October already, days are getting shorter and the nights much colder. Octobers are often a bad month for economies: in 1929, the Great Depression followed several historically bad October days. The Black Monday crash of 1987, in which the market dropped 22%, took place on 19 October. On 9 October 2002, the market hit a five-year low point. And the market dropped 16% in October of 2008, the start of the Great Recession.
But at least this October will not be dull.
Although it might be volatile.
Now that President Trump is back at work after his Covid-19 spell, people are starting to wonder if he might be as good as his word, and dispute the result if he is not a clear victor. He has said that “mail-in ballots are very dangerous – there’s tremendous fraud involved”. At a rally in Pennsylvania on 26 September, he declared that “they’re trying to steal this election”. Using his favourite form of communication, he has Tweeted that “2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history”.
Is this just familiar bluster? There’s precious little evidence that voter fraud is commonplace in the US – the bi-partisan Brennan Centre for Justice studied the issue in 2017 and concluded that overall voter fraud was between 0.00004% and 0.0009%.
The postal ballot will be big. Almost 25% of votes in the 2016 election were by post and the social distancing created by Covid-19 is bound to push that number up this time. 198 million voters are eligible to vote by mail. Nine states plan to hold all-mail ballot elections this November – California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Utah, Washington, and Washington D.C.
As The Atlantic has said, the worst case is not that Trump rejects the election outcome. “The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him… he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous victory for Biden in the Electoral College and then in Congress. He could prevent the formation of consensus about whether there is any outcome at all. He could seize on that uncertainty to hold on to power”.
This is alarming but possible. Joe Biden might be leading in all the polls, but he still might not emerge a clear winner on 3 November. Wrangling over the result could take months. Whoever you support, it’s clear that the incumbent has done his best to undermine trust in the vote, which translates into distrust in American democracy. By the end of the year, the most powerful country on earth might be locked into a constitutional crisis.
Seems to me to be a very good time to buy more gold via Glint – I think the price could easily reach new record heights between now and 2021.
Until next week,