Strategic Briefing | 11.6.12 | The Election & The Economy

Economy Set for Better Times Whether Obama or Romney Wins
Bloomberg BusinessWeek | Nov 4
No matter who wins the election tomorrow, the economy is on course to enjoy faster growth in the next four years as the headwinds that have held it back turn into tailwinds. Consumers are spending more and saving less after reducing household debt to the lowest since 2003. Home prices are rebounding after falling more than 30 percent from their 2006 highs. And banks are increasing lending after boosting equity capital by more than $300 billion since 2009. “The die is cast for a much stronger recovery,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist in West Chester, Pennsylvania, for Moody’s Analytics Inc. He sees growth this year and next at about 2 percent before doubling to around 4 percent in both 2014 and 2015 as consumption, construction and hiring all pick up. The big proviso, according to Zandi and Yale University professor Ray Fair, is how the president-elect tackles the task of shrinking the $1.1 trillion federal-budget deficit.

The Election Outcome Wall Street Wants Most
The Fiscal Times | Nov 6
Both candidates have devoted tremendous time and energy over the course of the year to date to spelling out their respective visions for the United States. The problem? Whoever is elected is going to have a tough time moving forward on any front, much less delivering on pledges to transform the country on Day One of their presidency, if in the weeks that elapse between tomorrow’s poll and New Year’s Eve, they fail to avert catastrophe. If the United States manages to run its economy off the “fiscal cliff” like a particularly demented lemming, those grand visions of the future have even less chance than ever of materializing.
The Election Won’t Solve All Puzzles
DealBook (NY Times) | Nov 5
Come Wednesday morning, we should know who our president will be. But the uncertainty hardly ends there. Almost immediately after the elections, the next big talking point on Wall Street and in Washington is going to be the now infamous “fiscal cliff,” a series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that was the result of a Congressional compromise reached last summer and is to take effect on Jan. 1, unless Congress finds an alternative. Some economists say the tax increases and spending cuts in the existing agreement could shave as much as 4 percent off G.D.P. if they are not renegotiated. Already, executives say that the uncertainty over the outcome of the fiscal cliff is causing them to hold back from making new investments. But the greatest likelihood is that the fiscal cliff isn’t going to be resolved soon at all —the betting line of the political cognoscenti is that no matter who wins, Congress will find a way to kick the issue down the road, perhaps as far as the fall of 2013, providing a new cloud of uncertainty over the economy.
US Election: It’s the economy, stupid
RTE | Nov 5
Barack Obama has said his job plan would strengthen US manufacturing, grow small businesses, improve the quality of education and make the country less dependent on foreign oil. He envisions 1m new manufacturing jobs by 2016 and more than 600,000 jobs in the natural gas sector, as well as the recruitment of 100,000 maths and science teachers…. Mitt Romney has promised 12m jobs in his first term, or about 250,000 jobs a month. Economists say the economy would likely generate that amount of jobs anyway. His plan focuses on tax reform, pushing the economy toward energy independence, cutting regulations and boosting trade, especially by reducing barriers to trade with China. Mr Romney says Mr Obama has not been aggressive enough in challenging unfair Chinese trade practices and that he would use both the threat of US sanctions and coordinated action with allies to force China to abide by global trade rules.
How the election will affect the economy
CNN Money | Nov 6
“Irrespective of whether the ship of state is captained by Noah or Ahab, the U.S. is on a collision course with reality,” said Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research for accounting firm J.H. Cohn. Whichever candidate wins needs to be able to reach a bipartisan agreement on long-term debt reduction, or else uncertainty about the future of taxes and spending will continue to hold businesses back, O’Keefe said. But he doesn’t give an edge to either candidate’s chances of doing that.
Last jobs report before election shows economy in ‘virtual standstill’
Fox News | Nov 2
The final monthly jobs report before Election Day offered a mixed bag of economic evidence that quickly became political putty for the presidential candidates, with the unemployment rate ticking up to 7.9 percent but the economy adding a better-than-expected 171,000 jobs. At the same time, the number of unemployed grew by 170,000, roughly the same amount — to 12.3 million. The October numbers allow President Obama to argue the economy is technically growing under his watch. But they also allow Mitt Romney to argue that the new jobs are not making much of a dent in the unemployment problem. Both campaigns quickly set to work putting their spin on data that, if nothing else, underscores the slow pace of the recovery.
Op-Ed: What to expect if Obama is re-elected: A look at the next 4 years
Digital Journal | Nov 6
What will happen with the economy over the course of the next four years is undoubtedly the most important issue for most Americans going into this election. It is also the issue most hotly disputed between the two campaigns. The Romney campaign hopes that they have convinced enough Americans that re-electing Obama is a death blow to the economy to ensure his election, however, the facts do not support this claim.
Election could determine future course of the economy
Ed Lazear (The Daily Caller) | Nov 5
The president has given no indication that he will alter course in a pro-growth direction if re-elected. A second Obama term would likely mean continued high government spending, full implementation of Obamacare, a heavy emphasis on regulation, a failure to promote an aggressive trade agenda and an unwillingness to reform our tax structure, except of course by increasing rates on the rich. Consequently, the economy would probably remain weak.
An Election About the Economy Will Really Be About Entrepreneurs
Carl Schramm (Real Clear Markets) | Oct 23
Starting more new firms is not only the best path to resolving the recession, they are the principal source of wealth for America’s future. In fact, Republican speakers described the role they play in the economy 13 times while Democrats did 9 times. Joseph Schumpeter would be smiling that the little guys, the entrepreneurs, the people who challenge the incumbent firms with their upstart startups, the causers of all the “creative destruction” that drive government regulators crazy, the new companies that seem to relish what he called the “gales” of competition that big companies fear, are somehow beginning to be seen as the champions they are. Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, said “America’s entrepreneurs are our greatest asset” during her speech to the Democratic convention.