Tuesday 26th May 2020,
Pinguinoeconomico

RALLENTAMENTO, RIPRESA, RECESSIONE O DEPRESSIONE – I PROSSIMI SCENARI

Il dato della scorsa settimana delle nuove richieste di disoccupazione settimanali negli Stati Uniti di oltre 3,2 milioni di persone ha lasciato sorpresi anche i più inguaribili pessimisti che puntavano ad un risultato non peggiore di 1,7 milioni, in pratica poco più della metà di quanto è stato annunciato.

In questo contesto, sempre durante la scorsa settimana, il mercato azionario domestico ha guadagnato oltre il 10%, spinto dal varo di provvedimenti fiscali e monetari da parte del governo e della Federal Reserve, in completa controtendenza rispetto all’aggravarsi della crisi sanitaria ed economica, sia interna che mondiale.

E’ necessario, di conseguenza, analizzare separatamente l’andamento economico da quello dei mercati finanziari ed azionari in particolare.

 

LE PROSPETTIVE ECONOMICHE

Con miliardi di persone chiuse in casa già da alcune settimane e probabilmente almeno per tutto il mese di aprile, le principali economie mondiali rischiano una forte contrazione della crescita con Pil che nel secondo trimestre potranno calare anche in doppia cifra negativa. Vi è la seria possibilità, inoltre, che il rallentamento economico si propaghi in una pesante recessione o addirittura in una depressione tanto più si prolungheranno le chiusure dei vari Stati.

Con il calo dei servizi, la domanda è precipitata e si è circoscritta ai beni primari (cibo, farmaci e riscaldamento).

Diverse attività economiche, costrette obbligatoriamente a chiudere per osservare il periodo di quarantena, rischiano di non riaprire ed hanno lasciato a case milioni di disoccupati in tutto il mondo.

 

LA PROBABILE FINE DELLA GLOBALIZZAZIONE

Negli ultimi decenni l’economia mondiale ha prosperato grazie alla crescita del commercio mondiale ed alla produzione da parte delle multinazionali nei Paesi emergenti, sfruttando il basso costo della manodopera locale.

Anche la Cina, epicentro del virus e primo Paese a riaprire dopo una grave emergenza, sta soffrendo un calo della domanda inaspettato da parte degli altri Paesi, ora semichiusi a causa del dilagare dell’epidemia. Circa cinque milioni di lavoratori cinesi hanno già perso il lavoro ed il numero è purtroppo destinato a crescere.

Con la chiusura delle frontiere, necessaria per proteggersi dal virus, e la quasi totalità del blocco aereo perlomeno passeggeri, le economie diventeranno sempre più autarchiche almeno nei prossimi mesi danneggiando le reciproche esportazioni ed il commercio mondiale.

La domanda di petrolio è crollata e le dispute tra Russia ed Arabia Saudita non sembrano facilitare una rapida inversione delle quotazioni del greggio, tanto più se gli Stati Uniti continueranno ad estrarre il greggio a ritmi così elevati inondando il mercato di offerta.

Salgono, al contrario, i prezzi e la domanda delle principali materie prime agricole quali grano, mais, soia, caffè e zucchero.

 

LA REAZIONE DEI MERCATI

In attesa di una veloce riapertura delle economie, dopo tre settimane di violenta discesa i mercati azionari hanno rimbalzato significativamente con rialzi che hanno superato il venti per cento rispetto ai minimi, nella speranza che gli stimoli varati da governi e banche centrali facciano il loro effetto.

E’ naturale e possibile che questo rimbalzo molto tecnico sia un tipico rialzo da “bear market” e che i listini ritesteranno i minimi precedenti.

La tensione sugli altri assets, dai mercati obbligazionari, al petrolio, ai metalli preziosi fino alla valute contribuisce a mantenere alta la volatilità.

Gli unici assets un po’ riparati dalla bufera appaiono in questo momento le obbligazioni governative e l’oro mentre tutto il resto potrà sia ulteriormente rimbalzare che essere oggetto di ulteriori vendite.

