Trump, gold and Schadenfreude

Simoney Kyriakou

Simoney Kyriakou

Donald Trump: President-elect.

These were words to make many Americans cry on 9th November as the results were announced.

American friends throughout the night had, on my social media feeds, been pouring out their hearts while biting their nails and kicking their cats.

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Mostly. I saw a couple of "Go Trumps" on Facebook this morning from my friends in Florida and Texas. I don't think it was meant in the imperative. 

Markets reacted strongly to the news. The FTSE 100 dipped 2 per cent on opening, sterling rallied against the dollar, gold prices soared and Asian markets shook.

But the stars did not fall from the sky, the red cow did not conceive and the ocean did not turn to blood. The FTSE 100 ended the day 1 per cent higher. The S&P 500 remained resolute, even with a 0.75 per cent rise during the afternoon. My holdings in a US tracker fund within my stocks and shares Isa have been doing very nicely thank you and "calming words" from Mr Trump seemed to soothe initial panic.

We've been here before, of course. The 24th June saw such outcries across Facebook and Twitter, followed by similar currency shifts and immediate knee-jerk market reactions. Markets are resilient.

Am I delighted by the result? On the one hand, it doesn't matter one iota what I think. I am not a US citizen so my opinion is irrelevant. On the other hand, as a financial journalist whose main audience of advisers said their clients' portfolios would benefit most from a Hillary Clinton presidency, I am sad that the Democrats could not continue for at least another four years.

What I did do this morning on hearing the news, however, was laugh. I was smirking pretty much all day. Not just because at 4 to 1 at Paddy Power a £100 bet became £400 and my gold fund hedge saw significant rises within my Isa, but also because - mainly because - of that glorious German word 'Schadenfreude'.

It literally means: "Damage Joy". Joy in the damage caused to another. Rejoicing in the misfortune of someone else. Laughing in the face of other people's ill-fate. You get the idea.

No matter how awful our Brexit process has been so far, with political and legal shenanigans causing sterling to reach a 168-year low, nothing can be as bad for Western democracies as having a stridently divisive, right-wing, un-politically qualified, locker-room talker in the White House. Hypothetically speaking.

 Yes, it's true. I laughed because no matter how much of a mess we are in within the UK and Europe, America now has to go through four years of being run by someone whose main economic policy is focusing on improving US infrastructure - a.k.a wall construction.