1 theme dominated Friday’s opening ceremonies at the Toronto Money Show, Canada’s largest gathering of retail investors.
No, it wasn’t that the Bank of Canada’s most recent interest rate hike. Nor was it that the Liberal’s proposed tax hit to small companies. It was not even Hurricane Irma, though that has been top of mind for the majority of the show’s employees — Money Show is based in Sarasota, Florida.
The main focus for the majority of the speakers was really U.S. President Donald Trump. Whether they were American or Canadian, virtually every speaker appeared fixated on the President and what his policies may or may not achieve for American jobs and economic growth.
Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist for CIBC World Markets, dismissed Mr. Trump as a blip on the financial landscape.
“The stock exchange isn’t up for him,” he told the audience of over 1,000 people. “He has not done anything to alter the marketplace…The jobs lost in the U.S. aren’t coming back and he’s got no answer to that issue.”
Respected American analyst Ed Yardeni agreed. He’s the president of Yardeni Research Inc. and his reports are frequently used by financial professionals in both Canada and the U.S.
“The way things are going it does not seem line he will get much accomplished,” he said, speaking on the subject Trump World. “He is his own worst enemy. Sometimes I think he isn’t even trying.”
A counterpoint to these views was delivered by Stephen Moore, an economic adviser to the Trump effort and now is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Project for Economic Growth, in the Heritage Foundation, based in Washington D.C.
Moore praised Trump’s financial plan to a clearly skeptical audience — he asked before beginning how many people loved the President and how many despised him and reasoned from the answer that he had a good deal of convincing to do.
He did a credible job of it but a lot will depend on if Trump can find some important proposals through Congress. The most significant of them is tax reform.
The President wants to cut the U.S. corporate tax rate to 15% from the near-40% level (state and national) right now. It’s doubtful he’ll get it that low, Moore conceded, but 20% appears doable.
“If that happens, the stock exchange will go way up,” he said. “The government will no longer be a 40 percent stakeholder in a business. That’ll be cut to 20% and your shares will be worth much more.”
Tax reform is in the center of Trump’s plan to revive U.S. business, although Moore conceded the probability of succeeding are no better than 50-50.
What’s critical, however, is that “Donald Trump has announced the war on company to be over,” he said.
Gordon Pape is Editor and Publisher of the Internet Wealth Builder and Income Investor newsletters. For more information and details about how to subscribe, visit .
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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail