The 10-Minute Take

"The 10-Minute Take", a new podcast series dedicated to providing the point of view of market experts on events unfolding around the globe.

Follow the 10-Minute Take on Soundcloud

Why markets will remain volatile (to a degree) through the U.S. election

Published October 7, 2020

Featuring George Davis, RBC Capital Markets’ Chief Technical Strategist

Global markets have been bouncing up and down since President Trump announced he tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Add to this the on-again, off-again stimulus talks ahead of the already-contested November 3rd U.S. election and you have a recipe for political uncertainty and increased market volatility. And yet, volatility has been relatively muted -- pullbacks have been shallow while upsides have been capped. Are we seeing a paradigm shift in risk tolerance? George Davis, RBC Capital Markets' Chief Technical Strategist in Foreign Exchange Trading, shares what’s surprised him about recent market movements.

Why the airline industry is bracing for more turbulence

Published September 30, 2020

Featuring Walter Spracklin, Transportation and Industrials Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

If you felt your travel plans were disappointing this summer, spare a thought for the airline industry. Border restrictions, travel advisories, mandatory self-quarantine… policies that are critical for public health have been devastating to carriers, which are hemorrhaging millions of dollars each day. When will travel get back to normal? How does the propensity to travel differ across classifications? And how are carriers convincing customers that it's safe to fly again? Walter Spracklin, Transportation and Industrials Analyst at RBC Capital Markets, shares what the airline industry needs to recover from the COVID crisis.

How the Throne Speech can help Canada's Recovery

Published September 23, 2020

Featuring Craig Wright, RBC Chief Economist

In today's Speech from the Throne, the Governor General is expected to lay out the government's vision for the pandemic recovery. It won't be easy, with COVID-19 cases on the rise and investor confidence wobbling. While the economy has improved since April lows, the recovery continues to be fragile – especially in the face of a possible second wave. Where should the government focus its investments? And if it survives the confidence vote, what could we expect in its next budget? Craig Wright, RBC's Chief Economist, shares his view on the economic outlook and what's needed from the throne speech.

How the crises of 2020 have focused investors on ESG

Published September 16, 2020

Featuring Sara Mahaffy, RBC Capital Markets’ U.S. Equity Strategist

2020 brought us a pandemic and a boiling point in protests over racial inequities – and investors took notice. It’s why the market has seen record flows into ESG – or, environmental, social, and governance – funds, which have benefited sectors that may be surprising to some. Could we see more funds going into traditional sectors? And what trends may gain momentum into 2021? Sara Mahaffy, RBC Capital Markets’ U.S. Equity Strategist, shares her findings on ESG performance.

Why tech has staying power, despite market sell-off

Published September 9, 2020

Featuring Alex Zukin, RBC Capital Markets' Software Equity Analyst

To many observers, last week's dramatic sell-off of tech stocks was inevitable, especially given how fast they climbed since the March low. But the appeal of tech won't fade anytime soon. The pandemic fundamentally altered behaviour (did anyone say work from home?) and set into motion a rethink of how companies will operate in a digital-first world - and what technologies they'll need to succeed. So what does the performance of tech stocks actually reveal about investor sentiment? And how will tech-heavy markets fare with the uncertainty of future government stimulus? Alex Zukin, RBC Capital Markets' Software Equity Analyst, shares why there are still tailwinds ahead for tech.

How the U.S. Fed's landmark policy shift goes beyond inflation

Published September 2, 2020

Featuring Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets’ Chief U.S. Economist

Wyoming’s state motto, “Equal Rights,” might have hinted at the U.S. Fed’s new monetary policy strategy that was revealed at this year’s (virtual) Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. Chairman Jerome Powell announced changes emphasizing the importance of both inflation and labour within its mandate. But what are the risks of shifting from an inflation target of 2% to an average of 2% over time? And how will a renewed focus on employment affect interest rates and growth into 2021? Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets’ Chief U.S. Economist, shares his take on how the Fed’s new approach could play out in markets and the economy.

August 2020

How Apple became the most valuable public company in the world

Published August 19, 2020

Featuring Robert Muller, RBC Capital Markets’ Enterprise Hardware Analyst

Apple is within striking distance of a historic USD$2 trillion valuation, buoyed by a loyal customer base and our collective dependence on smartphones. Even amid a global pandemic, the company has benefited from a boost in sales thanks to government stimulus. But can the company continue to stay hungry (and foolish, as Steve Jobs would say) in its dominant market position? And how will it fare in the face of lawsuits and antitrust probes? Robert Muller, RBC Capital Markets' Enterprise Hardware Analyst, shares what's behind Apple's growth.

