Investment Clock insights

Trump press conference


Ian Kernohan 

12 January 2017

Donald Trump has given his first press conference as President Elect.  The conference was called ostensibly to deal with questions surrounding his business interests, and came on the day where what’s come to be termed “the Russian allegations” were dominating the media.  So at the outset, there would have been little room to discuss more market friendly issues, such as rebooting the US economy through policy stimulus and deregulation.  Mr Trump sounded much less conciliatory than he did in his acceptance speech in November, and was heavy on campaign rhetoric. 
The tension between the new President and the US security agencies is now very evident.  Perhaps this relationship will improve over time, however I don’t recall such a direct attack on the intelligence agencies by a US President.  Mr Trump attacked the automobile and pharmaceutical industries for taking jobs away from the US.  In an outburst reminiscent of Bernie Saunders, he also hit back at Pharmaceuticals for its pricing policies.  The wall will be built and Mexico will pay for it, method and timing of payment to be decided.  There was more campaign type rhetoric about how other countries have been “taking advantage of the US”, especially China.  Mr Trump refused to take questions from some media organisations, which added to the general feeling that the imminent approach of office has in no way tamed his temperament.
In short, there were lots of references to things the market either doesn’t like (anti-free trade), or doesn’t want to think about just at the moment (is such an unpredictable character a risk to global security? could he face impeachment?).  Since the election, markets have given a clear signal that a Trump administration could provide a welcome tonic to the US economy.  The intention is there, even if the policy detail will have to wait.  What markets have not been so concerned about is how this new administration will actually govern and communicate its intentions in the age of Twitter.
Mr Trump’s character and unpredictability were much discussed ahead of the election, but in the same way as some people struggle to accept that UK is leaving the EU they may have forgotten that Donald Trump is about to be inaugurated as President of the US, even though we’ve known that much since early November.  Mr Trump is never going to sound “presidential”, so fasten your seatbelts, we need to get used to this kind of style.

Donald Trump has given his first press conference as President Elect.  The conference was called ostensibly to deal with questions surrounding his business interests, and came on the day where what’s come to be termed “the Russian allegations” were dominating the media.  So at the outset, there would have been little room to discuss more market friendly issues, such as rebooting the US economy through policy stimulus and deregulation.  Mr Trump sounded much less conciliatory than he did in his acceptance speech in November, and was heavy on campaign rhetoric. 

The tension between the new President and the US security agencies is now very evident. Perhaps this relationship will improve over time, however I don’t recall such a direct attack on the intelligence agencies by a US President.  Mr Trump attacked the automobile and pharmaceutical industries for taking jobs away from the US.  In an outburst reminiscent of Bernie Saunders, he also hit back at Pharmaceuticals for its pricing policies.  The wall will be built and Mexico will pay for it, method and timing of payment to be decided.  There was more campaign type rhetoric about how other countries have been “taking advantage of the US”, especially China.  Mr Trump refused to take questions from some media organisations, which added to the general feeling that the imminent approach of office has in no way tamed his temperament.

In short, there were lots of references to things the market either doesn’t like (anti-free trade), or doesn’t want to think about just at the moment (is such an unpredictable character a risk to global security? could he face impeachment?). Since the election, markets have given a clear signal that a Trump administration could provide a welcome tonic to the US economy.  The intention is there, even if the policy detail will have to wait.  What markets have not been so concerned about is how this new administration will actually govern and communicate its intentions in the age of Twitter.

Mr Trump’s character and unpredictability were much discussed ahead of the election, but in the same way as some people struggle to accept that UK is leaving the EU, they may have forgotten that Donald Trump is about to be inaugurated as President of the US, even though we’ve known that much since early November.  Mr Trump is never going to sound “presidential”, so fasten your seatbelts, we need to get used to this kind of style.

The value of investments and the income from them is not guaranteed and may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not constitute investment advice.