US: Five names of the new administration to have the most impact on markets – Charles Schwab

Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. US stocks rose, with the S&P 500 reaching a new record closing level; it’s up about 4% since the start of the year.

Strategists at Charles Schwab take a quick look at five members of the new administration whose decisions in the coming months could have the most impact on the markets and investors.

Key quotes

“Vice President Kamala Harris: With the swearing-in on Wednesday of the two new Democratic Senators from Georgia, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, there is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, which can be broken by the vice president. That gives Democrats the narrowest of majorities. Harris is likely to be called upon frequently to break ties, which could be key to achieving the administration’s policy priorities in areas like economic stimulus, infrastructure, health care and climate change through the bitterly divided Senate.”

“Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen: During her confirmation hearing, Yellen argued for a robust economic stimulus package, telling lawmakers it was ‘critically important to act now’ and to put aside longer-term worries about the national debt. Investors can also expect close coordination between the Treasury and the Federal Reserve in the coming years, given Yellen’s long history and strong relationships at the central bank.”

Labor Secretary nominee Marty Walsh: Walsh is likely to focus on issues like the minimum wage and enhancing workplace safety, but his department also has jurisdiction over retirement savings plans, where he has less experience. With Congress likely to consider a bipartisan retirement savings bill later this year, Walsh’s department will play a key role in how any new rules that increase savings opportunities get implemented.”

“SEC Chair nominee Gary Gensler: Gensler is expected to increase public company disclosure requirements in areas like climate change, political contributions and diversity; expand shareholder rights; and focus on executive compensation. Gensler may also look at cryptocurrency regulation and could face pressure from progressives to investigate whether newer investors are being pressured by trading apps into risky investments that they may not fully understand.”

“Rohit Chopra, Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): He returns to an agency that had been sidelined by the Trump administration but is expected to take a much higher profile in defending fair lending rules and combatting abusive practices by financial institutions during the Biden administration.”


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