It’s spring 2022, after two years and 500 million COVID-19 cases, a vaccine miracle permitted most countries to break free of massive pestilence not seen since 1919. The war in Ukraine highlights unpreparedness, and Europe’s systems of finance, energy, and food totter. Fewer than half the world’s population was alive in 1981, when inflation was last at today’s increasing levels.Continue reading . . .
Whether it was inflation, supply chain disruptions, the removal of government stimulus, the prospect of central bank monetary policies — whatever spooked investors leading to the September sell-off evaporated at the start of October, and once again, markets rose. Investors shrugged off doubt and pushed the S&P 500 to new highs in the final week of the year.Continue reading . . .
Just over a year ago the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. Few would have predicted the returns experienced in global equity markets over the following 12 months. With widespread economic disruption, any company demonstrating growth — regardless of profitability — became a rare commodity, and investors bid prices higher.Continue reading . . .
At Saturna, we entered 2020 with cautious optimism. Geopolitical uncertainties, rich corporate valuations, and stretched monetary policies kept us vigilant, while generally strong business and economic fundamentals supported optimism. What we didn’t foresee was the looming pandemic, widespread economic shutdowns, and rapid government intervention.Continue reading . . .
Just when one thinks 2020 has run out of tricks, it throws another tantrum in the form of exploding conflagrations across the West Coast while simultaneously inundating the Gulf Coast with multiple tropical storms and hurricanes. Absent serious and immediate steps toward revolutionizing our modus operandi, we will render the Earth uninhabitable across vast swaths.Continue reading . . .
Despite the economic carnage afflicting the global economy since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, by the end of the first quarter, the stock market had already plumbed its greatest depths, with March 23 marking a nadir. Over the course of the second quarter, while not recovering all the lost ground from the February peak, the market roared back...Continue reading . . .