Trump-o-calypse turns into a stock market Meh

Looks like we’re with stupid, then. Yeah, I’m one of the college educated Remoaning cheese-eating surrender monkeys that the majority all hate, and in the last few remaining moments of freedom I have before The Donald makes America Great and Brexit makes Britain Great I’m going to sneer. I don’t know who the hell I am walking amongst, but they don’t think like me and I am the minority. Shit. Brexit could be considered an aberration, and doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, now we have a great big dose of the same old shit in a different way coming from the same motherlode. A group that’s been Cock of the Rock for years isn’t any more, and they want the 1950s back. That Obama geezer called out the problem in a State of the Union speech five years ago. Unfortunately he didn’t give DARPA enough money to invent a time machine to rewind history 60 years.

At least in America you now get legalised weed whereas I don’t even get to apply for EU citizenship after my fellow countrymen arranged to strip me of it. So following Stephen Covey’s principles of the Circle of Concern I will change the things I can. I will follow 3652days lead and configure my affairs to subsidise it as little as possible.

Because they got their country back, and I sure as shit ain’t paying for it.

3652 days

Anyway, this is about something bigger, though oddly enough opinion is divided even there.

Stock markets to Trump-o-calypse – “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”


Mr Market sauntered on by, doing a Rhett Butler to the passionate heaving bosom of the punditry that had called a win for t’other side. And the ermine was poised to snap up some US stocks, hell, even to sell some gold to do it, because I have been light US equities because they have been overpriced for years. Obviously good old TD direct had a hissy fit and went titsup in the morning, though they’ve got over their fit of the vapours now. Hargreaves Lansdown and Charles Stanley weathered the storm, I guess you get a better class of big iron for Hargreaves higher annual fees. Trouble is, there’s not much difference in VUSA since yesterday. So I will leave it be. I am regularly buying a L&G dev world exUK fund monthly so I was buying the S&P cheaper for most of this year. Particularly before June…

Looks like the experts lost out this time too. Maybe that slimeball Gove was right. Experts were experts in the old world but then the magnetic poles shifted or the flying spaghetti monster got crushed by an asteroid and now they always come up with the wrong answer. This Ohio report reminds me of the barmy summer day of the Brexit vote and I went to the polling station in the day1 and saw loads of a particular demographic with a creepy grin from ear to ear and a spring in their step, it was like being on the set of the Stepford Wives and their retired colonels.

Let’s look on the bright side of this, shall we? Mebbe the gimlet-eyed Mr Putin won’t feel quite so pissed off about whatever deep childhood tragedy makes him such a nutcase, because he has a more congenial nutcase on t’other end of the hotline. Sod it. I’m with Vlad, too, HRUB has almost come to parity, although I think that is more to do with my bodacious band of buccaneering Brexiteers dreaming of imperial glory to thank for that, by making everything foreign dearer 😉 But what the hell. Make Britain Great, Make America Great. Perhaps Vlad is Making Russia Great. If we all pull up the drawbridge, thump on our chests maybe the cargo cult dreams will come true. The US cousins of the people with the creepy grins who stole my EU rights seem to be voting for Trump.

Millions of people voted for his promise to achieve an improbable reversal of the decades-long structural decline in American manufacturing. By November 2020, the voters of Mahoning County will expect results.

“I want him to bring America back,” said Smith, the carer for disabled children. “Bring back the jobs, bring our country back.”

Good luck with that, lady. The 1950s ain’t ever coming back.

  1. because being a retiree means I can 

55 thoughts on “Trump-o-calypse turns into a stock market Meh”

  1. Well, at least the Yanks can no longer mock us about Brexit. Also, Katie Hopkins promised to move to the US if Trump was elected… #silverlinings

    Here’s a good one I read this morning:
    UK: Brexit was the stupidest thing anyone could do, ever.
    US: Hold my drink.


