Skip to Content

This Is Brexit Squared

Well, that was a surprise.

Angry American voters rose up and walloped the establishment, handing the U.S. presidency to Donald Trump, and making fools of pollsters, pundits, political reporters, and a lot of other people in the process.

Global markets took an initial nosedive in response, with the S&P 500 falling 5 percent. The Trump victory – built on anti-trade, anti-immigrant, isolationist rhetoric – represents a resounding repudiation of the policies of globalization that the post-World War II economy was built upon. Many of the specific economic policies he advocated – forcing Mexico to pay for a wall on the Southern border, imposing stiff tariffs on Chinese imports, requiring U.S. companies to bring home jobs they have shipped overseas, etc. – seem more bluster than serious proposal, but nevertheless will leave a huge question mark hanging over the global economy for months to come.

To his credit, Trump used the moment to try and heal the nation’s divisions, after the most rancorous election in modern history. He said “it is time for us to come together and be one united people.” He also praised his opponent – whom he had repeatedly called “crooked Hillary” during the campaign – for her service, and said he “will be president for all Americans.”

Republicans also kept control of the Senate and the House, meaning the biggest disagreements in Washington after Jan. 20 will be the huge rifts that the election unveiled within the party. But Mr. Trump also will need the support of some Democrats to get the 60 votes needed to move major legislation through the Senate.

Attention now turns to building a cabinet. On the economic front, Trump’s best-known allies are an odd assortment of iconoclasts – activist investor Carl Icahn, billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, and distressed asset investor Wilbur Ross. He has indicated he may ask his finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin – a veteran of Goldman Sachs – to be Treasury Secretary.

More news below. For those considering a move to Canada, Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts offers some pointers.

This is going to be interesting.