How COVID created a supercharged summer housing market

Published August 12, 2020

Featuring Robert Hogue, RBC Senior Economist

Across Canada, the housing market rebounded as pent-up demand pumped up sales volumes and prices in June and July. Montreal, for example, set a new record – 46% jump in year-over-year sales. The pandemic has also shifted preferences, as more homebuyers venture to the suburbs in favour of space and greenery (putting a damper on the previously-hot urban condo market). Will we see this activity extend into the fall? And has COVID created a fundamental change in buying behaviour? RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue shares his outlook on the housing market.

Background reading:

Why the post-pandemic office building will be greener and costlier

Published August 5, 2020

Featuring Deane Dray, RBC Capital Markets’ Multi-Industry and Electrical Equipment Senior Equity Analyst

When we (eventually) return to the office, it will look and feel very different. Picture screening technologies, touchless credentials, roomy elevators. Imagine breathing cleaner air. Of course, all of these COVID-prompted upgrades won't come cheap. To get tenants comfortably back in buildings, landlords will have to make expensive, but necessary, retrofits. Will there still be enough demand for commercial buildings? And could this lead to more ESG investment into the industrial sector? Deane Dray, Multi-Industry and Electrical Equipment Senior Equity Analyst at RBC Capital Markets, walks us through the post-pandemic landscape for office buildings.

July 2020

Why Markets are Edging Higher in Spite of Cautious Corporates

Published July 22, 2020

Featuring Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets’ Head of U.S. Equity Strategy

As we head into a pivotal period of the current earnings season, tech stocks have buoyed key Wall Street indices – Nasdaq, for one, briefly hit another record high earlier this week. But what’s on the ticker doesn’t necessarily reflect what’s on the horizon. The COVID crisis in the U.S. is worsening, while Congress and the White House square off over another aid package. Even c-suite executives are openly sharing their concerns on the economic recovery. How might the rest of earnings season play out? And what do the latest rallies reveal about consumer sentiment? Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets’ Head of U.S. Equity Strategy, shares what’s beneath the latest market movements.

U.S. oil demand sputters as lockdowns tighten

Published July 15, 2020

Featuring Michael Tran, RBC Capital Markets’ Energy Strategist

Four months into the COVID pandemic and some Americans have hit lockdown fatigue, if traffic data is any indication. Take Las Vegas, which has seen flight activity increase steadily over the last six weeks. Or Houston, where traffic was up and down leading into the 4th of July holiday. Contrast this with Europe and China, which have emerged from lockdowns and are back to near normal activity. How will mobility patterns shift as U.S. re-openings continue to stop and start? And how will this erratic demand affect oil prices? Michael Tran, RBC Capital Markets' Global Energy Strategist, shares his insights from real-time traffic data during the pandemic.

Canada’s fiscal snapshot – massive deficit, record federal debt

Published July 8, 2020

Featuring Craig Wright, RBC Chief Economist

The COVID crisis delivered a bigger shock to our economy than most expected. Ottawa is forecasting an enormous $343 billion deficit in 2020, which pushes the federal debt load past the $1 trillion mark for the first time. With the worst behind us, the focus now is how to sustain the early economic recovery and especially, how to get Canadians back to work. Can Canada take on more debt without further risking our sovereign credit rating? And how will the federal government transition people from the CERB relief program to more productive wage subsidies or other schemes? Craig Wright, RBC's Chief Economist, shares his take on Canada's fiscal snapshot.

Can U.S. markets stay up while summer shutdowns expand?

Published July 6, 2020

Featuring Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets' Chief U.S. Economist

The U.S. gained nearly 5 million jobs in June, but that was before the latest COVID-19 outbreaks. Now, state re-opening plans are being put on hold, if not dialed back – with almost certain economic consequences. And yet, markets are partying like it's 2019 – Dow Jones had its best quarter since 1987, Nasdaq hit a record high. But just how far will the Fed go to support the economy? And will markets get a reality check? Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets' Chief U.S. Economist, shares his update on the U.S. economy.

