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The Newsletter

 The economy is booming and everyone should enjoy it. The American economy is benefitting from tremendous amounts of pent-up demand and in some of the hardest-hit industries’ activity is beginning to tick back up above 2019 levels. Along with that boom, there are clear signs of inflation and concerns about overheating. Even Janet Yellen seemed concerned for a few hours last week.

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The Newsletter

It’s hard to remember that there’s still a pandemic going on. Vaccination rates have increased and it looks like we may be on the cusp of a roaring 20s. Consumers are healthy and eager to make up for lost time–booking travel and eating out. Offices will probably re-open by the end of summer but working from home is likely to remain an option.

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The Newsletter

Animal spirits are driving momentum across the economy, especially in capital markets. There’s hundreds of billions of dollars waiting to be invested via vehicles like SPACs. Valuations are extreme, yet they are justified by low interest rates. Meanwhile demand is exceeding supply in industries like semi-conductors, housing and transport. Companies are citing inflationary pressures. But the Fed and Treasury are united behind continued stimulus. “We have the tools to deal with that risk.”

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: Vaccinations are happening around the US and the world.  It’s been a little slower than hoped but that may be because of the logistical challenges of administering vaccines at long-term care facilities.  We are on the cusp of mass dissemination, and there should be enough capacity to make sure that the population is vaccinated quickly. We’ve lost a year of our lives to COVID but the finish line is (hopefully) in sight. Vaccination should unleash a huge amount of pent up demand. Banks, which started to report this week, have showed that credit performance metrics have been better than anyone dreamed possible in March of 2020. They’re releasing reserves and preparing to return capital to shareholders. Tech spend is also booming.

Something New: We launched a new podcast last week where we discuss the top quotes and ideas from the earnings transcripts we read.  It is now available on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast and Spotify and other podcast platforms. Subscribe and give us a review. We hope to be sending a new episode out every Tuesday. 

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The Newsletter

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.

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 Newsletter

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.

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 Newsletter

Succinct Summary: We are clearly in a recession with very low visibility on how we are going to come out of it. Companies are also seeing consumers move away from credit as they also shift away from discretionary spending. On the positive, there are some promising signs of recovery as shorter cycle businesses like auto come back. 

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The Newsletter

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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