We do however, have to monitor political events in the US because they can potentially significantly impact markets and even systemic stability if something very dramatic does take place.
We have reported here during the Trump Administration that the ongoing political battle between the President and his political opponents is ramped up beyond the normal political fighting that really goes on all the time so we have to monitor any impact related to impeachment proceedings and the counter claims that improper actions were taken by high US government officials against the Trump Campaign including claims that some of those actions may have been criminal in nature.
Our take on all this so far has been to advise readers to monitor markets to see if they detect anything truly disruptive is really happening. By this we mean something that could rattle markets to the point that there is actually systemic risk to the entire system. We pointed out that so far markets have mostly ignored everything related to this ongoing political war indicating there is no serious belief that President Trump will eventually be removed from office or that high officials in the previous Administration are likely to be convicted of serious criminal activity.
This week we have a lot of news relevant to this ongoing political battle but still no major impact on markets. So we see no reason to change what we have said here for some time. If we see a major stock market decline (far beyond a normal correction) and/or a major sharp move higher in gold and silver, that would be an indicator that markets are rattled.
This week final impeachment proceedings have led to a vote to impeach the President that will likely end in his acquittal in the Republican controlled Senate since it takes a 2/3 vote to convict and there is no indication the votes are there to convict. It appears that markets are discounting that as the logical outcome and are not indicating any signs of distress.
Also this week we had the release of the report of the Inspector General on the activities of various Justice Department employees in conducting ongoing monitoring of the Trump Campaign leading up to and even following his election. The Inspector General found a lot of problems with the way the investigation was handled, but his report said it did not find evidence of political bias in starting up the investigation.
Attorney General William Barr reacted to the IG report with this statement (pasted in below):
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by Attorney General William P. Barr on the Inspector General's Report of the Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation
US Attorney John Durham who was tasked by Attorney General Barr to look into the possible criminal abuse of the system during all this activity also issued this statement (pasted in below):
Statement of U.S. Attorney John H. Durham
My added comments: It appears that there is still nothing that has upset markets that has emerged from all this. However, the statements by the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney do imply that a criminal investigation is still ongoing and is looking into activities beyond the scope of the investigation released by the Inspector General. It is interesting to note that U.S. Attorney Durham states that he is looking at information "from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S." The Inspector General would not have access to people outside the U.S. Justice Department for his investigation so the result of that investigation will be closely watched in coming months.
So, we will just continue to monitor events to see if anything significant enough to disrupt markets does eventually emerge.