Former White House Communications Director and Skybridge Founder, Anthony Scaramucci, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss his take on the 2020 election.
JULIE HYMAN: You have sort of switched allegiances, shall we say. And you were just reminding me in the commercial break, that back in January, you were at that point saying that President Trump would not take re-election. So as we are now on election day and as we look ahead to tonight, what are some of your predictions? Say your top three predictions for election night?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: OK, well first of all, thank you, Julie, for inviting me. Here's what I would say. Top three predictions, I think Trump loses Florida and I think this is over by 11:00 PM Eastern time. I also think he was a very subdued Mr Trump this morning, President Trump. And so that's an indication that Republican leadership has told him, knock it off.
And so I predict that he will not call himself a victor if I'm wrong about Florida and he looks like he's ahead without the mail-in ballots being counted over the next 72 to 96 hours. I believe that he has been told by senior Republican leadership, knock it off. You can tell how subdued he was today on the "Fox and Friends" interview.
And then my third prediction is that there will have to be some kind of reckoning inside the Republican Party, and there will probably be statements from senior leadership about what has gone so wrong in the Republican Party. So that could break either way. The party will either become way more to the right and more radicalized or it will seek a higher ground in terms of growing its demographic tent. So those are my three predictions.
But I remain missile locked on the notion that Trump is going. He deserves to go. He wrecked the economy. We've got extra 100,000 plus people dead as a result of his leadership during the pandemic. And he's made our country weaker as it relates to our alliances. And that's the reason why European markets are rallying, UK markets are rallying, because they know we could have a restoration of the Western alliance, which would be good for the world and would be good for peace and prosperity. He's been a terrible president.
BRIAN SOZZI: If President Trump does, in fact, go, we're left with Joe Biden. What does that, what do you think institutions are inclined to do in the weeks following the election? What might we see in the markets? Break it down for the average investor. The Dow, the S&P 500, what type of gains or losses might we see?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: So I think the market's already rallied. The market sold off on COVID and is rallying on a Biden administration. And what I would tell people, is go back to 2008 and '09 when the transition happened between a conservative Bush administration to a liberal Obama administration. People were worried about that from a market point of view, but the Obama administration, you didn't have to worry, because the Federal Reserve is sort of in the same gear as it was in 2009.
And that's a low interest rate gear. And so I would tell investors, focus on the Fed. I would be less worried about taxation. Everyone's talking about taxation. The Obama administration, 2009, '10 and '11, they could not move on taxes. And the Biden administration, because of the anemia in the economy, will not be able to move on taxes.
But here's something I will say to all of my friends in the world, in America, we can't run $3, $4 trillion deficits. Because what ends up happening is, the rich get richer in that situation and the poor get poorer. You're going to monetize the debt. Just take a look at where gold was in 1971, $35 an ounce, over $2,000 an ounce today.
We've dropped the dollar by 99% in terms of its valuation. And it hurts middle class and lower income people. So you need taxes to defeat some of that debt, as well as the monetization. You just don't want to monetize the debt. You'll end up like a South American country. It's not something I would like to see in the United States.
JULIE HYMAN: Anthony, back up for one second. So you think, so Joe Biden has said he will be raising taxes on people making over $400,000 a year. It looks like the corporate tax rate would go up if he got his way. But it sounds like you think he's not going to get his way. He's not going to be able to get a tax increase through, that is even if there is a blue wave of both Houses of Congress as well?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: I predict even if there is a blue wave, they're going to wait on the taxes. They've got very smart economic advisors, like Gene Sperling and Larry Summers, and they'll make the same recommendations that they made to the Obama administration. Remember, the Obama administration for the first two years, controlled all three branches of government. They lost in 2010, but they had the control. They did not push any tax increases through because of the overall weakness in the economy.
And so I just don't see it happening now. I could be wrong on that, but it's likely not to happen. But the big worry for me, is I'm not a modern monetary theorist. I read Stephanie Kelton's book. I respect her. She's probably right that deficits matter less than we all thought 25 or 30 years ago. But I think you have to be very careful, because you can trace rampant deficit spending to dollar devaluation.
So the price of my house is going to go up as the dollar's devaluing, but the price of wages does not. If anything, real wages for middle income people and lower income people have actually gone down over the last 30 years, which is why we've seen this systemic rise of populism and nationalism. So if Mr Trump leaves the stage tonight, and I predict he will and I predict he will leave peacefully, you will have a situation where we still have this systemic dilemma.
We have to cure the ills in the system and make those people feel part of the system again. And hopefully, the Biden administration will come up with ideas and policy directives that will help those people feel included. I think that will be Mr Trump's legacy, by the way. President Trump's legacy is that he was providing advocacy for those people, but he ultimately became an avatar for their anger and he didn't seek for those people, a policy solution.
