Author Topic: Are we at the beginning of a depression?  (Read 20735 times)

HuskiesUnited

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Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« on: March 12, 2020, 06:17:27 AM »
Stock market expected to open and immediately hit the limit with a large enough halt to pause trading, second time this week.

The economy basically shutting down
- US closing the border from foreigners with European travel ban
- large events cancelled across the country
- airlines, hotels having reservations cancelled with no end in sight
- restaurants empty

Panic spreading
- store shelves emptying
- inventories soon to be depleted, wonít be able to buy some things at store

Layoffs are starting
- West Coast ports cargo down 75% in one article I read, people getting laid off
- Hospitality industry in Seattle is a ghost town, no work means layoffs

And this is just the beginning.  Next week at this time, we will be hearing as much about about layoffs as the virus.  And this will snowball.  Trump is promising liquidity and low interest small business loans will help, but business canít hold onto its employees with no customers.

These are unprecedented times.  Maybe the virus goes away in a couple months, but the economy will be very slow to start back up.  I wouldnít be surprised to see the Dow below 10,000 in the next couple of months.

MaaS

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2020, 06:58:19 AM »
Stock market expected to open and immediately hit the limit with a large enough halt to pause trading, second time this week.

The economy basically shutting down
- US closing the border from foreigners with European travel ban
- large events cancelled across the country
- airlines, hotels having reservations cancelled with no end in sight
- restaurants empty

Panic spreading
- store shelves emptying
- inventories soon to be depleted, won’t be able to buy some things at store

Layoffs are starting
- West Coast ports cargo down 75% in one article I read, people getting laid off
- Hospitality industry in Seattle is a ghost town, no work means layoffs

And this is just the beginning.  Next week at this time, we will be hearing as much about about layoffs as the virus.  And this will snowball.  Trump is promising liquidity and low interest small business loans will help, but business can’t hold onto its employees with no customers.

These are unprecedented times.  Maybe the virus goes away in a couple months, but the economy will be very slow to start back up.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dow below 10,000 in the next couple of months.

Among the biggest risks right now is the corporate bank run that appears to be happening. Boeing withdrew their entire revolving credit line yesterday, and Blackstone and other PE firms just told their portfolio companies to do the same.

My guess is the U.S. is headed for a recession but not a depression. I do believe Europe is at a serious risk of depression, however. It's possible the eurozone was already in recession before this. If there's a retraction in globalization (likely IMO) demand may just not come back in many export-heavy European markets. The demographics aren't there to support a consumption-led growth economy, either.

With the negativity out of the way, I think dumping stocks here is a risky trade. The SP500 is about to open down 25%, with many global markets down more. The time to consider a defensive move was weeks ago. In a matter of days, the oil price war could end, interest rates could drop even further, the fed could begin buying ETFs, and the virus growth rate could slow.  If that happens, stocks will explode higher in a hurry.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 07:00:03 AM by MaaS »

magnet18

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2020, 07:39:02 AM »
>no end in sight

I'm about to book plane tickets to Europe for a july vacation.  Hopefully getting a hella good deal too.

This pandemic, like all pandemics before it, will run its course over a few months.  It's not a zombie apocalypse.

bwall

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2020, 07:53:51 AM »
This pandemic, like all pandemics before it, will run its course over a few months.  It's not a zombie apocalypse.

The Aztecs would beg to differ. Inca's too. Probably also the Maya's.
And the 20m-40m who died in 1918 of the Spanish Flu, like the Aztecs and Incas before them, would all be dead by now anyways, so what does it really matter?

I know, I know, that's ancient history and history never repeats itself, sometimes it rhymes, etc.

fattest_foot

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2020, 07:54:12 AM »
Possibly.

And the sad part is it'll be totally self inflicted this time.

Assuming we actually believed these measures would stop a pandemic, they're both too late and not extensive enough. We're basically destroying our economy for something that's going to happen regardless of our actions at this point.

ol1970

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2020, 08:09:39 AM »
It is all together possible, but didn't have to happen.  We (the USA, and by default Trump) didn't take the warnings seriously.  The health side of things is scary and sucks, but we will over course get over that, the real risk right now is systemic breakdown of the financial system because of unprecedented lack of demand worldwide.  Interesting times!

talltexan

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2020, 08:12:59 AM »
Not a depression, no. Talk to your grandparents about what the Great Depression was actually like.

