November 19, 2019

Would a Warren or Sanders Win Crash the Market?

“Bloomberg is reporting that hedge-fund giant Paul Tudor Jones told a New York investment conference this week the S&P 500 could fall by a staggering 25 percent if Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wins the 2020 presidential election. He’s far from alone in his fear, at least as far as the Wall Street crowd is concerned. Last month, Leon Cooperman, the founder of Omega Advisors, told a conference of investors, “They won’t open the stock market if Elizabeth Warren is the next president.” Heck, Warren’s so powerful, the market will fall if she’s simply the Democratic nominee for president, proclaimed both billionaire investor Steve Cohen and Lori Calvasina, the head of U.S. equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

And don’t get these people started on Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Jones said Monday the market would fall 20 percent if Sanders ultimately took up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, while Cohen predicted what Bloomberg called a “more extreme” stock market sell-off in the event of his victory.

It all sounds ghastly, I know. But I am so old I remember when this stuff was said about another candidate for president. His name? Donald Trump.

Bridgewater Associates, the monster hedge fun founded by Ray Dalio, predicted a more than 10 percent drop in the stock market in the event of a Trump victory in 2016. The forecasting outfit Macroeconomic Advisors made a similar claim, pointing to an 8 percent falloff. Economists Eric Zitzewitz and Justin Wolfers published a paper with the Brookings Institution, also claiming the stock market would stumble in the event of a Trump victory. Tony Roth, chief investment officer of Wilmington Trust? A Trump victory would result in “a big sell-off.””

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