U.S. elections: Time for investors to worry?

“Investors have yet to break a sweat over November’s U.S. elections. That’s likely to change soon,” Steven C. Johnson writes for Reuters.

“Investment strategists say the contests are among the most important in recent memory: a new government will need to tackle the deficit and start containing the national debt or the United States risks further credit rating downgrades that could erode the dominance of the dollar in global financial markets,” Johnson writes. “That will mean tough decisions on spending cuts and tax reform at a time when a few missteps could easily derail a fragile recovery in an economy that has only just escaped from the worst of the post-financial crisis torpor.”

Johnson asks, “So, what should investors do? What would a second Obama administration mean for tax policy? Would a Republican or even Democratic sweep be best, or can a divided White House and Congress learn how to work together again?”

Here’s a look at how to navigate four possible scenarios:

• Obama Re-Elected With Divided Or Republican Congress: If the elections yield the same political gridlock that brought the country within hours of default in 2011, financial markets could slide…

• Republican White House, Divided Congress: This outcome also worries those who fear gridlock. Even if they lose the White House, Democrats may block initiatives of a new Republican President if they hold the Senate…

• Republicans Win White House And Control Congress: Initially, markets might see a Republican sweep as by far the most pro-business result. U.S. stocks and the dollar could rally…

• Obama Re-Elected, Democrats Control Congress: This is probably the least likely scenario given the hurdles for the Democrats to regain control of the House. But just as a Republican sweep could rely too heavily on spending cuts, analysts fear this may lead to higher taxes and more regulation…

Johnson explores all four scenarios in much greater depth – along with his investment winners and losers for each – in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

84 Comments

  1. The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency. The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.

    Obviously, the “Republicans Win White House And Control Congress” scenario is the only thing that will be able to save the country.

    We need cutting and belt-tightening, not more centralized, wasteful federal programs.

      1. LIberals hate Freedom and Capitalism therefore we conservatives hate liberals.

        Liberals lie and liberals hate.

        They pretend to be for the little guy but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

        Liberals are a vile and disgusting creed!

    1. Bull. The US had the largest surplus in history under Clinton, which Bush turned into the largest deficit in history which launched World wide Depression. Bush concealed the costs of two illegal and immoral wars from the budget, while murdering thousands of innocent civilians. The economy has improved every month since Obama took office. Stop spreading lies.

    2. this is a lie!! Besides even if it was true It’s totally due to the unfunded Bush Tax Cuts and the actual documentation of the cost of the Bush ‘my dick is bigger than yours’ wars in the middle east.

    3. @ US Electorate: I agree and let’s begin by stopping these ridiculous state campaigns to control women’s reproductive rights through more regulations. Who’s going to pay for enforcing all these new regulations? The taxpayer, that’s who. You can’t have it both ways. Either cut back on ALL regulations and streamline the government or go whole hog and regulate the heck out of people just because your preacher says it’s the right thing to do.

      I stand up for common sense, and trying to regulate birth control and mandate invasive exams is totally UNcommon sense. You might as well mandate all male babies be circumcised so they won’t masturbate and spill their seed.

      Freedom for all, not just for the white xtian men of the country. Seriously.

    4. “Obviously, the “Republicans Win White House And Control Congress” scenario is the only thing that will be able to save the country.

      We need cutting and belt-tightening, not more centralized, wasteful federal programs.”

      Nonsense. Austerity and budget cuts will kill the recovery and drive us into a recession. The reason we have a deficit is due to the failures of the last administration. Lax regulations got us into this mess.

      We need to return taxes to the level of the Clinton era, cut back on military spending and do some targeted stimulus spending.

      If you ignore ideology and look at history you see that the economy has grown more under Democratic administrations than Republican ones. This may seem surprising. I think it goes something like this. Republicans sincerely feel they are business friendly and so they cut regulations in an effort to help business. However, this only provides short term boosts and actually hurts in the long run.

      Certainly some regulations are painful or expensive for business in the short term, but in the long term the benefits outweigh the pain. Detroit strongly resisted adding seat belts and air bags to cars and other safety features. Yet the thousands of people who are alive and healthy due to those safety features are certainly happy about it, and their reduced medical costs helped the economy. Cutting mercury pollution from coal plants is an expense for electric companies, but overall the reduced health problems and reduced environmental problems are huge pluses for the economy. Getting the lead out of gasoline has probably lead to big reductions in crime over time.

