Speed Reads

Uh oh

Economic uncertainty appears even higher than it was following 9/11 and the financial crisis

President Trump is playing it cool when it comes to the economy, but that's not reflected elsewhere, Politico reports.

The global Economic Policy Uncertainty Index reached its highest level ever in June — surpassing periods defined by fear and confusion, such as after 9/11 and during the 2008 financial crisis, when the U.S. was already mired in recession. Now, it seems that Trump's unpredictable nature and his approach to trade policy has everyone worried again, but nobody can quite figure out what lies ahead.

"I've been in the business for 35 years, and I don't remember a time where uncertainty was at such an extreme level — and that covers a lot of nail-biting periods," said David Rosenberg, the chief economist and strategist at the investment firm Gluskin Sheff. "The U.S. economy is slowing down perceptibly. I would suggest no growth in the forth quarter. People are going to be surprised by it. It will either be recession or stagnation."

Between May 31 and Sept. 5, the word "uncertainty" appeared in over 250 presentation and earnings calls among S&P 500 companies, Politico reports, and Rosenberg said the words "risk" and "uncertainty" appeared an unprecedented 69 times in the latest minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee. He says that's more frequently than any meeting during the 2008 crisis or after 9/11, as well as more than the "tech wreck" almost two decades ago.

Still, neither the Trump administration or the Federal Reserve are panicking — at least not publicly. Read more at Politico.