      1. Marie le Pen becomes the next president of France, calls for mandatory internment of muslims; Germany disagrees, which brings on an end to the EU. Meanwhile, Russia invades the rest of Ukraine as well as Belarus, Finland, the Baltics and parts of Poland. Kim Jong Un nukes something…?


      2. .. or the scotch in my case 😉 The grouse adverts that start appearing about this time of year are probably the only ones I take much notice of, and even then they don’t tend to influence which one I buy.

        Priorities for this time of year: a good tonne or two of hardwood logs to keep the wood burner going, a bottle of scotch and a selection of good books to read in combination with the other two 🙂

        Has the advantage of stopping me checking portfolios and worrying too !


  2. It’s tragic, because Cameron and Obama were doing such a sterling job, looking after all their people, tackling inequality, rooting out the corruption and vested interests, punishing the bankers, ensuring the Amazons and Starbucks paid their taxes, ensuring that the European parliament passed a financial audit, sharing the wealth, welcoming the poor and dispossessed from countries they’d waged war upon….I so miss those good old days.


    1. Yeah, well, that’s what’s beautiful about democracy, because all these folks who are pissed off with the status quo will get exactly what they want. The American lady will get the 1950s back, and our Brexiteers will get whatever the heck they wanted. Let’s see how they get on in four years time, eh. Curious principle that there’s nothing so buggered up it can’t be turned into a greater SNAFU, but that’s the triumph of hope over experience!


  3. Is this the end of progressive America? A heavy social conservative in the mold of Scalia to fill the seat he vacated in the Supreme Court, and potentially another 3 who are already pushing 80. The court becomes a conservative institution for the rest of our lives.

    Brexit, Trump.. what’s next?! The world is turning crap faster than I can accumulate passports.


    1. At least you can accumulate passports 😉 I fear I am stuck with my blue island passport soon, my connection to Germany through one side isn’t enough since I have no human capital left. I guess I could try and buy Malta, but being in the front line of the Mediterranean migration sounds like a tough wicket to me.


  4. Well dear Ermine, you might be in a minority, but you are most certainly not alone, i am in it too. And both Brexit and Trump happend with the smallest of margins.
    Difficult days ahead, but hey, at least we Swiss still have proper Toblerone.
    @SHMD : the EU, far from perfect it might be, but it is actually pushing for proper taxation ( see ireland ) and does things like reducing roaming costs and cross-border banking costs. We will see if Trump/Brexit improves the life of ordinary citizens.


    1. The troubling thing is Trump wasn’t a question of hanging chads and recounts. And in all fairness, Brexit was carried with a difference of over as million people.

      It’s time for decent chocolate and good wine. Not necessarily at the same time though 😉


    2. I remember an old cartoon with the usual characters around a huge conference table with all the national name places set out. There’s this guy at the front frantically flicking through an Atlas trying desperately to figure out WTF “Toblerone” is !! .. 😉


  5. The markets are probably right. There’s a lot of ruin in a great nation. Its not as if Bush II was a good president and he did 8 eight years. I think Trump will turn out like Nixon though. America survived Nixon, but Nixon did win two presidential election compaigns…


    1. Neverland, thank you for a bit of cheer – it’s welcome on a grey day. Tricky Dicky, the old boy… I was 13 and fixing a valve radio, and after taking a 300V hit off the power supply came round to hear this coming on Radio 4 and thought WTF, this hallucination business is a bit strong 😉

      So yes, we survived Nixon. We will most likely survive Trump.


  6. The limits of democracy are sadly becoming crystal clear – people will only vote for what’s in their own best interests if they can fully understand the deal – a couple of generations of sabotaging education by under-investment & political tinkering with the curriculum to dumb it down took care of that. So, the electorate even in 1st world countries is now a perfectly controllable, mindless mass of consumerist sheep …..they will vote for whoever promises them a beer/beads/shells, or the past.

