Abigail with attitude: Republicans vs. Democrats
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Abigail with attitude: Republicans vs. Democrats

In late September I attended a fascinating dinner organized by a top money manager who is based in the US. There was a leading American political strategist present who is very well connected in Washington. So I was able to glean some insights into the current state of US politics.

Strategist said that both parties were thinking they would lose the presidential election and that the decision might be incredibly close: maybe as close as 11 counties. It might simply come down to who could persuade their supporters to vote on the day. Bad weather on November 6 would favour the Republicans: "They will drive across the state if they have to!"

Money Manager had a different point of view. He had been with some leading Republicans and reported that they were expecting a landslide victory. "Two weeks before the poll, Americans will sit down and ask: ‘Am I better off or not than I was four years ago?’ And then they will vote with their wallet, and Obama will lose!" A Republican victory was viewed as good for markets. Strategist mused, though, that if the Republicans took the House, the Senate and the presidency, the budget deficit might balloon. The Republicans would not want to be seen as totally responsible for slashing the deficit and imposing hardship on US citizens.

Bernanke is now wildly unpopular with his central bank colleagues, especially those from the emerging markets

I was intrigued to learn that Ben Bernanke’s time as chairman of the Federal Reserve is nearly up.

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