Commentary by Joe Clark
The 45th President of the United States of America was inaugurated last month. Now, more than two months after the electoral outcome was announced, emotions remain high among the populous. But in the business world, there is a budding sense of confidence and excitement.
Years ago, our new Vice President advised me, “Do not argue with a man who buys ink by the barrel.” Vice President Pence and I were both talk radio hosts and his guidance was sound. Before the advent of social media, there was a lapse between when a public figure commented and when the press responded. Those days are behind us and new communications technologies are driving a changing of the guard.
What does the changing of the guard have to do with investing? Like it or not, President Trump enjoys a good “tweet.” Certain industries, actors and leaders have been in the crosshairs of his tweets from time to time and many question whether the tweets are un-presidential. Regardless, President Trump may have changed the landscape of the country faster than any predecessor, simply by putting his agenda out there on social media.
The President is literally buying ink by the proverbial barrel faster than CEOs or Congress can respond through conventional methods. In the last week, car manufacturers pledged more than $5 billion of investments in U.S. plants and new jobs. Yet less than a month ago, GM’s CEO said the company would move ahead with plans in Mexico. Either they will do both or things have changed. It’s simply hard to ignore thousands of retweets by constituents and car buyers supporting his agenda. Congress will have a difficult time saying they don’t know what their constituents want when the message is spelled out in 140 characters.
The world – not just the President – has changed, along with the way we communicate and express our opinions. As investors, forget your emotions and recognize our new President can and already is moving the needle.