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How the Election Is Changing Halloween

Oct 19, 2012, 3:21 pm EDT

At least something’s injecting humor into the race for the presidency.

An offhand remark by Republican candidate Mitt Romney during a presidential debate has spurred a run on costumes featuring the beloved Sesame Street character Big Bird.

Romney might have said he loves the friendly avian, but the American people love like no other. With Romney saying he’d cut funding for public television — and therefore Public Broadcasting Service, and therefore Sesame Street — the country suddenly was alive with jokes about the candidate and the character. Read 

Bain Capital’s ‘Leveraged Gambling’

Oct 19, 2012, 10:17 am EDT
Bain Capital’s ‘Leveraged Gambling’

Mitt Romney ran Bain Capital from 1984 through 1999. As a result of that experience, the Republican presidential candidate believes he’s the person to fix what ails American business. David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s budget director, thinks otherwise, and he suggests as much in his new book, The Great Deformation: How Crony Capitalism Corrupts Free Markets and Democracy.

With information gathered by The Wall Street Journal, Stockman portrays Bain Capital during the Romney era as “… a dangerous form of leveraged gambling…”

Fast forward to 2012. Read 

Gallup Poll: Romney Takes Biggest Lead Yet

Oct 18, 2012, 9:45 pm EDT
Gallup Poll: Romney Takes Biggest Lead Yet

If Barack Obama’s latest debate performance was going to juice his standing in the polls, well, it hasn’t quite happened yet.

Gallup released its latest poll today, showing that Mitt Romney now has a seven point lead nationally among likely voters.

Romney now leads Obama by a 52%-45% margin. Earlier Gallup polls, released on Oct. 9 and Tuesday, had Obama trailing by smaller margins — 50%-46% on Tuesday, and 49%-47% on Oct. 9. Read 

Obama Won the Debate but Not Yet the Election

Oct 17, 2012, 5:01 pm EDT
Obama Won the Debate but Not Yet the Election

In the second presidential debate Tuesday night, at Hofstra University in Long Island, President Obama did everything he didn’t do in the first debate in Denver: He was feisty and passionate, and gave no ground to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s continued attacks.

The punditocracy — including conservatives Charles Krauthammer and Pat Buchanan — gave the president the edge. And a CNN-ORC scientific poll of debate watchers said the president won by 46% to 39%. (More on them later.) Fully 73% said the president topped their expectations.

Obama supporters like Chris Matthews on MSNBC and Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast were exultant, a 180-degree change from their despondency after the first debate. (Sullivan awarded the debate “game, set, and match” to the president.) If one of President Obama’s goals was to reenergize his base, he certainly succeeded. Read 

Investing Scenarios for the Fiscal Cliff

Oct 17, 2012, 9:30 am EDT

Investors clearly have a lot riding on the election and how it will shape the White House and Congress in 2013. Here’s how most of the investing world has come to embrace the current backdrop:

    No Fiscal Cliff: Following the November election, the deadline will likely be pushed down the road after the two parties agree to a budget reprieve, such as a deficit-reduction down payment for the first half of the year. Europe Won’t Get It Together: The markets have priced in the current situation, and the “too big to fail” rally for equities will occur. Meanwhile, the euro will unravel if the ECB gives in to populist movements amid complicit regional leadership. Israel Bombs Iran on Its Own: As long as Obama and Hillary Clinton are in office, that option is officially off the table as far as the U.S. is concerned. Bond Market Rallies: This will establish the ultimate top, setting the stage for the trade of the decade: shorting U.S. Treasuries. Tim Tebow leads the New York Jets to a Super Bowl win.

There could be some gaps in my analysis, but I’m convinced about 80% of my contentions … and I’m pulling for Tebow in the other 20%.

Given the political stakes in play and the potential collateral damage to the leadership of both parties, it seems implausible that a deal to avert the fiscal cliff won’t be struck before the holidays. But if this situation does drag out to midnight on Dec. 23, then havoc in equity markets around the world will have already intensified. Read 

Obama Gets His Groove Back

Oct 17, 2012, 8:49 am EDT
Obama Gets His Groove Back

President Barack Obama: A

The stakes couldn’t have been higher for President Obama coming into the second presidential debate. After his dismal performance two weeks ago, Obama had essentially lost his lead in the national polls and was giving up ground in the the swing states.

Some commentators thought the “town hall” format would work against the president, who needed to show some aggression and attack Mitt Romney. Those predictions were wrong. Obama had no problem interrupting and correcting Romney. He was sharp, focused and clearly relishing the opportunity to hit back tonight. Read 

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