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The Economy: Navigating Scylla & Charybdis

  In Greek mythology, Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters existing on the opposite sides of the Strait of Messina, between Sicily and the Italian mainland.  Scylla was a six headed sea monster; Charybdis a huge whirlpool.  Because they were so close together, any passing ship was threatened.  In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus passed close to Scylla, losing only a few sailors rather than risking losing his whole ship in …Read More

The Recession Has Arrived, & with a Vengeance

For some time, I have outlined the growing softness in the U.S. and world economies.  Most of the recent data is pre-virus, and are generally meaningless.  The numbers we will get for March will be awful, but the worst is yet to come.  An example of March’s data is from the Philly Fed.  The print of their Manufacturing Index was -12.7 for March, down a record amount from the +36.7 …Read More

Coronavirus: The Black Swan

  Black Swan taking off (Cygnus atratus) South Island, New Zealand (Photo by: VWPics/Universal Images … [+]VWPICS/UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES   The equity market finally had a reaction to the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) last week, and it was significant with the S&P 500 falling 252 points (7.4%) from its record high close on Valentine’s Day. As of this writing, most of the fall (209 points) came on Monday …Read More

Corona, Corona, Corona Bonds Really Do Have More Fun!

The equity market finally showed some sensitivity to the effects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) last week with the S&P 500 falling 1.25% from its record high close on Valentine’s day for the holiday shortened week.  The leading issue which dominated every news cycle (except for the Democratic debate for a few hours) was Covid-19 and the economic uncertainties surrounding it.  Markets rose on news or speculation that infection cases were …Read More

The Potential Economic Impact Of The Reaction To The Coronavirus

Will You Catch Coronavirus? There is a minuscule chance of contracting the coronavirus if you live anywhere but in Hubei Province in China, and even less of a chance if you live in the U.S. The last time we had something like this (SARS), the public and business reaction wasn’t as extreme. It appears that social media has had a lot to do with this more intense and extreme reaction. SARS infected a …Read More

The Goldilocks Labor Report: “Just Right!”

It isn’t ever a good sign when markets become manic. August was quite volatile with five days out of 22 (23%) where the S&P 500 intra-day market swings exceeded 2%, and three days when the market closed down more than -2.5% from the prior day’s close. (We haven’t seen such price volatility since 2011!) While, so far, September has been less volatile, the market is still susceptible to tweets. For example, news about the …Read More