Sixteen years ago a Simpsons episode called “Bart to the future” contemplated Lisa becoming US President to get the country out of financial trouble due to the high levels of debt left by the previous President, Donald J Trump. Fiction has partly become reality with Donald Trump elected as the 45th President of the United States last week.
Analysts are now asking whether this Trump victory is a massive shift from mainstream politics, or are voters simply fed up with the current political establishment? More than anything, voters were looking for change and when something like this happens, it’s natural to wonder if the sky is about to fall in and whether economic and social chaos will follow.
However, Trump’s acceptance speech made everything that preceded it seem like a bad dream – trade war with China, attacks on religious and racial minorities, unaffordable tax cuts made worse by spending splurges. But no. At the dawn of the Trump era we met a soft-spoken, benign Donald Trump telling us he’ll work with every race and religion, reach out to every nation, and bury the hatchet with his Republican Party foes. He even thanked Hillary Clinton for years of service to the nation.
Market reaction was swift. Before Trump’s speech, futures markets around the globe were going into meltdown, falling sharply, the kind of shocks seen during the GFC. However, 24-hours later, markets recovered and were trading higher.