June 2020

How Streaming Platforms are Winning Through Crisis

Published June 29, 2020

Featuring Kutgun Maral, RBC Capital Markets’ Media Analyst

If content is king, then streaming platforms are its thrones. And those thrones are getting higher and higher as consumers cut the cord with traditional media providers. Audiences have been seeking refuge in front of their screens and services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max have offered their entertaining alms in-kind. But can these producers continue to satiate the people’s growing hunger for quality content, especially with halted production around the world? And who among them can survive the ongoing streaming wars? Kutgun Maral, RBC Capital Markets’ Media Analyst, shares his outlook on streaming services.

How the Crisis became Prime Time for Amazon

Published June 26, 2020

Featuring Mark Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets’ Internet Analyst

While most people have been under lockdowns, The Everything Store has been everywhere. The explosive demand for online shopping and surge in remote work have been boons for both Amazon's core retail offering and AWS, its cloud computing business. But can the company capture and sustain this once-in-a-generation opportunity? And how will ongoing antitrust probes in both the U.S. and E.U. affect its growth? Mark Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets' Internet Analyst, shares his take on Amazon.

A Cloudy Outlook for Young Job Seekers

Published June 24, 2020

Featuring Dawn Desjardins, RBC’s Deputy Chief Economist

The COVID-19 crisis dealt employees a serious blow, and young people have been hit particularly hard with a nearly 30% unemployment rate. The summer months – crucial for internships, seasonal work, and starting careers – might not be much better, as employers may call back their furloughed full-timers before hiring students. How will these setbacks affect this cohort's long-term employment prospects? And how effective have government relief programs actually been? Dawn Desjardins, RBC's Deputy Chief Economist, shares the outlook on the youth labour market.

Canada’s Provinces are Turning the Corner on their Road to Recovery

Published June 22, 2020

Featuring Robert Hogue, RBC Senior Economist

Last week, Saskatchewan, PEI, and Quebec gave updates on their economic and fiscal situation. They weren't pretty, but there's been enough of a boost in activity that RBC Economics has adjusted its forecasts. Quebec was the most dramatic example, with the return of 30,000 jobs. Saskatchewan and PEI, meanwhile, also showed how much damage has been done, with declines in government revenues of 8-10%. Robert Hogue, RBC Senior Economist, shares his update on provincial economic recoveries.

Work 2.0: How Tech is Catalyzing the “Remote First” Workplace

Published June 19, 2020

Featuring Alex Zukin, Software Equity Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

Practically overnight, legions of office workers shifted to working from home as their employers figure out how to keep them productive. That meant installing (or improving) video conferencing tools, messaging apps and the like – keys to an effective distributed workforce. Now, employers are going a step further to reimagine the first principles of work – from location dependent to location agnostic. Welcome to Work 2.0. What will this mean for employees? And how are software firms capitalizing on this opportunity? Alex Zukin, Software Equity Analyst at RBC Capital Markets, shares how the workplace is transforming.

A Path to 5G for Canadian Telcos

Published June 17, 2020

Featuring Drew McReynolds, RBC Capital Markets’ Telecommunications and Media Analyst

Canada's major telecom operators are forging ahead with their plans to build 5G networks, despite government delays on the decision to allow Huawei to bid and the 3,500 Mhz wireless spectrum auction. At least Canada has strong 4G networks, which may tide us over 5G's decade-long build. But as the crisis has revealed, connectivity is key to thriving in the new economy. Could these delays affect Canada's growth? And how might telcos address the digital divide between urban, and rural and remote communities? Drew McReynolds, RBC Capital Markets' Telecommunications and Media Analyst, shares what's ahead for telecom.

Corporate America’s Moment of Truth on Racism

Published June 15, 2020

Featuring Michael Carter, RBC Capital Markets’ Global Head of Technology Investment Banking

Ongoing protests against racism and violence towards Black communities have hit a boiling point, forcing companies everywhere to re-examine their practices and histories. In addition to questions about police practices and systemic racism across all parts of society, corporate America is being challenged anew on its own record. Black executives hold only 3% of leadership roles in U.S. companies, and only 2% of venture capital dollars goes to African American entrepreneurs. What more can the private sector do? Michael Carter, RBC Capital Markets’ Global Head of Technology Investment Banking and a member of the Washington-based Executive Leadership Council, shares his perspective on how companies can confront racism

How Renewed COVID Fears Rattled Stock Markets

Published June 12, 2020

Featuring George Davis, Chief Technical Strategist in Foreign Exchange Trading at RBC Capital Markets

Global stock markets plunged after the U.S. Federal Reserve issued grim economic projections for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Budding investor optimism was quickly replaced with the sobering reality of a weak economy and a jump in COVID cases in some U.S. states. Will we see the Fed intervene again? And what could the stock market rout mean for other asset classes? George Davis, Chief Technical Strategist in Foreign Exchange Trading at RBC Capital Markets, shares his take on what's behind the latest market movements.

