The New Year may have started quietly in Australia, but the pace has been frenetic in the USA. Only weeks into the new Trump administration there are signs that the new regime may experience a short honeymoon.
Late last year senior executives of some of Americas largest companies met with Trump in his own Trump Tower, to be told how it was going to be. Most fell into line, given the gladiatorial stance of the new leader.
Within weeks it seems, the corporate tide has rallied against the new President, driven primarily by the selective temporary immigration ban. Many of the largest technology businesses were founded by immigrants, not to mention the origins of so many employees.
Gathered together like a squadron of military aircraft, Team USA have filed a brief against the new doctrine creating a legal and media storm. There is more to come with the administration attempting to scale back the Dodd-Frank financial regulations. There are already signs of legal resistance to that decree. The Trump Presidency could be embroiled in a series of legal challenges, public resistance and media scrutiny that would wear down even the most thick skinned Republican. Last month the Administration got stuck into the judiciary, this week it is Barack Obama. Trump thinks he can remodel the US tax system in a matter of months. Trump has now admitted that the health system is a bit more complex than thought.
It is ironic that the new administration is so convinced that it can change or suspend regulation in a country whose fore fathers deliberately created a system of government that makes change so difficult.
It also raises questions over the tenure of this President which suggests we need to continue a cautious macro view within our portfolio. It has been suggested that this could be a one term Presidency on the assumption that the Republican power brokers see a need to regain control and start again. Trump leads a Republican party in which he is not engaged. What has not been speculated is that the new Commander in Chief becomes so frustrated with the heavy wheels of government that he actually walks voluntarily. Pity. It could have “been great”.