L’intervento massiccio delle Banche Centrale è stato necessario e determinante per dare stabilità al sistema finanziario, ma sicuramente non risolutivo in questa fase di eccezionale emergenza.

Assisteremo ancora un’elevata volatilità, tipica dei periodi successivi a grandi crolli degli indici, nelle prossime settimane/mesi, ma ideale per un trading mirato sempre con particolare attenzione e disciplina.

 

 

 

 

posted on 23 March 2020

We Are Entering A Recession But What Did We Learn From The Last One?

from The Conversation

— this post authored by Ken-Hou LinUniversity of Texas at Austin and Megan NeelyStanford University

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, it is abundantly clear that the global economy is entering a recession – the first we’ve seen since 2008.

Please share this article – Go to very top of page, right hand side, for social media buttons.

Some officials have compared the last period of economic decline – also know as the Great Recession – to the Depression, which began in 1929.

Yet it is clear that these two downturns differed not only in severity but also in the consequences they had for inequality in the United States.

Though the Depression was bigger and longer than the Great Recession, the decades following the Great Depression substantially reduced the wealth of the rich and improved the economic security of many workers. In contrast, the Great Recession exacerbated both income and wealth inequality.

Families recovered from the Great Depression much more quickly than the Great Recession.  Bettmann/Getty Images

Some scholars have attributed this phenomenon to a weakened labor movement, fewer worker protections and a radicalized political right wing.

In our view, this account misses the dominance of Wall Street and the financial sector and overlooks its fundamental role in generating economic disparities.

We are experts in income inequality, and our new book, “Divested: Inequality in the Age of Finance,” argues that inequality from the Recession has a lot to do with how the government designed its response.

The Great Recession exacerbated a persistent wealth gap in the U.S. Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

The Depression

Reforms during the Great Depression restructured the financial system by restricting banks from risky investment, Wall Street from gambling with household savings and lenders from charging high or unpredictable interests.

The New Deal, a series of government programs created after the Great Depression, took a bottom-up approach and brought governmental resources directly to unemployed workers.

On the other hand, the regulatory policies since the financial crisis that began in 2008 were largely designed to restore a financial order that, for decades, has been channeling resources from the rest of the economy to the top.

In other words, the recent recovery was largely focused on finance. Governmental stimuli, particularly a mass injection of credit, first went to banks and large corporations, in the hope that the credit eventually would trickle down to families in need.

The conventional wisdom was that banks knew how to put the credit into best use. And so, to stimulate economic growth, the Federal Reserve increased the supply of money to banks by purchasing treasury and mortgage-backed securities.

But the stimulus didn’t work the way the government intended. The banks prioritized their own interests over those of the public. Instead of lending the money out to homebuyers and small businesses at historically low interest rates, they deposited the funds and waited for interest rates to rise.

Similarly, corporations did not use the easy credit to increase wages or create jobs. Rather, they borrowed to buy their own stock and channeled earnings to top executives and shareholders.

As a result, the “banks and corporations first” principle created a highly unequal recovery.

Who lost in 2009?

The financial crisis wiped out almost three-quarters of financial sector profits, but the sector had fully recovered by mid-2009, as we covered in our book.

Its profits continued to grow in the following years. By 2017, the sector made 80% more than before the financial crisis. Profit growth was much slower in the nonfinancial sector.

Companies outside of the financial sector were more profitable because they had fewer employees and lower wage costs. Payroll expenses dropped 4% during the recession and remained low during the recovery.

The stock market fully recovered from the crisis in 2013, a year when the unemployment rate was as high as 8% and the single-family mortgage delinquency still hovered above 10%.

Median household wealth, in the meantime, had yet to recoup from the nosedive during the Great Recession.

The racial wealth gap only widened, as well. While the median household wealth of all households dropped around 25% after the burst of real estate bubble, white households recovered at a much faster pace.

By 2016, black households had about 30% less wealth than before the crash, compared to 14% for white families.

As the government debates a stimulus package, officials can either decide to continue the “trickle-down” approach to first protect banks, corporations and their investors with monetary stimuli.

Or, they can learn from the New Deal and bring governmental support directly to the most fragile communities and families.

