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Inspired

With July 4th having just passed I thought it would be inspiring to talk about inspiration. The United States is unique because it is a nation founded on inspired ideals versus population characteristics and geography. These ideals are centered around life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as well as the notion that all men are created equal.

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Who Would Have Thunk it?

COVID 19 in Texas

Texas becomes the first state to reimpose restrictions after lifting stay-at-home order April 30

I can’t say I’m surprised that states that had itchy trigger fingers to reopen (e.g. Texas, Arizona, Florida) are seeing a surge in new COVID-19 cases and a higher positivity rate among those tested. The following graph from the Wall Street Journal shows how the number of new cases is hitting a new peak after having come down.

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Interest Rates: Lower for How Much Longer?

variable interest rates

“We’re not thinking about raising rates — 

we’re not even thinking about thinking about raising rates,” 

Jerome Powell during 6/10/20 press conference

With interest rates at record lows, this is a time when many people are strongly considering locking in long-term,

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The Positives of Being Negative

LIBOR Variable Interest Rates F

Ok, let’s get this out of the way first since this blog has a subliminal purpose of being a diary for major economic and financial milestones so this is one I can’t ignore.

April Unemployment Rate Rose to a Record 14.7 2020

Now to the subject at hand.

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Where Do We Go from Here?

stay at home

As states start to open up, economic activity will undoubtedly increase. The S&P 500 is up approximately 26% from its March 23rd low, perhaps suggesting the worst is behind us for now. Of course, the question on everyone’s mind is whether there will be a second wave as more people congregate at work,

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O(y) IL VEY

oil vey

Yet again we have witnessed something unprecedented. As the following two charts show, we have never had negative oil prices until last week. Oil has never been cheaper on an inflation-adjusted basis than it is today.

Cost of a barrel of oil in nominal terms 1870 - 2020

Cost of a barrel of oil in real USD terms 1870 - 2020

Source: Marketwatch

And while under “normal” circumstances this would be great for the consumer,

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Follow the Herd: Why COVID19 End Game Needs Herd Immunity

Herd COVID_19

I’m not one to typically advocate following the herd but in the case of the coronavirus, I am having a hard time seeing an end game that doesn’t have herd immunity as the ultimate goal. And this could take a long time and lead to a lengthier economic contraction (to put it mildly) and even more massive federal intervention through government spending and Federal Reserve support of financial markets.

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COVID-19, Catch-22, Treasury-117

COVID 19 Coronavirus

With over $6 trillion in global stock market losses in one week, it’s clear that investors have woken up to the real risk that the coronavirus is not contained, somewhat akin to the subprime crisis that Ben Bernanke famously said was and led to massive financial losses around the world.

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Revisiting the Spanish Flu: What Can a Dire Pandemic Look Like?

Pandemics

I’m admittedly obsessed by pandemics. I’ve been listening to the course on the Black Death via the Great Courses, I was in China at the tail end of SARS in 2003 and was intensely focused on what life was like during that time there, and of course,

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Finding the Bottlenecks and Pain Points

removing bottlenecks

CWS has a sister company that focuses on corporate housing. They provide temporary housing for business people, interns, long-term, special projects for companies, etc. I am one of the advisory board members and it’s been such a treat to see how the company has grown and prospered over its 25 years in business.

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