US Economic and Financial Status Beyond 2021

US Economic and Financial Status Beyond 2021

With unemployment rate 6.1% at everyone knows that, for decades, the US has fought the unemployment crisis viciously. The Obama administration bore the brunt of the blame in its last years in power. There were even some startling layoffs in the tech industry and, most surprisingly, in the military. Nevertheless, seemingly, the nation is fast recovering from the effects of this problem. The job market, in 2020, is slowly rising from the ashes. Arguably, more and more people are changing status from being unemployed to employed. However, no one should doubt that unemployment is still a major issue in America today.

What has caused all these troubles for the world's surviving superpower? Do not be deceived. None of this happened overnight. It has taken root gradually, stealthily and steadily. The economy slid to instability slowly, heading to unwanted areas. The prices of items have risen to an all-time high.

Without a doubt, the effects of inflation has confidently reared its ugly head, again. What is more, the US dollar has significantly lost value in the world financial markets. Even the cost of certain essential aspects of the economy has skyrocketed phenomenally. This includes the cost of accessing health care, education and property prices.

Have you heard about the academic Theory of Economic Cycle? This is the theory that helped predict financial market peaks and collapses in the past centuries. Of course, like with everything else, many believe in this theory. Many others don't. Regardless, basing on this, what are some academic predictions touching on the US in 2020 and beyond?

Well, the forecast is startling. It says that the US is hurtling towards one of the worst financial crises in history. Will this prove to be true? It is well known that the US, although considered one of the richest nations on earth, has a huge gap between the rich and the poor. If this report came true, how would it impact on the citizen's life? Indeed, what circumstances would precipitate such a crisis?

There is no sign that the ordinary man's income status or wages will go up anytime soon. Things are certainly not promising. The wages of most workers have remained stagnant rather than improve. It is interesting to note that the US economy and market has always been characterized by a consumer-based modus operandi. For this reason, the average consumer is always being encouraged to spend more.

What has been the overall effect of such an economic impetus? Well, the consumer, faithful to the hook, has always done exactly as prompted by the gurus of the national economic dynamics. Without disappointing, the consumers have always gone out of their way to spend everything; to the last coin. After all, have they not been encouraged to do so by those who know better? The experts have spoken. Who is the consumer not to follow suit and make the gurus proud? So, ‘spend more and more' has been the silent maxim followed by the ordinary consumer in the US. And this has gone on for decades.

The result? The average consumer has been increasingly forced to borrow more and more. The ordinary consumer is ever digging deeper into the pockets, even making use of credit facilities to fill the gaps that, predictably, come. What is the effect of such a situation?

Simple. The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. As the consumer spends more, rich investors, who manufacture the products loved by the consumer, will have more money thrust into his pocket. The rich will make more money. This monies are further invested in the manufacturing and other sectors. Soon, more goods will flood the market. The consumer gets excited. He borrows more money to get these dear goods. And the cycle continues.

Of course, this is typically how the gap between the rich and poor widens by the day. Yes, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. This is a sad fact of life in modern America: 90% of the population has become a hapless victim of such a sorry state of affairs. The US economy is, therefore, currently overburdened with ballooning debt. As a result of inflation, more and more workers are being laid off from their jobs. There is an increased need to borrow more and more to fill this gap.

What is the ultimate result? Predictably, inflation will keep soaring. Interest rates will follow suit, also going up. There will, eventually, be less economic activity to hoist anyone out this sorry situation. We cannot deny the fact that this is the current situation in the country. Any denial of this won't solve the issue. Yes, again, economic decline and stagnation is certainly here with us.

US Dollar Stable Despite Economic Upheavals

US Dollar Stable Despite Economic Upheavals

The US dollar is known worldwide as the most valuable currency for carrying out business transactions. Despite ups and downs, a stable currency can, over time, retain its purchasing power, and the US Dollar is no different. Certainly, the dollar is one of the most frequently used currencies globally; it accounts for over 85% of the world's business transactions. Further, the dollar has been able to stand the test of time regarding other leading currencies such as the Euro, the Sterling Pound, and the Yen.

Statistics show the US Dollar made a significant jump on the stability index in the past year alone, and this is because of how stable the dollar has continued to be. Further, many countries use the dollar as their official currency. These include countries like Panama. In addition to the US economy's strength, "size" is a primary factor contributing to this stability. The US economy is the biggest globally, with a Gross domestic product of over $20 trillion. The dollar's strength continues to rise since it funds the vast US economy.

Think of it: The International Monetary Bank (IMF) is a financial institution that improves its member countries' economies. According to the organization, over 60% of foreign banks' reserve cash is in Dollars. Further, many loans which are provided to countries all over the world exist in dollars. This preference of transacting using the dollar makes the currency quite stable; its value is always increasing from a financial perspective.

