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Strategist

Big demographic changes are coming

by Pierre G. Villere

As they say, “this too shall pass,” and when we come out on the other side of current Covid-19 and social unrest stresses on our society, there are some tectonic demographic changes coming over the next decade that will dramatically change our business, and the economy as a whole.

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The long shadow tariffs cast on our recovery

by Pierre G. Villere

The headlights are pointed uphill. After weeks and months of an economic shutdown, artificially imposed by the necessity to quarantine and therefore close virtually all business activity, the U.S. and global economies are slowly re-awakening. Countries all over the world are taking phased approaches to re-opening, with constant monitoring of Covid-19 outbreaks to avoid spikes or recurrences. And as I have written previously, my view today is very different than it was in early to mid-April; I think the damage has been far greater, and runs much deeper, than I expected back then. The impact of this multi-month shutdown will take a far longer period of time to recover from, although the construction industry recovery may outpace other sectors of the economy.

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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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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?

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.

Read more: A Black Swan Event?