Among the many unusual features of the pandemic-induced downturn is the disconnect between depressed real economies and buoyant financial markets. This is particularly evident in the US, where output fell 9.5% in the second quarter while the S&P 500 index rose by one-fifth.
This may suggest a huge financial bubble is in the making, or at least a highly optimistic view of a COVID-19 vaccine and treatments. Another possibility is that markets have a better grasp of the economic dynamics of a post-pandemic world than most nervous consumers and governments.
Certainly, markets have been helped by central bank largesse. In March, major central banks reacted forcefully to the possibility of a serious credit crunch with lending guarantees and bond purchases.… Seguir leyendo »