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Tags: bill gross | trump | tax | reform | rate | hikes | bond

Bill Gross: Trump Tax Reform Will Spark Rate Hikes, Lower Bond Prices

(Mark Wilson/Getty)

By    |   Thursday, 02 November 2017 12:02 PM

Economic guru Bill Gross predicts President Donald Trump's sweeping tax-reform strategy might eventually lead to higher interest rates and lower bond prices.

"We're hearing potentially we got a trillion-and-a-half-dollar potential deficit from this [tax reform] package," the Janus Henderson Investors portfolio manager told CNBC.

"A trillion and a half dollars is a lot of money," he said, speaking before details of the tax plan were officially released.

Gross warned savvy investors that higher budget deficits can have negative implications for bond values.

"To the extent that it produces inflation," he said. "It reduces the value of all existing debt. It basically raises interest rates or lowers bond prices. That's the ultimate effect. To be fair, we haven't seen that yet [higher inflation]," he said.

He said some of the tax reform benefits have already been fueling the recent bull market.

"Fiscal policy now in addition to monetary policy for the past five, six years is an important factor and I think we're seeing that in stock markets that are anticipating lower taxes going forward," he said.

To be sure, Trump’s drive for the deep tax cuts that he promised as a candidate reached a major milestone on Thursday, with his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives unveiling long-awaited legislation to overhaul the tax code.

The bill called for slashing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and cutting tax rates on individuals and families by consolidating the current number of tax brackets to four from seven: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent and 39.6 percent, which is now the top rate and would be retained, Reuters reported.

Largely in line with expectations for the tax-cut plan they have been developing behind closed doors for weeks, the House tax-writing Ways and Means Committee proposed roughly doubling the standard deduction for individuals and families.

It also called for preserving the home mortgage interest deduction for existing mortgages and for newly purchased homes up to $500,000, as well as continuing the deduction for state and local property taxes, capped at $10,000. It would retain the tax benefits of popular retirement savings programs including 401(k) and IRA.

Investors cautioned the tax plan was preliminary and it was too soon to gauge the effect on specific industries and asset classes. Long-dated bond yields and the U.S. dollar were down.

“This was what the market has been waiting for,” said Sean Simko, head of fixed-income management at Sei Investments Co in Pennsylvania. “It’s pretty much what the market has heard and priced in for. We are also waiting for the Fed chair nominee announcement and the payrolls number (Friday). Until then, the markets are going to be pretty contained.”

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Economic guru Bill Gross predicts tax reform may lead to higher interest rates and lower bond prices.
bill gross, trump, tax, reform, rate, hikes, bond, prices
Thursday, 02 November 2017 12:02 PM
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