Over the weekend, President Trump failed to repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare. Obamacare, with a budget five times that of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), is a prickly issue, and one which will unlikely be solved to everyone’s satisfaction anytime soon. Now the Republicans plan to move on to tax reform and have promised quick action. However, tax reform could be just as complicated as healthcare reform. To start with, the only actual tax plan in existence, the Ryan-Brady Border Adjustment Tax, is extremely divisive within the Republican Party and doesn’t have sufficient support to pass the Senate. The economic recovery and the equity bull market, that started in March 2009 are celebrating their eighth anniversary this month. During this time the S&P 500 Index is up a staggering +246%. The economic expansion has been driven largely by record low-interest rates, the lowest since the 1800s in the US, driven by accommodative monetary policy. Going forward, given the low level of interest rates and expectations of rising inflation and bond yields, equities continue to offer better potential returns than bonds. On a valuation basis, Europe looks much more reasonably valued than the US. The European Stoxx 600 Index is still -7% below its 2007 peak, whereas the S&P500 Index is +48% above its 2007 peak.
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