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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

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

The New Mercantilism Rates Race to the Bottom Currencies Depreciate

During the recent period of world growth, where nearly every country’s exports were rising, there was little incentive for governments to manipulate economic policies to foster even more economic growth. Getting back to “normal” seemed to be the universally adopted mantra, and that implied rising rates and tighter monetary policies. However, today, when world trade is contracting (some of which may be due to “trade wars,” but much of which is due …Read More

Market Hopes: An Easy Fed; End Of Trade Wars. So Far, Neither One Has Happened.

The “expected” scenario, a resumption of trade talks, is what emerged from the G20 meetings. The best the agreement between Presidents Trump and Xi did was to temporarily reduce the specter of further growth killing tariffs. We still have the existing ones that have significantly slowed world trade, created a “soft patch” in the U.S.’s economy, and contributed to the emerging recessions in Europe and China. Capital spending growth is …Read More