Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
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U.S. media is far more pessimistic in covering the coronavirus pandemic than anyone else

U.S. media is far more pessimistic in covering the coronavirus pandemic than anyone else

It was sometime after the end of the first coronavirus wave that Bruce Sacerdote, a professor of economics at Dartmouth College, noticed something puzzling. “We were doing lots of staying at home and social distancing, and you could see the case numbers coming down, and I and my co-authors are watching the TV obsessively, and the news isn’t getting any better,” he said.So he and his co-authors, Ranjan Sehgal of Dartmouth and Molly Cook of Brown University, decided to crunch the numbers. They analyzed the tone of COVID-19–related news stories appearing in the mainstream U.S. media and...

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Steve Goldstein
Nov 23
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What’s next for markets after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pulls the $455 billion plug

What’s next for markets after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pulls the $455 billion plug

After markets closed on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin surprised the financial world, saying hefor the Federal Reserve to backstop corporate credit as well as the Main Street and municipal lending programs. Mnuchin asked for the Fed to return the roughly $455 billion of unused capacity to the Treasury.The Federal Reserve swiftly put out a statement saying it “would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy.” Fed Chair Jerome...

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Steve Goldstein
Nov 20
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Negative bond yields in Greece show incredible turnaround

Negative bond yields in Greece show incredible turnaround

Investors now pay Greece for the privilege of owning its debt, an incredible turnaround from its securities being the source of global financial instability a decade ago.Greece’s three-year debt turned negative on Friday, and then the country received more good news after the surprise decision by Moody’s Investors Service on Friday night to upgrade the nation’s debt. The upgrade, from Ba3 from B1 previously, still leaves Greek debt in junk market territory, and three notches away from becoming investment grade. The yield on Greek 10-year debtfell 4 basis points to 0.77%. In 2012, the yield...

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Steve Goldstein
Nov 9
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Why the U.S. economy could approach ‘stall speed’ after stimulus talks collapse

Why the U.S. economy could approach ‘stall speed’ after stimulus talks collapse

Another tweet sent the markets into upheaval. This time it was the announcement from President Donald Trump that his side will end negotiations on fiscal stimulus. Granted, it wasn’t clear that idea ever had much support in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate in the first place. The Dow Jones Industrial Averageended 375 points lower on Tuesday, and the Nasdaq Compositedropped to 7% below its record close.Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, said the move could be a watershed moment for the world’s largest economy. Yes, consumer spending held up after the expiration of...

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Steve Goldstein
Oct 7
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Microsoft Excel coding issue drives big spike in U.K. COVID tally

Microsoft Excel coding issue drives big spike in U.K. COVID tally

The official U.K. COVID-19 tally spiked this weekend — because of a backlog caused by a Microsoft Excel error. , 15,841 cases between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 weren’t uploaded to the government dashboard, because the column limits on an Excel spreadsheet reached its maximum size.The mistake was made worse because those details weren’t passed to the country’s test-and-trace operations. The issue has been solved by splitting the Excel files into batches, according to the Daily Mail. The error sent the word “Excel” trending on Twitter in the U.K.It is, of course, not the first major error caused by...

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Steve Goldstein
Oct 5
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European stocks fall, Dow futures slump 300 points as traders react to Fed decision

European stocks fall, Dow futures slump 300 points as traders react to Fed decision

European stocks slumped and U.S. stock futures weakened on Thursday, with traders in Europe getting their first chance to react to the Federal Reserve’s decision and its cautious outlook on the world’s top economy. The Stoxx Europe 600lost 0.8%, and the major regional indexes, the German DAXthe French CAC 40and U.K. FTSE 100registered similar declines.The Federal Reserve on Wednesday, after European markets had closed, , as it also said bond purchases would be done to help foster accommodative market conditions and not just market functioning. Chairman Jerome Powell gave a cautious outlook....

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Steve Goldstein
Sep 17
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The meat industry will be completely gone in 15 years, Impossible Foods CEO says

The meat industry will be completely gone in 15 years, Impossible Foods CEO says

It is, to be sure, the very definition of talking your book.But the founder and chief executive of meat substitute maker Impossible Foods, Patrick Brown, made a bold claim .“This is why I think people are increasingly aware plant-based products are going to completely replace the animal-based products in the food world within the next 15 years. That’s our mission. That transformation is inevitable.”There is, to be fair, a way to go, even with the growth for companies like Impossible Foods and rival Beyond MeatsAccording to the annual Power of Meat study, animal-based meat sales in the U.S....

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Steve Goldstein
Jun 24
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Pandemic could cost global economy $82 trillion in depression scenario

Pandemic could cost global economy $82 trillion in depression scenario

How badly will the coronavirus pandemic impact the economy? Does $82 trillion sound not good?That is the scary number put out by the Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School.That figure, of course, needs to be put into context. That’s over five years, not one, and represents the potential hit to the global economy and not just the U.S. in what’s called the “economic depression” scenario.The GDP for the world’s 19 leading economies was $69.2 trillion last year.Its “optimistic” take is a loss of $3.3 trillion over five years. It says the consensus...

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Steve Goldstein
May 20
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Taleb and Asness feud on Twitter over tail-risk hedging

Taleb and Asness feud on Twitter over tail-risk hedging

There’s nothing like a very public spat between two titans of the financial world.In the one corner, “Black Swan” author Nassim Nicholas Taleb; in the other, Cliff Asness, the founder of AQR Capital Management. The two took to Twitter with each using unprintable words about whether it’s worth the cost to insure against extreme events, or what’s called tail-risk hedging.Taleb criticized AQR’s performance, which Asness acknowledges but says is due to the market’s current punishment of value stocks.The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be a terrific time for tail-risk hedging — the CBOE...

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Steve Goldstein
May 21
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