It is a challenge. Some projections suggest 150,000 deaths in the US are possible. But we forget how catastrophic 1929-1932 was. 25% unemployment rate. 33% contraction in GDP.

ctuser1

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2020, 08:27:34 AM »
Forget depression - it's not even as scary as 2008. It won't get there unless the virus mutates and there is a massive increase in mortality rate or something.


That, however, masks the real problem. The people who will be *really* impacted are those whose jobs can't be done remotely. That is disproportionately the lower income section of the society (it also includes doctors and nurses etc - but they are dwarfed in number by the minimum wage service workers). So this will likely increase the inequality that is already at crisis level.

Secondary effects like these are impossible to handicap, however. Who knows? Maybe there will be a massive infrastructure plan funded by zero interest rate that kickstarts the economy. Maybe americans finally decide to do themselves a favor and move towards a single payer model. A lot of outcomes are possible from second order effects - and precisely 0% of that is predictable in advance.

I don't see any realistic possibility of any systemic risk anywhere. So you don't need to fear that your $$ in our account will suddenly worth nothing or lose a lot of value!
For reference, such an outcome WAS a possibility in 2008 when the money markets broke the buck and the contagion was close to affecting the payments and settlements processes. People who understood the system were shitting in their pants in 2008. No such panic, or any possibility of such a panic is visible to me.

So the mustachian money hoarders should be fine, as long as you don't liquidate before the recovery.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 08:31:18 AM by ctuser1 »

Fru-Gal

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2020, 08:45:21 AM »
Ooh I like the idea of a massive infrastructure plan. National high speed rail? Bike freeways and bike bridges? New ferry projects? New green energy projects?

Oil and gas in free fall, fracking becoming less affordable...
These are not bad things.

Time to pivot, world.

flipboard

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2020, 08:46:51 AM »
Maybe.

Or maybe not.

Who knows.

nereo

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2020, 09:06:32 AM »
Ooh I like the idea of a massive infrastructure plan. National high speed rail? Bike freeways and bike bridges? New ferry projects? New green energy projects?

Oil and gas in free fall, fracking becoming less affordable...
These are not bad things.

Time to pivot, world.

Only if we build for the future and don't try to conserve the present.  Do not forget that the conservatives hold half of the legislature, all of the executive branch and a majority of the judiciary.  Already there is talk of bailing out the shale industry, the airlines, the cruise ship companies. 

I'm skeptical that a big infrastucture package which might undercut these efforts could gain traction right now.

Fru-Gal

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2020, 09:08:36 AM »
Bailing out the shale industry would be a dystopian nightmare.

nereo

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2020, 09:12:44 AM »
Bailing out the shale industry would be a dystopian nightmare.

Dystopian: relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.

I agree that bailouts are harmful to our long-term global health and financial well being, but we've been supporting the oil and gas industry for generations, and it's resulted in several of the worlds most valuable companies. It's not dystopian if it's the current reality.

DadJokes

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2020, 09:13:35 AM »
Eyeroll

It sure doesn't take much to bring out the fearful and the market timers.

The great depression was bad because of systemic problems. The great recession was bad because of systemic problems. This drop is because of a virus that will run its course in a few months up to maybe a year. It has nothing to do with the health of the system in place.

Fru-Gal

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2020, 09:18:35 AM »
Quote
It's not dystopian if it's the current reality.

Appreciate the perspective. Of course I'm a hypocrite as are we all since we've been benefiting from a petroleum-rich economy. However US is better positioned to pivot than, say, Russia or Saudi Arabia, since we have a more diverse economy.

Been reading stuff that says that oil and gas are already being priced for a limited future thx to Greta and renewables. Of course that is hopeful too.

I know that there's plenty more fossil fuel to pull out of the ground, but more awareness that we shouldn't.

utaca

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2020, 09:25:29 AM »
The great depression was bad because of systemic problems. The great recession was bad because of systemic problems. This drop is because of a virus that will run its course in a few months up to maybe a year. It has nothing to do with the health of the system in place.

