First Domino Falls…

Italy might well have been the first domino to fall, shifting other European countries back to lockdown measures not seen since the spring.

A reader writes: “I think that’s the worst thing they can do.

“I drive a truck, and everywhere I go things seem to be mostly normal. People are confused because what they see in the media — COVID cases constantly going up — doesn’t match their day to day reality.

“Below is a screenshot I took that shows what’s happening elsewhere…

france headline

Thanks for the tip, reader. On Wednesday, Germany issued new lockdown measures because of spiking coronavirus cases. And starting today, France will impose similar shutdowns.

Following in Italy’s footsteps, protesters — largely from the entertainment industry — took to the streets in Germany after Merkel’s announcement.

Two questions for readers…. First, are you witnessing surging coronavirus cases where you live? Is this part of your everyday reality?

Also, how do you think Americans will respond to secondary COVID shutdowns?

Send your opinions to,

Your Rundown for Friday, Oct. 30, 2020…

Worrisome Unemployment: 1932, 1980 and Today

Today we’re exploring the economic consequences after two single-term presidents — Hoover and Carter — were unseated. (For our purposes, we’re leaving George H. W. Bush and successor Bill Clinton out of the discussion today primarily because election years 1932 and 1980 bear more similarities to 2020.)

In terms of similarities, take one of the most worrisome statistics in 2020, unemployment which was officially at 7.9% by the end of September. John Williams of Government Shadow Statistics pegs that number, however, at roughly 26%.

That’s an unemployment rate not far off the 25% when Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933. When Reagan was inaugurated? Officially 8.5% in 1981.

In the subsequent years of Roosevelt’s presidency, unemployment dropped slowly to 14.3% in 1937 only to surge again the following year to 19% after the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938) established a minimum wage and more. By the time FDR died in April, 1945 — months into his fourth term as president — unemployment was just shy of 2%.

Turning to unemployment under Reagan, that rate actually ballooned the year after he took office to 10.8% to drift down to 5.3% in 1988, the final year of his presidency.

As for how Americans got back to work during their presidencies, FDR and Reagan couldn’t be more dissimilar. In basic terms, FDR expanded federal spending, creating make-work programs under the New Deal. Reagan’s administration, however, made the U.S. more business-friendly by cutting taxes on business profits and capital gains.

And we can’t not mention WWII and the demand for U.S. manufacturing that did much of the heavy lifting, putting millions of Americans back to work in the 1940s.

Now with the election just days away, it’s instructive to look at historical precedents — FDR and Reagan. In both instances, jobs were created and unemployment was downsized. Different methods were used to get there, certainly. But will historical precedents hold true if Biden’s elected?

Market Rundown for Friday, Oct. 30, 2020

S&P 500 futures are down 26 points to 3,275.

Oil’s flagging to $35.86 for a barrel of WTI.

Gold is up $20.60 to $1,888.60 per ounce.

Bitcoin is down 1.3% to $13,307.71.

Send your comments and questions to,

Monday we’ll discuss the stock market and Fed policy under FDR and Reagan. We’ll talk then…

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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