Election sparks expert commentary

As news of Donald Trump’s election made headlines across the globe, several media outlets turned to Terry professors to understand the implications for financial markets and public policy.

Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the Republican-controlled Congress and White House could mean sweeping changes.

“Less gridlock in Washington. That’s a big deal. As the world changes, policies need to change, and gridlock has impeded that for a long time,” he said.

But the political change of direction means greater uncertainty and possibly slower economic growth initially, Humphreys said, as businesses, households and financial markets wait to see what Trump’s new policies will be on taxes, regulations and other issues.

The uncertainty “will dissipate,” he added. “If we get better policies, it could bring substantial benefits in the end.”

But Trump’s campaign promises on trade and global currency issues could result in trade wars and “a more isolated U.S. economy,” he said. “Importers and exporters have to be concerned.”

Sara Holland, a finance professor, was surprised that stocks of industries like coal and pharmaceuticals performed particularly well the day after the election.

“I didn’t expect it to happen,” she said. “I checked [election] night when Asian markets were open and those were down, so if we would have expected that same sentiment to follow through when markets opened [Wednesday] morning I also would have expected them to be down.”

“One possibility is that the market anticipates the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates the same at their December meeting,” she said.

And Ugur Lel, a finance professor, predicted a change is in store for the IRS.

“My guess is that this new president will bring lower taxes,” he said. “That may translate to more revenues for companies or not… depending on how they spend their money.”