In the fourth quarter of 2020 Wall Street cheered but Main Street seethed; it was truly a study in extremes. In our opinion, the highs were soaring assets prices, renewed cryptocurrency zeal, and emergency approval by the FDA of two COVID-19 vaccines. The lows were tremendous rancor surrounding the Presidential election, swaths of the economy remaining severely hobbled by the pandemic and rising COVID-19 deaths as a second wave gripped not only the United States but many countries across the globe.
Congress wrestled over the next round of pandemic stimulus with some members of the Republican party re-embracing fiscal discipline once it became clear that Joe Biden would be the next President. Meanwhile some members of the Democratic party seemed to move even further into monetary fantasyland with discussions of total student loan forgiveness, multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure and global warming initiatives, as well as supersizing more rounds of direct-to-consumer stimulus checks. The Federal Reserve (the "FED") made nary a mention of any potential bubbles and did nothing to dissuade the notion that they were ready, willing and able to keep the printing presses rolling as well as find new and inventive ways to use those printing presses.