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The Real Story Of Employment Data

There were two separate events of economic  significance the week ended September 5th. First, the financial markets displayed volatility that hasn’t been seen for several months. The S&P 500 began the week at 3,508, rose 2.5% to 3,587 on Wednesday, fell -3.7% to 3,455 on Thursday, and after falling to an intraday low of 3,374 (-6.0% from Wednesday’s high) closed at 3,427 on Friday. On the week, the index lost …Read More

The Fed’s Ill-Designed Inflation Policies

On Thursday, August 27, Fed Chair Jay Powell spoke at the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium. His talk was much anticipated, as it was expected that the old 2% inflation objective would be updated. In fact, the Fed had telegraphed the change; and the Fed has been following the newly announced policy for several months. The policy change allows the Fed to permit inflation to exceed the Fed’s announced 2% target without …Read More

What Normal Could Look Like

The economy of the future will feature more consumer savings, and business balance sheet repair (more cash, more cost, lower profits, and deferred capital expenditures).  After an initial spike up likely starting in June and continuing into Q3, growth will be difficult.  Unemployment, after spiking to the mid-20% range, will come down slowly, remaining in double digits for 2020 and perhaps getting below 10% in 2022. Inflation Inflation is coming, …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

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

Key Indicators Have Peaked; Markets Hope for Soft Landing

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a private sector company, is the entity responsible for officially labeling recession start and end dates. As a rule of thumb, the financial markets use two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth as the marker. But, that is not the way the NBER sees it. According to their website, the NBER defines a recession as: “a significant decline in economic activity … lasting more than …Read More