Mobs vs. Constitution – January Sixth & Beyond
Fourth Quarter 2020 Newsletter
We acknowledge the searing pain inflicted upon America on January Sixth - the day it felt as though a loved one had been killed by a drunken driver.
In the wake of this insurrection, we honor the memory of two victims of the “Stop the Steal” mob: U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher, and fellow officer, Howard Liebengood, whose despondent reaction to January Sixth resulted in suicide.
We also remember 9-11 when the “People’s House” barely escaped the fate of the World Trade Center and Pentagon. On that infamous day, religiously inspired terrorists hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, which they were going to fly into the Capitol building. Several brave passengers and crew who had caught onto the plan rushed their al-Qaeda captors who then crashed the jet into a Pennsylvania pasture, killing all aboard. On September 12, 2001, our Capitol was still there.
Barely a week ago, rioters, many claiming religious inspiration, violently overtook our Capitol. Yet we are still here, shocked to realize how much worse things might have been. Our government was not decapitated. Terrorized federal officials were not kidnapped or killed. The election of Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris was certified. The Capitol had been ransacked but still stands. Subsequently, the House of Representatives voted Articles of Impeachment that charge “inciting violence against the government of the United States.”
Long in the making, the threat of domestic terror - chiefly white nationalism - still looms over Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitols. The menace will not end on Inauguration Day. Though our nation is on high alert, we are heartened by America’s gathering resolve to confront domestic terrorists, tyrants, and their enablers.
Watching the evening news, we now see faces of domestic terror come into sharp focus through a steady stream of mugshots, some of them pathetic, gullible believers of the Big Lie. At the same time, January Sixth bolsters a mainstream realignment to isolate and defeat politicians who prove soft on sedition, white nationalism, and conspiracy theories.
For our bit, for right now, Hanke & Co. Wealth Management has sent checks to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Both are battle-hardened foes of hate groups that victimize Americans due to race, creed, color, nationality, or sexual orientation.
With the wisdom of an Austrian immigrant, Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke out about January Sixth in a video posted on YouTube this week. The former California Governor, we believe, has a compelling message of caution, hope, shared purpose, and a little bit of Hollywood - one that encourages us to move from crisis to catharsis.
Lest we forget, America is the country that developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time - Operation Warp Speed, an epic public-private partnership we all can be proud of. With the incoming Biden administration, we insist upon the same can-do credo as citizens and government confront our many challenges and advance our many opportunities.
It is our fervent hope that moral clarity and a commonly held set of facts will guide us on this bumpy road towards a more perfect union. America starts anew on January 20.
Milo F. Hanke, CFP Manuel Apolonio, MSFP, CFP
Principal Senior Financial Planner
PS. Enclosed is your quarterly investment performance and fee report. We also enclose the Market Review for 2020 which provides a rich overview of how US and foreign markets have performed.
Despite the pandemic and the constitutional crisis, we continue to monitor portfolios and conduct ongoing investment research. We welcome your questions about your financial plan and portfolio as well as market conditions.
Investment Commentary in Miniature:
Events of January Sixth did not harm the markets. In fact, markets generally held at historic highs because:
Stimulus, stimulus, and, with Biden, more stimulus to come – mammoth interventions by the Federal Reserve (monetary policy) and Congress’ massive relief expenditures (fiscal policy).
The vaccine. Investors expect robust recovery once we all have had our shots.
Under pandemic conditions, many economic sectors proved their durability, some even grew. Think Zoom, Netflix, and other firms that represent the Information Age.
Investors expected our democratic institutions to uphold the Biden election victory, thus providing the stability that markets covet more than democracy itself. (See “Investors Assumed Democracy Would Endure; They’ve Been Right, So Far,” by Greg Ip, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2021.)