Biden’s First 100 Days in Historical Context

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Cowen Washington Research Group looks at President Biden’s first 100 days and contextualizes it with the first 100 days of his six most recent predecessors. This video reviews Biden’s Executive Orders, judicial nominees and approval ratings. It also examines legislation passed, the scope of the American Rescue Plan, reaction by the markets, and looks forward to the midterm elections.

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Historical comparison of Biden’s First 100 Days with 12 data sets vs. 6 predecessors going back to 1981.

Identifying Signals in the Noise – Historical Benchmarks

President Biden marked the First 100 Days of his Administration on April 29, 2021. By examining 12 data sets, we have attempted to put a historical context and comparison of this time period against his 6 predecessors over the previous 40 years.

3 indicators really stand out:

  1. size, scope, speed & scale of legislation ($1.9T American Rescue Plan) is unmatched
  2. record amount of Executive Orders (EO) – 25% increase in Executive Orders over Trump and 115% increase over Obama
  3. Best S&P 500 performance & unemployment drop – though, for the first time, Treasury yields increased in each time frame. This could cause concern with a return of the bond vigilantes

In addition, the Democrats will have to defy massive historical trend lines to hold onto their historically small House majority.

Video Transcript

Chris Krueger of Cowen Washington Research Group recently published an Ahead of the Curve® Series Report on Biden’s first 100 days compared to his six predecessors. We tracked 12 separate data sets over the past 40 years to find signals in the noise. 

Biden has the second-lowest approval and second-highest disapproval rating (Trump holding both records). More than anything, this perhaps speaks to a/the hyper-partisan political environment.

Biden has signed the most Executive Orders in his first 100 days. Trump had the previous record and Obama before that. Biden has signed nearly 25% more Executive Orders than Trump and 115% more than Obama.

Biden also has the best S&P 500 performance and has presided over the largest percentage drop in unemployment over his first 100 days given the emergence from COVID. The size, scope and scale of the $1.9T American Rescue Plan dwarfs other legislation in a similar timeframe. Regulation levels (as judged by pages in Federal Register) only lag behind Reagan and Clinton which is quite a testament given the pandemic and Work From Home.

The midterms are not for more than 500 days, although the battle lines are being drawn. The Democrats will have to defy massive historic trend lines to hold onto their historically small House majority.

Of the last four administrations, George W. Bush’s original cabinet was fully confirmed and in place by February 1. Biden’s full cabinet was completed by March 22nd almost a full five weeks before Obama and Trump completed their respective cabinets.

President Biden has nominated 9 individuals to federal judgeships. None of the nominees has  been confirmed. Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush had no federal judge nominations during their first 100 days. George H. W. Bush and Obama had no confirmations but had 4 and 3 nominations respectively. Trump is the only recent president to nominate and have confirmed a federal judge during his first 100 days and it was to the Supreme Court.

The size, scope and scale of legislation ($1.9T American Rescue Plan), the record number of Executive Orders and the best S&P 500 performance stand out the most in Biden’s first 100 days. The consecutive climb in Treasury yields could cause concern with a return of the “bond vigilantes.”

Based on recent research by Chris Krueger, Cowen Washington Research Group Analyst.

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