Commentary

Do the Least Harm

Doctors think differently than economists. They put patients with a potential for brain damage in an artificial coma to stop swelling, and when it stops, they bring them out. This fits with the Hippocratic Oath all doctors take, which states "First, do no harm." The idea is to "limit" damage and then "restart" a more normal body with fewer problems.

Commentary

The Coronavirus Threat

In order to be better prepared in the future, we need a vibrant private sector, not a permanent expansion in government.

Commentary

Cut the Politicians' Pay

The government-mandated shutdown of business, and the massive drop in economic activity it is causing, may actually do more harm to the United States than the coronavirus itself. Early estimates suggest the U.S. economy will contract at a staggering 20% annualized rate in the second quarter, and the number may move even higher.

Commentary

The Coronavirus Contraction

Due to fears about the Coronavirus – more specifically, the forceful government measures designed to halt its spread, the US is on the front edge of the sharpest decline in economic activity since the Great Depression.

Commentary

Fed Fires Bazooka at Coronavirus

Back in July 2008, then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said he wanted a "bazooka" to deal with financial threats to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Paulson wanted Congress to give him an unlimited credit line for these enterprises. This time around, it's the Federal Reserve firing a bazooka at the Coronavirus, with more possibly to come.

Commentary

Reasons to Be Positive About the US Coronavirus Fight

Coverage around the virus has been almost exclusively negative, as experts extrapolate worst case scenarios to spur action. It should come as little surprise then, that fear of a recession has moved to the forefront of many minds. At times like these, we think it's crucial to look at the data and note some positive developments that aren't getting as much media coverage.

Commentary

A Coronavirus Recession?

No one knows with any real certainty how much, or for how long, the Coronavirus will impact the US economy. What we do know is that it will have an impact. And, after data releases of recent weeks, we also know that the US economy was in very good shape before it hit.

Commentary

Fed Should Be Decisive

By the time you read this, the Fed may already have cut rates. That is the situation we find ourselves in given the recent correction in equities, which were at a record high only eight trading days ago but were down 12.8% from that peak as of the market close on Friday.

Commentary

Time to Fear the Coronavirus?

Monday, fear over the Coronavirus finally gripped investors, as both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index fell over 3% - the largest daily declines in two years. These drops wiped out all the gains for the year.

Commentary

Yes, There Was a Housing Bubble, But Not Now

One of the worst bipartisan policy decisions in the past generation was the aggressive government push in the 1990s and 2000s to promote homeownership, beyond what the free market could handle. Policymakers encouraged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to gobble up lots of subprime debt, in turn boosting lending to borrowers who couldn't handle their loans.

Commentary

Lessons from Japan?

Thirty years ago, many in the US were in fear that a rising power in Asia was on the verge of eclipsing the US. Now it's China, back then it was Japan.

Commentary

Jobs, Coronavirus, and the Budget

In January, US payrolls expanded by 225,000, not only beating the consensus forecast, but also forecasts from every single economics group. Since January 2019 (12 months ago), both payrolls and civilian employment – an alternative measure of jobs that includes small-business start-ups – are up 2.1 million.

Commentary

No Need for Fed Rescue

Fears about the coronavirus knocked down equities last week, while a flight to safety brought the yield on the 10-year Treasury down to 1.51% at the Friday close versus 1.69% the week prior and 1.92% at the end of 2019.

Commentary

Quiet Year Ahead

The first Federal Reserve statement of the new decade proved one of the most uneventful in years, with virtually no change from the December outlook that suggested rates will stand pat in the year ahead.

Commentary

Look for Steadiness from the Fed

The Federal Reserve is set to make its first policy statement of the year on Wednesday, so this is as good a time as any to reiterate our view that the Fed is likely to keep short-term interest rates steady through 2020 and, while pressures will build, the Fed seems content to hold them steady next year, as well.