    Being alive today & having a working brain is getting weirder, it’s like that film Idiocracy where humans have dumbed down to a level where the survival of the species is threatened & leaders are chosen on reality TV shows. Life now is blurring with ironic art; I hope we don’t make contact with other-worldly life because they’ll see that we chose to be ruled by an orange clown who allegedly believing climate change is a hoax, will crash the planet.

    A sheepolic wave of stupidity is sweeping the globe & the plankton have spoken, lets hear it for THHHHHHEEEEEE DONALD !!!!! [There’s got to be renewed hope for our very own Boris Johnson now …..bring back the BJ?]


      1. It’s strange picking up an old Atlas and observing all the old pink bits that used to be part of the British Empire, isn’t it ? Reminded me of Blackadder’s comment: “George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika”.

        How times change. Makes you wonder what it’ll all look like in another century, doesn’t it ? I hate thinking this way, but maybe it’s a good thing I won’t be around to find out.


      1. Hey – you are what you are – at the end of the day, we all have to sleep with ourselves, that’s guaranteed …..& if you have a soul, [empathy] selling out cheaply for baubles, while it’ll certainly ease your daily life amongst the sea of sheeple, it’d be a lonely life; you’ll have trouble looking yourself in the mirror if you have any self-respect.

        Orwell was one hellva role-model both for the intelligensia & anyone with integrity generally, [so I’ll take that as a compliment, however intended] if he didn’t know people as well as he did, he might well be spinning in his grave.

        I would rather plough my lonely furrow through life, than join the banal idiocy of the crowd …’s easy to court popularity, like the decision on Easter Island to cut down the last trees for whatever frivolity of the day. Dooms the kids though, dunnit? The only consolation in this new dark age, the cretinaceous period, is savouring the shadenfreude of watching the morons who voted to **** themselves experience it. [ it’s just a pity they’re incapable of appreciating the irony of it all ]


  7. As with Brexit, people appear to have voted for change, they didn’t want the same old, same old (although I would have loved to have seen a female US president).

    It’ll be interesting to witness how (and if) such changes will be delivered.


    1. It’s the barminess of voting for ‘anything but this’. That anything includes a wide spectrum of really bad stuff. Frying pan meet fire.

      That’s the bummer of Brexit. It wasn’t a vote for more of something, let’s face it three months down the line the bodacious band of Brexiteers still don’t know what the hell it means. It was just a nihilistic Meh.

      It’s easy enough to make a case the EU isn’t right, but it would be nice to know what the alternative looks like. Even if it’s some jingoistic Age of Empire with the Royal Yacht Britannia ruling the waves making trade deals left,right and centre. In life in general, it’s always better to try and move towards the light rather than just away from the darkness.


      1. With all the indecision surrounding how to proceed (re Article 50, etc) I’m beginning to think “Brexit” (a term I hate) means “Bricks It” !

        One wonders whether by the time we sort ourselves out, the rest of the EU will have collapsed under the weight of similar “exits” made by other members, and we’ll be left talking to the janitor !


      2. I suspect you have a very good point. Nevertheless, its’ hardly something to be that proud of as a nation. We were one of the Big Three in something that wasn’t working very well. So rather than being part of the solution, we chose to be part of the problem and initiate the denouement.

        It is perfectly possible that from an eceonomic POV we will be deeply grateful to our band of Brexiteers when the Euro goes titsup from the internal contradictions finally overwhelming the ability to hold it together.

        I just wonder if there had been a better way.


  8. bear in mind that people with a fond memory for the 1950s will be dead soon, and dead men can’t vote (unless something very naughty has happened) so the craziness can’t go on indefinitely. At least not until it gets replaced by the next wave of crazy.

    you could argue that although trump is tragic, he’s probably in the same ball park as reagan and dubya so plus ca change and all that..

    early days – but doesn’t seem like its creating much in the way of buying opportunities. Not really even a wobble from the markets. I’ve got a slug of VHYL getting bought today – was hoping it might be a bit cheaper but no luck..