      If we simply let the Bush tax cuts expire and get out of Afghanistan then the budget will soon be balanced. Look it up.

        1. If by waste you mean defence spending then yes. But we need also to raise taxes on the rich if only by 2% it would create $500 billion dollars for the government. think about what it would create with 5% for the people that pay less taxes than their cab drivers. It’s sick we can’t tax the middle class (IE THE REST OF US!) for the rest of our lives. If our politicians weren’t bought we probably wouldn’t be in this mess (IE EVERYONE). Calling your own people lemmings is uncalled for and wrong. We need to do what is best for the country, no matter what it is.

  2. Seriously, get off the political soapbox AGAIN, MDN and report on Mac news. Fox News is more than enough to reflect MDN’s personal political agenda. So how is OS X 10.8 coming along? What about the LEED certification of Apple’s new headquarters?

      1. Liberals always want to silence the truth and destroy greatness. Get rid of freedom and capitalism in the US and make everyone miserable and having to beg for government handout scraps!

        1. …and conservatives want to push Pentecostal white male dominance on everyone.

          Xtianity: The religion of war, rape, dominance over women, brutality against non-believers. This is not the religion taught by Jesus of Nazareth.

          1. That’s what you libertard-wingnuts like to pretend is the truth. The Truth is, however, that it is the exact opposite of what you liberal-marxists claim. Liberalism is the party of ramming down everyone’s throats their nutty and dangerous beliefs. Liberals are the haters. Liberals are the racists. Joe you are very, very confused…….

            You never, ever mention the muslim terrorists that use Islam to try to destroy all that is good as well. Go occupy the middle east and get them to try to open up to your libturd beliefs. See how well that goes for you……

            1. Nice try. I did not mention muslim terrorists because they aren’t home-grown religious terrorists. What part of my note above didn’t you like? The part about how wonderfully loving and embracing the American Xtian wingnuts are? Those wonderful people who are for dominating women and minorities? Look, we’re all human and we need to begin to treat each other with the respect that every human deserves. Once you Xtian terrorists stop cramming your demented and perverted version of Jesus’ gospel down our throats, and you start helping everyone, including women and people who don’t look like you, then you will see how much better off in mind and spirit you’ll be. Imagine: No more hate.

              Start living as Jesus taught and not as you think is your devil-given right to live.

              This has nothing to do with liberals vs. conservatives. This is totally a religious terrorist movement to beat down everyone who doesn’t pray the same as you do.

            2. Democrats are the party with prominent members being KKK members and Republicans were the ones who fought for women’s rights and an end to slavery. You have everything completely backwards like the complete brainwashed-lemming-zombie-drone that you are.

              And you’re just plain, old fashioned, WEIRD!!!!

            3. @Miguel: Thanks for getting personal. You don’t know me and I don’t know why you resort to name-calling on a personal level.

              It’s too late for me to refute your points individually but my main points are about people like Gov. Ultrasound and his cronies mandating an invasive transvaginal probe for women who are seeking abortions for whatever reason (like rape, incest). this is where the government is getting into the medical field, a place where it does not belong. It is a violation of the basic humanity of women and is part of the larger agenda of the fundamentalist religious Xtians who want to totally dominate their women like Saudi princes.

              And the war against the south was really about economics with abolishing slavery as a rallying cry. Yes, the Republicans of the day were indeed more progressive than 95% of the southern Democrats. That was then, 150 years ago. Things changed over time, as always happens. Sometime in the late 1970s the religious terrorists of the country subverted the very core of responsible fiscal conservatism that the GOP stood for when I was a card-carrying member in the 50s and 60s. With those changes the GOP has become a party of pandering toadies for the extremists and terrorists who want to return to the Dark Ages of white male dominance through absolute power and control of finance.

              Before you spout off emotionally, you might go to your local tax-supported public library and read some history.

              And seriously, I don’t consider you a creep or brainwashed or anything else negative. You’re a fellow human and you’re entitled to your own thoughts and opinions. Just please think about the human race as a whole and try to see the good in everyone, just as Jesus of Nazareth tried to teach the Romans and Jews 2000 years ago. Humanity has so much going for it that we don’t need to spend time hating fellow humans.

