I talk to a lot of Biden people, just like I talk to a lot of Trump people. I listen to what they have to say and I line it all up in my mind. Then I piece together the outlook accordingly. Hope you enjoy the below reverie based on these collected conversations.
Here’s the Biden Fantasy Scenario…
Joe Biden wins big enough to nullify a serious challenge this fall. Senate flips Blue too. House stays blue. It’s on now.
Trump kicks and screams and demands arrests of Michelle Obama and Bill Maher and whatnot but it all just fades away in time for inauguration. He’s launching a TV “news” network for angry old men by January. The ad revenue will help cover a decade’s worth of lawsuits and legal defenses.
When the Blue Wave becomes apparent, everyone panics because taxes. Panic lasts like two days. Because a realization sets in that the trade war is over. And that by raising corporate taxes, you’re just putting a lid on buybacks and not really changing much else.
Companies that are innovative and invest in CapEx will continue to thrive; disrupted companies will continue to be “value stocks” sucking their investors’ capital down the drain. Same as always.
Higher taxes on income above $400,000 while the middle class sees no change has no real impact on consumption or consumer confidence. It’s also not enough to even make a dent in the deficit, but so what.
First order of business – beating the virus with a national policy and mask mandate. Infection rate slows again. $3 trillion stimulus is the second order of business, which means immediate spending in every corner of the Main Street economy.
Then we get a readout of positive Phase III data from one or more vaccine programs. Approval is imminent. Consumer confidence explodes. Service businesses start bringing their employees back. Travel explodes. Everyone books vacations. The hotels are reopening. Flights are multiplying. By April it’s full-on Spring Fever. People are making out in the street like it’s V-J Day.
Interest rates stay at zero. Home values soar. Stocks make record highs. Technology keeps a lid on inflation. Volatility remains muted. The Canadian Macro Smurfs howl at the moon as their direst predictions fail to materialize, falling away as the industrious and the courageous get back to the business of making money. “You’re just kicking the can…” they cry, their voices fading. “I’m not owned, I’m not owned,” they continue to insist, as they slowly shrink and transform into corn cobs.
The vaccines come in bulk and the remdesivir treatment becomes widely available too. No more deaths in the hospitals. Fewer infections around the world. In Washington D.C., plans get underway for a memorial to the 250,000 who lost their lives and the doctors and nurses who fought like hell to save millions from the pandemic. Believing in science becomes a new litmus test in both political parties before a candidate can be taken seriously in a primary.
A constructive dialog between national law enforcement organizations and racial justice leaders is brokered by Joe Biden. There is a mutual understanding. There is a commitment to meaningful change. The problem is recognized as a socioeconomic issue rather than a racial issue at its core. Society stops asking police to step in and deal with something that ought to have been addressed with economic opportunity and fairness. Turns out that promoting successful educational and career outcomes for all Americans is a better investment for taxpayers than for-profit prisons and wars on drugs.
Major League Baseball starts on time. Children graduate high school and junior high school and elementary school at in-person ceremonies. Their grandparents are there. Summer camps reopen. Movie theaters too.
And then the concerts begin. Every single band or artist you’ve ever loved announces a tour. Fans are booking trips cross-country just to see ’em, stimulating the s*** out of every place they arrive.
Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween – slowly we get our holidays back and the need for masks steadily drops as we trace and quarantine the infected with better information and a more committed, cooperative leadership.
Most thankful Thanksgiving of all time ensues. Drunk uncles in camouflage caps and radical nieces with nose piercings embrace around the table in the spirit of rapprochement.
And amid this patriotic convalescence, a hundred IPOs flutter down onto Wall Street, no two exactly alike, Art Cashin catching them in his mittens like snowflakes.
I’m back on set for The Halftime Report with Stephanie Link and Joe Terranova by my side, the Judge out in front, as the machinery of capitalism marches on.
Okay, the ending was mine. Anyway, that’s how the fantasy scenario plays out. Thoughts?