix health care — an albatross for the GOP, which has no chance of fixing health care. Trump handed the Democrats a rich campaign issue, demoralizing Republicans, who had virtually no time to celebrate the Mueller report.
CHINA DEAL: Since the Fed is months away from any interest rate shift, a big market story this spring will be the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations. The talks are not in trouble, but they’re taking much longer than the markets anticipated. Nevertheless, there seems to be further progress. The Reuters web site — always one of our first reads in the morning — is reporting that the Chinese will make “unprecedented” concessions as a high-level U.S. delegation arrives in Beijing today. We still expect a deal by late spring.
STEPHEN MOORE NOMINATION IN TROUBLE? The likelihood that the supply side evangelist will become a Federal Reserve governor suffered a serious blow last night as reports surfaced that he’s in a tax dispute with the IRS over a child support deduction; he has been slapped with a $75,000 lien. It’s possible that this can be resolved, but Moore’s tax troubles — and his extremely erratic forecasting history — have suddenly made his chances of confirmation less than 50-50.
JOE BIDEN NEEDS TO MOVE: A major theme this spring will be whether Joe Biden, moving slowly, could be eclipsed by a pack of younger Democrats running for president. Biden needs to announce soon, before more money and talent goes to his challengers. The age gap is not trivial; Biden, 76, may sound stale compared to the new movers and shakers — headed, amazingly, by the 37-year old mayor of South Bend, Ind., Pete Buttigieg, who’s the most articulate and interesting candidate in the field.
THE TRUMP THEME WILL DOMINATE, AS USUAL: We’ll get our first long look at the post-Mueller Donald Trump tonight at a fundraiser in Michigan. He’ll be in full campaign mode, scathing and outrageous before his adoring base. Trump still dominates this city unlike any president in decades.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), Highstreet Asset Management Inc. (Highstreet), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Asset Management (Asia) Limited (AGF AM Asia) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA is a registered advisor in the U.S. AGFI and Highstreet are registered as portfolio managers across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. AGF AM Asia is registered as a portfolio manager in Singapore. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
© 2020 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.