A stimulus package was signed by the President and investors, driving markets up this morning, are breathing a sigh of relief. Now why do I phrase it as “A stimulus package” instead of “The stimulus package?” I position it this way because it appears to be one of many being discussed and, according to CNBC, there are talks going on right now to increase the stimulus check amount to $2,000 instead of the $600 already agreed upon.
Will this help the economy? Well, according to Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius it will have quite a positive effect … and the $900 billion agreement resulted in his first quarter GDP forecast to be raised to 5% which is quite a jump from Goldman’s previous 3% view.
Our economy can certainly use some help. After all … as listed in the first story below … China might overtake the U.S. before the end of the decade, allowing it to soon lay claim to having the world’s biggest economy.
While things are looking up on the vaccine front … there are still quite a few Americans hesitant about getting the vaccine … wanting to take a wait-and-see approach. The problem here is that, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, we need 80% or so to be inoculated in order to reach “herd immunity.” So, once this is available you can be sure we all will be inundated with “educational ads” touting the benefit. Many, many, many educational ads.
I also included an interesting article today (interesting to me, at least) where a company plans to make plastic out of canola oil, rather than petrochemicals to improve (greatly) product ability to biodegrade. With all of the virus news going on, important things like climate concern risk taking a back seat … even as problems surrounding our environment continue to worsen.
This should be a pretty relaxing week and I assume many have taken the week off. It is kind of quiet for me also … and I can catch up on binge watching “The Wilds” … a show on Amazon Prime that has really captured my attention.
I also feel like I have time to catch up on my reading.
I picked up a book this weekend on surgical procedures, but there was something strange about it.
It was missing an appendix.
Have a great day.
Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905
cell: (856) 625-7915
Quick Look at the News
While it feels good to view our economy as the world’s largest, like a calendar our days may be numbered. China could be number one by the end of the decade (TheGuardian)https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/26/china-to-overtake-us-as-worlds-biggest-economy-by-2028-report-predicts
… meanwhile we have other things to worry about … like the virus … and while a solution could be at hand, we need many to be inoculated in order to reach needed herd immunity (DenverChannel)https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/national/coronavirus/fauci-says-worst-is-probably-still-ahead-80-85-needed-for-herd-immunity
… and this might not be so easy … as many are deciding to take a “wait and see” attitude before they decide to get it themselves (USAToday)https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/12/17/covid-vaccine-some-americans-arent-rush-experts-say-dont-wait/3921249001/
Are you still spraying your mail and leaving delivered boxes unopened? While many have gotten into the habit of disinfecting everything … it might not be worth your while (NPR)https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/12/28/948936133/still-disinfecting-surfaces-it-might-not-be-worth-it
A big … and growing … problem we face is plastic … as once we discard it, it typically stays around a long time … like, forever. But, fortunately, scientists are working on alternatives (NYPost)https://nypost.com/2020/12/27/danimer-scientifics-plastic-technology-attracts-investors/
… and the climate clean-up is not only limited to plastics … but toward fossil fuels as well … as clean energy continues to make inroads (Salon)https://www.salon.com/2020/12/27/are-we-finally-at-a-tipping-point-in-the-defeat-of-fossil-fuels_partner/