The Middle Ages
On equity markets, the Lombards, SPAC investors, Bone-setters, George Washington, COVID bots and Omicron
Eye on the Market
Michael Cembalest, Chairman of Market and Investment Strategy offers timely commentary on the economy, markets and investment portfolios
On equity markets, the Lombards, SPAC investors, Bone-setters, George Washington, COVID bots and Omicron
Some things just cannot be talked about. So in this year’s Thanksgiving piece, I wrote about something else.
In this Eye on the Market: early signs of goods bottlenecks easing; the more persistent issue of US labor shortages; the US, Taiwan, China, treaty changes and semiconductor capacity; and an update on the most over-indebted US states
The global supply chain mess will require increased vaccination and acquired immunity, semiconductor capacity expansion and the end of extraordinary housing/labor supports to resolve. A close look at some very anomalous charts on shipping, semiconductors, inventories, labor shortages, foreclosures and mortality.
Greetings students. We look forward to seeing you back on campus. Your Fall 2021 syllabus is attached. Syllabus update: Biology BI66 “The Origins of COVID” has been cancelled until further notice.
Topics: if people avoided SPACs instead of avoiding COVID vaccines, the US would be both wealthier and closer to herd immunity. An update on our SPAC analysis from last February, and a look at the strange mathematical paradox that ends up understating some critical COVID vaccine efficacy data.
Red Med Redemption: A visual depiction of politics, ideology, vaccine resistance and the Delta variant. Other topics: US economic recovery update, and big tech reliance on acquisitions to fuel growth at a time of rising anti-trust enforcement. We conclude with a new “Investor Odds & Ends” section that covers NYC hotel/office markets and possible changes in personal, corporate and international tax rates.
COVID and the Delta variant; the Fed as firefighter and arsonist; US-China economic divorce picks up steam; and the pig-snake inflation timetable (how long until we know if there’s a permanent wage/price rise).
Every two years, we take a close look at the performance of the private equity industry given its rising share of institutional and individual portfolios. Our findings this year: the private equity industry is still outperforming public equity, but this outperformance narrowed as all markets benefit from non-stop monetary and fiscal stimulus, and as private equity acquisition multiples rise. We examine manager dispersion, benchmarks, co-investing, GP-led secondary funds, the torrid pace of industry fundraising and manager fees in this year’s piece.
An investor’s look at China’s recovery, the Sinopharm vaccine and the importance of scientific methods
Our February and March Eye on the Market pieces discussed shrinking US excess capacity, fiscal stimulus and the contortions people gyrate into to convince themselves that rising inflation would not be a problem for equity markets. My conclusion at the time: expectations for permanently low inflation and rates drove the rise in P/E multiples in recent years, so a reversal in inflation and rate expectations poses a risk to them. Since March, US equity markets hit a plateau as inflation expectations reached their highest levels in a decade. This Eye on the Market addresses questions we’re receiving on markets, inflation, rates and capital gains taxes, and concludes with comments on COVID and India.
Even as the world becomes more energy efficient each year, overall levels of CO2 emissions continue to rise. Without decarbonization shock treatment, humans will be wedded to fossil fuels for longer than they would like.
Topics: Biden goes for broke on growth, driving coincident and leading indicators to all-time highs; the Value recovery and where it goes from here; COVID herd immunity, the path to normalcy and rising concerns about thrombosis risks from vector vaccines.
The Smalligarchy: how the narrowest political margins in decades could deliver one of the biggest taxation and spending increases in the post-war era; a discussion of the investment implications of physical and human infrastructure bills; the US economy approaches lift off; and the latest news on Morone saxatilis.
If long-term US interest rates stay below 2%, that’s a great sign for equity investors. But if they don’t…it’s amazing to see the pretzels that people contort into to convince themselves that rising rates are not a problem for equities. Also: an early look at the Zoom shock on commercial and residential real estate, and the diverging COVID trends in the US vs Europe.
Short stories on the global recovery, plummeting COVID infections, Larry Summers & the bond market, SPAC sponsors, renewable energy, the Texas power outage and the battle for the Republican Party.
The SPAC capital raising boom, and why Biden’s early stage energy policies are more likely to increase oil imports rather than reduce emissions.
Equity markets are flying. So is COVID. So are corporate reactions to Congressional objectors.
Michael Cembalest’s views on what will drive markets and the economy in 2021, as well as the challenges we face that stimulus and vaccines can’t solve.
The Jan 6 Joint Session of Congress is shaping up to be a very contentious meeting. Here’s a brief 2-page primer on the rules of engagement, for those interested.
The belief in election illegitimacy is spreading faster than COVID. With field reporting from Alexander Fleming, Rutherford B Hayes, Richard III, Bob Newhart and the Attorney General of Ohio.
The election as referendum on America: how well does the “system” work, and for whom?
The cost of engineering a US recovery as the world waits for a vaccine; Biden agenda on taxes/spending; Tech stocks (2020 vs 1999); COVID and The Fountainhead; US election rules, dates and process in light of derogatory comments on mail-in voting by the President and Attorney General
The US recovery; The flood of money and market returns; Globalization lives; Reducing COVID mortality through vascular treatments; Realistic timetables for never-been-done before vaccines; Sweden’s COVID experiment is not what you think
In this week’s Eye on the Market, we review topics from our recent client Zoom calls. Topics include: risk of inflation, second waves of infection, the effectiveness of lockdowns and Biden’s taxation and spending agenda.
