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Surprise, uncertainty, panic….relax, the same people are still running the show

Who's in charge? Let's be honest, since 2008 the politicians have been less meaningful for the markets and economy than the central bankers.

In Europe we have had political paralysis in Spain, and a lack of leadership in Belgium for 20 months. The Greeks are still firefighting a crisis, the banking sector is far from healed and Brexit remains a curveball.

Did it matter for markets? Not as much as the massive bond-buying programs from the European Central Bank, Federal Reserve or the Bank of England.


Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve

Don't get me wrong, the immediate market reaction suggests Donald Trump running the world's largest economy is a different magnitude of significance. But will the Fed hike in December if there is disorderly and disruptive price action in the world's capital markets? Hard to see it. Will the Yellen Put be effective in tamping down volatility? Probably. Its hard not to imagine the central banks will cling even more closely to their mantra of lower for longer.

And what about the ECB? Does a Trump win give the Mario Draghi cover for further easing, or at least the chance for more verbal intervention? Definitely.

What do markets want? Growth, and ultimately an improvement in corporate profitability. If the private sector can't deliver stronger demand then maybe governments will finally be encouraged to do so through fiscal expansion.

After all, what has the experience of populist success for Trump, Sanders and Brexit revealed? People are angry enough to vote for a step into the unknown rather than endure the status quo. That's a powerful message for the incumbent political class – do something to improve our current economic prospects or you are out of a job!

If the politicians are listening that means shovel ready projects and fiscal stimulus will be coming to a highway, railway or home-building project near you soon. And cheap money could be here for a while yet.

Geoff Cutmore is co-anchor for CNBC's flagship programme Squawk Box in EMEA.

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