Notes on the Week Ahead
An Antidote to Risk

An Antidote to Risk

July 28, 2020

Last week, I was preparing for a zoom call with some of our client advisors at JPMorgan Asset Management, by reviewing a list of questions they had kindly supplied in advance, and I came across a particularly awkward one: what has been my biggest investment mistake?

The Backroads of Economic Recovery

The Backroads of Economic Recovery

July 6, 2020

In life before the pandemic, (and it seems like years ago), Sari and I would often drive from our home in Massachusetts to New York for the weekend. The destination was always fun – seeing the kids, exploring new restaurants, catching a Broadway show and sometimes running a road race the next morning to burn off the extra calories. But we had to get there first.

The Investment Implications of a Rolling-Wave Pandemic

The Investment Implications of a Rolling-Wave Pandemic

June 29, 2020

In the week ahead, as has been the case for most of the year, markets will likely take their cues from medical rather than economic data. The key question is whether America will see a second wave in the Covid-19 pandemic.  The answer to that question has, of course, profound human and social consequences.  However, it also has implications for the economy, for fiscal and monetary policy, and, ultimately, for investment strategy.

Risks to the Market

Risks to the Market

June 15, 2020

In recent weeks, as stocks have rebounded strongly from their March lows, many have asked if the market has come too far, too fast. Thursday’s sharp selloff may have been an expression of that concern.

The Patchwork Quilt

The Patchwork Quilt

June 1, 2020

In the week ahead, America will be focused on the killing of George Floyd and its aftermath. These are difficult days for our country, beset as we are by a pandemic, a deep recession, political division and racial tension.

Patterns of Recession

Patterns of Recession

May 26, 2020

In the early days of her marriage, my mother tried to achieve the almost impossible goals established by society for a 1960s wife.  Apart from tending to the needs of my somewhat Victorian father, she did her best, on an inadequate allowance, to keep herself and a growing family fed and clothed. 

Lessons from East Asia

Lessons from East Asia

May 5, 2020

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Unemployment Rate for April, which will undoubtedly be the single ugliest economic statistic of my lifetime. We estimate that, based mainly on continuing unemployment claims, the number will come in at 15.5%. We also estimate that roughly 19 million Payroll Jobs were lost in the month.

Inflation risks in the wake of the pandemic

Inflation risks in the wake of the pandemic

April 27, 2020

In the classic Roadrunner skit, the Coyote buries one ACME box of dynamite beneath a pile of birdseed, strings the wires to a detonator hidden behind a rock, waits for our hero to arrive and start pecking, and then forcefully pushes down on the plunger.

The Road to Recovery

The Road to Recovery

April 20, 2020

Every summer when I was growing up, we would spend a week or two on holiday in the West of Ireland.  These trips would always start in discomfort, as I was one of a large number of children squished into the back of a small car. 

Why the stock market isn’t more worried

Why the stock market isn’t more worried

April 13, 2020

In this uniquely repetitive era for all of us, Saturday marked a first for my wife, Sari, and I. Armed with a sharp pair of scissors and with a manic gleam in her eye, she attacked the task of cutting my hair.