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As someone with ugly memories from the autumn of 1987, I always find it difficult to type the date “October 19” without a shudder. Then again, if the person I was on that day suddenly found himself transported to October 19, 2020 or, for that matter, just about any day in 2020 since March, that October day of collapsing share prices — and the realization that combining new-fangled “program trading” with what turned out to be illusory “portfolio insurance” wasn’t working out so well — would look like a lost Eden.
This has not been a week that has brought much joy. The stimulus waltz continues, aimlessly, and the evidence continues to mount that while we may (for now) have avoided economic catastrophe, it’s clear that recovery is not going to go nearly as far or as fast as was once hoped. The latest Beige Book seemed to indicate that the economy was growing at a “slight to modest” pace, an impression reinforced by the latest jobless claims numbers, which, at 787,000 (compared with 842,000 in the previous week), were rather better than expectations of around 860,000.
Even with the California recalculations we are still significantly above the 665k peak reading during the global financial crisis in 2009, so it doesn’t change the narrative of significant strains in the jobs market,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING.
There’s still a long way to go, and anyone looking ahead ought to pay careful attention to what’s going on in Europe.
Business activity in the eurozone has slid back into decline, according to a widely-watched survey, as rising coronavirus infections and tighter curbs weigh on the bloc’s economy…
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