Posted January 03, 2024
By Jim Rickards
2024 Election: Here’s What Happens
In 2023, we saw the outbreak of a banking crisis (that isn’t over), a new Middle East war break out in Gaza, two states ban Trump from the ballot in the 2024 elections and the mainstreaming of AI, among other things.
All I can say is strap in, because 2024 is setting up to be even more chaotic than 2023. That’s right, 2024 will be more tumultuous and shocking than 2023. Let’s first address the election.
My primary focus is on markets and the economy, but I’m also an attorney. Though I’m not a constitutional scholar, I studied constitutional law under an exceptional professor.
And the decisions by the Supreme Court of Colorado and Maine’s secretary of state to ban Trump from ballots in their respective states are questionable at best.
First off, it’s not even clear that the constitutional provision they cite, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, even applies to presidents. Here’s what it says:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
As you can see, it doesn’t reference a president, only “electors” of president and vice president. Some legal scholars argue that it does apply to presidents, but the question isn’t settled.
I Say You’re Guilty!
In the second case, it’s evident that Colorado and Maine exceeded their authority by claiming Trump participated in insurrection.
Trump has never been formally charged with insurrection in a court of law. He’s certainly never been convicted of insurrection. That’s a critical legal standard that hasn’t been met.
But the Supreme Court of Colorado and the secretary of state of Maine have taken it upon themselves to decide that Trump actually committed insurrection. They’ve essentially convicted him without due process.
It’s like being suspected of murder in one jurisdiction, but not being charged with murder, much less convicted of murder. But then an outside jurisdiction says no, we think you’re guilty of murder so you can’t hold this or that position in our jurisdiction.
Again, where’s the due process?
Colorado and Maine say Trump doesn’t have to be formally convicted in order to ban him from the ballot, that they don’t have to meet that standard.
Headed for the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court prefers to avoid election cases, but it’ll have to take up this one. I predict that the Court will rule against Colorado and Maine, as well as any other state that follows their example.
Trump will appear on primary ballots in all 50 states, as well as in the general election should he be the Republican nominee.
And he will be. His lead over the other Republican challengers is enormous. No one can recall a non-incumbent with such a large lead in the polls. Meanwhile, all the 91 criminal indictments against him only increase his popularity because most people realize they’re politically motivated.
But that’s not to say that Trump won’t be found guilty on one or more charges. The trials will occur in deep-blue areas with overwhelming Democratic voting majorities. It’s hard to imagine that a heavily biased jury won’t find Trump guilty on one or more charges.
There’s actually a plausible scenario in which Trump may be behind bars on Election Day. That’s OK. There’s no legal or other prohibition on electing an incarcerated convicted felon as president.
The man with orange hair may be in an orange prison suit, but that won’t stand in his way. Then there’s Joe Biden to consider…
Biden Won’t Make It to November
I’m reiterating my prediction that Joe Biden will not be the Democratic nominee for president. He’s the most unpopular president in modern history, with a recent poll revealing a 37% approval rating.
Biden’s problem is not just his age, but the fact that he actually is mentally and physically impaired. He cannot complete sentences, recall facts or form coherent thoughts.
The idea of Biden conducting high-level negotiations with Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping borders on the impossible. He’s simply not fit to be president, and everyone knows it even if Democratic operatives and media sycophants don’t want to mention it.
I’m not even getting into his corruption, which, despite the media’s refusal to address it, is a legitimate concern. Despite what Biden’s apologists say, there’s actually solid evidence that Biden is guilty of corruption.
Regardless, that leaves the question: Who will replace Biden as the Democratic nominee?
To repeat what I said in November, the most likely replacements are Gavin Newsom, Jay Pritzker, Gretchen Whitmer or Jennifer Granholm.
All four were or are state governors. They’re all about the same ideologically; take your pick. Forget Kamala Harris; she’s simply too much of a liability.
There are plenty of wild cards in play as we head into the 2024 election, but as of now I’m sticking to my prediction that Trump will win back the White House in 2024.
Should Be a Banner Year!
To repeat my other forecasts for 2024: China, the U.S. and Japan will all fall into recession, probably in the first part of the year. The EU is already in recession. So a rare global recession will be the result in 2024.
I also predict that Russia will advance toward ultimate victory in Ukraine, though the fighting will continue beyond this year. There will be no negotiated settlement in 2024 unless Zelenskyy is ousted, which is possible.
Meanwhile, if escalation scenarios play out in the Middle East, even in part, expect oil prices to go to $150 per barrel or higher. That will put the U.S. and Western Europe in a recession worse than 2008 and the earlier oil shock of 1974.
In the 1974 recession, the Dow Jones index fell 45%. That would equate to a crash of over 15,000 Dow points from today’s levels.
The market could decline at least 30% on a recession alone, and as much as 50% if either the Ukraine war or Israeli war escalates, or a global financial crisis emerges. Don’t rule it out.
The major sectors that will outperform even in a falling market are energy, defense, agriculture and mining.
Commodities will be a mixed bag in 2024. Basic commodities such as copper, iron ore, coal, non-precious metals and agricultural produce will generally decline as the recession unfolds. Gold and silver should perform well based on declining interest rates and a flight to quality.
Energy will be volatile. It will tend to go down based on economic weakness, but occasionally rally on geopolitical fears.
A bigger and more acute Stage 2 of the banking crisis is coming after the quiet period that has prevailed since June. This new crisis will be focused on about 20 banks with $200–900 billion in assets — the so-called midsized regional banks that are not too big to fail.
Crises of this sort can feed on themselves and cause losses that go far beyond the particular banks that may be most vulnerable. A new global financial crisis could be the result.
May you live in interesting times, says an old Chinese curse. We do live in interesting times, and they’ll only become more interesting in 2024.