Harrison: The Pandemic Is Everything Right Now

Your Real Vision Daily Briefing for August 5, 2020

Ash Bennington joins Ed Harrison to discuss some of the latest data coming out, revealing the health of the US economy.

  • The disappointing results of the July ADP Nonfarm Payroll number are a troubling reflection of where the economy stands.
  • Conversation about the pandemic can’t be separated from current market analysis because it is the dominant market driver.
  • There’s a divide between the real economy and the market economy, as well as a divide within the market economy between winners and losers.

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Today’s ADP payroll numbers were much weaker than the projected 1.5 million jobs added; in the last month, the private sector added just 167,000 jobs. This speaks to the scale of the job loss, how difficult it is to forecast in this environment, and the slowing of the U.S. economy, Ed Harrison told Ash Bennington during today’s Real Vision during Daily Briefing.

Harrison said that markets may have shrugged off the number and closed up on the day, but this is a sign that things are not well in this economy.

The markets may be ignoring the pandemic, but those who analyze it can’t. Everything that’s going on in the economy is directly affected by the coronavirus, Harrison said, and because of that, the virus is the dominating driver of economics and finance. “The pandemic is everything right now,” he said.

Harrison discussed the bifurcation between the real economy and the financial economy and argued that maybe the market doesn’t care because it is run via liquidity and what happens in the real economy isn’t important, until it is.

We still don’t know what the long-term situation will be, but if things get better the market will rally, and if things go poorly, Harrison said he believes it will feed into the market at some point. Over the short term, the market will just gyrate.

Just as there is a division between the real economy and the financial economy, there are bifurcations within the financial economy itself. Harrison said there will be winners and losers of our new normal and it is clear that tech stocks are the winners. He and Bennington said that Microsoft and Apple look like they’re in very positive positions and the biggest risk going forward may be Facebook.