    1. > people with a fond memory for the 1950s will be dead soon

      hehe – small comfort for me as I’m only 10 years after them, I was born in the 1960s 😉

      Bummer on the non-finacial opportunities. About three months ago I wondered if I should spreadbet about £5000 on a Trump win. On the grounds that it would piss me off to lose £5000, but if he won I could buy some really decent wine to handle the things I can’t do something about.

      Trouble is I was so pissed off with the Brexit stuff and like 3652 days so focused on minimising tax and maximising my ISA that I’m too skint in a cashflow basis this year to do that. I’m beginning to think that was a bad move, I could have eaten putting less into the ISA for the hope of at least something good 😉

      Still, hopefully the markets are right and as you say, it’s not like we haven’t had fuckwits as POTUS leading the free world. Checks and balances and all that. And if Putin feels more loved perhaps some good will come of it…


      1. well we can all think of smart financial things to do after the events. minimising taxes sounds like a sounder strategy than multi-k spreadbets to me. I would venture you can buy as much wine as you can healthily drink regardless..


    2. “dead men can’t vote”

      A cleverer version was in “The Distinguished Gentleman” (Eddie Murphy, it had to be really, didn’t it ?) – get onto the ballot in place of a candidate with essentially the same name who’s recently deceased – “name recognition”.

      I did wonder about the apparent coincidence in airing “Brewster’s Millions” this last Sunday too. Maybe someone in TV scheduling’s got a sense of humour.


  9. @Neverland, Nixon was a nasty piece of work but he was smart….

    Only one prediction from me even though I’m no worse than anyone else! I do like to take look at views across the political spectrum and I’ve just spent a few minutes over on Zerohedge. They’re going crazy over there mostly reinforcing each other’s views.

    My prediction is that there are going to be a lot of very disappointed people in the USA within a few years. Remember the high hopes when Tony Blair and Obama assumed office. One of my concerns is whom the Americans elect when Trump fails to deliver on his promises.

    The election campaign reminded me of the film ‘Idiocracy’ which I think I first saw mentioned here.

    Re investment. The lack of a major market shock has provided an opportunity to adjust portfolios. I have a gut preference for a bit more home bias, because, contrarian as I am, I reckon that the UK could be perceived as safe haven in the near future, Brexit or not!

    A few observations:
    a) Nate Silver has emerged well out of this since he was consistently
    saying that the chances of a Trump victory were in the 25-30% range way above other pollsters and pundits.
    b) In the UK median real incomes for full-time employees have doubled since 1975.
    c) In the US, median household incomes have grown from around $47000 to $53000 since 1975.


    1. @PH what did the superforecasters say?

      I did read silvers ‘signal and the noise’ a while back, but enjoyed tetlocks ‘superforecasting’ a fair bit more..


    2. It’s one of the disturbing things to come of digital news, what with our own filter bubbles (and yes, I do appreciate the irony of that on here). At least in the analogue world you got to see the front pages of the other papers when you got yours.

      Hope you’re right on the home bias/uk – though what will make the UK look like a safe haven is worrying as to what the rest of the world will be like 😉 It’ll take me years to fight down the home bias I unwittingly built in my HYP in the crawl from 2009.

      b and c are interesting – although it’s more that we have caught up I guess. Reading magazines in the 1970s Americans had more and bigger Stuff trhan we did, that difference is much less now. Or maybe it’s sample bias – I was a kid in a working class part of town then, when I went there I had half a working life behind me. Even then I was struck by the stupendous contrast between uptown areas in the US and parts of the city which were the wrong side of the tracks. Although London has pretty much got there now, unbelieveable opulence set against run down areas.


    3. @Mr Holt

      “Nixon was a nasty piece of work but he was smart….”