The Geopolitics of OPEC+ Oil Cuts

Published June 10, 2020

Featuring Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets' Global Head of Commodity Strategy

The global group of oil producing countries, known as OPEC+, left its key weekend meeting fractured. While OPEC+ agreed to extend production cuts through to July, its de facto leader Saudi Arabia said it would not. Neither would fellow Gulf states, and Mexico. Add to this an improving (but fragile) demand picture and it could explain why oil prices have been whipsawing since. How will this play out for the oil majors? And where was President Trump this time around? Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets’ Global Head of Commodity Strategy, shares her take on the latest OPEC+ deal.

To Recover, Canadian Tourism Needs More Canadians

Published June 5, 2020

Featuring Nathan Janzen, RBC Senior Economist

Summer is around the corner, but the forecast for the tourism sector is less-than-sunny. With border and travel restrictions still in place (even between provinces), families wishing to travel have fewer options than before. Maybe take a road trip around your province. Maybe rent out an Airbnb for a month. Whatever Canadians choose, it will be a boon to Canadian tourism, which has historically depended more on domestic than foreign visitors. But will summer road trips be enough to save the sector? Nathan Janzen, RBC Senior Economist, shares his outlook on tourism.

A U-turn for the Auto Sector?

Published June 4, 2020

Featuring Joe Spak, RBC Capital Markets’ U.S. Auto Sector Analyst

In a bygone era, the Sharing Economy had spelled out the death of the personal car – why have your own vehicle when you could just hail an Uber or Lyft? But the auto sector might see some green lights ahead, as people shift from shared transportation towards their own cars. How is COVID changing how (and whether) we drive? And does it put the brakes on trends such as autonomous vehicle technology? Joe Spak, RBC Capital Markets’ U.S. Auto Sector Analyst, shares his take on the future of cars.

How the Lockdown May Hamper Canada's Immigrant-fueled growth

Published June 2, 2020

Featuring Dawn Desjardins, RBC’s Deputy Chief Economist

2020 was supposed to be a record year for newcomers to Canada – what the country needed to offset an aging population. But then COVID happened. The lockdown, of course, didn’t only restrict the movement of people – it dealt a serious blow to Canada’s labour market with knock-on effects to other parts of the economy. How are sectors that depend on immigrants, such as agriculture and healthcare, faring? What are the broader consequences if newcomers stop coming? Dawn Desjardins, RBC’s Deputy Chief Economist, shares how the drop in immigration levels is impacting our economy.

May 2020

How COVID is Heralding a New Era in Healthcare

Published May 29, 2020

Featuring Kennen MacKay, RBC Capital Markets’ Co-Head of Biotechnology Research

Before the pandemic, the challenges plaguing U.S. healthcare seemed insurmountable. Think onerous regulations, outdated processes, and high prices. But the dark clouds of the crisis are bringing silver linings - less red tape, virtual access to doctors, and long-awaited innovation. How are healthcare providers adapting? And what role will Big Tech play? Kennen MacKay, RBC Capital Markets' Co-Head of Biotechnology Research, shares how changes in the U.S. healthcare sector are here to stay.

How Maslow's Hierarchy can Explain Pandemic Spending

Published May 26, 2020

Featuring Irene Nattel, RBC Capital Markets' Consumer Discretionary & Staples Analyst

The start of the COVID crisis might forever be associated with a toilet paper shortage as people went into survival mode and stocked up on staples. Or, in the language of Maslow's Hierarchy, people were just trying to meet their basic physiological and safety needs. But as we move up the pyramid and beyond the crisis, where (and how) we spend our money will be different from before. How will retailers adapt? And what are people buying to reach self-actualization? Irene Nattel, RBC Capital Markets' Consumer Discretionary & Staples Analyst, shares how the crisis is changing consumer trends.

