Category Archives: Markets

17/9/20: Exploding errors: COVID19 and VUCA world of economic growth forecasts

 

Just as I covered the latest changes in Eurozone growth indicators (https://trueeconomics.blogspot.com/2020/09/17920-eurocoin-leading-growth-indicator.html), it is worth noting the absolutely massive explosion in forecast errors triggered by the VUCA environment around COVID19 pandemic.

My past and current students know that I am a big fan of looking at risk analysis frameworks from the point of view of their incompleteness, as they exclude environments of deeper uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity in which we live in the real world. Well, here is a good illustration:


You can see an absolute explosion in the error term for growth forecasts vs actual outrun in the three quarters of 2020 so far. The errors are off-the-scale compared to what we witnessed in prior recessions/crises. 

This highlights the fact that during periods of elevated deeper uncertainty, any and all forecasting models run into the technical problem of risk (probabilities and impact assessments) not being representative of the true underlying environment with which we are forced to work.  


17/9/20: Stonks are Getting Balmier than in the Dot.Com Heat

Via Liz Ann Sonders @LizAnnSonders of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. a neat chart summarizing the madness of the King Market these days:


Yeah, right: PE ratio is heading for dot.com madness levels, PEG ratio (price earnings to growth ratio or growth-adjusted PE ratio) is now vastly above the dot.com era peak, and EPS is closer to the Global Financial Crisis era lows. 

What can possibly go wrong, Robinhooders, when a mafia don gifts you some chips to wager at his casino?


26/8/20: Q2 2020 Corporate Earnings and Revenues

 

Factset latest data on STOXX600 earnings for 2Q 2020 is dire: 


In basic terms, earnings figures managed to beat estimates only because analysts' expectations of earnings drop off were even more gloomy than the already dismal outrun. 

Year-on-year revenues growth was also bad:


Notably, sharper declines in earnings compared to revenues implies little gains in terms of any productivity or efficiencies during the pandemic response. 


24/7/20: Bonds v Stocks: Of Yields, Investors and Large Predators


Corporates are reeling from the COVID19 pandemic impacts, yet stocks are severely overpriced by all possible corporate finance metrics. Until, that is, one looks at bonds.


Over the 3 months through June 2020, average 10 year U.S. Treasury yield has been 0.69 percent. Over the same period, average S&P500 dividend yield was 2.02 percent. The gap between the two is 1.33 percentage points, which (with exception of March-May average gap of 1.42 points) is the highest in history of the series (from 1962 on).

Given that today's Treasuries are carrying higher liquidity risk (declining demand outside the official / Fed demand channel) and higher roll-over risks (opportunity cost of buying Ts today compared to the future), the real (relative) bubble in financial markets todays is in fixed income. Of course, in absolute returns terms, long-term investment in either bonds or equities today is equivalent to a choice of being maimed by a T-Rex or being mangled by a grizzly. Take your pick.