      Trump is smart but not really very intellectually curious

      While he was lucky in his opponents his achievement, while deeply disturbing, speaks for itself

      Is it really that hard to engineer a short term set of policies to please the people that elected him?

      For instance, its possible he could just run up the US national debt to engineer a boom to win a second term

      With nowhere else to go of scale who is not going to lend to the USA or invest in its companies?


  10. This could explain that really weird, prolonged spate of creepy clown sightings that originated in the US – trumpets doing a recce?

    North Korea’s current nutjob’s also going to have to raise his game in looking mad enough to ensure his people fear him & no outside powers attack his medieval utopia ….. seems it’s getting harder & harder to stand out from the crowd on the sanity scale. Joseph Kony must be fretting too – all-in-all a golden age for the science of psychiatry …..if nothing else. 🙂


  11. Trump will not / can not deliver, he is all talk…. a showman.

    When the grand wizard hillbilly rednecks that voted for him realise this and become disappointed they will shoot him.

    The western world is lurching to the right now, it will lurch back, much further to the left when it does.

    People are rightly disappointed, and they should be, the system is failing many, but neither Brexit or Trump will fix this. Either we need a new post work society or an awful lot of people are going to have to die in a manufactured war. I hope it is the former.


  12. Trouble is, all those people in the US who voted for Trump, a bit like those here who voted leave, were voting to ‘bring back’ an idyll that never really existed in the first place. We view the past through rose-coloured specs, and tend to gloss over the less enjoyable bits. I can (just) remember the 50s, and you’re welcome to them.

    So it’s surely bound to end in tears – the only question is who will be crying the most. Still, as you say Ermine, at least Vlad is feeling chipper about it all – it’ll be double vodkas all round at the Kremlin…

    Oh – and had you noticed, Trump seems to have been watching old footage of Musso’s speeches and borrowed the folded arms and self-satisfied nodding strategy. Doubt he’ll get the trains running on time, though 😉


    1. “Doubt he’ll get the trains running on time, though”

      If he DOES then maybe someone from over here (if the recent Panorama programme’s anything to go by) ought to ask him how he did it, … or maybe the French, or the Japanese.

      I can’t be the only one shocked at the idea of paying, what was it, four thousand seven hundred quid on a season ticket where you’re never sure from one day to the next whether you’ll get to work on time … or at all ! Honestly, I’m glad I’m out of all that – I just don’t know how people cope.

      You can’t tell me this is a recent problem either because I know friends who were experiencing similar hassles travelling into Birmingham on a daily basis, and that was nearly twenty years ago.

      Jeez, what the hell’s going on in this country ? We’ve got the “big picture” types banging on about showing the World that Britain’s still an economic power house. Sure, we do have some World-class businesses, if you look hard enough, but with some basic transport problems still not fixed ? And the endless hoohah about Heathrow, HS2, and another round of botched pothole fixing to come next year no doubt. Fix that lot first, then maybe we can start getting taken seriously again.

      Sorry, rant (nearly) over – time to go chop some more firewood. If I get another bloody phone call about replacing my old but reliable gas boiler (my local plumber shares the same views interestingly) with some piece of crap with a possible lifespan of only five (FIVE ?!) years I’ll need a new phone (and that bugger’s at least twenty as well) ! …


  13. Give it a couple of years, and both these events will seem ordained and inevitable on hindsight [Hindsight Bias]! As for me, I’m going to try and remind myself that any notions that I have about predicting future world events is purely illusionary… and continue the passive investing strategy.


  14. If we’re on to the subject of bias, what’s the cognitive bias where people over the age of 50 think everything is going to the dogs and was better in their day?

    It might be ‘declinism’ or ‘rosy retrospection’ (taken from

    But I would like to coin the term as ‘hell in a handcart’ bias if I may (if that term hasn’t been taken already).

    There’s a smattering of it around here. It may or may not be true at any given moment in time, but it probably can’t be true *all* of the time, i.e. it can’t be true just because you are over 50.

