Frances Adamson outlines Australia’s revamped economic and commercial diplomacy agenda and how business and government, working together, will help …
Stock market news has continued to weigh heavily toward politics compared to the usual economic indicators, stock news and even earnings.
For someone seeking to read up on the latest stock market news, this can be annoying.
I understood it during the election and the months following. But now it's almost nine months after, and eventually reporters will have to report on the actual data instead of political uncertainties.
Here we are at the start of a strong earnings season (so far), and as I browse through many of the financial news websites, they're still filled with political jargon.
However, these political headlines are stock market news … because they are affecting our economy and your stocks as I write this.
They may not have much of an impact in the long run, but in the short term, they are creating volatility that requires either a strong stomach, or the nimbleness to be able to adapt rapidly.
I take the latter approach.
I have seen a great deal of political impact in seasonality trading, where President Donald Trump's hopes to restore infrastructure spending and fuel US growth have propelled the materials sector higher through a seasonally weak period.
This is the kind of thing that we have to pay attention to as Trump continues to find his rhythm in office.
But political issues aren't just disrupting recent seasonal trends. They're slowing our economy as well – at least according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Last week, the IMF slashed the projected US growth rate from 2.3% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018 down to a tepid 2.1% for both years.
That's not only a cut to our growth, but it's a shot to Trump's ego. He campaigned on returning America to 4% growth. Since then, his promises are returning America to 3% sustainable growth, and the IMF temporarily had increased its outlook for the US
But in Trump's first two years, the IMF now sees mediocre growth at best, with expectations at just 2.1%.
The Status Quo of the New Regime
This reality of where our growth is versus where our growth is expected to be is evident on a quarter-by-quarter basis when you look at the Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPNow forecast.
These expectations are important because they are basically the status quo of the new regime.
The IMF assumed Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress would be able to swiftly get things done. As we have seen with the health care dilemma, that isn't the case so far.
So should we ignore all the political news taking over financial headlines?
No. We can't. Clearly it is having an impact on our portfolios, and it's something we must continue to watch diligently.
But it doesn't mean old trends and strategies quit working.
In fact, I have still had a great deal of success even with Trump in office in all my trading – with solid win rates and consistent gains.
But it has required quick actions in some instances, while it meant sticking to my strategy in others. Together, it required patience and an understanding of what was at risk.
By having knowledge of the strategies I utilize, I'm able to understand which items are going to affect which strategies, and how to navigate the turbulence.
The stock market is very turbulent, so it's important that you have confidence in how to navigate it, with or without the added political issues.
Donald Trump was elected as the 45th US President on November 8, 2016, and is stated to take office as the President of the United States on January 20, 2016. The new US President elect Donald Trump has proposed many new policies for running the government , which have generated curiosity among the global investors. Experts suggest that these policies may prove to be costly, and not just to the US but to the overall global economy. Most importantly, the global trade scenario is expected to drastically change under his leadership. However, domestically, his policies can boost Global, at least in the short run.
Donald Trump will be holding the US presidential office only in early 2017, so the current and the near-term market reaction stems mainly from the anticipation and expected policy changes. Once in office, he plans to pursue expansionary fiscal policies (increasing expenditures especially on defense and infrastructure), relax debt limits, and drastically cut taxes (primarily benefitting bigger corporations). This fiscal stimulus could well boost the economic growth in the US at least in the short run, along with the inflation. However, as the tax revenue gets smaller and spending gets larger, budget deficits to the government are expected to mount unless such reforms resulted in increased tax collection. This will act as a bottleneck to growth and employment in the US, and substantially increase inflation as the economy reaches the full employment mark.
Several policies as proposed by Trump have various complications for economies around the world. From completely undermining the importance to address climate change or global warming to spreading xenophobia, the most striking, however, remains its protectionist agenda towards global trade.
