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The Confidence Game

by Pierre G. Villere

My well-known optimism, even throughout the last Great Recession, has been shaken by the swift and sudden collapse of the global economy, including ours here in the U.S., in the face of the novel coronavirus also known as Covid-19. I am not any different than most consumers, except that I probably fall within the upper tier of those who see life through rose-colored glasses, and therefore espouse optimism at every turn.

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A Black Swan event for sure

By Pierre G. Villere

I hope you read my column last month; I worried about the events surrounding the unfolding coronavirus epidemic in Milan and northern Italy, and feared what might happen if it struck an American city. I described the epidemic as a Black Swan, a theory that refers to unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence and their dominant role in history. I had no idea we would witness what has occurred since I wrote that column.

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Let’s be more like Australia’s economy

By Pierre G. Villere

This time last year, the business press was having a field day with their occasional Chicken Little prognostications that the economy was headed into recession, and the talking heads on the business news cable networks were the worst. Their bearish view, derived from the tiniest of economic indicators, threw the stock market into a tailspin the last couple of months of 2018, which continued into the first part of 2019, giving pause to the entire economy.

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A Black Swan Event?

By Pierre Villere

For months now, I have been extolling the virtues of the U.S. economy, as well as the larger global markets, and touting the slow-but-steady strength of U.S. business and industry, especially the strong construction markets that drive volume in our concrete businesses. And as I have written so many times before, my philosophy is that “sentiment is self-fulfilling.” So now we have the coronavirus, and some of the most recent reactions to it have left me disquieted, wondering if a “Black Swan Event” could upend the U.S. economy.

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The stock market rocks, the 2020 economy rolls on

By Pierre Villere

I can’t help but follow up on my column from a couple of months ago when I opined that a strong stock market was a harbinger of the economy, and what lies ahead. Now that 2019 and the decade it capped have come to an end, it’s worth reviewing the markets and what they foreshadow. In addition, the many geopolitical pressures from various directions don’t even seem to be moving the needle on the economy in particular, and sentiment as a driver of the underlying economy in general. Let’s take a look at both.

Read more: The stock market rocks, the 2020 economy rolls on