What's Ahead for the Loonie

Published May 22, 2020

Featuring George Davis, RBC Capital Markets’ Chief Technical Strategist in Foreign Exchange Trading

The loonie has defied expectations during the recent rout in oil markets, hitching its wagon to another driver. Move over crude, hello equities. But the road ahead still has bumps, with implications for USD/CAD foreign exchange. How will extended travel restrictions affect cross-border investments? And what could snowbird investors expect from the U.S. Fed? George Davis, Chief Technical Strategist in Foreign Exchange Trading at RBC Capital Markets, joins us with the outlook on the Canadian dollar.

Why Gold is Glittering While Markets Churn

Published May 20, 2020

Featuring Chris Louney, RBC Capital Markets' Commodity Strategist

Gold prices have surged during the COVID crisis, driven by low rates and aggressive policy measures to stimulate the economy and investors looking to hedge risks in the market – which explains why gold is staying high even as equities rally. Will the bulls of bullion continue to prevail? And what impact might the eventual recovery have? Chris Louney, RBC Capital Markets’ Commodity Strategist, joins us with the outlook on gold.

The Road to Recovery for Canada’s Provinces

Published May 15, 2020

Featuring RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue

The bad news: COVID-19’s brutal toll on provincial economies is worse than we previously anticipated. The provinces are expected to contract between 4.8% and 11.2% in 2020—by far the deepest recessions we’ve ever seen. The good news is that we're heading into the recovery phase. Barring any setbacks, the worst is behind us. We'll generally see a slow start, followed by a meaningful rebound in activity over the second half of the year continuing into 2021 – with each province going at its own pace. RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins us for a special series on Canada’s regional economic outlooks.

Can Business Stimulus Hasten the "Swoosh" Recovery?

Published May 13, 2020

Featuring Craig Wright, RBC's Chief Economist

Hopes for a V-shaped recovery – a short, sharp collapse followed by a bounce-back to pre-crisis activity – have been replaced by expectations of a “swoosh.” That is, a large drop followed by a slow incline. To bend the curve, Canadian policy makers have focused the latest round of relief on business. But how effective can these new measures be when much of the economy remains closed? Craig Wright, RBC's Chief Economist, joins us with his outlook for the private sector and a broader recovery.

What a Market Recovery Can Look Like

Published May 11, 2020

Featuring Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets Head of U.S. Equity Strategy

The U.S. equities market has rebounded upwards of 30% from its low in March, driven by plenty of good news and investor optimism. But the road ahead is full of curves and unknowns that could slow the momentum or worse. Looking in the rearview mirror, previous recessions offer a roadmap to guide the recovery journey. Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets' Head of U.S. Equity Strategy, joins us to share lessons from past market downturns.

China's Economic Recovery Still a Long Way Off, Despite Official Reports

Published May 8, 2020

Featuring Leland Miller, CEO of China Beige Book International

China has touted economic re-opening as the central government’s triumph over the COVID-19 virus. But though firms are back to work and factories are up and running, growth hasn’t recovered. In fact, privately gathered data suggest China’s economy continues to struggle. Can the government do more than reopen factories? And what will it take to get Chinese consumers shopping, travelling, and spending again? Leland Miller, CEO of China Beige Book International, joins us our podcast to explain what the official numbers don’t.

What we can learn from Australia’s approach to the crisis

Published May 4, 2020

Featuring Su-Lin Ong, RBC Capital Markets’ Managing Director and Chief Economist for Australia & New Zealand

Australia is flattening the curve of COVID-19 and moving to reopen its economy—slowly. Thanks to a focus on testing and tracing, authorities are gaining confidence to start easing restrictions, but not without some conditions and challenges still ahead. Su-Lin Ong joins us with the details on Australia’s COVID exit strategy and economic outlook.

April 2020

How oil producers can help resolve their own crisis

Published April 29, 2020

Featuring Greg Pardy, RBC’s Co-Head of Global Energy Research

North American producers have struggled to match the historic collapse in demand. One option is “shut and swap” – an idea that would see governments buy future production so oil companies can “smooth” their revenue and plan output with more confidence. Do Ottawa and Washington have the political stomach for that kind of risk? Greg Pardy, RBC’s Co-Head of Global Energy Research, joins our podcast to share his proposal.

