Goldman Puts A Number On It: Here’s How Much The S&P Rises If Tax Reform Gets Done

Ok, look: we’re as sick of writing about a tax reform plan that has no chance in hell of passing in its current incarnation as you probably are of reading about it.

But alas, this plan that isn’t really a “plan” is serving as the impetus for a pretty epic rotation in equities and more than that, it’s helped to supercharge a move in rates and the dollar that was initially predicated upon a more hawkish Fed. So unfortunately, everyone has to keep pretending like tax reform is imminent at least until Trump tweets something about the wrong lawmaker and/or fires Gary Cohn in the middle of the night thereby putting everyone back to square one.

Appropriately given the bank’s representation in Trump’s inner circle, Goldman has released a bevy of notes over the past couple of days exploring pretty much all aspects of the tax plan. We’re going to spare you the bits about how difficult this is going to be to actually implement and skip to some analysis about what tax reform is likely to mean for equities because at least that’s some semblance of interesting.

Ok, so here are the broad strokes because that’s all anyone is prepared to listen to … cue Archer…

every time I read sellside note on tax reform reminds me of Archer: “Who am I Kissinger?! Broad strokes.”

— Walter White (@heisenbergrpt) October 3, 2017

So there’s the direct impact. Then if we extrapolate a little further we can kinda, sorta come up with a back-of-the-envelope calculation for the second order effects. Here’s Goldman with that “math”:

In addition to the direct earnings benefit, the combination of corporate and personal tax reform could spur faster economic growth. We estimate that each incremental percentage point (“pp”) of US GDP growth is worth about 3 pp (or $4) of S&P 500 EPS. Our economists’ estimates that tax reform could stimulate US economic activity by roughly 0.2 pp in the first year would accordingly likely be worth an additional boost of less than 1 pp of S&P 500 EPS (less than $1/share). However, by accelerating economic growth late in the cycle, fiscal stimulus could also boost inflation and therefore the path of Fed tightening, potentially adding downside risk to equity valuations.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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