Tracking the rebirth of the US consumer with real time data as a function of infection levels and state policy. Additional topics: no evidence yet of material second waves of COVID infection, and a round-up of the latest news on vaccine trials (Moderna, Oxford, Sinovac) and anticoagulants.
An update on the COVID-19 crisis as the US prepares to reopen despite having one of the highest infection rates in the world. Additional topics: monoclonal antibodies and anti-viral trials; the growing gap between markets and the economy; S&P 500 earnings haves and have-nots; regional equity performance (Europe loses again) and leveraged loans at a time of rising bankruptcies.
In this week’s note, we discuss the latest news on US infection trends and reopening plans, Remdesivir trial results and whether US fiscal stimulus is “enough”.
Lockdown relaxation and economic reawakening…are we there yet?
In this week's note, we take a close look at country and regional virus data, and examine the pitfalls of over-extrapolating trends that often reverse.
After the equity rally, P/E multiples are back at around 16x 2021 consensus earnings.
Virus trends and head-fakes, convalescent plasma and U.S. vs. China lockdowns.
There are things the government can try and fix during a pandemic and other things which it can't.
There are some difficult days ahead as quarantines and lockdowns grow. I want to share something with you from John Stuart Mill as we head into the unknown.
Michael Cembalest, Chairman of Market and Investment Strategy, has compiled his extensive research on coronavirus.
A lot of data is being made available on the coronavirus, but most of it requires careful analysis before drawing conclusions.
Confounding almost every forecast we saw last week, Senator Biden appears to have emerged from Super Tuesday with a sizeable delegate lead. Why might the night have turned out so differently from what was expected just a few days ago?
A Coronavirus update: severity, consequences and implications for investors.
Answers to questions on the coronavirus, US megacap stocks, the cost of Democratic Healthcare plans, the Iowa caucus and the problem with the student loan system.
Consensus reactions to the Phase I US-China deal are very skeptical, but may be missing the broader point. A brief note on what happened, and the alternatives.
After a very positive year for investors in 2019, we expect lower positive returns on financial assets in 2020 as some Ghosts of Christmas Past reappear.
How a discussion about China and Hong Kong morphed into a chart war about Trump, Hoover, Taft, Rachel Maddow and Anderson Cooper.
While recessions and bear markets are a fact of life, something peculiar happened after the Global Financial Crisis: the rise of the Armageddonists.
A close look at the Progressive Agenda, China’s deteriorating welcome mat in DC and US Tech IPOs.
Michael Cembalest analyzes the performance of over 6,700 domestic and international active equity managers and discusses the challenges they face.
A brief comment on a proposal from leading Presidential candidates to ban hydraulic fracturing everywhere, immediately.
It was a long, hot summer at the Heritage Foundation. An update from the front lines of the Trade War.
Michael went on a search for Democratic Socialism in the real world, and ended up halfway around the globe from where he began.
Michael discusses how he should have taken Trump at his word on tariffs, and the impact of the widening trade war on global growth and equity markets as proposed tariffs approach pre-war levels.
The US-China trade war, prescription drug price legislation and the 2020 election.
Topics: unattainable objectives of the Green New Deal; overview of the world’s decarbonization challenges; Germany’s energy transition; Trump’s War on Science.
In response to the worst pandemic in 50 years and a country at war with itself over lockdowns, individual freedoms and election results, the Fed and Congress airdropped an unprecedented amount of stimulus with vaccine airdrops to follow.
For the first time in 20 years, markets will have to survive without support from central banks.
There’s a global recovery under way that is broadening across regions.
Prepare for another single digit portfolio return year in 2017.
Some aches and pains are constraining the global economy, with more severe strains occurring in the emerging world.
Thanks to extra fuel from the Fed, the U.S. is running at a steady pace and should accelerate modestly in 2014.
As we head into 2011, global profits are rising, U.S. household incomes and debt burdens are improving and global services are starting to rebound.
This year's paper gets into the details of where energy comes from, how it’s used, and the de-carbonization challenges facing the world’s industrialized and emerging economies.
This year’s topics: examples of how energy transitions are gradual rather than sudden, defying the expectations of futurists: climate goals, natural gas, electric vehicles.
The cost of solar, wind and storage continues to fall, improving cost-emissions tradeoffs for electricity grids. Yet there are still many rivers to cross on the road to decarbonization.
The journey to a renewable energy future is taking longer than many analysts and agencies expected.
We look at how the individual components of the energy grid fit together in a system dominated by renewable energy, with a focus on cost and CO2 emissions.
This year’s topics: the eventual transition to renewable energy; renewable energy stocks; US energy independence, wind, solar and energy/electricity storage.
This year’s topics: U.S. energy independence, growing cottage industry, liquified natural gas, coal and Japan's reconsideration of nuclear generation.
The most important energy developments of 2012: Energy independence initiatives in the US, Europe and Japan; geopolitical implications of rising Chinese oil demand; and another rough year for the electric car.