Political polarization and markets

Posted by: Paul Donovan

28 Sep 2020

Daily update

  • Reports of US President Trump's limited tax payments are unlikely to matter to markets, unless they change perceptions about the election. In the polarized world of US politics, it is only floating voters who are likely to be influenced. The story probably needs to be viewed alongside Tuesday's presidential debate.
  • Political polarisation continues in the interminably tedious EU-UK divorce process. This week is apparently "critical" for negotiations. That might matter to markets if anyone was paying attention, or if anyone believed the hype. Switzerland's weekend referenda defeated a proposal to limit freedom of movement with the EU.
  • US China tensions continue. The TikTok Hokey-Cokey dance continues. The ban, not-ban cycle has temporarily stopped on "not-ban", but China's media is increasingly critical of the mooted Oracle/Walmart deal. The Financial Times reports that China's SMIC is subject to export restrictions from the US.
  • There are three major central bank speakers, two of whom (the Bank of England's Bailey and the Fed's Mester) are economists. ECB President Lagarde is the third. However, there is little more central banks can do. This is not a crisis of liquidity or the cost of capital, and central banks are understandably reluctant to waste policy measures that can do little economically.

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