[Get facts about coronavirus and the latest research. Sign up for our newsletter.]

Ken-Hou Lin, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin and Megan Neely, Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

 

 

 

posted on 23 March 2020

We Are Entering A Recession But What Did We Learn From The Last One?

from The Conversation

— this post authored by Ken-Hou LinUniversity of Texas at Austin and Megan NeelyStanford University

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, it is abundantly clear that the global economy is entering a recession – the first we’ve seen since 2008.

Please share this article – Go to very top of page, right hand side, for social media buttons.

Some officials have compared the last period of economic decline – also know as the Great Recession – to the Depression, which began in 1929.

Yet it is clear that these two downturns differed not only in severity but also in the consequences they had for inequality in the United States.

Though the Depression was bigger and longer than the Great Recession, the decades following the Great Depression substantially reduced the wealth of the rich and improved the economic security of many workers. In contrast, the Great Recession exacerbated both income and wealth inequality.

Families recovered from the Great Depression much more quickly than the Great Recession.  Bettmann/Getty Images

Some scholars have attributed this phenomenon to a weakened labor movement, fewer worker protections and a radicalized political right wing.

In our view, this account misses the dominance of Wall Street and the financial sector and overlooks its fundamental role in generating economic disparities.

We are experts in income inequality, and our new book, “Divested: Inequality in the Age of Finance,” argues that inequality from the Recession has a lot to do with how the government designed its response.

The Great Recession exacerbated a persistent wealth gap in the U.S. Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

The Depression

Reforms during the Great Depression restructured the financial system by restricting banks from risky investment, Wall Street from gambling with household savings and lenders from charging high or unpredictable interests.

The New Deal, a series of government programs created after the Great Depression, took a bottom-up approach and brought governmental resources directly to unemployed workers.

On the other hand, the regulatory policies since the financial crisis that began in 2008 were largely designed to restore a financial order that, for decades, has been channeling resources from the rest of the economy to the top.

In other words, the recent recovery was largely focused on finance. Governmental stimuli, particularly a mass injection of credit, first went to banks and large corporations, in the hope that the credit eventually would trickle down to families in need.

The conventional wisdom was that banks knew how to put the credit into best use. And so, to stimulate economic growth, the Federal Reserve increased the supply of money to banks by purchasing treasury and mortgage-backed securities.

But the stimulus didn’t work the way the government intended. The banks prioritized their own interests over those of the public. Instead of lending the money out to homebuyers and small businesses at historically low interest rates, they deposited the funds and waited for interest rates to rise.

Similarly, corporations did not use the easy credit to increase wages or create jobs. Rather, they borrowed to buy their own stock and channeled earnings to top executives and shareholders.

As a result, the “banks and corporations first” principle created a highly unequal recovery.

Who lost in 2009?

The financial crisis wiped out almost three-quarters of financial sector profits, but the sector had fully recovered by mid-2009, as we covered in our book.

Its profits continued to grow in the following years. By 2017, the sector made 80% more than before the financial crisis. Profit growth was much slower in the nonfinancial sector.

Companies outside of the financial sector were more profitable because they had fewer employees and lower wage costs. Payroll expenses dropped 4% during the recession and remained low during the recovery.

The stock market fully recovered from the crisis in 2013, a year when the unemployment rate was as high as 8% and the single-family mortgage delinquency still hovered above 10%.

Median household wealth, in the meantime, had yet to recoup from the nosedive during the Great Recession.

The racial wealth gap only widened, as well. While the median household wealth of all households dropped around 25% after the burst of real estate bubble, white households recovered at a much faster pace.

By 2016, black households had about 30% less wealth than before the crash, compared to 14% for white families.

As the government debates a stimulus package, officials can either decide to continue the “trickle-down” approach to first protect banks, corporations and their investors with monetary stimuli.

Or, they can learn from the New Deal and bring governmental support directly to the most fragile communities and families.

[Get facts about coronavirus and the latest research. Sign up for our newsletter.]

Ken-Hou Lin, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin and Megan Neely, Postdoctoral Researcher, Stanford University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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