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Priced For More Than Perfection, Markets Have Dismissed Economic Reality

The holidays are upon us, and we wish our clients and friends health, peace and happiness. Recent income, output, and employment data have turned sour. We’ll see what that does to holiday shopping. The financial markets, especially equities, have looked past the valley (abyss), and the vaccine news has enhanced the view that “normal,” or at least a “new normal” is just maybe a quarter or so away. The DOW set an …Read More

Vaccine: That Pinhead of Light at Tunnel’s End

Pfizer’s vaccine announcement gave the equity market the vision and hope that some semblance of “normal” was closer than previously assumed; perhaps a light at the end of the tunnel. Reality is that, due both to the complex logistics of handling the Pfizer vaccine, the two shot inoculation process, and the voluntary system in America, that light at tunnel’s end is just a pinhead, with a long and treacherous journey …Read More

The Wile E. Coyote Market/Economy

The Wile E. Coyote stock market has now looked down. Nothing but air! The “good news” data from the U.S. economy is all stimulus related. Without stimulus, Q3 GDP would have fallen double digits. The economy has yet to face the oncoming eviction crisis in the rental markets and foreclosure tsunami in the commercial real estate market. No matter how the economic numbers are presented, 22+ million unemployed tells you all you …Read More

The New (Scary) Fed Steps Into New Territory

The pandemic’s second wave has appeared in Europe and now in the U.S. The Fed is more concerned about the economy and has taken the unprecedented step of telling Congress it will monetize whatever spending Congress desires. (Not your Father’s Fed!) The latest weekly unemployment data confirm the Fed’s worst fears: The Recovery has stalled! Overview No matter who wins the election, the following issues must be faced: Deflationary forces are at …Read More

Weak Employment Data, Savings Out of Bullets

Personal income fell -2.7% in August.  Still, consumer spending rose 1.0% M/M.  What Gives? The economy is still very much an employment story.  While the official U3 unemployment rate fell to 7.9% from 8.4%, the underlying data was, simply put, “ugly!” “Excess” Savings Last week, I discussed the theory that the “excess” savings from the stimulus packages (one-time stimulus checks and the now expired supplemental $600/week in unemployment benefits) would …Read More

The “Excess Savings” Hypothesis vs. Economic Deceleration

There is some speculation that because only a little more than half of the buildup in savings from the stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits was spent through July, Q4 economic activity will continue to show recovery as the “savings” continues to be spent.  Call this the “Excess Savings” Hypothesis.   Unfortunately, the incoming data makes this appear to be little more than “hope.” The weekly state and PUA unemployment data …Read More