Harrison: The System Is Rigged Against Ordinary People

Your Real Vision Daily Briefing for July 14, 2020

Ash Bennington & Ed Harrison discuss Q2 earnings for banks such as JPMorgan and Wells Fargo & use it as a barometer to talk about market cycles.

  • A high percentage of people think we’re no longer in a recession and the economy is early cycle, which may in part explain the strength of stocks.
  • If the earnings we saw today are a harbinger of the future, you could expect financials to lead in the early cycle phase.
  • The share economy is disconnected from the real economy and the inequality that reflects is exposing the need for change.

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A high percentage of people think the economy is early cycle versus still in a recession, which may be contributing to the buoying of stocks, Ed Harrison said during today’s Real Vision Daily Briefing.

Harrison is in agreement that the recession that began in February is over, but said he still thinks there’s a possibility of a W-shaped recovery, or double dip recession.

He discussed the hardest hit sectors, which include energy, hotels, resorts, cruise lines, airlines, industrials, and financials, and said that if the earnings we saw today are a harbinger of the future, you should expect financials in early cycle to outperform. If they don’t, it is either not the beginning of a new cycle or there’s a double dip coming, he said.

Banks can give us a clue as to what the future may hold; Harrison said he is watching loan loss reserves more than the bottom line on balance sheets at banks. When banks increase reserves, it means they expect future losses and financials are unlikely to outperform anytime soon.

Harrison also discussed representation on the S&P and how the severe underrepresentation of industries like restaurants is distorting equity market performance. With real economy sectors like restaurants underrepresented and financial economy sectors like information technology overrepresented, the equity market fails to reflect the actual U.S. economy.

What it does reflect is a system that perpetuates massive inequality between workers and the wealthy. Harrison argued that corporations get huge tax cuts, then rather than reinvest in the workers, they instead buy back their own shares, and now they are getting the majority of the bailout money while mom and pop stores go bust.

“That’s why people are upset,” Harrison said. “The system is rigged against ordinary people.”

How that will play out in the future politically and economically is unpredictable, but Harrison said that the anger people feel is creating political pressure for radical change.