What Will a Lame Duck Trump Do?

Mish

A lame duck president has potential to disrupt the markets. What's in store?

Final Acts 

Bloomberg has an interesting article worth discussing: Lame-Duck Trump Has Potential to Upset Markets With Final Acts

After President-elect Joe Biden’s win is certified, Trump will enter the so-called lame duck phase of his presidency with a capacity for disruption that is formidable. Any number of executive decisions might leave investors on tenterhooks. Already, he’s ousted his defense chief and remade the leadership at the Pentagon.

Disputes with China spanning commerce, technology and human rights, the trade spat with Europe, and the upcoming deadline on U.S. government funding in December all offer the potential for market-moving action. The current Congress remains in place through the end of the year. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said the Trump administration is “not finished yet” with getting tough on China.

“An aggrieved and outgoing President Trump may not be in a very cooperative mood, resulting in a shutdown-standoff that could bruise an already ailing U.S. economy burdened with an ongoing pandemic,” wrote Gabrielle Debinski of GZERO Media, a subsidiary of the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy. “The upcoming lame-duck session could be more tumultuous than ever.”

Domestic political maneuvers and presidential pardons are a traditional feature of lame-duck periods of departing American leaders, and one that on the face of it shouldn’t have much market impact.

But Mark Tinker, a former Axa SA strategist and founder of Market Thinking Ltd., raises the possibility that an attempt to settle scores with political insiders might lead to some disruption.

“One intriguing suggestion is that between now and inauguration, Trump, with little to lose, could simply de-classify large amounts of documents pertaining to the activities of what he has always referred to as ‘The Swamp,’” Tinker wrote in a note Tuesday. “Whether the markets are prepared for that remains to be seen.”

The Threats

  1. China: Ho hum. Trump has escalated threats against China for years. 
  2. Pardons: Every president has a barrage of poor pardons and a few good ones they should have made earlier. Snowden deserves a pardon but won't get one.
  3. Declassification: Please do! The more the better. 
  4. Covid package: If a bipartisan package emerges, Trump will either sign it or risk being overridden.
  5. War: That is the key thing the article did not discuss but should have. Who really knows what Trump might try in Iran? 

Biden can and hopefully will reverse the Iran embargo but he cannot reverse bombings.

Declassification would be welcome and most of the other threats, except war, Biden can easily reverse.

Mish

Comments (57)
No. 1-25
Tengen
Tengen

I'm not really worried about Trump's final months, at least not domestically. He can issue pardons, declassify whatever, or take as many shots at the blue team as he wants.

The only concern is that he might do something stupid to further antagonize Iran. The Saudis are already publicly calling for this and we all know Israel would be thrilled too.

If Trump goes down this road to goad Iran, I hope his followers recognize how useless he looks. Both the Israelis and Saudis welcomed Biden quickly (especially Israel) so if Trump still treats them like his best friends it would look more pathetic than ever.

shamrock
shamrock

martial law

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Standard opeating procedure for failed republicans is “ruin” from the “rule or ruin” playbook, expect nothing else but temper tantrums not in the best interest of Americans - GUARANTEED!

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

There are way too many old, obsolete (some/many of them), anti-democratic laws on the books. Who the fuck knows what Fat Donnie from Queens will try?
FDR interned a whole class of people for no good reason.
Lincoln did some nasty stuff during the War of Northern Aggression.
Wilson. Duh.

Donnie Fatso is desparate. Letitia James is chomping at the bit.
The Russians will want their loans repaid.

njbr
njbr

I'm sure the overturning of the election is top of his mind.

He's convinced it was stolen and is trying to set the stage for no turnover of power. After all, he is the favorite of the people.

He's just working on replacements of the doubters and lily-livered.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

The political focus during the lame duck session will be on the run-off elections in Georgia for 2 Senate seats.

Trump's best bet is to say nothing so as not to destroy Republicans' chances at winning at least one of those seats.

Congress (Pelosi) will propose a big, vote getting, COVID stimulus package. The Republican controlled Senate will have to be clever in how they deal with it; such as offering more individual support as long as there is no money going directly to states for bailouts.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I’m not sure what Trump might do....but I sure don’t trust him...mostly I think he’d like to cheat and steal the election.

But once that string plays out, he might do something really stupid. He is a very delusional man....or just extremely dishonest. One or the other ( or both) and neither is great.

And not sure how I feel about a “retired” President Trump. And I’m not sure even the Secret Service can completely protect him from novichock and polonium.

Bohm-Bawerk
Bohm-Bawerk

He won’t be too crazy as he’s been grooming his kids and son in law Jared for the job. If he goes out with really bad behavior then those kids never get to take over the empire.

