Let’s be clear; the second impeachment of now-former President Donald Trump will not directly impact the investment markets as the Senate trial gets underway this week.
However, the trial will lay bare the political lines that have hardened since the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill. And that will color important legislative debates and decisions that will influence investor portfolios.
Already, Democrats are pushing ahead on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus plan without Republican support.
The GOP plan calls for $1,000 stimulus checks to fewer Americans. Democrats want $1,400 payments to more people.
Republicans include a lot less for schools than the Democratic plan. Democrats also include money for state and local governments. The Republican plan leaves out that spending.
Any bill that comes out of this process will be held up by the impeachment. That’s just the short-term risk for investors. A drawn-out trial will test investor confidence there will be another timely round of fiscal stimulus.
The air will not be cleared after the Senate impeachment verdict, though.
Investor portfolios don’t care about the outcome per se, but politics matter with spending and regulatory decisions to come. Climate change, immigration, health care and other economically important issues are on the agenda for the spring and summer. How the impeachment trial is handled will help set the legislative tone with a tight balance of power in the Senate.
Markets were unfazed by the first impeachment of Trump. The political calculus and economic policy proposals have changed.
Financial journalist Tom Hudson hosts “The Sunshine Economy” on WLRN-FM in Miami, where he is the vice president of news. He is the former co-anchor and managing editor of “Nightly Business Report” on public television. Follow him on Twitter @HudsonsView.