Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Investors Love Divided Government -
Fox Business News Republican Debate Edition

Maria Bartiromo to moderate FBN GOP debate
This debate is all about the moderators and financial news network talent.

The most popular search engine posts on this blog can be found within the "Investors Love Divided Government" label/tags. In fact, among the top posts in the 10 year history of the Dividist Papers are "Markets, Economy, Gridlock"  featuring Maria Bartiromo, "Investors Love Divided Government - 2010 Edition" featuring Amanda Drury. and "Investors Still Love Divided Government"  featuring Trish Regan and Michelle Caruso-Cabrerra.  The Dividist will let The Reader figure out for themselves the common thread. Hey, who are we to argue with success?

Since those Dividist Paper blog posts, some of the most prominent financial anchor assets have abandoned CNBC for more fertile pastures at Fox Business News, including Maria Bartiromo, Trish Regan, Liz Claman, and Melissa Francis.

So as we approach the the 4th Republican Debate let's keep our priorities in perspective. The Financial Business News sponsored debate will feature Maria Bartiromo, Trish Regan, and Sandra Smith as moderators.

Given the complete clusterfork by CNBC anchors in the 3rd Republican debate, and the YOOGE! YOOGE! ratings garnered by the traveling Trump entertainment show, this could be an inflection point for the Fox Business News network.

Oh - apparently Neil Cavuto will also be participating.

The Dividist will be watching. In the meantime, this is a good time for the Dividist's oft repeated caveat on this whole notion of politicians of any stripe having any long term predictive effect on financial markets:
"Over the long or medium term, we do not think any attempt to correlate political parties in power and stock market performance should be taken more seriously than the Hemline Index or the Super Bowl Indicator. The reason is simple. The federal government does not and can not control GDP, private employment, corporate profits, and/or the stock and commodity market as much as presidents or presidential wannabes would like us to believe they can. 
OTOH, Studies that look for correlation between parties in power and those things that the federal government does directly control (spending, deficits, legislation, armed conflict, and currency) are interesting and informative. For that we can look to political scientists and economists likeNiskanen, Van Doren, Mayhew, and Slivinski for answers. But lasting effects on markets based on party in power? No."
Investing Guru and Forbe's columnist Ken Fisher recently expressed similar cautionary sentiments in his column "Bad Politicians Don't Mean Bear Markets":
"Take this as a reminder: Basing investment decisions on ideology and partisan politics is a path to financial ruin. Neither party is inherently better or worse for stocks, and thinking otherwise is to act on bias. Instead, one must look at the totality of elections and assess what policies are likely to become law. Today, it’s vastly too early to do this for 2016’s election...  
That is a mantra we think many—of either party!—should embrace today, 12 months before voting. Maybe you think Donald Trump is a chump. Or Hillary Clinton is a robot sent from outer space. Maybe Bernie Sanders’ off-key folk singing risks America’s eardrums, or Ted Cruz’s reading of “Green Eggs and Ham” would scare most children. Maybe you are upset that Lincoln Chaffee’s dropping his bid means his plans to take the country onto the metric system won’t come to fruition. Whatever your ideology leads you to believe, we can’t overstate the importance of setting it aside when analyzing markets... 
Again, it’s very early, but 2016’s election structure favors the Republicans retaining control of Congress. In the House, their sizable majority is an advantage as voters tend to reelect incumbents.Republicans are more vulnerable in the Senate, but it will take a Democratic landslide to wrest control—unlikely. That means if a Democrat wins, gridlock is the likely outcome, a bullish factor suggesting an active legislature causing major changes to property rights isn’t likely."
With that, the undercard is underway. Stay tuned, the Dividist will update with comments, conclusions and observations at some unspecified time in the future. Probably...
Moderators Sandra Smith and Trish Regan
4th GOP Debate undercard underway in Milwaukee
UPDATE: We're between debates

Favorite tweet from the JV Debate:
As far as the kiddie debate itself - The Dividist Stack Rank:
  1. Christie
  2. VERY LARGE GAP - then - Huckabee
  3. ANOTHER VERY LARGE GAP - then -  Santorum
  4. A TRULY GINORMOUS GAP - then - Jindal
Moving on...

UPDATE: 11-11-2015

As always, the punditocracy had a lot to say about the GOP debate winners and losers. Anything substantive on "The Main Event"  should probably be deferred to an additional post, which the Dividist may or may not get around to posting. So to wrap this up, we'll go with The Hill's appropriately entitled analysis "GOP Debate Winners and Losers"
"After Fox Business decided that only eight contenders would be present on the main stage Tuesday, Christie found himself confined to the undercard debate. If that hurt his pride, it didn’t show. The New Jersey governor was clearly the best performer of the four candidates in the earlier clash, the others being Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.). In particular, Christie turned Jindal’s attacks on his conservative credentials to his advantage, positioning himself as a would-be uniter of the party and Jindal as a petty divider."
More importantly, th Hill also designated in the winner circle The Fox Business News Anchors...
"The debate hosts were always likely to avoid the fate of CNBC, which drew heavy criticism after the Colorado debate, with moderators accused of asking “gotcha” questions and adopting a generally querulous tone. By contrast, Tuesday’s debate was smoothly run and substantive, with the three moderators being neither spineless nor gratuitously rude. The ratings have yet to be revealed, but Fox Business will surely win critical praise for how it ran the show."
Who, despite the moderators oft repeated protestations in promos and prologues that the debate was not about them, in the end analysis, the event  was about the moderators. Well done...

Self-satisfied Mria Bartiromo emotional analysis courtesy of Microsoft

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