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The First 100 Days: Where Are We Headed?

Guest Editor

Donald Trump emerged victorious in the most dramatic and polarizing presidential election of our lifetimes. The first 100 days of the new administration have come and gone, and Trump remains nearly as divisive as he was on the campaign trail. He continues to tweet his way to controversy after controversy. No subject is off limits and he still doesn’t seem to have learned that every word he utters has consequence.

Many TMA members were pleased when Trump nominated our distinguished colleague Wilbur Ross as Secretary of Commerce. Ross will need to use his incredible skills he honed in the turnaround industry to lead that agency and help grow the economy. So far, the economy has responded favorably to the new administration. The stock market has rallied 13 percent since Election Day, consumer confidence is at a 15-year high, and the Federal Reserve is confident enough in the recovery to begin increasing interest rates.

Despite these early positive signs, no one knows what the next four to eight years will bring. We do know that the country remains highly polarized—Trump’s approval ratings hover around 40 percent, an all-time low for a new president. 

In this JCR supplement, we have assembled an esteemed group of turnaround professionals to provide insight into the new policies of the Trump administration. The authors have addressed a broad array of topics with domestic and international implications. While none of us has a crystal ball to know the outcomes of Trump’s efforts or even the positions the administration will advocate, we do believe that there is plenty that can be achieved if only the new president would listen to those of us in this industry.

Alan Tilley, EACTP Companion, from BM&T Inc. in England discusses the implications of Trump’s policies on Brexit and the EU in general. He provides a unique perspective on the changing dynamics within Europe, with specific focus on Brexit and its implications on international trade agreements. He discusses how Trump’s populist campaign may influence upcoming European elections and how changes to regulations could convince some banks to move some operations back to the U.S. Tilley also discusses concerns with Trump’s potential isolationist policies.

Tom Kim, CTP, from r2 advisors llc looks at healthcare. With the recent passage of the American Heath Care Act by the House, what is the outlook for restructuring the healthcare sector? The costs of healthcare are weighing on the professionals that administer care, and Kim discusses the causation and some potential opportunities to help right the ship.

Doug Hopkins from Kestrel Consulting LLC examines the overall economy with specific views on potential changes in tax reform. Hopkins examines the potential pitfalls of the president’s vision and his concern that Trump will surround himself with like-minded thinkers who may not seek to enact legislation that will benefit the nation as a whole.

Mark Welch, CTP, of MorrisAnderson examines potential changes in environmental regulations and how regulations of the Obama administration impacted the coal industry. He points out that during the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency became one of the most powerful rule-making agencies in the government. How did these rules benefit the country and at what cost? Trump has already begun to roll back many of the Obama initiatives. 

Tamara McGrath, Amir Agam, and John Yozzo of FTI explore the implementation of a border adjustment tax and its potential impact on the retail sector. The Trump administration has indicated that it will be seeking tax cuts, but how will this occur? The article defines the calculation of the BAT and reviews how it changes the cost structure of goods sold in the United States. 

Joe D’Angelo from Carl Marks Advisors reviews the higher education sector. Over the past 10 years, for-profit education has benefited from student access to government loans. These loans have grown extensively, but will new Trump policies curb the availability of those funds? Also, will Trump change qualifications for the schools to be able to access the loan programs?

As Bob Dylan wrote, “The Times They Are a Changin’.” Over the next four to eight years we will find out if the “ultimate” Washington outsider makes changes that impact the United States going forward and how those changes will impact the restructuring world.

    As part of Turnaround Management Association's (TMA) commitment to diversity and inclusion, the TMA welcomes all industry professionals as members, leaders, and participants without regard to age, appearance, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identification, geographic location, nationality, professional level, race, religion, and sexual orientation. TMA is also proud of its tradition of providing a venue for the thoughtful discussion and debate of the issues of the day. The views expressed by authors, speakers, and presenters reflect their own views and not necessarily those of TMA and/or its members. 

    Steve Agran

    Steven F. Agran, CTP

    Carl Marks Advisors

    Steven F. Agran, CTP, is a managing director with Carl Marks Advisors. He has more than 20 years of experience providing turnaround and interim management services to financially distressed companies. He provides financial and operational advisory services to company ownership, boards of directors, private equity groups, lenders, and investors, focusing on workouts, loan restructurings, strategic planning, bankruptcy, and mergers and acquisitions. Agran works with company management to develop and implement business plans that create profitable growth and increase enterprise value.

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