The death of U.S. Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the looming fight to replace her, may weigh against further fiscal stimulus in the U.S., Scotia Economics says.
In a new report, the bank’s economists say that president Trump’s pledge to name a replacement for Bader Ginsburg by the end of the week, as well as his intention to seek her confirmation (all of the potential nominees are said to be women) before the election on Nov. 3, may be weighing on markets.
The prospect of a pitched battle over a Supreme Court candidate in the midst of an election may lower the likelihood of added U.S. stimulus, the report said.
The process may absorb time and space on the U.S. Senate’s docket at the expense of other items, such as a stimulus bill. Said the report: “Even if quick resolution is achieved, however, the Democrats’ spirit of cooperation is likely to be further lessened as total election gridlock takes root.”
Additionally, all of this is coming as Covid-19 infections are rising in parts of Canada and Europe, prompting fears of renewed restrictions.
“In the meantime, major global central banks have taken themselves out of the picture at an inopportune moment,” the report noted.
Given the looming U.S. election, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board is likely to try and avoid the fray for the next couple of months.
“Barring truly exigent circumstances, the Fed may be out of the picture until the December 16th communications when it may announce fuller results of its strategic review and could have an opportunity to tweak its [quantitative easing] programs,” the Scotiabank economists said.
“Other central banks are also probably sidelined with the [European Central Bank] conducting its review and the Bank of Japan facing few options and monitoring a change in political leadership,” it noted. “The Bank of England is the most likely to announce policy changes but the impact on risk appetite is intertwined with Brexit developments.”