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Sam Zell: Trump Big Psychological Boost for Markets After Obama 'Tyranny'


By    |   Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:53 PM


Real estate billionaire Sam Zell said the stock market rally since Donald Trump's election represents a "huge psychological difference" about the economy’s future.

“I think Donald Trump is very smart and has a unique opportunity to change things and lead this country,” Zell told CNBC. “And I think this country desperately is looking for somebody to give us leadership,” said Zell, who correctly predicted a top in the last commercial real-estate cycle.

Wall Street’s general attitude has shifted from "extreme pessimism to possible optimism," said Zell, without noting whether or not he voted for Trump. "I don't think there's any reason why this country can't go back to [an economic] growth rate of 3 percent," he said.

Zell said the economy has been held back "under the tyranny" of President Barack Obama's environmental regulations.

"I think this country needs someone like Trump to encourage us and lead us in an optimistic fashion," Zell said. "That's a great deal of what's been missing over the last eight years."

Trump has a "unique opportunity" to affect change in the United States, and Americans are ready for a leader who can break the gridlock in Washington, Zell added.

Zell, who once said Trump didn’t have the correct personality and temperament to be president, explained that the real estate mogul has evolved as the reality of the presidency has set in.

Trump is "significantly more disciplined" now than he was a year ago as the leading Republican candidate, Zell said.

To be sure, a well-respected gauge of American sentiment turned positive for the first time in nearly two years.

Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index soared 13 points last week to turn positive for the first time since March 2015 in the wake of Trump’s White House victory.

Gallup's Economic Confidence Index moved from a slightly negative evaluation (-10) to a slightly positive one (+3). The index had been consistently negative throughout the year leading up to the election.

The increase in economic confidence mostly stems from Republicans' more positive views after Trump won the election. Gallup has previously noted that Americans view the economy through a political lens. Republicans have had a dismal view of the economy -- especially of its future direction -- during Democratic President Barack Obama's two terms.

“After Trump won last week's election, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now have a much more optimistic view of the U.S. economy's outlook than they did before the election. Just 16% of Republicans said the economy was getting better in the week before the election, while 81% said it was getting worse. Since the election, 49% say it is getting better and 44% worse,” Gallup reported.

“Conversely, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents' confidence in the economy plummeted after the election. Before the election, 61% of Democrats said the economy was getting better and 35% worse. Now, Democrats are evenly divided, with 46% saying it is getting better and 47% saying it is getting worse.”

However, Trump still has his critics.

Bond manager Bill Gross of Janus Capital Group Inc. predicted Trump will last no more than four years in the White House, a period when corporations and Wall Street will retain the upper hand over the struggling workers who helped elect him in a populist wave, Reuters reported.


In his monthly investment outlook, "Populism Takes a Wrong Turn," Gross also said "there is no new Trump bull market in the offing," and that global diversified investors should be "satisfied" with 3 percent to 5 percent annual returns.

"The Trumpian Fox has entered the Populist Henhouse, not so much by stealth but as a result of Middle America's misinterpretation of what will make America great again," Gross wrote.

"[Trump's] tenure will be a short four years but is likely to be a damaging one for jobless and low-wage American voters," Gross added. "I write in amazed, almost amused bewilderment at what American voters have done to themselves."

Gross became the world's most famous bond fund manager at Allianz SE's Pacific Investment Management Co., where he ran Pimco Total Return and worked until 2014, when he joined Janus.

He now oversees the $1.7 billion Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Real estate billionaire Sam Zell said the stock market rally since Donald Trump's election represents a "huge psychological difference" about the economy’s future.
sam zell, donald trump, stock markets, US
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 12:53 PM
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