Why the world’s biggest banks are stable in this crisis – so far

Published April 27, 2020

Featuring Gerard Cassidy, RBC Capital Markets’ Head of U.S. Bank Equity Strategy

The big U.S. banks have set aside massive loan loss provisions as they prepare for the worst of the COVID crisis. European banks begin to report earnings this week, and are expected to do the same. Yet markets have not lost confidence in the world’s biggest banks the way they did in the global financial crisis. Gerard Cassidy, RBC Capital Markets’ Head of U.S. Bank Equity Strategy, joins us on the podcast.

Why ESG is outperforming the market

Published April 22, 2020

Featuring Lindsay Patrick, RBC Capital Markets’ Head of Sustainable Finance

On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, sustainability may seem like the last thing on a troubled market’s mind. And yet, through the crisis, ESG-focussed investments have outperformed the market, and may be positioned to excel as governments design the biggest stimulus investments in history. Lindsay Patrick, RBC Capital Markets' Head of Sustainable Finance, joins us to discuss how sustainability will shape the post-crisis rebuild.

What the collapse of crude prices means for the oil market

Published April 21, 2020

Featuring Michael Tran, RBC Capital Markets’ Energy Strategist

For the first time, the price of West Texas Intermediate on futures markets plunged into negative territory. It's the market sending oil producers a message: "We're awash in oil. Please shut in production." RBC Capital Markets’ Energy Strategist Michael Tran joins us on the podcast to explain what it means for global markets as well as Canadian production.

Quiet Resilience in Canada's Housing Markets

Published April 16, 2020

Featuring Robert Hogue, RBC Senior Economist

Wednesday saw the release of startling economic numbers, particularly Canada's GDP down 9% for March. That's not the only figure in decline - national home sales are also down 14. Prices, however, have remained relatively stable as supply dropped in proportion to demand. RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue joins our podcast to discuss the outlook on housing.

How Big Tech is using a downturn to its advantage

Published April 14, 2020

Featuring Mark Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets’ Internet Analyst

Amazon’s stock surged this week, hitting a new all-time high on Tuesday. The latest spark: Online shopping for basics like groceries is so intense that Amazon announced plans to hire 75,000 more workers, on top of the 100,000 it’s already added in the crisis. And it’s not the only one thriving in the face of dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour. Mark Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets’ Internet analyst, joins our podcast to talk about how the pandemic is leading to enduring changes in the way we shop – and how other Big Tech players like Google and Facebook may fare.

A Downturn Like No Other

Published April 9, 2020

Featuring Craig Wright, SVP and Chief Economist, RBC

This may be the darkest quarter on record for the Canadian economy. Our consumer-driven economy could make a rebuild even tougher, as we all tend to our wounds and avoid public places for months to come. As GDP declines and unemployment reaches unprecedented levels this quarter, it may be hard to spot silver linings. But come 2021, low interest rates and pent-up demand should get growth headed back to normal. RBC's Chief Economist Craig Wright joins our podcast to discuss his latest macro forecast.

How Donald Trump’s Fed became the world’s central bank

Published April 9, 2020

Featuring Elsa Lignos, RBC Capital Markets Global Head of FX Strategy

Global markets have rarely seen the volatility they endured in March, but in recent days a degree of calm has returned. One big reason is the Fed’s quiet role in extending liquidity lifelines to countries around the world, essentially doing for them what central banks everywhere are trying to do for their own economies. Elsa Lignos, RBC’s Global Head of FX Strategy, explains how the Fed restored temporary calm – and what lies ahead for markets that are still in the depths of a global pandemic.

A COVID cure? Watch for wishful thinking

Published April 7, 2020

Featuring Brian Abrahams, RBC’s Co-Head of Biotechnology Research

The race is on for vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Brian Abrahams, RBC’s Co-Head of Biotechnology Research, has some hope based on what he’s seeing but cautions we’re “in the early innings.” A vaccine is probably not realistic before 2021, he warns. And treatments – antivirals and anti-inflammatories, especially – could be months away. The efficacy of treatments could also vary widely across populations, just as we’re seeing with the virus. A magic bullet for curing coronavirus “is probably wishful thinking.” But even so, the availability of treatments, along with other measures, may slow infections, reduce their severity and enable some return to normalcy.