Generally, banking institutions significantly contribute to the dollar's stability. Further, banks' interest rates (Federal funds rate) have a ripple effect on the economy's interest rates. These high rates make the dollar stable as the value of the dollar rises progressively. Also, foreign investors usually seek to put their capital into the economy; they want higher returns on bonds and investments.

The sale of these investments will always make the dollar's exchange rate soar hence boosting its stability. Because of the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve raised the federal funds rate. This rate rise resulted in a shortage of money supply in the larger economy. Ultimately, the dollar became more stable. Borrowing the dollar became more expensive as its value had significantly risen.

Certainly, inflation levels in the US also contribute to the dollar's stability. If there are high inflation levels in the country, people spend more, resulting in higher prices for goods and services. Notably, investors with bonds will get higher fixed returns during high inflation levels, hence the dollar's stability. Inversely, low inflation levels indicate a weak economy and a weak Dollar, as people's purchasing power falls dramatically.

The US Department of Treasury manages treasury notes sold to investors at fixed interest rates from time to time. These notes affect the dollar's strength and its overall stability. High demand for these notes prompts investors to pay more for the notes than their original face value, resulting in a lower yield for the investors and vice versa. A high yield indicates the dollar is in low demand and hence its diminished strength. For instance, in 2016, the dollar strengthened as treasury notes yield fell to 2.4%. This indicated that the dollar was relatively stable at the time.

Many countries worldwide have foreign cash reserves in Dollars. These countries' exports enable them to hoard more dollars when they get paid in dollars for exports. Countries like Japan and China are fond of this hoarding, enabling their currencies' value to remain lower. However, the rise of the dollar makes these reserves' value rise, prompting these countries to acquire more dollar currencies in the form of imports. This makes the dollar's value rise and hence its overall stability.

Finally, the financial markets are another reason why the dollar continues to be stable. In many foreign exchange markets, over 80% of the trade involves using the dollar. Further, being the most significant financial market globally, the dollar’s preference has made its value rise consistently. In turn, this has made the currency more stable. Ultimately, the dollar is the most traded currency pair in the market; many traders pair the dollar with other currencies when carrying out their trade. This preference certainly contributes to the dollar's admirable stability and fortitude.

Cryptocurrency Impact on US Banking in the 21st Century

Cryptocurrency Impact on US Banking in the 21st Century

Cryptocurrencies have emerged as a new way of carrying out financial transactions, especially in the US. The banking sector in the US has decided to embrace this unique piece of technology. Recently, the Currency (OCC) office Controller provided a way forward for this to be possible. Banks now have a bigger incentive to offer custodial services to cryptocurrency businesses.

Banks can now provide their services to businesses that receive payment in cryptocurrencies- in a better way. Note that in the recent past, the banking sector has been hesitant when dealing with cryptocurrencies. Of course, the latest technology has an element of high risk embedded. Regardless, banks such as JP Morgan Stanley have gone ahead of the curve and created their digital currency (the JPM coin). Also, the bank has made Onyx an entity designed to compartmentalize its digital currency. Cryptocurrency acceptance in the banking sector is multiplying, and this presents abundant opportunities for the future.

Cryptocurrencies will undoubtedly add to today's banking trend of paperless cash, which couldn't have come at a better time. Many businesses are now accepting bitcoin as a payment method. It only makes sense that banks should put in place measures to make this possible. However, banks will have to come up with stable coins to capitalize on this new technology.

Stablecoins will be better in terms of volatility, which has been a risk factor for Bitcoin. The creation of these stable coins will have massive implications for the financial sector. Insurance protection by businesses will skyrocket since many companies want to protect themselves from risks. As initial coin offerings(ICO) become a part of today's businesses, banks should ensure they have the necessary infrastructure to receive cryptocurrency capital for companies.

Many banking institutions still fear government-backed currency might become devalued because of cryptocurrencies. This fear does not hold any truth, as many people still prefer the US dollar. Notably, cryptocurrency infrastructure processes fewer transactions than the regular dollar. These transactions present a challenge for digital currencies. As banks integrate digital currency into their services, transaction speeds will surely increase.

But-ironically- cryptocurrency transactions have an element of transparency. Customers can have a peek into how the digital currencies move, which could be significant for banks. Most banking transactions involve secrecy. Also, the banking sector will gain customers' trust more, as they will see how their money moves. Digital currency has also provided credit to people with no bank accounts. Internet access is certainly more prevalent in the US. The credit provision has enabled more people to be able to purchase and trade in cryptocurrencies. More people will be able to access credit and loans based on their E-wallets balances.

Wha else? Transaction fees for banks will become a subject of contention, as cryptocurrency transactions do not have transaction fees. Banks will have to develop a mechanism enabling them to make a profit. As more businesses integrate digital currencies into their operations, banks will have to develop ways to profit without losing their customers' trust.

