Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Trumped

I'm doing a quick audit on what the Trump victory means to me and our industry.

First of all, there are the unknowns. Who the heck knows what platitudes like "make America great again" (isn't it doing pretty well already ?) mean. Who knows. We will find out in the new year.

The markets will fall and so will my ISA investments and many millions will be wiped off share prices in the short term. The British pound will appreciate a bit and the dollar will fall. But this makes American exports more competitive, so, as with Brexit, it's an immediate win.

Trump's policy to enable US multinationals to bring their billions back onshore through massive tax cuts makes sense and will be very bad for Ireland and the EU. It should stimulate M&A within the US. Good for the VC industry.

His requirement for US companies to manufacture in the US is something strange to countenance. I'm not sure how you get Appalachian miners to build smart phones with their pick axes. This will probably be quietly dropped and there's little doubt that he will betray the constituncy that gave him power. Blue collar guy you were screwed yesterday and expect the same tomorrow...

Rights and the content market will probably be OK and remain highly protected. There's little doubt that Burnett and his production company protected Trump from embarrassing out takes during the hustings and that Trump would have launched his own production company or channel as a hedge had he lost. So he's aligned with the content industry, although I suspect he may want revenge on Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Gaga.
Perhaps most seriously, protectionism and Brexit will make it more difficult for US multinationals to operate globally. There may be serious trade wars between the US and China and the US and the EU. We recently saw Microsoft raise their prices 22% in the UK and US tech will get more and more expensive. And the EU will wonder why three US companies have a virtual monopoly on IT and why two others have a monopoly on the internet. 

Ironically, the lack of a Trump TV will see Fox drift to the left, whilst other media will be forced to reflect their viewership and drift to the right. The media may instinctively lean left, but at the end of the day it is controlled by a very few very big businesses which are naturally conservative.

Whether these will be allowed to merge, such as AT&T and Time Warner, is questionable, but since Comcast was allowed to acquire NBCU it would seem to be difficult to object.

And there is little doubt that the media will be clamped down upon. 

All this said. Who knows? We have a self-professed maverick in charge of all of our futures now.