Investors to likely greet Mueller's findings with a yawn

Investors to likely greet Mueller's findings with a yawn
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Special investigations are an attribute of modern-day administrations. Richard Nixon, when threatened with impeachment, left office. Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonConservative commentator: Trump administration 'can’t keep gaslighting people' MTV launches initiative to get young people to register to vote Booming economy, kept promises, making America great — again MORE got investigated and impeached and no one cared.

In Clinton's case, it's lucky for him that the investigation did not occur in a post-#Metoo world, or the outcome may have been significantly different.

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Today, we are dealing with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation, which involves allegations that the Russians interfered — or at least tried to interfere — with the outcome of the 2016 election. So far, there has not been cause for concern for markets or investors.

 

Mueller has not brought a major action against a U.S. citizen close to Trump. He indicted Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortHillicon Valley: Trump goes after Twitter, Facebook | House Dems call for Sinclair probe | Apple removes China gambling apps | Cryptocurrencies form self-regulatory group Trump faces mounting legal pressure on three fronts GOP candidate jokes: 'The Russians are going to help me' win in November MORE, but not for the original investigation’s mandate of finding those that were involved in manipulating election results.

Instead, after a year of work and millions of taxpayers dollars spent, Mueller brought a garden-variety tax evasion/money laundering case against Manafort that will be tried in two different states. The outcome is unknown.

Today, I bet Manafort wishes he had never met Trump. It's hell defending yourself against the unlimited resources of the U.S. government, but these trials also signal something to investors that should make them more confident that Mueller’s efforts will not result in anything that could damage markets.

If Manafort, as the head of the Trump campaign, had any hard evidence that the Russians dealt directly with Trump to manipulate the election, it’s highly likely he would have used that to negotiate a deal with investigators rather than risk years in prison.

The result of the Mueller/Manafort battle? Markets and their investors could not care less.

What would it take for Mueller to really affect market capitalizations? You have to handicap the probability that Trump is indicted, tried and found guilty of a crime that removes him from office.

That outcome would likely roil markets, but maybe only temporarily, as Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump repeatedly praises 'CBC' at event honoring Customs and Border Protection Booming economy, kept promises, making America great — again Space: The next battlefield? MORE would take over with the same pro-business mandate, with an administration that could be more traditional in terms of the current fanfare.

Markets assimilate this as an insurance policy, further reducing the chance that anything brought by Mueller could have a permanent effect on price-earnings ratios.

It's always difficult to successfully predict a black swan event like this. But as an investor that puts money in harm's way everyday, I think the probability of that outcome is less than 10 percent.

Mueller is working hard to find the truth, though not necessarily to bring down any one individual. At least that is his stated mandate. So how long could he go on for? Years.

Many forget that the Nixon investigation lasted three years until its historic outcome played out. By that standard, Mueller is only in the first trimester of giving birth to something material.

As far as the market is concerned, the longer the Mueller investigation goes on, the less risk that it brings a bad outcome for investors.

What about Trump being impeached for something other than the Russian investigation? Shouldn’t the markets care about that? Apparently not. Impeachments are just not what they used to be. Clinton proved that.

Very few even remember that episode from his presidency. Today, you have to look hard to find the asterisk beside his name.

There are lots of factors that could hurt the current markets, but it seems Muller is not one of them. The rest — as they like to say in Washington, D.C. — is just politics, not money.

Kevin O’Leary is chairman of O’Shares ETFs, a CNBC contributor and an investor on ABC’s four-time Emmy-winning Shark Tank.