The Ultimate List Of Trump Economic Blunders That Caused The Recession (#GotBitcoin?)
The achilles heel of Trump and his supporters is the ignorance and inability to understand and talk intelligently about economics and finance. The Ultimate List Of Trump Economic Blunders That Caused The Recession (#GotBitcoin?)
Look at all the articles about the massive-money printing, Trumps insistence on Powell delivering near zero and/or negative interest rates, the out-of-control pumping of newly-printing money into the banks ($400 billion and counting).
You will see that there is an absolute refusal to engage intelligently on these issues either out of flat-out ignorance or perhaps they would rather not have us and the world shine a bright and undeniable spot-light on his inability to address these critical problems.
Recession Rises on List of CEO Fears for 2020
Economic slowdown and trade uncertainty are top concerns in survey of global business leaders.
U.S. chief executives are getting worried about a recession.
Fear of an economic decline topped the list of their concerns going into 2020, according to a survey from the Conference Board, a business research group. The year prior, recession fears ranked third for U.S. chiefs, though first overall for CEOs around the world—as is again the case for 2020. Going into 2018, the topic was barely a blip in the survey data.
Last year, growth in gross domestic product globally slipped to 2.3% from 3% in 2018, and executives felt the pressure, said Bart van Ark, chief economist at the Conference Board. Uncertainty around a host of issues, from trade to climate change, has exacerbated their anxiety.
“Business leaders are like normal people. We just don’t quite understand where this all will be going,” Mr. van Ark said.
The Conference Board projects that global growth will accelerate slightly this year to 2.5%. The organization’s report accompanying the CEO survey warned that executive fears, justified or not, can have consequences for the economy.
“One real risk of this recession mindset is that it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” the report warned. The U.S. stock market ended 2019 near its highs.
Concerns about global trade linger, even after the announcement last month that China and the U.S. had reached a first-stage trade deal. Chinese CEOs surveyed by the Conference Board ranked the issue first among their external concerns, tied with recession risk. American CEOs ranked trade fourth, tied with global political instability.
The Conference Board conducted its survey of 740 CEOs in September and October, but Mr. van Ark said he believes December’s trade developments injected only so much confidence into the business world.
“As long as we don’t have any guidance about where it’s going to go next, it’s very hard to make big investments,” Mr. van Ark said. “I don’t think the stress of this is going to go away.”
The manufacturing sector feels the uncertainty acutely, he said, but the trade issue has ripple effects for all kinds of companies.
Speaking at Salesforce.com Inc. ’s annual investor day on Nov. 20, co-CEO Marc Benioff said trade was top of mind for the more than 100 CEOs he had spoken to recently.
“Because that issue is on the table, then everybody has a question mark around in some part of their business,” he said. “I mean, we’re in this strange economic time, we all know that.”
James Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Miles White of Abbott Laboratories are among CEOs who have underscored the challenges of trade in recent months.
“Are we nervous about China? Are we nervous about all this? I think you can’t help but be nervous about it,” Mr. White told analysts and investors during Abbott’s earnings call in October.
Other top concerns for U.S. CEOs as the new decade dawns include more intense competition, the tight labor market and global political instability. Tension and unrest have been bubbling up in such places as Latin America, Hong Kong and the Middle East. The uncertainty over Brexit has eased a bit, but it will likely ramp up when trade negotiations really get under way, Mr. van Ark said.
“People feel like the deal is done, but the hard part is going to start,” he said.
When it comes to internal pressures, global CEOs ranked attracting and retaining top talent as their chief concern, followed by creating new business models because of disruptive technologies, fostering a more innovative culture and developing leaders.
Companies are struggling to find workers with the skills they want in the areas they want them, said Rebecca Ray, who leads the Conference Board’s human-capital center, and people are becoming more hesitant to uproot themselves for a job.
“It’s no longer the company-first kind of attitude that we had seen,” she said.
US Private Payrolls Drop By 20.2 Million In April, The Worst Job Loss In The History Of ADP Report
Private payrolls hemorrhaged more than 20 million jobs in April as companies sliced workers amid a coronavirus-induced shutdown that took most of the U.S. economy offline, according to a report Wednesday from ADP.
In all, the decline totaled 20,236,000 — easily the worst loss in the survey’s history going back to 2002 but not as bad as the 22 million that economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting. The previous record was 834,665 in February 2009 amid the financial crisis and accompanying Great Recession.
“Job losses of this scale are unprecedented,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute, which compiles the report in conjunction with Moody’s Analytics. “The total number of job losses for the month of April alone was more than double the total jobs lost during the Great Recession.”
The report likely still understates the actual damage done during the implementation of social distancing measures. ADP used the week of April 12 as its sample period, similar to the method the Labor Department uses for its official nonfarm payrolls count. The subsequent weeks in the month saw some 8.3 million more Americans file for unemployment benefits and economists expect another 3 million last week.
In all, more than 30 million have filed claims over the past six weeks.
The April total comes after a drop of 149,000 in March, revised lower from the initially reported 26,594.
The only bright spot from the report may be a signal that the worst is behind as more states curb or end restrictions put into place from coronavirus containment efforts.
