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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

Holy Cow, Batman – 2! There Really Is Rampant Inflation!

The financial markets have displayed some volatility of late. The latest excuse was the on-shoring of the second case of China’s coronavirus in the U.S. And, no wonder, on a valuation basis, equities are at or near the highs of the dot-com era and similar to October 2018. Remember what happened next? As I’ve written before, equity prices are fueled by excess money creation. That is now well recognized by market commentators, but, we …Read More

Fed Drives S&P 500 To Record Levels, Economic Fundamentals Still Soft

Holiday sales look flat. While online sales were up, sales at traditional retailers were lackluster. Penney’s, Kohl’s, L Brands, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Bed Bath & Beyond, all reported lower sales vs. a year ago. Meanwhile, in what looks to be a “frugality” or “trade down” movement on the part of the consumer, same store sales at Walmart, Costco, and Target rose. The Wall Street Journal reported that nearly 40% of exchange listed companies lost money in …Read More

Investor Prospects For 2020 And The Wall Street Casino

This is the time of year when I am supposed to make predictions for markets for 2020, or, at least give an outlook. This has become quite difficult to do in recent times as markets no longer appear to be driven by corporate fundamentals or macroeconomics. Rather, markets have been moved by: 1) passive investment flows; 2) corporate stock buy-backs; 3) TINA (There Is No Alternative), especially for baby boomers looking for …Read More

Fed Provides More Liquidity; Phase 1 Trade Deal, But No Corroboration On Jobs Report

Much has happened economically in the past couple of weeks including the Fed’s communication that it does not expect any rate actions in 2020, a Conservative Party sweep in the UK (which pays well in the U.S. for free marketeers), and a supposed “Phase 1” trade pact, although there won’t be a signed document until sometime in January (still time for Lucy to pull the football away – again!). The …Read More

Demographic Trends: The Case Against Negative Interest Rates

Japan has a 2.2% unemployment rate, yet, for 30 years, they have not had any significant economic growth, due to their demographic structure. Today, the developed world has Japan’s 1990s demographic features, with falling fertility rates, rising dependency ratios (retirees/working aged), and, ultimately, declining populations. Under these conditions, aggregate GDP growth will be harder and harder to achieve. QE’s “Wealth Effect” All the central banks of developed economies have adopted the Fed’s …Read More