US Economy


Brainless Biden sustains polling lead

Here is the problem: — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2020 Trump should be careful. It won’t be a good look losing to an empty head. Polls: Betting markets: Brainless Biden is still an unbackable favourite. And why not? Senility is no match for homicidal ineptitude: Brainless is as brainless does.


Sick US consumer won’t save the world

Via the excellent Damien Boey at Credit Suisse: US consumption disappoints pre-“second-wave”. US consumption rose by a smaller-than-expected 8.1% in May, albeit with upward revisions to prior months’ data. More timely retail sales, chain store turnover and card spending data have been pointing to a stronger recovery, which has not manifested yet in the official data. The rise in consumption


US headed for double-dip recession

Via Calculated Risk, the best and most honest judge of the US economy that I know of: On March 31st, I wrote: This is a healthcare crisis, and the economic outlook is based on presumptions about the course of the pandemic.I’ve been updating my outlook monthly, and turning more and more pessimistic due to the poor US


A deep dive into the US virus

Via GaveKal: It is clear that the southern United States is in the grip of a major wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. About half of US states, mainly in the south and southwest, have rising daily infections; and for the whole country, daily new cases are fast approaching 30,000, up sharply from the rate of


Trump has lost his spark and the election

For a brief moment yesterday I thought Donald Trump was back in the race: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday the trade deal with China is “over,” and he linked the breakdown in part to Washington’s anger over Beijing’s not sounding the alarm earlier about the coronavirus outbreak. “It’s over,” Navarro told


Biden polls surge with virus

El Trumpo is mad: Trump: When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people. You’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down please. — Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) June 21, 2020 Americans seems to have had enough:   Betting odds: Early days but


American idiots catch the virus

There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. Now do total cases. — Drew Dickson (@AlbertBridgeCap) June 18, 2020 Literally killing the base. Pretty stupid. Latest polls: Betting: With 200k dead by the election, Trump is going to need a VERY LARGE distraction to win. Cue Green Day:


Biden stretches lead over flailing Trump

And this won’t help, via the NYT: Mr. Bolton describes several episodes where the president expressed willingness to halt criminal investigations “to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,” citing cases involving major firms in China and Turkey. “The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,” Mr. Bolton writes,


Trumpland crashes into virus

The US is still in deep virus trouble and getting more so. Via NYT: It’s not all rising curves in Trumpland, but it’s mostly so: To wit, red states suffering more: Thankfully, death rates are still falling is the north east pandemic subsides: But for how long as other state hospital systems crash into overload?


Trump to cut work visas

Via WSJ: The Trump administration is weighing a proposal to suspend a slate of employment-based immigration visas, including the coveted H-1B high-skilled visa, according to administration officials familiar with the talks, among several possible measures amid the economic fallout of the pandemic. The proposed suspension could extend into the government’s new fiscal year, beginning Oct.


US reopens into Trump’s virus disaster

It’s so horribly predictable. Six weeks ago Texas took the bit in its mouth way too early: This Friday, Texas will start getting back to work. In an address this afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott announced that his “stay-at-home” order would expire as intended on April 30, 2020. After which he said, “We move forward to


What will kill off USD dominance? Nothing

Via Scope: Global currencies are widely used in cross-border monetary operations, finance and trade. For the issuing sovereigns, these currencies come with both benefits and costs and can therefore have significant implications for creditworthiness. In this report, we explore the drivers of global currency status and the prospects for change in the international monetary system,


US virus second wave takes shape

It’s just the first wave ongoing really. States increasing: Stable(ish): Decreasing: In better news, despite rising caseloads in some places, the spread has not overloaded hospitals so deaths are down more: Not that it matters much. There is enough death to spook. The US recovery is going suck the big one for as far as


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