Investors know that an impeachment vote and subsequent Senate trial "would cripple Washington for the foreseeable future," says Baumohl. Pressing issues such as Social Security would have to be put on the back burner, which could scare off investors from pumping money into the market -- and that's not even taking into account the volatile Iraqi situation. Even a sudden resignation by Clinton to end the crisis would not necessarily bring relief. "Gore remains an unknown quantity as a president," says Baumohl, and investors would be likely to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Even on matters of impeachment, it's always the economy, stupid.
If polls are to be believed, the American public says the President should not be impeached. Now you can add Wall Street to the anti-impeachment column. "The market hates uncertainty," says TIME economics reporter Bernard Baumohl. "And anything as grave as an impeachment can be expected to usher in a period of volatility for stocks."