MYLES UDLAND: It's election day today I want to go back four years to election day 2016. And when you cast a ballot for Donald Trump, what you thought would happen over the next four years and how it surprised, disappointed you, and do you think that most of the folks who voted for the president four years ago are displeased, I suppose, with the choice that they ended up making and the direction that we went?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Listen, I can't speak for all those people. He still has ardent support. It could be 30%, 40% support. We'll know more tonight. I think that support is primarily coming from the idea that we're in this major culture war in the United States. Any sort of the last white man standing to protect their culture. So they put a red hat on and they'll vote for him no matter what.
And I think that's a sad part of the thing, because that's a myth borne from the media. No one's telling me how to direct my life out here on Long Island anymore than I'm telling people in South and North Dakota how to direct their lives. So that is a false narrative that many people are clinging to in the United States. And hopefully, we can figure out ways to dissolve that narrative.
But my hopes for him last time was that he was the oldest person to be inaugurated as president and I thought he would take a transformative position as opposed to what he did. And I can take you guys back to the Wednesday after election day, 11:30 in the morning in his office, where we were talking about the win. And he was talking about being very presidential and taking himself off of Twitter and building that executive transition committee, which I was a member of, a proud member of. And we were starting to build out the cabinet and the ideas around the cabinet.
But then he immediately regressed back into those bad habits and he immediately regressed. And then ultimately when I worked for him for the 11 short days, it became clear to me that he was just talking to himself. He had this one big run-on sentence going. And the most surprising thing to me is, given his achievements in life, the fact that he's ascended to the American presidency, I didn't realize how ridiculously insecure he is.
And so when he was talking to experts, in order to prove that they did know more than him, and this is borne from his insecurity, he would reflexively do the opposite of what they wanted, whether it was HR McMaster, Jim Mattis, General Kelly. Anything that was said to him, he would do the exact opposite. And so it was no surprise to me when doctors like Birx and Fauci got to him and Tom Bossert, who he let go in 2018, who was the president's pandemic task force, got to him in early February, said, OK, this is going to be a massive crisis in the United States.
Here's the protocols and the procedures they're adopting in South Korea. This is what we need to do. It's no surprise to any of us that worked for him that he wouldn't do that, because he had to show through his personality that he was smarter or better than them, that he knew more than the epidemiologists, like he knew more than the generals.
So yes, I was disappointed, but I'm a business executive. This is not personal to President Trump. When you are a business executive, you analyze objectively what has gone on and you say to yourself, OK, this is not working. Imagine all of us were on the board of a publicly traded company, we had two choices. Secretary Clinton, Mr Trump. We chose Mr Trump. We've now had four years of this aberrant behavior attacking private citizens, bellicosity of rhetoric. All of this stuff, you'd seek his removal.
JULIE HYMAN: Anthony, you're a wealthy guy, I think it's fair to say. Your clients are wealthy. Many of your friends are likely wealthy. And we saw last time around, a lot of people vote with what they thought would be in their best financial interests. So weighing that now, what are you hearing from your clients? What are you hearing from your friends? Are they hiding their money in anticipation of higher taxes under a Biden presidency and voting for him? Or are they still voting for President Trump?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, I think listen, I mean, a vote is always a personal choice, Julie. I'm sure some of my wealthy clients have voted for President Trump, and they have that self-interest in mind. And some of them are not voting for President Trump. What I would say to both sides, is that you have to have the restoration of the institutions of our democracy, and you have to put somebody in that job that respects the rule of law and is not going to use pardon power capriciously or do things to subvert the process at the Justice Department.
Because ultimately, what's made the United States the commercial engine that it is, is that the rest of the world sees great predictability in our legal system and in our contract law. And so when you have somebody at the top that is acting like a wannabe autocrat, that is very destabilizing to business. So whether the taxes are going up or down, the overarching thing for me is the integrity of the system.
And so what I would say to somebody, is that people do very poorly in autocratic nations. Yes, there's a rim of plutocrats around the autocrat and there's a lot of kleptocracy for those people, but they have by and large eliminated meritocracy and what's made the country so great. And every person on this call, every person in this broadcast has benefited from the diffusion of power at the top, and has benefited from a semblance of meritocracy in our country.
I grew up in a laborer's family. My dad was a blue collar worker. He was a crane operator and I have been able to create some level of financial independence and achieved some level of the arc of the American dream. And so I want that for other people. And I want that to be fair. We have to figure out a way to even up the system a little more. I'm all about even outcomes and so forth, and people should be able to rise to whatever level of their success that they can match.
But I also think we need more equal opportunity in the country. You can't have this uneven education system, this failing infrastructure. We're a better country than this. So we have to work on that. And Mr Trump wasn't focused on that. It was bellicosity of rhetoric, it was bullying, it was going after Democratic leaders of Western nations and praising despots.
This is not the nation, it's not a good reflection on America to the world. He made the country sicker, he made it weaker, and he made it poorer, and it's time for him to leave the stage. And we've got to rebuild the country. And so if someone likes his tax rates versus the other, they're not seeing the overall macro picture that somebody like me sees.