Completely agree. I'd add that it's good practice for staying the course in a systemic downtown and also for learning what sort of asset allocation one is comfortable with (i.e. it's easy to be comfortable with 100% stocks until something like this happens). 

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2020, 09:36:33 AM »
The economy basically shutting down
Mohamed Aly El-Erian said something similar, and predicts a -30% drop from the high point:
https://moneyandmarkets.com/mohamed-el-erian-6-things-to-remember-as-markets-could-crater-30-percent/

nereo

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2020, 09:38:20 AM »
Remember people: the stock market is not the economy.

Tyson

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2020, 09:43:54 AM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

nereo

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2020, 09:47:22 AM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

There is, but I think it's getting drowned out by a whole slew of newer members who are struggling with how to handle a downturn. 

As we aren't planning on touching most of our investments for a decade+, I'm thrilled that I can buy more shares of my index fund each month.

GuitarStv

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2020, 09:49:19 AM »

DadJokes

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2020, 09:51:58 AM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

Where have you been looking? There are plenty of us.

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2020, 09:57:45 AM »
This pandemic, like all pandemics before it, will run its course over a few months.  It's not a zombie apocalypse.

The 1918 Flu pandemic lasted two winters. That's the best example that we have.

With that said, in 18 or so months when we have a vaccine I can see a lot of pent up demand. If you keep your job and keep investing you could make a lot of money.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see Dow 13K.

ChpBstrd

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2020, 09:58:29 AM »
The funny thing is Chinese markets (FXI) have outperformed US markets (INX). FXI is down only 16% in the past 30d while the S&P is down 25%. Betcha didnít see that coming!

The verdict is the US has had a weaker leadership response to the crisis. Trump calling the virus a foreigner was the lowest point yet, in terms of confidence inspiring leadership. We are on track to fail.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/symptomatic-of-the-lack-of-policy-coordination-heres-what-wall-street-analysts-are-saying-about-trumps-speech-2020-03-12?mod=home-page

magnet18

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2020, 10:00:57 AM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

Where have you been looking? There are plenty of us.

Me investing this week


PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2020, 10:01:44 AM »
Some projections suggest 150,000 deaths in the US are possible.

Not to be grim, but I think that with what we are seeing in Italy and Germany that we can safely say that is off by an order of magnitude. Or to be more specific: I'd bet money that we are going to see at least 1 million deaths in the USA, but less than 10 million.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2020, 10:05:54 AM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....
I guess I could celebrate my experiment breaking even during today's trading.  I have a tiny profit that could change, so it's not much to celebrate.  Most of my portfolio is still taking losses, since it's heavily invested in equities.

I think the people saying it's a good time to buy will create a sort of dead bounce tomorrow - maybe stocks will rise.  But next week should reveal that countries just aren't controlling the spread of COVID-19.  Will the world's economies shut down for a month?

I'll end on an upbeat note: the U.S. stock market over the past 12 months has a return of about -3%, including today's losses.  For a pandemic, that's not bad!

nereo

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2020, 10:22:05 AM »

The 1918 Flu pandemic lasted two winters. That's the best example that we have.

Why is this the best example we have?  Simply because the symptoms are "flu like"?  On one hand most of teh world did not have access to quality hospital care, there were no respirators, and there was no communication of cases or symptoms across regions or countries.  On the other hand we didn't have 5-6MM people flying from place to place every day in 1918.

With that said, in 18 or so months when we have a vaccine I can see a lot of pent up demand.
Again, you are assuming a lot.  Maybe we will have an effective vaccine in 18 months, maybe not.  Said vaccine could be easy to synthesize and we might be able to roll out several million doses each day.  Or it could be finicky as hell and expensive, and we may never have enough to treat teh general public.

We also have zero idea about the long-term efficacy of a future vaccine.  For reasons that are largely still unknown, or bodies are very good at prolonged immunity for some strains, but not others.

Some projections suggest 150,000 deaths in the US are possible.

Not to be grim, but I think that with what we are seeing in Italy and Germany that we can safely say that is off by an order of magnitude. Or to be more specific: I'd bet money that we are going to see at least 1 million deaths in the USA, but less than 10 million.

