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The Year in Review: 2020 was an unprecedented year and The Transcript covered the economy throughout all of its twists and turns. Even though China was battling Covid in 2019, no one really knew what was in store for all of us in 2020. Technology, capital markets, and housing were three industries that boomed. While the stimulus was integral, the economic hero of 2020 was the US consumer. Optimism is high that 2021 will be a more normal year.

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The Transcript

Succinct Summary: Earnings season kicked off this week.  The nation’s big banks reported earnings and for the most part provided positive economic commentary.  We are seeing a return to a generally sound economy and confidence has improved a lot.  Credit performance has been much better than expected and if nothing changes banks probably have a lot of excess reserves.  The election creates the potential for near-term volatility but the end of the pandemic is hopefully in sight.

Editor’s Request: This weekly newsletter is made possible by donations from our readers. If you like what you are reading, click here to donate (Our suggested donation: $10 per month). Help us keep The Transcript going.

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The Transcript

Succinct Summary: This has been the most difficult crisis that the US has faced since most people can remember.  An economic recovery is underway but the pace of job growth may be slowing.  Companies in the hardest-hit industries are asking for more stimulus.

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The Transcript

Succinct Summary: This has been an incredibly difficult operating environment but we’re all learning to live in a world with Covid.  Economic activity is much better than anyone expected and government officials are pushing for even more stimulus.  The Fed expects to keep interest rates at zero until 2023.

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The Transcript

Succinct Summary: The economy rebounded strongly in May and June with some important economic figures, like spending on debit and credit cards, being only down low single digits from last year. But the recovery is starting to stall out as infections rise and now everyone is planning for Covid to last longer than initially expected.  The figures are being distorted by massive government stimulus though.  And it’s not clear what happens when that stimulus runs out even as markets seem to be betting on more stimulus.

Editor’s Request: This weekly newsletter is made possible by donations from our readers. If you like what you are reading, click here to donate (Our suggested donation: $10 per month). Help us keep The Transcript going.

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The Transcript

A Personal Note: A lot has happened in the last two weeks we have been away. We start on a very positive note—warm congratulations to my co-author Scott Krisiloff and his wife on the birth of their beautiful twins this past week. On a different note, the challenge of racism has come to the forefront of global news. This week, we have a special section on quotes on the reactions from corporate management teams on the issued of racism. The bottom line is that we have a problem that needs fixing. I have also written a personal article about my experience of racism in Scandinavia. – Erick Mokaya

Succinct Summary: There are some glimmers of hope across such industries like airlines, travel and retail as demand picks up from the April lows. We are, however, being cautioned about being too excited and urged to be cautious. All in all, there is significant pent-up demand. 

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Succinct Summary: The modern economy has never experienced economic carnage on the scale of COVID19.  US GDP is forecast to fall by 30-40% while unemployment is likely to rise to 20-30%.  What matters though, is how long it lasts.  A 30% rate of decline in production for a quarter is different from a 30% decline for a whole year.  As public attention seems to turn from the virus to the economy, debate is on whether we will see a V-shaped recovery or not.  There are lots of reasons why we are unlikely to see such a rapid recovery but there are also glimmers of economic hope.  Still, the path of the economy seems to pale in comparison to the importance of the path of humanity.

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