His motives to put tariffs on the US imports from emerging economies, in particular China and Mexico, and label China a currency manipulator could negatively impact the global trade. Most importantly, his stand on withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signals a move towards "anti-globalization". These factors combined with his remarks regarding "ripping up trade deals' and measures to remove immigrant workers pose an immense threat of global trade war, which could easily lead to a global recession.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was culminated in late 2015 after years of negotiations among trade chiefs of 12 nations along the Pacific Rim excluding China, is aimed at addressing trade issues among the nations involved. This agreement is planned to cut more than 18,000 trade barriers among the member nations, making the largest US Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by trade flows. Any changes to this agreement could lead other nations to retaliate with higher tariffs or introduce more trade barriers.
Michael Gapen, a chief US economist at Barclays, suggests that these policies, if pursued, could lead to a 0.5% to 1% drag on the economic growth in the US over the next year. For the global economy, if these trade patterns of "anti-globalizations" are followed by other nations, it could further increase the downside risk of trade and currency wars, and eventually global recession. The first half of the year 2017 will be crucial, and the whole world will be watching the US and, particularly, Donald Trump for his next moves.
Fear and emotion are the rule every day in the global financial markets. We have seen shock and awe financial bailout plans, the overnight consolidation of many troubled financial services giants, and a liquidity crisis that impacts markets across the globe.
In Germany, the collapse of the rescue plan for Hypo Real Estate may mean a disaster in that country similar to the recent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in the United States. Also, consider that in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Greece, bank rescue has become the order of the day while Iceland is in the middle of an economic meltdown.
Recently, South Korea urged banks to sell foreign assets to raise dollars and promised to use its currency reserves to shield lenders from the financial crisis engulfing the United States and Europe. Meanwhile, National Australia Bank continues to lose value due to worldwide concern about the resilience of the financial system and China's economy will not escape an economic slowdown if its exports are hit by this widening world recession
The United Kingdom has just announced the details of a £ 50bn rescue package for its banking system. The bailout includes a proposal to use taxpayers' money to invest in banks. This plan was two weeks behind the bailout plan in the United States and financial stocks in the United Kingdom crashed due to the plans delay.
The truth is that bad mortgage loans have been bundled and sold to banks in every country in the world. So, nobody is immune from this mortgage crisis and economic contraction in this age of globalization. It is a global reality that international leaders do not seem to understand.
The problem is that this is the first deep recession in an increasing global economy. So, the actions of each country need global coordination. Indeed, there is a real need to attack this economic crisis with international unity and cooperation. A unilateral approach to the crisis will not be effective and will make this downturn last much much longer.
Already, the dubious result of handling a global economic recession without coordination can be seen in Germany and Ireland. Ireland announced that it would insure bank savings while Germany (Angela Merkel) decided it would not. The next day, with money pouring out of Germany toward safer harbors, the country then decides to reverse itself and insure bank deposits.
Of course, the European Union has criticized these unilateral moves by Ireland, Germany, Denmark and others to guarantee bank deposits. The real question is what were these countries suppose to do? Should they wait for a run on their banks and slide into the economic abyss? The European Union should have acted more quickly and with better leadership in this global economy. There also should have been much better coordination from Europe with the actions of the Treasury in the United States as well.
In America, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 40% from its all-time high. Since the financial markets have now lost more value than the average bear market of 28%, it is safe to assume that the country is in the middle of a deep recession or maybe something even worse.
However, as global markets continue in a free fall, and well known financial pundits tell the average investor to get out of the financial market since it may fall by another twenty percent, it is important to understand that the country is not going to go bankrupt .
The problem is that in the near term it may not feel that way on Main Street in America. The unemployment rate could increase to around eight percent, and many good people will lose their jobs. Inflation will eventually escalate and many small businesses will close for good. Meanwhile, a lack of spending on non-discretionary items this holiday season will make for many long, bleak days in the retail industry.
However, it should be understood that economic recession cycles are a normal part of living in a world of inexact balances between supply and demand. This may well be a deep recession, but remember the words of John Rockefeller after the stock market crash of 1929. He said; "These are days when many are discouraged. In the 93 years of my life, depressions have come and gone. Prosperity has always returned and will again."
It took awhile but he was right then and his words will prove to be correct about this current financial crisis once again. It's a deep recession in an increasingly global economy and international economic cooperation is the best formula to bring it to an end.