The Economy in Context: July 2020

Coronavirus has made a mess of the American economy, so let’s keep this brief, because, until this pandemic is even vaguely under control, there’s no way to compare the current state of the markets to a healthy “normal” market.

Labor force participation is at 61.5%, far below where it peaked earlier this year. Net jobs created was last projected to be +4,800,000 for June, though that was before the second wave of COVID-19 lockdowns and after 20 million jobs were lost two months earlier. Unfortunately, this number doesn’t mean very much at this point of time.

The federal funds rate is at basically 0% (0.25%), which represents the effective maximum fiscal stimulus possible by the Federal Reserve Bank without going into negative interest rate territory. Regardless, this is not indicative of a healthy economy, where the average federal funds rate is usually around 5%.

The biggest red light lately is the most recent GDP number out of the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which reported a second quarter GDP growth rate of -32.9%, a number that represents the worst number in modern US history and has finally caught the attention of the investment bankers who have, until now, ignored how bad the economy was for most Americans workers and focused solely on capitalizing on the loose fiscal policy of the Fed. That may have ended.

This is not normal. This is what an economy that has been desperately mismanaged looks like. The economy is not supposed to look like a roller coaster, with parts roaring upwards while other sectors plummet. This is chaos. This is the fault of the Republican Party.

Liberty is For The Win!

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