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The Newsletter

Vaccines continue to be administered and supply will likely open up, even more, starting in April. Consumers have been dreaming of a return to normal and we appear to be at the cusp. The result of vaccination could be an explosion of pent-up demand for hardest-hit industries and a much better second half than people expect. Still, strong demand is putting pressure on supply chains and creating inflationary pressures. Given that stimulus is dependent on a K-shaped recovery, normalization could bring its own economic disruptions.

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: Retailers reported strong quarters last week showing that the US consumer remains resilient despite high unemployment.  A new wave of Covid could slow the economy back down but vaccines are almost here.  It will be interesting to see what behaviors have been permanently altered by the pandemic and which ones will return to the way that they were.  Business travel is one thing that may be permanently changed.

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary: Big retailers posted staggering comps in the second quarter as consumers shift spending towards purchases for items used at home.  Part of the strength was driven by stimulus but spending appears to have stayed strong in August even after the stimulus has waned.  November’s elections are starting to shift into focus.  And life may not get fully back to normal until 2022.

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

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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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary:  The Coronavirus continues to spread globally and no one knows how bad this could get.  On the one hand we have projections of its exponential growth.  On the other is the hope that seasonality will help stem the tide.  In the face of a potential pandemic, the health of the economy seems like a trivial concern.  Still, this panic is having a material affect on economic activity and thereby markets. The Fed has tried to address this with lower rates, but even the Fed admits monetary policy can’t do much to stop a virus. Where monetary policy will fail, hopefully modern medicine will succeed. Everyone, stay safe out there!

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The Newsletter

Succinct Summary:  The trade war has been weighing on the economy for most of the year.  Businesses have been hesitant to invest due to the uncertainty and have been trying to mitigate the impact of tariffs.  Still, the consumer has been remarkably resilient.  Overall the economy is stable but not quite as strong as it was a couple of years ago.

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