Sky Brown is incredible.
She is 11 years old and the youngest professional skateboarder in the world. She is sponsored by Nike, which also makes her the youngest sponsored athlete in the world.
Her list of accomplishments is incredible considering her age. In 2016, at the age of 8, she competed in the Vans U.S. Open, making her the youngest person ever to compete at the event. In 2018, she finished in the top 10 of the 2018 Vans Park Series. Today, she is one of five Brits attempting to qualify for the skateboarding events at the 2020 Summer Olympics, included in the games for the first time. Due to her current world rank as one of the top 12 ranked skateboarders, she will automatically qualify for the Olympics. If she qualifies (who knows given the state of the Olympics these days), Brown would have been the youngest British Olympian ever at the age of 12 (beating Margery Hinton who was 13 years and 43 days when she competed in the 200-meter breaststroke event at the 1928 Summer Olympics).
In May, Brown took a gnarly fall on a skateboarding ramp. She suffered several skull fractures and a broken left wrist and hand. She was unresponsive when she arrived at the hospital. She posted a video of her ramp footage right up until her bail and then talking from her hospital bed a few days after where she said, "I'm just going to get back up and push even harder."
She is very much on the road to recovery!
Like Brown, the U.S. economy took a severe fall as a result of the coronavirus pandemic time out. Second-quarter GDP growth is estimated to be down around 40% or so on a quarter-over-quarter annualized basis. However, barring a significant spike in the coronavirus fallout, we believe the U.S. economy - like Brown - is also on the road to recovery.
The financial media talking heads and prognosticators seem obsessed with a fly-by-the-seat-of-the pants, ad hoc no-macroeconomic-framework approach that pontificates about the coming economic doom. From our perch, the if-it-bleeds-it-leads method may get views, but it is divorced from the facts on the economic ground.
As an example, if you flip the chart of the Bureau of Labor Statistics' weekly initial jobless claims - one of favorite high frequency leading economic indicators - over, the pattern resembles almost a perfect V:
No one seems to think the economy can exhibit a V-shaped recovery. We know from studying the data,
moving into strong economic upswings and rebounds, first-time claims have tended to peak two-to-three months before the unemployment rate (a lagging economic indicator at best) peaks. Such a pattern would suggest a June or July peak in the unemployment rate. If the trough of the unemployment rate this February marks the cycle peak and the peak sometime this summer marks the trough of the recession, the coronavirus recession will become both the sharpest and shortest in U.S. history.
Yet, the economy's peak and trough only mark the beginning and end of a recession, they do not tell us about the speed of recovery (the rate of change for economic activity) or the time it will take to get to full recovery (the economic level prior to the recession e.g., January 2020). As mentioned above, the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic (testing, tracing, treatment) is the crucial factor determining the timing and forcefulness of an incipient recovery. That said, pandemics do not last forever.
With the proper monetary policy and fiscal policy support (which has been the case so far), the economy should fully recovery, maybe even sooner and faster than most folks think.