But This Recession Is Different...The Feds Told Me So
There are now 38.6 million people out of work according to the Dept of Labor. Another 2.4 million initial unemployment claims were filed last week, marking the ninth-straight week with jobless claims topping at least 2 million. In terms of percentage the unemployment rate is over 20% now.
However, in some parts of the country things are far worst.
In Michigan, the unemployment rate is 22.7%. These numbers are worst than the Great Recession when the unemployment rate was 16.5%. Makes sense as Michigan is the capital of the auto industry in the country. However, General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV began calling employees back to work this week, one week after auto suppliers and other manufacturers restarted their operation.
In New York State, the unemployment rate is at levels not seen since the Great Depression. In New York City alone, the numbers are approaching one million people that have lost their job.
Despite all the doom and gloom in unemployment rates, the Markets continue to march higher because many think the bottom is in (thanks to the Feds).
The initial shock was real rather than financial, and it impacted the supply side of the economy directly. Lockdowns forced firms to cut employment and production, and both domestic and international supply chains were broken. That shock was transmitted to the demand side as lower household incomes and physical restrictions cut consumption, and lower business revenues alongside dismal projections of final demand hit investment.
This recession is thus starkly different from other recessions and from the textbook Keynesian recessions where an initial shock to demand leads to subsequent market pressures to cut supply. We have now had a crushing blow to both supply and demand, leaving us with the question of how the recovery will be sequenced. Will supply recover more quickly or more slowly than demand?
What makes this recession so starkly different than others is because we are at the mercy of mother nature and science. Many government and business leaders and scientist around the world think we can have a vaccine before the end of the year, but Dr. Dan Barouch, a virologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston said trying to compress the whole vaccine process into 12 to 18 months is really unheard-of and that if that happens, it will be the fastest vaccine development program ever in history.
But what also make this recession so starkly different is we are seeing a bunch of "firsts" by the US Feds.
Because of businesses being shut down, cities and states loss tax revenue. So, the Federal Reserve is directly buy bonds issued by states and cities for the first time so they can continue to function as normal. Also in a first, the Federal Reserve took in $305 million worth of exchange-traded funds on Tuesday.
This is why there is such a disconnect between Main Street and Wallstreet. The Smart Money knows corporations will be bailed out as they raise money through bonds for the Feds to buy. The Feds got me questioning my thesis of a lower low in the Markets and closing out all my short positions. If I'm wrong, my account will tell me when its time to close my shorts. For now, I'm still in the Bear Rally camp.
This post is my personal opinion. I’m not a financial advisor, this isn't financial advise. Do your own research before making investment decisions.