Harrison: The U.S. Will Pay the Price for Reopening

Your Real Vision Daily Briefing for July 2, 2020

Ash Bennington joins Ed Harrison to discuss the latest developments in markets, macro, and coronavirus.

  • The June jobs report revealed that the unemployment rate has declined, the but data was collected before the recent rise in cases and rollback of re-openings, so it is unclear if that V will last.
  • The policies that have helped the U.S. outperform for decades are now are posing a threat to the economy, but the country is strong enough that there will always be a bid for U.S. assets.
  • The Fed is discussing new way to support the economy if things get worse, including average inflation targeting and yield curve control.

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The June jobs report numbers are good in terms of directionality and how quickly they are moving up and beating consensus, but we’re still in a very big hole and it is unclear how long that V-shaped recovery will continue on, Ed Harrison told Real Vision during today’s Daily Briefing.

Harrison noted that the numbers were collected before the recent resurgence of the virus and it remains to be seen what effect the rise in cases and the rollback of re-openings will have on the U.S. economy.

Harrison made the case on the Daily Briefing months ago that Europe will outperform and today he said that is starting to play out. Because our social safety net is more porous than that of Europe, there has been a rush to get back to work and ultimately, as is now apparent, we have reopened before the virus is under control.

The momentum may be to the upside now, but the virus is going to cause a falloff in consumption and the U.S. will pay the price for reopening, he said.

Despite this, Harrison said there will always be a bid for U.S. assets because the reality is that historically, the U.S. has outperformed economically, in terms of the markets, and it’s still the world’s reserve currency. Overall, he said he expects to see some underperformance in July and August until the outbreak gets tamped down again.

Meanwhile, Harrison also discussed the tools in the Fed’s toolbox for supporting the economy through the next phase of the virus. They include rate policy, forward guidance, and quantitative easing, which have already been put into play, as well as average inflation targeting and yield curve control.

The Fed has expressed that if necessary, it is ready to go into play with them all. Harrison said this suggests that the Fed doesn’t have a bullish outlook on future economic output.