    1. 1. This is a Reuters article.
      2. It’s listed here under Opinion.
      3. Most of us are investors (in AAPL, at least) and this has relevance to us in the USA.
      4. If you’re not an investor or not interested or not in the USA, please move on to the next article and don’t waste our time with your biased comments.

      1. Yes, I am an investor. I own quite a few AAPL shares 🙂 I own a LOT of Apple hardware and consult with businesses on recommending Macs. This is supposedly “Mac Daily News” —this story says nothing about Macs. Maybe the MDN editor would like to start his own political blog based on the odd mix of actual Apple stories and political rants. You obviously are new here…

      2. I am a long time investor. I go to investment sites for investment info. I choose my own. I’m not interested in MDN’s advising me on either investments or investment news sources.
        James, some of us have biases. You seem to have a prejudice against those of us who disagree with your view. Go somewhere else, please..

        1. ” You seem to have a prejudice against those of us who disagree with your view. Go somewhere else, please..”

          Maybe you should take your own advice.

          I saw the article as James did, it’s not directly apple related but all 4 of those outcomes DO effect apples stock. Apple would not be immune to any of those possibilities.
          And since most here are invested in apple, or plan to be…… Some here might find it usefull.

          1. Only marginally useful. The history of AAPL stock has been based on performance and outlook and is trivially affected by market volatility. Let’s see Mac news. Seriously, as an Apple shareholder since 1999 I have seen what brings the dips and the spikes. The sort of stuff that is in this article is of bigger concern to bond holders than people who read about the computing world.

  3. I read the whole article, but I missed the part about Mac or Apple. Is this the MDN or is this some king of right wing rag? Never mind answering, I think I have figured out the answer.

  4. I’m not a US citizen but I follow the elections – in part because an aunt keeps sending me republican … well, I can only describe it as propaganda. What puzzles me no end are the obvious lies and fabrications the Republicans spread – with Palin I could put it down to sheer stupidity (I see her as the Paris Hilton of politics), and Bachmann was not much better. But Gynrich is an experienced politician, Satorum considers himself moral (or at least religious), and Romney seems quite intelligent – so why obvious and easily refuted lies? Is the strategy really “let’s create a lie – nobody will care or check, and even if they do all they will remember is the impression we created”. Is the american public really that stupid? Or at least the republican part of it? Should they not hold their leaders to a high standard? Washington is surely crying in his crave …

    1. Sadly, there is a large segment of the U.S. population that is easily duped by the nonsense coming from Faux News and political conservatives. They claim they don’t like President Obama’s policies and therefore want him out but the overwhelming majority of his policies were once espoused and embraced by the right. The real reason for their hatred of him is much uglier and is a sad commentary on what truly motivates some Americans.

      1. so far from the truth it’s funny.

        It’s his policies, plain and simple.
        And you can’t point to any republican policies that Obama is trying to implement now.

        It’s not cause he’s half black either, I’d vote for Cain any day. Or Allan west as well. It’s funny how the left FIRST sees race, then anything else.

        1. Oh please, spare me! The entire argument you on the right have made is that you didn’t like his policies up to this point. NOW, you say you don’t like him because you don’t like the policies you THINK he wants to implement in the future???? Bullshit!

          The right has gone after this President like no other Democrat before. Their stated mission THE DAY he took office was to make sure that he was a one-term President while the entire world was crashing. Instead of saying they were going to work with this President to make sure that America came out of this crisis stronger than ever before, they didn’t give a damn what happened to this country as long as he was President, and it had NOTHING to do with him being a Democrat. I don’t recall any President before him being called a “coon”, “tar-baby” or “magic negro” (or any such vile comments one can make about a white President) at any other time in history and that was just by MEMBERS OF CONGRESS!!!

          Your argument of “voting for Cain any day” rings a s hollow as you not being racist because you have many friends who are black.

          Stuff it!

        2. That is because the left are first and foremost RACISTS, then HATERS, and in equal quantities LIARS. There is nothing a Liberaltard Lemming will not do to try to get it’s way in the destruction of the US. Disgusting.

    2. “let’s create a lie – nobody will care or check, and even if they do all they will remember is the impression we created”

      You just summed up politics.

  5. Democrats win it all. The economy takes off as all income is taxed as income. The debt gets reigned in as the top 1%, who have seen 93% of the gains during the current recovery, and the top 0.01% who have gotten 35% of the gains, people like Mitt Romney, finally are asked to pay the same tax rate as a cardiothoracic surgeon.

