Should We Level New York City? Shortcomings of the Most Widely Tracked Economic Data

Major economic policies are determined by economists and politicians relying largely on GDP and the Unemployment Rate. These policies have an enormous impact on our lives and wide-ranging implications for our nation’s future. The problem is that much of the data upon which we rely are imperfect at best. Today’s commentary is not meant to be exhaustive but intended to simply highlight a couple issues…certainly, there are more.
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A New President, A New Baseline

With the inauguration of a new President, it seems appropriate to identify a new economic and market baseline as a fresh starting point for the incoming administration.

First, the conditions President Trump is inheriting then we’ll see how those conditions stack up to his five immediate predecessors’.

All data as of 12/31 of year prior to inauguration unless indicated otherwise.

There are many observations to be made, but I’ll focus on a few I find particularly interesting.

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The Second Longest Bull Market Since WWII…How Does It End?

Executive Summary

  • The S&P 500 is currently in its second longest bull market since WWII in terms of both magnitude and duration.
  • Various historically-reliable measures of market valuation are indicating returns in U.S. stocks over the next decade may be about half their historical averages or less.
  • It’s reasonable to expect at least a 40%-50% decline in U.S. stocks during the “bear” phase of this cycle. The bear phase will complete the current market cycle that began in March of 2009 (each market cycle begins with a bull phase and ends with a bear phase). The challenge, of course, is not knowing when the bull phase will end as we’ll only know well after it’s topped out.

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