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Recessionary Impacts: ‘Down The Road’

When JPMorganChase reported earnings in mid-July, CEO Jamie Dimon quipped: “This is not a normal recession… the recessionary part of this you’re going to see down the road.” This observation is spot on. Dimon was observing that, while government had shut down much of the “nonessential” (i.e., 80%) economy, they also transferred $2.1 trillion to private households which more than made up for the $720+ billion of lost wages. We have seen many …Read More

A ‘W’ Recovery, Obstructed By Bankruptcies And Unemployment

The Recession’s ending isn’t the story – it is whether or not the Recovery lives up to its billing. In truth, the Recovery’s shape was never going to be a CAPITAL “V.” Like in the post-Great Depression period or the post-1918 pandemic period, consumer behavior will radically change. And, there is a lot of evidence that that has already begun. In those past periods, consumers became more frugal, and today’s data shows a surge …Read More

The Recovery Begins – The Steep Part Of The “V”

The big market mover this week was Retail Sales, up 17.7% in May. Consensus estimates averaged 8%. A pop was expected; the magnitude wasn’t. Remember, the economy has never seen this kind of shutdown, or experienced such fiscal or monetary policies, so there is no experience or precedent upon which forecasts can be based. In this recovery, the consensus is likely to get the direction right, but as we have seen with other data …Read More

The Opposite: The Market Takes A Cue From Seinfeld

The Opposite In one of the 1990s Seinfeld episodes known as “The Opposite,” George Costanza decides to make decisions opposite of what his “normal” instincts would tell him to do. The results of his “opposite” actions were a beautiful girlfriend, a standing ovation, and a job with the N.Y. Yankees! Today’s equity market seems to be behaving similar to George, choosing to do the “opposite” of what one would normally expect from …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

On Reopening: We’ve Just Seen The Iceberg’s Tip

New Data Should Accelerate Re-Opening When the pandemic started, the only data available was the number of new cases, existing cases, and deaths. The original models, perhaps based on prior pandemics like the Spanish Flu of 1918, forecast significant deaths, up to as many as 2 million in the U.S., and, of course, mass infections. Based on that, governments all over the world shut-down their economies. New mortality data is now available …Read More