“The worst of it is at hand,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “We should see a turn here relatively soon in the job statistics. At least for the next few months, I would anticipate some big, positive numbers.”
Service Industries Hit Hardest
As expected, job losses were most profound in the services and hospitality sector, as bars and restaurants had to close during the pandemic with virtually no eat-in dining allowed. In all, the sector saw 8.6 million furloughs even as some establishments tried to make up for lost business with curbside and delivery services.
Trade, transportation and utilities was the next hardest-hit sector, losing 3.44 million, while construction dropped 2.48 million. Other big losses came in manufacturing (1.67 million), the other services category (1.3 million), and professional and business services (1.17 million). Health care and social assistance plunged by 999,000, information services fell by 309,000 and financial services had 216,000 layoffs.
The only areas reporting gains were education, with 28,000, and management of companies and enterprises, at 6,000.
Broadly speaking, service-related industries fell by just over 16 million, while goods producers declined by 4.3 million.
Big businesses, with more than 500 employees, were hit hardest, losing just shy of 9 million jobs. Companies with fewer than 50 workers were down by just over 6 million and medium-sized firms saw 5.27 million layoffs.
The steep job losses come amid trillions of dollars in rescue programs from Congress and the Federal Reserve that, in part, sought to encourage companies to continue paying workers during the shutdown. Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida told CNBC on Tuesday that while he sees a rebound coming in the second half of the year, he envisions policymakers having to do more to keep the economy afloat.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC on Wednesday that the sharp jump in jobless is not surprising and he expects the situation to turn around considerably before the end of the year.
“It’s not surprising. It’s a pandemic, it’s a shutdown situation,” Bullard said on “Squawk Box.” “We need to get the pandemic under control. Then of course you have to help these workers.”
The ADP report precedes Friday’s release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is expected to show that nonfarm payrolls fell by 21.5 million in April, from March’s 701,000 drop, with the unemployment rate climbing to 16% from 4.4%.
Behind Bond Market’s Stall, Investors See Hard Times Ahead
Treasury yields that are reliably this low have wide-ranging implications for markets and economy.
Yields on U.S. government bonds have stalled near all-time lows, a sign that investors are anticipating a difficult economic recovery and years of aggressive monetary stimulus.
For much of the past month and a half, the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note has hovered around two-thirds of a percentage point—a shade above its all-time low of around 0.5% set in March.
Taken together, the low level of the 10-year yield and its stability suggest that bond investors not only hold a dreary economic outlook but also are unusually confident in that perspective, a contrast with the optimism that has carried stocks to their highest levels since early March.
An important benchmark for interest rates across the economy, the ultralow 10-year Treasury yield has facilitated an explosion of corporate-bond issuance from the likes of Costco Wholesale Corp., Apple Inc. and Clorox Co. News that an experimental coronavirus vaccine from the drugmaker Moderna Inc. had shown promise in an early trial helped push the 10-year yield to the top of its recent range on Monday. But the yield—which falls when bond prices rise—has declined again since then, leaving it at roughly half of its low from before this year.
Two factors typically determine longer-term Treasury yields. One is investors’ estimates of the average federal-funds rate set by the Federal Reserve over the life of a bond. The other is what is sometimes referred to as a risk premium, or an extra amount of yield investors demand to be compensated for the chance that short-term interest rates could rise higher than anticipated as a result of scenarios such as accelerating economic growth and inflation.
Wednesday’s closing 10-year yield of 0.679% suggests many investors believe that the Fed could basically repeat its postcrisis playbook: leaving the federal-fund rate near zero for about seven years before raising it to around 2%. Yields are lower than they were a decade ago in large part because investors feel more assured about that outcome, having seen the central bank implement such policies before without spurring a significant pickup in inflation.
The risk premiums embedded in Treasurys “are basically zero or nonexistent,” said Thanos Bardas, global co-head of investment grade at Neuberger Berman.
Expecting yields to remain rangebound over the next few quarters, Mr. Bardas said he likes Treasurys in the seven- to 10-year range and has high hopes for the new 20-year bonds that were reintroduced by the Treasury Department on Wednesday in a $20 billion auction.
The stability of Treasury yields is particularly notable because it comes even as an unprecedented deluge of new debt floods the market. Not only has the Treasury Department ramped up the size of bond auctions to fund trillions of dollars in economic-relief measures but higher-rated companies also have been bombarding investors with new bond sales as they try to replace revenue that is being lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Fed, meanwhile—after saying in March it would buy an unlimited amount of Treasurys—has slowed the pace of its purchases to $6 billion a day from $75 billion a day.
Still, yields have barely budged, indicating that “globally, there’s tremendous demand for that high-quality debt,” said Colin Robertson, head of fixed income at Northern Trust Asset Management.
Treasury yields that are reliably this low have wide-ranging implications for markets and the economy. For investors, paltry yields might signal a gloomy future. But they can also propel them into riskier assets in search of returns, a likely factor in the surprisingly strong rebound in stocks since their sharp decline earlier in the year.
