Noted for having one of the shortest tenures in White House history, Anthony Scaramucci has never been known to mince words.
The outspoken former communications director was fired after just ten days in his post, after clashing with several of his colleagues, most notably, former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
Having worked for Goldman Sachs and (ironically) raised funds for President Obama’s campaign in 2008, he currently manages his own hedge fund SkyBridge.
Scaramucci spoke with Your Money chief business reporter Leo Shanahan from New York in a wide-ranging interview covering economic, political, and social issues raging in the US.
On a US-China trade deal
As trade tensions between the world’s largest two economies remain unresolved, and the end of their 90-day ceasefire nears, it’s critical that progress is made in negotiations, Scaramucci said.
“I do think that the president has to resolve this trade deal. I think it’s a big issue for the markets, I think it could be an even bigger issue than even the entire administration understands frankly because they seem a little bit tone deaf in the way they’re operating with China,” he explained.
“This has typically been the President’s 45-year history: he comes out pretty rough in the commentary, comes out pretty rough in the positional negotiating and then he tries to cut a deal somewhere in the middle,” he explained.
While he believes that a conciliatory deal will be struck after much of the posturing, Scaramucci warned that mishandling of the negotiations could be catastrophic for both economies.
“I predict the Chinese deal will be way more lenient than the administration is willing to admit because if you look at what has happened in the Chinese stock market, the underlying economy, the softening currency, I think the US has to be fearful that they don’t topple China into some form of recession because that would also be very, very bad for the world,” he explained.
Equally the threat is real for the US.
“If they don’t get the trade deal done what ends up happening is it creates a lot of uncertainty around [executive boards] in the United States and they slow down their capital investments and then that behaviour turns into capital allocation which turns into a slowdown which augers into a recession,” he said.
“I hope they figure this stuff out. I predict that they will and if they do I think you’ll probably see reasonable 2.5 per cent [US economic] growth for 2019.”
On Wall Street’s year ahead
As long as trade tensions are dealt with Scaramucci is forecasting a bumper year on Wall Street.
“I do think the trade deal gets done and the market has a pretty good year,” he said.
“There will be good earnings growth… in 2019, so I sort of think you’ve got a seven to nine per cent opportunity in the markets.”
“The economic fundamentals in the United States are pretty good we’ve just got to get the headwind nonsense around trade [sorted] and we’ve got to dial down some of the rhetoric against the US Federal Reserve chairman.”
On a Trump re-election
Despite his dramatic departure, Scaramucci said he still backs President Donald Trump, who he calls “a very practical man.”
“He will resoundingly be re-elected if nothing super substantial comes out related to him in the Mueller report and the economy is growing. It is almost impossible to unseat a President in a growing economy… incumbents get re-elected in a rising economy with rising living standards,” he explained.
He also offered some words to the Democratic Party which will vie to take the presidency from Trump.
“I would recommend to the Democrats that if they want to beat the President, stop calling his base the names that you’re calling them because the American people have a tendency not to vote for people who they think don’t like them and that’s what I think unfortunately happened to Secretary Clinton last time.”
Watch the full interview above.