The Resolve to Save Lives ran a number of simulations given what we know (and including the viariance in what we know) - the range of deaths in the US ranged from 327 to 1.6MM.  To quote CDC director Tom Frieden: "anyone who says they know where this is going with confidence doesn't know enough about it"
So deaths in the US could be less than a thousand, or it could ultiamtely be more than a million.

I'll end on an upbeat note: the U.S. stock market over the past 12 months has a return of about -3%, including today's losses.  For a pandemic, that's not bad!
A good reminder.  A drop of 30% from Feb highs (still below where we are today) pushes us all the way back to 2017.  An additional 20% from where we are right now ends us equal to June 2016.

Missy B

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2020, 10:23:04 AM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....
I guess I could celebrate my experiment breaking even during today's trading.  I have a tiny profit that could change, so it's not much to celebrate.  Most of my portfolio is still taking losses, since it's heavily invested in equities.

I think the people saying it's a good time to buy will create a sort of dead bounce tomorrow - maybe stocks will rise.  But next week should reveal that countries just aren't controlling the spread of COVID-19.  Will the world's economies shut down for a month?

I'll end on an upbeat note: the U.S. stock market over the past 12 months has a return of about -3%, including today's losses.  For a pandemic, that's not bad!

Markwt ain't closed for today yet...

magnet18

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2020, 10:27:21 AM »
This pandemic, like all pandemics before it, will run its course over a few months.  It's not a zombie apocalypse.

The 1918 Flu pandemic lasted two winters. That's the best example that we have.

With that said, in 18 or so months when we have a vaccine I can see a lot of pent up demand. If you keep your job and keep investing you could make a lot of money.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see Dow 13K.

This is nowhere near spanish flu, and that was before planes were invented

With air travel, global spread takes about 3 months
After that, a couple months of worry, then things start to go back to normal while things die down, and it's officially "over" in 12-18 months

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/pandemic_flu.html

H1N1 technically took almost 18 months to be "over" but things got back to normal much much faster than that

Ironically, DW and MIL both got H1N1 a few weeks ago in January

This flu strain is not seeming particularly dangerous with the exception of nursing homes, comparing it to the Spanish flu is not really useful

frugalnacho

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2020, 10:28:20 AM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

Where have you been looking? There are plenty of us.


PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2020, 10:44:44 AM »
H1N1 technically took almost 18 months to be "over" but things got back to normal much much faster than that

I forgot to mention that. QED. H1N1 was around for two winters, but we had a vaccine by the second winter. I would love to have a SARS-COV-2 vaccine by fall, but I doubt that we will.

EDITed to add - but you think that it will spread faster than that and burn itself out? That's a fair theory, we'll see. Ironically, the better the response, the longer this will take. Of course, the longer it take the more people will live, because we'll have ICU beds for more of them.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2020, 11:04:20 AM by PDXTabs »

Heliios

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2020, 11:05:05 AM »
The "Spanish flu" was H1N1. It was catastrophic then, but over time, the human population gets used to pathogens, immunologically speaking. For now, COVID-19 is pretty terrifying, but the mortality rate in children is very low. In time (ie. years to decades), I'm sure it will become just one of the other endemic coronavirus currently in circulation, and since most will encounter it before age 10, we won't hear about it too much.

This pandemic, like all pandemics before it, will run its course over a few months.  It's not a zombie apocalypse.

The 1918 Flu pandemic lasted two winters. That's the best example that we have.

With that said, in 18 or so months when we have a vaccine I can see a lot of pent up demand. If you keep your job and keep investing you could make a lot of money.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see Dow 13K.

This is nowhere near spanish flu, and that was before planes were invented

With air travel, global spread takes about 3 months
After that, a couple months of worry, then things start to go back to normal while things die down, and it's officially "over" in 12-18 months

https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/pandemic_flu.html

H1N1 technically took almost 18 months to be "over" but things got back to normal much much faster than that

Ironically, DW and MIL both got H1N1 a few weeks ago in January

This flu strain is not seeming particularly dangerous with the exception of nursing homes, comparing it to the Spanish flu is not really useful

magnet18

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2020, 11:12:41 AM »
H1N1 technically took almost 18 months to be "over" but things got back to normal much much faster than that

I forgot to mention that. QED. H1N1 was around for two winters, but we had a vaccine by the second winter. I would love to have a SARS-COV-2 vaccine by fall, but I doubt that we will.