    And if you think I’m wrong the you’re just suffering from naive realism.

    I’m still languishing in the hinterland of the 30’s so hell-in-a-handcart-ism is only just starting to creep in around the edges. It hasn’t moved in, taken the master-bedroom and changed the locks yet..


    1. I’m well over 50 and have no idea how to answer that. I remember the 70s as being chaos, expecting to have to emigrate, then joining the EU and 40 years of increasing prosperity


    2. @ermine interesting – I recognise the pattern but it’s not my experience.

      I see what you describe as what happens if you don’t keep learning new things and trying out new experiences ..

      I’m not claiming to be immune from it, just trying to counter it.


  15. well I don’t think its endemic, but maybe common enough to warrant a name. Reason I bring it up is because I think its probably a bit of an impediment to rational investing, so useful to be able to spot it, and try to see through it. When I say impediment, I mean its the sort of thing that makes you buy more gold than you otherwise might – or starts you stuffing things under the mattress. I can feel it from time to time already.


    1. Gail Sheehy’s Passages is a decent roadmap if Carl Jung’s story of the stages of life hold no resonance for you.

      Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie

      Dear exGF was into Wayne Dwyer in a big way, his first paragraph sort of summarises it well here as is this one from purposefairy 😉

      Around 25 is the Turning Outwards, where a young adults sets their face to the world and starts to project their ego into society, they engage with it, and learn all about it.

      Somewhere around midlife that begins to ring false. The traveller has a choice at that point, whether to cling to the methods that served them well in the morning of their life – job, career, what they do in the outer world. But for some, a faint signal is heard from the future, what does it all mean? For many it is their descendants, and that works well in some ways, these are the folks with the grandkids all over their Facebook streams. Others seek meanings elsewhere. In that shift, the turning inwards focuses away from the outside world a bit, so your assumptions and mental model of the world begins to drift out of sync with the world.

      For example, when I write about the world of work, it is stuck in a timewarp about 20 years if not more out of date, enough that I sought out alternative approaches to counter that bias – I will never have the experience of work that you do. I am not a Digital Native – I don’t mess around with social media on here or generally, whereas it is a big part of life for others. I don’t carry a phone with me.

      So as the external world drifts away from me the differences stick out more, and humans notice adverse differences more. Which is probably where it’s all going to hell in a handcart comes from. I can’t recall the quote but I’m sure I’s seen someone bemoaning this from Roman times. It’s part of the human condition.

      But you can address it with your investing career. Read your F Scott Fitzgerald, note that

      the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.

      and buy into stuff you don’t believe in as well as stuff you do.


      1. @ermine interesting – I recognise the pattern but it’s not my experience.

        I see what you describe as what happens if you don’t keep learning new things and trying out new experiences ..

        I’m not claiming to be immune from it, just trying to counter it.

        (apologies for double post, clicking on reply to particular post didn’t work for me, had to open the reply in a new tab to make it work)


      2. We are of course all different, and the divergence is greater as we get older since our integrated experiences differ more.

        I don’t think the shift from the world of outer ambition has to be an arresting of learning about it. But the balance of what matters may shift. If anything in my observation the arresting of learning comes if people flunk the shift, clinging to the symbols and meanings of the morning of life into its afternoon.

        It is the interaction between the observer and the observed that is the experience of life, Heisenberg isn’t just applicable to elementary particles. The journey is meant to transform the traveller IMO 😉


      3. I think you are confusing the observer effect with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle! Heisenberg’s UP simply asserts a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known.

        Sorry I’ll get my hat …


  16. Do love a good rant.
    Old fart living in Sweden having lived in France for 15 years.
    Does anybody think of the future?

    On an entirely different topic is there an email link to new posts?


    1. > On an entirely different topic is there an email link to new posts?

      There is now, on the bottom of the links on the right-hand side 😉 Thanks for the prod to get it sorted!


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