The temperature in Washington, D.C. grows icier by the minute. No, we're not experiencing a cold snap smack dab in the middle of the summer. The president is refusing to engage with his own party. In fact, he's refusing to dance with those that brung him.
The president, figuring he has to deliver on one of his signature promises, has gone to the wall for his wall on the Mexican border. Houston, we have a problem. We are approaching gridlock.
Never mind that Mexico was supposed to pay for it. Now, he's given notice to the Congress that the American taxpayer will pay, and they must allocate funds in their spending bill or he'll veto it, causing the government to shut down.
The head of the company that paid for the British spy to compile that secret dossier on the president testified for ten hours yesterday about his findings, before a congressional committee. That transcript may be released to the general public within days if the committee votes to approve that. Once again, the heat will be turned up to high boil.
Not a day goes by without another explosive development in our power centers. The tussle back and forth between the executive branch and the members of his own party in the legislative branch have both going to the brink. They don't even need the Democrats or the media to sow chaos at this point. They're doing it all by themselves.
Today, the most explosive reality T.V. show in history has brought us to the point of worrying whether the government can come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell steadfastly insist they won't let the government shut down, nor will they stand for anything less than raising the debt ceiling to avoid default.
The president says, "Well get that wall or we'll shut the government down!"
This party infighting could get even uglier, if that's even possible, than the mis-matched Mayweather vs. McGregor fight!
You see, the U.S. government spends much more money than it takes in, in taxes. The difference is made up with borrowing. This is accomplished through the process of selling Treasury bills, notes and bonds. If legislators cannot come to an agreement with the president, authority to raise the debt ceiling will fall by the wayside, and the Treasury will not have the authority to sell more bonds. Pretty quickly, the government runs out of money to pay its bills and we, as a country, would default on our obligations to pay those bills (including interest on trillions of outstanding debt to holders of Treasury bonds).
U.S. Treasury bonds are revered the world over and considered the safest, government-guaranteed paper on earth. Should the consternation in Washington lead to default, domestic and global investors alike will demand much higher interest rates from Uncle Sam to compensate for the added risk of default going forward.
Much higher interest rates would pose a grave threat to our nascent recovery and could cause GDP growth to stall. The stock market would certainly react with much greater volatility to such a development. It would be like killing the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg.
Since the Dow fell 275 points last week, followed by an additional 76 point loss the next day, I offered that we may be approaching a 10% to 15% correction due to continuing chaos in the Capital. We're dealing with follow-on weakness again this week as investors grow increasingly nervous that things might actually come to a halt, or worse.
What does this mean for stocks?
Investors continue to see an "emperor has no clothes" moment, which I've written about previously. They are coming to the conclusion that, due to this gridlock, tax reform and infrastructure spending will be put on the back-burner for quite some time. The developing anxiety is causing investors to lose confidence.
Today's brand new article, "Defense Contractors: A Call To Arm Your Portfolio", will clue you in to a sector that you might not have had your eye on but has rewarded investors with capital appreciation in the range of 220% and strongly growing dividend income over the last few years. I began recommending these trades in April, 2013 when our little dictator in the far east first began threatening us with nuclear annihilation.Take a moment to read it and write your comments, please.
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Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide information to interested parties. As I have no knowledge of individual investor circumstances, goals, and/or portfolio concentration or diversification, readers are expected to complete their own due diligence before purchasing any stocks mentioned or recommended.
Disclosure: I am/we are long OHI, BA, GD, LMT, RTN.