COVID Economy Creates More Noise than Signal


Posted by Vident Financial on 1/25/22 10:20 AM

This on-again-off-again consumption pattern creates confusing waves of distortion in the economy. Economic data and headlines have always been a mix of signal and noise, but the COVID economy has given us the highest ratio of noise to signal that I've ever seen.

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Winter of Our Discontent: December Media Focused a Little Too Much on Bad News


Posted by Vident Financial on 1/20/22 9:22 AM

We believe that the historic pattern regarding financial risk runs like this: The actual data shows a problem is brewing, but the media is slow to acknowledge the problem. Then, when the problem becomes undeniable, the media overshoots and exaggerates it.

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Markets Signaling Strong Growth Now, But Weak Growth Later


Posted by Vident Financial on 1/17/22 9:30 AM

What COVID Classic did in terms of a hard stop last spring, delta appears to have done in a more subdued form late last summer. If the pattern holds, there should be a bounce-back in the fall.

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Profits Are Well Thawed Out


Posted by Vident Financial on 1/14/22 10:08 AM

In our previous analysis, we described the odd pandemic economy dynamics of profits getting deferred and then unfrozen ... What really happened is that the shutdowns mostly deferred business activity instead of destroying it.

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Taking Inventory of Our Supply Chain Problems


Posted by Vident Financial on 1/13/22 9:43 AM

Continuing our series about supply chain disruptions, we now look at business inventories, because basically they are what supply chain problems are all about: not enough stuff on the shelves, in the back, or in the warehouse. There are other reasons shortages can occur.

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Why We Warned About Supply Chain Issues Before the Headlines Did


Posted by Vident Financial on 1/11/22 1:53 PM

Supply chain disruption issues are very much in the news and in the public mind at the moment. One reasonably-good proxy for public attention is a Google Analytics feature that allows the user to track the relative frequency of various search terms over a certain time period.

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Inflation is Real, but Don’t Get Hyper About It


Posted by Vident Financial on 12/22/21 11:50 AM

We've been warning about inflation for some time, at least since last fall.

At the time, an inflation prediction was counter-intuitive because prices had actually been falling during the spring. But that's actually why inflation should have been a concern. Deflationary episodes tend to create the conditions for inflationary episodes because economists generally associate deflation with depressions, and therefore central banks are intolerant of deflation.

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Forget the “Dual Mandate,” Here’s Every Fed Chair's Mono-Mandate


Posted by Vident Financial on 11/8/21 12:30 PM

Looking back at economic conditions in October, culminating in a Federal Reserve meeting which announced probable “tapering” but not raising interest rates, three particular points jump out at us.

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Where in the World Do You Put Your Money When America is Inflationary?


Posted by Vident Financial on 11/4/21 10:08 AM

It should probably be obvious, but when inflation has been high in the United States in the past, indices which are outside of the United States have tended to outperform. There is a phenomenon in financial behavior, however, known as 'home bias'.

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When Inflation is High, Buy High?


Posted by Vident Financial on 11/2/21 9:30 AM

The financial industry has various ways of classifying stocks. One is size, but there are also styles of investing, such as buying companies which are expensive (meaning the price is high relative to sales, or earnings or revenues or cash flow, or some other form of income). If stocks are expensive, it's like they are expected to have high earnings growth, otherwise why would investors pay more for them than for the "cheap" stocks?

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Large vs. Small, Cheap vs. Expensive: Which Stocks Indices Did Best in Other High Inflation Times?


Posted by Vident Financial on 10/28/21 9:30 AM

We’ve recently written about various asset classes (commodities, real estate, bonds) during high and low inflation periods. This time, let's zoom in on the stocks.

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