US Economy


Trump has jumped the shark this time

Republicans are joining the backlash, via FT: The US defence secretary opened a rift with Donald Trump, saying he did not agree with the president about sending the army on to the streets to clamp down on protests that have erupted across the country since the death of George Floyd. Mark Esper’s remarks came amid


What would a Biden Administration do to markets?

Time to take the possibility of a dementia president seriously: Here are the key policies affecting markets, material via Politico. Double the minimum wage: There’s broad support among Democratic presidential candidates for doubling the hourly minimum from $7.25 to $15, and then allowing it to rise automatically with inflation, as proposed by House Democrats in


God bless America!

Paul Kelly thinks it’s the end of America: The most powerful nation on Earth is being brought undone from within by its pent-up governance and moral failures. The crisis has multiple triggers — abuse of police power, entrenched disadvantage of black Americans, mounting anger in American hearts, cultural schisms across the nation and political polarisation


Will riots help or hinder Trump re-election?

If America were a society of browbeaten conformists like Australia then riots would unquestionably favour the opposition. But will it be so in a state defined by personal power? Recent polling has Biden with a comfortable lead as Trump slides on the COVID-19 policy disaster: But the lead is far from huge. Trump is actually


US households save like the end of the world

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: US household saving rate at 33%! A lot happened in April. There was a very sharp downtun in the labour market, households received an enormous boost to disposable incomes from fiscal stimulus, and consumers significantly pared back their spending amid shutdown restrictions. The net balance of these forces


AEP: No v-shaped recovery for the West

Via Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: The V-shaped recovery in East Asia is sadly no template for the blundering West. The near euphoric rally on global equity markets is based on a fundamental fallacy. Most of Europe and North America are not pursuing the policies that enabled China and the Pacific Rim – with big variations – to


The US is losing the virus war

Via Calculated Risk: On March 31st, I wrote: This is a healthcare crisis, and the economic outlook is based on presumptions about the course of the pandemic.Unfortunately the course of the pandemic has been worse than I expected. Although social distancing clearly worked in slowing the growth rate of infections, many people have recently relaxed their


Virus second wave surging across US

I keep sayin’ it. The curve is not flat, it is steepening. Via Imperial College: Our estimates of the probability that Rt is less than one (epidemic control) for each state. Rt, or the reproduction number, is the average number of secondary infections caused by a single infected person. Green states are those with probability that


No negative rates for the Fed

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Fed minutes reveal preference for yield curve control. Minutes from the Fed’s late April meeting reveal that officials were concerned about slow recovery, permanent scars on the economy from the crisis, and a potential second wave of the outbreak. There was no mention of negative interest rates


Has the Fed killed negative interest rates?

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: Fed Chair Powell guides negatively. In an ad hoc speech, Fed Chair Powell said that the economy faces unprecedented risks from COVID-19 if fiscal and monetary policy makers do not step up to the challenge. He suggested that the recovery could take time to gather momentum, and that the present liquidity


Kohler: US close to economic and social collapse

This has been bothering me a lot too. Via Alan Kohler: A number of things flow directly from the collapse in employment in the US. Inequality is set to widen dramatically because the worst affected are the poorest, most marginalised; there is now a health time bomb ticking because most Americans’ health insurance comes from


The US economic recovery is already buggered

Do you think that the US economy has locked down, flattened the virus, and is about re-open? Think again: Most places where the virus curve is under control still have lockdowns. The major exception is the south east, perhaps aided by warmth. Vast areas are reopening with the virus still out of control: Let’s refer


Gun-tote’n, law abide’n Americans prepare to die for freedom

Let’s make no bones about it, they’re nuts (though on occasion I do admire their ‘freedom at all costs’ credo), via Domain: The governors of several US states – including close allies of President Donald Trump – are moving to rapidly reopen businesses and churches as protests against government-mandated lockdowns spread throughout the country. The


El Trumpo suspends immigration

In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020 The invisible enemy, eh.


Who gets back to work first?

Via Goldman on the US economy but useful for Australia too: What Will Reopening Look Like? Absent a vaccine or scalable treatment breakthrough, reopening will have to remain gradual. There has been some enthusiasm recently about the possibility that far more people than initially believed have been infected but have remained asymptomatic or uncounted for


Is the US virus curve really flattening?

Yes: Some more:   But the main reason for it is falling testing: I won’t go to the point that less testing equals higher stock prices, putting El Trumpo incentives in question. The percentage infection rate per test is roughly flat so if testing were rising, as it should be, so too would the daily


US jobs preview

Via Calculated Risk: Important Notes: 1. The BLS reference week includes the 12th of the month. Massive COVID-19 layoffs started after the reference week (although there was a pickup in layoffs during the reference week). 2. Watch for Special Notes in the release. There could be some important announcements on how the BLS will be handling unemployment


My god, the US is headed for virus disaster

It’s everywhere: USA State Total Cases New Cases Total Deaths New Deaths Active Cases Source New York 75,795 +8,470 1,550 +208 69,270 [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] New Jersey 18,696 +2,060 267 +69 18,429 [1] Michigan 7,615 +1,117 259 +75 7,351 [1] [2] California 7,453 +205 149 +4 7,244 [1] Massachusetts 6,620 +868 89 +33 6,521 [1] [2] Florida 6,338 +634


Wuhan flu is about to gut the US

Via Domain: US President Donald Trump has extended his administration’s social distancing guidelines until the end of April, abandoning his goal to have the country running normally by Easter. Trump’s announcement came as the federal government’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, predicted that up to 200,000 Americans could die of the coronavirus and millions


Shit’s getting real in New York

Via the NYT: In several hours on Tuesday, Dr. Ashley Bray performed chest compressions at Elmhurst Hospital Center on a woman in her 80s, a man in his 60s and a 38-year-old who reminded the doctor of her fiancé. All had tested positive for the coronavirus and had gone into cardiac arrest. All eventually died.