EDITed to add - but you think that it will spread faster than that and burn itself out? That's a fair theory. We'll see.

Multiple vaccines are in animal trials, but the pesky "making sure they don't kill people" phase generally takes awhile, many years for normal drugs

My theory is not that I think it will burn itself completely out, but that it burns in and saturates the globe quickly, and once it's permeated people get bored quickly, the news stops hyping it so much, and people unbarricade their doors and that the economic impact of things like supply chains halting, companies sending employees home, and people refusing to fly is what blows over quickly.  It's not that it's gone, but my bet is that human nature will have faded it to background noise by summer, particularly for those of us on low information diets.

Only time will tell.

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2020, 11:29:58 AM »
My theory is not that I think it will burn itself completely out, but that it burns in and saturates the globe quickly, and once it's permeated people get bored quickly, the news stops hyping it so much, and people unbarricade their doors and that the economic impact of things like supply chains halting, companies sending employees home, and people refusing to fly is what blows over quickly.  It's not that it's gone, but my bet is that human nature will have faded it to background noise by summer, particularly for those of us on low information diets.

Interesting. I was about to buy plane tickets to Europe until the whole European travel ban was announced. Technically I could still travel there, but I'd be put into quarantine on the way home. Also, I'm not sure that I would be particularly welcome if everyone is busy being in lockdown and mourning their dead.


Michael in ABQ

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2020, 01:23:30 PM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

I'm happy to see stocks on sale - even though my net worth has dropped five digits. I've got a 30+ year outlook so this dip is simply that, a temporary dip.

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2020, 01:35:53 PM »
In answer to the OP's question.

Here is a working definition of an economic depression: A depression is a severe and prolonged downturn in economic activity. In economics, a depression is commonly defined as an extreme recession that lasts three or more years or leads to a decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 10 percent.

Using that definition, I think a depression as not only possible but likely.  Take a hard look at the measures being taken in other democracies such as Norway and Italy.  They're shut down for business.  Add in the oil situation in the US, and yeah, I think there's a very good chance of a 10% drop in real GDP. 

FINate

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2020, 01:36:58 PM »
The 1918 flu also hit while a world war was underway. Trench warfare, crowded troop transports, poor sanitation ... a war zone is about the worst possible environment for controlling a contagion. Multiply these conditions over most of the globe and you have a recipe for a massive pandemic. 

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2020, 01:44:50 PM »
It's funny, for years and years and YEARS all we heard about on this board is how "stocks are overpriced!"  Now that we've had an actual drop in prices, no one seems to be reacting like "Yay, stocks are on sale".  I mean, you people DID want some re-alingment of CAPE, didn't you?  Well here it is.  I thought you'd all be happy....

Where have you been looking? There are plenty of us.



At least 10 6 of us! 

I think the term I used yesterday was like being a hungry dog let loose in a butcher shop.  Stocks are on sale. Yay*. 

*(But not enough to interest me just yet.)

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2020, 01:52:06 PM »
In answer to the OP's question.

Here is a working definition of an economic depression: A depression is a severe and prolonged downturn in economic activity. In economics, a depression is commonly defined as an extreme recession that lasts three or more years or leads to a decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 10 percent.

Using that definition, I think a depression as not only possible but likely.  Take a hard look at the measures being taken in other democracies such as Norway and Italy.  They're shut down for business.  Add in the oil situation in the US, and yeah, I think there's a very good chance of a 10% drop in real GDP.

I was reading along with your post thinking for certain you would conclude the opposite.  For some perspective, the 'Great Recession' resulted in a real GPD drop of -4.3% back when the economy.  Since then the US economy has grown by almost 50%.

Do I think this will result in a GDP drop that was 2.2x greater (as a proportion) or 3x greater (in total dollar amounts) as in 2008?
No I do not.

People today have little comprehension of just how bad a true depression is.  2008 didn't even come close.

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2020, 02:06:00 PM »
The 1918 flu also hit while a world war was underway. Trench warfare, crowded troop transports, poor sanitation ... a war zone is about the worst possible environment for controlling a contagion. Multiply these conditions over most of the globe and you have a recipe for a massive pandemic.

