Sept 19 (Reuters) – Mitt Romney’s chances of capturing the
White House dwindle almost daily and financial markets seem not
bothered a bit.
Not only have equity markets been buoyant and government
debt stable but also both markets show every indication of
paying more attention to the fate of Europe and to extraordinary
central bank measures than to the election.
Romney’s chances of defeating President Barack Obama in
November are down to 33 percent, according to wagers placed
through Dublin-based online betting exchange Intrade, down from
44 as recently as Aug. 27. Since then the S&P 500
has gained 4 percent, and stands 10 percent higher than
late-June levels. The interest the U.S. must pay to borrow money
for 10 years has risen to a still historically low
1.78 percent from 1.64 percent in the same period.
The election has developed not necessarily to Romney’s
advantage, to paraphrase Emperor Hirohito at the surrender of
Japan. Romney, famously, told wealthy supporters that 47 percent
of Americans will back Obama regardless, consider themselves
victims and entitled and that “my job is not to worry about
those people,” remarks secretly recorded at a $50,000 per plate
fundraiser at a private equity executive’s Florida mansion.
Given events and given the markets, you have to conclude
that either investors don’t believe the odds or are actually
pretty comfortable, or pretty unsurprised, at the prospect of a
second Obama term.