Business: Democrats In, Now What?

Lots of loin girding…

Rising Democratic power in Washington is likely to usher in a drive for tighter financial regulation, increased social spending and more labour-friendly policies amid a more challenging climate for business.

Business leaders and lobbyists were expressing hope that Democrats wouldn’t raise taxes in the middle of an economic decline or erect significant new barriers to trade.

A broad swath of businesses is prepared for a long-anticipated revamp of the nation’s health-care system. With Democrats committed to aggressive efforts to curb oil consumption and put the U.S. on track to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, business hostility to proposals to cap emissions is giving way to efforts by industries — ranging from power to information technology — to profit from a green tilt in government policy.

…Among the potential losers from big Democratic gains in Washington are banks, private-equity funds and Big Oil.

Congress has vowed to undertake a complete restructuring of financial-services-industry regulation, potentially creating a financial “super-regulator.

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