Connect with us

Economics

El-Erian Warns: Beware A Global Economy With Little Fires Everywhere

El-Erian Warns: Beware A Global Economy With Little Fires Everywhere

Authored by Mohamed El-Erian via Project Syndicate,

Rich countries have…

Published

on

El-Erian Warns: Beware A Global Economy With Little Fires Everywhere

Authored by Mohamed El-Erian via Project Syndicate,

Rich countries have shown impressive unity in helping Ukraine counter the Russian invasion. They now need to demonstrate the same level of resolve to prevent the global economic fallout from the conflict from destroying the lives or livelihoods of many of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Big shocks to the global economy, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, understandably capture the most attention. But a new worldwide pattern of “little fires everywhere” may be equally consequential for longer-term economic well-being. Over time, these small fires can coalesce into one that is just as threatening as the initial large fire that acted as the catalyst.

In addition to causing widespread death and destruction, and displacing millions of people, the Ukraine war continues to stoke strong stagflationary winds throughout the global economy. The resulting damage – whether in the form of higher food and energy prices or new supply-chain disruptions – cannot be easily or rapidly countered by domestic policy adjustments.

For most countries, the war’s immediate economic consequences include higher inflation (which erodes purchasing power), lower growth, increased inequality, and greater financial instability. The multilateral system, meanwhile, now faces greater obstacles to the type of cross-border policy coordination needed to deal with pressing global problems such as climate change, pandemics, and life-threatening migration.

The challenges are particularly acute for fragile commodity importers in the developing world, especially when compared to the problems facing advanced economies. It is the difference between legitimate worries about the cost-of-living crisis in the United Kingdom, for example, and fear of famine in some African countries. The United States’ higher trade and budget deficits appear considerably less problematic than potential defaults by heavily indebted low-income countries. And while the recent decline in the yen’s value may be attention-grabbing in a Japanese context, a disorderly collapse of poorer countries’ exchange rates could fuel widespread financial instability.

As Michael Spence, the Nobel laureate economist and an expert on growth and development dynamics, pointed out to me recently, the probability of simultaneous growth, energy, food, and debt crises is worryingly high for too many developing countries. If that nightmare scenario materializes, the effects will be felt far beyond individual developing countries – and will extend well beyond economics and finance.

It is therefore in advanced economies’ interest to help poorer countries reduce the mounting risk of little economic fires everywhere. Fortunately, there is a rich historical record, especially from the 1970s and 1980s, to draw on in this regard. Effective action today will require policymakers to refine proven solutions and support their sustained implementation with strong leadership, coordination, and perseverance.

For starters, a preemptive multilateral debt-restructuring and relief initiative is needed to provide essential space for overly indebted countries and overstretched creditors to achieve orderly outcomes on a case-by-case basis. A multilaterally-coordinated approach is also crucial in order to reduce the disruptive – and sometimes paralyzing – risk of free riders, and to ensure fair burden-sharing among official creditors, as well as with private lenders.

Reinvigorating emergency commodity buffers and financing facilities is critical in order to reduce the risk of food riots and famines. Such measures can also play a useful role in countering some countries’ understandable but short-sighted inclination to ban agricultural exports and/or engage in inefficient self-insurance through excessive stockpiling.

Finally, rich-country governments will need to provide more official development assistance to support individual countries’ reform efforts. This aid should be extended under highly concessional terms through long-maturity, low-interest loans or outright grants.

Absent more rapid progress in these areas, the little-fires-everywhere phenomenon will damage global economic well-being by further weakening growth, increasing the risk of a recession, and fueling additional financial instability. This would add to current migration challenges, impede efforts to tackle the climate crisis, and delay the worldwide vaccination drive that is key to living more safely with COVID-19. Moreover, all these problems would promote geopolitical instability at a time when the global system is already subject to growing fragmentation pressures.

The rich world has shown impressive unity in helping Ukraine counter the Russian invasion. It now needs to demonstrate the same level of resolve to protect the well-being of its own citizens and of the world in the face of mounting economic and financial challenges. Policymakers must aim to ensure that the many economic fires fueled elsewhere by the Ukraine conflict do not end up causing a second devastating inferno that destroys the lives or livelihoods of many of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Tyler Durden Sat, 05/14/2022 - 10:30

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

Hotels: Occupancy Rate Down 3.5% Compared to Same Week in 2019

From CoStar: STR: Weekly US Hotel Revenue per Available Room Reaches Highest Level Since July 2019U.S. hotel performance increased from the previous week, according to STR‘s latest data through May 21.May 15-21, 2022 (percentage change from comparable …

Published

on

U.S. hotel performance increased from the previous week, according to STR‘s latest data through May 21.

May 15-21, 2022 (percentage change from comparable week in 2019*):

Occupancy: 68.6% (-3.5%)
• Average daily rate (ADR): $151.75 (+13.4%)
• Revenue per available room (RevPAR): $104.06 (+9.5%)

*Due to the pandemic impact, STR is measuring recovery against comparable time periods from 2019.
emphasis added
The following graph shows the seasonal pattern for the hotel occupancy rate using the four-week average.

Click on graph for larger image.

The red line is for 2022, black is 2020, blue is the median, and dashed light blue is for 2021.  Dashed purple is 2019 (STR is comparing to a strong year for hotels).

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate above the median rate for the previous 20 years (Blue).

Note: Y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the seasonal change.

The 4-week average of the occupancy rate will mostly move sideways seasonally until the summer travel season.

