White House Watch: In Some Sense its Only Day Three

The worsening of the virus spread and intensity is a treacherous path that is finally heading toward an intersection with a more promising US response Sunday, very late but finally getting underway. Not that the next two weeks and maybe longer won’t be very grim. A chastened President Trump told his Sunday night briefing audience […]
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Tragic Virus Disconnects May Begin to Yield to Phase 3

The sharply different accounts, stories of critical shortages from hospitals and medical personnel versus sweeping assurances from the White House, were in especially sharp contrast Friday while both sides looked to the new rules and mountains of money that finally became available with the day’s signing of Phase 3 into law. It was a comment […]
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February Real PCE Up 0.1% but March Plunge to Come

Real Personal Consumption Expenditures rose by 0.1% in February, a second straight gain and a positive for first quarter consumption and GDP, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Unfortunately, it won’t stay that way, as social distancing will cut severely into March PCE, enough to more than offset the modest gains in the first two months […]
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Gruesome Virus Developments Hardly News Any More

Virus infection cases kept multiplying in the US Thursday, death tolls kept going up, more governors and mayors ignored President Trump’s dream of packed churches on Easter and the US kept mostly ignoring the kind of contact tracing that slowed the virus to a crawl elsewhere. By one count, the US number of infection cases […]
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US Initial Claims Soar as Millions Laid Off, More to Come

With millions laid off in the March 21 week due to business shutdowns, initial jobless claims surged to a record high level in Thursday’s data, and are likely to go further as displaced workers sign up for benefits and any backlog is worked down. The level of initial claims surged by 3.001 million to 3.283 […]
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Virus Apex Weeks Away as Defences Mount

A thousand distractions filled the news Wednesday, particularly promises contained in the pending congressional effort to replace trillions of dollars of income, pay for medical gear and rescue firms big and little. Not distracted are the sub-microscopic capsules of single strands of ribonucleic acid that are using unwitting asymptomatic carriers to reach more states. Their […]
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And Another Thing…

As I am making predictions this week, and for once it seems to have gone OK (still time, I know), let’s maintain the momentum. When the world comes out of this crisis, financial markets will look different, but very familiar to some. I was talking to a friend who runs a fintech business in our […]
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US Durable Goods Order +1.2%

US durable goods new orders rose solidly in February, but the headline number was almost entirely driven by a transportation surge, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Orders rose by 1.2% (-0.6% expected) in February but were down 0.6% (-0.3% expected) when a 4.6% jump in transportation orders is excluded, showing that there were some early […]
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Virus Still Unchallenged in US and Dominating the Narrative

The coronavirus, heedless of the new battle of narratives, is steadily spreading mostly unseen Tuesday in and beyond the “hotspots” as US cases topped 50,000, more than half of them around New York City. Fearful that infected New Yorkers fleeing the city will seed other virus hotspots elsewhere, the two most senior government experts in […]
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US March Conditions Data Confirm Activity Slowdown Has Started

There has been relatively little March US data released to this point, but what has been reported confirms that an economic slowdown has begun. Analysts and politicians are anxiously awaiting Thursday’s initial claims report, which is expected to show an even larger surge in unemployment filings than posted last week. Prior to that, there is […]
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