For a more detailed look at Brian’s research, read the full article here

The Eurozone’s Next Crisis

Published April 2, 2020

Featuring Peter Schaffrik, RBC Capital Markets Global Macro Strategist

Good news, the rate of growth of new COVID-19 cases in Europe appears to be slowing. Bad news, the economic cost is just beginning to hit home. With deep and broad recession underway, the eurozone is again divided over how to stabilize the economy and pay for its recovery. Ideas for joint action, from procurement of protective equipment to unemployment benefits, are coming by the day. But there’s no agreement on how to backstop the enormous debts member countries will incur. RBC’s London-based macro strategist Peter Schaffrik explains how the continent will bridge its newest divide.

March 2020

Market Bottoms Take Time to Form

Published March 31, 2020

Featuring Lori Calvasina, RBC Capital Markets Head of U.S. Equity Strategy

The past week saw four big up days for equities, and that tells Lori Calvasina that we haven’t seen enough capitulation to signal a new bull run. She believes more lows may lie ahead. As Head of U.S. Equity Strategy at RBC Capital Markets, Calvasina has been listening to big investors and studying market sentiment – and she’s detecting too much calm given the economic storm. On our latest podcast, she explains how investors should approach the current market and prepare for a stronger 2021.

Canada’s Two-fisted Punch

Published March 30, 2020

Featuring Craig Wright, RBC Chief Economist

Canada struck back with a two-fisted punch to send monetary and fiscal confidence to the economy. The Bank of Canada not only cut rates; it embraced quantitative easing, to buy bonds and other financial assets from governments that will be borrowing a lot more money. For its part, the federal government came out with Phase 2 of its stimulus package, to help small- and medium-sized businesses stay open and keep their workers on payroll. Will it be enough to prevent a major recession? RBC’s Chief Economist Craig Wright explains.

King Dollar Steps Back

Published March 27, 2020

Featuring George Davis, RBC Capital Markets Chief Technical Strategist, Fixed Income, Currencies & Commodities

While stocks have been surging, the US dollar has been on a week-long slide. The correction comes after an extraordinary run-up in the dollar in early March, when investors fled to the greenback’s higher ground and corporates followed, to ensure they were dollar-funded heading into an economic crisis. The prospects now of massive fiscal stimulus and concerted central bank intervention have investors looking anew to the euro, pound and even the Canadian dollar. George Davis, RBC Capital Markets’ currency strategist, explains what lies ahead.

Can Trump Bring Peace to the Oil War?

Published March 26, 2020

Featuring Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets Global Head of Commodities Strategy

Donald Trump is using every diplomatic tool to stop the oil war unleashed by Russia and Saudi Arabia, betting that neither can sustain themselves for long at $25 a barrel. But the Russians may be betting that Trump – or at least U.S. oil producers – will blink first, by scaling back American production and allowing OPEC+ to again drive global markets. Even if the oil powers agree to stabilize markets at a higher price, it may take longer than many are expecting, as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates global growth. Helima Croft, RBC Capital Markets Global Head of Commodities Strategy, joins us to explain.

This is the Backfill.

Published March 25, 2020

Featuring Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets Chief U.S. Economist 

Washington seems to finally have bipartisan agreement for a $2-trillion stimulus package. Tom Porcelli, RBC Capital Markets Chief U.S. Economist, says it’s enough to “backfill” the U.S. economy until mid-May. How will the world’s economic engine fare after that? That depends on the success of social distancing. But Porcelli thinks the creatively-driven U.S. economy – from media streaming to food services – could be more resilient than markets have assumed. And if U.S. consumers come out of lockdown and unleash their pent-up demand, the world will notice.

Have Markets Found a Bottom?

Published March 24, 2020

Featuring Craig Wright, SVP and Chief Economist, RBC

After one month of declines, 10,000 points off the Dow and a lot of “announcement indigestion,” RBC’s Chief Economist Craig Wright says markets are still searching for a bottom. They’re unsure of how to price so much new risk, all at once. Central banks are also struggling to assert themselves, while governments have not been able to get enough new money into the economy. Even when the trillion-dollar checks are cut, will consumers spend and businesses invest?


John Stackhouse
Senior Vice President, Office of the CEO, Royal Bank of Canada

‡ For relevant conflicts disclosure, please visit our Disclosure Lookup.
RBC Economics provides RBC and its clients with timely economic forecasts and analysis.