LewisM
LewisM

Trump's a coward. He won't do anything but sulk for the next 9 weeks, except for maybe tweeting insults to his detractors and letting his countrymen die of Covid.

Sechel
Sechel

I pulled up Trump's calendar. It's been empty since November 3rd. Basically golf and nothing. Today was an exception where he showed up at a veterans day event. Unless he's spending all his time plotting he's lame duck now

Sechel
Sechel

Based on the odd personnel changes at the Pentagon I expect a declassification and dump of sensitive intelligence. Trump is consumed by proving he's been maligned by the Russia investigation and impeachment. Pardons is the next obvious item. Other than that I expect him to do even less than he's done the last 3.5 years. He'll tweet and play golf. I expect he'll set up a PAC and plan his after life

mkestrel
mkestrel

truthseeker
truthseeker

This will sound silly initially, but I wish someone could get President Trump to listen to a person who has criticized him mightily these past few years to just what he had to say today. He hammered his own Democratic Party saying, I paraphrase, that we need to back off all this wokeyness, defund the police and socialism agenda of the far left of our party as this is not what most Americans want. Long term Democratic strategist and political consultant James Carville is a Republican enemy for sure, but this former Marine at least stays true to his own political convictions a rare kind of virtue these days at least in my opinion in Washington DC.I mention this to say I agree with Six000mileyear who says Trump needs to be more concerned with the Senate races in Georgia than keeping things stirred up that could flip these seats to the Democrats and socialism which would take our country down way way faster than we’re going now I’m afraid.

Mish
Mish

Editor

back home
full service hooray

Great Trip to Zion but headed back tomorrow night

Realist
Realist

What will Trump do now? According to his niece Mary, ”All he has now is to break things, which he will do with a vengeance”

Trump is going to break as many things as he can now, without any care as to the consequences.

And speaking of the pandemic. The numbers keep going up. Imagine where they will be in a few weeks. Does Trump care about all the American citizens who are suffering and passing away; of course not. He doesn't care about anyone but himself.

Nov 1 Su 71,321:399

Nov 2 M 88,905:522

Nov 3 T 94,463:1199

Nov 4 W 108,352:1200

Nov 5 Th 118,204:1125

Nov 6 F 132,540:1248

Nov 7 Sa 127,894:1035

Nov 8 Su 109,659:544

Nov 9 M 127,316:641

Nov 10 T 135,653:1346

Nov 11 W 142,808:1478

nzyank
nzyank

Once Trump accepts that he lost, there are three priorities:

  1. Stay out of jail post election.
  2. Get re-elected in 2024
  3. Win Georgia senate seats - This will drive short term stimulus negotiations with both sides vying for maximum political benefit. How this plays out is anyones guess. Also keeping Trump's base in Georgia energized by continued claims of election fraud and any other means possible.

The desire to take back the white house in 2024 should lessen the risk of Trump purposefully doing anything that is really harmful. Thus, I am more concerned about total disfunction in Washington over the next 2 months than anything he specifically does.

njbr
njbr

Josh Marshall (TPM) on Trump...

...Trump is doing everything he can to maintain dominance over the Republican party. If that helps him throw out the results of the election and remain in power, great. But if not, creating a bloody shirt narrative and holding out the possibility of another run in 2024 makes anyone who tries to rise to leadership something close to a traitor. We’re back to Will Saletan’s line from 2016: the GOP is a failed state and Donald Trump is its warlord. Maintaining dominance of the party means he keeps all the power, has all the access to money and ups the stakes for any effort to hold him or his family liable for crimes committed in office.

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

What if tRump imprisons Biden for some fabricated reason? After all tRump is still the president and Barr would do anything for tRump.

ajc1970
ajc1970

If Trump goes true scorched Earth, any chance his cabinet will A25 him asap, giving Pence 60 days in charge so that Biden can get a true transition without chaos?

mrutkaus
mrutkaus

And then there was that Trump quote about leaving the country...

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

I am all for declassification, but you have to do it in a way the protects the sources, if you reveal sources people die and no one wants to help you get intelligence the next time you need it.

LawrenceBird
LawrenceBird

Mish hits the bullseye with #5. Whether covert or overt, I'd say it is pretty likely that Trump does something to Iran in late Dec/early Jan and leaves it to Biden to clean up the mess, if that is even possible. Good way to derail whatever Biden's 100 day agenda is.

Sechel
Sechel

reading the headlines. republican resistance to declaring biden the president elect has really begun to crack. it started with karl rove, but now lindsey graham and others are chiming in. its only going to grow. trump's position is not tenable

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

Georgia will certify their vote on the 20th....one week from today. I expect Trump to concede by then, because the only Trump with marginal good sense (Ivanka) is encouraging him to bow out. The sons are holding out to be made official Crown Princes of Trumplandia.


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