“If you stand for nothing, Burr, what will you fall for?”
It must be a terrible thing being a political reporter in the US at the moment. 3 days of standing in front of national monuments talking, filling-in, not-knowing, talking and talking some more. I think it’s all absolutely fascinating… (OK – I did promise not to write anything more about US elections, but… if the President can tell Porkys, then so can I!)
I confidently predict that by the end of today will know who the next President of the USA will be, or we won’t. (We probably will.)
As its Friday I’m allowed to write whatever I like. But, first things first.. we ought to talk about markets. I’m confident – even bullish. A Biden Presidency and Republican senate does not need to mean gridlocked Armageddon. I reckon the chances of compromise post-Trump are higher than commentators believe. I’m also heartened by the comments of the Republican leadership about the ongoing-electoral counts – they are all calling for votes to be counted and process to be followed. That’s also encouraging.
The noise out the states all comes from the Trump family camp. If it’s one of the Trump offspring sending angry tweets, or screaming at reporters who question his charges of ballot stuffing, or Giuliani leading a whole brigade of lawyers into a convention counting centre, or Trump furiously tweeting ANGRY notes about fraud with absolutely zero evidence.. Forget it. It is just noise. The Republican party will ensure process is followed and votes are counted. They will accept the result.
That’s why markets remain so calm. They see through the Trumps’ election hysterics. Of far greater relevance to bond markets is how this market is developing – as the US sees 100000 new viral infections, the Bank of England warns of greater pain to come, and Europe is mired in new lockdown, it feels like, yet again, we are poised on the brink of economic collapse. New QE Infinity will further repress interest rates. Buyers are out on the basis sovereign bond yields will fall, but are more cautious on corporate debt on the basis more companies are going bust (which is a major concern when most of the bond market is one level above junk.)
But.. we will recover. New therapies, old repurposed drugs, even a vaccine will help. Others point out the rise in infections is not an epidemic, but more like an annual endemic winter rise in the newly established coronavirus. We will come out of it, and economies will recover – at which point negative coupon bonds and BBB- corporate debt at 1% are going to look like terrible investments…
You have been warned…
So rather than bore everyone with the dire state of the UK economy, or what stock will wobble next, or just how ineffective another couple of quilliards of QE will be, (quilliard – a one follow by a page of very small zeros), let’s all relax, sit back and let me tell you all about my next big really brilliant investment idea!
This is your big chance to get really really rich and famous…
All I need is some angel investors to back me and my next smash hit Broadway/West End Show!
Here’s the pitch: we all know political musicals, unlikely though they sound, are box-office dynamite. C’mon – you know its true. 10-years ago absolutely no one had ever heard of Alexander Hamilton, and today you’d think he discovered, invented and patented America. (Actually, I have visited his grave just off Wall Street.)
I have some great tunes ringing in my ears, and all I need is lots of money, a modicum of talent, and a major Broadway producer to flesh out my idea for the next big Hip Hop Musical – a raping story based around The End Days of The Trumps. It will be an exciting dance/rap through the end of October/early November 2020. Even as US viral infections rose to 100k per day – it will all be about Trump, Trump and Trump!
You are going to love the main Trump theme: “They lie they lie they lie they lie..” even as he tells some more.. And then his big number: “Make it Up, Scream It Loud, Tell It Often and Make it True.” The tunes are so catchy they will ear-worm you for weeks.
Now.. I know what you are thinking… It just sounds too easy, and I’ll make the mistake of making Trump some kind of caricature and comedy turn. Perish the thought. There will be nothing funny about the Trump character. That’s the beauty of my musical. There will be no angst of self-doubt, phycological complexities like hubris, personality faults like vaulting ambition, or an inability to perceive flattery.
Nope. Trump will be the ultimate tragedy because there won’t be anything tragic about him: he falls through his own complete self-belief and absolute lack of self-awareness.
We’ll cover off all the motivational stuff and phyco-babble like “daddy didn’t love me enough” through other characters. The necessary voyage of personal discovery – vital to everything these days – which will be done via Mitch McConnell who gets the“My God, what did we do” aria for the rousing Act 1 finale. The real villains of the piece will be the Family and Giuliani – the comedy jester turn.
The second half highlight is going to come when Trump leads the family in the big number as he Raps/Shouts off a litany of lies and charges about stolen elections and unsubstantiated electoral fraud on every count, Giuliani leads an army of besuited lawyers descending on counting offices, and Erik and DT-junior furiously scream about ballot rigging while punching our reporters who dare to ask for evidence.
As the tumult swells, a quiet and dignified Biden promises to be an American President, while out of the shadows steps Mconnell and horrified Republican party leaders, the GOP state governors, senators, and representatives. What will they say about the election? (I will be using this article from the FT to script the scene..)
One by one, the Republicans lambast Trump – which switches into a declaration in song stating “Every Vote is Sacred” as they break into a mass tap dance, with happy children throwing flowers at the audience as the GOP awake from their last 4 years of moral and ethical slumber.. (Yep, I nicked that one from Monty Python… but hey..)
One by one the Trump Inner Circle slinks off… Ivanka has a hair appointment, Jared is muttering about something to do in Saudi, and even as Deutsche Bank demands repayment of loans and the sherrifs repossess a golf course valued at $220 mm by Trump and $2 mm by local realtors, Melania demands her own humungous check before the IRS arrive.
Trump remains defiant in the Spotlight as a refrain of “They Lie They Lie They Lie” plays. As it ends, up pops Giuliani asking who to sue to next? The Curtain falls on Trump promising he will be back in 2024…. But it ends as Mitch and Harris hold hands together walking across the stage promising America a new future…
C’mon.. its going to be great.. you just know it will fill the theatres for the next 4 years! And then.. who knows, but maybe a sequel?
Five Things to Read This Morning
FT – Trump Family call on Republican Leaders to pledge support
FT – City of London suffers crushing blow from second lockdown
WSJ – Postal Service is Ordered by Judge to Search for Remaing Ballots
WSJ – Justice Department Seizes $1 Billion of Bitcoin Tied to Silk Road Website
BBerg – Sunak Tries To Rescue Britain and His Political Fortune
Out of time and have a great weekend