Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wants America to win economically again. Create jobs, produce more, grow the country’s GDP.
According to Ricardo Bekin, CEO and Chief Investment Officer for Ativo Capital Management, none of that would happen if Trump were elected. In fact, by Bekin’s assessment, it would be economic disaster.
“There is no question that [a Trump presidency] would create significant instability for the economy and market,” Bekin told Business Insider. “It would not be good for either.”
“He has a plan at 9 a.m. and then by the afternoon that’s totally changed,” Bekin, whose firm manages around $1.5 billion, said. “Companies need stability from the government and a Trump presidency would not provide that.”
To Bekin, companies need an idea of the future path of policy. It’s impossible to adjust if firms don’t know what their tax rate is going to be, how much they can import or export, and the like. In turn, when companies are unsure of the future they are usually unwilling to spend on hiring and capital investments.
Trump has proposed various economic platforms such as a 45% tariff on Chinese imports, forcing Apple and other companies to bring manufacturing back from overseas, and lowering taxes on many corporations.
Bekin said that investors don’t appear to be worried, but they should be.
“It seems that markets are discounting the actual possibility that [a Trump presidency] is going to happen,” Bekin said. “It seems like they expect him to implode and lose whatever support he has left. I think the markets should be very concerned, however, it would be terrible.”
Bekin said that at first, Trump was attractive to businesses but that faded.
“I think we went through a phase where everyone was impressed by his pro-business views,” said Bekin. “Tax reform, more favourable trade deals, it all looked good. Then this stuff just kept coming, all of this uncertainty, and it became clear that he would not be good for companies.”
Ram Gandikota, senior portfolio manager at Ativo, said that the evidence of the shift is already becoming apparent.
“You already have a lot of companies questioning whether or not they want to sponsor the Republican National Convention,” said Gandikota.
Bekin agreed saying that it isn’t attractive to sponsors because there’s going to be a “gun battle on the floor of the convention.”
In sum, both Gandikota and Bekin agreed that the combination of Trump’s policies and his erratic nature would spell disaster for the US economy and financial markets.