By now, everyone who follows politics and markets is probably well aware that between corporate tax cuts and a planned repatriation holiday, there’s a pretty high likelihood that companies will continue to buy back their own shares.
As you may or may not know, buybacks are a considerably large source of overall equity demand. Remove the corporate bid, and you take away a key part of the bull thesis.
Of course buybacks are funded with debt, and central bank largesse has ensured there’s a perpetual bid for IG and HY credit (if you can’t get any yield on govies, you turn to corporate debt). Essentially it’s a virtuous circle for corporate management teams and shareholders: companies issue debt at low yields, the proceeds are used to buy back shares, EPS is artificially inflated offsetting declining profit growth, share prices rise, everyone gets rich, and around we go.
Well now, thanks to Trump’s policy proposals, the merry-go-round is set to continue as Goldman estimates buybacks will hit a record in 2017.
Below, fine two charts that illustrate what happens immediately after a repatriation “holiday”:
What does this do for the working-class Americans who in November adopted Trump as their official (orange-ish) mascot?