    1. And millions of retirees and people about to retire get screwed because
      1) lower tax rates in their old age for when they take money out of IRAs and 401ks; and particularly
      2) they planned their retirement income on being able to take advantage of lower capital gains tax rates on any investments they made over their lives;
      3) they were counting on Social Security, which will still go bankrupt because tax rates cannot be raised high enough to pay not only for the infrastructure and defense programs that ONLY the Federal government can provide, but also the retirement and health care benefits that have been promised without figuring out a way to pay for them.

      The Social Security trust fund is empty except for IOUs from the Federal Government which have to be repaid from …. you guessed it …. taxes.

      Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
      Civil Disobedience (1849)
      The quote “That government is best which governs least” is often wrongly attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Thoreau’s use probably popularized it in that exact form, but he was referring to an existing saying. An oft-quoted earlier version (possibly the origin of the saying) was written by American journalist and editor John Louis O’Sullivan. In 1837, he wrote “The best government is that which governs least” in the introductory editorial for his periodical The United States Magazine and Democratic Review. He used it as the motto of the Review until its demise in 1859. In 1844,

          1. What makes you think that? I gave no indication of my politics. In fact you are quite wrong I am a staunch conservative and you only further prove my point by using insulting language. You have no point to make: Only insults. Intelligent discourse will always result in a better overall result.

            1. You are as much a conservative as a dog is a cat. You always rail against conservatives on MDN. You’re not fooling anyone. Like the Marxists in the US government, always pretending not to be what they really are. Say one thing then do the exact opposite.

            2. Kelly; I have never voted liberal in my life. What I think and believe aren’t congruent with party ideology. There are a lot of folks in the world and we all think a little differently. Or at least we should. If we toe the party line, we really are lemmings. BTW I resent your implied insult.
              You must also be aware that most liberals in the US would be considered extreme right in any other country in the world.

  6. Let’s do this exercise:

    Which is better for business and investment? A Democratic president or a Republican?

    Let’s not just guess at the future. What is the best predictor of the future? The past. Let’s looks at the last 50 years, shall we?

    From Bloomberg data:

    Returns on a $1,000 investment in a hypothetical fund that tracks the S&P 500 during only Democratic administrations versus one following a similar strategy during Republican presidencies. Assumes investment removed from market during presidencies of opposite party.

    What would that investment be worth now?

    Under Democratic presidents: $10,920

    Under Republican presidents: $2,067

    More recently, under GW Bush, S&P crashes. Under Obama, huge gains.

    Fox news watchers and MDN. Why do you listen to and believe their lies when the facts are staring you in the face?

    Is there anyone you could trust to give you propaganda?Want to be better informed? TURN OFF FOX.

  7. I love listening to Democrats and Republicans argue about the future. Neither party has shown any inclination toward preparing for or fixing the financial catastrophe that is on our horizon. Why would that change after the election?

    Once Israel attacks Iran, forcing Brent Crude to $200 per gallon, simply cutting spending or raising taxes will not be enough. We are doomed.

    But hey, the baseball season is almost here, so who cares.

    1. Good thing the commie-tards won’t let the US produce it’s own oil while promoting it in other Dictatorship countries south of the border……

      Wake the Eff up!

      1. Billy, you idiot. The US oil production under Obama is 13% higher than under Bush. We are EXPORTING 4 millions oil to China each day. Where are you getting your oil news you clown? Regarding commies, we all may soon be under the real commies, China. They are financing our debt, making all of our electronics and soon all our airplanes. They are buying corporations in the US and that means they will be voting people according to the supreme court. At that point they can spend all they want to elect our leaders. I would guess Fox News will be one of their early buys. You should love that.

        1. HughB,

          That is a bald faced lie. You liberals never met an American oil field you didn’t want to shut down. Nice half a Keystone pipeline that Maobama tried to shut down and then took credit for it because he couldn’t shut it down. You are a joke of a Lemming and should be ashamed of yourself. You Marxist!

    2. Billy, HughB, and Michelle,

      Thanks for proving my point.

      Actually, I must stand corrected. The only thing I love more than listening to Democrats and Republicans argue about the future is listening to them argue about the past.

      We truly are doomed!

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