The Independent Market Observer

The Third Wave of COVID-19: Have the Facts Changed?

October 21, 2020

"When the facts change, I change my mind.” This is a famous quote from John Maynard Keynes, which is followed by the sardonic question, “What do you do, sir?” Very wise and, of course, very witty. It’s not, however, necessarily useful.

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Knowing When to Worry About the Deficit and the Debt

October 20, 2020

Last week, I wrote that I was not worried about the deficit and the debt—at least in the short to medium term. We appear to have lots of running room before the debt is an immediate problem, which could be years (or more) away. While acknowledging it as a problem, looking at history and around the world, there are no real reasons it has to be an immediate problem.

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Monday Update: September Retail Sales Beat Expectations

October 19, 2020

Last week was packed with economic updates, with reports largely coming in mixed. Better-than-expected results for retail sales and consumer confidence were offset by rising initial unemployment claims and a disappointing decline in industrial production. This week’s news will largely focus on housing, with updates scheduled on home builder confidence, new home construction, and existing home sales.

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Coronavirus Update: October 16, 2020 [Video]

October 16, 2020

Today, I'd like to provide an update on the coronavirus, including the economic and market implications. On the medical front, the pandemic remains under control at the national level, but state-level outbreaks are getting worse. Multiple states have seen case growth accelerate, to the point that some health care systems are at risk. This is something we need to watch.

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How Durable Is the Economic Recovery?

October 15, 2020

The pandemic remains under control at the national level, and the case growth rate remains below recent peaks. Still, the medical news continues to get worse, as this past week has seen case growth continue to rise on a seven-day average basis. While some of this rise may be due to increased testing, most looks to be owing to widening outbreaks in many states. In fact, case growth in many states is starting to approach levels that could threaten the health care systems there, indicating this is a growing problem.

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What If the Deficit and Debt Don’t Matter?

October 14, 2020

A month or so ago, I wrote about how worried I was that no one seemed concerned about the deficit or the debt. People were worried about lots of other things. But for some reason, I wasn’t getting any questions about the deficit or debt—and it worried me.

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Is a Hopeful Market a Vulnerable One?

October 13, 2020

As of yesterday, the markets spiked again, taking the major indices back close to new highs. The S&P 500 closed at 3,534, less than 2 percent below the all-time high of September 2, just before markets tumbled. The Dow and Nasdaq results were similar. Clearly, the markets think everything is awesome.

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