Keep in mind that most of the worldwide deaths due to Spanish Flu were not in Europe, but in the developing world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2020, 02:17:32 PM »
The 1918 flu also hit while a world war was underway. Trench warfare, crowded troop transports, poor sanitation ... a war zone is about the worst possible environment for controlling a contagion. Multiply these conditions over most of the globe and you have a recipe for a massive pandemic.

My family was living on a farm in rural North Dakota and got it. Also, bad pandemic response makes things worse. Today's leaders could take note.

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #42 on: March 12, 2020, 02:21:22 PM »
In answer to the OP's question.

Here is a working definition of an economic depression: A depression is a severe and prolonged downturn in economic activity. In economics, a depression is commonly defined as an extreme recession that lasts three or more years or leads to a decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) of at least 10 percent.

Using that definition, I think a depression as not only possible but likely.  Take a hard look at the measures being taken in other democracies such as Norway and Italy.  They're shut down for business.  Add in the oil situation in the US, and yeah, I think there's a very good chance of a 10% drop in real GDP.

I was reading along with your post thinking for certain you would conclude the opposite.  For some perspective, the 'Great Recession' resulted in a real GPD drop of -4.3% back when the economy.  Since then the US economy has grown by almost 50%.

Do I think this will result in a GDP drop that was 2.2x greater (as a proportion) or 3x greater (in total dollar amounts) as in 2008?
No I do not.

People today have little comprehension of just how bad a true depression is.  2008 didn't even come close.

I'm going by the definition. Is a 10% real drop in GDP in the cards if the US shuts down ala Italy? I think it is. Even during the GFC, businesses were open, things were still humming along.  Shut it all down and that's gonna leave a mark.     

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2020, 02:45:36 PM »
It would not surprise me if we see two quarters down 10% GDP, especially if 2.4% of the population dies.

magnet18

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2020, 02:53:29 PM »
...2.4% of the population dies.

Sarcasm?

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2020, 03:00:40 PM »
...2.4% of the population dies.

Sarcasm?

Germany says up to 70% of their population will be infected. The WHO says the mortality rate is ~3.4%. Do you think that the US response is better than Germany's? You do the math.

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2020, 03:21:16 PM »
Even if it's 3% fatal, which is IMO dubious, that's almost entirely the least productive members of society.

Without trying to be a jerk about it, old people dying doesn't have that much of an economic impact. They don't consume much or produce much. They tend to not invent useful things or solve new problems.

If this was killing kids and young adults at high rates, it would be time to freak out. But it's not. Keep your grandma away from that pro wrestling event she was so excited about, otherwise keep on investing as normal.

-W

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2020, 03:22:00 PM »
Germany says up to 70% of their population will be infected. The WHO says the mortality rate is ~3.4%. Do you think that the US response is better than Germany's? You do the math.

Important clarification:  WHO says the mortality rate is ~3.4% of reported cases.  Many people who experience mild symptoms never go to the doctor and testing was limited in the early weeks.  The mortality rate of all cases appears to be about 1%.   Which is still plenty big enough to overload our medical system. 

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2020, 03:22:26 PM »
Depression? Nah. Recession? Probably a short one but will hit hard and end fast with steepish rises. While this one makes me a bit itchy, I don't think it'll come close to the Great Recession in 2008.

From Wikipedia: "The DJIA hit a market low of 6,469.95 on March 6, 2009, having lost over 54% of its value since the October 9, 2007 high The bear market reversed course on March 9, 2009, as the DJIA rebounded more than 20% from its low to 7924.56 after a mere three weeks of gains."

PDXTabs

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Re: Are we at the beginning of a depression?
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2020, 03:25:18 PM »
Important clarification:  WHO says the mortality rate is ~3.4% of reported cases.  Many people who experience mild symptoms never go to the doctor and testing was limited in the early weeks.  The mortality rate of all cases appears to be about 1%.   Which is still plenty big enough to overload our medical system.

You are welcome to your own interpretation of the data, but South Korea is testing ~20K people to find ~250 cases right now. I think the mortality rate is much higher than 1%.

EDITed to add - rumor has it that they tested almost everyone in VÚ, Italy, If that data were to surface we would know more.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2020, 09:22:42 AM by PDXTabs »