LONDON (Reuters) – European stocks rose on Thursday following extraordinary gains in Asia and the United States, as exuberance shot through markets and reversed initial dives in reaction to Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential victory. Investors focused on Trump’s priorities – including tax cuts and higher infrastructure and defense spending, along with bank deregulation – and set aside for the moment longer-term worries about whether he will slap punitive tariffs on Chinese and Mexican exports, risking a global trade war. European stocks hit a two-week high, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 1.3 percent in early dealings, and “safe haven” government bonds sold off after Trump suggested he would spend billions on infrastructure. This marked an abrupt change from the sharp recoil on markets on Wednesday after the Republican candidate’s triumph. Investors saw signs that Trump will ditch the budget austerity policies that Western governments have pursued since the 2008 global financial crisis after he takes over in January. “Trump’s speech following the victory was hugely influential in yesterday’s sudden U-turn, as he focused more on unity and the need to spend to get the economy growing again. These policies combined with his desire to deregulate and lower taxes are all very market-friendly,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
That didn’t take long. An overnight panic in global markets evaporated as Wall Street gave an emphatic welcome to President-elect Donald Trump. The Dow soared 257 points and brushed up against lifetime highs on Wednesday, in defiance of those who predicted Trump’s election would bring about a plunge in the stock market. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose 1.1% apiece. The impressive market performance represents a dramatic reversal from the knee-jerk panic in global markets overnight as the results were coming in. Dow futures plummeted nearly 900 points at one point as investors expressed fear that no one would emerge victorious and concern about the inherent uncertainties brought on by a Trump White House.
The election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president was met with disbelief and despondency on Wednesday among some United Nations officials and diplomats amid uncertainty surrounding his foreign policy and likely engagement with the world body. Trump, a Republican, has described the 71-year-old United Nations as weak and incompetent and threatened to pull out of a global deal to combat climate change – a cornerstone of the legacy of U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who steps down at the end of 2016 after serving two five-year terms as secretary-general. “The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America,” Trump said during a speech in March to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
The morning after Trump/Pence victory, this happens. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently at 18,589, just 2 points shy of its high of 18,591.
David Stockman, the man widely credited as the “Father of Reaganomics”, delivered an alarming message to investors. Sell everything! “The markets are hideously inflated,” warned Stockman on CNBC’s “Fast Money” this week. The former Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan urged investors to dump stocks and bonds ahead of the dangers that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton pose to markets if either is elected as President. “If you don’t sell before the election, certainly do it afterwards. Government is going to be totally paralyzed regardless of who wins,” he said. “There could be a 25 percent draw down on markets.”
Liquidity is suddenly drying up. Early warning indicators from US ‘flow of funds’ data point to an incipent squeeze, the long-feared capitulation after five successive quarters of declining corporate profits. Yet the Fed is methodically draining money through ‘reverse repos’ regardless. It has set the course for a rise in interest rates in December and seems to be on automatic pilot. “We are seeing a serious deterioration on a monthly basis,” said Michael Howell from CrossBorder Capital, specialists in global liquidity. The signals lead the economic cycle by six to nine months. “We think the US is heading for recession by the Spring of 2017. It is absolutely bonkers for the Fed to even think about raising rates right now,” he said.
Last year, the Irish government passed a law which placed a 0.6% levy on assets held in private pensions for each of the next 4 years. The Irish tax on private pensions was made in response to a larger financial crisis and the need to increase government revenues. Ireland isn’t the only country in recent history to seize private investments. Hungary, Argentina and France have all overhauled their private and public pension plans in recent years, in some cases seizing them in their entirety, and in others, taxing them to oblivion. There have been recent discussions of something similar in the United States, which brings up a good question – are private pensions and retirement plans in the US also at risk?
WASHINGTON The government ran a $587 billion budget deficit for the just-completed fiscal year, a 34 percent spike over last year after significant improvement from the record deficits of President Barack Obama’s first years in office. Friday’s deficit news, while sobering, does not appear bad enough to jolt a gridlocked Washington into action to stem the flow of red ink. It came in an annual report by the Treasury Department and the White House budget office. In the presidential campaign, intractable budget deficits and growing debt have been mostly neglected by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. The latest figures show that the government is borrowing 15 cents of every dollar it spends. Government spending went up almost 5 percent to $3.9 trillion in fiscal 2016, but revenues stayed flat at $3.3 trillion.