The Sentiment Conundrum

Okay, class, what have you learned from my years of teaching and lecturing around our industry about sentiment? That’s right: sentiment is self-fulfilling. It is remarkably interesting to watch what has occurred since March, when inflation continued to be reported as being stubbornly persistent, and the Fed, like me, changed their view that the rise in prices was not transient…

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Concrete Prices Demonstrate Stability

The sticker shock Americans are exhibiting in supermarkets, gas stations, and retail establishments is resounding throughout our economy, at a pace faster than I would have expected. The rampant inflation caused by the global supply/demand imbalance and related supply chain issues has ignited inflation from near zero to levels not seen since the 1980s. So with few options, the Fed…

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Economic Trends That Signal a Strong Construction Economy Ahead

by Pierre G. Villere I want to expand on my thinking in last month’s column, and start by dispelling what I am being asked about often these days: Will the construction economy stay strong? The answer is a resounding yes, and it will not experience a slowdown anytime soon. So there. There are too many positive indicators that signal a…

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Making a Case for Reduced Inflation

by Pierre G. Villere We like to read the in-depth research on a wide range of topics that can affect the economic health of our industry, since it is our firm’s primary specialty. In the years I have been at the helm, I find the reports published by the global banks to be informative, and usually spot-on. They have large…

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A Look at the Pressures on Our Booming Economy

As a firm, we bristle with optimism. Yes, sometimes it gets tempered when things aren’t going so well in our industry or the economy as a whole, but those setbacks tend to be short-lived. Of course, we missed the timing on what turned out to be a painfully long Great Recession, which will go down in the history books as…

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Another Look at the Pandemic: How the Fed Stepped in to Save the Economy

by Pierre G. Villere It is always interesting to see how quickly our attention and focus can turn from one crisis to the next, with the former being forgotten and seen only in the rear-view mirror. Of course, the media gives us no choice, as it is their focus on the story of the moment that gets the ink.  With…

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How Increasing Wages Are Affecting Our Economy

It’s February, so some of the year-end economic metrics for 2021 are starting to be reported, and it is no surprise to see that wages took a big jump last year. Wage increases were fueled by the unexpected supply chain morass that the Covid-19 lockdown precipitated, and were further compounded by the amount of stimulus cash that was injected into…

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The Private Equity Juggernaut Will Plow Forward in 2022

All we have to do is look at our retirement accounts to know that a rising tide floats all boats, and 2021 was no exception. U.S. stocks finished a third consecutive year of big gains, with major indexes nearing performance records in 2021. Even with the recent turbulence from the Omicron coronavirus variant, the S&P 500 saw a 27 percent…

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We Have Our Infrastructure Bill – But Remember the Cautionary Tales

Finally. After months of wrangling and tortuous back-and forth, Congress finally passed our big infrastructure bill, and the President signed it. Thank goodness. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the IIJA, holds much promise for a nation that had been woefully short on maintaining its transportation, environmental and utility infrastructure. But there is a long history of…

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The Billionaires Tax Proposal

In theory, by the time you read this, we should have passed our infrastructure bill, which has been held hostage now for months by the four parties in Congress who are fighting each other to advance their respective agendas. Four parties? And you thought there were two? Try the Progressive Democrats, the Moderate Democrats, the Populist Republicans, and the Conservative…

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