We are entering into some unknown geopolitical waters. However, the U.S. economy is still an attractive place to invest, and the election doesn’t change that.
The U.S. is the most powerful country in the world. There is no denying it. Therefore anything that changes here has an impact on the rest of the world.
We view three criteria by which geopolitical risk escalates: A threat to a globally important commodity, which is normally oil; a threat to the banking system; and the involvement of superpowers in a situation that can lead to at least the threat of conflict between superpowers. So in this case, I don’t think there is a threat to oil. It’s actually the other way round that there is likely to be more lenient rules around exploration. I don’t see a particular threat to the banking system, given that on balance we are probably talking of a little less regulation. Although I don’t want that to go too far. I like the higher capital constraints. But the potential tensions between China, Russia and the United States are important because that brings in the superpower area and that could lead to potential fear of there being conflict between them. I hope not, but it is an area where we will have to watch very closely.
Most geopolitical risk is the one big event because it catches people by surprise, and to some extent we’ve had that with the election. This is more a series over the next few months as we learn more about various appointments, various policies, the attitude to other governments, to NATO. I think we’ll see hopefully a change in the rhetoric from the campaign trail to actual the rhetoric of governing.
It’s a very important point to understand that even though it’s a Republican sweep it isn’t a blank check. There is a real balance built in and particularly the Senate was important to that discussion. The filibuster system is going to I think prevent any what would be perceived as extreme policies coming through at least too quickly.
The US is still a very attractive economy as far as I’m concerned. We shouldn’t get too carried away with the election changing that.
Article by Colin Moore, Columbia Threadneedle Investments