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

“This Is A Crucible Moment” – Sequoia’s Ominous Warning To Companies On How To “Avoid The Death Spiral”

"This Is A Crucible Moment" – Sequoia’s Ominous Warning To Companies On How To "Avoid The Death Spiral"

"This is not a time to panic. It is…

Published

on

"This Is A Crucible Moment" - Sequoia's Ominous Warning To Companies On How To "Avoid The Death Spiral"

"This is not a time to panic. It is a time to pause and reassess," begins the thought-provoking presentation from veteran venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

But that's about as 'positive' as they get as the founders of the firm warn of a prolonged market downturn and urges the startups in its portfolio to preserve cash and brace for worse to come.

"We believe this is a Crucible Moment, one that will present challenges and opportunities for many of you. First and foremost, we must recognize the changing environment and shift our mindset to respond with intention rather than regret."

And in its somewhat ubiquitous historically grim outlooks (its "R.I.P Good Times" in 2008 and "Black Swan" memo in March 2020 have become legendary) don't expect a quick rescue and recovery this time.

"Sustained inflation, and geopolitical conflicts further limit the ability for a quick-fix policy solution. As such, we do not believe that this is going to be another steep correction followed by an equally swift V-shaped recovery, like we saw at the outset of the pandemic," the note said.

They argue that it will be "Survival of the Quickest"...

In particular, Sequoia urged companies to look at cutting projects, R&D, marketing, and other expenses, noting that companies should be ready to cut in the next 30 days.

"We expect the market downturn to impact consumer behaviour, labour markets, supply chains and more. It will be a longer recovery and while we can't predict how long, we can advise you on ways to prepare and get through to the other side," it said.

The founders/CEOs who face reality, adapt fast, have discipline rather than regret will not just survive, but win, noting that "It is easier to preserve cash when you have more than six months left. Recruiting is about to get easier. All the FANG have hiring freezes."

They conclude their presenttation by noting that:

"At Sequoia, we believe that the one who wins is the one most prepared."

In other words America, brace for capex cuts, hiring freezes to accelerate, and growth to evaporate.

*  *  *

Read the full presentation below:

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/26/2022 - 15:45

Read More

Continue Reading

Economics

Best Day For Discretionary Stocks Since COVID-Crash As Consumer Recession Bets Get Steamrolled

Best Day For Discretionary Stocks Since COVID-Crash As Consumer Recession Bets Get Steamrolled

A week ago, following dismal guidance by Walmart,…

Published

on

Best Day For Discretionary Stocks Since COVID-Crash As Consumer Recession Bets Get Steamrolled

A week ago, following dismal guidance by Walmart, Target indicated that it is seeing a shift in the consumer wallet away from the pandemic purchases and into reopening purchases - including apparel - and the pace of this shift caught some retailers off guard on inventory. WMT, COST, and TGT all saw their stocks fall sharply last week as investor concerns around a US consumer slowdown mounted and investors reconsidered just where, if anywhere, you can play "defense" in the current market.

But as Goldman's Chris Hussey writes today, this week, results from companies like DKS, Macy's, JWN, WSM, DLTR, and DG painted a decidedly different picture.

Deep discount retailers Dollar Tree - or rather Dollar 25 Tree - and Dollar General both posted strong results and DLTR raised top-line guidance.

Which isn't surprising: as we discussed in "Middle Class Is Shutting Down As Spending By The Rich Remains Robust" when consumers are trading down - as they are doing now due to Biden's runaway inflation - dollar stores see more business.

As a result, Dollar Tree surged as much as 20% on Thursday, the biggest intraday move since October 2020. Evercore ISI said Dollar Tree's move to a "$1.25 price point" last November from $1 “came in the nick of time" adding that "given the broad-based inflationary cost pressures, the 25% price increase drove material sales and margin upside for both the namesake division and the total company," wrote analyst Michael Montani who also said that while freight, transport, and labor headwinds are real, some of the pressure cited by Target last week was likely company specific.

The analyst concluded that the read-across from DG and DLTR is “favorable,” and it seems that the low-end consumer is “hanging in better than initially thought.” Or rather, the middle-class is getting crushed and it has no choice but to trade down to the cheapest retail outlets.

And with countless shorts having piled up and getting massively squeezed, the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary Index today has risen as much as 5.6%, its best day since April 2020, as optimism on the health of the consumer returns following a string of better-than-expected earnings reports from retailers.

Top performers in the S5COND index include Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Norwegian Cruise, Caesars Entertainment and Carnival; the Discretionary Index is on pace for its best week since March 18, when the group climbed 9.3%; the index sank 7.4% as Walmart and Target reports spooked investors. The index is still down almost 30% YTD.

"Retail earnings are bullish.... with four blow-outs,” said Vital Knowledge’s Adam Crisafulli, referring to quarterly reports from Williams-Sonoma, Macy’s, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree.  “The overall retail industry is experiencing stark changes and the market is incorrectly conflating these shifts with underlying demand weakness when the actual health of the consumer is much better than it seems,” Crisafulli says, although there are many - this website included - who wholeheartedly disagree with his optimistic view of the US consumer.

Remarkably, thanks to today’s rally, even Burlington Stores, which sank as much as 12% in premarket on disappointing results, is trading up as much as 11% and some say, the rally helped reverse the earlier tumble in NVDA shares.

The discretionary group is also getting a boost from airline operators Southwest and JetBlue, helping travel-related names, while on the economic front, better-than-expected personal consumption (for the revised Q1 GDP print). and jobless claims may be adding to the bullishness according to Bloomberg.

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/26/2022 - 15:00

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending