Every U.S. presidential election in the post WWII period has been seen by a vast majority of the entire human race as of vital importance to the destiny of the greater world community, but in the minds of most of the entire global population, this particular election of 2016 is truly like no other.
The president of the United States, head of state and commander-in-chief of the only dominant world superpower, is rightly viewed as the most powerful person on the planet.
In past elections, the 96% or so of the world population that is not American has often looked at our elections with keen interest, occasional bemusement, sometimes anger, resentment, and even sporadic approval.
But this time, among much of the global population, especially within our NATO and Western allied countries, the overwhelming feeling is one of sheer terror.
Whatever one's opinion is of Hillary Clinton here in the U.S., her reputation in the international world is one that represents the status quo, stability, and the continuity of the traditions of modern American democracy. Though she has arguably earned the mistrust and skepticism of many U.S. voters, she does not instill feelings of anxiety, foreboding and the fear of an unstable and possibly dangerous U.S. leader in the minds and hearts of the 96%.
Many Americans may not fully understand how much Donald Trump terrifies most of the rest of the world community. In the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump has been appointed the leader of a very real and relevant populist rebellion inside the U.S. that has long resented big government, various foreign trade agreements, mass undocumented immigration and the cultural fallout of political correctness gone too far.
While these may be legitimate issues domestically, the other 96% of the world is thinking more in terms of the dangerous political and economic consequences of broken trade agreements, possible termination of vital mutual defense pacts such as NATO and others, and even possible nuclear conflict.
Domestically, the U.S. is not insulated from global economic reaction to a Trump presidency, and a domino effect of deflation that would originate in the global financial and commodities markets can quickly make its way to the U.S. and cause a major crisis of confidence that could trigger a serious global recession.
Keeping in mind that all economies and especially financial markets operate on confidence, the election of Trump to the presidency can easily shake that confidence among countless international counter parties in banking, trade, import, export and commodities markets worldwide.
To put it simply, the vast majority of people in the world think Donald Trump is a dangerous and unstable personality who will have his finger on the American nuclear trigger. Whether this is a fair and accurate portrayal of Trump or not is irrelevant, the fear of much of the rest of the world is palpable and is undeniable.
If Donald Trump wins the November 8 election, international financial markets may react in a rather negative manner. The vast majority of participants in global markets fear the possible instability, termination of longstanding trade and defense alliances and possible international confrontations that a Trump presidency can bring.
Strap in, this is going to be scary.
Benjamin Lupu, CFP, is owner of Kensington A.M.I. (Asset Management International) (www.kensingtonami.com). He has been an Investment Advisor professional since 1980 and is the former VP of Wedbush securities. His primary expertise is in Dividend and Income investments and Total Return methodology.
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