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The Home Front

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) Lieutenant Godfrey Cronin of Chicago’s Near North police district checks his phone as thousands of anti-Trump protesters march north on Michigan Avenue on Saturday. This was the head of the line as it passed Millennium Park at about 2 p.m. Photo by Steven Dahlman. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

Clout-less Chicago: Welcome to president-elect Donald Trump’s world

Though he has no love for The Donald, Don DeBat doesn’t think the Trump presidency will adversely affect real estate. But Chicago will suffer.

12-Nov-16 – The world of real estate likely will not come crashing down with President-elect Donald Trump in the White House.

It’s hard to believe that Trump would do anything to hurt his own industry and the Trump brand.

If the soon-to-be President Trump only fulfills one campaign promise – shifting overseas jobs back to the United States for his main constituency, blue-collar, middle-class workers – the economy and the housing market will benefit.

“We’re looking at jobs. Big league jobs,” Trump told reporters who followed him to the White House for a post-election meeting with President Obama last week.

Jobs not only will be good for the millions of predominantly white, male, rural Americans who elected him in all those “Red States” across the South, Midwest, and West, but they hopefully will be a spark that ignites the nation’s housing market to a robust boom.

Photo by Steven Dahlman (Left) Protest signs ranged from the serious, “America was never great, we need to overthrow the system,” to the silly, such as one in the background at right, noting one protester’s familiarity with Vice President Mike Pence.

Unfortunately, Chicago and the “Blue State” of Illinois – which strongly voted for Hillary Clinton – may suffer because of a loss of Washington, D.C. clout.

In Illinois, Clinton beat Trump 55.4 percent to 39.4 percent. More than 865,000 Chicagoans voted for Hillary – 83.6 percent – but only 129,800 – 12.5 percent – for Trump. Overall, 58 percent of white voters nationwide backed Trump, while only 37 percent of them voted for Clinton.

There is no doubt that a Hillary Clinton presidency would have been much better politically and financially for the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois, experts say.

Trump, who specializes in “The Art of the Deal,” and boasts a master’s degree in revenge, will not soon forget about the overwhelming 80-percent-plus Chicago vote for Clinton, thousands of young anti-Trump protesters marching in the Loop, and the fact that Republican Governor Bruce Rauner avoided Trump like the plague and didn’t publicly campaign for him.

So, in the future, don’t be surprised if Chicago is deprived of hundreds of millions of dollars in discretionary funding for transportation and other projects that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been successful in bringing to the Windy City.

(Right) Chicago police officers guard driveway in front of Trump International Hotel & Tower. Photo by Steven Dahlman

Last week, the mayor was in Washington, D.C., in a last-ditch effort to gain a commitment from the Obama administration for $1 billion in funding needed to modernize the CTA’s Red Line.

It is obvious that Emanuel will have little political influence in Washington with President Trump in the White House. After all, it was on his watch that the City Council recently voted to remove Trump’s honorary street sign from a pole near Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Now, Emanuel may have to put a new, more presidential sign in its place. Political insiders say Trump Tower soon will become the Midwest White House because the president-elect likes to reside in his own private suite in his own hotel when he is in town.

Financial experts are worried about market volatility and investor jitters with the unlikely presidential candidate in the White House. If Trump says something crazy, the stock market could start see-sawing like a roller coaster.

Sara Benson “Wealthy people who buy upper-bracket luxury homes don’t jump into the market when there is economic uncertainty,” noted Sara Benson, (left) president of Gold-Coast-based Benson Stanley Realty.

Home loan rates already were on the rise last week with the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market survey reflecting pre-election market conditions. Benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rates increased to an average of 3.57 percent.

“On Wednesday, the 10-year Treasury yield closed above two percent, about 25 basis points higher than its pre-election value and its highest yield since January,” said Sean Becketti, (right) Freddie Mac’s chief economist, referring to the day after the election. “At this point, it is too soon to tell whether Treasuries will hold this new level or if the mortgage rate will increase as much over the coming weeks.” Sean Becketti

The Federal Reserve Board was expected to raise the federal funds rate at its meeting in December, but higher interest rates will have the potential to slow down business investment and home buying.

With a new president on the way to the White House, and the likely appointment of new top personnel at the Fed, rates could hold steady or rise. It’s anyone’s guess.

During the campaign, Trump accused Fed chairman Janet Yellen of holding interest rates low to boost the economy until President Obama left office. However, Trump can’t remove Yellen from office before her four-year term expires in February 2018.

Trump also sharply criticized the Dodd-Frank Act, which greatly increased restrictions on U.S. banks, but also said he would reinstate a separation between bank lending and securities underwriting.

Meanwhile, Trump critics are joking and wondering what innovations The Donald will bring to the White House to appeal to his new constituency. Will President Trump wear bib overalls and an International Harvester tractor cap while watching Duck Dynasty on cable in the Oval Office? Will he try to enhance the Trump brand by launching a new cable show titled The Hee-Haw Apprentice? Will he trade his stretch limo for a shiny black pickup truck with a shotgun rack in the rear window?

Regardless, the first 100 days of the Trump presidency should be very entertaining.