The stock market seems to have gotten very good at ignoring the coming constitutional crisis. It may one day start to care again but I think it’s fairly clear that at this point, it cares not at all. I think the market is smarter than many pundits give it credit for.
New all-time highs in the Russell 2000 small cap index this week make it clear that investors expect consumers and businesses to go on with their lives regardless of what happens in Washington D.C. – and that they’ll continue to benefit from the improved economy and drastically lower tax environment.
The Mueller probe has become something that just kind of goes on in the background. A controversy heaped atop a mountain of other controversies – and not terribly consequential for earnings, interest rates, etc. It consumes hundreds of hours of programming time at CNN, MSNBC and Fox and is being followed as a sort of serial by the audience, but markets are not reacting in the slightest to new episodes.
Professional investors and asset allocators may have this right while civilians have it wrong.
This weekend’s SNL cold opening, representing the liberal fantasy that Trump is somehow in some sort of jeopardy from the rule of law…
And then there is the reality, that the President will outlast everyone investigating him because they play by a set of norms and rules that no longer mean anything, and he doesn’t.
Bill Maher’s closing monologue, also from this weekend…
It’s going to be very sad when the large percentage of Americans who believe in the premise of the SNL take realize that the Maher take is a more accurate assessment of what’s going on.
My best guess last December was that the removal of Mueller / Rosenstein – a “Saturday Night Massacre”-esque moment – represented the biggest risk to investors in 2018, in terms of generating volatility or a sudden shock. I’m not so sure I still feel that way six months later.