In disappointing news this morning future episodes of 'The Apprentice' in America are now on hold due to Donald Trump becoming otherwise engaged - but this does not mean we will see less of him. For as of 2:30am EST (7:30am GMT) this morning Mr Trump became President-Elect of an USD18tn economy, a federal budget of USD3.8tn and set to become Commander in Chief of a 2m strong armed forces and the most powerful nuclear arsenal in the world. Furthermore, if true to his promises, he will be preoccupied with a complete overhaul of US taxation, trade and foreign policies (so we may still see him getting plenty of people ‘fired’).
Following the US presidential debate on Monday subsequent polling data has edged back in Secretary Hillary Clinton’s favour estimating her having a ~56% chance of winning vs 44% for Donald Trump. Mrs Clinton’s more prepared remarks and her live website fact checking team seem to have swayed at least a few of the estimated 25% of voters that remain undecided. With less than six weeks to go until the popular vote Hillary looks set to win the Western and North-Eastern states as well as the Great Lake states (excluding Indiana) and New Mexico. Trump is expected to sweep much of the smaller Central and large Southern states.
As was widely expected, rating agency Moody’s downgraded Turkey’s Baa3 long-term rating by one notch to junk, Ba1. Moody’s cited 'The increase in the risks related to the country’s sizeable external funding requirements' and 'the weakening in previously supportive credit fundamentals particularly growth and institutional strength' as the main drivers for the downgrade. A report from Moody's also highlighted the country’s susceptibility to event risk as ‘high’ adding its concerns over the country’s vulnerability to political instability and geopolitical risks emanating from ‘Syria’s ongoing civil war and the crisis in Iraq.’ After the failed coup in July, Standard and Poor’s swiftly downgraded the country’s rating to BB, however Moody's said it would take time to review the situation later stating, ‘The risk of a sudden disruptive reversal on foreign capital flows, a more rapid fall in reserves and, in a worst-case scenario, a balance of payments crisis has increased”. Fitch is the only major rating agency to maintain an investment grade rating on the country; at BBB-.
Tonight we’ll see the first presidential debate with Clinton and Trump going head to head as the latest polls show the pair are virtually neck and neck. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, those likely to vote put Clinton just ahead on 46%, with Trump on 44%. The debate, to be held at New York's Hofstra University is expected to draw a record audience of over 100m people.
Super Tuesday or what may for now be known as Trump Tuesday - following Donald’s triumph yesterday across 7 of the 11 state primaries - was already unenthusiastically anticipated by markets. Florida senator Marco Rubio only managed to woo Minnesota whereas Texas senator Ted Cruz won his populous Texas home state, neighbouring Oklahoma and Alaska. Amongst the Democratic race Hillary Clinton also claimed victory in 7 of the 11 states (substituting Alaska for Colorado). Pundits now forecast around a 90% chance (up from 70%) that Mr Trump will be on the Republican ticket. This is similar to the likelihood that Hillary Clinton will lead the Democratic bid for the Office. Both conventions will take place between the 18th - 21st July. Those who, out of incredulity, have yet to seriously evaluate the viability and potential impact of Trump’s (and Clinton’s) policies are running out of reasons to postpone the unsavoury task.