Katrina Lowers Year End Expectations

Thursday, September 08, 2005 | 03:46 PM

Forget most of what you are reading about the post-Katrina recovery. This is an unprecedented U.S. disaster that will have repercussions - around the global economy, but most especially domestically. A major American city has been all but wiped off the map, taking the country’s largest port with it. To put this into context, the costs for rebuilding New Orleans after Katrina will exceed those of rebuilding Chicago after the great fire, San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, and New York and D.C. after September 11th - combined. And that’s after adjusting for inflation.

Despite what some of the more bullish pundits have been saying, the stimulus of rebuilding New Orleans will not outweigh the overall loss to the economy; if it did, we would level a different city each year and rebuild it from the ground up, shiny and new. But it doesn’t, and so we don’t.

This comes when the Consumer is running increasingly low on dry powder. As we noted last week, the consumer is nearly - but not quite - shopped out.  Gas price spiking added some caution to their already waning sentiment.

Additionally, we note that the market’s impressive resilience in the face of such adversity is not historically unprecedented. When the great San Francisco earthquake hit, it took markets several weeks to register the colossal costs and impact. So too, the market all but ignored the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo of the U.S. For two weeks, US stock markets actually traded sideways, before recognizing what the enormity of what the embargo meant to the U.S.

Further, we note that Katrina has revealed the surprisingly steep learning curve of key economic players. Alan Greenspan has learned (to his dismay) that Jawboning is a 2 way street. He has discovered the Markets can exert a formidable force. Having declared that the Fed must now pause on 9/20 - and rallying in anticipation - the markets will throw a tantrum in the event the Fed does not. How he handles this may impact how quickly the economy recovers.

Thus, for the second time this year, I am changing my expectations for the market for the calendar year. Recall that previously, I was looking for a mid year peak in the markets, sliding off to finish the year flat. What we’ve seen instead is a low set in May, followed by a sizable rally. The endgame for this cyclical Bull now looks less and less like a blow off top. In its stead, a more rounded top - a grinding affair, lower, slower, and far less dramatic than previously expected - is increasingly likely, as the the impact of Katrina makes its way into the equity markets.

This Bull is now more likely to end with a whimper, and not with a bang.

Thursday, September 08, 2005 | 03:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack (3)
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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Katrina Lowers Year End Expectations:

» the ECONOMIC aftermath of Katrina from I Love Everything
Barry at the Big Picture has an excellent rundown. Can you tell where I've been getting a lot of my commentary? I only wish CalculatedRisk wasn't on vacation this week. [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 8, 2005 6:06:54 PM

» Similar Thoughts on Katrina from Specious Argument
Barry Ritholtz wrote an article today Katrina Lowers Year End Expectations on his blog The Big Picture (one of my Favorite Websites). In his article Ritholtz emphasizes the same theme I did recently in Katrina: Good or Bad for the... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 8, 2005 10:33:13 PM

» Similar Thoughts on Katrina from Specious Argument
Barry Ritholtz wrote an article today Katrina Lowers Year End Expectations on his blog The Big Picture (one of my Favorite Websites). In his article Ritholtz emphasizes the same theme I did recently in Katrina: Good or Bad for the... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 10, 2005 9:18:50 PM

Comments

I'd be interested in opinions of bernie sheaffer's piece (free content) of why the market is so resilient despite katrina. He uses technical (expectational analysis he calls it) put/call open interest ratio analysis.

Here is the url:

http://www.schaefferresearch.com/commentary/bernie_observations.aspx?click=home&cat=soc&page=bernie_observations&ID=14080

opinions?

Posted by: pjfny | Sep 8, 2005 8:49:55 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.



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