Readers may recall, in the last couple of weeks, we outlined the economic recovery stalled in late June. Combing through real-time economic data and spotting trends that suggest a recovery has lost momentum is one thing, but actually seeing live camera feeds of metro areas that resemble a ghost town is a powerful reminder the recession continues to ravage the real economy despite the president touting record highs in the Nasdaq.
While central bankers, policymakers, and Wall Street elites have coordinated unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus to save the collapsed economy and form a "V" shaped recovery - there are doubts the trillions of dollars in the stimulus are actually working; instead of an "L" or "U" shaped recovery is starting to materialize as state governors across the country pause or reverse reopenings due to the virus pandemic reemerging.
We can source Bank of America credit and debit card spending trends, OpenTable, Yelp, and TomTom real-time data that all suggest the economy stalled late last month. To confirm the stall, there must be visual confirmation on the ground, and that is why we turn to live camera feeds of cities to monitor activity.
Here we're going to individually examine New York City live camera feeds at highest foot trafficked areas during morning rush hour (9:00ET, Friday, July 17). What we found was a ghost town, even though New York Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated on Thursday Phase 4 of reopening would start next Monday. The problem with a virus-induced recession is that, without the vaccine, people aren't going to go out - this is something policymakers, and central bankers can't fix with their magic money printing machines.
Coursey of EarthCam, New York City is a ghost town on Friday morning:
Times Square (view 2)
Times Square (View 3)
Times Square (View 4)
Times Square (View 5)
World Trade Center Memorial & Museum
TomTom Traffic data of New York City from around 9:00ET reveals a color most in the city have never seen before ( well, in pre-corona times).
The new normal is a recession or depression, and you pick - without a proven vaccine, there's no V-shaped recovery; even then, it could take years to restore economic growth back to 2019 levels.
If you're wondering what comes next, Gary Shilling could have that answer...