Many of you might have watched the grilling of Treasury Secretary-designate Steve Mnuchin on Capitol Hill today and considered the potential impact of this appointment on your portfolio and your financial life. Things did pretty much come to a standstill in the market when he faced the Senate Finance Committee, as market participants followed his every word.
Some, I am sure, came back disappointed that we didn't hear anything new or different. He wants better growth, tax reform and, in the long run, a strong dollar.
My view is the exact opposite. I was thrilled with his testimony because there was nothing new or noteworthy or tradeable or controversial. With the exception of the dollar comments, which seem at odds with the soon-to-be-president Donald Trump -- although I could argue that Mnuchin was speaking about the long-term, not short-term, fluctuation -- it was consistent with the tripod, the notion of corporate tax reform, repatriation of assets from overseas and deregulation to help businesses grow.
Why does that elate me? Because this bull market is predicated on the tripod being approved, and we don't want any surprises when it comes to what we can now regard as the holy grail of this rally. Sure, we got a lot of replay from what happened during the banking crisis, because Mnuchin was one of the winners at a time when there were many more losers. But I would simply regard him as shrewd as some of the other surviving bankers who feasted off the chaos and made money. I can't begrudge him. He saw an opportunity and took it.
What matters more is that the hearings demonstrate to me that, on the eve of the inauguration, we have many prisms to value stocks, and as long as the tripod stays in our sights, we can look at selloffs as opportunities to do some buying.
I like that. And the selloff we are getting?
I say this is the one that comes from people who say, "I want to sell before Trump gets in to get ahead of others," because once he is in, many things the market doesn't mind, including random tweets about business, might have a lot harder implications when he's in the White House.
You want Washington in the way only in so far as it furthers the agenda and nothing else about valuation. So call me a sanguine camper when it comes to these hearings.
Opportunities are awaiting a little lower from here after the inauguration selloff so many are looking for, and the setup is a most desired one given it's started ahead of the inauguration itself.