Low yields have also encouraged borrowing. For a brief period in March, corporate borrowing costs shot upward as fear gripped markets and investors sold bonds from even the safest companies. Since then, though, the average extra yield investors demand to hold investment-grade corporate bonds over Treasurys has shrunk, enabling businesses to benefit from the low benchmark rates.
Last month, Costco sold 10-year notes with a 1.619% yield, the lowest on record for that maturity, according to LCD, a unit of S&P Global Market Intelligence. Other companies that have recently issued 10-year bonds with sub-2% yields include Apple, Clorox and International Business Machines Corp. Overall, through Tuesday, nonfinancial companies had issued $150 billion of investment-grade bonds this month after selling a record $231 billion in April, according to Dealogic.
Treasury yields could turn even less volatile if the Fed adopts a policy known as yield-curve control, several analysts said. A cousin of quantitative easing, yield-curve control entails purchasing an unlimited amount of bonds at a particular maturity to peg rates at a target.
Yield-curve control has been used for years by the Bank of Japan to keep the yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds at around 0%. In March, the Reserve Bank of Australia said it would set a target of 0.25% for the country’s three-year government bond.
In the U.S., Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last fall that “short-term yield-curve control is something that is worth looking at” as a tool to fight the next recession. Minutes of the Fed’s April 28-29 meeting released Wednesday also revealed that “a few participants” at the meeting discussed the possibility of capping short-to-medium term Treasury yields for a period of time, while “several” said bond purchases could generally be used “to keep longer-term yields low.”
It is far from certain that the Fed will embrace yield-curve control. Still, the mere discussion has likely contributed to the bond market’s calm, analysts said.
Something similar happened to corporate bonds after the Fed said in March it would start buying the securities, said Thomas Simons, senior vice president and money-market economist in the Fixed Income Group at Jefferies LLC. Though it was nearly two months before the Fed started implementing the program, the announcement alone sparked a rush into the asset class as investors anticipated the Fed’s backing.
“Just knowing that the Fed could do something is almost the same as the Fed actually doing it,” Mr. Simons said.
Not all investors are unconcerned about a pickup in inflation that could push longer-term yields higher. A welcome surprise—such as an early vaccine available for emergency use this fall—could provide a major boost to the economy. Some also see risk in the tremendous amounts of money that the federal government is spending to help the economy, coupled with the promise of unlimited bond-buying from the Fed, which essentially helps finance that spending.
“The Fed wants to push inflation higher, and is willing to keep monetary policy accommodative even as the economy recovers from the Covid-19 shutdown to get inflation expectations up,” said Donald Ellenberger, senior portfolio manager at Federated Investors.
Mr. Ellenberger said he therefore sees value in Treasury-inflation-protected securities, or TIPS.
Still, he said, his team’s strategy is to “trade the range”—betting on higher yields when the 10-year falls below 0.6% and lower yields if it approaches 1% in large part because of the Fed’s continued bond-buying and desire to support the economy.
Recession In U.S. Began In February, Official Arbiter Says
Monthly economic activity ‘reached a clear peak’ in February, marking the end of the 128-month expansion that began in June 2009.
The U.S. economy entered a recession in February, the group that dates business cycles said Monday, ending the longest American economic expansion on record.
Monthly economic activity “reached a clear peak” in February, marking the end of the 128-month expansion that began in June 2009, said the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research. It was the longest expansion in records back to 1854.
Recessions are typically defined as declines in economic activity that last more than a few months, and the NBER often takes more than a year to declare a recession officially under way. It also takes into consideration the depth and duration of the downturn and whether activity has declined broadly across the economy.
The committee said the new coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent public-health response have led to a downturn with different dynamics than prior recessions.
“Nonetheless, it concluded that the unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy, warrants the designation of this episode as a recession, even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions,” the group said.
Many economists had believed the U.S. was in recession since at least March, when governments began ordering businesses closed and workers sent home in an effort to slow the fast-spreading virus.
Employment and consumer spending has plunged as Americans curbed travel, shopping and eating out, and businesses laid off employees. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, fell 5% in the second quarter.
Employers shed roughly 22 million jobs in March and April, and the jobless rate hit 14.7%, a post-World War II high. Consumer spending, the economy’s key driver, plunged 7.5% in March and 13.6% in April, setting back-to-back record declines in records tracing back to 1959.
Signs are emerging that the economy may have hit bottom in May. Employers added 2.5 million jobs last month, the most added in a single month on records dating from 1948, and the jobless rate fell to 13.3%.
Still, employment remained down by nearly 20 million jobs since February. By comparison, the U.S. shed about 9 million jobs between December 2007 and February 2010, a period that covered the recession caused by the financial crisis.
The NBER’s recession-dating committee looks at gauges of employment and production, as well as incomes minus government benefits, to determine when a recession has begun. Many other countries use a different measure: two or more quarters of declining real gross domestic product.
The committee doesn’t comment on how long the recession may last, though many economists project a swift rebound this summer followed by a long, slow return to pre-pandemic.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said last week the U.S. economy could take the better part of a decade to fully recover from the pandemic and related shutdowns. Gross domestic product will likely be 5.6% smaller in the fourth quarter of 2020 than a year earlier, despite an expected pickup in economic activity in the coming months, and the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by the end of the year, the CBO said.
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