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Op-ed Placement

The Hillary Clinton Recession

Originally Published in The Washington Times on 3/20/16.

In a supremely weird election season the latest weird twist is the consensus emerging on Wall Street that Hillary Clinton would be better for financial markets than Donald Trump.

The usually sensible Barrons magazine concluded its cover story last week that Hillary-onomics is better for investors than Mr. Trump. Warren Buffett and other stock gurus have made the same case.

The argument for Hillary is that she’s predictable and that Wall Street knows what she will do. Mr. Trump, by contrast, is the high beta candidate, and let’s face it: no one knows exactly what you get with a President Trump. She’s the safer bet. Investors also are drooling for a return to the 1990s and the bull market returns under Bill Clinton — when stocks tripled in value. I know I am.

Hillary is seen as less likely to spark a trade war that could send stocks tumbling.

But there’s a problem with each of these arguments. It’s true that Hillary brings far more certainty, but what this means is that we are absolutely certain to get bad ideas. I never have bought the argument that Wall Street wants the devil they know.

If you’re walking down a dark street at night and there’s a 100 percent chance that you will get mugged on the left side of the street and a 50 percent chance if you cross over to the right side of the street, what’s the logical move?

Hillary is 100 percent predictable. She is going to raise tax rates; she is going to spend trillions more over the next decade; she is going to stop drilling for oil and gas and shutdown our coal industry; she is going to double down on Obamacare; and she is going to wage war against the rich on Wall Street. Is that the certainty Wall Street is craving?