The following chart, from the terminal, shows banks’ performance on one axis, and the S&P 500 on the other, both on a log scale. When banks fall badly relative to everyone else, the broader market tends to decline, as I’ve tried to mark with the colored rectangles. That’s because banks matter to the economy. When they’re in trouble, it’s much harder for anyone else to make a profit. So how to justify the continued strength of the market while bank investors are so obviously worried? Maybe there’s hope for a bailout in some form that will hurt banks’ shareholders but rescue everyone else. That’s not outlandish. Or possibly, everyone else thinks that the investors are unnecessarily panicking — in which case we should expect a banking rebound pretty quickly.
- Date Posted:
- March 23, 2023
North America's trade in goods and services has quadrupled in nominal value since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into force in 1994, to more than $7trn, or roughly 30% of GDP. As tensions between the United States and China increase, companies that had come to rely on China for manufacturing are shifting to other bases. Production snafus during the covid-19 pandemic illustrated the fragility of globally dispersed supply chains. And the embrace by President Joe Biden’s administration of industrial policy, fueled by generous subsidies for electric vehicles (EVs) and clean energy, has super-charged investment in the United States. That inevitably is spilling over into Canada and Mexico.