NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - In some ways, Janet Yellen is a safe choice as Treasury secretary. As former Federal Reserve chair, she has decades of experience in the U.S. financial establishment. Yet her ability to evolve means she could prove a surprisingly bold pick if circumstances require it.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The U.S. faces a paradigm shift, as the era of monetary policy dominance ends and fiscal action becomes the major driver of growth. So argues Greg Jensen, co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater Associates. He says this means rethinking one’s approach to asset classes.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Joe Biden is assembling the kind of transition team that gives Wall Street the chills. The U.S. president-elect’s agency review squad, which will help size up bodies that oversee financial firms, includes many left-leaning voices – including people who have pushed for tougher regulation on big banks. That could influence the kind of policies he champions – but it’s a fair bet that bankers will still have Biden’s ear.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Unwinding the Covid-19 trade could get messy. Pfizer’s announcement on Monday about the surprising effectiveness of its vaccine sent stocks up overall but battered some lockdown-friendly firms, like Zoom Video Communications, which has since tanked by around 25% to a market capitalization of $107 billion. Meanwhile, many leisure-related names shot up double digits, like $24 billion Delta Air Lines. This reversal may scramble traditional equity classifications.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It may be days before America’s presidential election produces a clear winner. That’s an eternity for markets used to prices that move over microseconds. But whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden emerges victorious, investors can already guess what the next government will look like: pretty weak.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - America’s farmers are living on the public dime. They should receive around $50 billion in federal aid this year – a new record. Even without handouts, the government could find ways to help them out. Food producers deserved some help to offset the impact of Covid-19 shutdowns. But propping up struggling farms long term just creates an unsustainable market imbalance. The government could help more by doing less.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The U.S. faces more uncertainty as 2020 ends, including inflation, antitrust enforcement, and how the next president handles taxes, trade and the post-virus economy. So says Nathan Sheets, chief economist at PGIM Fixed Income. He argues tackling inequality should be a priority.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump just gave Joe Biden a gift. The first televised debate of the 2020 election could have forced the Democratic presidential nominee to explain how he can appease both economic moderates and progressives. The anarchic behavior of the sitting president rendered that unnecessary.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Supreme Court is showing its age. The battle to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died earlier this month, shows that an institution created in the 18th century is creaking under the weight of an entrenched two-party system. But those who dream of reforming America’s top court could take tips from a much newer body: the Federal Reserve.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The Fed’s new rate-setting philosophy is a game-changer, and hawks have become an endangered species in D.C. So argues David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. The central bank may boost inflation, he suggests – but its blunt tools could cause damage.