Capitol Hill riots won’t weigh on the future direction of the economy: David Rosenberg
One of Bay Street’s most prominent economists says investors are focused on market “juice” like monetary and fiscal policy rather than isolated geopolitical events like the mob of Donald Trump’s supporters who swarmed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“The biggest surprise isn’t that the market has rallied through the violence on Capitol Hill. The biggest surprise is how we managed to have a phenomenal year in risk assets during the pandemic,” said David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist of Rosenberg Research, in an interview Thursday.
“This comes down to the Energizer bunny here,” he added. “This is the gift that keeps on giving.”
Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump incited throngs of his supporters to march on the Capitol Building Wednesday as a joint session of Congress was tallying electoral college votes, a formality that would certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Nevertheless, U.S. markets closed in positive territory, including a record finish for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Rosenberg said that what has driven the major U.S. indices northward in recent years has not been the political instability that has surrounded the Trump administration, but the stability being afforded by fiscal and monetary policy.
“The bear market in the past year was unrational thought,” Rosenberg said. “If you just focused on the money supply numbers, the Fed balance sheet and what all that means for risk appetite and the price-to-earnings multiple, you’d have been a big winner in the markets last year, notwithstanding the fact that we still have 20 million Americans on some sort of jobless benefit.”
As for the orderly transition of power that Trump finally pledged in the early morning hours after the votes were finally counted, Rosenberg said it will have no impact on investment decisions.
“The Biden administration will obviously have a calmer influence domestically and worldwide, but that’s not what’s driving asset markets right now. It’s really monetary policy on steroids, and coupled now with these hopes that we’re going to get even more acute fiscal juice into the system,” he said.
“It’s got nothing to do with politics, per se.”