What’s (Not) Happening in the Coronavirus Crisis?

May 28, 2020

The big news this past week has been what has not happened: there are, at present, no signs of a second wave of infections stemming from the ongoing reopening of the economy and the loosening of social distancing measures in several states. In fact, the data shows that social distancing had been subsiding in many areas even before the formal loosening. So, we are now two weeks or more into the start of a new environment for the spread of the virus. While it is still early in the process, some growth in cases could have been expected. The fact that we have continued to see the spread rates at close to the lowest levels of the pandemic is positive.

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COVID-19: What We Know and How We Know It

May 27, 2020

Recently, I’ve gotten some questions on news reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and many states have been conflating two different types of COVID-19 tests in their reporting. The substance of both the news reports and the subsequent questions was that this conflation made the data unreliable and that the situation could be worse—with respect to the virus and the pandemic—than we had thought. Indeed, it is a reasonable concern. And given that I use various coronavirus data here on the blog, I thought it would be worth writing about what we know about the virus and how we know it.

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Is the Latest Coronavirus News Better Than It Looks?

May 21, 2020

This past week revealed a mix of improvement and stabilization in the COVID-19 pandemic. While testing continues to expand, the progress in slowing the spread rate and case growth has stalled, leaving both at levels consistent with the past two weeks. The number of active cases has started to grow again, which is a negative. Overall, conditions remain much better than they have been in recent weeks, but we did not see much, if any, additional progress in controlling the virus.

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Confessions of an ESG Investing Skeptic

May 20, 2020

Today’s post on ESG investing comes from Brian Price, senior vice president of investment management and research here at Commonwealthand a self-proclaimed ESG investing skeptic. Over to you, Brian!

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Value Vs. Valuation: A Dilemma for Emerging Market Investors

May 19, 2020

Brad here. One of the most common questions I get from investors is where to invest. Stocks, bonds, or something else? Are things different this time, and how should we react? And, perhaps most relevant, should we invest in the U.S. or abroad? Anu Gaggar, Commonwealth’s international analyst, spends her days thinking about how—and whether—to invest abroad, and this post provides a timely and very useful guide to how she is thinking about emerging markets. Thanks, Anu!

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Progress on Several Fronts in Coronavirus Pandemic

May 14, 2020

Last week, we took a look at progress in the coronavirus pandemic since the start of April, which has been substantial. What I want to look at today is some very good news from the past week. We saw continued and even accelerated progress on several fronts with the pandemic and are almost into phase 2. For the economy, the rolling reopening has also started to show some positive effects. Financial markets, on the other hand, have had some volatility as the prospect of reopening turns into reality. So, here we go.

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Pandemic Slowing—Are the Biggest Risks Behind Us?

May 7, 2020

The two keywords for last week’s update were “continued progress,” and those would work for this week as well. As this is the first update for May, however, let’s take a look at the progress over the past month, since the start of April. While weekly data is useful, the pandemic has now continued on for long enough that we have the data to establish a broader context—and that broader context is surprisingly positive.

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