Blog Archives

Sayonara Bonds

Japanese Bond Treasuries

The first quarter was incredibly ugly for bond investors, particularly those with exposure to longer-maturity ones. Bond investors were not happy as Treasuries generated the worst quarterly return since 1980.

A Bad Quarter for Bonds - Bloomberg Barclays treasury index fell 4% 1973 - 2020

So who were the big sellers of Treasuries?

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Stimulus: Should I Save or Should I Go (Spend)

Stimulus save or spend

Economic growth is projected to increase quite substantially now that the $1.9 trillion stimulus has been passed. The following chart shows that economists are forecasting the strongest growth since the Reagan years.

US gross domestic product, change from 4th quarter to 4th quarter 1970 - 2020

Not surprisingly, a lot of this projected growth is predicated on the spending of built-up savings from multiple stimulus packages that have passed and been disbursed.

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A Race Against the Variant(s)

COVID Variants

When it comes to tracking Covid trends there are a few indicators to which I pay close attention. The first is hospitalizations as this is the variable that Governors are most closely watching (as well as ICU capacity) when it comes to implementing restrictions on businesses and personal behavior.

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Lessons from King Lear with a Little Kurt Vonnegut Thrown In

King Lear

“I am a man more sinned against than sinning”

William Shakespeare, King Lear 

Last week’s events made me think about how important it is to understand people’s personality profiles if you are going to be relying on them.

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Feliz Covidad - My End of 2020 Rant!

“Oh what a tangled web we weave.”

-Sir Walter Scott

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, we would all love to put Covid behind us. Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t work on a calendar.

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Learning from 9/11 to Speculate on the Future of Offices

Office air quality

Before action is taken it first must manifest as a thought, however fleeting. And, if actions are part of a more strategic thought process seeking to produce longer-term results, then thoughts are almost always translated into speech and/or writing in order to communicate the thinking and desired outcomes to others who may be necessary or valuable to help bring the desired outcome(s) about.

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Many Pictures Tell a Story - The Fed

This week will be another one focused on charts and graphs that caught my attention. The emphasis will be on the story of the Fed remaining very dovish in spite of what appears to be some pockets of economic strength (e.g. housing, commodities, semiconductors),

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Let's Get Real

COVID19 Vaccine Stimulus Jobs Numbers

The jobs report released on Friday was disappointing. 

Job growth has seriously slowed - economists react to 'disappointing' November employment report December 4, 2020

Disappointing Job Growth

Perhaps the report shouldn’t have been such a surprise on the downside based on this chart.

Meager Bounce for Job Hunting Searches in November 2020 Oct 1, 2019 - Feb 1, 2021

It would appear that job seekers are less confident about their prospects as they have significantly reduced their searches.

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Maximum Flexibility - Work from Anywhere

Maximum Flexiblity Work from Anywhere

The following chart shows that people are the most comfortable returning to work within a month or less as compared to other activities. The percentage is 65% so there is still a substantial minority who are still concerned about returning to their previous work environment. 

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A Brutal Dichotomy: Time For Another Meaningful Stimulus?

Brutal Dichotomy: Tightening Fed Stimulus

Fiscal stimulus has now started to contract while the Fed’s monetary support for the economy has tightened quite significantly over the last three months. See what the following charts show:

U.S. Fiscal Thrust Policy Expansionary Policy Contractionary Stimulus

Fed Balance Sheet Impulse 10-2020 Stimulus

The following is from The Washington Post and shows how significant the support for the unemployed has been and how it will drop materially if no stimulus package is passed.

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