Blain’s Morning Porridge – Jan 7th 2021: Really?

Blain’s Morning Porridge – Jan 7th 2021: Really? 

“There is nothing quite so fanatical as an American telling you what he believes you should believe.”

Well… that was an interesting afternoon..

As bloody revolutions go… aside from one regrettable death; the Storming of the Capitol was a bit of damp squib. It didn’t pass muster as a coup, and wasn’t even a very convincing insurrection. But, it will go down in history as the day the Republican Party woke up – and that’s probably a darn good thing for everybody. It was, hopefully, the day Americans saw Donald Trump for what he uselessly is. 

That’s the way markets are thinking – looking past the bluster they see it as positive for reflation, stocks and anticipating growth as Treasuries rose. After Georgia and Confirmation, Joe Biden will be the next president with a working mandate and majority to get things done. Yay! Finally… 

There will be further increases in budget spending – which will be required in the face of the second pandemic threat. There will be regulation of big tech – but that won’t undo the ongoing tech revolution which will continue to deliver stellar returns and make our lives better and different. Biden’s new administration will have massive challenges to address – not least in the infrastructure promises Trump failed to deliver, but in terms of stopping the social decay blighting the urban hubs in California, New York and Chicago. Education, Wealth and Equality will be brought to the fore. There will be much talk about taxing the rich – which is not a bad idea… Rebuilding trust in politics will be a massive ask.

I rather doubt the Republican fear stories about denial of gender choices being elevated to a capital offense will ever occur.

If the Republicans are smart – and many (not all) of the ones I talk to are – they will be in conciliatory mood and be open to rebuilding. They see where the demographics are headed and work to rebuild their party. They have a choice… chase Trump’s vote or join the real world.

But first they should probably repent their culpability in yesterday’s events – the culmination of Donald Trump’s long-running attempt to overturn democracy for his own ends after he realised he was going to lose last year. 

The evidence he incited the crowd is all there – and I hope he’s tried for it. Thankfully twitter closed down his feed after this particular gem: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long.  Go home with love and in peace.  Remember this day forever”.

Great patriots? C’mon… 

Armed to the teeth with mobile phones and selfie sticks, the idiot clowns of Trump’s Revolutionary Guard stormed past a few dozen ill-prepared police and – mostly – wandered round the Capitol nicking stuff from representatives’ desks… Most even took care not to cross the crowd control lines or step on the carpets. These oh so brave Freedom Fighters, dressed in the very best tactical gear their government paychecks could buy, were a slovenly mob with a limited appreciation of who they served or what they achieved. 

They believe their election was stolen. They believe a young idiot who crossed state lines with a shotgun to shoot black protestors in the back is a hero. They believe their President is an honest man and great patriot. They believe whatever slick slock they are told to believe. If you tells them it’s not their fault, but someone else’s – they will agree. They are definitionally fools – and I won’t apologise for saying it out loud. 

Their inability to distinguish truth from fiction, or good from evil is extraordinary – and hopefully the vast majority of decent and smart Americans will have had their eyes opened…  

How empowered the mob must have felt as the sauntered round the Capitol. Swaggering, strutting and imagining they were saving the world – telling each other how they’d just rescued democracy by destroying it. Putting their enemies like BLM in place by waving Confederate flags, while loudly declaring to any journalist who would listen their fantasies of making America Great Again while acting like alcoholic Muppets.  

Shocking pictures, but in hindsight… hilarious in terms of some 5000 morons behaving like morons. At least it would have been if someone hadn’t died… 

What was surprising is how quickly markets realised what a pointless and ultimately unimportant moment it was. Political theatre that has backfired on it’s instigator. It wasn’t a sign of Trump’s ongoing power, but of his future irrelevance. 

Markets know Trump is gone. Rational sane government starts in 2 weeks time and America will get back on track. That said.. Putin and Xi must be hurting after laughing so hard.

Sadly… around a quarter of Americans believe the actions of the Clown-Corps were justified. That’s why so many of the smarter senior Republicans now fear they’ve set the nation on a path to a new civil war. Finally, and too late, some of them spoke up yesterday. Thy are already yesterday’s men. 

I doubt that was the start of a civil war. It was a mob of easily-led fools. Had the shooting started they would have evaporated like morning mist. 

There has been much criticism of the authorities for letting the mob rampage… but it was the right thing to do. Rather than make martyrs of idiots, the authorities let them wander off to go find something better to do – having achieved nothing expect make fools of themselves and their great country. It would be really, really nice to see the authorities identify and arrest them… 

Far from demonstrating Trump’s power, yesterday reflected the paucity of his support – a ill-kempt bunch of red-necked overweight fantasists who think wearing knock-off military surplus gives them meaning. As they sit socially distanced, not because of the virus but body-odour issues, they resentfully wonder over their beers, why they don’t have much of a life…. Sad.

Most Americans aren’t stupid. Anyone with an IQ bigger than their shoe-size who still believed Trump was a misunderstood patriot, increasingly sees him for what he has become. Sadly… that’s what Germans were probably thinking about the equally fantabulous Adolf about a 100 years ago.

Hopefully that the end of the Trump era. Good thing if it was.. 

Let’s get back to real stuff…. 

Five Stories To Read This Morning

Yahoo – GMO’s Jeremy Grantham warns: The Stock Market is in a “fully-fledged epic bubble”

Thunderer – “I feel like a bad doctor, why can’t I make them better” (This is a story you must read…. Its desperately sad and moving)

FT – Hipgnosis buys Neil Young Catalogue

FT – US Credit market off to a record start in 2021

WSJ – What the Georgia Election Means for Markets

Out of time, and back to the day job…

Bill Blain

Shard Capital