Maybe you've noticed, but some of the cool kids are pushing a new market narrative: Even if it's a supply-side cream dream, Trump's America will invite innumerable uncertainties and untold volatility, with potential disaster lurking behind every large-print, novelty-sized executive order. “Not only is Trump shockingly unpredictable, he’s apparently deliberately so,” warned investor's investor Seth Klarman. “I see a lot of dark shadows that could impact the direction of the marketplace,” goth teen Larry Fink recently brooded. Even Goldman Sachs' macro team has begun to see the dark side.
But Lloyd Blankfein, ever a step ahead of the game, has no time for your hipster cynicism. In his latest message to investors the Goldman Sachs honcho is essentially telling his peers that yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
“It's a vanity, always, at any given moment, to think, ‘My goodness we have challenges of a dimension we've never seen before, the world is more uncertain,’” he said in a video to investors. “It's always uncertain when you're living in it, and it always seems so simple and sure when you're looking back at it.”
Blankfein is sticking with the narrative that blasted out of the gate on November 9 and has since sent Goldman Sachs stock up 33 percent: A stimulative boost of tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending will deliver us unto a land of prosperity and ample bonuses. Or, in Lloyd's coinage, America is moving from “pessimism” to something “growthier.”
“Change in general creates opportunity, but change from a pessimistic state of mind to one of more optimism is the better of the two possibilities,” Blankfein said.
That's not to say Blankfein is blithely unaware of the epochal shifts going on from the last administration to the current one. “That's a very wide gap,” Blankfein said. “It's uncertain for a reason.” But he declined to mention some of the headlines giving other traders jitters, from continued trade war provocations to Trump's seeming disregard for the rule of law to the chaotic travel ban (which, we should add, Blankfein took a decisive stand against).
So take heart, Klarmans and Finks of the world: all will be well. “I'm sure from a perspective of a year ago we'll look back at whatever emerges and think, ‘of course, how could it be otherwise?’” In other words, fuck it, dude. Let's go trading.