A Whiff of Panic After Joe Biden’s Worst Week as President

by Greg Valliere, AGF Management Ltd.

JOE BIDEN HAS STUMBLED through his worst week as president — stung by the Supreme Court, failing on voting reform, blamed for surging inflation, plunging in the polls.

YESTERDAY’S SUPREME COURT RULING further complicates efforts to curb Covid, as states and corporations are now free to set policies. The OSHA vaccine-or-test requirement that was struck down would have applied to 84 million people. The vaccine requirement for health-care workers, which the court upheld, covers about 10 million.

THIS NEW CONFUSION comes as experts predict the omicron surge will level off soon, not in time for the distribution of test kits, which the Biden Administration will hand out a few weeks too late.

BIDEN CLEARLY NEEDS A WIN, but he faces a stinging rebuke on voting reform in the next few days. One exasperated Democratic staffer told us yesterday: “why are they pushing so hard on an issue they will lose?” Apparently Biden wants to show the progressive left that he’s on their side, but they haven’t done him any favors.

BIDEN’S SHOCKINGLY INTEMPERATE SPEECH in Atlanta this week will haunt him for the rest of his presidency. “Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?” Even Democrats like Sen. Dick Durbin winced; perhaps Biden “went a little too far,” Durbin said.

FOR MOST AMERICANS, AND THE MARKETS, the big story this week was the huge rise of inflation; as we wrote yesterday, this will further weaken Biden’s chances of passing the Build Back Better bill. The prescription for inflation will be Federal Reserve rate hikes, rarely welcomed by the party in power.

IS THERE A COMEBACK SCENARIO? It’s possible that Covid and inflation will subside in coming months, and it’s possible that the Republicans could over-play their hand on issues like abortion. But history shows that voters’ attitudes usually harden by late spring, ahead of an election. Biden is running out of time as a GOP House takeover looms.

THE ONLY LAUGH THIS WEEK was the absurd suggestion in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that Hillary Clinton could run in 2024 if Biden steps down. Clinton, 74, has virtually no support within the party; she screwed up an election she should have won in 2016 and the party will never forgive her.

BIDEN’S DISASTROUS VEER to the progressive left has many Democrats in this town deeply worried about the 2022 and 2024 elections. His worst week as president should be a wake-up call — time for some firings and a fresh agenda — but that would require a level of self-awareness that seems missing.




The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies.

The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.

AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.

About AGF Management Limited

Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.

For further information, please visit AGF.com.

©2022 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.

This post was first published at the AGF Perspectives Blog.

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