Monday, June 14

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Dry Powder: Economic Threats in the Post-Pandemic Era
All Posts, Economy

Dry Powder: Economic Threats in the Post-Pandemic Era

As part of the historic 2nd quarter contraction in the US gross domestic product, investment spending decreased by a massive 49% under the duress precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Poor general economic conditions translated to uncertainty in the minds of investors.  Meanwhile, investors received government relief aid that they did not use to invest.  As a result, there is now an estimated $1.5 trillion in unused capital in private equity funds alone that could be invested as soon as negative economic conditions recede. This massive glut of capital could create an explosion of investment and is therefore referred to as dry powder.  Pandemic induced uncertainty has contributed to a buildup of dry powder in the global economy, something that economists are concer...
Stock Splits, Why?
All Posts, Economy

Stock Splits, Why?

For many people, the stock market seems daunting, regardless of how much money you have or do not have. The number one concern investors have about any stock is the price. Lower priced stocks are more attractive to investors for a multitude of reasons, but there is one main reason: they can buy more shares with the same investment. Smaller share prices make it more attractive for small investors to buy shares of a stock. Companies know this truth about investing; for that reason, the most popular stocks, including Apple, Google, and Amazon, have all split multiple times in the past.  Split? Yes, all of these titans of industry have split up their shares into multiple shares of stock before. For the main reason of attracting investors by offering a smaller price per share. However,...
Emissions Bounce Back as Economies Reopen
All Posts, Sustainability

Emissions Bounce Back as Economies Reopen

As people around the world faced forced confinements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, global greenhouse gas emissions fell as a result.  A study led by climate scientist Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia published in the journal Nature estimated that emissions fell by 8% compared with 2019 levels.  That drop brought emissions in line with their 2006 level.  The researchers estimated that total 2020 emissions would fall by between 4 and 7% compared to last year.  However, with communities reopening around the world, carbon emissions have begun to return, ticking back up to just 5% below 2019 levels.   At the height of lockdowns across the world, emissions from almost every industry fell drastically.  Transportation over land, sea, and a...
European Central Bank Ramps Up Asset Purchases in Light of Pandemic
All Posts, Economy

European Central Bank Ramps Up Asset Purchases in Light of Pandemic

On June 4, 2020, the European Central Bank (ECB) announced it would increase its envelope of asset purchases by €600 billion to a total of €1.35 trillion. The increased purchases will further the central bank's policy of monetary easing in order to help households and businesses deal with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase comes in response to disinflation and fears of a possible deflationary spiral. The ECB plans to continue asset purchases until it believes the coronavirus crisis is over and plans to reinvest any payments from maturing assets into further purchases. European interest rates will remain unchanged with deposit rates still negative. The ECB expects to keep rates at current levels or lower until inflation nears its 2% target.
Negative Interest Rates: A Novel Solution or a Novelty Item?
All Posts, Economy

Negative Interest Rates: A Novel Solution or a Novelty Item?

In the wake of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some in the United States, including president Donald Trump, have called on the Federal Reserve to push interest rates below zero.  Negative interest rates would be unprecedented in the US but they have become established monetary policy in Europe and Japan.  Such rates represent a logical extension of expansionary monetary policy while also breaking key economic laws.  This counterintuitive policy raises more questions than it appears to answer.  How do negative interest rates work? could we really be paid to borrow money? and most importantly, can negative interest rates pull the world economy out of recession? Historically, negative interest rates have been used as an expansionary monetary poli...