Irma, Harvey, And Janet: Define ‘Bad’

Now define “bad.”

Because we can’t do it anymore.

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High Frequency Data Shows The Dramatic Impact Of Harvey On Retail Sales

“We estimate that the net reduction of spending in Texas sliced 0.1-0.2pp from the monthly growth rate of total retail sales ex-autos in August.”

Have You Heard The One About Janet Yellen And The Hurricanes?

So when it looked like the last, lonely U.S. reflationist was about to throw in the towel, it felt like everyone was suddenly scrambling around to explain why yields were too low – maybe in an attempt to appease the market Gods who are thought to dislike crowded trades.

As Irma Hits, A ‘Disastrous’ Econ Retrospective

So I guess the silver lining here is that if we just keep denying climate change and the disasters continue to get worse, we can “look forward” to more frequent and increasingly “bigly” GDP-boosting cleanup efforts.

‘Are Hurricanes Good Now?’

Listen, there’s considerable debate out there about what the impact from two catastrophic hurricanes is likely to be on the U.S. economy. This comes at a decidedly bad time. I mean, there’s never a “good” time for horrific natural disasters, but the incoming data hasn’t been what one might call “robust” and the fiscal outlook…

House Passes Harvey Aid Package As Irma Approaches

HOUSE PASSES FIRST HARVEY ASSISTANCE PACKAGE OF $7.85B
HOUSE PASSES BILL TO FUND FIRST TRANCHE OF HURRICANE HARVEY AID

FEMA Down To Last $1 Billion As Lawmakers Dither

Well, in case lawmakers needed a little extra incentive to get the legislative ball rolling this month, they now have it. Because to exactly no one’s surprise, FEMA is running out of money – and fast. According to an agency spokeswoman cited by Bloomberg, FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund had just a little over $1 billion on…

Death By A Thousand Cuts.

The bottom line is that between another powerful hurricane approaching the U.S. mainland, U.S. markets catching up with their global counterparts in terms of pricing in North Korea after the long weekend, the DACA decision which portends more bickering in Washington, and the looming debt ceiling debate (with the specter of a technical default showing up in today’s decidedly poor 4-week bill auction), it was death by a thousand cuts.

As Mnuchin Warns On Debt Ceiling, Let’s Compare Harvey To Katrina – Because That’s Fun

If you’re not in Texas or if you’re just a cold-hearted, trader cynic who only worries about your P&L, then that’s probably all you care about here, because the sooner the debt ceiling gets raised, the sooner you can cross “technical U.S. default” off your “tail risk” list.

Of course as is usually the case with catastrophic natural disasters, it’s not all good news. 

The Storm, Manufactured Existential Crises, And Competitive Games

If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the investment industry, or at least have an interest in financial markets. If you’re in the investment industry or in the financial markets, you like to win. So you’re not going to like my answer.

We play. And we lose.

Freedom Caucus Stark Warning: Harvey Relief Can’t Be Trojan Horse For Debt-Ceiling

“That sends all the wrong message.”

Yes, Climate Change Made Hurricane Harvey Worse

“Harvey was almost certainly more intense than it would have been in the absence of human-caused warming, which means stronger winds, more wind damage and a larger storm surge.”

Harvey Silver Lining: Odds Of Government Shutdown Fall To ‘Just’ 35%

Well, if you were looking for the silver lining in the catastrophic flooding that accompanied Hurricane Harvey, Goldman is happy to oblige.