Who doesn't love the lame duck session? It's that special time of year when Santa comes early to Wall Street and you too, can benefit. As one example, outgoing Congressmen and woman who lost during mid terms, tend to throw in the towel (they won't be around next session anyway) and all types of goodies get through the Congressional pipeline which were stalled during the normal session. This years winners if you're an investor are:
- Banks and insurers. Congress repealed a portion of Dodd-Frank so that derivatives will now be covered once again by FDIC Insurance, thus lowering the risk to banks and insurers like AIG.*
- Health insurance companies get to keep their special tax breaks.
- Tourist destinations like Las Vegas get their travel promotion subsidies.*
- In a victory for food companies, the legislation even makes federally subsidized school lunches less healthy by allowing companies that provide them to include fewer whole grains. This boosts their profits because junk food is less expensive to make.
- Major defense contractors also win big. They get tens of billions of dollars for the new warplanes, missiles, and submarines they've been lobbying for. (We pointed out defense and aerospace moving last week).
- Big Pharma gets a big benefit: a prohibition on government using its vast bargaining power under Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate low drug prices.
Sure there's a lot of junk. Yes, it's crony capitalism but if you're ahead of curve, why not benefit?
*Full disclosure long positions in BAC, AIG and LVS. Hat tip to HuffPo