International trade has the convenience of cryptocurrencies, and the banking sector has seen a considerable rise in profits due to this development. Banking institutions that offer stable coins will significantly benefit. Moreover, eCommerce in the US has risen massively to 44%, especially with the Covid 19 lockdowns. Digital currencies have enabled most people to make purchases faster using bitcoin. It has, therefore, become imperative for the banking sector to facilitate this trade.

We must note that even as the banking sector embraces digital currencies, there is a need for special regulatory measures to be put in place. The proposed digital currency regulatory bill (STABLE Act) contains measures to ensure that banks' digital currency is consumer-protective. In the new proposal, banks with stable coins will have to possess a bank charter to give the stable coin. Further, banks that offer a stable coin are required to inform the Federal Reserve and other relevant banking agencies six months before unrolling the stable coins. They must also obtain insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This insurance is to facilitate liquidity on demand of the stable coins.

Ultimately, electronic savings will increase as more digital currencies get integrated by banks. Banks will be able to access more cash for lending. The overall US economy will improve as more investments by these banks become a reality. Also, interest accrued by such savings will give customers increased income on their electronic savings. Immediate liquidity will become easier for these banks in case of massive withdrawals by customers. Eventually, the banking sector in the US will become significantly more efficient; that's most encouraging.

Future of US Manufacturing Sector Post Covid-19

Future of US Manufacturing Sector Post Covid-19

Like elsewhere globally, the US manufacturing sector felt the adverse effects of Covid 19, with many operations getting halted. This resulted in the loss of jobs since the industry is usually labor-intensive. Moreover, it presented a new outlook on how the manufacturing sector needs approaching.

Regardless, adopting technological solutions, such as mobile robotics and artificial intelligence in the manufacturing sector has proved crucial. This is especially true in a pandemic period when the availability of labor was scarce. Interestingly, certain manufacturing firms ( like Tesla), who have integrated technology into their manufacturing processes, continued to thrive even with the labor scarcity.

Moreover, employee-training is crucial, even as more manufacturing firms shift towards smart technologies for their business processes. Certainly, employees' training will enable such businesses to work more efficiently with technology such as robotic machines and artificial intelligence programs. Further, hiring the best and top talent in a company's respective manufacturing sector is essential. The provision of incentives is equally significant for companies to attract talented employees.

Without a doubt, the manufacturing of products in the US has become crucial, as the country experienced shortages of various products and services due to lockdowns. Ironically, the globalized manufacturing by many businesses presented this shortage since many factories and production plants have, over the years, relocated to foreign countries. This offshore manufacturing has dramatically contributed to the lack of crucial products such as masks, testing kits, and protective clothing for the country's healthcare industry.

The US now needs to put in place infrastructure to ensure the manufacturing of goods and services is localized and not in foreign countries. Further, firms need to return to a result-based approach concerning manufacturing. With the ever-increasing power of shareholders in manufacturing firms, such businesses have to remain focused on their businesses' manufacturing aspects rather than elements like branding and marketing.

No wonder manufacturing firms are now cutting down costs to rebound from Covid 19 effects. This cutting down has resulted in job losses, but it has also helped streamline services. Cost-saving to channel the money to marketing and sales elements is crucial. Why? More businesses seek to recoup losses experienced due to the pandemic. Further, digital marketing is now an essential aspect of manufacturing businesses that previously relied mainly on face-to-face methods to reach their customers. Also, e-commerce has become a vital business model aspect since more firms are adopting drop shipping business practices to diversify their portfolios.

Also, investment in innovation programs and research and development is now an essential aspect of the manufacturing sector. Covid 19 has given firms an eye-opener on how important research and development is vital for businesses' growth. Patent protection and intellectual property protection are now crucial to the success of a firm's products and services.

We all know it- Covid 19 is still with us. Therefore, the manufacturing sector will need to ensure workers' health and safety standards are upheld, with modifications to ensure high sanitization levels in the workplaces. Hand sanitizing stations and shift rotations to enforce social distancing will be crucial to prevent virus outbreaks. Notably, employee safety will continue to be essential to prevent work injuries and incidents.

Diversification of products and services is vital for the sector, and Covid 19 has presented challenges to firms that deal in single product lines. Despite diversification being a capital-intensive endeavor, it is a cost-saving undertaking to ensure a business's cash flow. This diversification will enable manufacturers to have a contingency plan to fall back on, as no one when Covid 19 will be no more. Of course, change management will be necessary during this diversification, as managers will have to learn new practices and philosophies of executing the new order of business.

We shouldn't forget that government policies regarding the manufacturing industry will need to be changed to suit these uncertain times. The manufacturing sector suffered immensely due to the pandemic, and many firms suffered with it. What can be done? Low-interest loans for the industry would be a significant injection to revive many businesses. As the demand for products continues to rise, the industry will have to meet this demand, and this will require a lot of cash infusion into the industry. The government's incentives to the industry, characterized by tax holidays, research, and development tax credit, will contribute significantly to this sector's expected comeback.