The uncertainty has vanished with the re-election of Barack Obama as president. But the incumbent who won a second term last night still has a number of problems that he continues to face – from a sluggish economic recovery, a huge deficit, a stubbornly high unemployment rate and of course, the fiscal cliff.
Other legislation that Obama put in place in his first term will move forward, including the Affordable Care Act but also of much more immediate impact on the financial community is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. It clearly won’t be rolled back but the question is whether the pace of the rulemaking and implementation will speed up.
In a gracious and dignified concession speech, Republican challenger Mitt Romney noted that “this is a time of great challenges,” adding “I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.” Most notably, former Gov. Romney said “we can’t risk partisan bickering” and he said that both political parties have to “put the people before the politics.”
In acknowledging both his victory and the tough road ahead, Obama told a crowd of his supporters in Chicago: “We rise and fall together as one nation and one people.”
Stock futures sagged as the outcome of election became clearer. As Romney spoke Dow futures fell by as much as 65 points and turned around to a smaller drop as the President made his comments.
Meanwhile, the fiscal cliff, which is $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases, looms at the end of this year as the most immediate threat to economic stability and growth. We will see if the President and the House of Representatives can work together so we don’t fall off that cliff. Let’s see if both sides can see the word “compromise” in a positive light and find common ground. Let’s see if they can reach agreements on the serious issues of the day such as spending cuts and revenue increases and see if they can make choices that will benefit the entire nation.