Disclaimer: This blog and our Weekly Market Insights YouTube video were written and filmed prior to the events that happened at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Be on the lookout for relevant updates on the matter via social media.
The Georgia Senate was quite active this week. The re-election was on January 5th and the runoff with the certification, January 6th. Democrats officially swept both seats in the Senate. There are many Republicans that disagree with the results of the presidential election, which Democrats also won.
What’s going on in 2021?
Similar to our approach to Weekly Market Insights in 2020, we’ll consistently speak to a handful of themes in our weekly broadcasts. Feel free to share feedback on what we can do better and/or what you would like more of.
In general, these themes will include COVID-19 Updates, Policy & Politics, and Economic Headlines.
Let’s look back at two states were considered big COVID-19 hotspots over thes ummer: Florida and Texas. At the time, we thought they might be hotspots simply due to the summer season and their location. But now, California is by far the most strict on mandates and lockdowns, yet we're still seeing a rise in cases in the state. This is a situation where I don't think they would be doing worse or better if they didn't have lockdowns. We’re just seeing this flow through, no matter what the States are doing. What's likely to happen is that we're going to get back to what it was like in June and July of 2020. It seems as if the virus is going to do its thing.
What if there were no pandemic?
If there were no pandemic, how many of those who passed from COVID-19 would have passed away this past year? We decided to investigate this one based off of your request. We were surprised whenever we started to look in this.
If you look at the graphic above, on the left you see 2014 to 2019. We are looking at weekly total deaths. You can see that there is a cyclical component to the amount, and in January, there is a spike. Therefore, it is worse than flu season. We can see that in 2014 to 2019 there was a general steady trend increasing by about 1.8% each year.
The population in 2014 is actually younger than the population in 2019. So you see an increase in that regression line. It was about 1.7-1.8% increase year over year. Now we're adding 2020 and the increase jumps to a 3.3%.
There is a difference between each graph, showing the pandemic really did have an impact on the amount of deaths. As we get into the spring one of the things that we talked about is that there's probably going to be a third wave. But we should expect those waves to slowly decrease and especially now that the vaccine is out.
Policy & Politics
How are politics going to impact viruses? On January 5 we watched an election, looking like the Democrats will maintain the seat as well. What is very interesting is tha Raphael Warnock is very much on the left, while the state of Georgia is not. So how was he able to really win this election?
We had 4.4 million voters come out on January 5 compared to 4.95 on November 3. So about a half a million people less, a huge turnout for a runoff election, but the stakes were very high for it.
I don't think the libertarian showed up for the election whatsoever. So what is happening? If we look at the votes that came in and then look at what happened relative to November, there's a shift to Democrats, especially in the suburban counties. This means that Trump voters did not show up for this runoff, especially in the suburban counties and rural areas.
Hawley vs. Walmart
Senator Hawley announced he was going to be the first Senator to contest to the election. Walmart had an employee tweet out a personal statement, not logging out of the right account.
Haweley responded back accusing Walmart of using slave labor of pain on individuals by low wages and importing goods. This is a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Missouri using Elizabeth Warren type language. That's the change that we're dealing with and seeing in politics.
Bolstering our domestic money supply was one of 2020’s most significant policy changes. Money supply has been continuing to grow to the point that we're a little bit more in the bullish camp going into the market. In the graphs below, M2 is trying to measure the entire money supply. M1 represents what the federal reserve created in the system.
China: The New Superpower
China might be considered an economic superpower, but that doesn’t seem to protect its richest citizens. Jack Ma, the wealthiest person in China, is now missing. Many people are saying he's just remaining low, considering his last tweet was on October 10th.
CNBC reporter David Faber has a different take on the matter. Alibaba and Ant Group founder Jack Ma is not missing as was speculated, he says. Rather, Ma is being forced to hide out from the government, due to his stance on protecting the planet from climate change.
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